Recently, the federal hate crimes bill passed in the House of Representatives by a voteof 249 to 175. But not everyone believes this piece of legislation is a great idea. They are cautioning many supporters that such a law is a two-edged sword and may have unintended consequences that includes misuse by overzealous and politically motivated prosecutors. During a discussion of HR 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, opponents of the proposed law offered compelling arguments for scrapping the bill. For example, Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics contained in the bureau's annual Uniform Crime Report showed that the number of so-called hate crimes has actually declined over the last 10 years. Also, the last UCR released by the FBI revealed that of the approximately 17,000 homicides that occurred in the U.S., only 9 of the murders were determined to be motivated by bias.
Some of the provisions contained in HR 1913 include:
· Federalization of crimes that already are being effectively prosecuted by our States and local governments.
· The forcing of law enforcement officials and prosecutors to gather evidence of the offender's thoughts and words, regardless of the criminality of his actions.
· Blurring the line between violent belief, which is constitutionally protected, and violent action, which is not.
"This new law opens the door to suspects being questioned about their thoughts rather than their actions. Are we going to start interrogating people about what they are or were thinking?" asks a New York City detective who opposes the law.
"We already have a hate crime law in our state Penal Code. What are the feds doing getting involved in state crimes?" said the veteran cop on condition of anonymity.
During a discussion of the new law, US Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia voiced his opposition to HR 1913 and explained why he voted against it.
“Regardless of its motivation, I believe that every violent crime is appalling. Furthermore, I believe that all people should be equally protected by law from violence, no matter who they are," said Broun, who is also a licensed physician.
“In addition to posing a litany of constitutional problems, today’s legislation alarmingly overturns the cornerstone of equality in our justice system by placing a higher value on one life over another. In no way could I support a bill that more harshly punishes criminals who kill a homosexual, transvestite or transsexual than criminals who kill a police officer, a member of the military, a child, or a senior citizen. I believe that all victims should have equal worth in the eyes of the law," said Rep. Broun. “This unconstitutional hate crimes bill also raises the possibility that religious leaders or members of religious groups could become the subject of a criminal investigation focusing on a suspect's religious beliefs, membership in religious organizations and any statements made by a suspect," said Congressman Paul Broun. "Religious leaders and others who express their constitutionally protected beliefs should not be silenced out of fear of prosecution,” he said,
The US Senate has a similar version of the bill and will no doubt vote soon on their own hate crimes legislation.
Romans 5 1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Our Founding Father's of this beautiful nation were God-Fearing men. They wanted Separation of Church and State not because of what the newsmen and politicians tell you today, but because they did not what a Government to tell them how or how they could not worship God. If you have time to Google, then look back at what 52 of the 55 men who signed our Declaration of Independence had to say about their beliefs in Christ and the Word of God. We should strive as Legacy Dad's to pray for God-Fearing leaders and to be the hands and feet of Christ. Let us leave our biases and predjudices and insecurities at the foot of the Cross and step out in a leap of Faith and do what Christ calls us to do (Mathew 28).