CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The ENDA Faith, Family and Freedom

Nov 8, 2013

When the radicals want to destroy time-honoured institutions like marriage and family, it is not as easy to do so if they just came out and said they hate these things and want to see them forever demolished. No, that is still a bit too radical for most people.

So they have to come up with slightly more subtle means by which they can achieve the same ends. And those who want to see religious liberty come to an end also need to be a little more coy in what they are seeking to do. Coming out saying “We despise your religions and are working to completely ban them” might be a bit too stark and obvious.

So the softly, softly approach is the preferred method of destroying the West. Finding nice-sounding policies and seemingly humane legislation – which really are just as dangerous to faith, freedom and family – is clearly the way to go. And the radicals have mastered the art of this, bringing in all sorts of laws that look good on the outside, but are toxic on the inside.

Thus we have hundreds of anti-discrimination laws being passed all the time. Well, that sounds like a pretty decent thing, right? After all, isn’t discrimination bad, and shouldn’t it always be opposed? So a multitude of sins can be covered by simply running with such legislation.

Radical agendas can still be fully implemented by these means, but most people are completely suckered in the process. A primary example of this is ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This American legislation was just passed by the US Senate.

In theory all about ending workplace discrimination against homosexuals, it is far more than that. The bill, passed 64-32, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats, includes protections for transgender folks as well. Those concerned about marriage and family, as well as religious freedom, have been fighting hard against this bill, and for good reason.

It is bad news indeed, and deserves to be opposed. As Janice Shaw Crouse remarks, this bill is really all about pushing the homosexual agenda while attacking marriage and family: “It’s no secret that the true purpose of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is to ‘help bring marriage equality closer.’

“ENDA would elevate sexual orientation to a protected status under workplace nondiscrimination laws. Indeed, laws have already been used to achieve legal recognition for homosexual unions in several states, even when supposed safeguards are included in the legislation. Gay rights advocates are quite open in declaring the passing of ENDA as an important incremental step in achieving a redefinition of marriage.

“Further, they argue that small changes will bring about greater public acceptance as a gradual adjustment period will make same-sex ‘marriage’ more acceptable. In short, ENDA is a major milestone along the road toward the ultimate goal of legalizing same-sex ‘marriage.’ Worse, as the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson points out, it threatens fundamental civil liberties.”

She continues, “Any decent person opposes unjust discrimination, but there is ‘no evidence that homosexuals have unusual difficulty in finding employment, nor that such laws on the local or state levels have improved their economic situation.’

“Robert Knight calls ENDA a ‘gay quota bill’ and describes it as ‘profoundly dangerous’ because it turns ‘private sin into a public right and brings the force of government against morality itself.’ Knight adds that ENDA ‘falsely equates a changeable condition (sexual desire) with race and ethnicity. Worse, it turns traditional values into a form of bigotry punishable under the law.’

“Probably the most contentious aspect of this very controversial bill is the special protection that it provides not just for sexual orientation, but also for ‘gender identity’ which means that employers would have to hire transgendered persons, whether transvestites (cross dressers) or transsexuals and would have to put up with whatever attire or behavior the employee chooses for the workplace.

“ENDA would ensure the ‘right’ for the transgendered activists to engage in dress and behavior that is the opposite to their sex as a man or a woman, including their right to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, or showers of the opposite sex. We are already seeing a push for unisex bathrooms and the so-called ‘right’ of transgendered persons to use the restroom of their choice – even in the public schools.”

And it is not difficult to see how religious liberty will be negatively impacted here as well. As John Stonestreet explains, “ENDA, while trying to protect employees, is anything but fair to employers—especially those with religious convictions. ENDA’s proponents will remind us that legal steps had to be taken to prevent systematic discrimination of African-Americans.

“But there’s a world of difference here, as Ryan Anderson, writing in National Review, clarifies. In the Jim Crow South, there were ‘pervasive, onerous, and legally enshrined obstacles to employment based on race.’ That’s not the case with sexual orientation in today’s America. In fact, 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies already have company policies prohibiting employment decisions based on sexual orientation.

“Also, one’s race is based on objective criteria. Sexual orientation, particularly in the wording of this bad law, isn’t. It’s subjective, based on personal perception or feelings. While the scientific, psychological, and moral basis of sexual orientation is far from settled, this law acts as if it is, and forces employers to agree.

“So, says Anderson, instead of being about equal rights, ‘ENDA creates special rights for transgendered individuals— males who dress and act as females, and females who dress and act as males—and forbids employers from considering the consequences of such behavior in the workplace.’

“And there would be consequences. What about restroom use? What about children who would be forced into this world of sex change and orientation because of a choice made by their teachers? Not to mention, ENDA is a gold mine for trial lawyers to file claims of discrimination against employers, who will lose the ability to run their businesses according to their deeply held religious convictions.

“As Andrew Walker of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission points out, ENDA is so broad that something as simple as an employer placing a Bible on his desk could be prohibited, lest, as the law states, the action would ‘adversely affect the status of the individual as an employee.’ Supporters of ENDA, of course, will point out the law’s exemption for religious institutions. But those exemptions are unclear, and certainly do not exempt religious business owners from running their business on religious principles.

“As Chuck Colson warned us time and time again, the concept of freedom of religion is being constricted to freedom of worship. That lamentable trend is certainly evident when it comes to ENDA, which says you can believe whatever you want about human sexuality and even preach it from your pulpit—but you just can’t act on it, at least not in the ‘real world.’

“So increasingly, the scriptural and physically obvious understanding of male and female, affirmed for millennia by millions and millions of people of good will, is now seen as simple bigotry. More and more, the power of the state is being marshaled to enforce one worldview and suppress others.”

One such piece of legislation may not seem to be much of a threat. But when dozens and even hundreds of such laws are being passed all over the West, the harmful ramifications are ominous indeed. These are just more nails in the coffins of faith, freedom and family.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/enda-vote_n_4228502.html?ir=Politics
www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/its_time_to_end_enda.html
www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/23772

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8 Responses to The ENDA Faith, Family and Freedom

  • “So increasingly, the scriptural and physically obvious understanding of male and female, affirmed for millennia by millions and millions of people of good will, is now seen as simple bigotry. More and more, the power of the state is being marshaled to enforce one worldview and suppress others.”

    Quoted for truth. The last sentence is especially true, especially in the West. And it disgusts me, as it should anyone who values genuine freedom.

    Simon Barron

  • This is so depressing. I’m glad I do not have children, but I mourn for those who have children and have to raise them and see them going into a future like this. Even in my own workplace which is a very large law firm, the LBGT agenda is being pushed almost constantly without regard to anybody’s religious principles. No, we are not forced to attend these meetings, but woe betide anyone who may offer a ‘discriminatory’ objection. I would see them walked out the door. I really don’t know what to make of all this Bill, other than to say that the Devil well and truly has grip of this world and we are blindly following him.
    Elizabeth Hamilton

  • How can someone who has transgendered from one sexual identity to the opposite be worried about which restroom he/she/they use? If they are so adamant as to which restroom they use, then how do they think people who have not changed from their original sex feel, when they see someone else whose appearance clearly betrays a sexual identity other than that on the notice on the restroom door? It seems to be all about certain people getting their own way (some more equal than others) and also as mentioned above – a gold mine for professionals such as lawyers to create new laws, needs and remuneration. A smoke and mirrors way to kick start a bankrupt economy.
    Rachel Smith

  • Bill,

    Surely the Republican led house won’t allow this to pass.

    Graham Jose

  • What I find peculiar is that it is unlikely I could ever claim protection under discrimination laws based upon my race, since I am a ubiquitous Caucasian. Yet, on a personal whim, I could quite easily claim protections under ENDA as a homosexual or transgender.

    Other than manifest behaviors how else do you truly prove you are either?

    Graham Jose

  • Thanks Graham. Sadly there are a lot of RINOs out there.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill – I hope you’re wrong about the RINOs – I suppose we saw them raising their ugly heads in the Senate. This should be core conservative policy, but conservatives the world over seem to be slowly buckling to the whole evil agenda of the left.

    Even Tony Abbott is being overly cautious when dealing with these topics.

    Graham Jose

  • Anti discrimination laws – Gay rights. I’m confused about actually who cops the most discrimination. I’m of the opinion that in fact Christians do.
    I have witnessed such venom and vile conduct against peaceful marchers in anti abortion and pro marriage rallies (as you have Bill) that it comes into question whether the use of force and violence by gay lobby groups is in fact Gestapo type intimidation tactics.
    If the gay agenda is campaigned on freedom of choice, then why don’t the law makers uphold the Christian majority view that’s been ratified and enshrined in law by every generation since the beginning. Instead whats transpiring is a systematic and dastardly minded trashing of the sanctity of marriage. Remember this “you don’t value what you already have until you loose it.”
    Michael Mercier

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