H.R. 1913 Will Not Stop Preaching

by Bryant Evans on May 3, 2009

763px-handcuffssvgBrethren are being warned about the passage, in the U.S. House, of H.R. 1913. The bill is called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The warnings tell of future prosecution or persecution of preachers who speak Biblically against homosexuality.

We are all sensitive to any threat against the pulpit. Some in our culture would love to stop all preaching especially that which brings to light their own sins (John 3:19). God’s men have preached against sin in good times and in bad and will continue to do so no matter what threats may appear (2 Timothy 4:2).

H.R. 1913 will not shut down the pulpit as warned by some and likely will not open the door for federal seizures of preacher’s computers, books, files etc.

Here are some things about the bill typically left out of the dire warnings:

  • Hate crimes against religion are protected in this bill along with hate crimes against “NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY” (actual language, Section 6).
  • The bill specifically targets those who commit a crime “through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerouse [sic] weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device” (actual language, Section  6).
  • The bill specifically excludes any activities protected by the Constitution (Section 8). The First Amendment secures our right to practice religion and to engage in free speech.

Homosexuality is sinful (Romans 1:26, 27) and should be opposed. But let us be so careful in our church bulletins and our emails. Inaccurate reporting of legislation, although with good, solid motives, is harmful and should be avoided.

The larger question is whether preacher’s will stand for truth or cave in to  the latest fad or trend. Even if the government should somehow ban preaching altogether, faithful men will continue to preach the words of God loudly and  publically.

If you are still concerned you should know that your local Congressman, Jo Bonner, voted against the measure. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where your Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is the ranking member.

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{ 1 comment }

grey seal May 27, 2009 at 7:45 pm

This particular Legislation is merely an amendment to the Washington D.C Municipal Code. Legislation for D.C is always styled as being held at the City of Washington. Always remember that Congress legislates for the City of D.C. This legislation has no application in the several states of the Union.
Pasted below is the genesis for title 18 248, H.R 1913 is an addition to Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994?.

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 248

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, § 330023(a)(2), amended section catchline generally. Prior to amendment, catchline read as follows: “§ 248 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances.”

One Hundred Third Congress
of the
United States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
the twenty-fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four
An Act
To amend title 18, United States Code, to assure freedom of access to reproductive
services.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994?.

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