LETTER TO BE MAILED THURSDAY:
July 31, 2003
American Center for Law and Justice
PO Box 64429
Virginia Beach, VA 23467
RE: Ethnic Intimidation, PA House Bill 1493 passed 12/3/02
Thank you for your great and necessary work.
Would you please let me know via phone message or email if your organization is familiar with the "Ethnic Intimidation" Pennsylvania House Bill 1493 that passed Dec. 3, 2002? If so, has any action been taken or is planned to help remedy this loss of the Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of practicing religion?
I've enclosed a hardcopy of the text of the bill from a conservative news/chat website where I reported it (I am "bets"). This bill in essence makes it illegal to preach or read scriptures from the Bible (as in give a sermon from the pulpit) against homosexuality: "harassment by communication or address
motivated by hatred toward
sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity
And I found out that many of my Christian friends in PA tried to stop this from passing, but couldn't, and now are at a loss as to how to proceed to get their Constitutional rights back. This is why I contacted your organization: for either your suggestions or your action. If a state or federal bill is unConstitutional, then it shouldn't take more than one citizen to file an action against it, right? How does one do that, or could you do that (or already started?).
This is the first U.S. state where I've heard that they've actually outlawed the preaching of parts of the Bible. I read a book once where a pastor in CA fought against this years ago, and won. But here it is now in force in PA (my old home state). I have an older brother in PA who is a minister, and this is very important not just for that reason, but for the sake of this not becoming a precedent for other states.
I appreciate your time and response in this Constitutional matter of freedom of religion and speech.
posted on 07/31/2003 2:49:48 AM PDT
I contribute to Jay Sekulow's organization and applaud him for his fine work.
It's my guess that he'll wait until a specific case comes up that's harmful to the Christian community, such as an individual pastor being charged for preaching a "hate sermon" under this act. Then he'll challenge the constitutionality of the act.
posted on 07/31/2003 6:46:12 AM PDT
You've started the ball rolling with your letter to the ACLJ, but don't sit back and wait for a quick reply. If you don't get a reply within ten working days give them a followup letter or e-mail. Remember to make a paper trail of your letters and e-mails, and make detailed notes of all your phone conversations.
While the letter is traveling to the ACLJ start talking to the people around you about the bill and start to build support for its defeat. Your letter said that you've talked to friends in PA about it so you've already got people on your side to work with. You have an older brother who's a minister in PA and certainly he should have some support against this bill as well. It seems that you have a readymade constituency to start working with. The trick now is to organize that constituency. Start with yourself, your brother, and close friends.
As far as support goes I'd take it from whatever quarter it came from, but I'd recommend looking among the people who have the most to lose because of this bill. The religious institutions in this nation, and the people who man them, are your best sources for support.
Most Americans are religious and don't want their religion altered by the government. Think about having pastors and ministers hold church dinners where the subject is discussed. Get pastors and ministers to mail out literature to their congregations. I'd be very surprised if some of this isn't already taking place. Above all let the backers of the bill know that they'll pay a political price at the voting booth.
Now you have to plan ahead and look at the down side. What happens if the bill isn't repealed? Then you have to find a way to emasculate it. To pull its teeth so it's an impotent piece of legislation. Challenge it in the courts, work with sympathetic politicians to add amendments to it, water it down any way you can until it's a shell without meaning. Go after the politicians who sponsered the bill and work to get them removed from office so they don't sponser another such bill.
All of this may sound difficult but it's definately doable. I said this would take time, and you've just taken a first step with your letter.
posted on 07/31/2003 8:41:22 AM PDT
(Legislation Without Representation is Tyranny)
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson