Twenty-one prominent conservative Christian leaders including Franklin Graham and James Dobson are calling on congressional leaders to oppose the pro-LGBT Equality Act because of the “threats to religious liberty” the legislation poses.
In the letter sent to both House and Senate leaders as well as Vice President Mike Pence, the religious and political leaders decried the much talked about bill that, among other things, would codify discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in federal law.
“Not only is it incompatible with God’s Word (the Bible) and the historic teaching of the church, but the Equality Act is also riddled with threats to religious liberty and the sanctity of human life,” the letter stresses. “For these reasons, we must state that we adamantly oppose this proposed legislation.”
The Equality Act — also known as H.R. 5 — has been labeled by critics the “most extreme LGBT bill ever written” that at the same would be the “largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion this country has ever seen.”
The act would expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act to not only protect on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity but also protect on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”
“[T]he Equality Act is unacceptable because it is anti-life and creates a right to demand abortion from health care providers,” the letter contends. “The termination of human life in the womb is unacceptable to any biblically and historically faithful Christian. The responsibility to care for the ‘least of these’ (Matt. 25:40) is a fundamental responsibility of Christ’s church, and any proposal that undermines a culture of life must be rejected.”
Along with Dobson and Graham, the letter was signed by leading social conservative activists Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council and Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
Other signatories include Texas megachurch pastors Robert Jeffress, Robert Morris and Todd Wagner, former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, televangelist James Robison, former Southern Baptist Convention president Jack Graham, African-American Maryland Bishop Harry Jackson, Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Everett Piper and conservative talk show host and author Eric Metaxas.
“[T]he ideology enshrined in the Equality Act — which falsely equates one’s sexual conduct with immutable characteristics like skin color and ethnicity — is a falsehood that openly contradicts the scriptural mandates we were given for our good (1 Thess. 4:3-8),” the letter reads. “We cannot remain silent and allow this lie to harm countless men, women, and children — whether in this or any other legislation.”
The leaders argue that passage of the bill would “lay the groundwork” for the “lie” of LGBT equality to enter classrooms across the nation. They also fear that “public educators could be compelled to teach it to their students.”
“[T]he Equality Act would gut religious freedom protections — even the freedom currently enjoyed by houses of worship,” the letter argues.
“Under its changes to the employment nondiscrimination provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, some houses of worship would be barred from ensuring their leaders and other employees abide by their beliefs about marriage, sexual behavior, and the distinction between the sexes.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith