by Norbert J. Kuk
Historian Arnold Toynbee once noted that “an autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.” So far, the USA is showing that it won’t be an exception to Toynbee’s observation. The signs of self-mutilation have been in plain sight for a century – sown as seeds by Woodrow Wilson, later diligently watered and fertilized by FDR, accelerating markedly during LBJ’s and Nixon’s terms, and moving to a fast gallop starting with Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Except for some plateauing in Reagan’s time, it’s been a steady downhill slide since. The question is, are there enough Americans with a modicum of faith and morality who can speak and act to apply the brakes?
Now comes the Equality Act (EQA), which Decision Magazine calls “a clear and present danger.” It passed the House by a predictable 236 to 173 margin – and although the Senate with its slim Republican majority will kill it this time around, we are possibly one election away from having it pass both houses and be signed by a president whose name is not Trump.
Overall, as the EQA is now written, it establishes the LGBTQ community as a “protected minority” under our civil rights laws – and in so doing, it explicitly overrides the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring all religious and faith-based institutions to abide by the new provisions. Here are highlights of what this would mean:
(1) Parents would no longer have a meaningful say-so for their minor children on issues of gender and/or sexual orientation. Specifically, the new federal codes would supersede parental authority if the parents’ beliefs contradict government mandates. For example, recently in Ohio, a judge terminated the parental rights of a couple who refused to support transgender hormonal treatments for their daughter. EQA would make that result the same in all 50 states. Or suppose a boy declares same-sex attraction. Under EQA, his parents would be unable to subject him to conversion therapy. And because all psychiatrists, other MDs, and psychologists would also be forced to abide by the EQA, there’d be no professional help available for conversion therapy anyway – even if the boy himself wanted it.
As you’d expect, some private businesses are ready to go along. According to Christian apologist Michael Brown (Townhall, 7/6/19), Amazon has removed books by psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, a conversion therapy pioneer, for claiming (a) that deviant sexual behavior is not innate and immutable, and (b) that change from sexual deviancy is possible. And since the Bible says the same thing, in effect, by establishing deviancy as an immoral choice, might Amazon at some point remove the Bible from its offerings?
Therefore, we need to PRAY that more parents and lawmakers realize the folly of laws that virtually ensure these mental illnesses will flourish untreated.
(2) Under the EQA, male-bodied trans women would have rights to all public restrooms, school locker rooms, women’s shelters, college dorms, senior facilities, and so on. This particular facet of the issue is already being debated in public forums, with legitimate outrage by church groups and parents, among others. Another basis for legitimate outrage is the unfair intrusion of these trans women into female sports teams and competitions. The EQA would end all the debate, but not on the side of sanity. PRAY that honest debate is never shut down and that Biblical common sense prevails.
(3) Most of us are already familiar with a few high-profile cases of Christian small business owners who have been sued for refusing on religious grounds to participate in gay “wedding” celebrations – e.g., husband-and-wife bakers who refused to create a cake for a lesbian wedding. Then there’s the 2015 case of the Atlanta fire chief who was fired for writing and teaching a church Bible study for a men’s group that affirmed Biblical sexuality and marriage. He sued the city and won, but if EQA had been in force, he might well have lost. Indeed, under EQA, people who fail to use prescribed transgender pronouns could be fined or even fired. Basically, we must PRAY that freedom of speech, religion, association, and the press regain the upper hand in this sinking society.
(4) Faced with a mandate to place children with gay couples (or other abnormal combinations), faith-based adoption agencies would likely be forced to close down. The fact is, this is already happening in some states, where lawsuits are pending. This would significantly limit the choices for those pregnant women who feel they can’t care for their child but do want to choose life. PRAY that even now, government pressure on faith-based agencies to place children in deviant situations will decline and disappear.
(5) In our judgment, the most damaging EQA mandate of all would be the required inclusion or affirmation of these progressive fantasies in the curricula of K-12 schools, and that would also apply to field trips, sports, etc. Here, we recall Jesus’s words: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18: 5-6, ESV). We need to PRAY that our children not ever be subjected to these mandates, but we must also pray that the perpetrators eventually open their eyes to the light.
These are just a few items for your prayer list on this sinking ship. And keep in mind that while we know God hears our prayers, the real value in persistent prayer is not so much that He hears us, but that we will finally hear Him and know His will.