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 across America.
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 conferees.
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 be destroyed.
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.
Hate crimes laws may make you a lawbreaker! Such laws, while claiming to promote tolerance, actually lead to the end of free speech! Powerful articles and NPN's video exposé of hate crimes laws in Canada and the United States provide you with the vital tools necessary to combat this imminent threat to freedom. This video is especially important as acts of terrorism extend the power of "Big Brother" to monitor what you do, say, and think.
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