© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
A fast-tracked congressional plan to add special protections for
homosexuals to federal law would turn "thoughts, feelings, and beliefs"
into criminal offenses and put Christians in the bull's-eye, according to
"H.R. 1592 is a discriminatory measure that criminalizes thoughts,
feelings, and beliefs [and] has the potential of interfering with
religious liberty and freedom of speech," according to a white paper
submitted by Glen Lavy, of the Alliance
"As James Jacobs and Kimberly Potter observed in Hate Crimes,
Criminal Law, and Identity Politics, 'It would appear that the only
additional purpose [for enhancing punishment of bias crimes] is to provide
extra punishment based on the offender's politically incorrect opinions
and viewpoints,'" said Lavy.
The proposal has been endorsed by majority Democrats on the committee,
and already has 137 sponsors in the full House, making it possible it
could be voted on in a matter of days or weeks.
"This is a terrible thing, to criminalize thought or emotion or even
speech," Lavy told WND, referring to H.R. 1592, now pending at the
committee level in the U.S. House. Democrats there have been turning back
amendments that would strip it of its worst provisions, according to an
Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition,
said the plan, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act of
2007, is no more than "a surreptitious attempt by some in Congress to
strip the nation of religious freedom and the ability to preach the gospel
from our church pulpits."
"It will stamp all over our doctrine and practice of our faith," he
said. "We believe what the Bible says. If you start there we've got a
Secondly, it unfairly restricts the expression of fair opinion by
Christians, he told WND. "If anything, gays are getting undue deference
awarded to them by the courts. That's why we have the same-sex marriage
fight and that kind of thing."
Rev. Louis Sheldon, director of the Traditional
Values Coalition, which represents 43,000 churches across the nation,
told WND that the Democrats sponsoring and supporting the issue "have sold
out to the homosexual agenda."
He said churches need to awaken to the dangers of having pastors, lay
leaders, or even those sitting in the pews sent to jail for their biblical
views. "When they [realize they] could go to jail for preaching the Word
of God, they'll be concerned," he told WND.
Sheldon's organization is releasing a poster showing Jesus as a wanted
fugitive, for "crimes" under the planned "hate crimes" legislation.
also is running an e-mail campaign to alert members of Congress about
their constituents' concerns.
columnist Janet Folger this week warned in a commentary
called "Pastors: Act now or prepare for jail," that in New Hampshire,
a crime that typically carries a sentence of 3 1/2 years was "enhanced" to
30 years because a robber shouted an anti-homosexual name at his victim.
"Think about it for a minute. If saying a mean anti-homosexual word
adds an additional 23-26 ˝ years to a sentence, and people live to around
80, that penalty is one-fourth of your life for the words you say. And
while this was in addition to a robbery penalty, how much of a jump would
it really be to penalize the speech 'infraction' alone? And just what
constitutes an 'anti-gay epithet'? Would an 'anti-gay epithet' be to say,
'Homosexuality is a sin,' or 'Homosexuals should repent'? What if you
informed someone that 'Homosexuality is harmful to your health'? If I were
you, I wouldn't try it in New Hampshire," Folger wrote.
Folger's organization, Faith2Action,
has launched a series of ads about Philadelphia
grandmothers who were thrown in jail in Pennsylvania under that
state's "hate crimes" law – and faced the possibility of 47 years in jail
– for testifying in public about their Christian faith.
Those ads can be viewed at StopHateCrimesNow.com.
One, Arlene Elshinnawy, 75, and grandmother of three, was holding a
sign: "Truth is hate to those who hate the truth," before she was hauled
off by police officers.
The proposal is by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the head of the
House Judiciary Committee.
On Sheldon's website, he warned the bottom line is that in a court of
law "cross-dressers rights would trump a pastor's right to preach the
Bible, if the so-called Hate Crimes bill … passes."
Bishop Jackson cited well-known cases of the application of such a law
in other nations: "In Australia, two evangelical pastors were charged with
violating the State of Victoria's 'hate crimes' laws last year for
criticizing Islam. In Canada, a Catholic city councilor was fined $1,000
for publicly stating that a gay couple's lifestyle was 'not normal and not
natural,'" he said.
“As an African American, I have long questioned the attempts of the
homosexual community to piggy back on the legislative breakthroughs blacks
have achieved in civil rights. This legislation will not just over-protect
homosexuals, it will bring the threat of invasive, governmental
interference with the doctrines and practice of the Church. As some
homosexual activists chant, ‘Stay out of our bedrooms,’ we are here to
say, ‘Stay out of our pulpits!’” said Bishop Jackson.
Lavy's white paper, delivered to Congress just a few days ago, pointed
out some of the results if the law is adopted. "It provides a federal
remedy for a person who is attacked for promoting homosexual
relationships, but not for a person who is attacked for encouraging people
to stop engaging in homosexual behavior because it is physically and
psychologically harmful," he said. "Worse yet, it provides for federal
prosecution of a murderer who spews racial epithets at the victim, but not
for a cold-blooded killer that is paid to commit the crime."
"There is no justification for this disparate treatment. Violent crimes
should be punished regardless of the characteristics of the victim," he
"The emotion of hate is an unfortunate reality of the human experience.
But it is not a crime unless accompanied by a criminal action – and even
then it is the action that is within the police power of the
government, not the emotion." he said. "The reality is that 'hate'
crime laws are designed to punish people for what they think, feel, or
And even more problematic, he said, is the inclusion of a definition of
'hate crime' from section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994. "There is legitimate concern that once Congress
makes any 'hate' crime a federal offense, the categories of crime will
expand to include speech that causes someone to 'feel' intimidated, just
as they have in other places such as Australia, Canada, and Sweden," he
Lavy's analysis noted that in New Jersey already it is a "hate crime"
to communicate in a manner likely to cause "annoyance or alarm."
"One would not expect a reasonable person to feel threatened or feel
fear of harm as the result of an innocuous communication. Nevertheless,
the entire faculty at Ohio State University's Mansfield campus apparently
agreed that university librarian Scott Savage was guilty of threatening
behavior for a simple statement in 2006. His 'threat'? Recommending four
books for freshman reading… The four books were "The Marketing of
Evil," by [WND Managing Editor] David Kupelian, The
Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by
Bat Ye'or, and It Takes a Family by Sen. Rick Santorum."
The recommendation made three professors feel "unsafe" on campus and
the entire faculty voted to file charges of sex discrimination and
harassment against Mr. Savage for "anti-gay hate mongering," Lavy wrote.
The charges were dismissed later, and Savage
now has responded with a lawsuit against several university
But under the proposal, such a recommended list for reading "could be
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney General."
Lavy's evaluation also noted that San Francisco already has stated in a
resolution that organizations seeking to minister to those engaged in
homosexual behavior "were responsible" for homosexual student Matthew
Shepard's death in Wyoming, even though his killers have said they did it
for drugs and money.
Under such a new law, advertising its "Love Won Out" conferences,
addressing homosexuality, would subject Focus on the
Family to federal prosecution, he said.
At William Patterson University in New Jersey, a student-employee was
formally reprimanded for saying he didn't want to receive promotional
e-mails advocating for the lesbian lifestyle, because that sent a message
of a "threat," Lavy said.
Furthermore, statistics show that during 2004 there were only 774
actual "hate crimes" recorded, five murders, four rape and the rest
assaults – all of which can be prosecuted without special federal laws, he
Rev. Ted Pike, of the National
Prayer Network, has been especially active in warning Christians of
the approaching danger.
"Most persons who are concerned about imminent passage of the federal
'anti-hate' bill don't realize that S. 1105 in the Senate and H.R. 1592 in
the House are actually amendments to a federal hate law passed in 1969.
During the height of the civil rights movement, 'Title 18, U.S.C., Sec.
245' stipulated that no one could verbally '…attempt to…intimidate'
another person (chiefly black) away from enjoyment of their federally
protected right to equal employment, public services, housing, voting
rights, jury privileges, etc. If the government finds such verbal
'intimidation' in a state and state officials are not enforcing these
guarantees, the federal government can invade states' rights in local law
enforcement, upholding Title 18," he said.
Now, in 2007, he said, "the present hate bill grants [special rights]
to homosexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals."
The proposal would make it "federally indictable to '…attempt
to…intimidate' a homosexual from believing that he (even if he has AIDS or
hepatitis) has the right to work in a restaurant, be employed as a police
officer or summer camp counselor, or has equal rights to housing and
employment anywhere he wishes," he said.
"A pastor, Christian broadcaster or publisher who verbally attempts to
'intimidate' homosexuals by describing homosexuality as an abomination
(Lev. 18:22) are thus high-profile targets for indictment under this
legislation," he said.
He noted that it also would be illegal for a Christian church to
discriminate against an applicant as pastor because of his homosexuality
or her lesbianism.
He said the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith has been leading the
charge for such crime bills for years, and has explained on
its website how its campaign already has installed laws at the state
Michael Marcavage, director of Repent
America, Peter LaBarbera, of Americans
for Truth, Brad Dacus, of Pacific
Justice Institute, and others already have expressed their alarm.
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Bob Unruh is a news editor for