HOW AMERICA STOPPED THE HATE BILL: BATTLE NOT OVER
By Rev. Ted Pike
24 Oct 05
If freedom is to be preserved, we must have many more
victories such as we experienced last Thursday when, despite all
odds, the Senate Judiciary stripped the hate bill S.1145 from the
Children’s Safety Act.
This was no fluke. It was the result of concentrated pressure on
Judiciary members. Such came, in my opinion, largely from the most
potent reservoir of concern in America: tens of thousands of die-hard
activists who listen to “far right” AM talk radio.
After the House of Representatives suddenly passed the hate bill
on September 14, 2005, I knew this Orwellian legislation would race
through the Senate Judiciary Committee and across the floor of the
Senate in fast track to almost certain signing by the President.
I therefore asked hundreds of thousands of listeners via dozens
of broadcasts on AM talk radio (primarily the Genesis and Republic
networks) to do the unprecedented: not just fulfill the usual “call
your members of Congress” obligation but also contact every
crucial Republican Senator in the Senate Judiciary Committee. About
two weeks later, I took to the airwaves again requesting that they
protest to all 55 Republican members of the Senate.
LIGHT ON CAPITOL HILL
Like sunlight focusing through a prism onto dry grass, the heat
on the Judiciary became intense. Finally, it broke into flame as
Senator Orrin Hatch compelled a voice vote of Senate Judiciary members
to declare against the hate bill. The Children’s Safety Act,
modified to become the Sex Offenders Registration Act, S.1086, was
then allowed to proceed toward the Senate unencumbered by the hate
Incidentally, for three hours, the call-in lines were jammed
as, on two major broadcasts on big Salt Lake City talk radio, I roused
the people of Utah against the hate bill. Such heat was good for
Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch because three years ago he joined with
Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Gordon Smith in support of a “modified” hate
bill, which was actually much more dangerous than the hate bill that
preceded it. Hatch said it was time for America “to grow up
and pass the hate bill.” Since then, Hatch has come back to
his former position and opposed the hate bill. Last Thursday, with
fires of a Mormon constituency beneath him, Senator Hatch took leadership
in refusing to add S.1145 to the Sex Offenders Registration Act.
He showed himself the champion of all who love freedom.
JOINING FORCES FOR VICTORY
Over the past year, about 40 talk show hosts have been working closely
with me, warning of the hate bill’s imminent passage. We were
vividly aware that on September 28, 2004, House members, by a symbolic
procedural motion, voted 213 to 186 in favor of the hate bill. Since
then, the House had been poised to pass it at the first opportunity.
After more than a year of preparation, vast audiences of the far
right were ready for action. This is a highly concerned audience,
most of whom have made the decision to get their news and views from
shortwave or the Internet. They are a concentrated pool of very focused
activists who showed themselves willing to phone, email, and phone
again exactly where and when it is needed.
After the hate bill was approved by the House on September 14th,
national New Right Christian leaders, such as Dr. James Dobson and
Beverly LaHaye, sounded the alarm to their massive evangelical audiences.
Without doubt, the response they generated enormously contributed
to the victory last week.
Result: Victory in Congress, for a change. Hope for the future.
BACK INTO BATTLE
But there is no time to bask in victory. Senator Edward Kennedy
is determined to reattach the hate bill, S.1145, unmodified, to The
Sex Offenders Registration Act, S.1088. If that fails, he may attach
it to the Streamlined Procedures Act. Kennedy’s staffers told
me they are confident of victory, considering the Senate’s
65-to-33 vote in favor of the hate bill last year.
Since a Senate vote could occur very quickly, even within a week,
I encourage all patriots to go to their phones again. Keep up the
pressure on the 55 Republican Senators. Tell them: “Please
do not add any hate crimes bills to legislation before Congress.”
Also, let’s start protesting to Democrats in the Senate.
Dr. Dobson in a recent alert describes how Christian ex-homosexuals
have been walking the halls of the Senate office building, objecting
to the hate bill. They have been receiving a very courteous response
from Democratic Senators. Some Democrats, Dobson says, are beginning
to question whether special protection of homosexuals is really such
a good idea after all. Maybe our traditional justice system, they
query, is adequate to punish hate crimes.
At www.truthtellers.org I have listed the 44 Democrats and one
Independent. Call them. Fax them my powerful flyer and brief articles
which are posted online.
It is my fervent prayer that God will help us defeat S.1145 in
the Senate. I hope that all Christian/conservative leaders throughout
America will join me to educate the public about the recurring threat
that hate laws pose to freedom of speech and religion.
If we come before God in faith and humility, and also fulfill our
civic duty, God can give us many more “ impossible” victories.