This week we will deviate somewhat from environmental concerns, even though this weeks dissertation is actually on ‘environment’ of a different kind…societal environment. With over 240 co-sponsors, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced HR 5, named the “Equality Act”…sounds harmless enough. After all, aren’t we all supposed to be equal. Maybe not if you’re a Christian and support the Judeo/Christian foundations of this nation. This “Act” may very well be the most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy and women’s rights that has ever been proposed in the United States Congress!
First of all let me quote Amendment One of the Constitution of the United States of America: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” No where will you see ‘separation of church and state’.
I can’t help but wonder how many congregations will be informed of this “Act” from the pulpit? After all HR 5 will transform churches; religious colleges and universities; curriculum; religious and private organizations; employers; employees; individuals; foster care and adoption; shelters; local, state, and federal entities; privacy; online websites; women’s rights; etc. HR 5 guts religious free exercise protections. Bottom line, this is ‘sorta’ a serious subject that Christians had best not ignore. Non-compliance could very well result in the loss of tax-exemption for the church…in violation of the Constitution.
What are some of the ramifications of this act? Let’s take a look:
– Among other things, it amends federal employment and public accommodations law by adding “sexual orientation and gender identity” (actual or perceived) to the same protections as race.
– It prohibits free exercise of religion as a claim or defense.
– It applies to churches; private and religious schools; hospitals; employers and contractors; places of gatherings; sports;local, state, and federal entities.
– Non-compliant churches and nonprofit organizations will lose tax-exemption status.
– Non-complying schools will lose accreditation, including colleges, which in turn means colleges will not be able to accept student loans.
– It applies to any place that provides “exhibition, entertainment, recreation, exercise, amusement, gathering, or program”.
– An “establishment” includes “an individual whose operations affect commerce and who is a provider of a good, service, or program” and is not “limited to a physical facility or place.”
– Venues that provide weddings or where they are celebrated, including churches, will be forced to open their facilities to same-sex weddings or other LGBT events.
– Biological men who subjectively assert they “identify as a woman” (and vice versa) will be able to use women’s restrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, showers, and bunk with women on over night stays (including church, mission, or school events of all ages and domestic abuse shelters), participate in sports as a “woman”, and etc.
– Privacy to use men’s or women’s facilities (including bunking and sleeping facilities) will be non-existent.
– Immutable biological differences and unique attributes between sexes will become illusory because birth sex will be irrelevant under HR 5.
– Women’s rights and historic gains made by women will be negatively affected because men will be able to legally be recognized and treated as “women”.
– Adoption and foster care agencies, including prospective adoptive or foster care parents, will not be able to make placement decisions based on “sexual orientation and gender identity” (known affectionately as SOGI) or LGBT issues and such prospective adoptive or foster parents will be ineligible unless they affirm LGBT doctrine.
– Private, religious, and public employers and employees will have to affirm LGBT doctrine; and school curricula will indoctrinate using the LGBT agenda and adopt pro-LGBT policies (including use of pronouns and male-female facilities).
– Religious employers, including churches and schools, will not be able to maintain and apply marriage policies as the union of one man and one woman, or human sexuality policies or doctrine about sexual relations outside of marriage of a married man and woman in hiring, promotions, benefits, terminations or public accommodations.
– Home-based businesses and artists who work with flowers, cakes, weddings, photography, films, printing and more will be required to comply with LGBT rules.
– Rental property would have to comply with LGBT doctrine, including single room rentals in an owner occupied home or Bed and Breakfast.
– Healthcare providers must comply with LGBT doctrine and could not refuse a service of good based on religious or moral reasons (including hormone therapies and plastic surgery).
– Contractors will be precluded from contracting with and working for local, state, or federal entities unless they affirm LGBT values.
– Local, state, and federal grants will require LGBT affirmation and compliance.
– Counselors and clients of all ages will not be able to receive any counsel for their unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior or gender confusion.
In summary, HR 5 will increase censorship of people and organizations that do not affirm LGBT doctrine (including social media, internet search engines, banking, credit cards, and credit card processing). It will be used as a wrecking ball on churches, religious organizations, religious freedom and free speech. It’s just another step by the government to control the citizens. Unfortunately many churches will fail to discuss this effort from the pulpit or church newsletter…for fear of offending. Many have indulged in the ‘coolade’ of ‘separation of church and state’. Again, unfortunately, the secular world applauds this stand because it gives them freedom to impose their policies without opposition. The fight against ‘powers and principalities’ is on…it’s just that many Christians are in denial. The will to ‘fight’ has gone away.
Just this last week a sports venue in Philadelphia stopped the playing of Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” because some found it offensive. It had been a tradition for years. In fact, the statue of Kate Smith outside the venue was covered so as not to offend. When is the cross on the top of your church going to be found to be offensive and officials order the church to remove it? Can’t happen, you say! This is the new ‘environmentalism’. We can either get used to it or decide to take a stand. The decision is up to you.
– Bob Munsey
P.S. The state of our nation’s society today makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like Disneyland.