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April 27, 2007

Orwell lives

Next week on BreakPoint, Chuck Colson will be talking about the dangers of Thought Police legislation (a.k.a. "hate crimes" laws). If the law currrently being considered by Congress (disingenuously named the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act) is passed, we can expect far more of this: High school students who get in trouble for peaceful, verbal objections to the normalizing of homosexual attraction and behavior. These laws are not about violence or hatred; they're about using the power of law to silence those who disagree with you. They're about redefining civil discourse into "verbal attacks." That is, if someone "feels attacked" by words--even words on a tee shirt--then he HAS been attacked, and the "attacker" should be punished by the Ministry of Love....er, by the federal government.

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James Willis

You may think this is a little off topic, but I cannot leave it unsaid. Last week there was an anniversary listed on "The History Channel" that I find incredibly ironic. See if you agree:

What Happened Today In History?

April 27, 2007

4497 BC : Universe is created, according to Kepler
On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler's main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe's extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design. In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler's research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler's calculation about the universe's birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years.

Why in the world was this included? If Keppler was simply a nutcase that was deluded in his conclusions, why is he considered by some to be the father of modern science? If, however he was a ligitimate scientist and thinker why are his caculations so easily dismissed by the reigning theory? It think this is an case of the scintific thought police trying to control us.

Robin Phillips

In England we have been constantly having to fight against this sort of thing. See my article at

Ron Bolton

I don't see the connection between the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act and threats against free speech, yet alone free thought. I read the proposed legislation and see nothing in there about consequences for speech or thought. It is about the prosecution of crimes motivated by bias against groups that are vulnerable, including religious groups. If I am missing something then please elaborate.

If the objection is based on this being part of the "slippery slope" of embrassing and supporting homosexuality then I disagree. In some countries it would help Christians to have this extra measure of protection: stronger consequences for violence targetted at a vulnerable group. The OT even documents God calling out extra protection for a vulnerable group, "aliens" living among the Hebrews.

Even if there is some small risk in some wording (which I did not detect) of the bill of threatening our religious freedom and freedom of speech to call homosexuality a sin, still our constitution trumps Federal legislation. If similar wording has resulted in criminal charges in other countries then that is no reason to fear it here at this time: our culture of free speech is strong.

If the argument is that we don't need extra protection for certain groups then this should be extended to an argument against the 15th ammendment.

If the argument is about the "slippery slope" then the commentaries from Breakpoint, FRC and TVC were misleading and discredit our witness.

John B. Donovan

It might be regarded as "hate" to point this out, but same-sex marriage has now been around since the early Nineties in Denmark, and the results are not starting to be available for analysis. Among men who are in normal marriage relationships, they're living 45% longer than those in same-sex marriage relationships, according to statistics compiled by the government's statistics agency, Statistics Denmark. Failure to point this out should be regarded is harmful to gays. Making same-sex marriage the equivalent of opposite-sex marriage should be seen as a form of false advertising.

ET Anderson

I think this bill's passage may be a first step, but I do not think Christians have anything to fear from this specific bill. It very narrowly uses the language

"willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person."

Unless pastors take to shooting people from the pulpit, they cannot be arrested under this bill. What I must wonder though is "isn't this superfluous?" Bodily harm, for any reason except self-defense is already illegal, does this bill just make certain things super-illegal? Regardless of the reason behind, or the victim of bodily injury, it is always a crime. Personally, I dislike frivolous legislation as much as I dislike frivolous lawsuits.

Ron Bolton

Not sure anyone cares about this at this point. But I want to present one more piece of information to "set the record straight".
The "Legislative Alert" referenced on the Breakpoint home page states that "The Supreme Court already has decided that hate crimes laws are constitutional under the First Amendment, and upheld the criminal conviction of a person for "hate speech" when coupled with a violent act committed by other persons. Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993)."
So I studied this case and feel this too is a misrepresentation. The case was about a person who was directly involved in an assault. The court ruled that the "hate crime" statute in this case was directed towards conduct that was not expressive as such, but was instead directed at violence in particular. The Court further stated that Wisconsin was within its rights to offer sentence enhancement in bias-motivated crime because it had a compelling interest in preventing the negative secondary effects of such crimes. Among these secondary effects mentioned were the increased likelihood of a bias-motivated crime to provoke retaliation, to inflict greater emotional distress on the victim, and to incite community unrest. The Court explained that these secondary effects were more than adequate reason for such a sentencing enhancement, especially if, as stated above, the law was not explicitly targeting beliefs or statements.
I respect the rationale behind "hate crimes" legislation. Some day it may help deter hate crimes against believers. This legislation does not in any way threaten free speech or freedom of religion, yet alone freedom of thought. Overstating our cause in protecting the Christian world view discredits us.

L Daniel

To Ron Bolton, either you're a wolf in sheep's clothing or you're sincerely deceived. The fact that you've posted the same sentiment twice, utilizing the phrase 'discredits us [Christians],' leads me to think you are the former. Pastors are not exempted in the legislation. If they read from the Word of God which states homosexuality is a sin, a person practicing homosexuality can say they FEEL threatened as a result of these statements being made and the pastors will be charged under this statute. What defines a crime? FEELING as though you've been threatened by someone who disagrees with your lifestyle. It's as plain as day. If you are not a deceiver, you are doing a good job of helping him.

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