CBN News, by Deborah Bunting: A group of nearly 60 black Christian leaders is urging the U.S. Senate to reject the Equality Act recently passed by the House of Representatives and instead opt for a compromise bill that protects the rights of the LGBT community while also preserving the rights of religious believers and institutions.
The Equality Act would nullify the right of Christian and other religious groups and schools to hire people according to their moral and religious beliefs, and force acceptance of lifestyles contrary to their deeply held values.
The AND Campaign sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, signed by 57 Christian leaders such as New York City megachurch pastor A.R. Bernard, President of the AND Campaign Justin E. Giboney, Esq., former NFL player Benjamin Watson, former U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson-Cook, Bishop Claude Alexander of The Park Church in North Carolina, and respected public policy strategist Barbara Williams-Skinner.
In the letter, they warned that this bill was “a danger not just to Christian institutions, but those belonging to our Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, and Muslim neighbors as well.”
The letter detailed the dangers of the Equality Act, saying:
“It would remove many of the basic rights that allow religious organizations to operate according to the tenets of their faith. It would allow LGBT rights to be used as a sword against faith institutions rather than a shield to protect the vulnerable. In addition to failing to offer religious protections to religious institutions, the Equality Act would likely:
Revoke federal security, disaster relief, and school lunch money from thousands of religious schools.
End federal partnerships with thousands of faith-based programs that serve the most vulnerable.
Revoke the Pell Grant and federal loan eligibility for tens of thousands of students that attend hundreds of religious colleges.
Convert houses of worship and other religious properties into public accommodations, enmeshing them in constant litigation.”
Signees to the letter advocated for an alternative called the Fairness for All Act, which they say would protect religious liberty as well as preserve the rights of the LGBT community, and was more a product of churches and the LGBT community coming together to find ways to “co-exist and promote tolerance.”
They went on to urge that the Fairness for All Act be given a full hearing and vote, saying, “Black and Brown Christians worked too hard for the Civil Rights Act to have it revised in ways that would take away basic rights and funding from our communities. The Equality Act needlessly pits the concerns of diverse communities against each other.”
The Equality Act is a not so subtle attack on religious values and institutions. Religious liberty has to be attacked in other way than the Sabbath to set precedence. The Equality Act is staging the assault.
“There are many who, if they understood the spirit and the result of religious legislation, would not do anything to forward in the least the movement for Sunday enforcement. But while Satan has been making a success of his plans, the people of God have failed at their post. God had an earnest work for them to do; for the honor of his law and the religious liberty of the people are at stake. God would have us see and realize the weakness and depravity of men, and put our entire trust in him; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Review and Herald, December 24, 1889, Art. B.