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The Equality Act, A Fourth Strike Against Biden

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.@JoeBiden's anti-Catholic #EqualityAct makes the already compelling case against @NotreDame's honoring him conclusive #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

The House of Representatives has just endorsed an especially pernicious anti-religious freedom component of President Biden’s agenda, and accordingly we write you again about how ill-advised it would be to for Notre Dame to invite him to be Commencement speaker.

Review

Before describing this development, we review briefly what we’ve said so far.

Two weeks ago, having learned that Notre Dame’s president, Father John Jenkins, is considering inviting President Biden to speak at Commencement and receive  an honorary degree, we circulated an Open Letter urging him not to do so.

We cited the instruction of the nation’s bishops that

Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,

and we described why Biden “is such a person writ large”:

He rejects Church teachings on abortion, marriage, sex and gender and is hostile to religious liberty. He embraces the most pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty public policy agenda in history.

We refer you to our detailed description of the many actions Biden has taken and plans to take “in defiance of” the Catholic Church’s “fundamental moral principles,” and we invite those who have not yet joined our Open Letter to add your name.

https://www.sycamoretrust.org/biden

We hope you will also circulate the Letter to others you believe might be interested.

“Equality Act”

We write now about the passage by the House of Representatives on February 25 of the “Equality Act” at the urging of President Biden “to swiftly pass this historic legislation.” 

Biden’s continued championing of this legislation, which he called a “top legislative priority” during his campaign, should seal the already formidable case against honoring him, for the Equality Act is an extraordinary and unprecedented legislative assault on religious liberty. It is explicitly designed to force Catholics and other Christians to act contrary to their consciences in a host of situations involving sex, marriage, gender and abortion.

It does this in two steps:

First, by including sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in the array of  federal anti-discrimination laws respecting employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, and federally funded programs, and

Second, and most importantly, by barring religious liberty objections under the Religious Liberty Restoration Act — for the first time in any federal statute.

Thus, Biden and his Congressional allies take direct aim at the Catholic Church and Catholics as well as those of other faith traditions who share the Church’s teachings on sex, marriage, gender, and abortion.

USCCB Condemnation

It is accordingly unsurprising that, upon its introduction, the bill was strongly condemned by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty, and four other bishops chairing USCCB committees on Pro-Life, Education, Marriage, and Domestic Justice.

The USCCB representatives opened their letters to all Senators and Congressmen by emphasizing the Church’s teaching that “every person is made in the image of God and should be treated with respect and compassion. ”  Accordingly, they wrote, “[W]e need to honor every person’s right to gainful employment free of unjust discrimination or harassment, and to the basic goods that they need to live and thrive.”  

But the Equality Act, they declared, “represents the imposition by Congress of novel and divisive viewpoints regarding ‘gender’ on individuals and organizations.” This includes, they continued, “dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as only a social construct.” And “tragically,” they pointed out, “the Act can also be construed to include an abortion mandate, a violation of precious rights to life and conscience.”

The bishops then identified with particularity some of the malign consequences should this bill become law. “This legislation would,” they wrote,

  • punish faith-based charities such as shelters and foster care agencies, and in turn their thousands of beneficiaries, simply because of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§§ 3, 6);
  • force both people and organizations in many everyday life and work settings to speak or act in support of “gender transitions,” including health care workers and licensed counselors, even when it’s against their professional judgment (§§ 3, 6, 7);
  • risk mandating taxpayers to pay for abortions, and health care workers with conscience objections to perform them, ultimately ending more human lives (§§ 3, 6, 9);
  • force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in school sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who claim to identify as women (§§ 6, 9);
  • expand the government’s definition of public places into numerous settings, even forcing religiously operated spaces, such as some church halls and equivalent facilities owned by synagogues or mosques, to either host functions that violate their beliefs or close their doors to their broader communities (§ 3);
  • exclude people from the careers and livelihoods that they love, just for maintaining the truth of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§ 3); and
  • discriminate against individuals and religious organizations based on their different beliefs by partially repealing the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an unprecedented departure from that law and one of America’s founding principles (§ 9).

They concluded:

Each year the Catholic Church, as the largest non-governmental provider of human services in the United States, helps millions of people in need through its parishes, schools, hospitals, shelters, legal clinics, food banks, and other charities. The same core beliefs about the human person–made with inherent dignity and in the image of God–motivate both our positions on life, marriage, and sexuality, and also our call to serve the most vulnerable and the common good. We oppose this legislation.

While this bill may fail in the Senate, Biden’s encouragement of its passage by the Senate underscores his resolve to subvert the teachings of the Church that are implicated and to force his fellow Catholics and others of like mind and Catholic organizations to act in violation of their consciences. 

It is bad enough that Notre Dame in 2016 awarded Biden the Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest tribute to a Catholic whose contributions have “illustrated the ideals of the Church.” To honor him again would be to dishonor Notre Dame as a Catholic institution.

Postscript

For more detailed descriptions of the breathtaking reach of the Equality Act see, e.g., the analyses by the USCCB and the Charlotte Lozier Institute (headed by Sycamore Trust vice president Charles Donovan), together with an account of the Act’s hostility to women by Mary Rice Hasson, the director of the Catholic Women’s Forum of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (and Sycamore Trust board member.

Sign our Open Letter

https://www.sycamoretrust.org/biden

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4 Responses to “The Equality Act, A Fourth Strike Against Biden”

  1. When it comes to bipartisan compromise it is important to note that any compromise regarding God’s Revealed Truth will end with error and thus, in every case, a denial of The Truth Of Perfect Life- affirming and Life-sustaining Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace and Mercy, leaving us vulnerable to be slaves of sin.

    God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost , Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, and Marriage, thus to condone and celebrate the heinous act of abortion, and a nonexistent equality of sexual acts and sexual relationships is to deny The Divinity Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and become a slave to sin.I. THE DEFINITION OF SIN

    “1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”121
    1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.”122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125
    1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.”

    This of course, does not release us from our responsibility, to give witness to The Good News, for Christ Has Revealed, Through His Life, His Passion, And His Death On The Cross, that to “Love one another”, as Christ Love’s us, is to desire Salvation for our beloved.

    One cannot be fulfilling Christ Commandment to Love one another as Christ Loves us f we cdesire that any of our beloved remain a slave to sin.

  2. Loretta Morris March 24, 2021 at 7:07 am

    Allowing him to speak at Notre Dame is supporting all of his anti Catholic/Christian policies!!!! Terrible!

  3. Alfred (Fred) Gade March 2, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Joe Biden once again, in his pushing the so-called Equality Act, proves he is a Catholic in name only and deserves our derision, not our honor or respect. This Act by the Democrats is nothing more than an abuse of faith-based institutions by forcing them into submission and/or silence by any foolhardy and vicious means possible.

  4. Eugene Dixon '69MBA March 1, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Democrats always give names to legislation that belies the name to trick their low information constituents. The “Equality Act” will lead to the demise of women’s athletics. High school and college women will be unable to fairly compete with transgender males. Young women will loose interest in competitive sports. Young athletes of both sexes will soon experience this legislation for the illogical foolish sham it is.

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