One News Now of the American Family Association reports that Matt Barber of Liberty Council is upset because the media focuses more on hate crimes against gays and lesbians than hate crimes against people for religious reasons.
After analyzing the numbers in the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics report for 2010, Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, concludes that there is a clear bias against religion.
"There were fewer hate crimes committed against people based on an animus toward their sexual behavior than there were committed toward people based on religion," he reports. "So that is to say there were more hate crimes committed against people because of anti-religious bias than there [were] for anti-homosexual bias."Since Mr. Barber includes links, I decided to dig into this just a little and see what is going on with the detailed numbers.
The FBI provides some more detailed figures.
Racial biasAmong the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2010, there were 3,949 victims of racially motivated hate crime. A closer examination of these victim data showed that:
- 70.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-black bias.
- 17.7 percent were victims of an anti-white bias.
- 5.1 percent were victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
- 1.2 percent were victims of an anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
- 6.0 percent were victims of a bias against a group of individuals in which more than one race was represented (anti-multiple races, group).
Religious biasOf the 1,552 victims of an anti-religion hate crime:
- 67.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
- 12.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
- 4.2 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
- 3.0 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.
- 0.5 percent were victims of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
- 9.1 percent were victims of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
- 3.5 percent were victims of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
Sexual-orientation biasOf the 1,528 victims targeted due to an offender’s sexual-orientation bias:
- 57.3 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-male homosexual bias.
- 27.5 percent were victims of an anti-homosexual bias.
- 11.8 percent were victims of an anti-female homosexual bias.
- 1.4 percent were victims of an anti-heterosexual bias.
- 1.9 percent were victims of an anti-bisexual bias.
Ethnicity/national origin biasHate crimes motivated by the offender’s bias toward a particular ethnicity/national origin were directed at 1,122 victims. Of these victims:
- 66.6 percent were targeted because of an anti-Hispanic bias.
- 33.4 percent were victimized because of a bias against other ethnicities/national origins.
Liberty Counsel is known for its Christian and anti-gay focus, a hard-line anti-gay group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. So, it is interesting that Mr. Barber is focused on religious bias when those hate crimes against Christians (both Catholic and Protestant) add up to only 7.2% of the 20% of hate crimes that are religious in nature. Most hate crimes are of an anti-black bias. Most religious hate crimes are of an anti-Jewish bias, with second place being anti-Muslim. The numbers provide the real story.
Disability biasOf the 48 victims of a hate crime due to the offender’s bias against a disability:
- 24 were victims of an anti-mental disability bias.
- 24 were victims of an anti-physical disability bias.
Barber adds that the leading basis for hate crimes was race, followed by religion. Even so, "It seems the only thing we hear the media talking about are alleged hate crimes against people because they are considered gay or lesbian."Perhaps the problem is that Mr. Barber is so focused on homosexuality that he misses the media coverage of other hate crimes. Perhaps there is a bigger story of why we still have more than eight thousand documented victims of hate crimes in 2010. Perhaps a part of that story is the responsibility of hate groups like Mr. Barber's Liberty Counsel who continue to deride minority groups and depict them as second class citizens, not worthy of the same respect as white Christians.