My Answer:

The way some people go about evangelism, and many of the door-knocking-heaven-or-hell forms the church has historically used could very easily be considered evangelism. Since when did “go therefore and make disciples” become “go with godspeed and save the masses from their eternal damnation”? Evangelsim is way of life that leads people to questions, not a list of questions to ask random people. While I certainly believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, I don’t remember Jesus Christ ever telling us that it was our job to save people. And condemning others beliefs (here’s the hate crime part) is not the best way to introduce people to the One who can save.

The Question

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  • No.
    Knocking on doors and “condemning others beliefs” is not a hate crime. It might be a nuisance, and it could be intolerant; some forms of “evangelism” even border on harassment. But please, let’s respect the definition of “hate crime” and not dilute it to include “Annoying door-to-door Christian salesmen handing out tracks.”

    [PLUH – EEZE!]

    Murdering Matthew Shepard because of his sexuality is a hate crime. But, picketing Matthew Shepard’s funeral is not a crime. Believing that he is in Hell is not a crime. Making a website to celebrate the number of days you think he has been in Hell, not a crime. Being annoying, angry, stupid, insensitive, or dumb – – also not a crime.

    Is Fred Phelps (and others like him) horrible, awful, insensitive, mean and rotten? You betcha! But hating people is not a crime.

    Let’s call it what it is (ineffective/annoying). Don’t weaken the meaning of Hate Crime to include crap that’s not it.