An Open Letter to the Christian Community

November 14, 2007

From Harry R. Jackson, Jr. and Townhall.com.

“This past year I have spent countless hours writing about problem of the government encroaching upon our religious liberties. I have been shocked that many Christians just don’t seem to grasp the fact that we are in very sophisticated power struggle. We don’t seem to want accept that there is an all-out assault against Christians being waged in the legislature, teamed with the mainstream media. Let me trace four major attempts to thwart faith in the U.S.

Attack No.1 – New Federal Hate Crimes Legislation

Last spring, a move to change hate crimes to include special protection for gays, lesbians, and a litany of other groups began to suddenly build steam. The Congress took HR 1592 from subcommittee to law vote in less than three weeks. Many Christians were not aware as the law was being rushed through Congress and passed in early May. Congressional offices refused to talk realistically about the legislations – calling major Christian ministries (Concerned Women for America, Traditional Values Coalition, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, High Impact Leadership Coalition and a host of other organizations) “alarmists” and “liars.”

Although similar laws are being enforced around the world with a disturbing anti-Christian bias, voters were told they had nothing to fear. Yet, the bias has already begun in America. In Philadelphia (in 2004) an incident occurred during a legally arranged, protest rally at a gay convention. A 75-year old grandmother of three was arrested, jailed, and charged under existing state hate crimes law for attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ironically, the rally did not result in any gays being hurt, wounded, or even intimidated by their actions. If anything, law enforcement officials were the ones who sent the citizens of their state a clear message – “Gays can protest, intimidate and harass anyone anywhere- but Christians had better not speak.”

Attack No. 2 – The Fairness Doctrine

Several attempts have recently been made to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” This doctrine is an antiquated, currently defunct regulation of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which was in effect for several decades until August 1987.

The policy required broadcast licensees to present controversial issues in an equal and balanced manner. On the surface this sounds good. In the best of all worlds it could mean that the little guys get a chance to let their voices be heard. Unfortunately, such doctrines are not easy to implement. In addition, these policies create a chilling affect upon the average broadcaster.

In the current broadcasting environment, the fairness doctrine could be used to mute the voice of Christian and conservative talk shows that are having a major impact on the nation. They would not be allowed to present their biblical or moral views on issues without censorship. On the other hand, liberal talk radio has not been able to get traction in terms of listeners, advertisers, or financial viability. This kind of legislation, if passed, would make it possible for anti–Christian policy advocates to piggy back upon the powerful Christian media network which is much more grassroots than the mainstream media.

Attack No. 3 – ENDA (The Employment Non Discrimination Act)

Despite the efforts of many Christian organizations, Congress passed HR 3685 last week. Again, in concept, ENDA sounds like a positive step to end discrimination in the workplace. However, this legislation has five problems which are highlighted below:

1. ENDA would overturn the historical basis of protected class status by adding “actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
2. ENDA expands civil rights protections on the vague basis of perception.
3. ENDA infringes on the religious liberties of Christian lay people.
4. ENDA puts the integrity of our ministries in jeopardy.
5. ENDA is a direct attack on our freedom of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment.

This bill can still be stopped in the Senate if the Church and conservatives hurry to respond.

Attack No. 4 – Senator Grassley’s Request for Financial Records of Six Media Ministries

Last week marked the absolute lowest ebb of political improprieties when Senator Grassley sent letters to six large media ministries desiring to address financial procedures within these ministries. Grassley claims that he is simply following up on concerns of his constituents. Grassley also stated that he may not stop with these ministries. This statement should be a red flag to all Christian major media ministries. Grassley’s inquires are not warranted for three important reasons:
1. This area should be IRS territory. Proper legal protocol has not been followed. A Senate committee should not be involved in this type of action.
2. There will be a presumption of guilt concerning these ministries that may follow them for years to come, which will affect their positive effect on our culture.
3. Responding to these inquiries will cost these ministries hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees during the next few months, funds which are needed to produce their impactful programming.

Most ministries broadcasting on radio and television are evangelical and conservative. This move could signal them to back away from public involvement in the political arena. Most Christians are not aware of the numerous IRS inquiries and investigations which have already been targeted against politically active ministries during the last few years. The Senate does not need to supercede what the IRS is already doing.

Having outlined these four attacks, we need to know what we can do to make a difference. Four things come to mind.

1. Join millions of other Christians this Thanksgiving season in praying five minutes a day for our nation.
2. Contact Senator Grassley’s office to voice our disapproval of his actions.
3. Contact the office of the President and ask him to keep his promise to veto both the Hate Crimes and the ENDA legislation.
4. In the 2008 election, let’s vote for candidates that hold our values in every office – from president, to congressmen, and down to school board members.

Finally, let’s keep the faith!”

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition as well as author of The Warriors Heart: Rules of Engagement for the Spiritual War Zone.

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New York Judge: “No Hate Required For Hate Crime Conviction”

October 8, 2007

From Gary Randall and Faith and Freedom Network and Foundation.

“A New York judge, Jill Konviser of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, has ruled that three men arrested in the death of a gay man who was beaten and then struck by a car during a robbery can be charged with hate crimes without evidence that they were motivated by hatred for gay men. (Read article.)

Make no mistake, we are not suggesting that those who committed this crime should not be punished to the full extent of the law. We are addressing the issue of hate crimes legislation.

We have been following this case as it has unfolded in the courts because it is unique. And it indicates what we can expect in the future. All along, homosexuality has defined this case according to The New York Times. The Times reported, “Prosecutors have used it as sword, seeking heavier sentences for a hate crime.”

Then a few weeks ago, one of the defendants said, “No, I don’t hate gays. I am gay.” (Read article.)

This case proves that the hate crimes legislation we are being force-fed by both federal and state government is unnecessary.

Here’s why.

The Associated Press reported that the law only requires that they have singled out a person for a violent act because of some belief or stereotype about that person’s ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation.

I believe this case proves that we don’t need so-called hate crimes legislation. We already have laws in place to punish violent crimes without discriminating against those victims who may not fall into one of the preferred categories of the hate crimes laws, therefore seeing their assailants punished less harshly.

This case exposes the real agenda of those who seek to advance the hate crimes bills.

When a judge says you can be prosecuted for a hate crime without demonstrating hate, there is clearly something wrong with that picture. It’s particularly telling when the defendant is a member of the same protected class as the victim.

Many have said that the hate crimes bills have really been about advancing and elevating the social and legal agenda of the gay activists.

I agree. And this case goes a long way toward making that point.”


GET READY TO GO TO JAIL, PREACHERS!!

September 28, 2007

From Vision America

“In a shocking display of arrogance and transparent hatred of decency and tolerance for religious freedoms, Senator Ted Kennedy likened those who perpetrate crimes against homosexuals to terrorists as he again linked hate crime legislation to a Defense Department authorization bill. The bill passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 60-39, proving once again that most senators prefer to cater to an immoral minority rather than fund our troops. No doubt some will assume and assert that I am defending hate crimes against homosexuals by the above statement. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I am asserting that Senator Kennedy and his allies in the senate are now declaring open season on preachers and others who believe, as I do, that homosexuality is a sin–and that the Scripture makes it clear that it is a sin. If hate crime legislation is expanded to include homosexuals, as Kennedy and his comrades are determined to make it, the ACLU and other leftist legal eagles will finally have the federal authorization to silence Bible preachers across America.

Senator Kennedy, regardless of his denials, knows that federal criminal statutes hold equally accountable both the perpetrator of a federal crime and those who aid and abet the crime. The simple fact is, when this terrible legislation is passed–and signed into law–any preacher who preaches that homosexuality is sinful over the airways will then be liable for any “hate” crime perpetrated upon a homosexual–if it can be proven that that preacher’s sermon could have prompted the perpetrator to criminally assault a homosexual.

The day this legislation passes religious freedom will no longer exist in America. Senator Kennedy is already laying the groundwork for such criminal pursuit of preachers when he equates those who commit crimes against homosexuals with terrorists. Why not equate all crimes against all Americans with acts of terrorists? What makes a crime against someone who practices sodomy more violent or despicable than a crime against a grandmother who is out shopping for her medications after dark and accosted by a crack-head? Yet that is the effect of hate-crimes legislation.

It is unnecessary, unfair and constitutionally unjustifiable. Yet Senator Kennedy and his allies in the senate will not stop until it is passed. Or until you and I make it clear that we will not surrender our freedoms. You MUST send your objections to this ungodly assault on religious freedoms and free speech now. Click here to send a message to President Bush encouraging him to again veto this ungodly legislation.”

Click here to send a fax to every U.S. congressman expressing your opposition to this legislation. Rest assured this same legislation will soon be presented to the House of Representatives.

Click here to express your outrage to Senator Kennedy for his attack on religious freedom.

 


HATE CRIMES AND THE DEFENSE BILL DO NOT MIX!

September 27, 2007

From the Eagle Forum.

Urge your Senators to Vote NO on the Hate Crimes Amendment!

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed cloture on Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) Hate Crimes bill as an amendment to the 2008 Department of Defense Authorization (H.R.1585). Back on May 3rd, President Bush released a statement saying that if such hate crimes legislation were to reach his desk, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it. Reid, no doubt, understands that neither the House nor the Senate could override a veto; thus, he is attempting to insert this language into the DOD Authorization because it will be harder for President Bush to veto the entire bill.

The language of the Kennedy amendment is identical to the language of H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed the House on May 3, 2007 by a vote of 237-180. If it passes, this amendment would make hate crimes (a crime in which the victim is intentionally selected based on his or her race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc.) a federal offense and it would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes in the U.S. criminal code (Title 18). This amendment violates both the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by attempting to regulate speech, religious expression, and equal protection under the law for all citizens.

We don’t need a new law to combat hate crimes! Almost all 50 states have their own laws to fully prosecute such acts. The amendment is expected to come up for a vote sometime in the next few days. We need your help to stop this sneaky maneuver to insert such a controversial and problematic piece of legislation into the DOD Authorization! Call your Senators today!

Take Action

Call your Senators’ offices and let them know that you expect them to vote NO on the Kennedy Amendment! This amendment may receive a vote as early as Wednesday, September 26th! If not, the vote will most likely occur on Thursday, the 27th.”

*Please note that Senator Orrin Hatch(R-UT) plans to offer an alternative, which Eagle Forum supports, to the Kennedy amendment.

 

Call Your Senators Today!

Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121

 


Hate Crimes: Reid All About It

September 27, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Yesterday, in an effort to appease homosexual activists and fellow Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed for cloture on Amendment 3035 to the Defense Authorization bill that would give the federal government jurisdiction over virtually every purported “hate crime”–regardless of whether states seek federal involvement. The provision also adds “sexual orientation” and “perceived gender identity” to the list of “hate crimes” already covered by federal law. Reid’s action essentially means that a vote on “hate crimes” could happen any day. Sen. Kennedy showed an amazing lack of knowledge of both the U.S. Constitution and the current war on terror when he ambled to the floor to praise Sen. Reid’s move. The Massachusetts senator stated that the “hate crimes” legislation is a perfect fit for the defense bill since it fights “terrorism” on our own shores. But let’s get a few things straight. First, acts of terror are acts of war, while acts of violence (such as those described under the “hate crimes” law) are criminal acts. As such, these crimes are already pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law–making federal legislation both redundant and onerous. The amendment under debate would create a tiered system of justice, where certain citizens are given special protection while others are not. Please call the Capitol switchboard today at (202) 224-3121 and ask your senators to vote “no” on Amendment 3035. Remind them that Constitution guarantees justice for ALL, not a privileged few.”


They’re Baaaaaaaaack!

September 6, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“Congress may have just returned, but liberals wasted no time picking up where they left off. Their new schedule makes it quite clear that the Democratic leadership didn’t take time during the summer recess to reevaluate their strategy of undermining traditional values. Despite their dismal approval ratings, liberals refuse to relent on their plans to ambush faith and family. The Senate will most likely move forward on “hate crimes” legislation, either as a stand-alone bill or as part of the Defense Authorizations bill which is scheduled for debate in a couple of weeks. The measure, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the criteria for federal hate crimes, is certain to face tough opposition in the Senate chamber. Since the release of FRC’s DVD “Censoring the Church and Silencing Christians,” pastors from across the country have banded together to combat the bill, which could lead to muzzling of churches from preaching the truth about homosexuality. Judges are also a key issue this fall, as Judge Leslie Southwick awaits vindication of his right to an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. To help muster more support for such a vote, I joined Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) at a Capitol Hill press conference this afternoon to urge the leadership to move forward with his confirmation. As we have come to expect from the Left, Democrats in both chambers are using the appropriations process to undermine abstinence education programs and the current pro-life laws. Without intense pressure from FRC and other groups, they will continue to press for U.S. taxpayers to fund overseas abortions. As you can see, there’s no shortage of skirmishes on the horizon for faith, family, and freedom. Help us make a difference by voicing your values. Log onto www.frc.org to contact your congressmen on these and other important issues.”


How Now Shall We Live? By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

August 28, 2007

This is a MUST read for all Christians.  It is an incredibly powerful book that I highly recommend.  There is also a study guide for this book that I recommend as well.  This book examines the great spiritual battle today that is a cosmic struggle between competing worldviews.  The authors utilize true stories and compelling teaching to demonstrate the following:

– Expose false views and values of modern culture

– Live a more fulfilling life the way God created us to live

– Contend for the faith by understanding how nonbelievers think

– Build a society that reflects biblical principles

I ran across a review on amazon.com that I thought really did a great job of capturing the core of the book.  It is below.   

5 out of 5 Stars – The Way We See The World Can Change The World, June 21, 2006

“Centuries ago, when the Jews were in exile and despair, they cried out to God, “How should we then live?” The same question rings down through the ages. How shall we live today? Pearcey and Colson’s primary observation is that “the way we see the world can change the world.” (pg. 13) This is because our choices are shaped by what we believe is real and true, right and wrong, or good and beautiful. In short, our choices are shaped by what Pearcey and Colson call our “worldview.”Every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions: (1) Where did we come from and who are we? (2) What has gone wrong with the world? And (3) What can we do to fix it? According to Colson and Pearcey, the culture wars are not about extraneous issues like abortion or public education. Fundamentally, they are about worldviews–between competing secular and spiritual answers to those three basic questions.

The demise of objective truth, profoundly expressed in the halls of academia, also extends into the popular press and culture. The result has been a postmodern worldview which embraces relativism and reduces all ideas to social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity. Under this view, the world is just a power struggle for meaningless prizes. Their one absolute is that morality is not absolute. Other existing worldviews include “traditionalism,” found in many small towns filled with churches; and modernism, found among pragmatic social and business leaders interested in personal material gain, but less interested in philosophical questions and social issues. Against this backdrop, Christians are challenged to provide answers to those three basic questions in a compelling manner.

C. S. Lewis observed, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They both can’t be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.” Thus Colson and Pearcy observe that choices are not without consequences. The Christian worldview says we were created by God. Compelling evidence that life does not have a random origin can be found in the current arguments for intelligent design. Christianity claims that God created the universe with a material order and a moral order. If we live contrary to that order, we sin against God. Thus, what has gone wrong with the universe is human sin.

The way to redeem our culture is to help people realize which universe they’re living in. If it’s a materialist’s universe, then the answers don’t revolve around taking moral principles seriously. But if the real universe was made with a moral law (as Colson and Pearcey argue), then it stands to reason that the solutions to our problems begin with recognizing that fact, and taking steps to educate people in ways that will help them live lives that are not inimical to the way we were designed to live. This, Colson and Pearcey argue, is how we should live.”

For more information on Charles Colson visit his website at www.breakpoint.org and for more information on Nancy Pearcey visit her website at www.pearceyreport.com.