Donald Trump, the billionaire co-owner of the Miss Universe organization, decided this week not to throw Miss California to the sharks.

But he let them nibble at her until she bled. And the guy who should have walked the plank, the scurrilous Miss USA pageant judge Perez Hilton, is still aboard the Good Ship Trump.

Hilton, a homosexual activist who asked a question about gay “marriage,” obscenely denounced Carrie Prejean on his blog for her honest answer. Then he did it again on MSNBC. He also boasted that her defense of marriage cost her the crown, because he gave her “a zero.”

As of this writing, Hilton has agreed to serve again as a pageant judge, and Trump seems fine with that. In fact, he praised Hilton right after his attacks on Miss Prejean.

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When an honest young woman is viciously assailed, a gentleman rises to her defense, not to praise her attacker. But Trump stuck by his, er, man. Asked about Hilton’s conduct, Trump said he picked him as a judge because “he’s just another guy.” Sure he is. And RuPaul is “just another woman.” To Trump’s credit, he did announce Tuesday that Prejean’s answer was “honorable” and “from the heart.”

The campaign against Carrie Prejean, which included the release of racy photos, is a brutal object lesson. It’s part of the effort to transform traditional morality into a “hate crime.”

Congress is on the verge of passing a “hate crimes” bill that will lay the groundwork for intimidating pastors and pro-family activists from speaking publicly about biblical morality. H.R. 1913 already passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaits a full Senate vote on S. 909. President Obama has pledged to sign it.

During the Supreme Court hearings in 2000 on the Boy Scout case, pro-life Rev. Rob Schenck was sitting in the audience next to the Clinton White House liaison for “gay” issues. Thinking the pastor was a fellow liberal, the woman whispered, “We’re not going to win this case, but that’s OK. Once we get ‘hate crime’ laws on the books, we’re going to go after the Scouts and all the other bigots.”

And the bill won’t just add homosexuals to the preferred list of victims who get more protection than other people. Listen to Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., who read a list of paraphilias (unorthodox or perverse sexual urges) that will be covered under the “sexual orientation” portion of the bill:

“‘The term sexual orientation,’ this proposed amendment said, ‘as used in this act, or any amendments made by this act, does not include apotemnophilia, asphyxophilia, autogynephilia, coprophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, gerontosexuality, incest, kleptophilia, klismaphilia, necrophilia, partialism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, telephone scatalogia, toucherism, transgenderism, transsexual, transvestite, transvestic fetishism, urophilia, voyeurism, or zoophilia.'”

You don’t want to know what these describe. Hastings mocked the amendment by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, before he and his fellow Democrats voted it down. They also rejected an amendment by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to bar pedophiles from gaining special protection.

Hastings explained why:

“Mr. Speaker, this bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice, and to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability – or all of these philias and fetishes and isms that were put forward – need not live in fear because of who they are.”

Well, that’s a relief. To congressional liberals and the Obama administration, the real threat to public safety is people who hold traditional values, like Carrie Prejean or Rush Limbaugh. How else to explain Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s release on April 7 of a report on “Rightwing Extremism,” which singled out as possible terrorist threats war veterans, pro-life activists and people who are “antagonistic toward the new administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms”?

Add them all up and that’s a majority of the American people.

The current bureaucrats are not starting from scratch. As West Virginia pro-family activist Kevin McCoy has discovered, materials left over from the Clinton administration’s Department of Justice that the Bush administration never erased from the DOJ website, are being distributed throughout the country.

One of them is the “Student Manual for the National Hate Crimes Training Curricula,” which includes among characteristics of “hate group ideology” a belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelation (“apocalyptic Christianity”) and the alleged mental illness of “homophobia.”

Nestled within the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance website is a monograph called “A Policymaker’s Guide to Hate Crimes.” It references a list of “hate groups” compiled by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center that includes legitimate, conservative Christian organizations sandwiched among extremist groups.

The report also sets the tone for restoring the Fairness Doctrine to throttle conservative talk radio. Under the section titled “A Climate for Hate Crimes,” the report targets “hate-filled discourse on talk shows or political advertisements, the use of racial code language such as ‘welfare mothers’ and ‘inner city thugs,'” and warns that, “Once a climate of hate is created, a single incident can trigger a wave of hate crimes.”

“Climate of hate” is the term that radical Islamists and gay activists use to suppress free speech in Great Britain, Canada, Sweden and Australia.

Let’s recap: The left is pressing for a sweeping hate crimes bill despite no evidence that it is necessary, a renewed Fairness Doctrine to kill talk radio, consciousness-raising manuals for students and law enforcers that single out conservative Christians, and a report labeling Americans distrustful of the Obama administration as potential terrorists.

Amid all the concern about “hate speech,” the foul-mouthed Perez Hilton apparently will get a judge’s job at the next Miss USA pageant, which shows that not all hate is equal.

In fact, hate will be allowed and even encouraged as long as it is directed at God-fearing conservatives, gun owners, talk-radio hosts and small-government folks.

Do you hate what’s happening? Better speak up now while you still can.

Robert Knight is senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and a senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union.

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