`Homegrown Terrorist' Bill Founders
By Rev Ted Pike
28 Feb 2008
The populist right was stunned last November when The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorist Act passed the House of Representatives with only six dissenting votes. This bill would set up a federal commission to study and make recommendations to Congress concerning the “national problem” of “streaming" internet extremism in America. Online extremism, this bill contends, "radicalizes" unstable persons and groups, leading to domestic acts of bias-motivated violence.
Far right alternative talk radio and even “homophobic” evangelical broadcasting lie in the crosshairs of this sinister legislation. (See, In Search of 'Homegrown Terrorists') Alone among major Christian/conservative watchdog groups, the National Prayer Network sounded the alarm against the Senate version, S.B. 1959. This version seemed certain to quickly pass the more liberal Senate. Yet, today, the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security says the bill has lost virtually all momentum. Despite spectacular passage in the House with eight public hearings last fall, Democratic leadership seems to actually want it to languish. Why?
During this hotly contested Presidential race, Democrats portray themselves as supporting Christian family values. They want to avoid accusations that they are trying to censor Biblical, anti-homosexual sentiments on the internet. Many calls of protest informed Democrats that this bill could become highly controversial, inviting scrutiny and anger from the right. “Homophobic” pastors and Christian talk show hosts might correctly suspect they could come under investigation as “domestic terrorists.” After all, Sen. Kennedy said last fall that hate crimes against homosexuals are “domestic terrorism.” Could pastors be accused of inciting such violence when they preach from Scripture? Absolutely. Kennedy's hate crimes bill would punish pastors who advocate "bias" against sodomites equally with those who, influenced by them, commit violent crimes against homosexuals! 1
It's not too soon to conclude that the Homegrown Terrorist bill may well be defeated, like virtually all other anti-Christian, anti-freedom bills in this session of Congress.
Unprecedented Victories in Congress
Never in my memory has the liberal social agenda been more completely routed as in the first half of the 110th Congress. As a veteran opponent of hate crime laws, I always dreaded Democrat control of the House and Senate. I feared it meant certain passage of bias crimes bills, including the infamous hate crimes bill.
Yet, when such control materialized, God and the people inspired Republican firebrands in the House to defeat or immobilize the very worst "civil liberties" legislation the Anti-Defamation League, architect of hate laws worldwide, could contrive! These included: Sec. 220 of The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act and the Shays-Meehan amendment to The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act, The Executive Branch Reform Act, The Department of Peace and Non-violence Act, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- now stalled on the Senate calendar since November and the most dangerous of all, The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In addition, massive calling from a broad spectrum of Americans defeated legislation promoting immigration policies unfair to the American people and the “Fairness Doctrine” giving liberals equal time on conservative talk radio.
People Power Impacts Congress
What's next? To perpetuate their "family values" charade, Democrats may not introduce or resurrect more anti-Christian hate or bias bills in this term of Congress. But history predicts that next January the Democrats will quickly revert to their family and free speech-destroying agenda. They will reintroduce virtually all the bills we defeated in this session of Congress -- and more. Under a possibly Democrat administration their chances of passage are great.
To repeat our victories, we must repeat our strategy of last January. In case you have not read my detailed description of that strategy 2, here is the short version:
When ADL's hate bill was introduced on January 5, 2007, it seemed unstoppable. Yet, the National Prayer Network encouraged hundreds of thousands of listeners to alternative talk radio and readers of www.rense.com to visit www.truthtellers.org and obtain the names of all members of the House Judiciary Committee, which would soon deliberate the bill. Throughout January and February 2007, many thousands called, faxed, wrote or emailed all members of Judiciary, loudly protesting the hate bill. 3
Until that time, most House Republicans had shown themselves very lethargic in opposing it. Example: In 2005 House Republicans gazed on mutely as the Hate Bill was attached to the Children's Safety Act and passed in only 45 minutes!
Yet, yawning, jaded Republicans came alive in response to thousands of protest calls which avalanched their personal offices in January and February 2007. A chorus of protests from the populist right indicated hate crimes legislation was a red hot concern for many voters. This firestorm effectively created at least 11 fighting Republicans in the Judiciary alone. Their influence quickly spread throughout 180 House Republicans.
Although most Republicans naively voted for the Homegrown Terrorism bill, thinking it promoted national security, throughout 2007 they spiritedly opposed Anti-Christian hate and bias legislation. These included The Lobbying Transparency Act (persecuting Christian activist groups) and ENDA (discriminating against Christians in the workplace in favor of homosexuals). Their feistiness effectively daunted Democrats from aggressively moving forward highly controversial anti-freedom bills. When 180 Republicans (and 57 Democrats) finally shouted “NO!” to the hate bill/arms bill passage in December, Democrat power brokers were forced to strip the hate bill as an amendment of the arms bill.
The evangelical right, virtually oblivious to the hate bill's presence in the House Judiciary, had entered the hate bill fray in mid-February 2007. Their massive calling powerfully increased momentum against the hate bill and other bias crimes legislation throughout the spring. This movement encouraged President Bush to threaten veto of the hate bill and ENDA, casting a wet blanket over the liberal bias crimes agenda. Yet the many victories for freedom over the last year would have been impossible without the lobbying groundwork laid by the populist right at the beginning of the year.
Back into Battle
Much anti-family, pro-hate law activity and legislation is going on in America today, especially in state legislatures and in local communities. The National Prayer Network will continue to expose and educate against these trends. Yet ten months from now, I will again be on high alert on the federal level, sounding the alarm on talk radio and the internet every time an Orwellian bill is introduced into Congress. At www.truthtellers.org will be posted the names of every member of the committees to which such bills are assigned. Protest must be immediate and incessant. Once again, we must create massive fervent opposition to all bias-crimes legislation. We can again energize House Republicans to present an even stronger vanguard of criticism and delay!
Although many Christian/conservatives are deeply disappointed by the demise of Rep. Ron Paul’s bid for Presidency, we should be encouraged. We have shown that during critical moments of emergency and opportunity, if America calls to God and to key members of Congress, we can save freedom! I have no idea how proactive evangelical watchdogs groups will be next January. Realistically, their record has been very largely one of inattention, lack of imagination, and missed opportunities. 4 But count on the National Prayer Network to sound the alarm.
The rest is up to you.
1 The present federal hate bill derives its authority from the original federal hate law, passed in the late 1960s but lacking enforcement authority. It says in U.S.C. title 18, section 2A: "Whoever commits an offense against the United States [a hate crime] or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission is punished as a principal."
2 2007: Year of Faliure for Orwellian Bills
3 Conventional lobbying ethics, as practiced by Christian/conservative organizations, encourage citizens to call members of Congressional committees only if they are constituents of a member. Considering, however, the extreme danger posed by hate and bias crimes legislation and the fact that members of Congress make laws which profoundly and adversely affect all Americans, I assert the right of every citizen to protest to every member of Congress -- even if it causes them annoyance.
4 The repeated failures of most new right watchdog groups to warn of imminent hate bill passage are recounted in my video alert, "Betrayed: How New Right Leaders Endangered Freedom."
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
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.
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