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30 April 2009

It's Okay if It's not COMPLETELY True...

Yesterday I received a forwarded e-mail containing a plea from the American Family Association. The e-mail informed me that "Congress is set to give legally protected status to 30 'sexual orientations', including INCEST, PROSTITUTION, and PEDOPHILIA!"

Yes, that's right! From the sound of it, these folks are apparently going to start getting government grants, special treatment at colleges, and then where will we be? We won't even be able to talk bad about prostitutes! (Mercifully, lawyers have not gotten their own resolution started in Congress.)

The e-mail from the AFA talked about a resolution that's going to be voted on in Congress -- H.R. 1913 -- but the odd thing was, the resolution didn't contain what the AFA's "Action Alert" reported. As I read the resolution, it would grant federal funds (right... don't get me started) to the states in order to prosecute "hate crimes". It also names a number of groups that, if ever physically attacked, would bring down the fury of the thought police: race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

I agree that this House Resolution is a bad idea (see my sarcastic "thought police" comment above). I am not against H.R. 1913 because I think that it will give us the slippery slope to granting special legal rights to pedophiles. That's not going to happen. But the very idea of "hate crimes" is off-base to me. Punish someone if they did wrong. Don't add extra years to the sentence in an effort to legislate Americans into not hating one another based on things like race.

But the funny thing about the AFA's e-mail... it doesn't say anything like "this could be a slippery slope..." or "this resolution could theoretically..." or "if history proves true..." Rather, it bluntly asserts that Congress is about to grant federal protection to a bunch of sick groups of felons.

Well, Congress is not about to grant them "federal protection" (here I pause to say that this may be a legally accurate description, but a terrible way to mislead us non-legal, ignorant people -- I'm sure the AFA has retained expert counsel to make sure they aren't sued).

Another one of the statements in the e-mail is that Congress is endorsing and respecting a number of sexual perversions by not defining a list of what those perversions are. However, if Congress had defined what is meant by "sexual orientation", I've no doubt that the AFA would have opposed that, too. A lose/lose situation.

In the resolution, lawmakers do lump sexual predators into a group of people over whom (after this resolution) you'll really get in trouble for physically or violently attacking. I'm not arguing that this is not the case. Adding sexual perverts to the list of existing "hate crimes" targets? Well... okay. Fine with me. Jesus said that I'm not supposed to violently hit anyone with a baseball bat. I think it's safe to say that He included perverted people and homosexuals on that list, too, along with other people Christians tend to hate (as evidenced by our actions) and then claim we love. I'm sure that's not at all sending mixed signals to anyone.

The AFA's alert is shameful. While I'm sometimes in their court, I'm beyond disappointed in them for this e-mail alert that intentionally misrepresents the resolution. Again, I have no disagreement that the resolution is un-good, but to use a questionable (at best) means in order to achieve an end is not at all worthy of an organization that promotes itself as Biblical.

I want to encourage believers to live with joy in the world, living the freedom that comes from Christ. We want to see people's minds tranformed and renewed from within by a relationship with Jesus Christ; it's not going to happen through legislation like this -- imposing penalties on those who commit violence against groups of people (no matter what group they're in). It's likely that the only way that many people who engage in sexual perversions will ever change is if they see that "Christians" are people who care about them; not as a group that hates them.

I avoided linking to any atheists' blogs on this subject, though I was tempted. It's not like I give them extra credence, but if an "insider" (that'd be me) sees this AFA thing as mortifying, just imagine how outsiders -- you know, those people that we love, that we're "witnessing" to -- view it.

You want to call your Congressman/Congresswoman to tell them to vote it down? Me, too! Go for it! It's a crazy resolution! Just please, for the love of God (and I mean that very literally), don't mention the AFA's e-mail in a positive way!

By the way, please don't pull red herrings like, "So you're saying we shouldn't call sin 'sin'?" or, "So you're saying you agree that if I'm Hispanic, it's basically the equivalent having some weird sexual predisposition to make obscene phone calls to umbrellas or something?!" That's not what I'm saying. I'll be glad to clarify as needed.

Let's behave and speak (and e-mail) in a way that accurately represents God.


Leroy said...

Once again Christians are at the forefront of giving ourselves a bad name.

Personally, I pretty much question any motive that has "Christian" and "political" in the same sentence. I think we *should* be involved in the political process, but it should be done in a manner that BUILDS UP the world's (lost folk) perception of Christians.

jasonS said...

These groups seem to sensationalize everything (they're not the only ones) so that scared people will support their "important" work.

I'm not saying some of it is not without merit, but when you have to constantly use fear and manipulation to move people to action, there's something off about it.

Preston N said...

Dean - Again I have went back and forth on this and read the email several times. The thing we need to keep in mind is that legislative law is written with "intent". What did the authors of this bill intend for it to do? What's not stated in your post here is that Congressman King (R) intentionally brought before the House an amendment to see if he could "fish out" what the liberals intentions were on this bill. He did so by introducing an amendment that would clearly define - sexual orientation by excluding Pedophiles from the bill. So what did the liberal Dems do? - they voted it down 13-10saying the amendment was "offensive and unnecessary".

So all that being said - are we to now believe that the liberals are indeed protecting pedophiles and other perverts under this law? I would have to say yes, given those who authored its response to the King Amendment. The language in the bill is very arbitrary and ambiguous given the term "Sexual orientation". As the AFA has noted this term is defined by the APA to include the list of sexual deviance's they have provided. I realize that the bill is to protect individuals from physical harm and as a Christ follower I totally agree we should uphold the right for everyone to be protected from such acts - but as you said there are already laws on the books to do this.

Therefore, this bill is an attempt to be used as a "Gateway" by liberals to promote additional bills that will lead to further and greater protection for these "elite" groups.

The AFA email simply states that these perversions would be "federally protected" - which by and large is a true statement given the refusal by liberals to define what "sexual orientation" is. Yes, they will be federally protected from physical harm - but nonetheless federally protected. I do agree the AFA could have been a little more forthright in their explanation - as I had to learn more about the bill from other political websites.

Dean Lusk said...

I removed a paragraph about Steve King's proposal because I already had a million thoughts in the post and thought it was unnecessary. But you bring up a very good point.

What if King's proposal had been approved and the resolution had been modified to strike pedophiles from the "protected" list? (Remember; that term "protected status" is inaccurate -- reason it out.) Honestly, King wouldn't have gone far enough because he didn't put necrophiliacs, prostitutes, etc. on his list, too.

One dark cloud over everything is that many people essentially expect for the government to do "moral police" and charity work. That is not at all the way society should function! As I talked about with an Obama-supporting agnostic friend before the election, people may be looking for the government to represent Jesus, because it seems the church decided to stop doing that some time ago.

"As the AFA has noted [sexual orientation] is defined by the APA to include the list of sexual deviance's they have provided."Odd that the American Family Association never stated on what authority they drew that link, isn't it? It seems that since Congress didn't define "sexual orientation," it MUST mean "Mental Disorders" as listed in the American Psychiatric Association's literature. Huh?If that's true, they need to establish a definite reason that they were able to draw this link. They need to tell us the trail that led them from Congress' resolution to a health manual to describe "sexual orientation," because Webster defines this as "a person's self-identification as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual". Far less than the things on the AFA's list.

I don't suppose the waters could get much muddier thanks to the AFA and folks who accept what they say at face value. Half-truths (at best) and speculation are littered throughout the e-mail.

And man, I totally agree with you that the intent of Congress is not as pure as the driven snow! (It's another kind of snow, actually... the yellow kind)

Let them be that way. Peter said that those who follow Christ are not like those who reject God (1 Peter 2:7) -- we are a peculiar people! Royal priests! Holy! These things completely preclude us from twisting words and engaging in spin just so that people will hear our arguments.

If the AFA has to do that, it offers great evidence that they had a very shaky argument to begin with.

Last note... "Therefore, this bill is an attempt to be used as a 'Gateway' by liberals to promote additional bills that will lead to further and greater protection for these 'elite' groups."Are you (or rather, is the AFA) suggesting that liberals don't mind if their children are molested? Because that's completely what this implies. They want to protect child-molesters if this is true. As evil as a hardcore conservatives may think liberals are, I highly doubt that they're quite that evil. Even Bill Maher.

Jonathan said...

Hmmmmmm....this is all really good and interesting! My blood initially was boiling hard when I read the AFA's response. While understanding that Christians may be upset with the federal government's liberal agenda on sexual orientation, it is simply ABSURD to think they are taking it to the limit expressed by the AFA.
This all reminds me of when Obama was running for president. The accusations of being a muslim, terrorist and even the anti christ because of a multicultural and at times questionable background. As usual, Christians took these questions and ran to a far out extreme. Big surprise. The current white house is anything but an honest political movement and I strongly disagree with the over all philosophy of government. However he is not promoting terrorism, pedophiles, or incest. To assume this clearly ignores the definition of sexual orientation which like dean pointed out is simply whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Im going with webster and honestly I think the government is too.
Christians need to start putting logical thinkers and at the very least speakers with some type of intellect on the forefront of these issues. If they do not, they will be left far behind in a multicultural country that is finding it hard to even co-exist with extreme Chrisitans like the one's who wrote that article. Christians will only continue to isolate themselves from the rest of the world and specifically America if this kind of trend continues. They will make no kind of positive influence in the least. In a world quickly being taken over by an understanding that this a scientific and multicultural place, Christians need to get on board with an increase in intelligent contribution to the great debate. Good luck, I know many good Christian thinkers, but not ones who have as large of an influence as a group like this.

Dean Lusk said...

"Christians need to get on board with an increase in intelligent contribution to the great debate."

In the words of Uncle Rico, "Right on, man... right on."

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