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28 October, 2008 By Rev. Ted Pike

“Preachers of hate” must now recant their views or stay out of the United Kingdom. On October 28, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith introduced Orwellian new rules meant to keep out of the UK foreign-born people who allegedly want to incite religious or racial hatred. Over 200 people have already been put on a no-entry list; they usually don’t know it until they’re prevented from entering the country. Now the watch list will become public and shared with other nations, so the unwanted can be “named and shamed.” According to the Guardian, the list includes mostly neo-Nazis, anti-abortionists, and extremist Muslim clerics. For now.

“These measures are aimed at preventing anyone who will stir up tensions in the UK from entering the country,” said a government official. Wow! That list could get pretty long, pretty fast. It would include every social or religious reformer in the world’s history.

These unwanted agitators “will also be placed on international watch lists which tell other countries that they have been banned and why they were not allowed in.” If the EU decides to hop on board, it can easily sanction countries which do let rebels in. Globalization won’t just mean a Starbucks on every corner; it will mean a ban in every airport.

It is bad enough to create speech laws that criminalize what people want to say. But these laws refuse entry to those with “unacceptable” ideas, before they’ve even committed a speech crime!

The Guardian claims the law “does not permit somebody to be banned for simply holding disagreeable political views but will apply to those who advocate illegal means to further them.” Yet the same article explains that some people were listed for “inciting hatred.” This can be done merely by expressing ideas or pointing out the truth about another person or group of people.

It should frighten us all to realize the elite of our western societies have embraced bans on hatred, an emotion, and the words and ideas that can create it. Emotions, thoughts, and beliefs should never fall under the gavel of government. Yet in our modern society, a woman enjoys more privilege and “right to privacy” over the unborn person in her womb than over the thoughts in her own mind. Her “right to her own body” means she can end that life; yet in Canada and many nations of Europe she is not allowed to express ideas, true or not, that might “incite hatred” against certain groups.

Muslim clerics are hardly the only people who will land on these watch lists. The powerful Jewish Anti-Defamation League claims that Christians “incite hatred” by believing and teaching New Testament doctrines. (See, ADL's Foxman: New Testament is Anti-Semitic) How long will it be before Christianity itself is outlawed as a public menace?

That might sound crazy, considering how much of our nation is still red-state territory and heartily evangelical. Yet our U.S. State Department's Office of Global Anti-Semitism already says Christians who believe Jewish leaders had Christ crucified are "classic anti-Semites." (See, Bible is Hate, says U.S. Government) In Canada (presumably a Christian nation), making such a charge from the pulpit is said to hold Jews up to "hatred and contempt" as "Christ-killers;" this speech crime can be punished with a $5000 fine. That's just for the first offense. Prison will follow for pastors who won't stop preaching the New Testament record.

Consider these ominous U.S. examples. A Virginia pastor and town councilman is challenging a Supreme Court ruling that forbids him from ending his prayers “in Jesus’ name,” even though prayer that doesn’t mention Jesus is allowed. An Oklahoma mayor quickly backed out of partially funding a sidewalk sculpture of Jesus, after heat from “church-state separation” groups; the same town had to pay $200,000 in legal fees last year after losing a court battle to keep the cross on their seal. College students in California faced rebuke and letters of suspension for praying on campus for their sick teacher.

If Christianity is so hateful that public expression of it must be silenced, how long before Christians fill the pages of international watch lists? It will not be long. Christians and all Americans must loudly oppose the criminalization of hatred, however noble that might sound—and the criminalization of speech, however offensive the speech.

current Ted Pike photo
Ted, today - photo: John Pike, October 2019
Mail: P.O. Box 828, Clackamas, OR 97015
Email: Rev. Ted Pike

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