Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.
- Isaiah 5:20
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (HR 1913) has been passed by the House of Representatives. A Senate version needs to be harmonized with the House bill. A vote on the resulting bill is imminent.
The law in question only targets those who commit violence against people because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
We agree that no one should advocate or defend violence against people because they are different, or even because they are perceived as sinners. Love and grace are at the very heart of true Christian belief. But Christians don’t have the right to excuse what God calls a sin. When a person sins a Christian should confront the behavior and encourage the person to repent and change his conduct. We accept this responsibility about lying, cheating, anger, adultery, and many other behaviors. It is the loving thing to do.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- Galatians 6:1-2
Now, about the proposed law: if it is just about violence, why is it needed? There are already laws that address violence. The real problem is that this law creates a specially protected class of people, and can be coupled with conspiracy laws so that even if a person peaceably voices agreement with the Bible about the sinfulness of homosexuality, he or she might be blamed for someone else’s violent activities.
Christians have been persecuted in all ages for their beliefs. Most of our forefathers came from Europe to escape persecution. Jesus said that persecution will become even worse during the Tribulation (Matthew 24:9-10; Mark 13:9-13). Adoption of this law might hasten the fulfillment of this prophecy.