Staff members for President Bush have helped congressional staffers work on “religious exemption” language for a new “anti-discrimination” proposal that actually would codify in federal statutes an anti-Christian bias, and that will make it harder for him to veto, according to an activist group.
“Americans For Truth has learned that a White House official has boasted to pro-family leaders attending a private administration briefing that White House staffers were involved in the negotiations to craft expanded religious exemption language for the new ENDA bill,” according to Peter LaBarbera’s Americans For Truth organization.
“At the briefing, the White House official did not commit to the assembled evangelical leaders that the president would veto [ENDA], saying that they will wait to see the bill’s final language, according to our source. This is troubling in that vetoing ENDA in any form is regarded as a ‘no-brainer’ by pro-family activists, who are counting on Bush to stop it,” he continued
His organization is running a campaign to encourage people to contact the White House to express their opposition to the plan.
“Some religious leaders take comfort in ENDA’s exemptions; we do not,” he continued. “White House involvement in negotiations over ENDA is problematic in that makes it more difficult for President Bush to veto the bill.
“H.R. 3685′s current religious exemption will hardly affect the many ways in which ENDA would erode and destroy the freedom of Americans to act on their deeply held moral beliefs about homosexuality,” he said.
The proposal, for which homosexual and transsexual activists are crusading, “has tremendous potential to criminalize Christianity in the United States by creating federal ‘rights’ based on wrong and destructive lifestyle,” he said. The plan was approved just days ago by the House Education and Labor Committee and is headed for a House floor vote.
As WND reported earlier, proposals such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would give special privileges to “gay” and “transgendered” individuals.
“If passed, the bill would grant special employment rights and protected minority status to individuals who define themselves based upon chosen sexual behaviors,” said Matt Barber, a policy analyst with Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s group.
“It would force employers to abandon their First Amendment civil rights at the workplace door,” he said.
Social conservatives have depended on President Bush to either use a veto, or threaten a veto, to halt the advance of such societal-changing plans being assembled in Congress. He’s already expressed that there’s “no need” for “hate crimes” legislation which also would create special privileges for those who identify themselves with an alternative sexual lifestyle.
But Barber said the “religious exemption” being assembled is anything but. “At best, only churches – and essentially pastors – could be exempt from the provisions of ENDA, and that’s not even guaranteed.”
“All other faith-based organizations – even though which are tax exempt – would be discriminated against under the bill. Groups such as Christian schools, Christian camps, faith-based soup kitchens and Bible book stores would be forced to adopt a view of human sexuality which directly conflicts with fundamental tenets of their faith,” he said.
“ENDA would ultimately give liberal judges the authority to subjectively determine who qualifies for the exemption. It’s the goose that laid the golden egg for homosexual activist attorneys, and it would open the floodgates for lawsuits against employers who wish to live out their faith and even those who don’t,” he said.
LaBarbera said the word that White House staffers have been working on proposals makes the situation worse,
“Failure to veto ENDA would be a devastating defeat for pro-family forces and a huge gift to homosexual lobbyists. Call the president …. and urge him to ‘please publicly pledge to veto ENDA … in any form if it passes Congress,’” he said.
He said it is a dangerous precedent to install in federal law “rights” based on changeable homosexual/bisexual behavior.
“Homosexuality is not a ‘civil right,’ it is a human wrong – one that is redeemable as proven by thousands of contented former homosexuals and ex-lesbians. Our Founding Fathers, infused with a biblical view of fallen man, created limited government that sought to restrain the sinful outworking of men’s hearts … The law once punished sin (e.g., sodomy and anti-abortion laws), so it is preposterous to say that homosexuality affirming laws are necessary to uphold basic ‘constitutional rights,’” LaBarbera said.
The law as proposed would apply to any business with 15 or more employees and would declare “it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the individual, because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”
LaBarbera said the law also could be used to defend placing openly homosexual and bisexual teachers in public schools.
“It must be remembered that top homosexual strategists now assert that their ‘moral’ claim (the right not to be treated differently based on their ‘sexual orientation’) trumps our religious/moral obligation to oppose homosexuality,” LaBarbera said.
He also said the plan is built on house of cards, since there is no outbreak of homosexuals getting fired. Instead, it is Christians defending their faith in the public arena being mistreated, he said.
“ENDA would force all Americans who prefer to live within the realm of reality to pretend, by force of law, that a man is a woman – that an apple is an orange, simply because that apple thinks it’s an orange (awkward, fruity pun not intended). It’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ meets George Orwell, and even if you’re the Mary Lou Retton of mental gymnastics, you land flat on your keister on this one,” Barber said.
He said the law actually would violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “by codifying the very thing it purports to prevent – workplace discrimination.”
As WND has reported, this issue recently came to a head in California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on anything that includes a “discriminatory bias” that could be perceived as being against bisexuals, transsexuals and homosexuals in all public schools.
There, analysts have concluded that even the terms “mom and dad” and “husband and wife” could be banned because someone in a same-sex lifestyle choice could perceive that as being derogatory.
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