Would Anti-Hate Laws Make You a Lawbreaker?
Source: Truthtellers | http://www.truthtellers.org/hatecrimes.html
Would Anti-Hate Laws Make You
Ominous legislation now before Congress contains a hidden agenda that could make criminals of Christians.
— BY THEODORE WINSTON PIKE
In 1988 an evangelical pastor in Sweden opened his Bible to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. He informed his congregation (which included homosexuals) that God is still angry at sexual perversion and will judge those who practice it.
Several months later, this pastor was serving a four week sentence in jail. He had violated Sweden’s “Anti-Hate” statute, a law which protects groups such as homosexuals from “verbal violence” — public statements which might cause them embarrassment because of their sexual orientation.
It is well known that socialist Sweden is the trendsetter in human engineering. What happens there will probably be taken for granted through much of the world 10 or 15 years later.
But laws in America banning criticism of others? “It can’t happen,” most will reply. “ Not with free speech guaranteed by the Constitution!”
But it can. A hidden agenda toward ultimately restraining free speech surfaced among bills introduced this year in Congress. “Hate Crime” legislation was proposed as a first step toward banishing “prejudice” in America. This bill, deceptively titled “The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2000″ passed the Senate, but was voted down in the House. Had it passed, it could have laid the foundation for an “Anti-Hate” bureaucracy identical to Sweden’s—a bureaucracy which would redefine “prejudice” so as to make the Christian a lawbreaker. Here’s how our free speech is coming under attack:
History of Anti-Hate Legislation
Let’s briefly review how today’s anti-hate legislation, currently before Congress, came into being.
During 1988, the predominant architect of “Anti-Hate” legislation, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, helped sponsor a nationwide, law-student competition to write a model “Anti-Hate” law for America. This law would criminalize not just physical acts of racial violence but statements which might lead to violence.
On April 20-22, the ADL helped sponsor a conference at New York’s prestigious Hofstra University entitled “Group Defamation and Freedom of Speech: The Relationship Between Language and Violence.” Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich), also a pioneer of the hate crimes legislation now before Congress, was the keynote speaker. The winner of the hate crimes competition was announced as Joseph Ribakoff, a law student from Whittier College in California.
In his prize-winning proposal, Ribakoff [Jew] asserted that with the upsurge of “Hate Crimes” in America, it will no longer suffice for the government merely to outlaw acts of physical violence; it must ban those forms of verbal communication which cause hatred, suspicion, and possible violence against groups of people. Ribakoff recommends that federal and state censorship boards be established to review all films and videotapes before they are shown publicly, determining if they contain statements which might stimulate hatred or contempt for some group of people. If so, an immediate court order would ban the film in America. Ribakoff: “Any person, persons, or organizations which publicly shows a film or movie before it has been submitted and reviewed by the agency shall have committed a misdemeanor.”
Further, if anyone is a member of an organization which has publicly shown such a film and intends to remain a member, supportive of its goals, he also will have committed a misdemeanor.
Ribakoff’s prize-winning “Group Libel Statute” was not limited to verbal criticism of Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, etc., but would indict anyone who criticized homosexuals as a group, causing “mental anguish” to members of that minority.
Although the participants in the Hofstra Conference were divided concerning the feasibility of such blatant censorship, the ADL remains determined that some kind of anti-hate legislation become law—even if it is only rudimentary. Thus, the ADL helped to create the “Hate Crimes Statistics Act.”1 Here are the specifics as it was submitted to Congress in 1990.
The “Hate Crimes Statistics Act” requires states to determine if crimes committed under their jurisdiction were motivated by prejudice. These include serious crimes, but also such relatively minor offenses as “vandalism, trespass and threat.” States are required to relay such information to a federal anti-hate data bank, then to be shared with law enforcement officials throughout the nation.
Thus, if a homosexual is the victim of an offense as minor as “vandalism, trespass or threat,” states are forced to determine if the offense were motivated by prejudice—a tedious task. If so, details of the homosexual’s case are to be forwarded to the federal government. If the person or group who committed the crime had not yet been found, the government’s policy of sharing information concerning the case with state and local agencies might help to apprehend such persons.2 Thus the long arm of the federal government could come to the aid of a homosexual victim in a way that would be out of the question for victims of crimes not motivated by prejudice.
A second bill establishes a “Commission on Racially Motivated Violence,” a blue-ribbon panel of 12 members which would receive statistics from the states, define what constitutes “violence” and “prejudice,” and report their findings to the President. This panel would dramatize on a national level the problem of violence against gays and other minorities.
Only The Beginning
The ADL-assisted “Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990″ was passed by Congress soon after the Hofstra conference. Law enforcement nationwide is now required to report incidents of “hate crimes” for federal review.
Yet, the ADL wants the Justice department to do more than simply record data, it wants federal prosecution of those who “hate.” Until now this was not fully possible because the federal government lacks authority to intervene in law enforcement within the states (except for interstate crimes, voting fraud, etc.)
The “Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2000″ attempted to vastly increase the government’s right to investigate and prosecute “hate crimes” everywhere. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), a co-sponsor, with Sen. Edward Kennedy, of this bill, told me in a letter that this legislation “extends the authority of federal prosecution to crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability.”
Clearly, this bill would have been a stepping stone toward an anti-hate bureaucracy where Christian teachings which condemn sodomy will be considered “hateful,” and “inciting to violence,” and thus illegal.
While posing as the arch-defender of free speech, the ADL has a proven record of subtly working to limit it. Ultimately, the ADL may pressure the “Commission on Racially Motivated Violence” to extend the term “Hate Crime” to include “hurtful words” against a minority. Anyone who heckled a marcher in a “Gay Pride” parade would then have committed a criminal act. Anyone who caused “intense anguish” to Jews by accusing their forefathers of the “crucifixion of God” could be indicted.Ultimately, even pastors who heaped guilt and shame upon “sinners” could be open to the charge of “hurtful words.”
Few Americans realize that already in such countries as Sweden, West Germany, Britain, Israel, and Canada, laws banning “hurtful words” against groups of people are already on the books. The Canadian ADL lobbied tirelessly for “group libel” legislation for many years. Finally, over a decade ago, the Canadian Prime Minister signed an executive order banning all written or broadcast statements that cause “embarrassment” to an identifiable group. Under this new law, Canadian evangelical Christians, such as James Keegstra and Malcolm Ross, have been indicted and prosecuted because of complaints that they have caused “mental anguish” to Jews by questioning whether a full six million Jews died in the “holocaust.” Ross writes that if the Crown’s case against him is upheld, such “group libel” laws “… will supersede all other law, and any complaint, regardless of how vague, as long as it is couched in terms of “discrimination” or “racism,” will set the human rights commission machinery into motion.”
Under such laws, Dr. Paul Cameron, nationally recognized opponent of gay rights, made arrangements for a public lecture in Canada in which the homosexual lifestyle would be criticized. When he arrived at the border, the cases of books and literature he brought with him were impounded. He was told that in Canada it is against the law to humiliate homosexuals publicly.
Focus on Hate
As “anti-hate” legislation is introduced, and reintroduced, into Congress, the media are focusing as never before on the problem of racial violence, holding up the Aryan Nations, the Klan, and the Skinheads, as examples of what society should outlaw. Yet it is you and I, thinking Christians of a conservative bent of mind, who are in danger of being silenced
While gays, communists, abortionists, radical feminists, etc. are not seen as those who “hate,” every kind of “right winger” from Jerry Falwell to “The Order” is increasingly, perceived as a source of “hurtful words.” In fact, Christianity itself is coming under scrutiny. A widely distributed book called “Armed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Survivalist Right” by James Coates3 accuses fundamentalist Christianity of providing an unwholesome seedbed out of which intolerance emerges. This reflects the common Jewish belief that Christianity, by its charge that the Jews and their leaders were behind the crucifixion of Christ, has caused more “mental anguish” to the Jews than anything else in the history of the world. Although an extremist in Israeli politics, Rabbi Meir Kahane’s view of Christianity was similar to Coates’:
“I have not the slightest sympathy for Christianity or Jesus. As a believing Jew, not only is Jesus not “God” but also he is neither Messiah nor prophet. For the Jew he was a blasphemer, one who attacked the Torah as unchanging divine law and who was a false prophet and heretic.
“As for Christianity, this is the faith that, in the name of Jesus, has made life for the Jewish people a living hell for 19 centuries. In its name, and in the name of Jesus, millions of Jews were massacred and the agony of life under Christians can never be sufficiently described in all its horror.”4
Coates maintains that a literal interpretation of the criticism of New Testament pits the fundamentalist Christian against the Jew. Thus, there is no real substance to the claim of televangelists such as Robertson and Falwell that the church wants to “bless” Israel. Coates:
“The resulting “Pro-Semitism” voiced by so much of the liberal right is not much more comforting than the Anti-Semitism spewing from the mouths of the survivalist right. . . . Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, told an audience in San Francisco in late 1980 that it was “no coincidence that the rise of right-wing Christian fundamentalism has been accompanied by the most serious outbreak of Anti-Semitism in America since the outbreak of World War II.”5
At this stage in time, the Jewish ADL tells us we need anti-hate laws to protect the Blacks from whites, the gays from straights, the Jews from Nazis. Many fear that what they really want is a law that will silence forever the historic Christian claim that Jews were behind the crucifixion of Christ, and that Jews must now accept him as Savior to escape damnation (Acts 2:23, 36, 3:13-15, 4:10). Once broad anti-hate legislation is in place, forbidding criticism of “identifiable groups,” it will be a small matter to convince humanity (and Congress) that this ultimate “group libel” should be forbidden. The New Testament, the authority behind that charge, would of course also be censored.
Who is Prejudiced?
A major reason why this legislation is so dangerous is that “prejudice,” the condition it claims to oppose, is extremely ambiguous. For example, a minister would not think it a form of prejudice to warn a homosexual from his deviant, soul-damning lifestyle. Yet gay rights groups and the ADL would.
Whose definition of prejudice would the government follow if these bills became law?
The testimony of the ADL before Congress makes it clear that the ADL is pushing hard for national acceptance of its definitions The ADL would prefer that:
Federal definitions of “prejudice” should be modeled after the point of view of the ADL
- Law enforcement personnel should defer to ADL definitions of prejudice when filling out reports on criminal investigations
- Law enforcement personnel should submit themselves to ADL-led sensitivity training, making them compliant with ADL definitions prejudice
- Investigating officers should be allowed to determine before trial if the accused is motivated by prejudice. (This would set up the local police, assisted by ADL guidelines, as a sort of preliminary jury, opining on matters usually relegated to the psychologist. This power over the accused is very ominous because…
- If prejudice is determined, the crime should be considered much more serious, with a stiffer sentence.
Clearly, this legislation is an opportunity for the ADL to intimidate and manipulate Americans. As stated earlier the ADL exerted relentless pressure upon the Canadian government to ban “group defamation.” They succeeded. Now it is illegal in Canada to rebuke homosexuality publicly, or even to publicly state that gays have a higher rate of AIDS than anyone else. In America, the ADL is working even harder. Their initial intention is not to ban free speech entirely, but to convince us that certain forms of speech can be outlawed without doing violence to freedom of expression in general.
Incredibly, despite its Orwellian overtones, this legislation has encountered little significant opposition. Few recognize it as the foundation upon which a system of police-state spying and censorship can be built.
Although the “Local Law Enforcement Act of 2000″ was voted down, the ADL will introduce a similar bill, with a different title, in the next session of Congress. Now is the time to protest. Inform your senators and congressmen that existing laws adequately criminalize all forms of slander and violence. Not only would anti-hate legislation be costly (up to ten million annually) but, if ADL requests are followed, it would allow “Big Brother” to probe the “motivational” mindset of Americans unconvicted of crimes – a very dangerous, and far reaching precedent.
I. Legal counsel for the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice (Conyer’s committee) told me that the ADL had been extremely helpful in the creation of The Hate Crimes Statistics Act.
2. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (author of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act) in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, June 21, 1988 said that the Hate Crimes Statistics Act”. . can lead to increased interagency sharing of intelligence information on the criminal activities of hate groups.”
3. Coates, James. Armed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Survivalist Right, Hill and Wang, New York, 1987.
4. Rabbi Meir Kahane, The Jewish Press, New York, Jan. 6, 1989, pp. 49, 54.
5. Coates, p. 257.
6. Statement of Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith on 5 797, S 702, and 5 2000, before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, United States Senate, June 21, 1988.