[Image of Walter Hoye and friends enjoying an anti-abortion rally]
Many modern christianists operate upon the principle that the ends justify the means. Thus, if the law gets in the way of one's interpretation of what it means to follow Jesus, one must break the law.
And that's what Walter Hoye, an anti-abortion, christianist pastor from Berkeley, California, did. The City of Oakland had passed a law which created a buffer zone between abortion protesters and people trying to get into an abortion clinic without being harassed by self-righteous, religious know-it-alls.
Hoye broke the law. He stood on the sidewalk and confronted people with a sign that read "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help," and he would try to stuff anti-abortion leaflets into the hands of those heading to the clinic.
He was found guilty of disobeying the law, and sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. He also is to pay a fine of $1,130. The judge, however, is allowing him an alternative method of serving his time--like community service.
The anti-abortion theocrats of the Catholic and christianist right are up in arms over what they perceive to be a terrible miscarriage of justice. And the christianist legal beagles are appealing the sentence. Everyone, they say, should be able to speak freely on a public sidewalk.
That's not the issue, of course. The issue is harassment.
Frankly, I don't see a problem. Christianists have, down through the years, fought what they perceived to be "evil" laws. There were a few times when many of them actively sought martyrdom rather than disobey their god.
So, Hoye ought to be rejoicing. He's a martyr for the cause. He'll no doubt get a special place at the heavenly banquet. Jesus will place a crown on his head. It will be wonderful.
I'd say to Hoye, "Pay your fine, do your community service, and go on your way rejoicing.
"But, please stop harassing people trying to do what they feel they need to do. Mind your own damn business!"