Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says a homosexual activist who is attacked following a Christian minister’s sermon about homosexuality would be protected by a proposed new federal law, but a minister attacked by a homosexual wouldn’t be.
The revelations come from Holder’s recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was taking comments on the so-called “hate crimes” proposal. It also was the subject of discussion on talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh’s show today.
“This is the question,” Limbaugh said. “[Sen.] Jeff Sessions [R-Ala.] presents a hypothetical where a minister gives a sermon, quotes the Bible about homosexuality and is thereafter attacked … by a gay activist because of what the minister said about his religious beliefs and what Scripture says about homosexuality. Is the minister protected?”
No, said Holder.
“Well, the statute would not – would not necessarily cover that. We’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis. Groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, that is what this statute tends – is designed to cover. We don’t have the indication that the attack was motivated by a person’s desire to strike at somebody who was in one of these protected groups. That would not be covered by the statute,” Holder stated.
Continued Limbaugh, “In other words: ministers and whites are not covered by the hate crime statute because we’re talking about crimes that have a historic basis, groups who have been targeted for violence as a result of their skin color, sexual orientation. So hate crimes are reserved exclusively for blacks and homosexuals. Everybody else can get to the back of the bus on this one. ”
Holder also fumbled repeatedly in searching for answers to questions from several of the senators. He repeatedly failed to cite cases when asked to by senators that in recent years have been “improperly prosecuted,” a video reveals.
On the VDARE blog, Patrick Cleburne wrote about what he called “Holder’s chilling blunders.”
“Holder attempted to justify passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Instead, he worked against it. Holder emphatically said most Americans are not given equal protection with homosexuals (and homosexual pedophiles) by the hate bill. Holder also presented no evidence that states are failing to prosecute hate crimes and need big government to get involved!
“This is a desperately serious matter. With a politicized judiciary, who knows where it will go?” Clenburne continued.
Sessions was unchallenged in his assessment that the law, dubbed by opponents “The Pedophile Protection Act,” would provide “special protections” for only some people in the United States. Holder confirmed that, identifying, blacks, homosexuals and others.
The hearing was on the “The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” for which a now-concluded special Fed Ex campaign to warn U.S. Senate members of the dangers of the “hate crimes” plan dispatched more than 705,000 letters to senators.
The letter-writing effort was organized by WND columnist Janet Porter, who also heads the Faith2Action Christian ministry. It allowed citizens to send individually addressed letters to all 100 senators over their own “signature” for only $10.95.
Joseph Farah, WND founder and editor, said, “We don’t know of any campaign in history that can document more letters going to all U.S. senators than this one.
“If somebody knows of one, please tell me. Win or lose, this was a unique effort and certainly won’t be the last of its kind,” he said.
Part of the FedEx campaign of letters from citizens opposing the “hate crimes” bill.
WND has also reported, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 as it formally is known would provide special protections to homosexuals, essentially designating them as a “protected class.” However, it could leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person.
It earned its nickname when Rep. Steve King suggested an amendment during its trek through the U.S. House that would specify pedophiles could not use the law to protect their activities.
Majority Democrats flatly refused.
Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention, has said such a law – by definition – requires judges to determine what those accused of crimes were thinking.
“This could create a chilling effect on religious speech, connecting innocent expression of religious belief to acts of violence against individuals afforded special protections,” he wrote. “The criminalization of religious speech, such as speech against the practice of homosexuality, has already been seen in other countries with similar hate crimes legislation in place.”
Limbaugh has also warned his audience about the advancing threat of “hate crimes” laws.
“Some people are going to be put in jail for things that they say,” he said. “Hate crime legislation. That’s where they determine what’s in your mind when you commit a crime. That’s when they decide what you were thinking … If you were thinking unapproved thoughts, that would make the crime you committed even worse.”
President Obama, supported strongly during his campaign by homosexual advocates, has indicated that he would like to see the legislation become law.
“I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance.”
Under questioning from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Holder admitted that “hate” was involved in a recent case in which a Muslim man attacked and killed a U.S. soldier. Still, soldiers are not among the protected classes.
“There’s a certain element of hate in that, I suppose,” Holder admitted, leading Coburn to conclude, “What we’re willing to do is elevate those crimes (verbal or physical attacks on homosexuals) over this very intended hate crime (a murder.)”
“There are lots of other groups, decent people who might need additional protection if the federal government had all the money in the world and the time to investigate,” Sessions added.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was specific, asking what crimes have developed that have not been addressed adequately by current laws and prosecutions.
Holder avoided a direct answer, saying, “Well, I have some in my prepared remarks.”
Coburn tried again, “Do we have good stats telling us we’re not (prosecuting) these crimes?”
“Do we have stats that states are failing? Which states are regularly or systematically failing to prosecute?”
“I don’t think we can say there is a trend among the states or local jurisdictions for failing to go after these kinds of crimes,” Holder admitted.
To other questions, Holder responded, “I don’t know.”
Sessions said, “I’ll ask you again. Cite me some cases of significance that have not been properly prosecuted in the last five years.”
Again, Holder deflected the question.
According Rick Scarborough of Vision America, voters should rise up en masse and contact their senators to oppose the plan.
Stephen Di Benedetto writing at Infozine, reported on a request from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that the senators reject the plan.
“I see little evidence that there is a trend among state law enforcement officials to ignore violent crimes motivated by prejudice,” Hatch told Holder.
It was only in Holder’s written statement where he cited cases where state’s allegedly failed to prosecute cases to his satisfaction.
Coburn also noted the 45 states that have hate crime legislation. Only Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming and Indiana do not. He asked of those five states are failing to prosecute hate crimes.
Holder said he did not have the information.
David Rittgers wrote on the Cato-at-Liberty website the hearing revealed “the dark underbelly of the Senate.
“The road to undermining the rule of law is being paved with the best of intentions and casual disregard (if not outright hostility) for the principles of limited government and equality under the law,” he wrote.