Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who made up a lie about how a President Hillary Clinton would have put him in jail for being a Christian, is making a similar argument in defense of the El Paso mass shooter.
If the shooter is convicted of a hate crime, Gohmert told reporters at KETK, then the same logic will one day be used to punish Christians.
For some reason.
“There is no death penalty under federal law,” Gohmert said, “so all of this screaming and yelling we need to punish him for hate crimes, you know, that’s just going to be something used to lock up preachers someday.”
Gohmert continued to say “we should punish people for what they actually do, and not for something stupid that they say or may have crossed their mind.”
First of all, he’s wrong. The death penalty does exist under federal law.
More importantly: People are punished for their actions, not their words. But if their actions are meant to terrorize a specific group of people, and their words support that, the punishment can and should be more severe. Why Gohmert thinks that would apply to bigoted preachers, I have no clue, unless he’s admitting that preachers are inciting members of their congregations to murder people.
This is typical Gohmert. He just assumes everyone is always out to get Christians all the time. There’s no room in his mind for nuance. Or much of anything else. The truth is if a Muslim leader called for the death of all Christians, but didn’t act on it himself, Gohmert would be first in line to demand a “hate crime” designation. A Trump-loving domestic terrorist who kills innocent people because he fears immigrants deserves the same label.