New Hate Crimes legislation puts mission agencies on alert.

By June 18, 2004

USA (MNN)–An amendment attached to the 2005 Defense Authorization Bill is creating a stir among the evangelical community.

By a vote of 65-33, with all Democrats and 18 Republicans voting in favor, the U.S. Senate expanded “hate crimes” legislation to include sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

American Missionary Fellowship’s Ed Henderson gives this take. “If it’s anything like what we saw in Canada (Bill C-250), even the mention of homosexuality in a perceived negative sense could be considered committing a hate crime, which, from an evangelical perspective, is very disturbing.”

The Canadian legislation Henderson references is worded in such a way that portions of the Bible would be considered ‘hate literature’, and are in violation of the law.

However, Henderson says while the amendment was attached to the FY 2005 Department of Defense authorization bill, the full package remains under deliberation.

That may buy some time for Christians to act and voice their opinion to their representatives. Henderson says, meanwhile, summer brings the launch of Vacation Bible Schools, camping programs, and other ministries where team members share the Gospel with children.

He says prayer for the future of ministry is important. “I can see Christians in the U-S facing some very challenging times as the small, but very vocal homosexual community seems to be driving our national political agendas.”

Leave a Reply