By: Peter Denby, Jr.
June 01, 2000

    Some threats are for real. In December 1999 a federal grand jury added hate-crime charges to the list of offenses filed against Lawrence Lombardi, 41, who is accused of setting off pipe bombs last fall in restrooms at Florida A&M University, a predominantly black school. No one at the 12,000-student campus was injured in the blasts, which were accompanied by racist phone calls to a local television station. Mr. Lombardi has pleaded not guilty.
    The FBI, the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, and the Temple University Police are investigating a wave of e-mail threats that targeted 26 minority students at Penn State last November; the e-mails originated from a Temple computer lab. Authorities are still searching for clues.
    Campus hoaxers often go unpunished.     Using publicity about hate-crime incidents, President Clinton is pushing to revive a stagnant bill that would add offenses motivated by sexual orientation, gender, or disability to the list of hate crimes already covered under federal law. That would also make it easier for federal prosecutors to file hate-crime charges.
    There have been a lot of very public hate crimes in recent years and yet there seems to be little that anyone is really doing to counteract hate.  Hate crimes can be racial (the burning of Afro American churches in the south; the dragging death in Texas), anti homosexual (murders of homosexuals by straight people is way up; preachers preaching hate on the street, TV and any where they can get an audience), or gender related.
    Here in Topeka we have Fred Phelps, a minister at Westboro Baptist Church and is constantly seen on street corners with pickets that say “God Hates Fags” and “Have You Gotten Aids Yet?”  God’s Word does not come through when such hate is so openly displayed.  The truth of the Word is brought forth in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  If God hated fags, as the sign says, then He would not want them to come to repentance, He would have already convicted them.  The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is a sin.  It is equally clear that one must love. (Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.)  How are we going to be able to win the lost if we are turning people away with our hate?  How can we win people to Christ if we are disobeying His Word by not loving our neighbor?