Recently some readers complain, “I look at hate bill HR 256 and I don’t see anything about stealing freedom from Christians or punishing people who counsel hatred. Why are you saying this bill will end freedom of speech?”
This week, Robert L. Knight—former LA Times editor and Stanford fellow, current author and expert on “anti-hate” laws and conservative issues who contributes on TV, radio and online—wrote an excellent explanation. Published on Townhall.com, this article warns that the “federal hate law would imperil civil rights.”
Knight explains that HR 256, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, will add homosexuals to the list of protected classes and “create penalties on top of criminal convictions, based on the perpetrators’ perceived beliefs, and create a federal slush fund for hate crime prevention programs for juveniles at the state and local level.”
He calls the bill “profoundly dangerous” and says it will “build the legal foundation” for violations of our freedoms of speech, association and religion.
“The proposed law, in effect, would make federal cases out of name-calling,” says Knight. “Legitimate opinion and free speech are thus recast as “hate speech” that can be suppressed via creeping judicial activism. “Hate crime” laws are already being used to silence people who speak publicly against homosexuality in the United States and Canada.”
Our point, exactly.
But readers are right: HR 256 doesn’t contain all the threatening language we describe. To see that language, simply refer back to the original 1968 law (U.S. Code: Title 18, 2(a) and Title 18, 245). This “anti-hate” bill now in Judiciary simply amends its “anti-intimidation” provision which was bad news in itself but lacked the teeth needed for the expansive federal enforcement that was its purpose. The current bills will expand the original language, adding homosexuals as a protected group and enhancing the federal government’s power to invade states’ rights in law enforcement against violent hate crimes. The 1968 law was like a permission slip for a killer; these bills are the FedEx delivery of his weapon.
Mr. Knight’s article was followed by bright and articulate comments, most of which were supportive and expressed full understanding that hate crime laws will take away freedom of speech and empower the feds to punish our beliefs and thoughts.
But one reader objected bitingly, “I presume, then, that the author and all of you who don't support this law also want to repeal the existing law which provides further penalties for crimes committed due to animus against the victim's racial, national origin, gender, disability and religion? What, no? Oh, that's right. The arguments you make… you want to apply only to keep out the part about homosexuals.”
He’s wrong—we want the old law gone too!
Another reader quickly replied, “As a matter of fact I DO want to repeal the existing law which provides further penalties for crimes committed due to animus against the victim's racial, national origin, gender, disability and religion. If someone should physically assault you it is their ACTION I object to. I don't care if they do it because they hate some aspect of who you are, or if they just want the $5 in your wallet.”
And there, friends, is a good argument! The hate laws already on the books, both federal and state, should be struck down. The government should punish actions never beliefs.
We have had a bad federal hate law (without much teeth in it) since 1968! But right now it’s more important to stop the weapon being shipped to the federal government than to revoke the permission slip for their killing spree of First Amendment rights.
And that weapon is seriously in the mail. Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told journalists that expanded hate laws and ENDA are Democrats’ top priorities on the gay rights agenda.
She said, "the priorities have been hate crimes and ENDA, fully inclusive legislation in those two areas, so we'll have to have our strategy work around on how we can get those passed...”
As speaker of the House—and with Pres. Obama’s and the Democrat majority’s support—Pelosi has power to make this a reality. It’s time NOW to protest these dangerous and powerful bills. Call toll free 1-877-851-6437 or toll 202-225-3121. Tell your members of Congress: “Please don’t vote for the hate crimes bills HR 256 and HR262.”
Also tell them, “Please watch a powerful 10-minute video online which explains how these hate bills threaten freedom. Watch it on the home page of www.truthtellers.org.”
Harmony Grant is a writer for National Prayer Network. To greater understand the illogic behind hate laws, read her article “Top Eleven Reasons You Should Fight Hate Laws.” At www.truthtellers.org you can also find two 10-minute videos which powerfully explain these most recent hate crime bills.
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.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.
NATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK,
P.O. Box 828, Clackamas, OR 97015