Hate Crimes Vote May Come Thursday

by | Jul 15, 2009 | Charisma Archive

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a federal hate crimes bill that some Christian leaders fear will criminalize preaching against homosexuality.

Pro-family leaders said S. 909 may be introduced as an amendment to the defense authorization bill and voted on as early as Thursday. The bill adds sexual orientation to the list of federally protected classes, and gives states and local jurisdictions federal assistance to prosecute hate crimes.

Opponents say the measure could cause pastors who preach against homosexuality to face prosecution if their preaching is found to have “induced” a hate crime against a homosexual. They point to cases in Canada and Sweden, where Christians have faced criminal prosecution for preaching that homosexual practice is a sin.

“Gay activists have and will continue to use these kinds of laws to silence Christians who speak publicly about God’s design for human sexuality-and make them pay if they stand up for their beliefs,” said Ashley Horne, federal issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action.

Horne said there are probably enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill and asked Christians to pray that the measure would be blocked. In an e-mail appeal sent Wednesday, the America Family Association (AFA) urged its supporters to contact their senators and express their opposition to the bill.

Because the measure does not clarify the definitions of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” pro-family leaders say the 30 sexual orientations identified by the American Psychiatric Association could be used to determine protected classes. Those orientations include necrophilia, pedophilia and zoophilia.

Although gay rights activists say the bill would crack down on violence against homosexuals, opponents of the measure say existing hate crime laws in 45 states can effectively prosecute such crimes.

“For years, AFA and other pro-family groups have issued warnings about federal hate crimes legislation,” the AFA wrote in its appeal. “The reality is that the purpose of this bill is to silence those who speak out against homosexuality.”

Some conservative Christian leaders support the hate crimes legislation, saying it is moral and necessary.

I would think that the followers of Jesus would be first in line to protect any group from hate crimes,” Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter said in April when the bill was being considered by the House, which passed the measure in a 249-175 vote.

“This bill protects both the rights of conservative religious people to voice passionately their interpretations of their Scriptures and protects their fellow citizens from physical attack,” he added.

Hunter’s view was echoed by Christian leaders such as David P. Gushee, professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University; the Rev. Derrick Harkins, pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.; and Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a Christian social justice organization.

 

 

 

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises...
Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest