By: James Wesolek – thefederalist.com – 28, 2019
If the Texas legislature passes these bills, Christians near and far should be concerned about how their freedoms will be curtailed in the coming years.
The 86th Texas legislative session got underway a few weeks ago, and liberals are already going on the offense in the traditional conservative stronghold. Left-leaning legislators have formed Texas’ first LGBTQ caucus while promising a “transformative” agenda. This includes a number of proposed “sexual orientation and gender identity” laws (SOGI) that would attack people of faith so aggressively that they can justifiably be described as “Ban the Bible” bills.
“Ban the Bible” doesn’t have to mean confiscating physical Bibles. LGBT activists aren’t that obvious with their intentions (yet). But it does mean something even worse: stripping Texans of their right to practice biblical teachings in their day to day lives.
These bills would create new government power and protections that ban the free expression of biblically grounded beliefs, especially teaching on marriage and sexuality. Numerous bills seek to force people of faith to conform to others’ personal and political activities, while setting aside their own sincerely held religious beliefs. Those who do not comply will face fines, possible jail time, or other criminal charges.
Bigoted Bills Disguised As ‘Anti-Discrimination’
These proposals try to fly under the radar as “anti-discrimination” bills, because who doesn’t want to stop bullying? But such so-called anti-discrimination laws turn law-abiding Christians into criminals and Texans can’t stand by and watch it happen. H.B. 244, for example, creates a $100 per day fine for any violation. H.B. 188 includes a Class A Misdemeanor, the same punishment for a DUI or domestic violence, which could lead to a year in jail if the anti-discrimination policy is not followed.
These policies are similar to ones used against Christian cake baker Jack Philips in Colorado. Jack, of course, famously won at the U.S. Supreme Court, but that wasn’t enough to stop liberals from trying again.
Other bills would force religious homeless shelters, colleges, and universities to allow biological men to sleep next to women. This includes in shelters for abused women and small dormitories. Think that’s a little farfetched? It’s already happening in Alaska.
As if that’s not bad enough, these same bills would be used to force private business owners to allow men into the most intimate spaces designed for women. This includes places like showers and locker rooms at a gym, or any public bathroom. Again, if you think this is farfetched, it has already happened in Seattle, and a Planet Fitness in Michigan revoked membership to a woman who merely complained there was a man in the women’s locker room.
It’s one thing if a corporation wants to voluntarily create SOGI policies for their business. After all, corporate activism seems to be all the rage these days. Target famously changed its bathroom policy to allow guests to use the bathroom of their “gender identity.” They also saw reported incidents of sexual offenses spike in Texas and across the nation right after that policy change. The bills in front of the Texas legislature, however, would force all business to adopt these radical LGBT policies, even those owned by people who oppose them for religious or safety reasons.
But it doesn’t end there. A third bill, H.B. 517, would allow the government to punish counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, or any other mental health providers licensed by the state who help people from a Christian perspective. If these providers in any way discourage homosexual behavior, or the desire for a “gender transition” (including at the request of the client), they would face disciplinary action by a regulatory committee.
It’s truly shocking to see how far the left is willing to go on this issue. This bill frames the issues as “unprofessional conduct by mental health providers who attempt to change the sexual orientation of a child.” Talking to people about what the Bible says and their unwanted feelings now constitutes “unprofessional conduct.”
I hope you have heard about the heartbreaking case out of Dallas where a young boy is dressed like a girl by his mother but acts like a boy with his father. The mother of the child, who is separated from the father, is threatening the father with legal action if he discourages his son’s transgenderism.
This bill goes a step beyond that scenario. Not only would the father not be allowed to discourage transgenderism, but mental health providers would not be allowed to discourage it either! This is the Sherman’s March of SOGI policies, completely clearing the path of any opposition or dissent.
At this point you might be telling yourself there’s no way Texans will let this pass. Unfortunately, I wish that optimism were true. During Texas’ last legislative session, a bill similar to one introduced this year was voted out of committee with Republican support. Austin is not immune to the swamp sickness.
On top of this, Republicans just lost 12 seats in the Texas House in the last election. While Republicans still hold the majority, this session is different, and Texans who care about their liberty can’t take anything for granted.
It’s no secret that Texas is the shining state on a hill for many conservatives across the country. Liberals understand this better than most. This is why Texas is consistently on the front lines fighting to protect liberty. A win for these anti-Christian bills in the Lone Star State would be a mighty morale blow to conservatives across the country.
Just like at the Alamo, Texans must once again stand and fight for our freedoms. We must dare liberals to “Come and Take it!” while we stand firm. If you’re in Texas, please contact your elected officials at NoBibleBan.com and encourage them to oppose these horrible bills. We ask all who care about their values and liberty around the nation to join with us, like the volunteers of old, to protect all that we hold dear.
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