Billy Graham Evangelical Association CEO Franklin Graham says that if Congress adopts the Democrats’ Equality Act, which would nullify constitutional protections for religious rights, the “nation may never recover.”
H.R. 5 which already has passed the House of Representatives, would cancel civil rights protection for women, eliminate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and codify the LGBT agenda.
It previously was condemned by Graham and other Christian leaders.
In the July-August issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “Decision” magazine, Graham points out it’s not likely that the Republican majority in the Senate will go along, but “if the Senate majority changes or if enough Republican senators change their position, it would be up to the president to veto the bill.”
“And if that office were to change hands in 2020, I have little doubt this would become the law of the land,” he warned.
He said there would be “catastrophic consequences.”
Christian organizations “would lose all protections to hire people who adhere to their biblical statements of faith. Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before. The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered ‘hate speech.’ It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover,” he warned.
In a separate article, “The Equality Act: A Clear and Present Danger,” the organization’s Jerry Pierce explains the law would force the closure of faith-based adoption agencies and women’s shelters.
And those who fail to use transgender pronouns could be fined.
School field trips? Dorm room assignments? All would be ruled by “the new sexual orthodoxy.”
Then religious groups, including churches, would be under the thumb of the “newly framed Civil Rights Act,” he wrote.
“The law would make no exemptions for religious institutions and explicitly invalidates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
Parents no longer would be allowed to choose medical treatment for their children and “the law would also strip parents of their right to raise and educate their own children if their beliefs contradict government mandates.”
Men who say they are women would have access to women’s locker rooms, homeless shelters, hospital rooms, elder care facilities and more. And bakers, florists, photographers, videographers and others who believe in traditional marriage would be forced to violate their beliefs or be run out of business.
“Tolerance is no longer enough,” Pierce wrote. “What Obergefell [the case creating same-sex marriage} didn’t accomplish, the misnamed Equality Act of 2019 attempts to complete with the full crushing force of the federal government behind it.”
He quoted Kelly Shackelford of First Liberty, who said, “The Equality Act attempts to make sure that in all cases LGBT rights trump religious freedom – in every situation. It makes religious freedom a secondary freedom or right.”
Pierce said under the law, people couldn’t “have a different belief and expect to live in peace.”
“They can’t even make the argument for their beliefs, which is why this is so extreme.”
WND reported Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, charged that H.R. 5 would endanger millions of American women, undermine fundamental American rights to faith in both religion and science and put children at risk by medicalizing them in harmful, permanent ways without parental involvement.
“Americans can all agree. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect,” he wrote. “No one should be mistreated by his or her employers, coworkers or anyone else. However, when lawmakers propose amendments to federal law, we must avoid doing more harm than good,.
“We must not pass legislation that harms children, sets back the rights women have fought so hard to attain or erases the gains made possible by other federal civil rights laws, such as Title IX. H.R. 5 does all of these things. This bill would do much more harm than good, and women and children would bear the brunt of the damage.”
WND reported 21 Christian leaders wrote to Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate declaring their “adamant” opposition to the “poorly named Equality Act.”
“We the undersigned cannot remain silent concerning a dangerous bill pending in Congress known as the Equality Act (H.R. 5). 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,” they wrote.
Signatories included Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, former Rep. Michele Bachmann, Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ, Stephen Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship, Times Square Church Pastor Carter Conlon, James Dobson of the James Dobson Family Institute, Jim Garlow of Well Versed, Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist in Texas, Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Harry Jackson Jr. of International Communion of Evangelical Churches and Robert Jeffress of First Baptist in Dallas.
Others were Guillermo Maldonado of King Jesus International Ministry, author and radio host Eric Metaxas, Robert Morris of Gateway Church, Ramiro Pena of Christ the King in Waco, Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, James Robison of LIFE Outreach, Todd Wanger of Watermark Community Church and Tim Wildmon of American Family Association.
Collectively, they are considered leaders for tens of millions of Americans.
“First, the 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 explains. “We cannot remain silent and allow this lie to harm countless men, women, and children – whether in this or any other legislation. … No family would be safe from the long reach of the Equality Act.”
Also, the leaders contended, the Democratic proposal would “gut” religious freedom protections in the U.S.
The Alliance Defending Freedom previously condemned the plan.
“Essentially, the ‘Equality Act’ gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment,” wrote the ADF’s Sarah Kramer in a post about the proposal.
Washington watchdog Judicial Watch also warned it would remove access to all single-sex “public multi-stall bathrooms, domestic violence or rape crisis shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, locker rooms or group showers.”
And Family Talk founder James Dobson warned, “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.”
Their worst concerns have been confirmed by the left. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said, during congressional debate that religious rights protected by the First Amendment never should be used as a defense in a conflict with LGBT demands.
Liberty Counsel said the bill “literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality.”