One of the largest evangelical political activist groups has now come out to oppose the dangerous federal hate crimes bill, HR 1913. The American Family Association’s website protests this bill at the top of its action alerts! AFA has potent internet and publishing resources and owns a network of 180 radio stations in 28 states. It has mustered more than a million communications to Congress on red-hot issues.
This organization may begin much needed reinforcement of those Americans—mostly followers of alternative and “far-right” media—who doggedly protested the freedom-stealing hate bills introduced into the House Judiciary Committee.
During the last three months, Christian conservative leaders have been mysteriously silent about HR 1913. Yet with WorldNetDaily’s April 2 article against it, and strong alerts from Traditional Values Coalition, the Christian right may be waking to the hate bill battle.
Why have evangelical leaders been so slow to respond? Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Council, provided a clue. In a recent, veiled reference to a hate bill in Congress, Perkins says his organization will work with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to muster the 40 votes necessary to filibuster and kill the hate bill in the Senate.
Why wait? Have conservative leaders, considering the overwhelming support for hate laws in the House of Representatives, decided to save their efforts for later protest in the Senate? Do they simply want to wait until Congress reconvenes in 10 days? Or do they think the hate bills are not a present threat with Obama's hands full of the financial crisis?
Consider the first possibility. Should we wait and let the hate bill pass the House - pinning our hope on behind-the-scenes deliverance from Republican Senators? A lot can go wrong if we trust that strategy. On May 4, 2007, hate bill HR 1592 passed the House by a huge margin. Still evangelical watchdogs were confident that many feisty Republican Senators would battle it later on the Senate floor. Tony Perkins predicted a tremendous row to block hate bill passage. The exact opposite happened on September 26, 2007 when Senator Kennedy’s hate bill was opened for debate. Most Republican Senators were silent! The next day, Kennedy’s hate bill passed… by one vote.
In the weeks before, conservative leaders sounded no alarms or calls to action on the airways or internet. (The only exception – by Traditional Values Coalition – occurred the very morning the hate bill passed!) This is documented in my video Betrayed: How New Right Leaders Helped Pass the Hate Bill. (Watch in the NPN Theater at truthtellers.org) Also, read articles surrounding September 26, 2007 archived at www.truthtellers.org.
When the hate bill passed, I felt as if a limb had been amputated from my body.
Learn from Our Mistakes
We already have the advantage of discovering that Conyers' hate bill was quietly introduced just before spring recess of Congress -- not after, as Conyers had planned. All Christian leadership groups should now forget clever “strategy” and immerse Congress in protest. If Democrat House Judiciary members return April 20 to tallies of calls packed with hate bill protest, they will be powerfully daunted from moving Conyers’ bill forward. When they hear the same thing is happening in the Senate, they will be even more intimidated.
Democrats know approval of HR 1913 is a near certainty in the House. What they absolutely don’t want to happen is that, by delivering an approved hate bill to the Senate, they will make possible defeat of the hate bill there -- a distinct possibility. Contrary to the House, only several Democrats who defect and join Republican opposition could mean hate bill defeat.
It's time for Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and other watchdog groups to join NPN, WorldNetDaily, AFA, and TVC in sounding the alarm. They must provide the title and bill number of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (something FRC has not done) and adequately describe its sinister content. Such protest now could stall HR 1913 and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee’s HR 262 in the House Judiciary. With Pres. Obama preoccupied with the economic crisis, he may not be in a mood to push pro-homosexual, anti-Christian legislation. He needs all possible friends and probably has the sense to not unnecessarily antagonize the religious right. His mood could change drastically in the months ahead. Now is the time to convince House Judiciary Democrats that the hate bills, including ENDA, are not a viable option this Congress.
Call your House and Senate members NOW toll-free at 1-877-851-6437 or toll 1-202-225-3121. Tell them, "Please don't vote for Rep. Conyers' very dangerous hate crimes bill, HR 1913." Also, ask staffers to watch the powerful 10-minute videos on the homepage at www.truthtellers.org which explain what is so threatening about Conyers' bill.
Two years ago, God gave America a second chance and allowed the hate bill to be defeated. Miraculously, it failed to obtain final approval in the House.
There is no guarantee He will do so again. We must now plot our hate bill strategy very carefully and in the most public way. We cannot blindly follow those whose record on this issue is inattention, lack of imagination, silence, and failure. The consequences could not be greater: the end of free speech.
Watch the dynamic 10-minute educational video, "How to Kill the Hate Bills" at www.truthtellers.org 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 www.truthtellers.org, 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: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.
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