Mel Gibson has engendered a lot of discussion about "The Passion of the Christ." It's interesting to note that at the time of Christ's improper midnight trial and subsequent crucifixion, there were Jewish laws on the books making public incitement to riot and blasphemy illegal. But something else was at play here among those who opposed what Christ taught and stood for: Hate.
Hate provided the incentive to ignore existing law, focus on the man himself and what he was, and exact a bigot's fearful revenge. Seems like a pretty good argument for the need of hate crime legislation then as well as now.
David E. Hardy