Currently, the Religious Right does not have a great deal of influence on Capitol Hill. Gone are the days when Republican leaders like Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum, or Bill Frist would regularly attend the Right’s gatherings and, considering that some members of the movement have even had a falling-out with allies like Sen. Sam Brownback, the lack of leadership for the Religious Right’s agenda in Congress has been particularly noticeable as of late.
But never fear, because Sen. Jim DeMint has recently stepped-up big time and established himself as the Right’s most committed and loyal advocate on the Hill.
A few months back, when the Right was trying to generate controversy over the stimulus legislation, DeMint took their complaints right onto the Senate floor and forced a vote on his effort to strip an entirely non-controversial provision from the bill at the behest of right-wing groups like the American Center for Law and Justice.
Earlier this month, we reported that DeMint was continuing to carry water for the Right, personally telling Rick Scarborough of Vision America that he would lead a filibuster against hate crimes legislation. Today we have come to find out DeMint is now sending out a letter addressed to pastors and other religious leaders urging them to get active in helping him oppose the legislation.
I am writing you today to remind you that religious principles and biblical teachings produced the values and policies that made America exceptional, prosperous, and good.
In recent decades, Congress and the courts have adopted policies that have proved destructive to faith, families, and freedom in America, but no one action has been as damaging as the “hate crimes” legislation will be. This hate crime legislation will replace “equal justice under law” with arbitrary justice based on the race, religion, or sexual orientation of criminals and their victims. More importantly, it will lead to the criminalization of biblical truth as “hate speech.”
Under this legislation, a pastor who teaches that homosexuality is wrong could be accused of a hate crime or charged with “inducing” a violent crime against a gay person.
Please tell your congregation this legislation is not about “hate” (all violent crimes are hateful); it is about taking away your freedom to speak and preach biblical truth. It takes away your right to say that some things are wrong. We need millions of Americans to call and email their Senators, especially Democrat Senators who are pushing this legislation. Majority Leaders Harry Reid has promised to pass this legislation in the next few weeks (the House already has).
DeMint’s letter concludes by urging recipients to visit the Family Research Council’s website for more info and to contact their own senators to voice their opposition.
And because good things always comes in threes, today we also learned that DeMint has introduced the Parental Rights Amendment in Congress, which is the brainchild of Michael Farris, the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, the so-called “Harvard for homeschoolers.”
It seems pretty safe to assume that we’ll be seeing a lot more of these types of things from DeMint in the future, as he has become the primary conduit through which the Religious Right’s agenda makes its way in the halls of Congress.