Equality Act Would Criminalize Christianity

By Robert Knight – May 22, 2019

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:

  1. It will undermine the civil rights movement that black Americans fought for.
  2. Churches will be sued or lose tax-exempt status if they don’t accept LGBTQ behaviors.
  3. Schoolchildren will be forced to learn how to engage in destructive LGBTQ behaviors [in California, it begins in kindergarten].
  4. Parents who oppose this will be charged with discrimination.
  5. Private colleges will lose funding, grants and scholarships.
  6. Public accommodations and small businesses will be forced to allow men into women’s bathrooms and vice versa.
  7. Business owners will be forced to violate their freedom of conscience.
  8. Hospitals, clinics and the armed forces will be forced to offer experimental and harmful transgender treatments – including surgeries.
  9. Foster and adoption agencies will be forced to close, as has already happened to Catholic Charities in several liberal cities.
  10. 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.

As seen here at Washington Times. Posted here with permission from author.

Robert Knight is a Washington Times contributor.

 

Original here

Advertisements

When You Talk About “Hate,” How Do You Define “Love”?

Few words get thrown around as commonly, or as cheaply, as the words “love” and “hate.”

As someone who sometimes points out truths that others may not want to hear, I often find myself being called a “hater.” As a Christian, I am occasionally accused of having “a hate-filled religion.”

The problem with this is that I don’t actually hate anyone. By that I mean, basically, that I don’t wish harm upon anyone. Shoot, I don’t even call people nasty names.

More to the point, there is no aspect of Christianity – a connection with the Creator for which “religion” is a wholly inadequate word – that would call for a person to hate anyone else. Quite the opposite, in fact; the Bible clearly tells us to love others. The only things it tells us to hate are evil and harmful things – i.e., things that would more commonly be called “sinful” if doing so wasn’t so strongly discouraged.

Of course, while the Bible tells those who follow Christ not to hate others, it also warns them that they will be hated in the non-Christian world. Now, I was aware of this from my earliest days as a Christian. Even so I have to say I didn’t quite grasp, until relatively recently, just how deep and irrational that hatred of Christians could be.

It’s downright ironic, frankly, that those would call someone like me a “hater” would demonstrate such vicious hate themselves. Many a person has spoken or written of truths they have learned as a Christian, and has received the most violent and ugly responses imaginable.

Now, there are plenty of people who would be called “religious” (or at least “conservative”), and yet who use harsh language, call others nasty names, and behave aggressively and confrontationally. I don’t recall ever encountering anyone like that in person, but they can certainly be found all over the Internet. If you want to call such people “haters,” you won’t get any argument from me.

But it seems to me that the conservative or “religious” people who get labeled “haters” the most loudly and insistently are not the nasty and aggressive ones. Rather, they’re usually those who simply tell the truth about certain things, and do so politely, respectfully and without malice. They will get the vilest slurs and accusations, and even death threats, thrown at them – by people who, incredibly, believe that they themselves are not “haters.”

I have to wonder how those expressing such hate can dare to accuse anyone else of “hatefulness.” I’d also like to know how such people would define “love” – and I’d like to know what kind of “love” they would claim to be practicing themselves.

It’s long been common for people to talk about the importance of “love,” the power of “love,” and so on. All we need is “love”! “Love” can change the world! But what do people really think “love” means when they talk this way?

Someone once told me that their definition of “love” boiled down to one simple concept: “Don’t hurt anyone.” That sounds fine if you don’t think about it too hard. The problem is that people tend to define “not hurting anyone” – and, therefore, “love” – to suit their own self-serving purposes. For example, a great deal of harm in the world is done by irresponsible sexuality. But people want to engage in it anyway, so they convince themselves that doing so “doesn’t hurt anyone.” They also pretend that encouraging others to engage in it is “loving,” and that discouraging it would be “hateful.”

It’s been said that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but rather indifference. I think there’s a lot of truth to that. To be unloving toward someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re angry at them, violent toward them or actively wishing them harm. Most of the time it simply means that you don’t have their best interests at heart.

Genuine love always has an element of sacrifice, even if only in a minor way. Someone who has your best interests at heart will risk receiving your anger in order to try to get you to stop believing lies, or to try to get you off of a self-destructive path. But the person who offers false “love” will avoid paying any real cost for your sake. In fact, the goal of their pretend “love” may well be to get something from you, even if it’s just your agreement and cooperation.

The dangerous thing about people who offer false “love” is that they often pass themselves off as offering genuine love – and they’re usually convinced themselves that it’s genuine.

A person who offers false “love” will tell you whatever you want to hear. A person who truly loves will tell you the truth, even if it’s hard for you to accept.

A person who offers false “love” will let you believe that you can do whatever you want. A person who truly loves will warn you about the consequences of your actions.

A person who offers false “love” will let you think you can blame others for everything. A person who truly loves will encourage you to take responsibility for yourself.

People talk a lot about “love” vs. “hate”; but, generally, most of what they call “hate” isn’t really hate, and what they call “love” is very far removed from real, sacrificial love. People who genuinely love usually aren’t opposing “hate” so much as they’re opposing indifference and false “love.”

Original here

 

One Question, Four Answers

WHICH MOMENT OF JESUS’ LAST WEEK ON EARTH SPEAKS TO YOU THE MOST?

 

Mark 15:16-19 carefully details the mockery that Christ endured at the hands of a battalion of about 500 Roman soldiers inside the Praetorium. After He was falsely accused of leading an insurrection, the soldiers taunted Jesus by putting a twisted crown of thorns upon His head, wrapping a purple robe on His bloody body, placing a fake scepter in His trembling hands, and saluting Him with sadistic glee. Through enduring these various forms of abuse, Jesus as our high priest took upon Himself the shame of innocent victims living in a fallen world. Victims of verbal, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse need to know Christ as not only a guilt-bearing Savior but also a shame-bearing Savior—one who identifies, empathizes, and heals.

—Mika Edmondson, pastor of New City Fellowship in Grand Rapids, Michigan and author of The Power of Unearned Suffering: The Roots and Implications of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Theodicy

 

Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane—“Not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39)—is one I think about often, as it reveals much about the nature of prayer. When we pray, we are not asking God to magically do things we want, but rather we enter God’s presence and ask that our hearts and minds be transformed. We’re tempted to see problems in the world as out there, in other people; it’s much harder to recognize the darkness, greed, hate, lust, and anger in our own heart. In prayer, we follow Jesus in asking for our own transformation—not to make us better people, but to make ourselves available to embody God’s love and compassion in the world.

—C. Christopher Smith, editor of The Englewood Review of Books and author of How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church

 

After all Jesus went through His last week on earth, He could have said “OK, Father, I’m done with them.” But that’s not who Jesus is. I find it moving that He took the time to come back to the disciples a second time after His resurrection—and in particular that He decided to give Thomas a chance to touch His wounds and believe. He could have been “done” with Thomas, but He proved Himself again. He did that so there would be a record of it for people like me. I appreciate that about Jesus. He knows us, and He loves us still. His love is never done.

—TaRanda Greene, member of Cana’s Voice and solo vocal artist. Her latest album is The Healing.

 

I can’t imagine being at the table with Jesus in the upper room. After He took the cup and bread, giving thanks, He said six words I can’t shake: “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). I kind of think of communion now as part of a progressive dinner party that began in the upper room and ends in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. We attend the same meal those disciples did; we’re just down the street a little. Believers who come after us attend the same meal, but it’s held at another house. The body and the blood is timeless, and believers get to be there for the finale in heaven. We remember every time, but He remembers as well. It’s His covenant with us, and I can’t wait to find place settings with my name and yours at the ultimate Easter banquet.

—Sarah Harmeyer, speaker and founder of Neighbor’s Table

https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/faith-works/one-question-four-answers-holy-week