May 25, 2009

Call to Action~Hate Crimes & the Sedition Act of 2009-American Thinker=Senate Bill 909

By John Griffing
HR 1913, The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and its companion bill S. 909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act threaten us with targeted censorship, attacks on religious freedom, and outrageous protections for pedophilia and other deviant behavior.  Even prominent gay activists like Andrew Sullivan say that this legislation is unnecessary and dishonest.  But if these arguments aren't enough to cause you to grab a pitchfork and march on Washington (or at least call your Senators), then perhaps you need a bigger perspective about what's really at stake.

As a reminder, the bill has been passed in the House, and is now in process in the Senate.  The legislation contains provisions that will increase the penalties for acts committed against certain protected groups, punishing motives as well as acts, and giving special legal stature to homosexuals and those with sexually-related "disabilities".  The language of the bill arguably undermines Fourteenth Amendment "equal protection of the law," making some groups more equal than others.  Pedophiles are elevated to a protected class, but a mother who slaps a child rapist can go to jail for a hate crime.  Rep. Alcee Hastings was even so brazen as to align the purpose of the bill with acts of sexual deviancy, saying that it is time to protect "'philias and fetishes.'"

At the same time, amendments that would have protected faith-based groups from antagonistic prosecution were voted down.  This has caused many advocates of religious expression to fear this legislation, drawing on examples of hate crimes laws in Britain and Canada where pastors and other persons of faith have been arrested for religious speech in public places.

These are all good reasons to oppose this bill.

But S. 909 must be stopped for reasons that go far beyond the issues attached to this particular legislation.  This proposed law will set a precedent that can be broadened to encompass potentially any idea, belief, or viewpoint.  Today hate, tomorrow fill in the blank....
...If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. 
The question is, who will watch the watchers?  Thomas Jefferson explained:

Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism...In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

S. 909 isn't just about hate or homosexuality or religious views.  At the center of this bill is the question of liberty.  Will we continue to be a nation that protects freedom of thought, or will we prize conformity above all else?  Defeating this bill should be every American's battle.

"And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew...."

Freedom itself is in danger if this bill is not defeated.  If even one idea can be criminalized, then no idea will be safe.  Government seldom gives up power, and once that power is established and the precedent set, there will be no limit to the ideas that can be outlawed.  Every idea, every belief will be a possible candidate.    And once that door is opened, it will not be closed in our lifetimes.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.
Ronald Reagan
My comment:
Can we return from such a broad stroke against our liberty, when liberty itself is succumb?  Let not this chain of unconstitutional law prevail one day.  Demand Respect of the Constitution and note that in the first Supreme court case, the question was on accepting challenges before the highest court.  Let not that moment of trivia bind us from the absolute tyranny to be allowed unchecked.
Saint Augustine, "An unjust Law is no Law at all."  Let not our individual Sovereignty be stilled, but forever let freedom from Government reign supreme with Justice for all, not  decay!
R. George Dunn


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