The New Blasphemy Laws


Jon talks about bills H.B. 269 & H.B. 187 signed by Governor Ron Desantis in Florida, bill H.B. 30 signed by Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia, executive order GA 44 by Governor Greg Abbott in Texas, and H.B. 1076 signed by Governor Kristi Noam in South Dakota. He also goes over some of the news stories of the day impacting evangelical Christians in the United States. 
 To support Jon: 00:00 Recent News 14:03 Antisemitic hate? 22:00 Laws Defining Antisemitism 40:19 Hate Speech/Crimes 45:08 Comments 49:00 Reflections on Easter Sunday


Welcome to the conversations that matter podcast, weekend edition here. It's like 14 minutes after I was planning on starting.
I just put my head though. So I don't know what I'm gonna say this podcast. It could be interesting. You might even be able to see it.
It's not, it doesn't look that bad, but it might start getting bruised and swelling up during the program.
So I thought about putting some ice on it or something, but I thought, you know, I've already said I'm gonna do a podcast and I'm gonna be true to my word.
So, so here we go. It is Easter Sunday weekend or resurrection
Sunday, depending on the terminology you use. And last night was Good Friday.
We had our service. And I don't usually like to do podcasts around Christmas or Easter, just because I don't wanna break the flow, the thoughts that we should be having, the focus on Christ, on his incarnation.
And then of course, during this time, his death, burial, resurrection. And so it's not a hard and fast rule.
I'm not a legalist about it, but I generally, I don't try to do podcasts around that time, but I've decided that this is somewhat related and we're gonna talk about some political developments, but I feel like I need to talk about this.
So we're gonna talk about it. We're gonna talk about some of the laws that are being passed by Republicans, Republican governors in a conservative and red state, some of them deep red, and some of them are concerning.
And I wanna share with you why I'm concerned about them and why this relates even to Holy Week and what we're celebrating.
So I'm gonna do a few news related items before I get to those laws, but that's where we're heading during the podcast.
So before we talk about any of that, though, I just wanna let you know about a sponsor for this podcast, Ridge Runner. You can go to ridgerunnerusday .com
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Okay, with that, let's talk a little bit about some developments, what's going on out there, things that affect, especially evangelical
Christians, because that's what I tend to focus on. And then we'll talk about some of these laws that I've been referring to.
So we're gonna start here, I think. This is something that's Southern Baptist convention -related, and of course, they are the largest denomination in the country.
And the mayor of, I should say the Protestant denomination, the mayor of Alamo, Tennessee, sent a scathing letter to the
Tennessee Baptist Mission over diversity policy. And so I said, this is on my ex account, imagine if more pastors and civic leaders did this.
I screenshotted what he sent. I'm not gonna read it all here, but he really words this well, and is very direct and firm with disagreeing with the
Tennessee Baptist Mission boards, their desire to have people on the various organizations they oversee, on the boards of those organizations who come from certain ethnic and,
I guess, gender backgrounds. And instead of just evaluating quality and capability, they're looking at these other metrics to diversify their boards.
And they're very explicit about this. And of course, they've done other things in the past that have been part of the DEI agenda.
And so someone who has some standing, I would say, someone who is in the
Southern Baptist convention, but has some authority, a mayor of a town in Tennessee, was just fed up.
And I wonder whether or not this would make, I don't know, but it's worth trying. If you're someone who is a pastor or someone who maybe even has some civic authority, these things affect the society that you live in.
And if you're in Tennessee, and this is certainly a Tennessee organization, something worth considering.
And I see this done a lot where people will write these letters. And I don't think most of the time this is what happens, but oftentimes they will write these letters and then they will put these letters online.
They'll post them. They'll show people what's going on. So anyway, I must've made a mistake because I'm looking, this just caught my attention, the side view here.
It says TruthScript is hosting the new blasphemy laws. Well, I'm gonna have to delete that, I guess, afterwards.
So if you're watching on TruthScript, that's great. I'm gonna just keep that going, but TruthScript does not endorse what I'm about to say.
And I'm not sure exactly how that happened. It's supposed to be airing on my ex account, but it's also on YouTube and you can find it on Facebook as well.
So there you go. All right, let's talk about this. This is just some Easter related news.
Stephen Furtdick's Elevation Church sent Easter seeker friendly invites that omit resurrection in Calvary.
And I just think this fits into the overall, we're gonna talk about speech today. So this fits into the overall kind of theme of the podcast.
You have a major quote unquote evangelical figure of a major church in North Carolina, Steve Furtdick.
And he, in his invites to come to church, and a lot of churches are making this push this week because it is
Easter. He decided that it would be somewhat offensive to use terms that we would just always associate with Easter, that wouldn't be bad.
We wouldn't think that these are bad terms. But he says, this is, let's see if I wanna,
I wanna get a quote from Stephen Furtdick here. There's a lot of people commenting on it in this particular article, which shouldn't come as a surprise.
The beginning though, there's a quote from him. He says that when
I think, oh, sorry, that's Nick Scherer, Steve Furtdick. Let's see.
Well, we'll start with this. Nick Scherer says from, and he does represent Elevation Church to an extent.
So he's the digital content creator. He says, when I think about how I'm going to talk about Easter, I'm thinking about how
I'm going to talk to people far from God, because that's the thing that matters most to us. He added that church wants to reach the unchurched and church alike.
Scherer, who Pro Church Tools said is responsible for Elevation says and how they say it, said Easter and Christmas are the only two events of the year that are actually wrapped around a particular passage in the
Bible. And so goes on about how he's not gonna say the word Calvary, not gonna say the word resurrection, not gonna say the blood of Jesus.
I'm not gonna say any of these words that make someone feel like an outsider. This is really an important guide for how we develop language.
Anyone can be part of the church. It might not be for everyone. Everyone might not be like it, but anyone can come.
So this is so muddy. I mean, you know, being part of the church, does that mean you're a member of the church? Does that, what does that mean exactly?
I guess he means attend, but man, he shouldn't phrase it that way. And so he doesn't wanna drive,
I'm putting the best construction on this. He doesn't wanna drive people away by using terms that I would think you would pretty much have to use if you're gonna have an
Easter or a Resurrection Sunday message. So is this something that's endemic?
Is this happening across the board? I don't think so. I mean, this is worthy of a news article, so hopefully not, but this is significant.
This is a big, and I believe they're Southern Baptist if I'm not mistaken, but they're a big church. I know he graduated from Southern Seminary and this is one of the biggest churches, if not the biggest church in Charlotte area.
And this is what they're doing. They're policing their own language. And this is one of the things I've noticed about Christians in general.
We censor ourselves so often. We're, you saw that with the Christ is King thing last weekend, even.
It's the same thing where these are things that Christians have said for centuries. These are just true statements.
And all of a sudden we wanna attach them to offensive people or offensive movements or offensive messages and then police ourselves and say, well, you can say it, but make sure that you police those motives and you shouldn't say it to a
Jewish person, I guess. That might offend them. Or you shouldn't say it to someone who really, in this case, doesn't believe those things.
And with an air of superiority or an air of, I guess, believing it's true that Christ actually is the
King. I mean, this is the kind of thing that we're actually having to think through. And we shouldn't have any hesitation. There should be no pause when we think of something like Christ is
King, when we think of something like Calvary, when we feel like these basic Christian terms, there should be no hesitation in sharing those things.
But now there's a hesitation. Now there's like this thought of, I gotta think through it. Do I really wanna say this? And that is a big shame.
That's a shift. Even in my lifetime, that's a shift, a big one. So that's going on out there.
The ERLC, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptists has decided, this is another development, that they're going to host
Mike Pence at the SBC annual meeting. Now, this is interesting for really one reason. There's a bunch of Nine Marks guys, and there was some
ERLC guys that threw a stink when Mike Pence actually showed up at the convention to speak.
And I wanna say that must have been like, it was during Trump's presidency. So I think that was like 2018 or so, maybe it was 2019.
I think it was 2018. And there was this big stink thrown about it. Well, now you can see, he's a guest of honor at the
ERLC because, and I'm putting this in there, this is my thoughts, but I think it's obvious, because he's changed his tune on Donald Trump, because he is opposing
Trump actively, because he's not endorsing Trump. These are the kinds of things that now get you an invite.
Whereas before, just the fact that you were the vice president for Donald Trump meant that you were somewhat a persona non grata with some of these people.
So it's just very interesting how they've flipped on this. And it seems to be based upon, in my opinion,
Mike Pence's position on Trump. Now, everyone's talking about this right now. The White House has declared it a proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility.
So it's a Transgender Day of Visibility. And the day that they're proclaiming this for, yes, it's tomorrow, it's
Easter Sunday. And they proclaim this on Good Friday. Now, do you think that's an oversight?
Do you think that's just Joe Biden's alleged Alzheimer's? Do you think this is something that was a mistake that they just didn't think about?
No, I can't believe that that's true. They're aware that Easter is here.
In fact, they have a bunny with some eggs right by the symbol of the White House on the top here. They're aware that there's a day.
Now, of course, there's no symbolism of Christianity, but they're willing to take the spring decorations and put it up there.
And I can't think of, I mean, this is purposeful. I think this is absolutely purposeful that they're doing it on Easter Sunday of all days to proclaim it a, you know, not only is this an affront to the
Sabbath in a way, I mean, and I realize I sound very archaic saying that, but when you put it on, really the most important Christian holiday,
I mean, you could be in competition with Christmas for that, but many Christians would consider this the most important Christian holiday of the year.
And you make it a Transgender Day of Visibility, it's sticking a needle in the eye of Christian citizens.
And we shouldn't really consider this anything less than that. That's exactly what's going on. You have a regime, you have an administration that hates
Christianity, that there's really no other way to interpret this. They would not, would they do this for Ramadan?
Would they do this on high holy days of other religions? And I would wager to say, no, not any major religions other than Christianity.
They're perfectly content doing this. And so, yes. And someone says, yeah, very
Catholic. Can't think of someone more Catholic than Biden. Yeah, right. It's Nancy Pelosi, right? All these
Catholic politicians who will go along with this kind of thing, even initiating it in some cases.
All right, well, that's the news out there going on that seems to be the chatter on social media. I want to take this opportunity though, to kind of introduce our subject for this particular podcast.
We're gonna be surveying some things, I'm gonna be reviewing some things, reading some things, but I want to start with just a reminder.
This happened, and man, I wish I could blow this up. Let's see if I can, I don't know. And maybe people can see that better.
This is a tweet from Max Miller, a representative in Ohio. And this is from August 15th, 2023.
This isn't ancient history. This is actually just a half a year ago, not even. And he said, and he's responding to Lizzie Marbock, who was let go from the
Ohio Right to Life. We interviewed her at the time where she says, there's no hope for any of us outside of having faith in Jesus Christ alone.
That's what she says. And Max Miller says, this is one of the most bigoted tweets I have ever seen.
Delete it, Lizzie. Religious freedom in the United States applies to every religion. You have gone too far. So this is what she's saying on her ex account, exercising,
I guess, what was her free speech. And she's free to say it, but she's losing her job over it.
And this was very surreal. And he wasn't the only one. Representative Casey Weinstein said, we may be on opposite sides of the aisle, but I stand right with Max on this.
Delete it, Lizzie. Now, both of these individuals are Jewish in their ethnicity.
I don't know to what extent they're religiously Jewish, but there's a Jewish connection there. And that seems to be what may have motivated the questioning of this particular message, a very simple biblical message.
There's really nothing surprising in any of this. And I could have brought you a lot of examples, but this is a recent one we're familiar with.
I noticed someone on X just recently posted just some screenshots from various websites on antisemitism.
And of course, Wikipedia has a whole page on religious antisemitism. Religious antisemitism is an aversion to or discrimination against Jews as a whole based on religious doctrines of supersessionism that expect or demand the disappearance of Judaism and the conversion of Jews and portray their political enemies in Jewish terms.
And I wanna say something clear here for everyone. And I wanna include in this, everyone is included in this, dispensational pre -millennialists, even the ones who are, let's say, give the rest of the dispensationalists a bad name.
And I'm not afraid to say this, John Hagee gives the rest of them a bad name. Many of the popular ones who treat the modern nation state of Israel as if, and sometimes even say things that seem to indicate that there's two tracks of salvation.
I know Ann Coulter had said this years ago, where Jewish people are, they don't, basically, they don't need
Jesus. They're already God's chosen people. And because of that, they're gonna be in heaven.
Obviously, these kinds of things, this isn't classic dispensationalist theology at all, but people in those circles,
I would say have gotten weird, some of them. And they've started to treat the nation state of Israel as if it's like this,
God's chosen people are back, and they ignore the policies of the state of Israel, like the pro -homosexual policies, the pro -abortion policies.
And it's just, they're basically part of Christianity. And, okay, so they say these things.
We understand who we're talking about. We see the commercials and everything sometimes. Even those people, okay, will say that Jesus Christ is the only way, because that's what the
Bible teaches. Even, I'm sure even John Hagee has said that. He's had to say Jesus is the only way.
He's the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through him. If he says that, though, now, this, it doesn't matter how much support he gives to the nation state of Israel.
It doesn't matter how much he experiences and talks about his affection for Jewish people.
He is a religious anti -Semite. You gotta understand, this applies to all Christians.
And I fear that some people just don't realize this. And they think that perhaps their support, their political support for Israel gives them a pass or something.
And that's just not the case. And so anyway, I don't wanna base that all off the Wikipedia page.
If you go to the ADL website, talks about, this is the Roman Catholic Church, but it's talking about how the church failed to approve a landmark report about Christian -Jewish relations that says
Jews are already in a covenantal relationship with God and affirms God's promises of land to the people of Israel. The church has never officially adopted these positions.
I believe this is about the Roman Catholic Church. It talks about traditionalist Catholicism and how that's really a problem.
And so anyway, there's these Christian groups that the ADL wants to go after. It doesn't have the screenshot, but I know that there's a symbolic,
I forget what the numbers are. There's like a numerical way of saying Christ is King or Jesus is the only way or something like that.
And ADL is against that. I mean, there's a lot of screenshots I'm sure someone could have taken on the
ADL webpage just to show that just various basic Christian beliefs are offensive. You have
Bethany Mandel here is part of this screenshot saying it's anti -Semitic for someone to pray for that Ben Shapiro finds faith in the only true
King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I think she must work for the ADL or something. But this is what
I wanna say to set the stage that this stuff is out there, that people are already saying that just repeating basic Christian doctrines, saying things that Christians have held for centuries, saying things that are just written in the
Bible. And if you want examples of that, you can go to the last podcast or the second to last podcast that I put out there where I give you scripture after scripture of things that the
New Testament says about Jewish people. And using the phrase, the Jews, even to talk in negative ways and positive ways, but are those negative ways now going to be taken as anti -Semitic?
There was a famous pastor and it might've been Joel Osteen. It wasn't like a very solid pastor, but I remember this from like maybe six or seven years ago, maybe it was more than that, maybe it was 10 years ago, but I remember there was a pastor who had gotten,
I think it was Andy Stanley actually, now that I'm thinking about it, who had gotten in trouble for basically saying Jesus is the only way.
And this was now, this is anti -Semitic and he was just quoting scripture. And so all that to say, this is the context, this is the times in which we're living in.
And you just have to understand that before we can go any farther in understanding the significance of these laws that are being passed.
And Tim Miller in the chat, he says that the ADL will list
Christ as King as an anti -Semitic dog whistle within one to two years. And I think he's probably right.
Maybe it might not be one to two years, but I think they probably already feel that way. And at least if you say it to a
Jewish person and this is not an unreasonable assumption given what's happening out there.
So that's what's going on out there. Now, what about people who claim to be Christians, right?
Who are in elected office, who have been put there by primarily the base of evangelical
Christians in the Republican party. What are they doing about this? What are they doing to protect
Christianity? Is one of the questions I have. And if you remember, I didn't have this queued up, but I think it was last year, there was an effort that failed in Congress to add,
I think it was some, I don't know if it was a resolution or my mind's a little foggy on it. It was some bill though, the bill of resolution that talked about hate speech.
And someone tried to add language to basically say, we're against anti -Christian discrimination and it was rejected and it caused all kinds of problems.
And so it's not popular to talk about Christians in these ways, to give them these same privileges, to want to extend to them this protection that other religions seem to be enjoying.
And so this is a shift. I'm not saying there aren't any laws that don't protect Christians. I'm just saying there's a shift happening where that's not popular.
That's not, you can't really bring that up and get the same reaction. So this is what we're having now.
This is what we see now from our quote unquote Republican governors. And I posted this a few days ago,
Florida's HB 187 will go into effect in Florida in July. And this is what
I said. I said, well, conservatives argue about whether saying Christ is Lord can be anti -Semitic. Our country's actual laws are changing to ban anti -Semitic speech.
Texas and South Dakota are pursuing a similar agenda, all Republican. And I could have added Georgia to that. And some of the language in this bill, we'll talk about it in a minute, but it talks about making dehumanizing, de -demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jewish individuals as such, or the power of Jewish people as a collective, such as the myth of the worldwide
Jewish conspiracy or of Jewish individuals controlling the media, economy, government, or other social institutions.
I mean, so if you start saying things about, I guess, Jewish people tend to run things or tend to be,
I guess, there's a higher representation of Jewish people in, let's say, professions like the legal profession, you know, you could run afoul of this.
I mean, if I'm reading it in a common sense way, it talks about accusing Jewish people as a collective or Israel as a state of inventing or exaggerating the
Holocaust. So now the numbers are going to be suspect. If you say it was 5 million instead of 6 million,
I guess, I mean, you could be in trouble. If you accuse Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel or to the alleged priorities of Jewish individuals.
So this becomes part of antisemitic speech. So if you have someone who has dual citizenship and even says that they're more loyal to Israel, I think, wasn't there someone who just said that recently?
Anyway, that's, you know, this is antisemitic. They would never say this about,
I can't think of any other country, right? So these are just some of the examples that I highlighted that were put out there.
Actually, someone sent these screenshots to me and I put them out there. And then there was a, I'm glad it got taken off, but there was a context status put on this particular post that basically said, this bill does, it just defines antisemitism and it doesn't do anything.
And I said, and I joked about it. I said, readers out of context, this bill doesn't shoot anyone. It's merely ammunition for the gun that will do the shooting.
And I put out a bunch of other things comparing it. Well, you know, what if it was anti -white hate? You know, how would this look?
And just tried to switch a few words around and it sounded ridiculous and that kind of thing. So, yeah,
I mean, I played around with it and, but I was really trying to sound the alarm that this is the kind of thing that will hamper free speech.
That will, this kind of speech we have enjoyed, this gives an end to stopping that.
And if we're going to start really policing severely quote unquote antisemitic speech, what does that do when we're having debates about whether Christ is
Lord is antisemitic? You know, is that going to be, are we laying the basis for which we can later then make
Christianity? I'm not saying these governors would do it, but later governors would make Christianity essentially illegal or at least some
Christian speech forbidden, that kind of thing. So this must be understood in conjunction with another
Florida bill that is in tandem with this. And that is, let's see if I have a
PDF of that. Let's see here. No, there's a bill that HB 269, and that takes aim at variety of activities that neo -Nazi groups in the state have undertaken from distributing flyers with hate speech to broadcasting intimidating messages in public spaces.
These groups activity have been rising in Florida for years. It says, someone from Florida needs to confirm whether that's true.
That's what, apparently that's what they're saying. And it's according to the Anti -Defamation League if you trust them. We have actual Nazis who are proudly taking up residence in Florida.
This is a big problem. So they're giving, the bill would prohibit Floridians from distributing onto private residential property any material that evidences religious or ethnic animus for purpose of intimidating or threatening the owner or resident.
It would also prohibit harassing or intimidating people wearing or displaying of any religious or ethnic heritage such as,
I think it's kippahs and other items of religious Jewish attire. All right, so this is the kind of thing that this has been going on in Florida.
Ron DeSantis has been, they think there's a number of other bills and things he's signed to try to, measures he's taken to try to limit what he's saying is anti -Semitism or anti -Jewish stuff.
Some of it legitimately, perhaps so, but then this is the bill that they passed. I just read for you some of that bill, but it's basing a lot of it on this
Swedish prime minister in 1998 who initiated the task force for international cooperation on the
Holocaust education. And the task force issued a declaration of the
Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, also known as the Stockholm Declaration. And it's the founding document for the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. So there's these other precedents they're appealing to and they adopted a working definition of anti -Semitism to assist governments, organizations, and individuals in their efforts to identify anti -Semitism.
So that's the spirit in which they're doing this in Florida. This is meant to assist not just the government, but other organizations in identifying what constitutes anti -Semitism so then they can punish accordingly.
That's what this is. It was always meant for that. So, yeah,
I mean, I read for you some of that already. It talks about accusing,
I already read that one, denying Jewish people their rights to self -determination, applying double standards by requiring of the
Jewish state of Israel a standard of behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, using the symbols and images associated with classic anti -Semitism, such as blood
Bible to characterize Israel or Israelis. Most of us would disagree with all this stuff. We would say that we don't like any of that.
Yeah, drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. So that, I mean, this is interesting.
Like if you have a policy that Israel, let's say they have a policy that is very similar to a policy that Nazis had, and you just say there's a connection there or they're similar in some way, you're anti -Semitic now.
Holding Jewish individuals collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel. The term anti -Semitism does not include criticism of Israel that is similar to criticism of any other country.
The section may not be construed to diminish or infringe upon any right protected under the first amendment. So that's a relief.
I mean, it's kind of funny to even read that though. Hey, you can't say all these things, or if you do say all these things, you're anti -Semitic and you could have the force of not just the law, but also private organizations come down on you.
But yeah, this isn't meant to take away any of your first amendment rights. And it can't conflict with any of the federal anti -discrimination laws or anything.
It's just, so why do it? What's the point? Why is anti -Semitic speech already? Isn't it already covered in federal laws?
Of course it is. But they need, whether you think it's a virtue signal or this is actually has teeth, which
I happen to think it probably has some teeth, this is a movement towards trying to broaden what constitutes anti -Semitism.
And that should be concerning to you. And given the country we live in and the way hate crimes, by the way,
I should probably have said this before we even got started with this little survey, hate crimes have not been around that long.
The term hate crime isn't even a very new term. Maybe you can go back to the 1940s, but it's really not like the 80s and 90s and 2000s when you really start seeing this.
In the 80s, you have all these colleges start bringing in their own policies that really,
I guess this was coming off the civil rights movement, but they started enacting, that was the institutional phase of the civil rights movement, all these hate speech codes and things in there.
And thousands of them did this. And now we're just used to it.
And I said with the DEI stuff, it's the same thing. It's just broadening, it's deepening.
Now we're in the institutional phase of that. People aren't talking about BLM anymore, but CRT is being worked right into the organizations that you work for and ministries in some cases.
It was the same thing with the civil rights stuff and then what happened in the 80s. And so this is a very new concept.
We've had anti -libel laws. We've had blasphemy laws actually. And this is what
I wanna focus on a little more and get you to consider. Blasphemy laws I think is where these kinds of laws actually fit in the most.
Blasphemy laws at the initiation of the founding era, if you wanna call it that, after the
Revolutionary War period, we had on the books in almost in the majority,
I should say of the states, blasphemy laws. Laws that prohibited a certain speech that you could not blaspheme the
Lord Jesus Christ. You couldn't say things. Sometimes there was restrictions depending on your local area. You couldn't say certain things on a
Sunday. You had Sabbath laws and these kinds of things as well. You had what we would consider today, we would call them anti -pornography laws, but they were anti -obscenity laws and these kinds of things.
So those restrictions were already in place that didn't contradict the First Amendment or at least the founding fathers didn't seem to think so.
And it was to protect the basis of society, Christianity. And it was a pan -Protestantism.
It was a broad kind of Christianity, but it was to protect Christianity. That's why these laws were in place, to protect the morality because without religion, you don't have morality.
And then what they meant by religion was Christianity. Without that, you don't have morality. And without morality, you don't have independent and responsible citizens.
And without independent, responsible citizens, you don't have freedom. And you're gonna have an ever -increasing government.
Surprise, that's what we live in now. Well, these things have been taken away. They've been struck down as unconstitutional and this and that, and things have changed.
And so we're now at a point in time where we're coming from a state of supposed neutrality to, and I don't know if we've ever had real neutrality, but to now,
I think there's new blasphemy laws being put into place. And I think this is one of them. I think the laws, the law that I just shared with you and the laws that I'm about to share with you, they seem to fit in that category the most.
It views, in this case, Jewish people as almost sacred, that you cannot say anything against them or anything that can be construed as possibly against them or anything that they might actually find offensive, even if it's true.
Whether it's true or not, it seems to be irrelevant. There's a sacredness to this particular people group.
And this is a sacredness, this is not afforded to other groups of people. At least I can't see it.
I can see during the CRT stuff, you had other racial minorities, you have the transgender day visibility.
So you have obviously what they call sexual minorities being part of some of this stuff in more left -leaning areas and left -leaning policies.
But these are Republicans that are getting on board with this, that are wanting to crack down on this. And I would submit to you, they're giving the tools, they're handing the very tools that the left will very likely use once they come into power.
And I'm talking in practical terms here. I'm not talking in theoretical terms. And this isn't a work of political philosophy here.
I'm saying that could happen in very short period of time, very short order. And so this is what
I think is what I see happening. This is the comparison that I think is an appropriate comparison to make, because this just seems over the top.
You have Governor Kemp in Georgia who just recently this year signed similar legislation.
This is a story from the AP. Governor Brian Kemp on Wednesday signed a law defining anti -Semitism. Same thing in state law, proclaiming support for Jewish residents despite concerns the measure would hamper people opposing the actions of Israel.
The Republican governor said by enacting the law, he was reaffirming our commitment to a Georgia where all people can live, learn and prosper safely because there's no place for hate in this great state.
You know, it's funny to me that none of these guys, I can't remember them doing any of this for quote unquote white
Americans when they were under attack, especially as things were hot in 2020. You know, there wasn't any like tiptoeing around or walking on eggshells to not offend white people just or evangelical
Christians or it's just interesting, isn't it? Kemp likened it to when he signed a measure in 2020 that allows additional penalties to be imposed for crimes motivated by a victim's race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors.
And that was spurred by the Ahmaud Arbery situation. The anti -Semitism definition measure has stalled in 2023 but was pushed with fresh urgency this year.
So because of the Israel -Hamas war, right? This conflict that's going on half a world away that for some reason is ripping apart college campuses here.
That may not should concern us too, I suppose. And then now it's crafting policy. It's contributing to the policies that we have.
It's kind of weird. This is, you know, why is this so much of our business? Why? Yeah, I mean,
I can say the same thing, I guess about Ukraine and stuff, but it's not having the same impact. We're not crafting laws about, you know anti -Ukrainian hate or stuff like that.
So let's, I think I have the bill pulled up here as well. Yeah, this is it, House Bill 30.
And this is an act to amend the official code of Georgia related to hate crimes, quote unquote.
And I'll talk about a little more about hate crimes soon and why I disagree with them. But it says that, let's see here.
Let me get past the legal jargon. Okay, so it says an agency authorized or required to enforce any criminal non -criminal law or regulation that prohibits or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin shall consider the definition of antisemitism in the course of such enforcement.
The definition of antisemitism, it says has the same meaning as provided for it in the working definition of antisemitism and contemporary examples of antisemitism adopted by the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. And, you know, this is, they all seem to reference this.
Maybe what we'll do is we'll just look this up at the end and talk about that, but that's what's happening in Georgia.
And I find it interesting there was an amendment that lost. Someone said, let's add criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.
That one lost. So that was, that's Georgia. Then you have Greg Abbott in Texas.
And he says, antisemitism will not be tolerated in Texas. He issued an executive order that really requires college campuses to evaluate their policies on antisemitism.
Because, you know, the colleges, they just don't, they don't have enough policies on restricting your speech and hate crimes and hate speech and that kind of thing.
So you need more of it. That's what's gonna help. But I mean, you know, personnel's policy, the people that are enforcing these things are on the left.
That this was Greg Abbott's just handing them another hammer in my opinion. Antisemitism is never acceptable in Texas.
We will do everything we can to fight it. The state of Texas stands with Israel and the Jewish community. Oh, hold on,
I lost it there. This is the statement Greg Abbott made. It talks about Hamas. Again, you know, it's the
Israeli Hamas conflict is now bleeding into the policies of our state laws in Republican states.
Requires all higher education institutions to review their speech, speech policies, to establish appropriate punishments for antisemitic rhetoric.
So now, you know, he's forcing colleges to punish the antisemitic rhetoric.
And then here's the executive order, executive order GA44. And then you have this one.
This is South Dakota. This is Governor Kristi Noem also put out house bill. She signed house bill 1076, an act to require the consideration of the definition of antisemitism when investigating unfair or discriminatory practices.
So I guess this would be like hiring practices and that kind of thing, business related. It says that the division of human rights must consider the definition of antisemitism for the purpose of this chapter.
The term has the same meaning as the working definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016.
So a lot of them pulling from this particular definition of antisemitism.
And the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has a working definition.
And I'm looking it up right now. It says, it's a certain perception of Jews which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews.
Rhetorical and physical manifestation of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non -Jewish individuals and or their property towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
Wow, that's broad. Man, I don't even know.
Like that's, you could drive a truck through that. I give some like concrete examples here. Accusing Jewish, it's a lot of stuff we already read in the
Florida bill actually. It's almost verbatim what the Florida bill has.
So yeah, I mean, it's pretty broad. And I would just say broad enough for Christians for someone who wants to enact some kind of discriminatory behavior towards Christians, they can use this.
There's no doubt in my mind they can use this. And there shouldn't be any doubt in your mind that they can use this kind of thing. Cause that's exactly what
I think it'll do. Now, I said, I would talk a little bit about just my opinion on hate speech laws. If you read a lot of,
I used to read a lot more of like the theonomy kind of reconstruction guys. And they make some good points sometimes when they're, cause they've had to think about the old
Testament law. And that's one of the things I do appreciate about those guys is when you look in a passage and you're like, why is this old
Testament law here? Sometimes they'll have some interesting things to say about it. One of the things, and I think it might've been
Rush Dooney, but one of the things that I remember, I just kind of adopted this about hate speech is he compared biblical law, what the
Bible talks about when it talks about infractions for like murder or stealing or adultery.
And that the important thing in those situations was what actually happened?
What took place? When it comes to intent, the only question was, was it on purpose or was it accidental?
So is there evidence to suggest that this was an accident? Someone picks up their ax and the head flies off and it hits someone and kills them.
I mean, are they as culpable as someone who actually goes with that ax and kills them? Obviously not. So is it accidental or are they culpable?
Did they premeditate this? We call it premeditated murder today. And that was really it when it came to intent.
Equality before the law meant it didn't matter if it was your brother or a foreigner or someone you didn't like or someone you did like or someone who was related to you.
It didn't really matter who that person was. If you shed innocent blood, you are guilty. The thing about hate speech laws and hate crimes laws is they look at crimes and they come up with more severe penalties if it was directed at a certain kind of person or a certain group of people.
So if it was directed at a protected class or protected group, then you're more on the line.
You're gonna be more in trouble. Would Daniel Penny be in as big trouble as he is right now if the person that he subdued happened not to be
African -American on the subway? Once the hate crime stuff kicks in, it creates all kinds of opportunities.
I mean, that's where the federal government can often get involved and that's where you are in violation of something severely worse.
Because the assumption here is that it's worse to do the same crime to someone else.
It's partiality, obviously. It's looking at someone and giving them protections that you're not giving to other people.
That's the basis of hate crimes legislation. And so what we've seen is that with these policies, more and more groups want their piece of the pie.
Say, I want these protections for my group. I want these protections for my group. And even Christians, and I don't blame Christians for this, by the way.
I think if I was in a position, I would say, hey, if we're gonna do it, then my group's gotta be included there too.
So that by the end of the day, if every group's included, then it defeats kind of the purpose of hate crimes laws anyways, I guess.
If every group's included, then it's, I don't know. I just, I could, it ends, and if you make it so broad, then it's like, why even have them?
I mean, the whole basis, the reason for them is so that certain groups are protected over others. And that's what you see going on here in these states.
All Republican, all want to, and you read some of that and you realize, hey, some of this is wrong.
Like, shouldn't there be a penalty for this? Isn't it wrong to say this? Well, some of it is wrong, but whether or not, if someone says that they think the
Holocaust was 2 million people instead of 6 million people, does that mean now that you are in violation of some kind of a policy or a hate crime?
You've done a hate crime, you could lose your job. You could, or hate speech. You could be fined by the government.
That's the world that we're entering if this stuff holds up. So I just really wanted to say that.
And I think it relates to Holy Week in this way, just because we just started off this whole week with a debate over whether Christ is
King is anti -Semitic. And now all these policies are coming into place.
And they've been obviously coming into place long before the last weekend. But if these things are running parallel courses, we're gonna be in some real turbulent waters in not too long.
And there's going to be a protected class of people and protect in speech that you can't, certain things you can't say that could even wind up affecting
Christianity. And I know some people were out there saying like, Christianity is effectively banned in the state of South Dakota. Please, no, it's not.
No, and the law is not gonna function that way right now. But can we say they're getting on the wall?
Of course we can and we should. So that's what I have to say about all of that.
And if you have questions or comments, I would love to see them right now. Earl Starbuck for $5 says, Republicans are laying the groundwork to persecute
Christians for preaching the gospel. Are these politicians too stupid to see it? I think they probably don't see it.
So yeah, let's see. Other people are saying, someone's saying that my, maybe my pronunciation's wrong,
Steve Furtick. Is it Steve Furtick? I thought I said Furtick. Maybe it's just a joke, like tick.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what he's trying to say. Sherry says, I've lived in Florida, South Florida since 1968.
I confirm the hate crimes rising regarding antisemitism, the passing out of literature, defacing buildings, death threats, synagogues near me, received bomb threats.
Okay. Yeah, I mean, I don't live in Florida, so I haven't heard about that. It's funny though, because like I live in New York and I'm like an hour, right now
I live probably an hour and a half, hour, 45 minutes, two hours, depending on traffic North of New York City.
And oftentimes, you know, you have like the largest Jewish community in the country right near me. And, you know, the local news for years, you'll see like down in New York City, I should say, we'll have like, hey, someone's spray painted a swastika here.
Like there's some anti -Jewish, anti -Semitic thing. I haven't heard much lately though. And I'm not saying it's not happening, but it's, you know, you have your marches and stuff on the college campuses.
You have the March in Times Square supporting Hamas. I guess it really is Hamas. I mean, they're saying
Palestine, I guess. But so I guess you have that stuff, but I mean,
I don't know, like how far do you want to go with this? Do you want to ban public gatherings? Do you want to like, do you want to like, like where's the line on this?
So even in Florida, yeah. I mean, people might be passing out literature and I'm just going to say, make it, you know, worst possible scenario.
They're doing all this. They're passing out hateful literature. They don't like Jewish people. There, you know, there's been threat.
I mean, the only, the thing that I look at this and say that serious is like, hey, if there's a bomb threat and someone actually like tries to bomb a synagogue, that's a big problem.
But churches have this going on all the time and probably in larger numbers. In fact, so a friend just sent me a few days ago, someone,
I don't want to give all the details, but it's like, they had a really credible reason to be very concerned this particular
Sunday. And, and so, but you don't see the kind of freak out about like anti -Christian stuff.
I mean, that's college campuses. That's like their job. It seems like it's to crank out anti -Christian rhetoric. You don't see the same concern though.
You don't see the concern when someone goes in and shoots up a church that we need to pass all these laws now. It's, it's non -existent, but, but with just some, a credible threat that you get a law like this in Florida, we, why is there a difference there?
What, what is the difference? Why is that caused? And that's, I think a legitimate question to ask.
So yeah, see other comments. I'm looking for questions, but I'm not seeing a lot of questions here. Someone else says,
I live in Florida. I have seen none of it. Okay. Lisa says this, everyone can come up with anecdotal evidence, but it's not sufficient to police
Christians from preaching the gospel. Okay. So we have two Floridians saying opposite things about this. Okay.
The elite elite says a Christian nation should prioritize protecting Christians over followers of a false religion.
Well, you would think that at least in areas where it's still culturally
Christian, this would be a priority. And that's why I'm picking on red States. These are at South Dakota. I mean, Texas, these are red
States, Georgia, Florida. You would think that that would be the priority and it's not.
Why is that? I don't know the exact answer for that, but it's a fact it's the case. So now switching gears here,
I guess to just kind of land this plane tomorrow is resurrection Sunday. It's the day that we celebrate the, the defeating of death that Jesus Christ brought to us that not just the defeat of death in the abstract, but the defeat of death for those who believe and trust in him.
And I've been reading this book on the, just basically a history of Christianity book.
It's actually written by an Eastern Orthodox guy, which don't get, don't get concerned. I'm not converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, but it's actually,
I think I have a copy of it right here. It's by a guy named John Strickland. And I think the first one is called the age of paradise.
Yeah, that's the one I'm reading. So the age of paradise, anyway, it's definitely got some things I disagree with, but it's got some, some interesting things too.
It's just some broad things that it talks about that I thought were interesting. One of the things that I was,
I was listening to it on audible yesterday and he was talking about perpetua, the early church martyr, and how the way that Christianity defeated the
Romans, their pagan Romanism, was they actually weren't trying to do it in like a, in a political sense.
And not that it's wrong to do that, but they didn't have the numbers when they first started out.
There just really wasn't any political, there wasn't any social movement that they could really do. They were in a minority, but they did create this community that valued certain things.
They, you know, we hear about the way that they were pro -life and they would save children who were just discarded.
I mean, it was a real problem back then. And anyway, perpetua was an early church martyr who just showed incredible bravery in the face of wild animals.
And then she was eventually killed, but it was just like, she, she just amazing. It puts my faith to shame when
I, when I read the story, when I hear about the story of her. And one of the things I think we have to, to realize in this season that if we have a perspective on life where, and this is hard to do in a
Western setting where we're very blessed, we've been very blessed. We're used to being very blessed and actually blessing is a good thing, okay?
So I'm smoking some meat outside right now. It's a good thing, but we're so used to it. Sometimes I fear for my own self that I don't want discomfort and I'm not, and no one wants that.
We're not supposed to want it, but, but I, there's a, there's a fear of it that wouldn't be there perhaps if I was more focused on the things of eternity as Paul even commands us to be focused on, to think of earthly thing, to think of heavenly things.
And the resurrection gives us that reason to think about heavenly things because Christ came to this earth.
He came to the temporal reality that we live in and he defeated death and is preparing for us, those who believe and trusted him, a place in heaven with the
Lord. That's something to look forward to. That's something to actually guide your life by.
This week, our whole life is being oriented around something that happened thousands of years ago.
Our calendar is changing. We're marking time because of something that happened thousands of years ago, but it's something that has significance throughout all time.
And that's because there's eternal significance to it. That's the kind of thing that defeated the
Roman world. That's the kind of thing that people could look at Christians and see that they actually believed what they said and they were experiencing a greater joy, relishing what was to come, rather than just focusing on the temporal pleasures that were so, so characteristic of the
Romans. And so in this time, and we hear a lot about Christian nationalism, right? And I've talked about it and stuff.
And I think it's really good to be concerned about some of the political things that are going on, to get involved, to enforce where you can,
Christian moral standards, all of those things are good. To think of ourselves collectively as Christians, I think this is all good stuff, all reasonable things.
Yet simultaneously, especially if you live in an area like where I live now, you have to be aware that persecution is coming, may be coming, things could change, but be prepared for that.
And your witness during that time also changes things. People see that.
And so this isn't a SBC, the world is watching, so make sure you kind of don't offend the left.
No, I'm saying the world is watching, so say Christ is King. Say the things that actually offend their sensibilities and act like you believe it, because you do.
And the reason you're doing it is because you have joy in something greater. It's not just about a temporal political calculation, it's about a life to come that everyone's going to be experiencing, whether it's in heaven or hell.
And so that's what I just wanna remind everyone this Resurrection Sunday. So the laws that I just read, hey, this could spell in the future persecution for Christians, that's possible.
And if that's the case, we're gonna still keep doing what we're doing because we have a risen Lord, that's the reason. We don't get defeated, we don't get despair, we don't fall into despair because of that, we keep going because our
Lord kept going and he experienced the reward and he is now sharing that with us. All right, well,
God bless. I hope that was helpful for you all. And I appreciate the elite elite saying, nothing wrong with reading books by people from different branches of Christianity, John.
I appreciate that, thank you, yes. I do read, I try to read broadly and I've definitely seen things from people who are not in my tradition who have said some helpful things.
So God bless, have a wonderful Easter Sunday. And I hope that it's filled with gladness and joy and the blessings of being with family, if you're with family, and ultimately at the end of the day, celebrating the victory over death that our