By Paul Bawden
The US House of Representatives, as you may have heard, has passed the Equality Act, which the House passed once before. The Senate did not take it up at that time. Now the Act goes again to the Senate for consideration and a vote. Certainly, the idea of equality sounds good. We want equality for all people. Right?
However, a brief consideration of the Equality Act reveals a different kind of equality, if it’s that at all. Here is a brief summary of the Equality Act given by Franklin Graham.
*Schools, churches, and healthcare organizations are designated as “public accommodations.” Schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.
*Boys will be allowed in girls’ sports, boys in girls’ locker rooms, men in women’s shelters, and men in women’s prisons. It will force teachers and students to publicly pretend that a biological male is a female. Schools will be encouraged or mandated 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.
*All 50 states will be mandated to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. A Christian organization will be forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission?
*Health professionals will be stripped of their rights of conscience. It will force doctors and medical professionals who long to do no harm to engage in gender transition treatments such as hormone-blocking, cross-sex hormones, or surgery. It is obvious that a Catholic or faith-based hospital should not have to perform gender transition surgeries that go entirely against all they believe.
*The government will use the Act to deny or threaten accreditation to religious colleges and universities if they do not satisfy the demands of the government to apply sexual orientation and gender identity to dorms, sports, places of privacy, and even teachings. The Act could be used as a weapon to threaten the availability of federal student loans and grants to students at certain disfavored religious schools.
Obviously, the Equality Act has nothing to do with equality. Although everyone should be accepted in their lifestyle and belief. Regardless, it’s hard to believe that some of our leaders can think this way. Still, it’s true. It’s all about the government mandating how people in the USA should live their lives. This has nothing to do with the equality of an individual, but of taking away the freedom of individuals and institutions to live and operate as dictated by their beliefs and conscience.
When government starts telling us how we should live our lives, it’s no longer the government. It’s a dictatorship, for it has lost its God-given responsibility of protecting its people (Romans 13). People of faith in the Lord need to pray that the Equality Act will not pass in the Senate. One should also contact one’s Senator to vote against this legislation that could drastically change the freedom we cherish and experience in America.
Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.
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