Hate Hotline Another Threat to Free Speech
The Boulder Colorado City Council recently allocated $16,000 for a trial run of a "hate hotline" where citizens can report incidents of "hatred" not punishable as a crime. It is not clear what would be done with the information provided by a caller.
The stated purpose is to "curb bias-related incidents in the city." It would supposedly "give people who feel they are victims of discrimination or harassment, that does not rise to a level of a crime, a place to report the incidents."
Even the American Civil Liberties Union is confused about it. "If it just provides an opportunity to call and have a welcome voice and some kinds of soothing response to their concern, that would be fine," said ACLU Chairman Judd Golden. But on the other hand it could "chill free speech" if confidentiality was not maintained.
For the soul winner, this is clearly a serious threat to public witnessing. In other recent incidents around the country, The interpretation of hate speech has been used to apply pressure to witnessing. For example, to the sinner, it may constitute "harassment" to be given a tract that gives God's opinion of his sin. At present, the soul winner is protected by the constitutional guarantee of free speech.
But opponents to the gospel are continually looking for ways to stop the free presentation of the gospel because they feel offended by it. One way is get the government into the act. Fortunately, our founding fathers nailed down the freedom of speech very securely in the constitution.
But the current drive in America for "tolerance" presents a threat for the soul winner. The Bible is not a very "tolerant" book when it comes to sin. And as sins like homosexuality, pornography, adultery and other unbiblical practices become accepted in our culture, the more resistance there will be to biblical truth.
Having a "hate hotline" only gives more voice to the offended sinners and becomes another step toward squelching the free presentation of the gospel.
To the Bible-believer, this is just another sign of the times, that we must work while it is yet day, for the night cometh. Let's continue to plant the precious gospel "seed" wherever we go so that there will be a good harvest when our Lord returns.
What we are seeing is a nation that is increasingly not Christian. If we spread the gospel aggressively across the country a lot more will become Christian and others will respect it. If we remain silent, the day will come when they will not see a need for us but will see our message as hateful and no place in American life. They will seal off our churches, ban publication of the gospel, indoctrinate children against us, and prohibit us from gathering for worship. The only way to keep this from happening is with an aggressive witness.
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