- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently said Democrats will
soon formulate a strategy to pass the federal hate crimes bill, HR 256.
This comment should deeply concern all freedom-loving Americans.
- What is Pelosi's strategy? Several aspects can be reasonably
- The present hate crimes bill now in the House Judiciary
Committee, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is not the real federal
hate crimes bill for which most Democrats lust. It is a three-page abbreviation
of the 5-page hate bill which passed the House two years ago. It only grants
the federal government power to invade states' rights in law enforcement
to punish violent hate crimes, not all bias crimes against persons or property.
- Yet even this intrusion is unprecedented, uniting federal
and local law enforcement into police state jurisdiction over violent hate
crimes. It would also elevate homosexuals to special federally protected
status as well as create a bias motivation justice system, enforceable
from the federal level. Such bias motivation as a criterion for federal
intervention would soon broaden, through judicial precedent, into a national
speech crime law, as happened in Canada. HR 256 also gives the federal
government the potential to punish "as a principal" those whose
vehement criticism of homosexuals or other federally protected groups might
"abet" (Webster: "incite") acts of violence against
them (USC Title 18, Sec. 2[a]).
- Since it will erode our First Amendment free speech,
disregarding the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Tenth Amendment guaranteeing
states' sovereign rights, even the stripped-down HR 256 should be shocking
enough to raise a howl of protest to Washington.
- But we hear no howl of protest.
- The continuing silence and inaction of major Christian/conservative
watchdog groups cannot but embolden hate bill Democrats to ask for much
more. They want the much longer, more intrusive federal hate bill, HR 2662.
It permits the federal government to penetrate states' rights not just
for violent hate crimes but for all bias crimes. In fact, HR 2662 permits
the government to investigate and punish all types of assaults and felonies
in the states! (Sec. 4) The result is enormously greater jurisdiction.
The government can also "allocate such sums as are necessary to increase
the number of personnel to prevent and respond to alleged violations"
of laws under its new jurisdiction (Sec. 6). "Prevention" of
hate crimes can thus capacitate extensive federal "anti-bias"
education programs on the state and federal level; it will massively increase
"the number of personnel" to create a federal hate crimes enforcement
and educational bureaucracy.
- The longer hate bill also gives the federal government
power to overturn the verdicts of state hate crime trials. It also says
no state may be without a hate law. If it is, the government may impose
its own hate crimes jurisdiction (Sec. 7). (See my detailed analysis of
the longer hate bill, S. 1145, here at www.truthtellers.org.)
- The Decoy Strategy
- Why haven't Democrats put HR 2662 out front? It's part
of an old decoy strategy, sometimes used to introduce very controversial
legislation. First, an abbreviated version of the desired bill is introduced
to test the waters. Busy members of Congress, perhaps responding to controversy
over this new legislation, read the bill with its seemingly modest requests.
Its critics seem unjustified. From then on, lawmakers' minds are made up:
any furor about the bill lacks credibility. A month or two later, the bill's
backers introduce the full-length bill. Its name and number are unfamiliar,
unsullied by controversy. If the bill's backers control the judiciary committees,
they move the new bill through rapidly, preferably as an amendment to a
much more important or popular piece of "must-pass" legislation.
Suddenly confronted with the new bill, which in the present case is described
as "the hate crimes bill" they support, the politicians pass
it. Victims of bait-and-switch, they vote for legislation they thought
- In the last Congress, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention
Act, HR 254, was introduced in early January 2007 to serve as decoy. Primarily
as a result of alerts by our National Prayer Network, it met heavy opposition
as angry Americans incessantly protested to members of the House Judiciary
- Then in March, the liberals abandoned it as Rep. John
Conyers introduced HR 2662. The Democrats mounted a campaign to rapidly
pass HR 2662.
- But it didn't work. Too much controversy had been generated
by callers from the evangelical and far right. Eleven spirited Republicans
in the House Judiciary drew the attention of Congress to its failings during
several days of turbulent and highly publicized hearings. The hate bill's
chances evaporated as Pres. Bush promised to veto it.
- Will Pelosi and House Democrats introduce their real
hate bill soon? That's likely--especially since they now face a fraction
of the fight that met them in 2007. Why? It may be that the largest Christian
watchdog groups have read the disarming language of HR 256 and, like busy
politicians, do not feel particularly threatened. To them HR 256 might
look like modest government encroachment into states' prosecution of violent
hate crimes yes, more creeping federalism, but, what else is new?
- Such "watchdogs" may be the first (and most
significant) victims of HR 256's bait-and-switch. Because of their superficial
understanding of hate law deviousness and strategy, they dawdle. Their
evangelical supporters, conditioned to follow, also wait. "After all,"
they ask, "if there really was a dire emergency, wouldn't Jay Sekulow,
Dr. Dobson, Family Research Council, American Family Association, and Concerned
Women for America loudly warn us?"
- Don't count on it.
- The Lie-Low Strategy
- Another time-honored strategy to pass controversial legislation
is to let the bill lie in a Judiciary subcommittee until protest dies and
some other issue rivets the attention of opponents. The bill is then quickly
attached as a rider to another piece of legislation sure to pass.
- This happened in 2005 when the hate bill met opposition
in the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime and was left there for nine
months. Everyone, including Republicans in the Judiciary, thought it was
dead. Then it suddenly appeared on the floor of the House and was passed
in 45 minutes. Unprepared Republicans presented no opposition.
- If this strategy coincides with some horrific hate crime,
heightening public sympathy, so much the easier!
- The full details of Pelosi's developing hate bill strategy
are of course only known to insiders. We do know Congressional Democrats
have never been more determined to pass a federal hate crimes bill or more
empowered to do so.
- It's Up to Us
- This leaves you and me--and Almighty God--to keep America
from becoming a hate laws police state like Canada. But such odds should
not daunt us.
- In literally every battle which God won for Israel in
the Old Testament, He did it preferring a small minority against overwhelming
opposition. This was so He got the credit, and drew human attention to
His power and love. Historically, that's exactly how He has helped us defeat
the hate bill five times over the past 10 years. We are free today not
because of the magnitude of our protest but because, at the last minute,
God caused hate bill forces to behave irrationally. What matters is that
we, like Sampson, Gideon, David, etc., do our utmost in faith and action.
- God used a small, smooth stone in David's hand to fell
Goliath. Today, He has already defeated the hate bill through assistance
of another small, smooth object in our hand--a telephone.
- Use it NOW to topple the hate bill giant!
- Call toll-free 1-877-851-6437 or toll 1-202-225-3121.
Tell your members of Congress, "Please don't vote for any hate crimes
legislation. Don't vote for HR 256 and HR 262." Call all 39 crucial
members of the House Judiciary Committee, available here at www.truthtellers.org.
Ask them to watch NPN's dynamic 10-minute video on the home page of www.truthtellers.org
which explains how HR 256 and HR 262 threaten freedom.