A Dark Day for American Christianity

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 its 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.


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18 Replies to “A Dark Day for American Christianity”

  1. Amazing. Clearly this act has now qualified those in the US legal system to brush up on their mind-reading skills. So, how does one quantify ‘hatred’? Is there an ‘Obama hate scale’ from 1 to 10? So much for material facts or equal justice playing a role in court cases, I’m sure this will instill further confidence in the justice system. Well, no, I think it might actually start looking ridiculous…

    Part of the way this kind of law gets passed is by the use of language. “Hate Crimes” sounds so wrong to oppose, doesn’t it? – I mean, who wants to be known for hatred in a ‘tolerant’ society? So parts of this comes down to the manipulative marketing. But better to be consistently and loudly calling it more accurately what it is – “Thought Crimes.” The government is watching you, so look out.

    But I take heart – Jesus faced the depths of farcical legal machinations pushed by the depths of depraved human nature and manipulated by Satan in an attempt to get his great victory. Even as he succeeded spectacularly in killing Jesus, it also became his worst and permanent loss – and I guess Jesus is now protected by ‘double jeopardy’? 😉

    I remember how Jesus reminded Pilate where his power came from. We have nothing to fear even as they try to take everything away and try to force everyone to love Big Brother. By all means, fight this and don’t give up, but let us also remember that no ‘victory’ of this kind will ever be permanent. God is in control, even as the enemy’s minions scheme and trick, and bring their worst misery and anti-freedom onto humanity. It won’t last forever. As a friend of mine said once about this kind of thing, “Well, that’s just too bad, because my Friend reigns.”

    Mark Rabich

  2. Thanks Mark

    Yes you are certainly right, including the need for governments and judges to become mind-readers. As Chaplain Klingenschmitt asks, just how are we going to determine one’s intention?

    In other words, A) pastors may quote the Bible publicly if their “intention” is the free exercise of religion or speech, but B) pastors may not quote the Bible publicly if their “intention” is to conspire with listeners to commit an act of violence. This begs the question, if the pastor never announces whether the unspoken “intention” of his heart is A or B, how can any prosecutor, judge, or jury know whether the pastor’s secret thoughts intended A) free exercise or B) conspiracy?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Bill, what can we do to make sure this evil legislation does not come here?
    Louise Le Mottee

  4. Thanks Louise

    There are two things: one easy and one difficult.

    The easy bit is all the usual stuff: being aware, contacting politicians, writing letters, getting involved in the public debate, lobby work, etc.

    The hard part is waking up a moribund and apathetic church, which is sleeping through its own funeral. Getting believers to care, to act, to stand up and be countered is really the biggest challenge we face.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. But isn’t part of the church’s problem the fact that though whilst in church on a Sunday, the average Christian can comfortably go through a religious experience, as soon as he is out of the building, he can almost immediately comfortably live as an atheist.

    C.S. Lewis wrote this regarding an unsaved man, in his Screwtape Letters, but does it not also apply now to us believers?

    “Once he was in the street the battle was won. I showed him a newsboy shouting the midday paper, and a No. 73 bus going past, and before he reached the bottom of the steps I had got into him an unalterable conviction that, whatever odd ideas might come into a man’s head when he was shut up alone with his books, a healthy dose of “real life” (by which he meant the bus and the newsboy) was enough to show him that all ‘that sort of thing’ just couldn’t be true.”

    David Skinner, UK

  6. Only a standing ovation of the homosexual and all that he does will allow one to escape from being accused of hatred. There must be no discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify their sexual conduct or practices, even if that criticism is motivated out of concern and love for the homosexual. Some people are free to get sex changes and yet no one accuses them or those helping them of inciting hatred against the gender from which they are changing. Why isn’t changing from being homosexual to heterosexual considered as a freedom of choice, much in the same way as someone might choose to straighten their hair or have plastic surgery?

    The incitement to homophobic speech hatred bill, at a stroke, will do away with freedom of conscience. The government is forcing us to hate good and to embrace that which is evil. Only a megalomaniac would have the audacity to control a person’s will and the way that they felt. Not even God would invade or violate a person’s free will. To make it a crime to feel hatred, or be the cause of inciting feelings of hatred in others is assuming a level of omnipotence only formerly reserved for God.

    The whole palette of emotions – love, hate, anger, peace, fear, joy, desolation – that are displayed in human nature are all necessary for our survival, like the notes on a piano, all are equally essential. Not only are they essential for our survival but also for any kind of personal relationship to develop based upon the respect for our ability to exercise free will and to make responsible choices. For a government to eliminate feelings of antipathy or hatred in order to produce a dehumanised society that runs like a well-oiled – piece of machinery, sounds ominously like the film “Clock work Orange,” where the behaviour of citizens can be controlled by drugs or brain surgery. This is surely pure evolutionary engineering.

    The Bible clearly tells the Christian to hate that which is evil and to love good, but God does not force us to this. To remain human rather than robots we have to be left free to make our own choices as to how we will feel or not feel.

    David Skinner, UK

  7. “Let truth and falsehood grapple; whoever knew truth put to the worst in a free and open encounter …. For who knows not that truth is strong next to the Almighty; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her victorious … Give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps.” -John Milton

    “A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” -John Adams

    “It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.” -Thomas Jefferson

    “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

    “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

    “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.” -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

    “Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” -Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959

    “The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.” -David Ben-Gurion

    “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” -John F. Kennedy

    “Laws which prescribe what everyone must believe, and forbid men to say or write anything against this or that opinion, are often passed to gratify, or rather
    to appease the anger of those who cannot abide independent minds.” -Baruch Spinoza

    “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” -Joseph Vissarionovich STALIN

    David Skinner, UK

  8. David Skinner’s quote from Stalin is part of a larger story.

    Every piece of legislation has a reason “why.” Many of those pieces have at least two “why” reasons, the official one & the real one camoflaged by it.

    Making the real “why” public will shock many people, but where it can be done, when people understand the real “why,” many dodgy political moves will be scuppered… & the politicians concerned will be discarding the faith which their previously-misinformed electors have in them.

    Leon Brooks

  9. I think you might get more notice if we stop letting the tone of the conversation be set by the term HateCrime and instead make use of a term that already describes the intention and the effect of the bills. After all George Orwell came up with the perfectly workable term that encompasses the same idea in his novel 1984, that of ThoughtCrime. Letting the term HateCrime be used has the disadvantage of putting the opponent in the position of “supporting hate” or so the rhetoric goes. Better to call a spade a spade I think.
    Jason Rennie

  10. Thanks Jason

    Yes you are right. I sometimes preface the term with “so-called”. But the very rationale of the term and the concept needs to be challenged. The assumption is that if you express any public concern about something like homosexuality that you are hate-filled. How does that follow? We can have public concerns about all sorts of things, from bush fires to tax increases. Does that mean hatred is behind such concerns?

    And how does one measure such hatred? And why is a crime worse – and to be punished more severely – if this supposed hatred was there? The whole thing is just a creation of the secular left to silence believers, and to especially provide political protection for homosexuality, and other activist group ideologies.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Yep, you are spot on Bill. The real irony in part is that in some cases “hate” and other strong passions, are actually mitigating circumstances in a crime. Murdering someone when for example you catch them in bed with your wife, is a lesser crime (2nd Degree murder in the US?) than plotting and killing that person after you have had time to calm down and make the act entirely premediated. But I bet the anger and hatred and passions are stronger in the first case than in the second.

    But I think we should push for getting the term ThoughtCrime used to describe the laws, as people will respond more positivly to that and see them for what they are.

    Jason Rennie

  12. C.S.Lewis in Mere Christianity, chapter 2, entitled “Some Objections” said:

    “There is none of our impulses which the Moral Law may not sometimes tell us to suppress, and none which it may not sometimes tell us to encourage. It is a mistake to think that some of our impulses – say mother love or patriotism – are good, and others, like sex or the fighting instinct, are bad. All we mean is that the occasions on which the fighting instinct or the sexual desire need to be restrained are rather more frequent than those for restraining mother love or patriotism. But there are situations in which it is the duty of a married man to encourage his sexual impulse and of a soldier to encourage the fighting instinct. There are also occasions on which a mother’s love for her own children or a man’s love for his own country have to be suppressed or they will lead to unfairness towards other people’s children or countries. Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think once again of a piano. It has not got two kind of notes on it, the ‘right’ notes and the ‘wrong’ ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or any set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts.

    “By the way, this point is of great practical consequence. The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There is not one of them which will not make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it is not. If you leave out justice you will find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials ‘for the sake of humanity,’ and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man.”

    And let us not lose sight of the fact that of the hatred and LIES being stirred up against Christians by homosexuals, of which this is one of countless examples.

    We are involved in an intense psychological war and the Christians are loosing it.
    Perhaps we could say that we not motivated by hate-filled discrimination but loving discretion – or is discretion also now a crime?

    God is always forgiving
    People are sometimes forgiving
    Nature is never forgiving.

    David Skinner, UK

  13. Bill, how does this relate to the US Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression, in an unqualified sense? There would of necessity be a Supreme Court challenge to this kind of hate crime legislation I would think, seeing it’s such a blatant infringement of the Bill of Rights (eg protection of free speech).
    John Heininger

  14. Thanks John

    Yes we will have to wait and see how it all pans out. There are already of course restrictions on unlimited free speech. This bill will simply add more. But I would not expect too much from the judiciary. They are a large part of the problem, after all.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Quoth David Skinner:

    Only a standing ovation of the homosexual and all that he does will allow one to escape…

    Yes, while he (the homosexual) ignores the standing ovulation of women everywhere.

    Michael Watts

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