Monday, April 20, 2009

Preach the Bible? Risk being Jailed

“The problem in general with hate crimes legislation is that it invites the government to probe way beyond motive. And in instances like this, it trespasses on free speech and religious liberty. This is a road no defender of liberty should ever want to go down.”

UPDATE 7/14/09: Senate attaches hate crimes to denfense bill

UPDATE 6/25/09: Senate hearings "stack the deck" to favor bill

UPDATE 4/30/09: Senate takes up hate crimes bill

UPDATE 4/29/09: House passes bill, generally along party lines; CLICK HERE to see how your congressman voted.

UPDATE 4/24/09: Legislation moves to full House vote, supporters confident

UPDATE 4/21/09: Analysis by Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel

-- Press Release "Is Quoting Scripture a Hate Crime?" from Susan A. Fani, Director of Communications, The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights 4/20/09

. . . the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark-up a hate crimes bill sponsored by Rep. John Conyers. Serious questions have been raised by religious leaders about this legislation, especially as it pertains to religious pronouncements against homosexuality.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this issue today:
“. . . if a deranged person hears a priest, minister or rabbi quote Leviticus 18:22, ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination,’ and he then proceeds to assault a homosexual at a gay event—telling the arresting officer he was just following through on what he heard in his house of worship—the clergyman could arguably be charged with a hate crime. The very prospect of something like this happening should be enough to make any reasonable person wonder what is going on.

From "House Committee to Vote on Hate Crimes Bill" by Jennifer Riley, Christian Post Reporter 4/17/09

H.R. 1913, named the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009, is expected to be passed by the committee . . . and come to the House floor for a vote in the spring, announced Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the original co-sponsor of the bill and an openly gay member of Congress, on his website.

An identical legislation (H.R. 1592) was passed by the U.S. House in 2007 [and was vetoed by President Bush].

President Obama has expressed support for the hate crime legislation in the past and is expected to sign the bill if passed.

The hate crimes measure seeks to add violence against individuals based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability to the list of federal hate crimes. Current federal law covers crimes committed on the basis of race, religion, color or national origin. If passed, the federal government would be more involved and have greater power to investigate alleged hate crimes.
Christian leaders have pointed to hate crime laws in England, Sweden and Canada, where Christians have been prosecuted for breaking these laws.

In the United States, 11 Christians in Pennsylvania were prosecuted under the state’s hate crimes law shortly after “sexual orientation” was added as a victim category several years ago. According to reports, the ten adults and one teenager were singing hymns and carrying signs at a homosexual celebration in Philadelphia when they were arrested.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.