Looking to make exercise of religion subservient to LGBT rights in all cases
Democrats in Congress already have staged a massive campaign to promote their Equality Act, which would impose the LGBT agenda on churches and faith-based organizations.
But now they’re working on a backup plan should the aggressive Equality Act fail.
It’s named the Do No Harm Act, but it would destroy protections for the exercise of religion by changing the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill would make the exercise of religion in public life subservient to LGBT rights in all cases.
The RFRA has helped protect religious freedom since it was enacted in 1993.
Democrats believe they can reverse the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision if the RFRA is changed. The ruling protected a Christian baker from being forced to violate his religious beliefs by creating a cake for a same-sex wedding.
The report explained it condemns “those who wield their faiths to hurt others,” according to a civil-rights lawyer.
Rachel Laser of Americans United for Separation of Church and State claimed the Trump administration is “weaponizing” the law to “undermine civil rights protections.”
She said it harms “women, people of no religion, the LGBT community and religious minorities.”
She condemned RFRA because it allowed the South Carolina foster agency to operate according to its faith, which she said is unacceptable.
Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., had a different perspective.
“This isn’t about forcing religious beliefs; this is about forcing people of faith to abandon their beliefs.”
An obstetrician, he asked: “Will I be forced to perform something I believe is wrong? Will I be forced to perform an abortion?”
Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., explained that the Constitution doesn’t confine religion to houses of worship.
“I understand that I am a Christian first and a congressman second. My faith is not divorced from my life. And I would expect everyone else who has a similar belief, that they, in this country, should be free, whether they’re Judeo-Christian or not,” he said.
Democrats in the House are celebrating Friday’s vote to pass The Equality Act, a misnamed legal jackhammer that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to federal civil rights law.
It goes far beyond allowing men into women’s sports and locker rooms, as bad as that is. It provides the state with the power to persecute anyone who won’t celebrate any aspect of the LGBTQ agenda.
Far from merely expanding civil rights categories, it turns any recognition of the differences between the sexes or any preference for traditional sexual morality into actionable “hate,” creating fertile grounds for lawsuits.
“It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level,” says Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in Biblical sexual morality. “It will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”
In other words, it would criminalize Christianity, an ongoing process that got a big boost from the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex “marriage.”
This draconian bill passed by a vote of 236-173, with 8 Republicans joining 228 Democrats. Another 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats did not vote.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has actually endorsed it, too. When did destroying the moral order and paving the way for more lawsuits against businesses become part of the chamber’s mission? Pouring legal acid on a marriage-and-family-based culture will not lead to a more stable society of upwardly mobile consumers. America is only as prosperous as its families are strong.
Many people are complacent because Republicans control the Senate and won’t allow it to become law – this time. Also, the Trump Administration has announced its opposition.
But some weasel GOPers suggest a “carveout” for churches, leaving everyone else – tens of millions of Christians and observant Jews – at the mercy of a government run by LGBTQ activists who have no patience for resistance of any kind. In any case, the bill specifically rules out religion-based defenses.
And what if the GOP loses the Senate or the White House in 2020?
It’s time to educate the public about this bill’s toxic blend of mad science and totalitarian intent, and it won’t be easy.
“All the principalities and powers will cooperate in giving this cudgel to Leviathan,” writes John Smirak at thestream.org. “And to litigious thugs like [Pennsylvania state] Rep. Brian Sims. Guys who hike their testosterone count by bullying women and kids. Ask [Masterpiece Cakeshop owner] Jack Phillips and other victims of Gay Sharia how it feels. That will be the fate of every faithful Christian if this unjust bill becomes law.”
Unless we reassert the primacy of natural marriage and natural sexuality, “our battle will be a losing one,” Mr. Smirak writes. “Our churches will end up essentially illegal. Sooner or later.”
MassResistance, a parents’ rights group, has compiled a list of likely outcomes. Here’s a tweaked version:
It will undermine the civil rights movement that black Americans fought for.
Churches will be sued or lose tax-exempt status if they don’t accept LGBTQ behaviors.
Schoolchildren will be forced to learn how to engage in destructive LGBTQ behaviors [in California, it begins in kindergarten].
Parents who oppose this will be charged with discrimination.
Private colleges will lose funding, grants and scholarships.
Public accommodations and small businesses will be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms and vice versa.
Business owners will be forced to violate their freedom of conscience.
Hospitals, clinics and the armed forces will be forced to offer experimental and harmful transgender treatments – including surgeries.
Foster and adoption agencies will be forced to close, as has already happened to Catholic Charities in several liberal cities.
Men will displace women in sports events (already happening).
Scenarios like the following case would become common: A Texas father has been charged in a divorce proceeding with child abuse for not “affirming” his six-year-old son as female. The mother renamed James as “Luna” and makes him wear dresses to school. The father says James is all boy when he visits him, and goes by “James.” The Equality Act would greatly enhance the mother’s insane quest to turn their son into a girl.
The mother also seeks to terminate the father’s visitations and to “require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight,” writes Walt Heyer, a former transsexual, in the Federalist.
Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, describes the pediatric community’s encouragement of sex change and hormones for children as “institutionalized child abuse.”
The Equality Act would federalize such abuse, and religious faith won’t be a shield. Judges will see to that.
The bill is far more dangerous than most people know. It’s about time they knew – and told everyone they can, especially lawmakers.
If Democrats get their way, religious hospitals would be forced to perform abortions, Christian churches would be forced to host events that are contrary to the Bible’s teachings and Christian schools would be required to accommodate the preferences of transgender students regarding athletic teams and bathrooms.
Debate is expected to begin this week on the so-called Equality Act, legislation that would expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also protect on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.
But it would also completely obliterate the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that stops the government from encroaching on a person’s religious liberty. In other words, the Equality Act effectively puts a bullseye on every person of faith in the nation.
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., told “The Todd Starnes Radio Show” that the bill will “erode the First Amendment and totally destroy religious liberties.”
“This is an attempt to silence the Christian voice,” Hice said. “This is going to literally empower the federal government to force people to contrast their deeply held religious beliefs.”
“Christians will be forced to violate their beliefs if the Equality Act passes,” declared a headline on Christian Broadcasting Network.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said no institution or person of faith would escape the Orwellian reach of the law and predicted a” catastrophic loss of religious freedom in America.”
“It is an egregious attack on the freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs. It would position the government to lord over churches and other faith-based institutions, dictating potentially who they hire, how their facilities are used, and even punishing them for not falling in step with a view of human sexuality that directly contradicts orthodox biblical teaching,” Perkins said.
Hundreds of pastors and religious leaders have already signed a letter warning that churches could be forced by the government to be opened up as public accommodations to host events and other celebrations against their conscience.
“This is extremely dangerous and I don’t think people realize how bad it is,” Family Research Council’s Travis Weber said on the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.”
When Democrats introduced the legislation last March they predicted that conservatives would “use fear” to stop the bill.
“We cannot allow claims of religious freedom to be used to discriminate against an LGBT individual,” Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said.
In other words, faith-based flower shop owners, bakers, and even adoption agencies would be forced to engage in practices that might violate the tenets of their religious beliefs.
Weber told Starnes the Equality Act would not only gut religious liberty, it would also target biological women.
“It should be renamed the ‘Inequality Act’,” Weber said. “When you actually dig beneath the surface and see what it does to women, to children, to families across America (and) what it does to religious freedom – it’s actually incredibly unequal.”
Rep. Hice said he fears Democrats could use the bill, if it becomes law, to “totally silence and to some extent, potentially even criminalize the Christian voice when it comes to the issue of marriage.”
The House is expected to pass the legislation with some Republican votes. It’s unclear what will happen in the Senate. The White House has already stated its opposition to the legislation.
So as it now stands, the only thing standing between religious liberty and tyranny may be President Trump’s veto pen.
Adapted from Todd Starnes’ monologue on Fox Nation’s “Starnes Country” on May 15, 2019.
The hideously misnamed “Equality Act” begins its journey through Congress this week. It’s designed “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.”
Now the 1964 Civil Rights Act already makes it illegal for discrimination to occur on the basis of “sex,” by which the authors of the bill meant “male or female.”
One significant thing to note in passing is that the authors of this bill evidently agree – whether they realize it or not – that the CRA of 1964 does NOT provide special protections based on “gender identity” or “sexual orientation,” because if the term “sex’” was expansive enough to include both, there would be no need for the Equality Act.
So, we should all be able to agree that, while “sex” in the 1964 CRA referred to the division of humanity into males and females, protections were not extended to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Hence the felt need for the “Equality Act,” to address this lacuna in civil rights law.
“Gender identity” contains a raft of problems all by itself, for the category seems limited only by the hyperthyroidal imaginations of gender activists. Facebook allows you to choose from no less than 71 – count ‘em – genders. The old “male and female” thing is so last century. Now you can adopt a veritable cornucopia of sexual identities, starting with “asexual,” “hermaphrodite,” or “intersex,” and working your way up to “gender variant” or “pangender.”
Mind you, there is no biological or genetic marker for these various departures from the norm – it’s all in your head. Which makes the whole concept enormously subjective and fluid, and allows you to slip into it just about anything you want.
But what is truly pernicious is that “sexual orientation” is nowhere defined in the bill. Now everyone has a working definition of “sexual orientation” in their heads, a definition that begins with “male” and ends with “transgender” or some such thing. But “sexual orientation” is not defined anywhere in the bill or anywhere else in federal law. Everyone, including off-the-reservation judges, will get to make up their own definition.
This means that “sexual orientation” will mean anything you want it to mean, INCLUDING PEDOPHILIA OR BESTIALITY.
“According to current research, pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation, just like for example heterosexuality. No one chooses to be a pedophile. No one can cease being one.”
Snopes investigated the report of her remarks and found it to be “True.” In fact, organizers admitted that “a speaker (at their conference) described pedophilia as a condition some people are born with.”
So now we have medical professionals saying pedophiles are born that way, God made them that way, they can’t stop being one no matter how hard they try, and if you’ve got a problem with that, your problem is not with the guy who wants to rape kids but with the God who made them that way.
If the “Equality Act” were to become law, pedophiles would have special privileges and protections under law that you and I would not have. Because religious exemptions are specifically forbidden in the bill, pedophiles could not be prevented by Trail Life USA (the conservative Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts) from becoming leaders of small boys. And if you have a problem with that, you’re the one who is going to wind up in jail.
Churches could not prevent pedophiles from working with their children and their youth groups. The Roman Catholic Church could not prevent self-admitted pedophiles from becoming priests and working with altar boys.
It will not be long before bestiality (sex with animals) becomes a protected category. Prostitution will soon follow, as will incest and necrophilia (sex with dead people).
This is what the future holds if this law passes. If you want to keep our country from becoming the Disneyland of Deviancy, it’s time to bombard our congressmen with phone calls urging them to vote against the “Equality Act.” Why? Because it, in reality, is the “Pedophile Protection Act.”
Democrats in Congress are pushing “equality” legislation that critics say would criminalize Christianity, Islam, and Judaism by forcing virtually every institution in society — including religious institutions — to hire, serve, and promote homosexuals and individuals confused about their gender. A number of analysts have warned that by enshrining “sexual orientation” in the statute, even pedophilia and pederasty could be protected. In the House of Representatives, Democrats already have more than enough co-sponsors to pass the bill. And in the Senate, they are getting very close. But a massive coalition of critics from across the political spectrum and a broad array of religious traditions is rising up to stop it before it is too late.
Among other changes, the so-called Equality Act, also known as H.R. 5 in the House and S. 788 in the Senate, purports to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.” To do that, it would enshrine actual or perceived “sexual orientation and gender identity” into federal statutes. That would give homosexuality, transgenderism, and other perversions of human sexuality and gender the same protections as race or sex in employment, housing, public accommodations, and more. Incredibly, the legislation specifically states that religious freedom may not be used as a defense under the bill. And it applies to churches, religious schools, religious hospitals, religious employers, gathering places, sports, all government entities, and more.
Christian adoption agencies will be shut down, too, if they refuse to place children with homosexuals or individuals confused about whether they are men or women. Churches, synagogues, and mosques will no longer be able to uphold marriage between men and women, or any moral standards on sexuality at all. Counselors of faith will be banned from helping people with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion. And Christians, Muslims, and Jews will no longer be allowed to seek out counselors to help them deal with those issues. Indeed, under the measure, everyone will have to affirm the LGBT agenda, or face persecution and destruction at the hands of the federal government. Churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they do not submit. Schools will lose their accreditation if they do not bow down to Caesar. And this is just the start.
The “gender” madness is breathtaking, too. Under the legislation, virtually everywhere across the United States, men who claim they “identify” as a women will be allowed to use women’s restrooms, showers, changing areas, and even bunk with women on trips, including church trips. This is already happening in government schools and some radical businesses such as Target, which continues to face a massive boycott for putting women at risk. But under this bill, the policy would even be forced on churches, domestic abuse shelters, Christian schools, and much more.
The bill would also force the participation of men who claim to identify as women in women’s sports, all but ensuring that no biological woman will ever win another sporting competition. And it would put young girls nationwide at risk, as any man in the country could simply walk into female facilities under this bill and claim to be a “transgender” who identifies as female. Numerous incidents have already occurred, and this would open up a Pandora’s Box of mischief, critics warned.
In the House, the legislation has been co-sponsored by almost 239 members — more than enough to pass the bill. In the Senate, meanwhile, S. 788 already has close to 50 sponsors. And over 100 of America’s richest and most powerful mega-corporations are lining up in support of the bill. Considering the growing outcry, it is highly unlikely that Trump would betray his base by signing the bill. However, that is not guaranteed, and despite the president’s crucial support from evangelicals, the administration has emerged as very “LGBT-friendly” across a range of issues, including promoting the legalization of sodomy and homosexuality around the world.
The non-profit Christian legal group Liberty Counsel called the “wrongly named” Equality Act the “most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy, and to women’s rights that has ever been proposed by Congress.” The controversial measure, the group warned, “will be used as a wrecking ball to churches, religious organizations, religious freedom, and free speech.”
Writing for Focus on the Family, a highly influential Christian ministry, Jeff Johnston warned that the legislation was “dangerous” and “would have serious harmful consequences for people of faith and families.” Christians, he said, believe what the Bible’s Book of Genesis says clearly: God created two types of humans, male and female. Christians also believe what God taught about marriage, and that children ought to have a mother and a father. “We understand that Christian teaching about marriage has profound spiritual significance, as the husband and wife relationship reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church,” Johnston explained.
But under the Equality Act, the federal government “takes these basic biblical teachings and labels them ‘discriminatory’,” he continued. “It puts the full force and influence of the federal government behind enforcing this law and opposing Christian beliefs. The law is a powerful teacher, and the Equality Act would teach that Christian thinking about male-female differences, marriage, parenting, family and sexuality are rooted in prejudice — rather than in years of wisdom, reason and biblical exegesis.” The consequences of this have already proven disastrous at the state and local level. And if this bill gets passed, Christians across the nation would find themselves in the crosshairs of the U.S. government.
Another organization formed in response to the escalating LGBT onslaught against Christians and people of faith is the Gone 2 Far Movement. The interracial and interfaith body of clergy and laity committed to being true to biblical principles said it is “aghast” at the legislative agenda of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and the LGBT “Equality” Act in particular. Dr. Randy Lancaster-Short, a black reverend who serves as the political chair for the movement, blasted the effort to equate sexual proclivities and gender confusion with the immutable characteristics such as race that were originally protected in the Civil Rights Act. Indeed, blasting the legislation as the “Pedophile Amnesty Act,” he and others have warned that the protections for “sexual orientation” may be extended even to “minor-attracted persons.”
In a statement to The New American, Dr. Short, who is working to make black churches aware of the legislation, noted that the Equality Act “will criminalize the Christian faith and deny religious belief as a justification for not complying with the Gay Equality Act.” By re-introducing the Equality Act, Short said, the Democrats “resumed the long march of the Homosexual Political Complex to undermine the sacred traditional values of the American Republic; destroy civil and religious liberties; collectively libel, exploit, defraud and defame protected minorities; poison and glut our legal system with oxymoronic suits; diminish our faith-based charitable and philanthropic institutions; imposed frivolous and wasteful regulations on businesses; create havoc in families and schools; and crystallize unscientific sexuality theories that invent sexes other than male and female.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has also come out against the move, saying it would impose “sweeping regulations to the detriment of society as a whole.” “The act’s definitions alone would remove women and girls from protected legal existence,” the Catholic leaders said, warning that the bill seeks to regulate thought, belief, and speech in an “unprecedented” departure from America’s founding principles. “Furthermore, the act also fails to recognize the difference between the person — who has dignity and is entitled to recognition of it — and the actions of a person, which have ethical and social ramifications. Conflating the two will introduce a plethora of further legal complications.”
The bill is so radical and extreme that even some Democrats such as Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and homosexual activists such as Gregory Angelo, former leader of the homosexual “Log Cabin Republicans,” are opposed to it. “Don’t be fooled by the name: The Equality Act is legislation that would compromise American civil rights and religious liberty as we know it,” wroteAngelo in a piece for the Washington Examiner. “All reasonable Americans, especially gay Americans who support pluralism and tolerance, should oppose it.”
In Europe, pastors and evangelists are already being arrested and jailed — literally — for pointing out that the God of the Bible condemns homosexuality as sinful, and that God made people as male and female. In Sweden, authorities investigated the Bible under Swedish “hate speech” laws and determined that the Bible violates that government’s speech codes, even though it is not “practical” to ban the Bible at this point. America may not be there yet, but the Equality Act would be a giant step in that direction.
In the end, the Equality Act is unconstitutional on its face. The federal government has no power to force anyone — much less everyone — to bow down to its radical anti-Christian ideology. And in fact, multiple provisions of the Constitution, including the First Amendment and the 10th Amendment, specifically prohibit the sort of lunacy envisioned in this legislation. Americans who value liberty and Christian civilization must recognize that everything they cherish is on the line. It is time to speak out, or be crushed by the oncoming freight train.