FADA effectively allows for discrimination against LGBT people, as well as heterosexuals who are assumed to be having sex outside of marriage. The federal government is prohibited “from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction.”
This is not the first time we’ve seen such bills. Following the passage of marriage equality, Mississippi created a bill allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. North Carolina passed “the bathroom bill,” which forced transgender people to use the bathroom according to the gender on their birth certificate, as well as, prohibited cities within the state from creating protections for LGBT people beyond the states own discrimination laws. Tennessee created its own “bathroom” law and told mental health professionals they could refuse to serve LGBT people altogether.
Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins stated that Trump’s administration needs to “ferret out” what he called LGBT “activists” in the state department and replace them with “conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty, which is under unprecedented assault.”
Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, when interviewed prior to the election said, “I’m convinced that with the wrong president, we will soon see a massive assault on religious liberty.” To ensure that didn’t happen, he latched on to the coattails of the man who stands opposed to nearly everything Dobson preaches, while telling Christianity Today – I assume with a straight face – “I support those who will lead the country righteously, honorably, and wisely.”
Franklin Graham joined Trump on his victory tour and said, “Yesterday I had the privilege of joining with thousands of people in Alabama to pray for President-elect Donald J. Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and to thank God for His hand of blessing on this nation.”
Much like the Islamic State, the Christian State remains a fringe group beholden to their version of religion, which cannot stand on its own merit. “Religious liberty,” the golden calf to which they pledge their undying love and support, only applies to their version of religion.
Baptist pastor, John Wofford, doesn’t believe Muslims should have the same rights as Christians. He told NPR, “I would like to know how in the world someone within the Southern Baptist Convention can support the defending of rights for Muslims to construct mosques in the United States when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans?”
Indeed, anyone who disagrees with Wofford, and his version of religion, “threatens” his way of life. Like Graham, Dobson, Perkins, and other fundamentalist Christians, disagreeing with their beliefs is akin to an “assault on religious liberty.”
It is impossible to argue against belief. As conservative Barry Goldwater said, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise.”
The Christian State aligned themselves with Donald Trump, knowing he is vulnerable to anyone who strokes his ego and praises his accomplishments. Perhaps they figured this out sooner than some of Trump’s own opponents.
But much like Trump, the Christian State operates in fear-based motivation. Trump tapped into Middle America’s fears of immigrants, undocumented workers, and Black Lives Matter. Much of the Christian State’s message has warned adherents on the dangers of marriage equality, abortion, feminism, and sex outside of marriage. Neither is based in reality. Statistics and facts don’t support their suppositions or fears. Presented with such facts angers them and threatens their “religious liberties.”
Yet, 48% of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans identify as Christians. 70.6 of Americans in total also identify as Christians from a multitude of denominations. Fundamentalists have hijacked American politics, much the way Sunni Islamists, as represented by the Islamic State have hijacked politics and policies in the Middle East. Their Sharia Law dictates how people must behave and dress, as well as the punishments for not following “God’s law.” Anyone who opposes their “religious liberties” is simply put to death.
What has become clear is that the powerful and political religious right is no longer about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are not attempting to pass laws that seek protections for the poor, orphans, and widows. Instead, they are determined to remove protections from those in society who need them most. The religious right has aligned itself with big business, big money, and big names to impose their way of life on everyone else for their own self-gain.
As Pastor John Pavlovitz said, “[T]his is about supposed representatives of Jesus whoring themselves out just to have what they hope will be the next President’s ear and pretending it’s the work of God. It’s about discarding faith to keep power in their party. It’s about a Christianity that no longer has need or use for Jesus. They themselves are the bloated golden calf they’re bowing down to and Trump is just a means to this end…”
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post
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