Fake News: Trump Does NOT Want To Make Mocking Jesus Christ A Hate Crime

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Trump Does NOT Want To Make Mocking Jesus Christ A Hate Crime

Does President Trump want to make mocking Jesus Christ a hate crime? No, that's not true: in reality Trump has no plans to introduce such blatantly unconstitutional legislation, the story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them. Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators (or a liberal from Maine) via the ad revenue generated with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.

The story originated from an article published by BustaTroll.org on October 1, 2019 titled "Trump Wants To Make Mocking Jesus Christ A Hate Crime" (archived here) which opened:

If you make a joke in public about Mohammed in California , you could face up to 10 years in prison for a hate crime. The same could happen for publicly humiliating any Hindu or Buddhist gods in New York. Really, if one were to crack wise about virtually any religious deity in a crowded room, one would face prison time in much of the country. There is one exception to this rule, however. There is one faith that is fair game for endless ridicule across the map of the USA. Christianity. Heathens can mock, heckle, and smear the name of Jesus Christ without end anywhere and face none of the same harsh consequences that they would for the same behavior against their own gods and prophets. It's grossly unfair and discriminatory and not a single politician has ever stepped up to reverse this bias.......until now.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Trump Wants To Make Mocking Jesus Christ A Hate Crime

If you make a joke in public about Mohammed in California , you could face up to 10 years in prison for a hate crime. The same could happen for publicly humiliating any Hindu or Buddhist gods in Ne...

The story is a work of fiction: the original website that published it had several disclaimers on the page to explain that and the article was posted under two categories named "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction" and "Satirical Powers of an Orange President".

The parts about being jailed for mocking Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam are complete inventions as such laws would go directly against the First Amendment of the United States Constitition. So would a law that prohibited mocking Jesus Christ and Donald Trump (the real one, not the one in this satirical article) presumably knows that.

A hate crime is defined by the FBI as:

A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity." Hate itself is not a crime--and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.

So just mocking a religion is not a hate crime and never will be. Punching someone in the face because of their religion would be a hate crime (and just punching them in the face to rob them would be a "regular" crime).

The site that published the satirical article is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up.

Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bustatroll.org as:

A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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