Below is an excerpt from a Coral Ridge Alert (coralridge.org) that we thought you would want to be aware of. As the Alert indicates, it is critical that you call you Senators this week and ask him to vote NO on this bill. The House has already passed a similar bill.
“The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote any day on a federal “hate crimes” bill that will pave the way for persecuting Christians and threatening our freedoms of religion, speech, and association.
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909) is the Senate version of a bill that passed the House in April. A cornerstone of the “gay” political agenda, it would raise “sexual orientation” to a legal status equivalent to that of real civil rights categories such as race or ethnicity, and it would introduce for the first time into federal law the radical concept of “gender identity.” Since “sexual orientation” is not clearly defined, it would afford special legal protections to pedophiles and other sexual deviants that ordinary Americans won’t get.
In addition, S. 909 would:
Put pressure on police and prosecutors to devote more time and money to some victims’ cases and not others.
Vastly expand the federal government’s power to intervene in criminal cases, whether local authorities want this or not.
Create a taxpayer-funded slush fund for “education” programs that lump conservative Christians among “hate groups.”
Have a chilling effect on free speech by making unpopular ideas a basis for harsher treatment in criminal proceedings.
Add a layer of law that is utterly unnecessary. There is no evidence that “hate crime” victims receive less justice. Everyone deserves equal treatment under the law—no more, no less.
Here are three key points to tell your senators:
Is an Assault on Liberty of Conscience. In free countries, criminal acts are punished—not beliefs or views. The proposed hate crimes bill would result in two convictions—one for the criminal act, and another for the beliefs or thoughts behind it. This is a road to “thought crime” tyranny that is unfolding already in Europe and Canada.
Is not needed. Every state legal code already protects men and women, whatever their “actual or perceived … sexual orientation,” against criminal assault. There is no hate-crime “epidemic” in America. The FBI reports that so-called hate crimes, which are difficult to identify because only God can know the human heart, are a tiny fraction of all crimes.
Puts Pastors At Risk For Prosecution. Anyone, including pastors, can be accused of creating a “climate of hate” that leads to violence, merely for speaking biblical truth. Under Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law, 11 Christians were arrested and jailed in 2004 merely for preaching the gospel at a Philadelphia homosexual street festival. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a former judge, said that under this federal bill, clergymen and others could be charged with encouraging or inducing a “hate crime” if they preach against homosexuality.
Please call your senators now to respectfully request their position on this bill and to urge them to vote “No” on S. 909. Among other things, this bill is a giant step toward the criminalization of Christianity.”
You can access the phone numbers for you Senator here.