The inaptly titled Equality Act brazenly targets Christian people and their sincerely held religious conscience. The Congressional exercise of power here shamelessly attacks and discriminates against people of faith. One thing is sure, the proposed law has nothing to do with civil rights. It is, rather, a raw exercise of congressional power that ignores the limits the Constitution places on the exercise of such power. All executed to force civil acceptance of leftist political norms and mores.
The so-called Equality Act compels Christian people to surrender their religious conscience through forced acceptance of what their conscience says is anti-Biblical sinful conduct. Now before the House of Representatives, the proposed law forces churches to wed same-sex couples and hire cross-dressing teachers. It permits men to use women’s restrooms and dressing rooms. If your church refuses, it loses its tax-exempt status. Likewise, non-conforming Christian colleges lose accreditation and face a ban on receiving student loans. Churches and academic institutions further face expensive litigation, fines and financially crippling court judgments. Most troubling, under the provisions of the proposed law, your free exercise of religion is no longer a defense. Official defiance of constitutional liberty undermines and eventually destroys good governance under the rule of law. Inevitably, these Christian institutions will either cease to exist or bow to a secular god by compromising their core Christian mission.
The implications are real. If Christians schedule a mission trip, the proposed law prohibits the Christian organization from separating rooms by biological sex. Thus, men must have access to the women’s showers and bathrooms. Additionally, the proposed law prohibits churches from following Biblical precepts on sexuality when hiring church ministry and staff. Thus, it violates the proposed law to consider whether a candidate openly engages in sinful sexual conduct. The bill allows lawsuits by someone who believes a church did not hire or select them due to their sexual lifestyle. Thus, even if the church denied the job for other reasons, it could face costly “damages” in a court judgment.
Ironically trying to justify their hostile confrontation in the name of civil rights, Congress focuses its ire on a mostly Christian minority. Merely defending viewpoints grounded in religious conscience is apparently enough to validate their outrage – especially when those viewpoints threaten “personal autonomy” mantras or remonstrate against forced civil acceptance of all of sexual behavior.
The fierceness of the determination to pass this law makes clear that the instant proposal is not about tolerance as its supporters falsely suggest. It is, rather, about abolishing the concept of “tolerance”, replacing it with coerced acceptance (by force of law and punishment), of all types of sexual behavior. If we ever hope to preserve unity and restore civility in our nation, this is not the way to do it. #GreatLakesJusticeCenter
Professor William Wagner is President of the Great Lakes Justice Center. He is a former federal judge and holds the academic rank of Distinguished Professor Emeritus.