Yesterday April 25, 2007 one of the most serious threats to religious freedoms and free speech wrangled its way through the Judiciary Committee. It has yet to undergo the scrutiny of the full house but Hate Crimes bill HR 1592 is the most serious threat to religious freedom since this country began. |
Among the organizations and groups fighting HR 1592 are For Faith and Family, Traditional Values Coalition, Faith2Action, The High Impact Coalition, Repent America, Focus on the Family, Americans for Justice, Exodus International and the Pacific Justice Institute. These are not the only organizations in the fight but they are perhaps the best ones to refer to if you are seeking a clear picture of the seriousness and the dangers inherent in this bill.
Rev. Lou Sheldon of Traditional Values Coalition and Andrea Lafferty the CEO of the TVC sat in on the proceedings for some eleven hours both submitting material to counter the bill and monitoring the arguments and subsequent voting. While we can thank God for Christian soldiers like Sheldon and Lafferty and the groups aforementioned it seems the alarm has not filtered down sufficiently to the rank and file of the rest of Christendom.
Rather than just lambasting Christians for hitting the snooze button on this issue I would rather issue a call to action and provide a short list of what you actually can do to help stop this bill from actualization. I would say the first order of business would be to visit the organizations mentioned in this article to familiarize your self with the language and implications of HR 1592. Since the bill will reach the house and be voted on between one week and a month letters will miss the mark. The best course of action is to search online and by telephone.
Christians should be warned that it is not just pastors and evangelists who may be constrained from quoting parts of the Bible that have to do with homosexual behavior. Every Christian will be affected. You may be sharing with a neighbor or just voicing your Biblically based views on the subject in one minute and be arrested and jailed for it in the next.
HR 1592 is the most dangerous precursor to Orwellian type thought policing that has ever come down the pike. It leaves any reasonable person wondering what could be next. If carried out it could lead to the arrest of every teenager who calls someone else a geek or a jock or blurts out “I hate you” to parents who have grounded them or corrected them in any way. It would require jailing a host of Hip Hopsters who are well known for their use of the N word The B word and the H word. Writers, commentators, teachers and lecturers would have to tread the thinnest ice or face serious consequences.
If passed the bill would produce a kind of fear that has always been associated with tyranny in any nation or civilization throughout history. Even among non Christians the threat of jail hangs heavy even for simply voicing an opinion. America may be all to involved with contrived survival scenarios like those of the popular CBS series Survivor. A quick check back into the real world may be all to disconcerting. The panorama of 9/11, Iraq, Katrina and VA Tech may be the truth that is stranger than fiction that we hate to look at, but ignoring HR 1592 is what happens when we retreat to fantasy.
Living in a contrived or alternate reality is sufficient to preoccupy a nation while real life truth is under attack. Who cares may seem to cover the whole matter but the immutable laws of reciprocation will be what returns to cover the freedom of thought and speech of all the purveyors of fantasy. In warfare this is called creating a distraction. America has been summarily distracted.
Make no mistake the Christian Church was in place before the Nazi’s swallowed Germany but were to busy with theological arguments, membership, cake and rummage sales and other innocuous pettiness to create the slightest resistance to Hitler’s insanity. In America it may be more the building fund, the prosperity gospel or building cultural churches that is distracting us but the result will be the same. The lions are hungry.
What can you do? First familiarize yourself thoroughly with HR 1592. Google the sites mentioned and read up. Secondly pray and get your churches to pray about this dangerous bill. Thirdly, support those who are fighting HR 1592. Some of the organizations and ministries mentioned have spared no expense to fight HR 1592 and need your help to keep up the fight. Many of them like the Traditional Values Coalition have lists of your representatives in Congress state by state and e-mail addresses to which you can send your message of disapproval. Finally, wake up; you have very little time left to join in this fight.
We all can remember that during the decades of the cold war and the fight against communism there were a few voices saying that America was most likely to fall from within rather than succumbing to communism. Pull yourself away from American Idol and Survivor just long enough to see that we are on that slippery slope now.
If you are a believer then you already know the meaning of this verse. But now is the time to take it up one level. The enemy (unseen) is doing much more than trying to get you to curse the milk you dropped on the floor this morning. It is you and all who believe as you do he is trying to put on the floor.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
Freedom of religion and freedom of speech is what occupies the ground between diligent and dilettante. Lions can be released into that middle ground unless we all take this fight seriously.
Rev Bresciani is a Christian author and a columnist for several online sites and magazines. His articles are now read in every country in the world. For articles and news from around the world visit “The Website for Insight” http://www.americanprophet.org
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