What, you thought Wednesday’s Congressional testimony on ENDA was only filled with folks like Rep. Barney Frank and other gay-loving Americans? Then you obviously missed Craig Parshall, general counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters, who is standing up for the church’s right to discriminate!
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, if made law, would “impose a crippling burden on religious organizations,” Parshall testified. More crippling than having to follow all 10 commandments, a task even some priests have problems doing (we hear). This just isn’t fair! America was founded on the right to discriminate! Notes the conservative Christian website Dakota Voice:
Though the bill purports to contain an exemption for religious groups, Parshall testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor that the language, from a legal standpoint, is a “mirage,” and would subject faith groups to “endless, expensive, and harassing litigation” where the courts would be forced to use a previous legal formula in future law suits against religious organizations – a formula that has proven ineffectual in protecting religious liberty.
In making his case, Parshall referred to legal disputes such as Spencer v. World Vision, Inc., Leboon v. Lancaster Jewish Community Center Association, and EEOC v. Townley Eng’g & Mfg. Co. – cases in which faith-based organizations had to prove that they were religious in nature, purpose, or function as it was not apparent in the services they performed.
“What has resulted is a sad pattern of inconsistent and complex decisions which render very scant religious freedom to faith groups but which have sent a chilling pall over their activities not to mention their budgets,” Parshall said.
In concluding his testimony, the NRB leader noted the historical roots under-girding faith-based objections to ENDA-type legislation.
“Christian ministries that object to those sexual preferences which are in clear violation of the standards of the Bible are standing on a long and well-worn road,” he said. “Those doctrines are proscribed in both the Old and New Testaments and have endured for several thousand years. The rights to preach and practice those beliefs spring from a Bill of Rights that is two hundred and twenty years old, and in turn which reach back to hundreds of years of English common law.”
And his boss, NRB chief Dr. Frank Wright, added for good measure that ENDA was a “bait and switch.” Wright told the House Committee on Education “ENDA is an attempt to subjugate First Amendment freedoms while advancing the political orthodoxy of the liberal left.”
Haha. He’s got us there!