EVANGELICALS ENTER HATE BILL FIGHT!
By Rev. Ted Pike
7 Apr 09
If there is one thing Rep. John Conyers did not want, it was
premature news that his extremely dangerous new federal hate crimes
bill (HR 1913) had been entered into the House Judiciary. A milder,
shortened version (HR 256) was introduced in early January to take
any flak against hate crimes legislation. The much more threatening
version, HR 1913, contains all that is necessary to establish a hate
crimes bureaucracy in America. Shielded as long as possible, it has
42 co-sponsors and is a polished weapon for destroying free speech.
Conyers wanted to stealthily introduce it just before spring recess of Congress
last Thursday—to be rapidly pushed to victory when members of Congress
return April 20.
Dishonest legislators avoid introducing alarming legislation amid the floodlights
surrounding the beginning of a new session of Congress. They wait until the last
minutes of a session, just as the lights are just being turned off! This happened
in Canada in 1971 when their federal hate law was passed as MPs were literally
departing for Christmas vacation.
Conyers must have been delighted at the lack of opposition from the mainstream
religious right since early January. He knows most Christian "watchdog" groups
won’t act until the final bill, with title and bill number, is established.
This was the situation last week: virtually all such opponents were silent.
Our NPN poll showed protest calls to Judiciary members down to a dismal average
of one per day!
But on Wednesday my e-alert warned “Conyers
Introducing New Hate Bill!” Its effect was electric. The next
day, Republican offices reported receiving "many calls" objecting to
Conyers' new hate bill. Already Conyers’ cherished legal weapon was being
splattered with mud by the conservative right!
Throughout Thursday, Conyers must have had second thoughts about introducing
his hate bill. Perhaps he thought to minimize the damage by not giving the hate
bill a name and number. Even at 5:30 EST Thursday evening, a spokesman for Judiciary
said Conyers might not enter it until April 20.
But on Friday morning, there it was: HR 1913, The Local Law Enforcement Hate
Crimes Prevention Act. Although not yet posted on the government website,
this new bill is undoubtedly identical to HR 1592 which passed the House in 2007.
Watchdogs Begin to Bark
Meanwhile, the religious right was beginning to awaken. Through
my Wednesday article, discovery of the lurking hate bill was trumpeted
all over the internet. Responding to my encouragement, many called
those groups I had listed within "The Hate Bill Hall of Shame," asking
why they were doing nothing. Result: Some leadership groups
scrambled into action.
- Late Thursday night, WorldNetDaily published
a strong article announcing Conyers’ hate bill. WND also
a short but powerful video critical of hate laws, a recording
of Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) speaking on the floor of the House
in 2007. Gohmert,
one of the feistiest hate bill enemies in the House Judiciary,
is (like most Judiciary Republicans) vowing a bitter fight against
the hate bills. Just like two years ago, they are powerfully energized
by calls of protest and deeply grateful for them. They agree with
NPN that the only sensible place to defeat the hate bills is in
Judiciary, not the floor of the House.
- Although the spokeswoman for the California
branch of Traditional Values Coalition told my research assistant
Friday that she “didn’t
even know there was a hate bill in Congress until yesterday,” TVC quickly
posted an excellent, stiff call to action against the bill.
- On Friday, Concerned
Women for America featured a gripping radio interview with a Canadian
Christian describing how free speech has become extinct in Canada.
While mentioning that there is a hate bill in Congress, they gave
no details concerning the present threat from Conyers’ bill.
article says “Tony Perkins
of FRC was also busy alerting his constituents” to the threat of Conyers'
bill. How that is happening is unclear since as of Sunday, April 5, FRC’s
homepage still has no alert posted.
Our Battle Strategy
Over this weekend, the homepages of most large conservative groups
(except TVC) remain barren of any warning. But expect that to rapidly
change. Conyers’ evil hate bill is important news to the evangelical
right. Every new right watchdog must be seen by their followers
as taking action.
One caller last Thursday was told by Focus on the Family that they have suspected
HR 256 was not the real hate bill liberals wanted; their plan was to take no
action until the final bill appeared. Focus sets policy standards for a galaxy
of Christian activist groups nationwide. I’m sure Focus repeated this
defeatist message to many over the past three months.
I only pray that Focus, and all previously silent watchdogs, do not continue
their three month "vacation" from the hate bill issue! They should
not wait until Congress reconvenes April 20. Phone lines are often jammed when
Congress returns. Conyers is the powerful head of the House Judiciary Committee
and is backed by Democratic House leaders; together, they could move HR 1913
out of Judiciary and onto the floor in a few days! They've moved that quickly
before. With feisty Republicans fighting the hate bill in Judiciary, there
is hope. On the floor of the House, there is almost no hope of defeating the
hate bill, regardless of protest.
We are already very, very late in this battle. Congressional offices will
be open during business hours until Congress returns April 20. Evangelical
and conservative leaders should instruct their millions of constituents to
follow these general suggestions:
- Call your members of the House and Senate
at 1-877-851-6437 or toll 1-202-225-3121. Leave this message: Please
don't vote for Rep. Conyers' dangerous new hate crimes bill HR
- Call the state offices of your two US Senators and the
House member from your district and leave the above message. Their
names can be found by dialing the numbers above. The capitol operator
will provide them after you give your zip code. Numbers
for their state offices can be found on the internet or by calling
your public library.
- Emphasize that there are powerful 10-minute videos
at www.truthtellers.org-- must-sees to understand the danger of hate laws! Already,
many staffers in Congress, both liberal and conservative, tell callers
they are watching our videos. If this trend continues, the truth
about hate laws will spread like a benevolent virus through Congress.
Liberals will fear their hate bill’s humiliation by a sixth
defeat and prefer to let it die in Judiciary.
God has given us a miraculous reprieve of at least two weeks to redeem our
effort to save freedom. We should bow ourselves before Him in gratitude and
cry out for His mercy and protection in this time of enormous legislative
peril. Let’s anticipate the National Day of Prayer a month early by
fasting and praying for divine deliverance. Churches must stand on Psalm
91 and begin prayer chains of intercession against the hate bill!
We must also do more than pray. We must take action NOW, knowing that it doesn’t
matter how outnumbered we are in Washington, DC. When we fight with God for
justice and liberty, “one shall chase a thousand.” (Joshua 23:10)
Watch the dynamic 10-minute educational video How to Kill the
Hate Bills at www.truthtellers.org which
explains how the two hate bills, HR256 and HR262, threaten freedom.
Please tell the offices of members of Congress to watch it! Also
at www.truthtellers.org, watch our gripping 82-minute documentary Hate
Laws: Making Criminals of Christians.
Let the Anti-Defamation League teach you how they have saddled 45 states with
hate laws capable of persecuting Christians, and spearhead attempts to pass the
federal hate crimes bill: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this subject. Call
National Prayer Network, P.O. Box 828, Clackamas,