An Unequal Act

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Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – July 2019

By Pastor Lloyd Pulley

Recently the House of Representatives passed a bill called the Equality Act, which proclaims to be a protection from discrimination for the LGBTQ community. The law would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin to now include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ending discrimination is something everyone can agree on. No one should be discriminated against or oppressed. But that's not what this bill is really about. Calling it the "Equality Act" is just a play on words. Adding this bill to the Civil Rights Act makes it seem like it is enforcing an inherent right. But when did imposing your beliefs on others become a Civil Right?

The bill would make it law for everyone and every institution to accept things that may go against their moral conscience. This bill goes beyond a Christian baker being forced to contradict their religious beliefs and bake a cake for a gay wedding. Doctors would be unable to object to performing procedures that they believe are morally wrong, not to mention procedures which would go against their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Women's spaces including bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons and sports would essentially become everyone's spaces. Parents whose rights are already in danger, would lose further protections. Private religious schools which do not receive government funding, would also be subject to regulation. This is just the beginning of this "Equality Act."

We are being told that this is what's necessary to protect an oppressed minority. But when does individual liberty, safety and privacy become a victim of this gender "rights" debate? The reality is that we are being sold a bill of goods. If this bill passes into law; the first casualties will be privacy and religious rights.

This bill is the first step in silencing and ending religious liberty in the United States. The very foundation of this country was based on religious rights and fleeing religious persecution. These rights are now being laid at the mercy of sexual rights. This is not an oppression issue. This is an issue of power and bigger agendas.

When you trample on the religious foundation of this nation, where does it lead? Where do we go when our right to worship and honor God as we see fit essentially ends? What right is next to go? We can see examples of the outcome: in countries where freedom of religion is non-existent and owning a Bible can get you arrested. We take for granted the fact that we can buy a Bible in any bookstore and even the Dollar Store. For a single dollar all the riches of the Word of God are available to us!

Our Christian foundation is so ingrained in our history that we forget that for over 1500 years the Bible was only available in Latin, a language that only an elite few knew. For over a millennium after Jesus walked on earth, it was illegal to read the Bible in your own language! And reading the Bible for yourself was discouraged by the controlling powers. Think about that for a second. Less than 500 years ago William Tyndale translated the Bible into English for all to read; and was burned at the stake for his effort. If you think we can't see our right to read the Bible and worship our God taken away, just look back into history for some perspective. We are slowly heading backward with this "progressive" agenda.

This is not an issue of discrimination, and I'm not vilifying the LGBTQ community. My heart goes out to individuals suffering from gender identity confusion. They need compassion and the love of Jesus. The church has long made the LGBTQ community feel they were worse sinners than any others. We all sin and are guilty and can only be redeemed by the love of a gracious God and Savior. The LGBTQ community does not need our condemnation; they need our compassion.

Our church is taking steps to minister to the LGBTQ community. Out of Egypt Ministries, was started by a church member who came out of the homosexual lifestyle. As a former lesbian who gave her life to Jesus and walked away from homosexuality there were few examples for her to look to; so, she wanted to be one for others. She now speaks all over the country ministering to churches as to how to reach out with compassion to the LGBTQ community and their friends and family. Her ministry is one of understanding and hope. Such hope is found when you trust in Jesus. If you want to learn more about Out of Egypt Ministries and see an example of true Christian ministry to the LGBTQ community visit outofegyptministries.org.

Marj Lancaster