The Water Is Getting Hotter|
In the June 22, 2008, edition of The Creekview Bulletin, I wrote an article entitled “The Parable of the Boiling Frog.” In that article, I recounted the story of the frog that jumps when dropped in a pot of boiling water but does not jump from a slowly heated pot of water. When the water is heated slowly, the frog boils to death because it does not detect the gradual increase in heat. The story is a parable that represents the dangerous way that sin has progressed. Many sins that were rejected fifty years ago are now accepted because of the slow and steady influence of wickedness that has crept in virtually unnoticed. Specifically, homosexuality has a place in our nation that was unthinkable just fifty years ago. Today, there are even four states that issue marriage licenses to homosexual persons (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, and, beginning in September of 2009, Vermont).
Now, in terms of the parable of the boiling frog, the water is getting hotter. This past Thursday (April 23, 2009), the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that could be used to bring charges against Christians who speak against homosexuality. The bill is H.R. 1913, which is called the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” and it will soon go before the full U.S. House of Representatives for voting. The law would give federally preferred status to victims of crime who identify themselves according to their sexually deviant behaviors. If the crime is determined to be bias-motivated by a court, then additional penalties will be applied to the perpetrator. Such a law is unnecessary, for all citizens of the United States are guaranteed equal protection under the law according to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, but the pressures of political correctness and the homosexual agenda have influenced legislators.
On the surface, this bill sounds safe enough for Christians, for we do not commit or advocate violent crimes against anyone (Rom. 12:17-21). In fact, Rep. John Conyers, who introduced the bill, assures us that “The bill only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way.” The language of the bill even states, “Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
So then, how could this legislation be used to prosecute Christians who speak against homosexuality? Let us understand that the stated intentions of legislators are easily discarded if not expressly written in the law. The term “expressive conduct” and the language of H.R. 1913 are left open to interpretation, and members of the Committee refused to adopt specific language to protect religious speech. Without specific protections, H.R. 1913 can be used to prosecute Christians through application of United States Code Title 18, Section 2. This Code can be used to prosecute anyone who “aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures” the commission of a crime. This means that if someone commits a “hate crime” according to this H.R. 1913 and says that he did so because he heard a Christian say homosexuality was sinful, then that Christian can be charged with the same crime.
Going back to the parable of the boiling frog, this law, if passed, represents another gradual increase in the heat that is killing our nation unnoticed. It is not as if the police will go out and round up Christians en masse if H.R. 1913 is voted and signed into law. Such an action would cause revolts and outcries throughout the nation. Instead, this type of legislation provides a covert way to get the justification on the books so that prosecutors can use it against Christians at their discretion. Just one or two cases of a person prosecuted for speaking against homosexuality will be enough to intimidate most people from speaking out in the future. Once the climate of intimidation and political correctness is firmly set, then lawmakers can go ahead with full prohibition of such speech.
Am I overreacting to this bill in Congress? Maybe so, but then who would have ever thought that we would see so-called homosexual marriage in this country? Dear Christians, let us not be carried away by the current mentality of our nation regarding homosexuality. The practice of homosexuality has always been an abomination to God (Gen. 13:13; 19:5-7; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; 1Ki. 14:24; Rom. 1:24-27; 1Cor. 6:9; Jude 7), and it still is. However, our nation is becoming more and more accepting of this sinful behavior and less and less tolerant of those of us who oppose it. Are we going to stand by the truth of God, or are we going to be blown away by the winds of political correctness? Are we ready to bear reproaches, tribulations, the seizure of property, and even imprisonment for the truth (Heb. 10:32-34;13:3)? This has always been a hypothetical question for most of us, but it is now becoming very real. The water is getting very hot.
Stacey E. Durham
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