Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Many of you have already signed the petition urging the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee to schedule a hearing on HR 911 – the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009.
At last look there were approximately 80 signatures, some accompanied by personal accounts of abuse. Thanks to everyone. Please keep passing the word around. And, if you haven’t signed and would like to click here to be taken to petition page.
I am planning to meet with David Johns in Washington D.C. at the end of the month to discuss this bill, the potential for a hearing and to share your stories and signatures. Mr. Johns works for Senator Harkin (D-IA), the ranking member of the Senate HELP committee, and is the lead on the issues that HR 911 covers. (My friend Steve Sodders is an Iowa State Senator and was kind enough to contact Senator Tom Harkin’s office to facilitate this meeting. Thank you Steve!)
In the meantime, I thought you may be interested in see what the push back to this bill looks like. This is from Jack Patterson, founder of Reclamation Ranch, an abusive Christian “school” in Alabama:
Our legal issues are over Praise the Lord! Read our legal page for update. Please pray about Bill 911. If it passes in the House of Representatives, Bill 911 will destroy the opportunity to help the 13 to 17 young people.
“we urge all our friends to help us defeat this wicked bill called HR911″
You will notice when you click on the Hope of Israel link you are required to enter a password. When Teresa Frye, a survivor of an abusive Christian home, sent me this two weeks ago, that wasn’t the case.
HR 911 is not perfect. There are a host of organizations that have analyzed and made recommended changes to the bill. I have my own problems with some of the language and what I consider falling short on restrictions for employment and/or starting one of these schools. But, it is a good bill overall. It is a step forward in casting a net over abusive “Christian” homes in addition public entities.