By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Christians decried that decision then and we still do today. However, there were some who naively believed that was “the end of the story.” Instead, it was just the beginning.
That Supreme Court decision not only did away with the biblical concept of marriage being between a man and a woman, it has opened the door for others outside the traditional roles of male and females to seek government protection of lifestyles that are 100 percent opposite of God’s intended roles for male and females.
In addition to transgender people who want to identify with the sex opposite their birth, there also is a small number of the population who feel that everyone born has the right to choose their gender identification. The slippery slope of sin is sliding along. Once men were allowed to marry men and women to marry women, anything was possible. We are seeing that today.
The Equality Act was passed by the House of Representatives in February and is now under consideration by the United States Senate. The bill would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the classifications protected in federal civil rights law. There is a possibility that the Senate will not approve the legislation. Keep praying that Senators will stand firm.
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director, wrote a column for the Baptist and Reflector website following the House passage of the bill. He summed up why the Equality Act is “dangerous” for our country.
• “It could designate schools, churches and healthcare organizations as ‘public accommodations,’ meaning schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using wrong names or pronouns.
• “It could legislate an allowance of boys in girls’ sports, boys in girls’ locker rooms, men in women’s shelters and men in women’s prisons. It could force teachers and students to publicly recognize gender fluidity and encourage or mandate that schools instruct first, second, and third graders that they can choose to be a boy, girl, neither, or both.
• “It could use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Imagine a Christian organization forced to hire people hostile to Christian beliefs.
• “It could strip health professionals of their rights of conscience, seeking to force doctors and medical professionals to engage in gender transition treatments such as hormone-blocking, cross-sex hormones or surgery.
• “It could be a government tool used to deny or threaten accreditation to religious colleges and universities if they do not apply sexual orientation and gender identity to dorms, sports, places of privacy and even teachings. The Act could also be used as a weapon to threaten the availability of federal student loans and grants to students attending religious schools.”
People have no right to “change” what God created. The Bible makes it clear that God created male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27). God has never nullified that Scriptural truth.
On March 17, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention provided written testimony for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee against the Equality Act.
The ERLC and its president, Russell Moore, have come under fire for some of their positions recently by Southern Baptists, but I affirm their stance on this issue.
According to Baptist Press, the ERLC “said the far-reaching gay and transgender rights proposal ‘would needlessly penalize and discriminate against millions of Americans who possess no animus toward those this bill purports to aid. As law, the Equality Act would undermine pluralism, legalize coercion, imperil religious liberty, eliminate conscience protections, and erode the very freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment.’ ”
If the Equality Act is ultimately approved, then our nation will continue its downward slide. Pray diligently for God’s intervention and contact your senator. God is our only hope. B&R