Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Many at Galatia had been influenced by the “Judaizers, ” Jewish Christians, or at least Christians in name, who sought to be justified through keeping the Law of Moses. But Paul tells them that the true function of the Law was not to save but to be a “schoolmaster” or “teacher” to bring them to Christ. Once they saw the impossibility of keeping the Law and the great culpability of breaking it, they would see their need to be saved by faith alone.

Lord, that schoolmaster (your Law) that revealed our need of a Savior is still revealing to us our shortcomings. As love is the fulfilling of the Law, and to love God and neighbor is the sum of it, we see the Law is a helpful guide for Christian conduct. Use it to test us and show us our flaws, then turn us by grace to the keeping of it through love. Amen.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

To remove the curse of God for breaking his Law from us, Jesus took our guilt upon himself and suffered that curse in our place. God cannot demand “double payment” for sin, so that he cannot justly condemn those whose sins were paid for in full on the cross. That is why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

O Lamb of God, it is your blood that takes away the sin-debt of the world, even of every one who believes on your name. We could not bear the punishment of our sin, nor endure the day of God’s wrath against sin. We praise you for your work of love on the cross, where you redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Amen.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

It is in God’s design of things that children should grow up and leave the home. It is normal that they should go out and begin their own home. For our families to be strong and healthy, unlike the “fractured” if not broken families the world is so full of, husband and wife must remain in close, intimate union. And this union is a picture of the union between Christ and His Church.

God, help us to work at our relationships with others so that they will be all you intend them to be. Let my relationship with you be the foundation for a good relationship with spouse, children, parents, all family and friends, and every acquaintance. Amen.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )

Perhaps the two sweetest words in the whole Bible are found here, “But God. ” In the verse just preceding, it is stated that believers were “children of wrath even as others” before their conversion. But God had a great love for them, which led him to “quicken, ” that is “raise to life, ” those who were dead spiritually. Paul then adds emphatically, “by grace you are saved. “

May we say with conviction, O Lord, that old Christian saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I. ” May we recognize that it was your saving love that made the difference with us. We were dead to God, unable to respond properly to him. But your love laid hold on us, Lord, and you imparted to us life. And we know that yours is a love that “will not let us go.” Amen.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

The Holy Spirit is here called the Spirit of Wisdom, using a grammatical construction that in the Greek indicates the Spirit is the “source of” or “giver of” wisdom. In 2 Timothy 3:15, we learn that the Scriptures are “able to make you wise unto salvation. ” When God opens our understanding to see the truth of the Gospel, he enlightens us and imparts to us wisdom to know and act on the truth. He then gives us hope of future glory and assures us of that hope by “the working of his mighty power” in us. That is the very power that raised up Jesus from the dead.

Open our minds more and more, we pray, to understand your truths. Let the “resurrection power” of God that raised Jesus Christ’s body from the grave raise up our spirits to live more and more a “resurrection life” of obedience to you. Amen.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Faith is a gift from God, but it is also a thing that we are called to diligently work at and improve. In fact, these verses on diligence are further informed by verse 10 of the same chapter where our diligence is said to be the means of making “our calling and election sure. ” That is, when faith, virtue (moral fortitude), knowledge (gained through experience), self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love abound in our lives, it is fruit of righteousness that helps assure our hearts that indeed we are God’s children and will enter his everlasting kingdom (verse 11).

Lord, we take seriously your command to strive diligently after godliness and all Christian virtues in our daily walk. We know that you do not desire our faith to remain “alone, ” but that it should be accompanied by all Christian graces. We are encouraged to know that you will help us and guide us as we grow in all of these areas, step by step. Amen.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

There will be days when you are tempted and days when you need protection, but you are a child of God. God will never leave you or forsake you – you will never have to walk through these challenging times alone. He is always faithful. He offers his protection and will help you stay away from evil. He has given you his Holy Spirit as a guide. Trust the Spirit to alert you when you have stumbled into trouble and call on him for protection.

Dear God, when I am fearful and need courage, I know you will strengthen me. You are always faithful and you will never leave me – thank you! Help me to trust you to guide me through difficult situations and protect me from any evil the evil one tries to use against me. O Lord, make my faith stronger so that I do not have a spirit of fear. Thank you for rescuing me time and time again. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Hate Crimes Violated By Lackawanna County D.A. Office Wellpath Founder and CEO Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges | Prison Legal News

The Constitution of Pennsylvania: The Publice Defenders Office of Lackawanna County is allowing The District Attorney’s Office to Violate the Contstitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is Human Trafficking at it’s Highest.

§ 14.  Prisoners to be bailable; habeas corpus.
All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties,
unless for capital offenses or for offenses for which the
maximum sentence is life imprisonment or unless no condition or
combination of conditions other than imprisonment will
reasonably assure the safety of any person and the community
when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety
may require it.
(Nov. 3, 1998, P.L.1327, J.R.1)

Text Size: A A A  Printhttps://www.legis.state.pa.us//WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/00/00.001.014.000..HTM?97

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2022/mar/1/wellpath-founder-and-ceo-pleads-guilty-federal-bribery-charges/

I know for a fact Lackawanna County ignore every law that has been signed into law. I was a victim of Domestic Violence for most of my life. By God grave I am still alive. In 2005, I was beaten bloody the man went to jail. Lackawanna Counry court dropped all charges. Eight years later the same man SHOT me. The man thrend to kill my kids and my family. I had to draw him away for them. There is so much corrution in Lackawanna County no body does anything. THEY, elderly because they are scared of the drug dealers. When worked a Pub Charlies, I had seen police, probation officers, and judges in there. One probation officer got hig with me while I was on probation. He would go get the drugs. I can tell you true about the corruption. I left in 2007 because of the abuse I suffered in Lackawanna County. I was gang-raped, I went to the Scranton Police Department to report what happened and they blamed me for what happned to me. This county need to be charged with human trafficking chatges

A Proclamation on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, 2022

APRIL 22, 2022•PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

Forty years ago, the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime was established to help those who had experienced crime and their families — an important step toward the protection of and support for victims’ rights.  Over the years, crime victims’ rights have evolved.  Dedicated professionals have worked to develop support and services for survivors that are more holistic, trauma-informed, and effective at overcoming systemic barriers that certain communities face in prosecuting offenders and obtaining justice.  However, more work remains to be done to advance these goals.  During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, our Nation renews our commitment to providing survivors of crime the support they need to heal.  We honor the dedicated victim service providers who support crime victims, and we continue to advance this important cause for all people. 

Delivering true justice requires that we provide all victims with the support they need.  Persistent barriers still prevent many survivors from receiving the services they need and the justice they deserve.  Many crimes — including violent crimes, such as rape and sexual assault — often go unreported to law enforcement because, among other concerns, victims fear placing themselves in further danger and negative interactions with the criminal justice system.  My Administration is also working to tackle the epidemic of gun violence, which is a public health and public safety crisis.  In the absence of necessary Congressional action, my Administration is taking action to get illegal guns — and those who would use them to commit crimes — off of our streets. 

Victims of crime not only face physical and emotional costs, they often suffer a serious economic toll as well, and this is another area in which my Administration is making progress.  The Crime Victims Fund, established through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), helps provide critical resources for victim services and victim compensation programs throughout the country.  That is why, last July, I signed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victim Fund Act into law to strengthen VOCA and increase the revenues to support survivors of crime and victim services organizations.  My Administration is supporting innovative programs like sexual assault telehealth services and hospital-based victim assistance, enabling providers to quickly reach more survivors and reduce repeated victimization.  I am also proud to have recently signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which funds programs that provide services to survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  This reauthorization of VAWA also expands the rights of victims of technology-facilitated gender-based violence and also includes historic Tribal provisions to protect Native communities and help them pursue justice. 

Strengthening public safety also means addressing the trauma and inequality of victimization experienced by communities of color, Native American communities, the LGBTQI+ community, the Asian American community, and other historically marginalized groups.  People of color suffer higher rates of victimization, and violence is disproportionally concentrated in neighborhoods that have been harmed persistently by racial discrimination, segregation, redlining, and disinvestment.  Breaking the cycle of violence enhances public safety, public health, and equity.  We also know that members of the LGBTQI+ community are more likely to be victims of violent crime.  

My Administration is committed to using all tools at our disposal to ensure every survivor of crime has equal access to the resources and services they need to recover from their ordeals and regain a feeling of safety.  To address a surge in hate crimes and bias-motivated attacks — and to provide law enforcement with the resources to identify and investigate hate crimes, I signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law.  As part of this law, we have funded a new Center for Culturally Responsive Victim Services to help local programs better serve historically marginalized communities.  

 In addition to supporting crime victims, we must also hold offenders accountable.  That is why the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are committed to investigating and enforcing our criminal and civil laws and ensuring that Federal, State, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement officers and prosecutors receive the training and resources they need to deliver justice to victims.

 It takes enormous courage and extraordinary strength to emerge from life’s most painful moments.  As a Nation, let us all work together to stop crimes before they happen and to give victims the support they need to restore a sense of trust and safety and to move toward healing and justice.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 24 through April 30, 2022, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  I call upon all Americans to observe this week by participating in events that raise awareness of victims’ rights and services and by volunteering to serve victims in their time of need.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

                               JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.


According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a crime becomes a hate crime when there’s an added element of bias. For example, a murder is labeled a hate crime if the victim was killed because he was gay. Or black. Or Muslim.

“Hate crimes are different from other crimes. They strike at the heart of one’s identity,” FBI Director James Comey said in a speech at the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in 2014. “They strike at our sense of self, our sense of belonging. The end result is loss: loss of trust, loss of dignity and, in the worst case, loss of life.”

They’re motivated by bias, said David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign.

“In a hate crime, the victim is targeted because of his characteristics,” Stacy said. “These are bias-motivated crimes, and often they are much more violent than traditional crimes.”

Counting the hate

The Civil Rights Act of 1968, the first law that dealt with hate crimes, protected people against attacks related to their race, religion or national origin. Violence triggered by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability was not charged as a hate crime until 2009. The FBI says that a hate crime can target either a person or property and can be motivated in whole or in part by biases, meaning offenders can have other motives besides hate.

The Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, signed by President George H.W. Bush, required the US attorney general to report hate crimes annually. The law was inspired by a violent attack on three black men in Howard Beach, a mostly white neighborhood in Queens, New York, in 1986.

Walking out of a pizzeria, the men were confronted by a gang of white teens, who called out racial slurs and chased the men. One man, Michael Griffith, 23, was killed by oncoming traffic. Another was severely beaten but survived. The third managed to run away.

To track attacks such as these, the FBI now collects voluntary reports of hate crimes from local jurisdictions across the country.

Since the data collection began, the FBI has published hate crime statistics from 1996 to, most recently, 2015. In 2015, there were 5,818 hate crime incidents reported, the majority of which were biased toward race and ethnicity. There were about 340 more hate crimes in 2015 than in 2014.

“Hate crimes occur during a period of heightened rhetoric, like a presidential election,” said the Human Rights Campaign’s Stacy. Whenever a vulnerable group is given national attention – whether the attention is positive or negative – people who are biased against the group may lash out, he explained.

The FBI reports that the numbers of hate crimes have decreased over several years, with the exception of 2015. Regardless of the year, however, the hate crime count is underreported to the FBI, explained Stacy. Some state, city and local police agencies simply don’t collect or disclose the data.

“Crimes happen, and the cop on the beat checks the motivation of the crime to state in the police report,” Stacy said. “Often, they say there’s not enough evidence to say it’s a hate crime. There’s an underreporting of hate crimes in general.”

Tracking hate crimes against the LGBT community

Stacy joined the Human Rights Campaign in 1999, an important time for the LGBT community. The previous year, Matthew Shepard, 21, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, tortured, chained to a fence and left for dead by two men he had met at a bar.

The case caused a stir, but it wasn’t clear whether Shepard’s attack was an anti-gay hate crime. The two offenders confessed to pretending to be gay in order to lure Shepard into their truck, but they claimed their motive for the murder was robbery. However, LGBT activist groups nationwide, including Shepard’s mother, Judy, argued that the student was killed because he was gay.

Stacy took the activists’ message to Congress, where they lobbied for laws that would protect victims attacked because of their sexual identities. They succeeded 11 years later, in 2009, when President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded hate crime laws to include sexual orientation, disability and gender bias.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, recently proposed a law that would prevent hate crime offenders from buying guns. This bill comes in response to the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, a gay club in Orlando where nearly 50 people were killed in June.

“If you have proven you will commit criminal acts based on hate, you absolutely should not have access to a gun. It’s common sense,” Casey said at a news conference after the shooting.

“No one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love,” remarked President Obama when he signed the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The act “was a huge victory for us” Stacy said. Still, he noted, much work needs to be done to raise awareness of anti-LGBT hate crimes.

As of now, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act protects LGBT victims from violent crimes only where the federal government has jurisdiction. Since most crimes are tried at the state level, many victims aren’t protected based on their gay or transgender identities.

The Movement Advancement Project, a Denver-based think tank that advocates for LGBT equality, maintains an online map of which states have hate crime laws that protect LGBT people. According to the map, 17 states have hate crime laws that cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Thirteen states have laws that cover only sexual orientation.

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The project reports that 15 states have laws that cover neither sexual orientation nor gender identity, while five states (South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Arkansas and Wyoming) have no hate crime laws in place. Without protections in these states, it’s hard to track how many hate crimes against LGBT people occur.

In 2013, the FBI began recording hate crimes motivated by gender and gender identification biases – for example, attacks on transgender people. Crimes motivated by gender identification rose from 31 in 2013 to 114 in 2015, according to FBI reports.

Stacy says the lack of support for LGBT victims of hate crimes is troubling. In an environment that doesn’t recognize hate crimes motivated by homophobia, he explained, victims don’t feel safe reporting attacks. And because these crimes aren’t always recorded by the jurisdictions, FBI data do not reflect these incidents, Stacy said.

The 2015 data reveal that anti-LGBT hate crimes rose by about 5% but remained below 2013 levels. Still, the Human Rights Campaign suggests that this increase is an understatement: “The number (of LGBT hate crimes) likely only represents a fraction of such cases given that thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the country did not submit any data,” it said in a statement.

Tracking hate crimes against Muslims

Three years after Shepard’s death, in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, a wave of anti-Islamic hate crimes surfaced. In 2001, 481 incidents of hate crime were recorded. Incidents, as defined by the FBI, may include multiple offenses. Comparatively, only 28 incidents against Muslims were recorded in 2000, according to the FBI.

The increased attacks against people who appeared Muslim showed most drastically in the religion-biased crime count. Before 2001, crimes motivated by ethnicity made up a little more than 10%, on average, of the total number of single-biased hate crimes. In 2001, ethnicity-biased crimes counted for more than 20% of the total, according to the FBI.

After 2001, the numbers of hate crimes against Muslims dropped, but they remained higher than before. Between 2010 and 2013, attacks against Muslims made up about 13% of religion-biased offenses. Comparatively, anti-Jewish crimes counted for about 60% of those offenses.

But in 2014, anti-Muslim offenses increased again, counting for more than 16% of the religion-biased offenses. Interestingly, this was the only religion within that category of hate crimes that increased in the 2014 FBI report, and the total hate crime count in 2014 was the lowest it had ever been.

In 2015, the hate crime total increased by 356 single bias incidents, and anti-Muslim incidents surged again. Over 20% of attacks on religious groups in 2015 targeted Muslims, according to FBI data. The FBI reported 257 hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, an increase from 154 crimes in 2014.

Why the surge? The Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based organization that monitors hate crimes across the country, points to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and the “exploitation of these attacks by right-wing media and political figures” in the US as encouraging hatred toward Muslims, according to recent blog post.

FBI: Hate crimes spike, most sharply against Muslims

The law center also noted that the anti-Muslim hate crime count in 2015 may be even higher because a handful of anti-Sikh hate crimes (a new category for 2015) were also reported last year. Because Sikhs are sometimes mistaken for Muslims, an offender may have intended to commit a hate crime against a Muslim but instead attacked a Sikh. In this case, the crime would have been recorded as an anti-Sikh crime.

The center suggests that President-elect Donald Trump may have influenced the uptick in hate crimes.

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“What was likely even more important (than terrorist events in Europe) was Trump’s attacks on Muslims, including his infamous call for a ban on Muslims entering the US,” it said in a blog post.

The law center continued, “In addition, many of Trump’s aides and surrogates embraced similar rhetoric. The Trump campaign also maligned blacks, Latinos and other minorities.”

Tracking hate crimes against blacks and minorities

Historically, about half of all hate crimes have been racially charged, according to the FBI reports. Of these race-biased crimes, the majority have targeted black people. In 2015, there were 1,745 anti-black hate crimes reported, far outnumbering the 613 anti-white incidents and 299 anti-Hispanic or Latino incidents.

The recent report reveals a nearly 8% increase in hate crimes against blacks from 2014 data, which cited 1,621 anti-black hate crimes. Prior to 2015, the race-biased crime numbers had steadily decreased since 2008. In 2008, the same year Obama was elected, there were 2,876 anti-black hate crimes reported, nearly 37% of the total number of hate crimes that year.

“There was an uptick in hate crimes (against black people) after Obama’s election,” confirmed Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. That year, the law center saw churches with predominantly black congregations burned to the ground, among other incidents, she said. With a black president in the White House, “people were angry,” she explained.

Though the number of race-biased hate crimes has decreased over many years, tensions between races were still strained in the years following Obama’s election. Incidents of police officers killing young black men, including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, launched the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, which advocates for racial justice.

But the hate didn’t stop: In 2015, nine people were killed in a traditionally black church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacy supporter. The shooter, Dylann Roof, was charged with 33 federal counts, including nine counts of violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act resulting in death and three counts of violating the act in an attempt to kill. Roof confessed to the killings and was convicted December 15 on all 33 charges.

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South Carolina does not have hate crime laws, so Roof couldn’t be charged locally for hate crimes. The city of Charleston reported four hate crimes in 2015, according to the FBI. The report doesn’t specify whether Roof’s crime was among those four hate crimes.

At the Southern Poverty Law Center, Beirich tracks hate incidents from current media headlines and individual reports from victims. As the center’s data are updated daily with new hate crime incidents, she can observe how the crime counts ebb and flow depending on the political climate.

Beirich compares the spike in race-biased hate crimes after Obama was elected to the surge of crimes after the tumultuous 2016 election.

“Now, (the hate crime offenders) are happy,” Beirich said. When Trump won the US election, she explained, the reaction among a segment of his supporters was similar to reactions to Brexit in Europe: a heightened sense of nationalism and increased hate for minorities, particularly blacks and immigrants. In the week after Trump’s win, the law center counted more than 700 hate incidents, the majority of which targeted black people and immigrants, it said.

What happens when you normalize the abnormal

In addition to tracking hate crimes, the law center monitors active hate groups in the country, including white supremacy groups, black separatists and general hate groups. Actions by these groups – or in reference to them, such as a spray-painted swastika on a building – contribute largely to the hate crime count.

According to the law center, there were 892 active hate groups in 2015, an increase from 784 in 2014. Of the hate groups, about 20% are KKK branches, 20% black separatists, 20% general hate, 10% neo-Nazis, 10% racist skinheads and 10% white nationalists. Neo-Confederate and Christian identity groups made up the rest of the total. General hate groups include groups whose biases aren’t specified and groups with multiple biases, such as both anti-black and anti-gay.

“Reacting to demographic changes in the US, immigration, the legalization of same-sex marriage, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and Islamist atrocities, these people fostered a sense of polarization and anger in this country,” the law center commented in a blog post.

Invisible hate crimes

Beirich and Stacy emphasized that FBI hate crime statistics are grossly underreported, mainly because the hate crime reports are handed in voluntarily. Several large cities, including Honolulu and Portland, Oregon, didn’t report in 2015, according to Stacy.

“There was a big drop in jurisdictions reporting,” Stacy said. In past years, participating agencies have increased: About 12,000 submitted data in 2001, about 12,400 in 2005, about 15,000 in 2010 and about 15,500 in 2014. But in 2015, fewer than 15,000 agencies reported, according to the FBI. Of those that didn’t report, 21 were cities with populations of more than 100,000 people, the Human Rights Campaign notes in a statement on their website.

Why the US has the most mass shootings

However, even the data cities do report may not be reliable. Every year since the FBI began tracking hate crimes in 1996, more than 80% of jurisdictions have reported “zero” hate crimes. In 2015, only 11.6% of participating law enforcement agencies reported hate crimes. The vast majority of participating jurisdictions – 88.4% – said not a single hate crime occurred in their cities.

“It’s bogus,” said Beirich. Not acknowledging hate crimes skews the data, she explained, because some states appear to have much more hate than others. “States that are good at reporting, like California and New Jersey, look like they have a lot of hate crimes, while most states in the deep South don’t report hate crimes.”

Areas with histories of racial tensions like Mobile, Alabama, and the entire state of Mississippi reported no hate crimes for 2015, according to the FBI.

In the places where there are no local hate crime laws, hate crimes must be charged at the federal level, as was the case for Roof in South Carolina. However, charging someone with a hate crime in a jurisdiction without local hate crime laws can be much more difficult than in places with the laws, Stacy says.

Stacy adds that jurisdictions don’t admit hate crimes, which may be why the FBI numbers seem to be severely understated. Part of the problem, Stacy suggests, is that police officers don’t acknowledge that crimes are hate crimes when they happen, either because there are no local hate crime laws or the officers are biased themselves.

“Communities are much more likely to report bias-motivated crimes when they don’t trust the police,” Stacy said. In these areas, he continued, “there’s much more willingness to report hate crimes.”

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Conversely, in communities that strongly support law enforcement – such as traditional, right-wing Southern towns – the public is not as likely to question an officer’s judgment, according to Stacy. This compounds the problem: First, hate crimes are less likely to be acknowledged in these districts, which creates an unsafe space for vulnerable individuals; secondly, since the crimes aren’t reported even if they occur, areas with high rates of hate crimes may be overlooked by the FBI.

Even for the states that reported hate crimes in 2015, the numbers were still exceedingly low, according to Stacy and Beirich. Wyoming filed just two incidents, while Arkansas reported five. Comparatively, Maine, whose population is half the size of Arkansas, reported 38 hate crimes, according to the FBI.

Bringing hate crimes to light

By tracking hate crime in real time, the Southern Poverty Law Center wants to expose hate incidents that may not be accounted for by the FBI.

Beirich suggests hate crime data are better represented elsewhere. “Instead of looking at the FBI data, we should look at the crime survey data” administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, she said. In 2012, the bureau conducted a hate crime survey that measured hate crimes perceived by victims.

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The survey was administered to people age 12 or older and asked every six months, for a three-year period, whether they had experienced victimization, which could be nonfatal personal crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal larceny) or household property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft and other theft). They were also asked what they perceived as the bias for the attack (anti-race, anti-LGBT, etc.) and whether they reported the crime to the police. Responses from the sample of people who took the survey were then weighted to represent the total population of the US.

After calculating the survey responses, the bureau estimated that 293,800 hate crimes occurred in 2012: 50 times more crimes than the FBI reported in 2012. The survey estimated that 60% of the hate crimes submitted weren’t reported to the police.

“It’s our responsibility to get out this information,” Beirich said. “We need a much more aggressive program of reporting.”

The Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers differ from the FBI statistics because they are victim-reported, rather than reported by the police. They are also estimated from a sample population, which means there is a margin of error between the estimated number of hate crimes and the real number, according to the survey. Additionally, since it was victim-reported, bias-motivated murders were not included in the Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

The Southern Poverty Law Center accumulates both victim-reported hate crimes and hate crimes reported by the media, but these data are updated daily, and the center does not keep an annual report of total hate crimes. Of the three sets of hate crime data, the FBI statistics are the only statistics that track physical hate crimes across the country year after year.

In his 2014 speech, FBI director Comey addressed the flaws with the hate crime statistics. “We need to do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it,” Comey said.

“There are jurisdictions that fail to report hate crime statistics. Other jurisdictions claim there were no hate crimes in their communit, a fact that would be welcome if true,” Comey continued. “We must continue to impress upon our state and local counterparts in every jurisdiction the need to track and report hate crime. It is not something we can ignore or sweep under the rug.”

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The Human Rights Campaign proposes requiring districts to report hate crimes. “This would provide a more complete picture of hate based violence in the United States and allow for targeted efforts to address areas with high levels of crime,” the campaign said in its statement.

Stacy makes an analogy between hate crime and domestic crime, using the example of a woman who is beaten by her husband. If there’s a domestic abuse center in town, she is much more likely to report the attack. Without a support system available, however, the woman will probably suffer in silence.

“The same thing is true for hate crimes,” Stacy said. “If the services are there, victims are more likely to report.”

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Legislators in the Pennsylvania House and Senate have moved to introduce a comprehensive legislative package to address hate crimes.


Across the nation and in Pennsylvania, hate crimes are on the rise. Pennsylvania’s laws have not kept pace with modern society and need to be updated. 

The legislation, sponsored by state Reps. Dan Frankel and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, state Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Phila., will bring Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws into the modern era, extend protections to threatened communities, and give law enforcement the tools it needs to prevent and address hate crimes across the commonwealth.

For information about the legislation introduced in the House and Senate, read the hate crime legislative guide. Or read about the individual bills below.


Legislation in the House

House Bill 2013

This bill would step up civil and criminal penalties on those who target individuals or groups because of their race, color, religion, national origin, actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. It would also provide tools to fight Civil Rights Violations such as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against continued violators and people who solicit or provide aid to such violators.

House Bill 2012

With the number of hate crimes increasing by 17% across the nation according to the U.S. Department of Justice, it is time we provide our law enforcement officials with the tools they need to properly investigate, identify and report crimes of ethnic intimidation.

House Bill 2010

This legislation would require postsecondary institutions to offer online and anonymous reporting options for students and employees. Anonymous online reporting alerts campus police of a possible hate crime while at the same time serving as an early point of contact, when a victim can learn about the steps required to file a formal report.

House Bill 2011

This legislation would require, as a condition of probation or parole, an individual who is convicted of ethnic intimidation to perform community service or complete educational classes relating to the motivating factor of the underlying crime.  For example, an individual convicted of ethnic intimidation against an individual who is Jewish would be required to take educational classes relating to Judaism. 

Legislation in the Senate

Senate Bill 943

The legislation would require, as a condition of probation or parole, an individual who is convicted of ethnic intimidation to perform community service or complete educational classes relating to the motivating factor of the underlying crime.  For example, an individual convicted of ethnic intimidation against an individual who is Jewish would be required to take educational classes relating to Judaism. 

Senate Bill 944

Under this legislation, MPOETC will be required to train all law enforcement agencies under its jurisdiction on how to investigate, identify and report offenses based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, age or disability of the victim.

Senate Bill 945

Senate Bill 946 would require postsecondary institutions to offer online and anonymous reporting options for students and employees. Anonymous online reporting alerts campus police of a possible hate crime while at the same time serving as an early point of contact, when a victim can learn about the steps required to file a formal report.

Senate Bill 946

This legislation would give the Attorney General the power to track hate group activity across the state in an information database system, allowing for better protection of our constituents, the marginalized, and other communities that are often the primary targets of hate. The information in the database would only be accessible by law enforcement agencies across the state, to better inform them of the hate group activity in their region. 

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Repor­ted increases in far-right viol­ence have led poli­cy­makers to search for new solu­tions. Because these attacks on vulner­able communit­ies are often invest­ig­ated and prosec­uted as hate crimes or viol­ent crimes, part of the solu­tion is ensur­ing that they are accur­ately tracked and repor­ted. Unfor­tu­nately, federal hate crimes data is flawed and incom­plete. This is due in large part to the Depart­ment of Justice’s reli­ance on volun­tary report­ing from state and local law enforce­ment to fulfill its oblig­a­tion to report national hate crimes data.

There are wide dispar­it­ies in the protec­tions provided by the vari­ous state hate crimes laws, result­ing in unequal protec­tion from similar viol­ent crimes in differ­ent juris­dic­tions and the frus­tra­tion of efforts to collect and main­tain accur­ate national data regard­ing these attacks. Six Five states — Arkan­sas, Geor­gia, Indi­ana, North Dakota, South Caro­lina, and Wyom­ing — do not even have hate crime laws.

The table below illus­trates the differ­ences in hate crimes laws among the states and U.S. territ­or­ies. It includes all state hate crimes stat­utes as well as laws that protect against activ­it­ies commonly under­stood as hate crimes, such as display­ing a noose or burn­ing a cross. The table tracks whether the stat­utes estab­lish inde­pend­ent hate crime offenses or if they are used to enhance penal­ties on under­ly­ing crimes. It also notes stat­utes that require data collec­tion, hate crimes train­ing for law enforce­ment officers, or provi­sions for altern­at­ive resol­u­tions to address­ing the harms caused by such crimes.

The table is part of the Bren­nan Center report Fight­ing Far-Right Viol­ence and Hate Crimes: Reset­ting Federal Law Enforce­ment Prior­it­ies.

Click on states to show and hide their hate crime stat­utes.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

It is amazing how selfish we can be sometimes. A line of traffic on a busy street. We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever at a traffic light. Out of the corner of our eye, we see a car trying to pull out of a parking lot, the driver desperately looking for an opening. We avert our eyes and grip the steering wheel, determined not to give an inch. Someone else can make that sacrifice. Selfish, our selfish nature makes it very difficult to understand the great sacrifice Christ made for us. When we were useless sinners, when we were absolutely powerless, He chose to die for us. Sinners….who hated God, who delighted in the very things God hates. He died for us. It’s hard to get our selfish brains wrapped around that notion. We were on the verge of perishing and He gave Himself away to save us. Who does that? What a great friend Christ is to us! That He would lay down His life to save such selfish, sinful beings.That is what is most amazing about His sacrifice. If we had all been good, righteous people–then perhaps it is understandable that He would be willing to die for us. But we were ungodly. And He STILL died for us. The depth of His love was such that, even in our sin, He loved us and died for us. He took our sin upon Himself. He knew about everything we ever did or ever would do. It didn’t matter. He did it anyway. His unwavering love for us sent him to the cross.

In this scripture, Jesus explains to His disciples (including us), that He chose us. Traditionally, in Jewish culture, a person would choose his own Teacher. In this case, Jesus makes it clear that these disciples were chosen by the Teacher, instead. This applies to us today as well. Christ has chosen us; we didn’t choose Him first. Not only has He chosen us, He has ordained us to be fruitful, meaning that we are to be productive and successful in spreading the Gospel. We were set apart for this purpose by Christ. Christ expects this fruit to “remain” or be permanent. Whatever good work we do for the Kingdom should be lasting and eternal. When we bear good fruit in this way, the consequences are that our prayers will be answered by God. Christ tells us that whatever we ask in His name will be done. This is an encouraging promise, that both gives us validation and shows us our purpose in this life.

Lord, I thank You for choosing me and ordaining me. Help me to spread the Gospel far and wide in such a way that it makes an eternal impact on people’s lives. I thank You that You will hear and answer my prayers as I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Ultimate Realty

Ultimate Reality is immovable, but is the cause of movement. Only through great insight will one comprehend this such-ness. A manual on Zen Buddhism, Maroon Mandala

Ultimate Realty

Olson v. Lackawanna County Prison et al, No. 1:2011cv02383 – Document 106 (M.D. Pa. 2014) :: Justia

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/pennsylvania/pamdce/1:2011cv02383/87741/106/

Amen

C.S. Lewis – I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It’s doesn’t change God. It changes me.

Thanking God for everything shows your respect for the gifts GOd has given you. The moment we open your eyes, we need to be in thanksgiving of God’s blessing to live for another day. If you are a live God has a purpose for your life. We are here to serve God not people. We are here to love and help each other. With God’s faith in our hearts we are able to love one another even our eneimes. Thank God for everything no matter how small the gift is. Breathing His Spirit in our lungs praise needs to be on our lips daily.

Prayer before a meals, is showing faith in God’s love for you. Thanking God for the food He provided for you is blessing to your body and the Word of God is a blessing to the soul for the humans; I am able to receive the blessing God is willing to give us. Your Word blesses our soul when we joyfully thank You for everything. I thank You, Lord for this day and I thank You for watching over me when I sleep. Make me the Christ like woman Yo want me to be to glorify You. I want less of me and more of You In Jesus name, Amen

Jesus, gentle Shepherd, hear me. Bless they little lamb tonight. Through the darkness be thou near me. Kepp me safe ’til morning light.

I like to say I was a great prayer warrior, but that was not true. I often struggled to know how to pray and what to pray. If God had already decided what was going to happen, what difference did my prayers really make? My own thoughts had gotten in the way for my prayers. There are times I found praying to be boring, and repetitive. I been distracted and had other things on my mind. My mind would wander. We know how important prayer is and there are times we struggle with prayer; at times I would feel guilty and wondered what was wrong with me. Well, what was wrong I didn’t read the God’s Word when I was struggling or asked the Holy Spirit for guidance. I thank God I know the Model Pray for us all. The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer I pray when I feel like can’t pray. Jesus tell’s us to go into our private prayer room and pray

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

If God has asked you to lay something down or pick something up — I promise you that in due time you will see the fruit of that decision. You will never ever regret obeying Him no matter how extreme, crazy, hard or illogical it might look. — it’s worth it every single time! Before […]

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 1:4

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Famine, war, captivity…these are all the consequences of rebellion the people of Israel experienced. The Old Testament has example after example of the Lord turning his hand against those who did not obey him. It can be easy for us to judge these Old Testament citizens, but if we look closely at our own hearts, we will see that there have been times when we have disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord’s commandments. Rather than judging the Old Testament body, we should use their experiences as a guide. Rather than continuing in sin and having God subject us to his wrath, we should seek his face.

The early Christians were known by the example they showed in how they loved one another. In this short passage, we learn that they shared what they had so that no one went without. If we read further in chapter 4 we hear of how they sold their possessions and turned in their monies so that the apostles could distribute it according to one’s needs. Does this sound like the Christians of today?

Actually, it does describe Christians living in the poorer countries of the world. Many missionaries have described the welcome they have received and the good will of the people in the poor countries where they have served. I experienced the same on a mission trip to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. In the wealthier countries, keeping what they have seems more important than sharing with others. People are willing to donate what is not longer useful, clothing they have outgrown, furniture they need to replace, other items they no longer have room for, even cars that no longer work. But, are they willing to rent an apartment at a lower rate so that a poor family can live safely? They might rent to a low income family but usually with a government subsidy so they don’t lose any money. The rich can seem to feel that it’s their right to keep whatever they’ve earned – which is not actually wrong, but what of their responsibility to help the needy?

In the Gospel, Jesus points out clearly talks about our responsibility to the poor and the vulnerable, a preferential option for the poor. What about us?

Often we focus on the great, unearned, unlimited mercy God has shown us. Now we need to consider how we have shown mercy to others – and maybe even to ourselves! Where do you have a problem with being merciful? It could be with forgiveness, compassion for those who suffer from addictions, or who beg, or we might not be welcoming to the stranger. Each of us has a problem with someone or something. I worked in retail during high school and college and then married into the world of retail. One of my problems is having patience with store salespeople who are rude or who don’t have a clue about the products they are selling. I try. There are members of my family who don’t speak to one another. I know people who are so unforgiving that it interferes with their relationships.

God is merciful to us when we don’t know what we’re doing. He sends us help when we are lost. He forgives us over and over again. I also know people who continue to carry their past mistakes with them to the point where they can’t move forward in their lives. God has forgiven them, why is it that they can’t forgive themselves? Today, think about the areas of your life where God has shown you mercy, and then look at the areas where you need to pass that mercy on to someone else – or maybe decide that it’s time you put down your own baggage and forgive yourself. With God’s help, we can grow in our ability to share the mercy we have been shown with others and so relieve them of some of the pain they may be carrying.

Each time the Lord saved them, they poured out their thanks and let everyone know what God had done for them. It is now the Easter season, and we need to be just as enthusiastic in our thanks and praise as the Israelites. If they were grateful for the victories won for them, how much more should we be for Jesus winning the victory over sin and death. This is a battle that has won a victory for all people for all time. Never again will this battle have to be fought, and we didn’t have to fight it, Jesus did it all. There is a hymn that I’ve sung every year at the Baptist church during the celebration of the Seven Last Words on Good Friday that is called just that: “Jesus Did it All.” Not only did he do it all, but by his resurrection he let us know that the victory was won, the gates of heaven were opened and the power of Satan had been defeated. All we have to do is live each day following in the footsteps of Christ and accept the gift we have been offered. Why do we hold back? Do we take our faith so for granted that we no longer feel the need to say thanks? This year, let it be different and let those around you know of your gratitude for the victory won for you and for them.

Isn’t it amazing that God has the power to do great things through us? He pours His Spirit out and through Him alone, men and women are able to do things that they could never do apart from God. God can do anything. He has the power to move mountains, to speak His words through Humans, and to do great works in and through us. God is truly amazing!

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Here Jesus talks to His Father one of His final prayers on this earth. In this verse, He refers to the work He has completed. He knows that His time on earth has come to an end. He has reviewed His life and He says, essentially, “Father, I’ve done the best I can. There is nothing more for me to do here. I’ve prepared them as well as possible. It’s time to do this thing I came here to do.” And with that, it begins. The greatest act of love known to mankind is about to unfold.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

One of Kari Jobe’s most famous songs is “You are for Me.” Based on this passage, the song emphasizes the love of a God who is faithful on our side. No matter what goes on in our lives, He is there. Paul makes an important argument here: God gave His own Son for us. How can He not be on our side? He chose us. Every decision we make, every step that we take, God is with us. He sees our going out and our coming in. He sees when we fall and when we fail and He still is on our side, with unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what the world has said about us. It doesn’t matter what we sometimes say about ourselves. He, the Lord of All, is for us. He’s in our corner and with God in our corner, who dares to be against us.

Lord, I thank You for what You did for me at Calvary. You gave Your life for me. You loved me unconditionally. You suffered and died for me. Help me to be worthy of Your sacrifice. Amen.

Dear God, you are holy and you are jealous. When we are tempted to disobey your commands, remind us of the Israelites and the ways they suffered because of sin. Remind us that sometimes we must be disciplined to learn a lesson, but help us to learn this lesson from those who went before us rather than having to walk through it ourselves. Forgive us for our sins, O Lord. Do not turn your hand against us. Please extend mercy on your children. In Jesus’ name, amen. Lord, I believe that You have the power to do mighty works in and through me. I believe that You work through Your Church in mysterious ways. I give my life to You to do whatever You want in and through me. You are mighty and wonderful. Your ways are mysterious, and I praise You for Your great works. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Father, I know that You are for me. I know that You have my best interest in Your heart. You gave up Your own Son to give me life and I thank You. If You are for me, then no one can be against me. Amen.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

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This is a praise of joy in the Lord. The writer of this Psalm rejoices in the Lord. So should we. We should exalt in the Lord, the Highest. He is all things to us. We should praise His Holy name forever. He is worthy of all praise. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we possess. When we praise, we affect ourselves, God, the enemy. When we praise, walls fall and troubles disappear. The lack of praise conversely affects everything in your life. While almost everyone would agree that praise is a good thing, many people don’t see the responsibility to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. When we give this “sacrifice” of praise unto God, we are overcomers. Praise comes naturally when we recognize the goodness in our lives. We should make it a point to praise Him every day.

The Christian life is a wondrous adventure, full of twists and turns, good times and also difficult challenges. Through all of it, God’s Word is our greatest resource for insight, wisdom, hope, and guidance. Every problem we face has its solution in the Word of God. Where there is a need for comfort, peace, or courage, He provides it. To find His wisdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time alone with Him in prayer and the study of His Scriptures. Each year I receive countless letters from people who ask if there is a way for them to know God’s will for their lives. The answer is yes. But before He will reveal this to us, we need to get to know Him—the way He thinks, acts, and demonstrates His love for us.

Are you tired of trying to overcome sin on your own? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect, in your own power? Have you tried to be righteous on your own and found yourself seriously wanting? Here is the good news: you don’t have to do this on your own. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, so that we could be saved from our sin, and so that we could also be partakers of the Father’s inheritance. The life of Christ is an unburdened life, filled with rest and blessed assurance.

Dear God, I thank you for the rest and peace I have in you as a result of what your son, Jesus Christ, did for me. Lord, I have struggled with my sin and I have grown weary from trying to be perfect on my own. Thank you, Father, for removing the burden from my shoulders and helping me overcome my struggles. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Correction Is A Blessing, My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

One of the most difficult parts of parenting is disciplining children. It’s no fun making rules, putting kids on restriction, taking away cell phones or other electronic devices. It’s just not fun but we must do these things because we want to correct behavior. We love our children and we don’t want them to grow up being irresponsible. We want them to grow up to be responsible citizens, so when they misbehave, we have to correct the behavior. They don’t like it. We don’t like it, but it’s necessary and sometimes when our children don’t understand. As children, we never really understood our parents’ corrections either. We would hold grudges against our parents when they took away our stuff or restricted us or wouldn’t let us go to inappropriate parties. In this passage we are reminded that we shouldn’t despise it when God corrects us. We shouldn’t be upset when he disciplines us. He does this because he loves us. This passage says “for whom the Lord loves, He corrects.” God is compared to a father who loves his son and corrects his son. Even though it’s difficult to be corrected by the Lord, to be chastised by the Lord, we need to learn how to bear it and we need to see it for what it is: the correcting hand of a loving God who only wants what’s best for us, who loves us and is trying to get us to walk on the right path.

Father even though sometimes I may not enjoy being chastised by You or being corrected by You, I do understand why You have to do it and I do know that You love me. I ask You that You will help me to be able to see past my own selfishness to the lesson that You are trying to teach me and help me to be able to pass this to my own children. Help me to be able to correct them with love in such a way that they will also appreciate one day what I’ve tried to do for them. Amen.

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