HOW DR. D. JAMES KENNEDY HELPED SAVE
By Rev. Ted Pike
5 Aug 05
The summer of 2000 was a time of very great danger to free speech.
In 1971, B’nai B’rith, an international, Jewish religious,
educational, and fraternal organization, had persuaded Canada’s
parliament to make Canada an “anti-hate” bureaucracy,
ending free speech. By 2000, after a decade of convincing 47 of the
50 U. S. states to adopt some version of its “Model Anti-Hate
Statute,” B’nai B’rith’s “Anti-Defamation
League” was poised to obtain its ultimate goal: passage of
its massive federal “anti-hate” bill, “The Local
Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2000.”
This Orwellian legislation would have gradually transformed America,
just as B’nai B’rith’s “Canadian Human Rights
Act” did to Canada in 1971, into a “thought crime” police
state. Very soon, as in Canada, through enabling legislation and
ever-widening judicial precedents, a federal hate law would have
overflowed its boundaries. Public criticism of homosexuality or questioning
the six million figure of the Holocaust would have become a “hate
crime.” Freedom of speech, as we know it, and free speech talk
radio, would have disappeared.
Yes, Americans and talk radio would have remained free to criticize
non-controversial subjects. But a chill on discussion of any subjects
the government, the ADL, and FCC considered “taboo” would
have descended on America.
The summer of 2000 marked the end of a ten year “winning
streak” for ADL in state legislatures. During the 90’s,
state senators and representatives had eagerly passed ADL-sponsored
hate bills. Such laws, still in place in 46 of the 50 states, are
very similar to ADL’s Pennsylvania hate law. It authorized
arrest and imprisonment of eleven Christians, on Oct. 10th, for the “hate
crime” of preaching the gospel, threatening 47 years in prison
for each defendant, including a seventeen-year old girl.
During the summer of 2000, the same pro-hate-law mentality prevailed
in Congress. Majorities in both the House and Senate supported the
ADL’s federal hate bill, attached as an amendment, or “rider,” to
a federal arms bill. House Conferees had been firmly instructed by
a majority of House Republicans to go along with the Senate and quickly
vote it into law.
Then, something totally unexpected happened. A Christian/conservative
leader and televangelist, Dr. D. James Kennedy, stood up and said “NO!”
In the crucial last several weeks before the final vote on the
hate bill in the fall, Dr. Kennedy mass-mailed perhaps more than
a million alerts against the hate bill to Christians and conservatives
Immediately, protests flooded Congress. Emboldened by such support,
a minority of House Republicans, as well as some Senate Republicans,
defied the majorities in both houses of Congress. Result: During
conference between the House and Senate to determine whether the
ADL’s hate bill should remain as part of the arms bill, many
of those Republicans, as conferees, voted to delete it. Gone were
ADL’s hopes for another year.
Although Dr. Kennedy, like all leaders of large Christian/conservative
organizations, has subsequently gone virtually silent concerning
hate crime legislation, still, America owes a great debt of gratitude
for his timely, last-minute intervention.
He encouraged a minority of dedicated House and Senate Republicans
to stand tall in defense of free speech. That minority still exists
and needs encouragement. The relentless power of ADL continues to
focus huge lobbying power to make free speech in America, as in Canada,
only a memory.
This Republican minority, heartened by periodic outbursts of public
encouragement, has, over the past five years, repeatedly spelled
doom for the ADL’s hate bill. They still constitute the bulk
of Republican conferees – a small but very potent contingent
allied with House Majority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt and Senate Majority
leader Sen. Bill Frist.
The ADL habitually hides its outrageous hate bill from public and
Congressional scrutiny by camouflaging it as “pork” -
an amendment on the “underbelly” of massive arms bills
that are sure to pass. However, ADL is perpetually frustrated when
their hidden “rider” is cut off by vigilant Republican
NEW ADL STRATEGY?
On the other hand, ADL has always been able to persuade large majorities
in both houses of Congress to favor its hate bills. In fact, ADL
may well be able to muster such support in the present Congress.
With this sobering reality in mind, defenders of free speech must
be prepared for a possible scenario I have dreaded: ADL may abandon
their failed strategy of introducing their hate bill through the “back
door,” as a rider and, instead, go boldly through the “front
door.” They may ask their majority of “pro-hate laws” members
of Congress to fulfill their pledges and vote directly in its favor.
If this happens and succeeds, the unique veto power of the Republican
minority of conferees to over-ride the ADL’s majority will
Thus, it is vital that lovers of free speech redouble their efforts
to educate others and protest to Congress against HR 2662, S 1145.
Also, we have desperate need, as in 2000, for national new right
leaders, like Dr. Kennedy, to educate the church and nation against
the pending federal hate bill.
Dr. Kennedy showed what power one large Christian/conservative
organization can wield to change the course of history at a time
of great danger.
Does America still have a national political or religious leader
who will perform such a great service?
I don’t know.
But I wish Dr. Kennedy would do it again.