“The legislative powers of government reach to actions only, not to opinions.” – Thomas Jefferson, “Separation of church and state” letter, Jan. 1, 1802
“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – Thomas Jefferson, to Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800
Inasmuch as no one, except perhaps Islamic terrorists, advocates injuring innocent people, the question has to be raised: “Is ‘hate crime’ legislation about preventing crime, or is it designed to promote the homosexual agenda by silencing opposing viewpoints?”
The current wording of “hate crime” legislation actually commits a hate crime against those who “think” differently than the State.
Jefferson was against this, as Europe, at the time America was founded, had established: “Whatever the king believed the kingdom had to believe.”
Not wanting government to dictate their beliefs was a major reason why religious refugees fled to America.
England established Anglican beliefs, passing the Oath of Supremacy in 1559 and the Test Act in 1673, which barred all nonconformist Protestants and Catholics from holding public office.
Today’s radical left is establishing a new State-authorized belief, a new Oath of Supremacy, a new Test Act.
On June 29, 2004, Sweden arrested 63-year-old Pastor Ake Green for reading Bible verses at church. The prosecuting attorney stated: “One may have whatever religion one wishes, but this is an attack on all fronts against homosexuals. Collecting Bible cites on this topic as he (Pastor Green) does makes this hate speech.”
France and Canada fined legislators for voicing opinions that did not embrace radical homosexuality.
In Boston, the State ordered Catholic Charities to violate their religious beliefs and place children in gay households or cease all their adoption operations.
Siding with radical homosexuals are Islamic jihadists who want the “hate crime” bill passed to muzzle those who expose them.
Jefferson would be against taxing people to promote a sexual agenda in which they disbelieved, as he wrote in his Draft For a Bill For Establishing Religious Freedom, 1779:
“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
Jefferson would oppose the U.S. Congress coercing with “civil incapacitations” those who “think” differently than the State, those who hold traditional American religious beliefs regarding sex and marriage, as he wrote in his Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, Jan. 16, 1786:
“Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested His Supreme Will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraints.”
“That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to begat habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone. …
“Be it therefore enacted … that no man … shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief.
“But that all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
In light of the Democrat Congress promoting the gay agenda, Jefferson gave interesting insight in his Draft For A Bill For Establishing Religious Freedom, 1779:
“The impious presumption of legislators … being themselves but fallible … have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others. …
“Proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust … unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion …
“The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction. …
“To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion … destroys all religious liberty.”
The Danbury Baptist Association complained to Jefferson, Oct. 7, 1801, that the state government of Connecticut established the Congregational denomination, thus discriminating against the religious opinions of Baptists:
“Sir … Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty – That Religion is at all times and places a Matter between God and Individuals – That no man ought to suffer in Name, person or effects on account of his religious Opinions – That the legitimate Power of civil Government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. …
Jefferson agreed with the Baptists, Jan. 1, 1802:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
Traditional Judeo-Christian religious doctrine believes sex is sacred between a man and a woman. The proposed “hate crime” bill would amount to the U.S. Congress assuming authority over religious doctrine, something Jefferson’s “wall” was to prevent, as he wrote to Samuel Miller, Jan. 23, 1808:
“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. …
“Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General government. …
“I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines. …
“Every religious society has a right to determine … their own particular tenets.”
Prior to the Revolution, Jefferson opposed the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament in 1774, which treated individuals loyal to the Crown as “more equal” before the administration of justice than American rebels.
If “all men are created equal,” as Jefferson wrote in the Declaration, then criminals who commit the same crime should be punished equally, regardless of their victim’s sexual preferences.
To punish criminals more based on who the victim is establishes that all other victims are of less value, unequal. It is a zero sum equation – to give special rights to one group is to take rights from another group.
The “hate crime” bill before Congress would amount to a “don’t ask don’t tell policy” for those of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Radical gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, etc., not only want to come out of the closet, they want to push Christians into it. They want to commit the crime on others that they have accused others of having committed against them.
Jefferson would have hated a “hate crime” bill where the legislative powers of government censored people who held traditional Judeo-Christian religious opinions regarding sex.
Could it be that the real hate crime is about to be committed by the radical left against those who hold traditional American values?
President Reagan asked the Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, Aug. 23, 1984:
“The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance. … Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion?”
William J. Federer is a best-selling author, former U.S. congressional candidate and president of Amerisearch, Inc. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet.