And so it continues...
Pres. Obama signs Hate Crimes Bill
Hate Crimes, and the encroaching criminalization of Christianity
by Pastor CT Jermin
Please read the following, noting that:
a) I am by no means endorsing any of the people or opinions quoted here other than my own, and
b) The following posts contains themes and information that is of an adult nature
In the wake of the Pauline Howe situation in England, we have this, family.
Today, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, legislation that strengthens existing U.S. laws by extending federal hate crime protection in cases where the victim was targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender, disability, or gender identity.
In other words:
The measure extends the current definition of federal hate crimes -- which covers attacks motivated by race, color, religion or national origin -- to include those based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
It also makes it a federal crime to attack U.S. military personnel because of their service.
On the surface this seems innocuous enough; even laudable, because it strengthens existing laws, and protects people who have been victims of bias crimes solely based on their appearance, behavior, etc.
It is interesting to me that James Byrd’s name was attached to this bill, as it wasn't on earlier versions of it. (To me one more example of the gay rights folks attaching their ‘struggle’ to the civil rights movement and the plight of the African American in America, but that is another diatribe for another time.)
In most circles, this move is widely applauded, and the President’s popularity is sure to rise,
but what does this mean for the church?
On Friday August 29th 2008, I posted a blog entry titled ‘Why I cannot vote for Barack Obama’.
Someone actually read it and posted the following comment:
To see the real face of Gaydom, whose militant agenda seeks to foist the same trash on the whole world, he or she can Google "Zombietime" and click on "Up Your Alley Fair"! After recovering, Yahoo the blunt-but-love-motivated "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up" on the "ucmpage" and "clericalwhispers" listings (even Jesus told Judas to hurry up - John 13:27). Also Yahoo "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right." See all of this before the predicted California earthquake happens a la Rev. 16:19 ("the cities of the nations fell") - and before hurricanes and other conscience-stirring disasters occur elsewhere!
So I did look up the links and articles mentioned. The ‘zombietime’ search yielded a link to some, you know what, I won't post it
This website shows some of the most disgusting and repulsive PUBLIC behavior that I have ever seen, and even as strong as my stomach is, this left me sick. It is NOT for Children!!!
This is the behavior that is now protected by the so-called ‘hate crimes bill’ signed into law today by President Obama.
The problem arises now, because officially, it would appear that I cannot, as a pastor, object to behaviors like those displayed ON THE STREETS of San Francisco, and decry this lifestyle as Biblically opposed, sinful, and morally repugnant, because I would be guilty of a hate crime.
(The bill's backers and the Obama administration contend that is a misinterpretation of the legislation, but I believe otherwise, and will explain below.)
Additionally, despite pleading from dissenting Senators, there was not exclusion of aberrations such as pedophilia from the bill. Meaning that members of NAMBLA (The North American Man Boy Love Association) are now protected by this new legislation as well. I see that you do not believe me, well, here is proof:
Note the term, 'plain meaning'. This will come up again...
What does this mean? Here’s an example:
Man rapes little boy, little boy’s father assaults man. Man guilty of rape, father guilty of assault AND A HATE CRIME
Possibly, but under the law, this is the reality.
Now to be fair, the bill does state:
(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.
(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.
The language would seem to suggest that Preaching against homosexuality is ‘protected’ however, the opposite is true.
Examine the following with me:
There was already a hate crimes law on the books, since 1994. In fact, the New bill quotes the existing law:
SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF HATE CRIME.
In this Act--
(1) the term ‘crime of violence’ has the meaning given that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code;4
(2) the term ‘hate crime’ has the meaning given such term in section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note) ; and
(3) the term ‘local’ means a county, city, town, township, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.
Here are the statutes listed:
According to TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 1 > § 16:
The term “crime of violence” means:
(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force(emphasis mine) against the person or property of another, or
(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
Section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note), defines a hate crime as a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.
So, under the law, were ‘Pastor Jones’ to preach from the following:
1. Leviticus 18:22-23 ";You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion."
2. Leviticus 20:13 "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them."
He would then be violation of Title 18 § 16, and therefore guilty of a ‘hate crime’.
It would be easy to argue here, that I am reading in to the situation, but I am not. Remember the term 'plain meaning'? Can Leviticus 20:13's 'they shall surely be put to death', be interpreted as a threat? Of course it can, and there is nothing specifically written in to the law, to say that this is protected, therefore 'plain meaning' applies.
As the recent Ocean Grove Methodist camp case showed us, civil litigation, loss of 501c3 status and closure are all possible eventualities of this type of legislation.What will you do? Preach an abrogated, bastardized Gospel?
Preach only the safe parts? Relinquish your 501c3? What will you do?
Do you think that you as a christian have the same protections? Um... NO
Pray family, pray...