Court Upholds Law That Could Imprison Pastors
The Wake-up Herald
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Romans 13:11-14
Robert McCurry, Editor & Publisher
November 2, 2012
Court Upholds Law That Could Imprison Pastors For Preaching Biblical Doctrines
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. The law was pushed by every gay rights organization in the country. They claim that anyone who says anything negative about homosexuality is guilty of bullying them and therefore constitutes a hate crime.
Under the strictest definition of the law, any biblical preaching against sin in general, especially that of homosexuality could be considered hate language and therefore a hate crime. If convicted of the felony offense, a person could spend as much as 10 years in prison.
In 2010, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act’s constitutionality was challenged in court by the American Family Association of Michigan along with several Michigan pastors, Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette and James Combs. The pastors and AFA of Michigan president Gary Glenn actively preached against homosexuality and that it was a sin according to the Bible. They saw the Hate Crimes Prevention Act as a violation of their constitutional rights for free speech and religion. Their federal lawsuit was filed against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Later that year Holder filed for a dismissal of the lawsuit on the grounds of standing and ripeness. Standing and ripeness are legal terms that have to do with their legal ability to file the suit for future circumstances that may or may not ever happen. A federal district judge granted Holder’s request and dismissed the lawsuit.
The dismissal ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by Robert Muise, Senior Counsel and Co-Founder of AFLC Co. Muise argued his case before the court in January of this year. The Sixth Circuit also dismissed the case claiming that the plaintiffs did not have proper legal standing to challenge the law.
After the disappointing news of the dismissal, Muise commented:
“There is no doubt that this federal criminal statute violates the First Amendment on its face. Thus, the Act chills the exercise of free speech, specifically the free speech of our clients, who speak out against homosexuality. This chilling effect is sufficient to confer standing to challenge the Act as a matter of law.”
David Yerushalmi, another Senior Counsel and Co-Founder of AFLC offered this statement:
“Criminalizing religious opposition to homosexuality while elevating those who engage in homosexual acts to a protected class under federal law is a clear violation of the Constitution and a frightening abuse of federal power.”
Not every member of Congress was in favor of the bill as it was passed when the Democrats ruled both the House and Senate. Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) wrote to AFLC on their efforts to challenge the legality of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act saying:
“I want to commend you for your courage to challenge the constitutionality of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. As a Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, I worked hard to stop this legislation in Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives. . . . Like you, I believe this ‘Hate Crimes’ Act is unconstitutional and marks an unprecedented move to regulate and criminalize thoughts.”
This week, the AFLC took steps to have their case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court by filing a writ of certiorari. They are asking the high court to review the lower courts’ decisions to dismiss the case that challenges the constitutionality of the Hate Crimes law.
If the Supreme Court rejects the request to hear the case, then the Hate Crimes Prevention Act may and will be used against anyone that says or does anything that a homosexual deems offensive or hurts their pride and self-esteem. Pastors in churches across the country could find themselves facing 10 years in prison for preaching God’s Word.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act protects perverted sinners from having their feelings hurt, but it does nothing to protect Christians from having someone like a homosexual denigrate their beliefs and feelings. They will still be allowed to say what they want about Jesus Christ or anyone that follows Him and that won’t be considered hate language. But tell someone that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin against God and you could go to jail.
This ladies and gentlemen is Obama’s agenda and if he gets re-elected next week, it will only get worse for us Christians. It will be the first time in our nation’s history that Christians will be openly and legally persecuted.
Dave Jolly, Last Resistance, November 2, 2012
Wake-up, Pastors! Wake-up, Christians!
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The Wake-Up Herald is published by Robert McCurry. The publication is designed to exalt the true God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and inform, inspire, and challenge its readers regarding biblical truth and real-life issues. The contents are the sole responsibility of Robert McCurry and do not represent or speak for or on behalf of any other person or group. There is no subscription charge. The publication is a ministry of faith dependent on the contributions of its readers. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Send all correspondence to: Robert McCurry,605 Moore Rd, Newnan, GA 30263 or firstname.lastname@example.org Remove? Send reply with “remove” in Subject line