You may have heard the news that late Wednesday afternoon the so-called Hate Crimes Bill, HR-1913, passed the U.S. House with a vote of 249 - 175. Around 5 p.m. a motion to reconsider was agreed to without objection.
I believe that this is a real blow to our liberties as outlined below. We must get the word out to as many people as we can so that this is defeated in the Senate, since President Obama has said that he will sign the bill rather than veto a similar bill as President Bush did.
I also want to call our intercessors to pray because this is much more than just a political battle. I believe this is also spiritual warfare.
On Tuesday Robert A. J. Gagnon sent out an interesting letter detailing why Christians need to be proactive in fighting this hate crimes bill. You can read it below.
Support for a "hate" bill that enshrines "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into federal law (note that it is not yet so enshrined) does not mean merely that you oppose hateful, violent acts against persons who self-identify as homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers. Laws are already in place protecting persons who identify as homosexual or transgendered. They are the same laws that protect all of us from violent physical or verbal attacks.
Support for such a bill means, in effect, that you are in favor of the federal government taking an official, legal stance that opposition to homosexual practice and transgenderism of any sort is hatred and bigotry akin to virulent racism and liable to state prosecution. Any statement against such homosexual practice or transgenderism could be prosecuted as an "incitement" or "inducement" of others to violence, no matter how loving and rational that expression of opposition may be.
A "sexual orientation hate" crime bill does virtually all its damage in establishing "sexual orientation" as a category of being that is worth the federal government's vigorous special protection. A person who has a problem with the behavior arising from homosexual "orientation" will be legally established as a "bigot," even if he or she does not commit a violent crime. That status becomes codified in law. Your opposition to homosexual practice, no matter how loving and rational, puts you in the category of a virulent racist who regards African Americans as morally inferior beings.
In establishing an official "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" protection category, "sexual orientation" hate laws make inevitable, so-called "employment nondiscrimination acts" for "sexual orientation" that turn out to be "employment discrimination acts" against people in the workplace who do not want to support a homosexualist agenda. Together they make inevitable the passage of legislation that mandates acceptance of "gay marriage." It is not possible to be for a "sexual orientation thought-crime" bill and not also be for the enforcement of "gay marriage" because the former leads inevitably to the latter. That is how the courts in Massachusetts and, recently Iowa, operated. They moved from "sexual orientation" laws in "hate crime" and "employment" to treating as intrinsically discriminatory any opposition to "gay marriage."
Look at how far things have already gone in Canada. Among those recently fined thousands of dollars are: Father Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight Magazine for speaking against homosexual behavior; Bill Whatcott, a Catholic activist, for producing pamphlets that called homosexual practice immoral (Whatcott was also "banned for life" from criticizing homosexuality); Stephen Boisson, a pastor, for a letter to a newspaper denouncing homosexual practice as immoral (also ordered to desist from expressing his views on homosexual practice in any public forum).
Can't happen in the United States? Even though some high court justices have already made appeals to precedents in foreign law to support the homosexualist agenda here? Tell that to the freelance female photographer who on the grounds that it violated her Christian belief declined to photograph a lesbian wedding and, as a result, was ordered by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission to pay over $6000 to the lesbian couple.
This past year an African-American woman Crystal Dixon was removed from her position as associate vice president for human resources at the University of Toledo simply because she wrote an editorial in a newspaper saying that homosexual behavior should not be compared to being black.
Rolf Szabo, Richard Peterson, Kenneth Gee, Annie Coffey-Montes, and Albert Buonanno were all fired from their corporate or government jobs in the United States for not wanting to "celebrate" at their work station "sexual orientation" diversity.
A Christian ministry in New Jersey has been subject to state investigation for refusing to allow a lesbian civil union ceremony to be conducted on its property.
In California affirmation of homosexual practice is now mandatory for public schools from the earliest grades on up; teachers who refuse to go along are subject to termination.
Need more examples of this juggernaut of intolerance? Go to my online postings at http://www.robgagnon.net/AlleghenyCountyHomosexualBill.htm or http://www.robgagnon.net/ObamaWarOnChristians.htm .
I commend to you also an analysis by law professor Shawn Akers posted at http://americansfortruth.com/news/analysis-of-2009-hate-crimes-bill-hr-1913.html. As Akers notes,
"This bill will certainly be construed in light of existing federal law including specifically United States Code Title 18, Section 2, that says that : "Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal." (emphasis added). This is the feared immediate nexus between the speech of a pastor or radio commentator and the actions of a deranged parishioner or listener. Proponents of the bill argue that it clearly, under its own language, applies only to acts of violence. This argument is misleading and naïve in that it implies that criminal liability would be available only for the person physically committing the violent act, while ignoring completely the likelihood that courts, especially ideologically driven, activist courts, will impose criminal liability on those deemed complicit in the violent act whether or not they physically contributed to the act....
"In other words, because penalties already exist for those who commit criminal acts, HR 1913 serves only to punish individuals for the beliefs, opinions, or convictions held at the time an act is committed. As such, HR 1913 does not punish criminal intent, but criminalizes thought....
"Tellingly, in the April 23, 2009 Judiciary Committee hearings on HR 1913, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) said unequivocally that "We need to protect victims against hateful words, hateful acts and even violent acts."
Please contact your representative in Congress now.
Thank you, Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
Author of : The Bible and Homosexual Practice : Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon Press).