Hate Crimes Bill sneaks through U.S. House.

Oct 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Signs of the Times (click on article name)

Hate Crimes Bill sneaks through U.S. House

USA (MNN) ― The U.S. House of Representatives passed a controversial Hate Crimes Bill late last week in a 281-146 vote, with 131 Republicans and 15 Democrats objecting to the measure.

The legislation adds sexual orientation to the list of groups under the protection of the federal law. It also gives states and local jurisdictions federal help in prosecuting hate crimes.

The bill passed the House in April as a stand-alone, but there was enough controversy surrounding it that passage in the Senate was not guaranteed.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, “They kind of went about it in a back door way. It does go to the Senate. Apparently, it will pass the Senate, from what we understand, partially because it’s attached to this Defense Spending Bill, and the President has said he will sign it.”

Nettleton clarifies that the Hate Crimes Bill is not the same as a Hate Speech Bill, but, “Is this the first step toward a hate speech bill that would then make it illegal to express Christian principles about some of these subjects?”

There is legal precedence. Already, cases have been tried in Canada and Sweden where Christians have faced criminal prosecution for preaching that homosexual practice is a sin.

Nettleton notes that there’s good reason for evangelical Christians to be alert and to pray. “The concern is that somewhere down the road, a pastor speaks about homosexuality, shares what the Scriptures say about it and is accused of inciting violence because he shared what the Scriptures say about homosexuality.”

A vote on the Senate version of the defense-spending bill, which includes the hate crimes measure, could come as early as next week.

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