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October 22, 2009

Senate Passes Hate Crimes Bill

The Senate approved legislation today that broadened the definition of federal hate crimes to include attacks based on sexual orientation. The Senate voted 68-29 to approve the measure attached to a $680 billion defense bill.

The bill has frustrated several conservative Christian groups who feared that pastors would see repercussions from the law. The latest version of the bill included new language that explicitly protected an excused person’s free exercise of religion.

Scholars and activists have disagreed over whether a minister could be prosecuted, if he or she preached against homosexuality and a parishioner would later commit a hate crime against someone for being gay.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in a statement that the measure was "part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality."

FRC also warns of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the end of the Defense of Marriage Act.

President Obama has promised to sign the hate crimes bill into law.

Comments

it's a shame that something like this could not stand on its own instead of being attached to an unrelated bill.

Oh well, it is for the greater good.

And yet we are supposed to be a christian country. amazing, huh?

We Christians should welcome the protection of gays from hateful crimes and the prosecution of those who commit them. I also think religious orientation should be at least as protected as sexual orientation.

What do you mean religious orientation? That's a strange concept to me. I've never heard of anyone loosing their jobs, being beaten, being killed here in America because of their religion

@Justin, "I've never heard of anyone loosing their jobs, being beaten, being killed here in America because of their religion"

You surprise me! Well, here's a religious-based murder happened just a few years ago: on September 15, 2001, Babir Singh Sodhi was shot dead in Arizona by a man who thought the victim was Muslim. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3154170.stm. Continuing religion-based persecution in this country is also evident by the many religion-focused anti-discrimination organizations in the US: the ADL, CIAR, and (to a lesser extent) the ACLJ being among the most well-known.

Now that is not to diminish in any way the evil of discrimination based upon sexual orientation. On the contrary, I fully support legislation protecting people from sexual orientation discrimination, as one of my friends was fired for no reason other than his boss thought he was gay (incidentally, he's not). But why should protecting one persecuted group lead us to deny protections for others?

@Brendan

1. That's quite a stretch you are making.

2. Your link doesn't work.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balbir_Singh_Sodhi

4. Mr. Sodhi was murdered because of his ethnicity nor because of his religion.

According to the BBC he was killed because he was thought to be a Muslim - The link only works without the period at the end.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3154170.stm
Even if Bilbir Singh Sodhi was killed only for ethnicity, that in no way diminishes the work of the ADL, CIAR and ACLJ. Are you telling me they work hard in this country in spite of the fact that no one is discriminated against on the basis of religion?

correction: you're right about him being Arab, but let's face it, Arab and Muslim are in many minds the same thing.

Please educate yourself, dear readers, before making such false claims. There is ALREADY protection for religious freedoms. The writer of this one-sided article is as guilty as several commenters when asserting that religious freedoms are in jeopardy. This is a fear tactic used by the far right-wing that we as Christians must take to task. The Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill adds sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to a roster of protections that ALREADY INCLUDES RELIGION. Stop lying, writers. And stop blindly believing and following the lies, readers.

Thanks for the heads-up, Cindy. Since I merely looked at the LA Times link in the article to see associated protected areas, and saw religion not mentioned there, I was unaware that religion was not already protected. Could you provide a link on federal hate crime law protecting religion? Such information would make a valuable addition to the site.
However, you are going overboard with talk of "lies" and a one-sided article. The article clearly states that it is unclear whether the law would be construed to penalize pastors denouncing homosexuality, for example. While I think any such penalizing is unlikely in the near future, it's hardly inconceivable given such laws in Canada (struck down by courts) and Australia, and frankly I think we should be on our guard against the muzzling of free speech in all sorts of areas, particularly religion.

Thanks Christian Lawyer, I was trying to find the info myself. Appreciate it

You are right on this Brendan and that is the sad thing about appearances and bigotry. There are many Arabs who are Christians. I guess in our myopia this has never occurred to some people

Brendan stated "correction: you're right about him being Arab, but let's face it, Arab and Muslim are in many minds the same thing."

@Christian Lawyer

I looked at the stats. I noticed that of the 1440 reported over 900 were against Jews. Protestant and Catholics combined came to a little over 100 cases

I wonder if the incidences against Jews were not ethnic rather than religious in nature. In the sense that people tend to think both are one and the same. Just like most people assume every Arab is a Moslem. I guess we'll never know... until we get to heaven and can see the dvd if we so desire to then

We Christians should welcome the protection of gays from hateful crimes and the prosecution of those who commit them. I also think religious orientation should be at least as protected as sexual orientation.

Posted by: Brendan at October 24, 2009

Brendan...

The greatest physical threat to homosexuals does not come from heterosexuals it comes from other homosexuals...

In their frank but empathetic book, "Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them," (1991) David Island, a homosexual domestic violence victim and psychologist, and Patrick Letellier, his homosexual counselor colleague, report that hate crimes are a homosexual and lesbian domestic way of life.

These authors document "three major health hazards" for homosexual men and lesbians. After AIDS and chemical abuse, same-sex battery is the third major health hazard for homosexual men. Lesbians' first health hazard is cancer, followed closely by chemical abuse and, yes, same-sex battery.

In "Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them," the authors estimate "at least 500,000 gay men are abused by their lovers each year in the United States."

Important to the vote on "hate crimes," these two "gay" authors say that it is certain that sexual violence "is acknowledged, talked about, and dealt with more in straight relationships than in gay male relationships.

Both experts agree that homosexuals hide from the truth about battery. Relevant to the current effort to arrest "straights," "The gay community needs to recognize that wealthy, white, educated, 'politically correct' gay men batter their lovers."

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=98688

Make no excuses about greed and bigotry. It's about quashing Gay competition for church leadership positions, running Gays out of their neighborhoods to have their jobs and properties go to allies...

Posted by: Gregory Peterson at October 26, 2009

Gregory...

You have made this exact same claim more than just a few times and you have yet to produce a single shred of actual evidence...

Methinks that it is nothing more than sensationalized factidal conjecture on your part.

How do you sleep at night?

.

The Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill adds sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to a roster of protections that ALREADY INCLUDES RELIGION. Stop lying, writers. And stop blindly believing and following the lies, readers.

Posted by: Cindy at October 27, 2009

Cindy...

I am not blind...

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

11(4) FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s909/text


This one sentence....

The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

Leaves the door wide open to reinterpret the first ammendment depending upon the whim of the court...

Speaking out against the practice of homosexuality, such as the quoting of Leviticus 20:13 "The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have committed a detestable act and are guilty of a capital offense.... Will now be construed as "conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence," thereby causing the public reading of certain passages of the Bible to become labled as both hate speech and a hate crime...

So, the "Rev." Fred Phelps can continue his hatemongering "God Hates Fags" protests to his heart's content without fear of prosecution for hate crimes violations. It's really a shame, though, that the Christian Right is so much more concerned with Phelps' rights than the rights of the victims.

Posted by: Christian Lawyer at October 27, 2009

Christian Lawyer?..

I find it unconscionable for someone who claims to be both a Christian and a lawyer to make an absolutely baseless generalized accusation...

It's really a shame...

.

Thanks to Christian Lawyer for your well-cited, insightful analysis, and to Justin as well. I don't know how I missed the religion bit! And since ethnicity and religion are often indistinguishable, it's good our legislation includes both to cover the bases.
re: David Hardy, of course domestic abuse of all stripes needs to be addressed, but that in no way makes hate crimes protection unnecessary.

David Hardy, of course domestic abuse of all stripes needs to be addressed, but that in no way makes hate crimes protection unnecessary.

Posted by: Brendan at October 30, 2009

Brendan...

All crimes are hate crimes...

Something tells me that homosexual domestic abuse will not be considered a hate crome against homosexuals, because it is perpetrated by homosexuals...

Sticking the lable og hate before a crime is just another political tool in the box of agenda driven selective enforcement and proscecution...

It will not be enforced equally..

I guarantee it...

.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: no one in their right mind wishes their fellow citizens to be victims of violence because of their sexual orientation (or for any other reason for that matter). The crux of the issue for me, as an orthodox Christian is this: by making 'sexual orientation' (with of course in mind LGBT) a protected class, the government has essentially placed these orientations/lifestyles/behaviors on a par with 'race', 'gender', 'religious belief', 'disability’, etc. - characteristics that are universally understood to be at least benign, if not immutable.

This is a remarkable development because most of Christendom - contemporary and throughout history - teaches that homosexuality (and all fornication) is sin. So we have a moral component in this civil rights issue that is not part of any discussion regarding classifications such as race, etc.

While I am thankful that language protecting religious speech made it into the bill, the true impact has little to do with whether or not clerics are prosecuted for preaching traditional Christian sexual ethics. The monumental change here is subtle, and will only be revealed over time. It has to do not with what the Hate Crimes law states explicitly, but with what it implies, or communicates tacitly.

The subtle but more foundational message in the law is this: opposition to sexual practices contrary to traditional Christian understanding and belief makes you a bigot. It will take time, but eventually people like me - people who believe sexual expression is to be within the exclusive domain of male-female marriage – will be seen as bigots on a par with racists.

Again, the reason for my conclusion is the placing of sexual orientation on a par with the other classifications. Allow me for the sake of argument to explain it this way. If I were to say that I thought a black person was immoral for expressing their ‘black-ness’, I would be roundly (and rightly) criticized as a bigot. Just because a racist steers clear of breaking a Hate Crimes law doesn’t mean that he is not almost universally condemned by our society.

Because of what I believe the Bible teaches about sexuality, I am already termed a ‘homophobe’ by some (even though I have no fear of or animus toward LGBT persons). The Hate Crimes law has, it appears, has made it official.

Jerry Rectenwald


You also claim I make an "absolutely baseless generalized accusation" about the Christian Right being more concerned with the rights of preachers of hate than of the rights of the victims of hate crimes. Really? Baseless?? So, you'll point me to that great outpouring of love and concern by the Christian Right for the victims of hate crimes, right? Or even any expression by you personally of concern for the victims? I don't think I'll hold my breath.

Posted by: Christian Lawyer at October 30, 2009

I dispute your claims of freedom of expression regarding biblical text and sound doctrine regarding the fact that the practice of homosexualality is an abomination in the eyes of God...

Time will tell who is correct and I seriously doubt that it will be you...

Your accusation about predgudice regarding constitutional concerns is complete and totally baseless conjecture...

It is nothing more than sensationalized factiods...

All crimes are hate crimes...

You know absolutely nothing about my track record for assisting those wihin my sphere of influence regarding their victimization...

And I seriously doubt that you have the personal first-hand experience to speak with any authority regarding the constitutional mindset of anyone outside of yourself...

Heresay doesn't cut it and condemnation by stereotyping is verbal lynching...

I seroiusly doubt the veracity of your claim of being a Christian lawyer...

@David Hardy

You love to quote scripture so you must know the one that says "by their fruits you will know them"

Your writings here attest to what your fruits are about. Your fruits speak quite loudly for all of us to see what you are about.

I don't doubt Christian Lawyer's claim. I find them quite scholarly and well reasoned, even when I don't agree.

@David Hardy

You love to quote scripture so you must know the one that says "by their fruits you will know them"

Your writings here attest to what your fruits are about. Your fruits speak quite loudly for all of us to see what you are about.

I don't doubt Christian Lawyer's claim. I find them quite scholarly and well reasoned, even when I don't agree.

I'm confused by what you are stating. So if no one in their right minds wishes violence on anyone because of their sexual orientation. And a bill had to be passed to prevent such violence...

Obviously there is need for said bill since violence is being committed on our fellow countryment due to their orientation.

And if you are also stating that there shouldn't be a bill obviously this belies your assertion that no one wishes violence... You would seem to be wishing it to me.

You have confused me.

Jerry Rectenwald says: "It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: no one in their right mind wishes their fellow citizens to be victims of violence because of their sexual orientation (or for any other reason for that matter). The crux of the issue for me, as an orthodox Christian is this: by making 'sexual orientation' (with of course in mind LGBT) a protected class, the government has essentially placed these orientations/lifestyles/behaviors on a par with 'race', 'gender', 'religious belief', 'disability’, etc. - characteristics that are universally understood to be at least benign, if not immutable.

This is a remarkable development because most of Christendom - contemporary and throughout history - teaches that homosexuality (and all fornication) is sin. So we have a moral component in this civil rights issue that is not part of any discussion regarding classifications such as race, etc. ..."

@Christian Lawyer

Alas, I fear that will not make David Hardy feel any better. From what I gather, nothing will until all gay people have been rounded up and placed in a camp somewhere...

@Christian Lawyer

Alas, I fear that will not make David Hardy feel any better. From what I gather, nothing will until all gay people have been rounded up and placed in a camp somewhere...

So, the "Rev." Fred Phelps can continue his hatemongering "God Hates Fags" protests to his heart's content without fear of prosecution for hate crimes violations. It's really a shame, though, that the Christian Right is so much more concerned with Phelps' rights than the rights of the victims.

Posted by: Christian Lawyer at October 27, 2009

I would not call you a bigot or a homophobe because you seem to be trying to do what you believe is right without a lot of nastiness to those who disagree (as compared to David Hardy),

Posted by: Christian Lawyer at October 31, 2009

It is interesting how you, as a lawyer, would so blatantly talk out of both sides of your mouth (keyboard) at once, especially since your words are a matter of written, easily referenced and citeable record.

I also find it cute and endearing how you lack the fortitude to challenge me openly regarding said nastiness, and resort to taking a swipe while responding to another poster...

Yet you still claim to be a barrister.. How amusing...

The practice of homosexuality is irrevocably condemed in both the Old and New Testaments... As Both a Christian and a lawyer you would know that...

Your continual advocacy for the practice of homosexuality also gives me pause as to veracity of the Christian portion of your user name as well...

2Corinthians 6:14 Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?

2Corinthians 6:15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

@Christian Lawyer

Alas, I fear that will not make David Hardy feel any better. From what I gather, nothing will until all gay people have been rounded up and placed in a camp somewhere...

Posted by: Justin at October 31, 2009

Ahhh Justin...

Yet another who resorts to the tactic of disparrage by proxy...

What you apparently refuse to understand is that while I have absolutely no opposition to being a friend of sinners... I have a real problem with those who practice their sins in broad daylight and then claim that they are righteous...

As Paul said...

1Corinthians 5:9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.

1Corinthians 5:10 But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.

1Corinthians 5:11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people.

1Corinthians 5:12 It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways.

1Corinthians 5:13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you."

And therein lies the whole issue David Hardy.

What I find interesting is that the only sin you seem to have an issue with is same sex relationships

You do not seem to have an issue with Christians and non Christians committing adultery and fornication. Even Christian ministers who have re-interpreted what adultery is so that they could commit it with "a clear conscience"

You do not seem to have an issue with Christians and non Christians who lie and slander in broad daylight

You do not seem to have an issue with Christians whose hypocrisy is blatant.

You do not have an issue with people who take the opposite of what Christ taught and have made their hatemongering and greed into a doctrine to bewitch others.

For some strange reason the only sin that seems to be apparent in your universe are same sex relationships. How on earth is this possible?

Oh, I'm sure you are friend with sinners. I'm sure that you are friends with adulterers and fornicators, but of course those sins are not so bad are they?

As Christian Lawyer I think asked you once, some months ago. Have you ever taken the time to befriend someone gay?


===================================================
David Hardy said "Yet another who resorts to the tactic of disparrage by proxy...

What you apparently refuse to understand is that while I have absolutely no opposition to being a friend of sinners... I have a real problem with those who practice their sins in broad daylight and then claim that they are righteous..."

@David Hardy,

Perpahps it was a poster by the name of Brendan who suggested to you that you get to know someone gay. You refused of course. It seems that you fear their gayness will somehow rub off on you.

@ Christian Lawyer, my apologies if you were not the person who I stated in an earlier post that had asked David Hardy to expand his boundaries.

@David Hardy,

Perhaps it was a poster by the name of Brendan who suggested to you that you get to know someone gay. You refused of course. It seems that you fear their gayness will somehow rub off on you.

@ Christian Lawyer, my apologies if you were not the person who I stated in an earlier post that had asked David Hardy to expand his boundaries.

As a psychologist and a Christian one at that, ask me, ask any of my colleagues who are well-educated and working in the field, and you will hear the same thing: homophobia (irrational fear of homosexuals) is typically borne from rejected homosexual feelings in the individual. We hate the most in others that which we most reject in ourselves. Homophobia also tends to produce a fixation on homosexuals and homosexual activity. (I don't that gay people themselves think and, quite frankly, obsess over homosexuality as much as some of these fearful, angry posters on this site.) Further, to assert that someone can't be a Christian and a lawyer is as ignorant (the best word that comes to mind) as saying that someone can't be a Christian and unloving. There are plenty of Christian lawyers, and apparently there are plenty of unloving Christians as well.

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

7 “I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break[a] them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,[b] lest He[c] be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2)

To Christian Lawyer:

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Yes, infamously, past persecution of Jews and African-Americans were actually justified as being ‘biblical’ by some. And any promulgation or acceptance of such teachings was/is indeed immoral. My point was that, today all but ‘the fringe’ would see no moral component in race, religion, etc., whereas most Christians see homosexuality as sin.

You commented, "Over the last century, we have come to understand that the interpretations of the Bible that supported those views were the results of a faulty understanding of God's word, and not actually what God was saying in the Bible." Yes, thank God the church has condemned such horrible teachings! But it seems like you are using this as a jumping off point for an equivalence argument: that the same kind of ignorance that led to the ridiculous isogetical conclusion that the Bible teaches hate is also at the root of an orthodox/historical understanding of human sexuality; and that modern theology has apparently also corrected that “faulty understanding”.

Here is why I see no equivalence.
Regarding ‘biblical racism’: there are zero reputable theologians/exegetes (Liberal, Conservative or anything in between) who, today, would argue for such a nonsensical justification that the Bible teaches racial hatred. This leaves me to conclude that these views were aberrations – episodes of sinful ignorance, which were never fully sanctioned by the church universal or ascribed to by most Christians. I would also hasten to add that, with the Spirit’s help, God’s word is comprehensible to believers who earnestly seek the truth. No honest reading of the Bible leads one toward racism, hatred of Jews, or hatred of any persons. In these sad instances in church history, individuals with darkened minds led by their darkened hearts managed to read their own hatred and fear into the Bible.

Contrary to this, there has been near consensus in the church regarding homosexuality, and the ‘traditional’ view has current widespread acceptance, and is currently argued widely and strongly by reputable theologians. To be sure, the Liberal position is argued just as widely and vigorously. But we certainly do not really see a situation where an enlightened Liberalism is providing a corrective to the “faulty understanding” of the traditional view. What we see is a Liberal challenge to orthodoxy (which is fine - we just need to argue fairly and with civility).

I imagine you are well aware of the current state of things. We see the Liberal view gaining ground (triumphing?) in some Mainline denominations (UCC, TEC, ELCA), but not exactly making a slam dunk in others (UMC, PCUSA); and only the most optimistic Liberal would have hope of imminent inroads in historically conservative bodies such as RC, the Orthodox Churches, SBC, AG (Pentecostalism), etc. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question: ‘is homosexuality a sin’, depends on who you ask – which theologian, in which seminary; which bishop, pastor or priest, in which denomination, in which church, which rank-and-file Christian. And, as we have agreed, statistically, the answer would be ‘yes’.

I believe that the traditional is the dominant view not because of widespread ignorance or exegetical error, but because the teaching of the church and the understanding of the saints on the issue has been revealed and confirmed by the Spirit to be true. And that is why the teaching has been clear and consistent for centuries (notwithstanding more recent challenges).

My belief crashes me headlong into our culture. Yours crashes you headlong into historical Christianity. I hope we both have our helmets on!

God’s Peace,
Jerry

@JohnD

John, as a fellow Christian can I encourage you to offer some counselling sessions to David Hardy. It is clear to see that he exhibits the classical signs of which you speak. And I have been saying this for months now

As a psychologist and a Christian one at that, ask me, ask any of my colleagues who are well-educated and working in the field, and you will hear the same thing: homophobia (irrational fear of homosexuals) is typically borne from rejected homosexual feelings in the individual. We hate the most in others that which we most reject in ourselves. Homophobia also tends to produce a fixation on homosexuals and homosexual activity. (I don't that gay people themselves think and, quite frankly, obsess over homosexuality as much as some of these fearful, angry posters on this site.) Further, to assert that someone can't be a Christian and a lawyer is as ignorant (the best word that comes to mind) as saying that someone can't be a Christian and unloving. There are plenty of Christian lawyers, and apparently there are plenty of unloving Christians as well.

Posted by: JohnD at November 2, 2009

John...

You are very understanding in a high horse condescending sort of way...

You know... Higher education has its place, however, please keep in mind that a rectal thermometer has degrees too...

There is a huge difference between what you describe as homophobia and speaking out against a practice that is irrevocably condemned in the Bible... The practice of homosexuality is not a contageous disease... It is a personal fre-will choice..

To assume simply because one speaks out against the insidious incroachment of this abomination into the societal, as well as, ecumenical community that one is a repressed, self-loathing homosexual is to belie your claims of education and expose you as willfully ignorant, or terminally naive.

In the event that it has escaped your most scholarly notice... Homosexuals have taken their bedroom activity and put it out into the street... Homosexuality has not only been proven biblically to be an abomination... It is now a political movement...

As both a Christian and an American citizen it is my duty and constituional right to oppose the homosexual agenda with all due vigor...

As for you other ignorant assessment of implying that it was said that one cannot be both a Christian and an attorney... That concept was never put foreward, until you opined about it...

Please keep your facts straight and please do not assume, because any uneducated simpleton realizes what takes place when that happens...

And your free therapy session was definately worth exactly as much as was paid for it's rendering.

Much like Christian Lawer's legal counsel...

And the crackling of Justin...


.

.

JohnD... To say that we are on opposite sides of the homosexual debate, both spiritually and politically would be putting it mildly.... Thank you for the offer to pray for my healing, however it does not appear that we are followers of the same God.... For a person to say that they are a Christian and an unrepentant practicing homosexual at the same time is a contradiction of biblical proportions.... Like Jesus said... 2Corinthiansr 6:15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil?

.

To Justin:

You state, “I'm confused by what you are stating. So if no one in their right minds wishes violence on anyone because of their sexual orientation. And a bill had to be passed to prevent such violence...”

Justin,
I can see why I might have confused you. I started off with the statement, “…no one in their right mind…”, but ultimately had no intention of discussing the efficacy of or need for Hate Crimes laws in general. My post dealt with the broader effect of placing ‘sexual identify’ alongside classifications such as race and religion. Let me try to address your concerns.

The fact that I oppose hate crimes laws does not mean I wish harm to come to you or anyone else (I would hope that a full reading of my posts would reveal this). Your statement presupposes that hate crimes laws deter hate crimes. I do not think that they do. I do think that the threat of punishment to the full extent of the law for perpetrating violence or persecution against another does have some deterrent value. However I must say that if the deterrent factor was truly significant, our prisons would not be so full. It seems to me a reasonable conclusion that some people will commit crimes regardless of what the law states.

Again, I of course do not wish anyone to be a victim of violence or persecution for any reason. And I am very much in favor of prosecution to the full extent of the law for anyone who perpetrates violence or persecution against another, whatever their motivation.

But I don’t believe in simply locking people up and forgetting about them. I am in favor of the restorative justice, recidivism reduction and family care programs such as are the work of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

But most fundamentally and importantly: I believe in the power and love of Jesus Christ to heal, to abide and to give new life. The transforming power of the gospel of peace can radically change a person – and thus, a society. Hearts filled with hate, pride and bitterness transform into hearts filled with love, repentance and forgiveness. As we struggle to be a just society, we Christians do well to keep these truths paramount.

Thank you,
Jerry

i read both sides of the story and i just find it amusing that ppl always quote phrases from the bible about homosesxuality and condemn the lifestyle with such hate and no remorse and pretends that they care about homosexuals but its the other way around.We know its wrong and unnatural but if u have to condemn gays at least also talk about men and women who commits addultry and teens who are fornicating .Those are sins and christians dont say they are going to hell so please be considerate that a child is listening and by the way i dont see christians putting up posters or talking about other sins that the jesus dislikes and persecute them to that extent but homosexuals gets the worst treatment so please dont try to be caring because u come off as being hypocritical and thats the reason why i dont even go to church today and yeah im gay and a christian and i alos believe its wrong but pastors and other fellow christians dont care about us at all and u judge us not with love but with hate