Many of those who first came to America in the 1600s were Christians called Puritans who had been persecuted in England for their faith, as they believed and worshiped differently from the Church of England. By 1788, the Constitution of the United States assured the citizens they had freedom of religion and the freedom to exercise their religion as they wished without interference from the government. Now, 233 years later, if the predominant party in our present government have their way, for the first time Christians and people who adhere to other religions in America will no longer have freedom of speech or freedom of religion.
The “Equality Act” has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, with a vote of 224-206, which included three Republicans. This act amends existing civil rights laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This time, there is a chance it could pass the Senate. Why is this important? It is important because the Act would “criminalize Christianity.” It continues the process begun with the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same sex “marriage.” Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, recently said it is the “most comprehensive assault on Christianity ever written into law.”
No longer would a church be able to hire or accept as a member a person who only agrees with that denomination’s doctrines. No longer would religious schools be able to only hire teachers who believe the tenets of that particular religious entity. It should be obvious that this does not even qualify as common sense.
No longer would a businessperson be able to conduct his business based on his strongly held religious beliefs. People wishing to rent out a room or apartment in their home would be prohibited from refusing to rent to people who live in ways the landlord perceived as wrong, based on his religious beliefs. Doctors would either have to perform surgeries that go against their strongly held religious beliefs or lose their positions in a hospital. Faith-based hospitals would also be in danger.
According to the Centennial Institute in Colorado, “Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies.” It also, “directly threatens parental rights by forcing counselors to guide children with gender confusion to embrace transgenderism.” Rev. Franklin Graham reports that teachers and students would be forced to “publicly pretend that a biological male is a female. Schools will be coerced to instruct first, second, and third graders that they can choose to be a boy or a girl, or neither, or both, making biological sex (and science) a relic of the past.”
The Centennial Institute also states, “It would defeat the purpose of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is supposed to guarantee women equal educational and athletic opportunities.” In other words, women’s sports would, in essence, be dominated by athletes with bodies that are stronger in every way than women. Girls and young women who have worked tirelessly to excel in sports to earn scholarships and honors would be hindered from reaching their goals through no fault of their own.
Women and girls would have to share bathrooms and locker rooms in churches, schools, and every other public place with biological men who say they believe they are women. Men would also have to be allowed in battered or homeless women’s shelters. Even women’s prisons would be infiltrated by biological men. It also affects religious adoption and foster care agencies. In fact, Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency present in many places in America, has already given in to pressure, announcing this week the agency’s decision to place children for adoption in the homes of LGBTQ couples.
Furthermore, religious organizations would be prevented from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in 1994 to protect their deeply held religious beliefs. Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in biblical sexual morality, declared, “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. It will codify into law that [if you are a Christian] you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”
There are other far-reaching ramifications. For example, religious schools and hospitals could lose federal funding. Religious colleges and universities could lose accreditation if they do not adhere to these guidelines. As Rev. Graham exclaims, “The impact of this legislation is immense. We must not remain silent and accept what we know is wrong—especially when we have the power to do something about it!”
People of faith need to pray, pastors need to inform their church members, churches need to pray corporately, and citizens need to let our senators know we want them to vote NO to the Equality Act, H.R. 5. Rev. Graham says, we need to pray, “asking for God’s intervention and mercy to extend the religious freedoms we have been blessed with for so long.”
If we lose our liberties in these areas, it will be just the beginning. For over two centuries, people from all over the world have looked to America as possibly even the last bastion of freedom, since there are few if any other countries with the kinds of freedoms, we have enjoyed all our lives. In many places, people are routinely persecuted and killed for exercising their faiths.
God gave us a warning on 9/11/2001. For a time, it seemed the country would turn back to Him, but the religious fervor seen at that time “fizzled out.” People went back to their busy lives, giving God leftovers, if anything. We have continued our own comfortable routines and have refused to fight against the destruction of the nuclear family, proven to be the best possible place in which to rear children to become good citizens, and the destruction of our stable, established civilization. Like the frog in the pot of water beginning to boil, we have stayed until it may be too late to jump.
What is in the future? It is possible we are close to the promised judgment spoken of in the Book of Revelation. When reading Revelation 16:9-11 and verse 21, I always wondered how people could raise their fists to God to curse Him and refuse to repent of their sins, but now I see evidences of just that kind of attitude. If we do not fight for more time to stand firm for God and His Word, and more time to send out the gospel to people in this country and all over the world, we will soon see that kind of judgment coming. We must determine, with commitment to God and with His help, to stand strong, for our children, our grandchildren, for this country, and the world.
Live for Jesus! He’s coming soon!
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