|Volume 3||July 15, 2004||Issue 11|
A Letter From Prison
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for your prayers and concern on my behalf. It has been seven weeks since my arrest. Time goes slowly here and there is a lot of time to think about the actions that put me here. I believe that if I were given the chance to be free again, as you are today, I'd become very active in trying to prevent having things like I've done become a crime that caused me to be removed from society.
At the risk of boring you with endless details, I want to give you an account of the actions that lead to my imprisonment. I have to start several years ago and come to the present. In the summer of 1987 I had the opportunity to hear the Gospel spoken by a bold preacher who you might say scared "hell" out of me by his vivid description of man's fall and the eternal destiny of those who refuse to accept the sacrifice given by God Himself. As the preacher preached, he made it clear that not only was man lost without the blood of Christ but there was salvation through accepting Christ in baptism. I was baptized and dedicated my life to Christ shortly after hearing that sermon. I have kept my commitment from that day to now. So you ask then, how have I gotten myself in prison?
Well, after being baptized, I continued to learn Scripture and taught others. Some of those whom I taught accepted the Gospel and joined with me in the Christian walk. As the landscape changed in the world and various "religious" movements became more widely accepted, I became more and more immersed in "church work" and involvement with other Christians. We had our own culture within the broader culture of the country. I spent as much time as I could in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Why, we even had our own ball teams, our own quilting clubs, our own family movie nights — you name it and we did it — together. It was great!
I was unaware that while there was peace and tranquility within the confines of the church building, a war was going on in the public arena. I learned all too late that while I was doing good works within the church, there were things going on outside of the church that would make what I was teaching an offense that would be treated as a "hate crime" punishable by imprisonment!
My particular offense was very innocent but nonetheless enough cause for my arrest and subsequent imprisonment. Here is what happened. I was having a discussion over lunch with an acquaintance and the subject of homosexuality came up. I was asked the question, "Do you think God will send someone to hell for practicing homosexuality?" I responded by reciting some Biblical verses that listed several offenses that God said were abominable to Him — one of which was homosexuality. Our conversation was overheard by someone in the next booth and the next thing I knew, I was being arrested on the charge of "using hate speech." I was unaware that during the time I had been so busily engaged in "church work," a law had been passed that stated that any talk denouncing homosexuality was considered to be "hate speech." So here I am. Please keep me in your prayers.
Far fetched, you say? — maybe not in a far away country — but here? — here in America? No way!! We're blessed with free speech in this country! Dear Christian friends, keep on reading. The rest of this article is REAL!!!
June 17, 2004 — Massachusetts News
Ted Kennedy's "Hate Crimes Bill" Passes U.S. Senate, 65-33
The addition of homosexuality to the federal Hate Crimes Bill as a result of leadership of Senator Ted Kennedy will lead to persecution of Christians and Jews, says Robert Knight of Concerned Women for America,..."Using similar laws, the mere criticism of homosexuality is considered a 'hate crime' in Sweden and Canada," said Knight.1
June 16, 2004 — San Francisco Chronicle
Senate OKs bill including gays as hate crime victims
Washington — ...Religious conservatives denounced the hate crimes measure... arguing that it will "lay the groundwork for the persecution of Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims and others" who believe homosexuality is wrong.2
June 29, 2004 — Ecumenical News International
Pastor sentenced to month in jail for offending homosexuals
Stockholm — A Swedish court has sentenced Ake Green, a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a 2003 sermon. ...the president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, said...that religious freedom could never be used as a reason to offend people.3
November 10, 2003 — Manchester News — Manchester,
Police to Quiz Gay Row Bishop
In Britain, an Anglican bishop (Bishop Peter Forster) was placed under criminal investigation for suggesting that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation by seeking medical help. The Manchester News reports, "(During) the weekend, a complaint was made to police that his remarks — made to his local newspaper and reported by the Manchester Evening News on Saturday — had caused offense and could allegedly be described as a 'hate crime.'"4
Thursday, June 24, 2004 — The Center for Reclaiming
NOW Demands "Hate Crimes" Law for Transgendered People
Only days after the U.S. Senate passed "hate crimes" legislation offering special protections to homosexuals, the National Organization for Women is apparently appalled that the legislation did not also include transgendered people in the language of the legislation.5
Additional Reportings —
Reported February 18, 2003 — In the Saskatchewan Province of Canada, the Court of Queen's Bench has affirmed a 2001 ruling of the human rights tribunal that fined a man for submitting a newspaper ad that cited four Bible verses that condemn homosexuality...The ad listed Romans 1; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The Court ruled that the Scriptures exposed homosexuals to ridicule. (The) Christian who submitted the ad said it was "a Christian response" to Homosexual Pride Week.6
Reported May 9, 2004 — Recently in Rhea County Tennessee, two men were arrested for carrying large wooden crosses during a "Gay Day" Parade. The men were charged with "disorderly conduct" and "interfering with a special event."7
Reported May 25, 2004 — MTV... has announced that they are beginning a cable TV network to push the homosexual lifestyle....The network (LOGO) is scheduled to begin operating next February....The name LOGO... is an apparent attempt to play on the Greek word "Logos" which is used in Scripture (John 1:1-14) to identify Christ.8
Reported January 21, 2004 — A senior at Dupo High School in Dupo, Illinois — was suspended for one month from his daily news broadcast after signing off his December 17th broadcast with the sentence: "Have a safe and happy holiday, and God Bless." The school principal told him that the use of the words "God Bless" was inappropriate and suspended him from the broadcast for one month.9
Reported May 1, 2003 — Tulsa, OK — The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed a federal lawsuit challenging a policy in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma that prohibits passengers who ride the city bus from discussing religion or face removal from the bus. "Unfortunately, the city's policy puts religious speech on the same footing as fighting and using vulgar language."10
Reported August 18, 2001 — Is a vocal Christian inherently unqualified to teach biology? Some public-school officials in Minnesota think so. In a federal lawsuit filed in June 1999, (a teacher) said school administrators pulled him from the class mid-semester after questioning him about his Christian faith — even though he repeatedly told them he would not teach creationism. After admitting he believed in creation, he was subjected to another inquisition before the entire science department: "They went around the room and fired questions at me," he said. "I remember one person saying, 'What you believe is just like believing the earth is flat.'"11
Reported August 28, 2003 ...an educational agency in Western Pennsylvania... suspended a teacher's aide for wearing a cross pendant to school.12
Reported March 12, 2002 — A volunteer charitable drive at a Hampton, Va. high school has been forced to rename the activity because of a reference to Easter. A faculty advisor told the student group that its "Easter Can Drive" would have to be renamed the "Spring Can Drive." The student-run club called "Warriors for Christ," sponsors the annual Easter Can Drive for the benefit of a local YMCA Women's Shelter.13
We are currently in a political season critical to all Americans. The ability to legislate for morally wrong behavior and against morally right behavior is in the hands of voters. In America at this time, there is the most clear distinction between candidates on important moral issues, that there has ever been in modern times. There are some candidates who vote in favor of abortion and/or elevating same sex marriage to the same level as God established male/female marriage. Some may also consistently vote in favor of any number of other morally questionable decisions.
We must also consider the infiltration of the "Hollywood Scene" into the political arena. While candidates have in past campaigns had to be somewhat cautious to not blatantly lie in political ads, Hollywood has absolutely no qualms about doing so in whatever format it selects. Those politicians who previously were at least a bit apprehensive about "slanting" facts to the point of a lie during campaigns, now have a "mouthpiece" that has absolutely no regard for the truth — thus permitting the politicians a way to "keep their hands clean" and still deceive a naive public.
The opposite of the type of candidates mentioned above, would be those candidates who vote against bills such as those that legalize marriage "arrangements" other than the God established institution between one man and one woman, or those candidates who vote against bills that encourage abortion. The type of candidates that Christians support should be those who vote in ways that allow Christian values to be respected and upheld and who vote against bills that undermine and ignore such values. Unless Christians have their heads under a rock, they cannot help but notice the importance of voting for candidates who uphold Biblical values.