This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
Reason and Revelation Volume 24 #9

The First Amendment, Free Speech, and Religion

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

The first amendment of the United States Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble....

However, religion and free speech are finding themselves on the defense as homosexual activists do all they can to stifle preachers who would speak out against the sin of homosexuality. For the first time in history, preachers in Pennsylvania are considering liability insurance to protect themselves against prosecution for speaking out against homosexuality in the pulpit—an action they are taking in reaction to Pennsylvania’s recent addition of “sexual orientation” to the state’s hate crime laws.

On June 30, 2004, the Traditional Values Coalition noted:

In Canada, for example, a recently-passed hate crimes law (C-250) criminalizes speech if it incites hatred against any identifiable group. This law added “sexual orientation” to its hate crime law and left this term undefined.

In Sweden, Pentecostal preacher Ake Green was sentenced to a month in prison after being found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon, according to Ecumenical News International. In a 2003 sermon, Green had described homosexuality as “abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society.”

At some point, people must ask: what happens if a preacher offends a polygamist, pedophile, adulterer, murderer, rapist, or an individual who participates in acts of bestiality. Should the preacher also be punished (or jailed) for such “hate speech?” At what point will Americans realize that no matter how much society and the media may portray an act as simply an “alternative lifestyle,” that by no means makes it acceptable in the eyes of our Creator.

The time has come for faithful Christians to realize this issue is not about compassion or hate speech. The civil rights of all American are the same. The real issue is about a behavior that God found so vile, He destroyed entire cities of people who engaged in it.


Traditional Values Coalition (2004), “Pennsylvania Pastors Seek Liability Insurance Against Hate Speech Prosecution,” [On-line], URL:

Copyright © 2004 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio