Tuesday, June 23, 2009

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint urges pastors and religious leaders to defeat federal Hate Crimes legislation

by Madison Reed

Today, Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX.ORG), a national anti-gay non-profit organization, published a letter, "Hate Crime Legislation Must be Stopped" addressed to "Pastors and Religious Leaders" from U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC). His letter was in reaction to the pending Senate version of federal hate crimes legislation, known as *Senate Bill 909, or the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which needs to be passed by the U.S. Senate in order to enact a hate crimes protection law in the United States.

In his letter to America's religious leaders, he accuses the U.S. government of creating policies that "have proved destructive to faith, families, and freedom in America," and adds that nothing from the past will compare to the damage that will be caused by hate crimes legislation.

The most serious aspect of federal hate crimes legislation, according to DeMint, is that "it will lead to the criminalization of biblical truths as 'hate speech.'"

The criminalization of which biblical truth I'd like to ask? Is he serious? Biblical "truth"? So much so-called biblical truth - the truth that DeMint is referring to - is nothing more than a never-ending right-wing Christian fatwa that has always supported violence, discrimination and hatred against minorities. This biblical so-called "truth" was the "social truth" of a primitive 1,500 B.C. Semitic culture - not the eternal, immutable Word of God, and certainly not applicable to 21st Century humans or even people of the 14th Century. The "biblical truth" monster has reared its ugly head over the centuries, and has been used by the ignorant of the Christian church to justify the persecution and murder of Muslims, Witches, Polynesians, Native Americans, Mormons, Africans, Chinese immigrants, poor Indians and Pakistanis, American women, Jews, homosexuals, Japanese, Communists. Homosexuals are the last remaining whipping boy of the right-wing church cult.

I know what Senator DeMint means by "biblical truth" and "hate speech." He means HATRED against homosexual, bisexual and transgendered people.

His letter also says without directly saying it, that the United States is a theocracy where biblical law is the supreme law of the land - not the Constitution - and then he uses that as a justification to Christian religious leaders to call on them to rise up and defeat the pending federal hate crimes legislation.

Has Senator DeMint crossed the line? The last time I checked, an elected federal representative - especially a member of Congress - is required to uphold our federal Constitution and protect all Americans!

The United States was not founded upon Christianity. Its foundation was based upon universal spiritual values that are common to the hearts of all human beings who are free to feel, to think, and to express their own destinies. And the Bible is not the law of the United States, was never intended to be, nor is it the Constitution, the supreme law of the United States of America. It is dangerous for a member of Congress to be using the influence of his office to the detriment of Americans who are different by race, religion or sexual orientation, not to mention that Senator DeMint's activities as an elected official operating in his official capacity, rallying rightwing Christians to defeat federal hate crimes legislation, undermines Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

Just in case some of you have forgotten the sworn oath that elected officials are required to take before they take public office, here's the oath that Senator DeMint took before he was allowed to become a Senator to represent American people:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
After reading Senator DeMint's signed letter to religious leaders, do you believe Senator DeMint is upholding his sworn oath, guarding the separation of government from religion, and defending the liberty of all Americans when he advocates the protection of the status quo environment of anything-goes-with-acts-of-hate toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans?

And I wonder why Senator DeMint hasn't mentioned his letter religious leaders on his official website or blog? To limit its exposure to the public 's eye, because his letter is written in his capacity as an officer of the United States - while stealthily getting the message to many conservative Christian organizations (potential voters) that he's on the side of the Bible?

Rightwing homophobes like Senator Jim DeMint, David Duke, Alan Keyes, Ted Pike, Devvy Kidd, Fred Phelps, Jeremy Dys, Henry Makow, and Phyliss Schlafly, along with other homophobic organizations such as the Family Policy Council network, are working feverishly to do everything within their power, including the use of lies, fear and coercion to frighten voters, to prevent the passage of this critically needed legislation. They've been urging their supporters to to jam congressional switchboards with demands not to pass Senate bill 909.

I urge Americans to contact Senator DeMint by email, fax and telephone, and tell him that his letter to Christian religious leaders crosses the line of separation between church and state, and that it is wrong for him, as a member of Congress to advocate the continuation of the status quo of hatred and persecution that he knows is so harmful to LGBT Americans. Remind him that the Constitution, not biblical law, is the supreme law of the United States, and urge him to change his mind and do what's right and support *Senate Bill 909, the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

If you contact Senator DeMint by email, it is more effective if you follow your email with a phone call to his office to lodge you protest. Then, send a hardcopy letter by mail or fax. This gets the best results.

Senator Jim DeMint
United States Senate
340 Russell
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6121
Fax: 202-228-5143
Office Hours: 9am - 6pm (M-F)

*On April 29, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for and passed H. R. 1913 - the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 - the House's version of federal hate crimes legislation. The Senate version, S. 909 - known as the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act - is still waiting to come up for a vote in the Senate.

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