House agrees to muzzle pastors with ‘hate crimes’ plan
‘This is first time protected status given to whatever sexual orientation one has’
Posted: April 30, 2009
The U.S. House today approved a federal “hate crimes” bill that would provide special protections to homosexuals but leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a “gay.”
The vote, 249-175, came despite intense from Republicans who argued the measure would create a privileged class.
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. of the High Impact Leadership Coalition also condemned the action, offering a warning about the nation’s future.
He was interviewed on the issue by Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND.
Jackson said the action puts “sexual orientation” in a specially protected class under federal law.
“Based on history, it really isn’t something that needs to be protected,” he said. “There’s a problem that this is going to mark the first time that a protected class status is given to â€¦ whatever sexual orientation one has.”
He said the experience in other countries has led to prosecution of Christians. In Sweden, for example, a minister was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching from Leviticus.
Similar state laws have resulted in similar results. In Philadelphia several years ago, a 73-year-old grandmother was jailed for trying to share Christian tracts with people at a homosexual festival, Jackson said.
Under the specifications of the law, a Christian needn’t touch a homosexual to face charges, he noted.
“If the homosexual merely claims he was subjectively placed in ‘apprehension of bodily injury’ by the Christian’s words then, again, the Christian can be thrown in prison for a felony ‘hate crime,'” he said.
WND reported previously that the plan was introduced by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who said, “The bill only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way.”
Section 10 of the act states, “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
However, critics cite United States Code Title 18, Section 2, as evidence of how the legislation could be used against people who merely speak out against homosexuality. It states: Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.
Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, warned Christians to speak up before the legislation passes. He said they are acting like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating kettle that boils to death.
“They need to wake up and take action to oppose this threat to religious liberty.”