By Harmony Grant
19 September 2007
Last weekend one thousand Christians--Catholic, Pentecostal, and others--joined for a silent march in Florida. Their t-shirts said firmly, "My Jesus, My Freedom, My stand." They walked in solidarity with a Christian chaplain who lost his job at a local hospital for refusing to stop praying "in Jesus' name."
The firing of this chaplain got local Christians' attention, much as the firing of Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt (for the same "offense") woke national evangelical leadership to the war on Christian prayer.
Maybe there is hope that American pastors and churchgoers will realize their freedom is disappearing, before it is too late to save. This remains an open question.
If the Senate passes Sen. Kennedy’s hate crimes amendment, and Pres. Bush compromises on his promise to veto, the federal government will be free to swoop into any state and prosecute "bias crimes," which could be no more than racist epithets hurled during a football match or, more likely, Christians' "hateful" evangelism or reproof of those trapped in sin!
Hate crime laws do not criminalize hatred in general, just those hatreds that are politically incorrect.
Freedom of speech has always been fragile and rare. Hate crimes legislation will turn it into a memory, enabling massive censorship. Columnist and talk show host Greg Koukl writes that hate laws make “one wonder how an unfettered debate on same-sex marriage will be able to proceed (“All those opposed to same-sex marriage…you’re under arrest”).”
Certainly, if the ADL's hate bill had passed in 1998, as ADL was certain it would, Mearsheimer and Walt's recent book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, (regarded by ADL as "anti-Semitic") could not exist. Alternative talk radio which now influences millions, often criticizing Zionism, would be a mere dream.
Religious Freedom, 2007
The US State Department recently released its annual report on international religious freedom. Commenting on the report, Secretary Condoleezza Rice said “the ideology of hatred and religious intolerance…fuels global terrorism.”
This is the dangerous irony: In the same breath that Rice applauds freedom, she demonizes religious “hatred” as something to outlaw. It doesn’t work like that. Hatred must not become a crime. It is one of humanity’s fundamental emotions. The government has no business messing with it anymore than with anger, arrogance, or puppy love. In fact, the Bible says, "Ye that love the Lord hate evil." (Ps. 97:10)
Fundamental aspects of religion—like proselytizing, warning of divine judgment or praying “in Jesus’ name”—are increasingly banned in the workplace, and hate laws make them crimes in public! These are not crimes. For devout believers, they are duties of conscience.
If unbelievers can’t handle words coming from a Christian’s mouth, that’s their problem, not the government’s. The government has no business moderating what’s polite or legislating to protect certain people’s feelings. That road has only one end, and it’s a police state.
Secretary Rice said, “As we reflect on the tragedy of [9/11], we are reminded of the true importance of this report [on religious freedom] and we reaffirm our commitment to help us shed light on all countries where citizens are subjected to government censorship, hate crimes, discrimination and violence for their thoughts and beliefs.”
Yes, the report is important. But it would be even more important if it contained a section on the one nation that was left out: a nation whose freedoms most concern us and are most imperiled—America.
EMERGENCY UPDATE FROM REV. TED PIKE The Senate, as of Wednesday, Sept. 19, has not yet considered Sen. Kennedy's hate crimes amendment, S.A. 2067. It is vital NOW that you call your Senator, tollfree 1-877-851-6437 or toll 1-202-225-3121, and protest loudly. Public opposition to the hate bill has greatly diminished since most new right organizations, putting their trust in the President to veto this legislation, are not actively encouraging their constituents to protest it to members of the Senate. It is vital that a flood of calls right now energize Republican Senators to rise and fight the hate bill with everything that is in them.
The reality is, if the hate bill is approved by the Senate, even if it is vetoed by the President, it will have attained stature as a bill passed by Congress -- a powerful recommendation to the next President and Congress to pass it quickly. On the other hand, defeat in Congress now will weaken the bill, making it much more difficult for a new, probably extremely pro-hate bill administration to pass it.
The failure of many new right leaders to encourage continued battle is typical of their habitual mentality of accepting a "quick fix" on the hate bill threat rather than thinking in terms of long-term strategy and education. Even if defeated now, the hate bill is going to come back again and again, promises the ADL, until it passes.
It is up to you to make up the difference! Call NOW to your members of the Senate. Also, come here at truthtellers.org for the names of 37 Senators who might still be persuaded to vote against the bill. If we remain vigilant and never stop fighting the enemies of freedom, we can save freedom for ourselves and our children!
Harmony Grant writes and edits for National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group.
Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at video.google.com. Purchase this gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at www.truthtellers.org for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
NATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK,
P.O. Box 828, Clackamas, OR 97015