A Deceptive “Equality” Act: Religious Liberty Wrecking Ball
By Rob Chambers
The Democratic Party has launched a national, misinformation campaign to deceive the public on the intent and implications of the so-called “Equality” Act. More Americans are beginning to understand how the Democratic Party and regressive Republicans are manipulating them.
The Democratic Party introduced a bill on March 13 popularly known as the “Equality” Act (H.R.5). The title of the bill sounds non-threatening. So, why should anyone be against equality? The devil’s in the details, but the short answer is the so-called “Equality” Act would take a wrecking ball to religious liberty in the United States.
AFA Action, the governmental affairs affiliate of AFA, is urging Christians to take action now by urging your U.S. representative to vote “no” on the Equality Act.
The “Equality” Act would make possible a nationwide floodgate of government-sanctioned, religious discrimination against Christians and other people of faith by redefining the word “sex.” The bill would expand the definition of the word “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as legally protected classes.
Sex is a biological fact determined at birth whereas “gender identity” is a feeling. The problem is defining civically and legally on each individual’s feeling. Biological sex is objective, fact-based, and undeniable. “Gender identity” is fluid, fickle, and fleeting.
This new protected status would grant a license to radicals in the LGBT movement who would use the weight of the law to force individual Christians to violate their religious conscience and deeply held religious beliefs on human sexuality.
Democrats Axe Religious Freedom Restoration Act
The “Equality” Act bans the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), as a legal defense from the government violating a person’s religious liberty. RFRA is a law that was passed in 1993 that placed stringent restrictions on government religious discrimination.
Congress willfully handcuffed itself when it passed RFRA. They did this to protect people of faith from the potential of government abuse of power to violate religious liberty. However, the Democratic Party is no longer interested in protecting an individual’s religious liberty. Instead, Democrats have become the party of sexual deviancy at the expense of religious liberty.
If Christians no longer have protections under RFRA, radical liberals will be unleashed to attack those whose faith teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman and that human sexual identity is a biological fact. By government edict, business owners, employees, and customers alike will be subject to a radical LGBT agenda while facing a guaranteed federal prosecution:
– Business owners serving the public will be forced to open their restrooms and/or dressing rooms to men, who believe they are female, into the women’s restrooms and dressing rooms. The more commonly accepted restrooms based on fact become an area based on the feeling of identity.
– Health care providers and professionals would be forced to perform gender transition procedures (sex changes) and provide medical services (hormone therapy) that would violate their moral and religious convictions.
– Amusement parks, recreation centers, skating rinks, and daycare centers, etc. will be forced to employ people whose values on sexuality deviates from those of the employer.
– Adoption and foster care agencies will be forced to place children into same-sex households and into homes of individuals suffering from gender confusion.
– College and professional sports stadiums would be required to open its restrooms to either sex.
The “Equality” Act demonstrates that Democrats are a clear and present danger to religious liberty that’s been a hallmark of American Exceptionalism. The 1st Amendment guarantees individuals the “free exercise of religion.”
Democrats have framed the argument for the “Equality” Act upon a deceptive, ‘bait-and-switch’ tactic called equivocation. This is when an argument is presented by using ambiguous terms, such as equality, that have a particular meaning in one part of the argument but another meaning in another portion of the argument.
Democrats have done this by choosing two titles for the bill. They “bait” the public with its short title, Equality Act, but “switch” to the longer but less deceptive title: “A bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes” (emphasis added).
In the twenty-nine page bill, equality is only mentioned twice. Once in the short title of the bill, and a second reference on page twenty-two. On the other hand, “sexual orientation” is mentioned 62 times, and “gender identity” is mentioned 64 times.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines equality as “The condition of possessing the same rights, privileges, and immunities, and being liable to the same duties.” Sounds like an American ideal. Right? But the legal term equality has nothing to do with “gender identity” and “sexual orientation,” but Democrats want to convince you otherwise.
Sexual Liberty Promoted as Greater Than Religious Liberty
The Democratic Party wants you to believe that “sexual rights” are equal to human rights, but this is not true. A biological male’s desire to be a woman is not a right. Sexual lust and actions targeted at the same sex is not a right. Just because someone wants something doesn’t mean that desire or action ought to be a human right. A desire is not something that’s intrinsic to an individual such as the case with a person’s skin color. A person is born with certain levels of pigmentation. They can’t change that. Someone could desire to be a different color or nationality, but their desire would be just that—a desire.
The Democratic Party has clearly laid out their intent to force Christians into subjugation to radical sexual deviancy. The Party’s platform states, “We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.”
The “progressive vision” of religious liberty for Democrats was recently made visible by Chai Feldblum, the former commissioner of the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Feldblum clearly staked out the “progressive vision” of the Democratic Party when she said:
“I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win…Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner” (emphasis added).
As you can see, they’ve made progress advancing their vision by getting H.R.5, the “Equality” Act this far. We need to stop it, and you can help by going here to sign the petition.
The Real Meaning of a “wall of separation between church and state”
Using the “Equality” Act, Democrats want to complete the annihilation of religious liberty that a liberal U.S. Supreme Court decision set in motion over 70 years ago.
In the 20th Century, it became politically mainstream that religious convictions on issues were not allowed in any area of government. This idea took root with the unconstitutional ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947).
This decision misinterpreted the Constitution as well as Thomas Jefferson’s statement on a wall of separation between church and state. The high court erred in judgment when they said the “First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
Judges, politicians, and secular media have taken firm hold of this misconstrued idea of the “wall of separation.” They have incorrectly and persistently interpreted Jefferson’s original intent to mean that there can be no accommodation of religion in any area of government. This is one reason secularists fight to keep prayer out of school, seek to remove God from our currency, and ban the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jefferson’s original intent was for a “wall of separation” to restrict the government from interfering with religious liberty, NOT to restrict Christians’ involvement in government, as decided in Everson v. Board of Education.
The wall of separation is to protect individual Christians from the government– NOT to protect the government from Christians.
According to Jefferson, Christians could freely exercise their influence beyond the wall into the public realm at their discretion. Had Jefferson intended a strict restriction of religion from government he would not have allowed and taken part in Christian worship at the U.S. Capitol.
In addition, he asked the rhetorical question, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” Jefferson believed that if anyone could violate one’s religious liberty, it could only be God.
Democrats want to scorch from the U.S. landscape religious expression in government, but also religious liberty from the public square. They want to redefine and restrict the “free exercise” of religion to the confines of buildings designated for worship. If these radicals are successful, their form of government will make it illegal for preachers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as the soul-saving source from the penalty of sin and from all sins including sexual immorality.
The gospel message did not originate from man, but from God. No government or law will ever supersede the inerrant and authoritative word of God. Jesus said, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). The gospel and His bride belong to him—not the government. Christians’ allegiance is first and foremost to God.
Christians have given up much ground on religious liberty because they have remained silent. Let us be bold and courageous and reverse the trend of stepping away from our God-appointed, prophetic role of speaking on moral issues because we live in a world who increasingly calls evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). But above all, proclaim the gospel of Christ (Acts 2:14-41).