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Pelosi's Hate Bill

By Rev. Ted Pike
16 March 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently said Democrats will soon formulate a strategy to pass the federal hate crimes bill, HR 256. This comment should deeply concern all freedom-loving Americans.
What is Pelosi's strategy? Several aspects can be reasonably speculated.
The present hate crimes bill now in the House Judiciary Committee, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is not the real federal hate crimes bill for which most Democrats lust. It is a three-page abbreviation of the 5-page hate bill which passed the House two years ago. It only grants the federal government power to invade states' rights in law enforcement to punish violent hate crimes, not all bias crimes against persons or property.
Yet even this intrusion is unprecedented, uniting federal and local law enforcement into police state jurisdiction over violent hate crimes. It would also elevate homosexuals to special federally protected status as well as create a bias motivation justice system, enforceable from the federal level. Such bias motivation as a criterion for federal intervention would soon broaden, through judicial precedent, into a national speech crime law, as happened in Canada. HR 256 also gives the federal government the potential to punish "as a principal" those whose vehement criticism of homosexuals or other federally protected groups might "abet" (Webster: "incite") acts of violence against them (USC Title 18, Sec. 2[a]).
Since it will erode our First Amendment free speech, disregarding the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Tenth Amendment guaranteeing states' sovereign rights, even the stripped-down HR 256 should be shocking enough to raise a howl of protest to Washington.
But we hear no howl of protest.
The continuing silence and inaction of major Christian/conservative watchdog groups cannot but embolden hate bill Democrats to ask for much more. They want the longer, more intrusive federal hate bill, HR 1592. It permits the federal government to penetrate states' rights not just for violent hate crimes but for all bias crimes. In fact, HR 1592 permits the government to investigate and punish all types of felonies in the states! (Sec. 3) The result is enormously greater jurisdiction. The government can also "allocate such sums as are necessary to increase the number of personnel to prevent and respond to alleged violations" of laws under its new jurisdiction (Sec. 5). "Prevention" of hate crimes can thus capacitate extensive federal "anti-bias" education programs on the state and federal level; it will massively increase "the number of personnel" to create a federal hate crimes enforcement and educational bureaucracy.
The longer hate bill also gives the federal government power to overturn the verdicts of state hate crime trials. It also says no state may be without a hate law. If it is, the government may impose its own hate crimes jurisdiction (Sec. 6). (See my detailed analysis of the proto-version of the longer hate bill, S. 1145, here at

The Decoy Strategy

Why haven't Democrats put HR 1592 out front? It's part of an old decoy strategy, sometimes used to introduce very controversial legislation. First, an abbreviated version of the desired bill is introduced to test the waters. Busy members of Congress, perhaps responding to controversy over this new legislation, read the bill with its seemingly modest requests. Its critics seem unjustified. From then on, lawmakers' minds are made up: any furor about the bill lacks credibility. A month or two later, the bill's backers introduce the full-length bill. Its name and number are unfamiliar, unsullied by controversy. If the bill's backers control the judiciary committees, they move the new bill through rapidly, preferably as an amendment to a much more important or popular piece of "must-pass" legislation. Suddenly confronted with the new bill, which in the present case is described as "the hate crimes bill" they support, the politicians pass it. Victims of bait-and-switch, they vote for legislation they thought they knew.
In the last Congress, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act, HR 254, was introduced in early January 2007 to serve as decoy. Primarily as a result of alerts by our National Prayer Network, it met heavy opposition as angry Americans incessantly protested to members of the House Judiciary Committee.
Then in March, the liberals abandoned it as Rep. John Conyers introduced HR 1592. The Democrats mounted a campaign to rapidly pass HR 1592.
But it didn't work. Too much controversy had been generated by callers from the evangelical and far right. Eleven spirited Republicans in the House Judiciary drew the attention of Congress to its failings during several days of turbulent and highly publicized hearings. The hate bill's chances evaporated as Pres. Bush promised to veto it.
Will Pelosi and House Democrats introduce their real hate bill soon? That's likely--especially since they now face a fraction of the fight that met them in 2007. Why? It may be that the largest Christian watchdog groups have read the disarming language of HR 256 and, like busy politicians, do not feel particularly threatened. To them HR 256 might look like modest government encroachment into states' prosecution of violent hate crimes – yes, more creeping federalism, but, what else is new?
Such "watchdogs" may be the first (and most significant) victims of HR 256's bait-and-switch. Because of their superficial understanding of hate law deviousness and strategy, they dawdle. Their evangelical supporters, conditioned to follow, also wait. "After all," they ask, "if there really was a dire emergency, wouldn't Jay Sekulow, Dr. Dobson, Family Research Council, American Family Association, and Concerned Women for America loudly warn us?"
Don't count on it.

The Lie-Low Strategy

Another time-honored strategy to pass controversial legislation is to let the bill lie in a Judiciary subcommittee until protest dies and some other issue rivets the attention of opponents. The bill is then quickly attached as a rider to another piece of legislation sure to pass.
This happened in 2005 when the hate bill met opposition in the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime and was left there for nine months. Everyone, including Republicans in the Judiciary, thought it was dead. Then it suddenly appeared on the floor of the House and was passed in 45 minutes. Unprepared Republicans presented no opposition.
If this strategy coincides with some horrific hate crime, heightening public sympathy, so much the easier!
The full details of Pelosi's developing hate bill strategy are of course only known to insiders. We do know Congressional Democrats have never been more determined to pass a federal hate crimes bill or more empowered to do so.

It's Up to Us

This leaves you and me--and Almighty God--to keep America from becoming a hate laws police state like Canada. But such odds should not daunt us.
In literally every battle which God won for Israel in the Old Testament, He did it preferring a small minority against overwhelming opposition. This was so He got the credit, and drew human attention to His power and love. Historically, that's exactly how He has helped us defeat the hate bill five times over the past 10 years. We are free today not because of the magnitude of our protest but because, at the last minute, God caused hate bill forces to behave irrationally. What matters is that we, like Sampson, Gideon, David, etc., do our utmost in faith and action.
God used a small, smooth stone in David's hand to fell Goliath. Today, He has already defeated the hate bill through assistance of another small, smooth object in our hand--a telephone.
Use it NOW to topple the hate bill giant!
Call toll-free 1-877-851-6437 or toll 1-202-225-3121. Tell your members of Congress, "Please don't vote for any hate crimes legislation. Don't vote for HR 256 and HR 262." Call all 39 crucial members of the House Judiciary Committee, available here at Ask them to watch NPN's dynamic 10-minute video on the home page of which explains how HR 256 and HR 262 threaten freedom.





Watch the dynamic 10-minute educational video, "How to Kill the Hate Bills" at which explains how the two hate bills, H.R. 256 and H.R. 262, threaten freedom. Please tell the offices of members of Congress to watch it! Also at, watch our gripping 82-minute documentary "Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians."

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:

TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.

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