Editor’s Note: The following is an open correspondence to Tennessee Baptists by Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Tennessee Baptists, it’s time for vigilance and action.
We stood for life and were heard just a couple of years ago when we needed to speak into prolife legislation here in Tennessee, and now we need to stand and express our voices on a national level.
The Equality Act, which is a dangerous piece of legislation that President Joe Biden and his administration set as a priority to pass within his first 100 days, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives vote and is moving to the Senate. This bill, if it becomes law, has deep and wide sweeping implications across our country. Please contact your U.S. senators AND ask them to vote NO. Also, let the White House know of your opposition to this bill.
Here is why the Equality Act is dangerous:
- 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.
In addition to contacting your legislators, I’m asking you to commit this to prayer and ask for God’s intervention in our nation and with this proposed legislation. Literally, the soul of our country and for the souls of its people are at stake.
It is a joy to be with you on this very important matter.