Hate Crimes - From RICO to FACE
Rev. Flip Benham 5/14/2009
This will help you to gain some perspective of the “Hate Crimes” legislation that is now making its serpentine way through the United State Senate. It has already been passed in the House by a 249-175 vote. Barrack Obama wants the bill on his desk soon, that he may sign it into law before Memorial Day, May 25, 2009.
Those of us who have been on the streets for a long time know exactly how this law is going to be used. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), signed into law by President Nixon in 1970, was designed to go after violent racketeers in a way that would really hurt their “protection” business by multiplying their financial and penal penalties. It was a well-intentioned law but it became very apparent to some Senators that the law could be used to go after free speech. Senator Ted Kennedy saw this very clearly and brought it up before the entire Senate. He pointed out that (RICO) could be used by the Nixon administration to go after the “anti-war” protesters to silence their speech. He saw the chilling effect this law could have on their free speech if it were applied to them. Kennedy was assured that nothing like this was intended.
Then, in 1998, this strange little law (RICO) was used by the National Organization of Women (NOW) to resurrect a suit that had been going on for almost 13 years with little success. This lawsuit was a suit filed by NOW to silence the Gospel of Christ outside abortion mills. It was intended to stop pro-lifer’s who went to abortion mills to speak on behalf of little baby boys and girls waiting to be born.
NOW claimed that the pro-lifer’s were violent “racketeers” because they desired to shut down the abortion industry by threat and intimidation. This case made it all the way up to the Supreme Court and is known today as NOW v. Scheidler. We were named co-conspirators in this case. Thank God, the Supreme Court ruled in our favor in an 8-2 decision January 23, 2003! Nevertheless, we were in court for 17 years, as NOW did all that it could to silence the Gospel. The case was never about violence; it was about silencing Christians.
Please note. Senator Kennedy was right! RICO could indeed be used against free speech and it was used exactly that way in NOW v. Scheidler. Kennedy of course said nothing when RICO statutes were used against us because he wanted us all in jail. What is very interesting here is the fact that G. Robert Blakely, the law professor at Notre Dame University who designed the RICO statutes, stated in court that he never dreamed that RICO would ever be used against free speech – especially the speech of gentle Christians speaking for Christ at abortion mills.
Another case in point is the “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances” (FACE) law. This was another act crafted by the pro-abortion community in both the House and the Senate, and signed into law in 1994, by President William Jefferson Clinton. It was engineered through a “crisis.” Paul Hill had just shot and killed an abortion doctor and an escort at an abortion mill in Pensacola , Florida on July 29, 1994. FACE was pushed through both houses and signed into law in a mad rush because something had to be done to stop the “violence” at abortion mills.
The only problem was that it wasn’t true. Since Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973, to this very day there have been seven murders at abortion mills. Seven murders in thirty-seven years! It is safer to be an employee at an abortion mill than it is to be a clerk at a local 7-11, a student in public school, or a postal employee. So, why FACE? The real purpose behind the FACE law was to silence the Gospel of Christ at abortion mills through intimidation via law. Yes, the devil himself inspired this crafty piece of legislation by using the violence of one or two to silence the voice of millions.
The only thing that has changed with the “Hate Crimes” legislation that we are facing today is the venue. This time the enemies of the Gospel of Christ are using alleged “violence” against a certain group of people as a way to silence the Gospel of Christ. Words in the Bible have become “hate speech” to those who have a disagreement with God. Truth is hate to those who hate the truth. The apostle Paul said it this way. “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16.
To those sponsoring “Hate Crimes” legislation the answer to this question is a resounding, “YES!” “You Christians are the enemy. You are all terrorists on the same level as the Taliban. You are judgmental bigots who need to be locked up for your intolerance and violence to the views and lives of others.”
Indeed, this infantile response to real Christianity demonstrates who the real haters are. Unfortunately, in America today, the inmates are presently in charge of the asylum.
“Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them.’ Proverbs 28:4