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H.R. 5: The Final Nail in the Coffin of Religious Liberty

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AP Photo/David Goldman

The nation sat back over the past 12 months and watched state governments close the doors of America’s churches under the guise of a health crisis.  For the most part, our church leaders went online in obedience to the governing authorities.  After the “six-week lock down to slow the spread” passed, the collective exercise to save humanity began to take on a different shape as we were able to freely shop at Walmart or even patronize the local strip club.  These are essential businesses, arbitrarily deemed to be so by our elected officials.  But the church was closed, and many are still closed today and have become comfortable with the excuse of being closed.  A handful of church leaders are waking up to the obvious bias against them but not nearly enough.


Perhaps the new model of clergy bowing (and remaining bowed) to an overreaching state government is just what The Equality Act (H.R. 5) needed to pass in Washington, DC.  When the church sits down, Satan runs amok.  

H.R. 5 needed a compliant clergy to open the door to the very threat that has been laser focused against them.  While our pastors are at home readying themselves for the next online sermon, devoid of personal touch, community, and corporate worship so important to the body of Christ, The Equality Act is preparing a more permanent padlock on the doors of their churches.  

There are very few clergy who seem to understand that the steamroller of the federal government is infested with radical leftists, and it has had enough of the church preaching “hate speech” for biblical marriage between one man and one woman and that God made two genders, for instance.  And clergy have become more compliant by the day; the cancel culture, bolstered by compromised elected officials and a complicit leftist media, is cancelling the church right under its own nose and there is nary a whimper to say, “No more.”

H.R. 5 turns sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI”) into protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act.  It ignores the seriousness of being discriminated against because of immutable traits – like gender and skin color - by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations, education, federal funding, employment, and housing. 


Specific to houses of worship, H.R. 5 does not include any religious exemptions currently provided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It prevents churches from being able to live out biblical beliefs about marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes. It would force churches to open sex-specific facilities (like bathrooms) to members of the opposite sex. The message from H.R. 5 to America’s clergy is “to bow or be destroyed.”

You may recall the Christian baker, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple.  Even after winning his landmark Supreme Court case, he is still fighting lawsuits to have the right to exercise his freedom of religion and reflect that in his artistic expression in his own business.  Should H.R. 5 pass in the United States Senate, Jack will have a lot of company wearing clerical collars as the planned assault against the church and its tax-exempt status will take on an emboldened battle formation. 

Given the passivity that has infected the North American church, writ large, (which is the opposite of the flaming pulpits witnessed by Alexis de Tocqueville 190 years ago), it’s a wonder the shepherds are still in charge, allowed to wave about their rod and staff with ecclesiastical authority but without vision. The greatest hope for the world has been and still is God’s America and she is under attack.


The Equality Act must be defeated for the sake of all Americans and for the church, in particular. That defeat requires all clergy of all faiths who understand the importance of religious liberty to unite, open their mouths and stand against it - now!

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