''Thought Crimes'' Bill Re-introduced in Congress
A North Carolina man was recently arrested on suspicion of decapitating his 4-year-old daughter. In New York, three teenaged girls were arrested after brutally beating a 13-year-old girl and posting the video footage on YouTube and MySpace. And a former Penn State defensive lineman was arrested recently for the murder of a student who was stabbed 93 times during an apparent robbery.
As heinous and horrific as these crimes may seem, according to a bill recently re-introduced in the new liberal Congress, the penalties will be greater and harsher if those same crimes are committed against homosexuals. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has introduced H.R. 254 known as the "David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007". The bill currently has no cosponsors and it has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
It may seem surprising that liberals in Congress would support H.R. 254 which mandates harsher penalties for criminals. They have fought vehemently against capital punishment and in favor of improving prison conditions for terrorists in the past. Recall that Rep. Lee was one Member who called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison facilities because they were not pleasant enough for terrorists.
If you're tempted to think that there's been a change of heart regarding punishment of criminal behavior, think again. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is beholden to the radically pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign for their endorsement of her during the November 2006 elections. She scored 100% in the group's voter scorecard for the 109th Congress.
This bill isn't just another cog in the homosexual agenda machine. This legislation actually sends the message that it is more hateful to kill a homosexual than a little child. For instance, under this bill, the North Carolina man previously mentioned would receive a much harsher sentence if he were to be convicted of decapitating a homosexual rather than his 4-year-old daughter. This defies logic.
Laws similar to H.R. 254 implemented worldwide have had a chilling effect on freedoms of religion and speech. In Canada, pastors and teachers who promote traditional marriage from the pulpit and in publications have found themselves in court for "hate speech." Chris Kempling, a teacher in British Columbia, was found guilty and suspended from his job for submitting an article in support of marriage between a man and woman.
U.S. News & World Report notes, "The Swedish chancellor of justice said any reference to the Bible's stating that homosexuality is sinful might be a criminal offense, and a Pentecostal minister is already facing charges." Pastor Ake Green was arrested and given jail time for preaching a sermon in his own church regarding the Biblical view of homosexuality.
Matt Barber, CWA's Policy Director for Cultural Issues, believes that this bill represents a clear and present danger to religious liberty. "This bill sets the table, and places us on a slippery slope toward religious persecution. If it becomes law, it can easily be misapplied and used as a hammer against free speech. So-called 'hate crimes' laws are already being used in the UK, Canada - and even right here in America - to intimidate and silence people who honor the Biblical model of human sexuality, and who value the sanctity of marriage," said Barber. "If they speak out against homosexual behavior, they are somehow guilty of 'hate speech.' This bill attempts to get into the mind of the offender and penalize him for his thoughts. Are the bill's proponents going to now lobby for a Federal Department of Thought Enforcement?
"H.R. 254 elevates one group of Americans above others, creating a special class of victims. All things being equal, it means that if a 5-foot-2-inch grandmother is violently attacked on the street, she is less worthy of justice than the 6-foot-4-inch homosexual man who is attacked by the same assailant."
The reintroduction of this bill is yet another attempt by liberals to slalom down the slippery slope of granting extra protection under the law to those who choose to engage in the homosexual lifestyle.
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