This week's edition of "The 3" continues to shine the spotlight on proposed health care reform legislation and the continuing debate over abortion. Plus, a new protected class was created by a piece of legislation approved by the Senate this week. And, even though there may not, on the surface, be religious implications of a recent FCC decision, the freedom of speech on the Internet could be challenged.
3 - FCC opens door for "net neutrality"
This past Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission decided to further pursue the concept of "net neutrality", even though 2 of the commissioners thought that the move was unwarranted. "Net neutrality" is said to provide equal access for the Internet, preventing large Internet providers from levying extra charges on telecommunications companies, which could affect consumer access. However, this does provide an area of concern, when you view this as government's attempt to control another sector of free enterprise, along the lines of the car companies, banks, and other sectors of the economy. Once the government is in, and when you see that in the current climate, controlling the message is paramount, one could then assume that regulating the Internet would include regulating the content, which could force messages that are not deemed appropriate, by the ruling party, to the sidelines. You can hear the take of Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity and the Internet Freedom Coalition on my show on Monday, October 26th. You can check out some information by going to http://www.internetfreedomcoalition.org/.
A further note: It is thought that "Net neutrality" could also protect pornographers who wish to have greater latitude to flood the Internet with objectionable content. In fact, this report from U.S. News & World Report offered the basis for opposition from some pro-family groups.
2 - Pro-life petitions delivered to Washington, DC
The thought that health care reform legislation, as currently structured, could result in public (taxpayer) funds being used to pay for abortions is continuing to galvenize Christian and pro-lif groups, as well as lawmakers of both parties. This past week in the nation's capitol, Focus on the Family Action, Concerned Women for America, and other groups, delivered petitions to Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to keep taxpayer funding of abortion out of health care legislation.
You can see coverage from CitizenLink here. As Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America pointed out, health care plans could easily opt to pay for abortions rather than provide pre-natal or post-natal care, or provide care for special needs children.
1 - Hate crimes legislation passes Senate
There have been numerous attempts over the past few years to enact "hate crimes" legislation, creating essentially a new class of crime, a hate crime, committed based on one's motive to harm someone based on his or her sexual orientation. It is thought that this type of legislation could be used against Christians who speak out in a manner consistent with the Biblical view of homosexuality - if it is determined somehow that a person committed a crime because of what is determined to be his or her view against homosexuality, the person would be persecuted more harshly, and the person or persons that have had influence over the criminal could also be determined to be culpable. The Christian Post offered this summary.
This has not exactly been the most politically popular piece of legislation, and it had to be buried inside a defense authorization bill to receive passage. A person voting against the overall bill, even if it had objectionable language, such as this hate crime provision, could be criticized for voting against the troops, even though that would certainly not be the case.
Robber finds redemption?
St. Louis allows religious speech at "pride" event
Astronaut uses platform to share faith...This week on The Meeting House, I spoke with Patrick Forrester, who discussed his latest mission and a piece of missionary memorabilia that he took on his space flight - go to www.meetinghouseonline.info/download.
Rifqa Bary update...I spoke with Robert Knight about the case, in an interview recorded early Friday and aired on Friday afternoon's edition of The Meeting House. Robert is with the American Civil Rights Union and Coral Ridge Ministries. The interview can be downloaded at www.meetinghouseonline.info/download.