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Senate letter calls for filibuster of 'hate crimes' bill

Posted By Drew Zahn On 05/23/2009 @ 12:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled


Rev. Rick Scarborough

A Texas pastor has written an open letter to the U.S. Senate, asking someone, anyone, to filibuster pending “hate crimes” legislation and stop what he calls a “maddening march to the destruction of our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion.”

As WND has reported, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 would provide special protections to homosexual people but leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person.

A hearing on the act, already approved by the U.S. House as H.R. 1913 and pending in the Senate as S. 909, is expected in the Senate Judiciary Committee soon.

Concerned individuals may contact elected officials, sign a petition against hate crimes legislation and participate in WND’s FedEx campaign to send thousands of letters to senators by overnight delivery.

“The legislation pending before you will make me an ‘inducer’ to hate crimes if I preach Romans 1:18-32 and someone who hears me then commits a criminal act against a protected class,” writes Rev. Rick Scarborough of Harvest Point Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, and founder of Vision America. “It is clear that this bill will criminalize biblical preaching and will prevent me and thousands of other clergymen from practicing our faith without threat of penalty from our own federal government.”

Romans 1:18-32 is particularly inflammatory, labeling homosexual acts in various translations as against nature, indecent, unseemly and perversion.

Under a comparable law in Sweden, a minister was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching from Leviticus, which labels male homosexual acts as detestable. Similar state laws have resulted in similar results. In Philadelphia several years ago, a 73-year-old grandmother was reported to have been jailed for trying to share Christian tracts with people at a homosexual festival.

“I hold no animosity toward homosexuals or anyone who disagrees with me,” writes Scarborough. “Let’s debate the merits and the facts and allow all sides to air their opinion. But do not silence pastors nor penalize people of faith.”

The entirety of Scarborough’s letter can be read below:

Dear Members of the Senate of the United States,

As a pastor of a local congregation, I humbly request that at least one of you stand up on behalf of all God-fearing Americans and stop this maddening march to the destruction of our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion in America via “hate crimes” legislation including the protection of pedophiles and other aberrant and destructive behaviors. As you are fully aware, the hate crimes bill that recently passed the House and is now before your body will seriously erode that freedom.

Congressman Louie Gohmert repeatedly sounded the alarm that if the version of the bill which passed the House is finally signed into law, the radical left will be fully armed with the power of federal criminal law to silence any dissenting voice that declares homosexuality or other such behaviors sinful and wrong.

I have been preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ since 1969. I have deeply held religious convictions that the Bible is God’s revealed truth about man and humanity, and I hold no animosity toward homosexuals or anyone who disagrees with me. Let’s debate the merits and the facts and allow all sides to air their opinion. But do not silence pastors nor penalize people of faith.

In the Scripture there are clear guidelines regarding marriage, human sexuality and social order. In the first chapter of Romans there is a clear prohibition against same-sex relations. The legislation pending before you will make me an “inducer” to hate crimes if I preach Romans 1:18-32 and someone who hears me then commits a criminal act against a protected class, including those who choose to live in defiance of God’s revealed truth.

It is clear that this bill will criminalize biblical preaching and will prevent me and thousands of other clergymen from practicing our faith without threat of penalty from our own federal government.

A congressman who strongly opposed this legislation in the House recently said to me, “They just don’t get it, Pastor Rick!”

I believe that some of you do “get it,” and it is incumbent upon you to stand up for what is right and just and stop this train from arriving at the station.

I have walked the halls of the Senate Office Building, as has others, begging for someone to lead a filibuster of the bill, only to be told repeatedly that it is a lost cause.

Frankly, sirs, there are no lost causes except when good men fail to fight a desperate battle for their God and their liberty. That’s why we are making this appeal to you.

On behalf of God and our freedoms we beseech you to take up the torch. In the words of acclaimed actor and World War II hero, Jimmy Stewart, in one of the most memorable movies of the 20th century, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”: “Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.”

Who will step forward and filibuster this wicked legislation? Who will champion Christians, Jews and even Muslims who will find themselves in jeopardy when this legislation is signed into law? Will you?

When young David approached the field of battle bringing news to his three warrior brothers from his father, and saw Goliath taunting the armies of God, he left his carriage and said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

When his own brothers rebuked him, he then replied, “Is there not a cause?”

That day one courageous follower of the living God showed the world that God could whip a giant and rout an army.

Senators, I plead with you to be our champion, NOW! Surely there is one Senator who believes in the cause of righteousness enough to stand up and do the right thing, whether it’s popular and winnable or not!

Is my freedom to practice my religion freely a worthy cause?

Is not the First Amendment a righteous cause?

Is there not a cause?

You have been honored by your constituents who have elected you to uphold the Constitution.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of letters have been dispatched to members of the U.S. Senate suggesting that the so-called “hate crimes” bill is the wrong way for the country to move. WND columnist Janet Porter, who also heads the Faith2Action Christian ministry, launched the campaign to send thousands of letters to every senator by overnight delivery.

To date, at least 4,500 people have participated, dispatching 450,000 letters to members of the Senate.

Concerned individuals may contact elected officials, sign a petition against hate crimes legislation and participate in WND’s FedEx campaign to send thousands of letters to senators by overnight delivery.



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