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James Dobson: Christians targeted by dark new bill

Dr. James Dobson

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and the James Dobson Family Institute, the author of dozens of books on family and adviser to presidents, warns the Democrats’ proposed Equality Act is a really, really bad deal for the nation.

Dobson, on behalf of his James Dobson Family Institute, wrote, “Make no mistake – the so-called Equality Act is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to finish off religious liberty in America once and for all, which ought to be plainly obvious based upon a cursory reading of the First Amendment.”

The proposal, H.R. 5 and S. 788, would provide special protections for the LGBT community throughout American society. It would state that religious beliefs are not a defense in a dispute between gay rights and constitutionally protected religious rights.

“I wish I could say I was shocked to see the speed with which Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have brought to committee the sweet sounding but entirely treacherous Equality Act. This decision demonstrates a frightening willingness by those on the left to advance a radical social agenda at a time when our nation already faces so many other divisive challenges,” he said.

“Simply put, by creating a protected class of citizens out of the LGBT community, this bill places Christians who believe in traditional marriage at grave legal and civil jeopardy,” said Dobson.

“While no evangelical Christian would ever support hate or violence of any kind against an LGBT individual – or any other person for that matter – to modify the 1964 Civil Rights Act with this wrong-headed bill would not only be legally fraught, it would also put moral equivalence to the unprecedented, centuries-long struggle of countless millions of African Americans to gain freedom from slavery and the persistent, systematic oppression that followed.”

Dobson said that whereas “the Civil Rights movement of the 60s was born out of deep faith and in congruence with God’s Word, this bill tramples both underfoot.”

“In fact, I believe that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, we would be standing together in opposition to the Equality Act. We must refrain from the dangerous tendency to divide America into smaller and smaller sub-groups defined first and foremost by our grievances. We are one nation, under God, and we are already blessed with a Constitution and First Amendment that protects every American without criminalizing our most sincerely held religious beliefs.”

He urged constituents to contact their members of Congress.

WND reported Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, warned the Equality Act is not about equality.

“This bill eviscerate[s] religious freedom and targets churches with an LGBT wrecking ball,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian baker Jack Phillips when he refused to endorse same-sex marriage through his business. And religious rights specifically were protected in the Supreme Court ruling that created same-sex marriage.

But the House bill, Liberty Counsel said, “specifically forbids raising religious free exercise as a claim or defense to the LGBT agenda.”

“This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by striking the word ‘sex,’ and inserting ‘sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code. This amendment applies to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and more.

“Therefore, church leadership and nonprofit faith-based organizations and schools would be forced to hire gender-confused individuals and allow men access to female (or vice versa) restrooms, showers, locker rooms, dressing rooms, shelters, dormitories and sports. This legislation would also create many more victims – like women in shelters who have been sexually assaulted by a man posing as a ‘transgender’ to gain access to the facility,” the group warned.

Churches that allow weddings would have to provide their facilities to homosexuals. It would impact churches’ tax exemption as well as college accreditation. Christian schools would be targets.

So would faith-oriented adoption agencies, foster parents and even parents’ custody of their own children if they oppose a child’s “right to transition to a person of the other sex.”

The religious rights of Christian photographers, artists, bakers, wedding planners and printers would be curbed in the public square.

“This bill literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality,” Liberty Counsel said.

The Heritage Foundation said employers, workers, medical professionals, parents, children, women and nonprofit organizations all would be harmed by the plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“Where the original Civil Rights Act of 1964 furthered equality by ensuring that African-Americans had equal access to public accommodations and material goods, the Equality Act would further inequality by penalizing everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way,” the group warned.

Dobson’s radio program, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk,” reaches hundreds of thousands. He has written more than 30 books dedicated to helping families, including “The New Dare to Discipline;” “Love for a Lifetime;” “Life on the Edge;” “Love Must Be Tough;” “The New Strong-Willed Child;” “When God Doesn’t Make Sense;” “Bringing Up Boys;” “Marriage Under Fire;” and “Bringing Up Girls.”

He was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years.

He has advised U.S. presidents on matters relating to American families. He’s been awarded 17 honorary doctoral degrees and was installed in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.