MEDIA MOCKS CYBERBULLYING BILL
By Rev. Ted Pike
3 Oct 09
After Wednesday’s hearing on the cyberbullying bill (HR
1966) in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, internet media,
including The New York Times, has lost little time expressing skepticism – even
mockery of the Anti-Defamation League’s internet hate bill.
Popular Science says HR 1966 “leaves reason at the door” as
it “attempts to criminalize cyber-bullying with vague language
that butts up against free speech rights in a wide range of ways.” But
it derisively believes Congress will probably pass the bill since “we
can trust Congress to make the craziest, least practical choice.”(1)
In an article entitled “Dangerous Opinions Ahead,” ECN
Magazine says that, in a rare instance, both the left and right stand
opposed to HR 1966. “Make no bones about it—the proposed
legislation is a serious assault on first amendment rights...overreaching… an
ambiguous piece of legislation…Theoretically, the law would
prevent about 99% of political discourse—anyone feeling offended
could claim “emotional distress.” This is a steep infringement
of first amendment rights. We cannot hope to legislate how people think." (2)
The New York Times editorial “Vague Cyber-Bullying Law” comments: “Lawmakers
should enact laws that can withstand challenge to give prosecutors
tools to go after bullying of all kinds. What prosecutors cannot do
is stretch federal law to label run-of-the-mill Internet activity as
Wired.com says 1966 “was met with little enthusiasm by a House
subcommittee on Wednesday…From the outset of the 90-minute hearing…committee
members from the left and the right said they thought the measure was
an unconstitutional breach of free speech. “We need to be extremely
careful before heading down this path,” Bobby Scott, a Democrat
from Virginia and the committee’s chairman, said during the hearing’s
opening moment." (4)
What America saw in the House committee hearing on Wednesday was the
torpedoing of the cyberbullying bill (and probably the AWARE bill)
by expert Constitutional authorities. I believe both these bills are
now burning, listing badly, and likely to go down. My opinion is shared
by the Judiciary expert of one of the most powerful House Republicans.
He said, "I hate to make predictions, but any bill that receives
as cool a reception in the crime subcommittee is probably doomed."
We may be experiencing a great victory not only over the cyberbullying
bill but also its companion, AWARE, HR 3630, which would fund to the
tune of $125 million over five years the cyberbullying bill's message
to schoolchildren in America: Any intention to criticize homosexuality
over the internet that causes "substantial emotional distress" to
homosexuals is criminal, worthy of two years in prison.
This initial negative response also dooms ADL's Safe Schools Improvement
Act, HR 2662, which would criminalize "repeated and persuasive" criticism
of homosexuality in the public school system, describing it as "violence."
Three ADL hate bills possibly down! --- and this after Dr. James Dobson
turned off the Christian/conservative resistance this spring, pronouncing
that nothing could be done to defeat hate crimes legislation, except
In fact, the religious right, neutralized by Dobson in the hate bill
fight and directed instead toward healthcare protest and revenge on
the Democrats at midterms next year, remains virtually oblivious even
to the existence of these dangerous bills. Result: It has done next
to nothing to oppose them. Only the National Prayer Network has been
in the forefront of opposition to these three bills, marshaling encouragement
to Republicans this week through heavy calling.
Are we done fighting? We have only begun to fight and
win! Stay tuned
for my next weekend article in which I explain how each of us can endeavor
to repeat this success again and again in the upcoming hearings against
ADL’s monster hate crimes law for the
Let the Anti-Defamation League teach you how they have saddled 45 states
with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians, and spearhead attempts to pass
the federal hate crimes bill: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
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