A dark day for American Christianity
By: Bill Muehlenberg
Christian Today Australia Columnist
Monday, 2 November 2009, 6:33 (EST)
Barrack Obama knew that in order to win the US Presidential election, he had to win over a large voting bloc: evangelical born-again Christians. So he put on a good act, tried to talk the talk, and managed to convince many gullible believers that he was one of them.
Of course now that he is firmly ensconced in the White House, he can leave all pretence behind, and pursue his real agenda – an agenda which is quite far removed from biblical Christianity. Each week he seems to implement more policies and practices which are diametrically opposed to the Christian worldview.
Many of these have to do with his radical pro-abortion position, and his relentless attempts to placate and promote homosexual activism. His most recent slap in the face of Christianity was his signing into law of the notorious “hate crimes” bill.
Yesterday he enacted the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. The worrying hate crimes law was actually just one segment of a larger bill, so he in effect had to sneak it through, albeit sadly with the support of many federal politicians.
Many voices had been raised expressing disquiet over such a bill over the past months, and now that it is law, they continue to share their concerns about such a bad bit of legislation. Here is a sampling of their commentary.
Chelsea Schilling explains what has transpired: “The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a vote of 68-29 on Oct. 22 after Democrats strategically attached it to a ‘must-pass’ $680 billion defense appropriations plan. Most Republicans, although normally strong supporters of the U.S. military, opposed the bill because it hands out federal money to states and local governments in pursuit of ‘preventing’ hate crimes. The bill creates federal protections and privileges for homosexuals and other alternative lifestyles but denies those protections to other groups of citizens.”
Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund points out the foolishness and danger of “hate crimes” legislation: “These types of crimes are already punishable under existing federal, state, and local laws. Violent crimes should be punished regardless of the characteristics of the victim. Bills of this sort are designed to forward a political agenda and silence critics, not combat actual crime. The bottom line is that we do not need a law that creates second-class victims in America and that gives the government the opportunity to ignore the First Amendment.”
He continues, “All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice. This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel, or believe. ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where ‘hate crimes’ legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed ‘politically correct’. ‘Hate crimes’ laws fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech.”
Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association said that the new law “creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in non-normative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American.”
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said this: “It is fundamentally unjust for the government to treat some crime victims more favorably than others, just because they are homosexual or transsexual. This bill is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state law enforcement authority, and it is an unwise step toward silencing religious and moral viewpoints.”
Dr. Gary L. Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission offered these strong words: “In other nations, like Canada, where hate crime laws have been enacted, it is Christians, specifically conservative Christians who hold to the historic Christian faith and it’s values, that become the object of institutionalized, governmental hate. Christians who dare to tell the truth about the social, moral, spiritual and health consequences of illicit homosexual acts are accused of hate speech and intimidated into silence with threats of fines or jail.
“The fact the hate bill had to be passed in such an unscrupulous and cynical manner (attaching it to the Defense Authorization Act) reveals the depth of President Obama’s commitment to a radical, anti- Christian agenda. He will stop at nothing to undermine the will of the majority of Americans to pay back militant homosexual activists who raised millions of dollars for his campaign and worked to get him elected. To sign the bill in the Rose Garden is another slap in the face and shows the level of contempt President Obama has for the majority of Americans who oppose the ‘homosexualization’ of marriage and public education.”
And as Peter J. Smith notes, “The bill has also been labeled the ‘pedophile protection act,’ in large part due to the refusal of House members to approve an amendment specifying that the bill would not penalize the free speech of those objecting to homosexual perversions such as pedophilia. The term ‘sexual orientation’ is not defined in the bill, an oversight that some legislators charged could lead to an overly broad interpretation – since the term is used by psychologists to encompass a variety of sexual deviancies (including pedophilia), and not just homosexuality.”
The US now joins nations like Canada and England with these fundamentally flawed and unjust hate crimes laws. We already know the grief Christians in particular have been put through in these other nations because of such wretched laws. Now believers in the US will have their turn.
And of course there are activists here in Australia working on the very same thing. The only sure way these laws will come to pass here is if no resistance is offered. Are we willing to stand up and be counted, or will we simply cave in yet again, and allow more Christian freedoms to be stripped away? The choice is ours.