On May 18, Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III from Massachusetts introduced H.R. 5272 into the U.S. House of Representatives. On May 23, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
On Monday, CNS News posted an article about the bill. The article reports describes the bill:
…would amend the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to specify that religious exceptions should not apply to “protections against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity” and “access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service.”
The legislation is intended to “clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights.”
The bill emphasizes that RFRA should not be interpreted to “authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes the religious views, habits, or practices of one party upon another” or authorize “an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes meaningful harm, including dignitary harm, on a third party.”
Kennedy claimed in announcing the bill that “the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has become a vehicle for those seeking to impose their beliefs on others or claim that the tenants of their faith justify discrimination.”
This suggested bill would undo exactly what the 1993 RFRA did. Christians who believe in the Bible cannot condone homosexual behavior without compromising their beliefs. Homosexual behavior is strongly condemned in the Bible. Notice that the behavior is condemned–not the person. Anything a Christian is asked to do that supports the homosexual agenda is automatically against their beliefs. Normally businessmen have the freedom (and right) to do business with whomever they choose. Shouldn’t that right also be given to Christians? This bill would take away that right. It is interesting that the businesses that have come under attack for refusing services for homosexual weddings have all been Christian. I am waiting for the first case to be brought against a Muslim business owner. Do you think it will be handled the same way?
The thing to watch as this moves forward is the changes in the language.
This is part of the text of the bill (taken from Thomas.gov):
SEC. 2. Sense of Congress.
It is the sense of Congress that—
(1) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes the religious views, habits, or practices of one party upon another;
(2) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes meaningful harm, including dignitary harm, on a third party; and
(3) the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption that permits discrimination against other persons, including persons who do not belong to the religion or adhere to the beliefs of those to whom the exemption is given.
SEC. 3. Exception from application of Act where Federal law prevents harm to others.
Section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb–3) is amended by adding at the end the following:
“(d) Additional exception from application of Act where Federal law prevents harm to others.—This section does not apply—
“(1) to any provision of law or its implementation that provides for or requires—
“(A) protections against discrimination or the promotion of equal opportunity including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Executive Order 11246, the Violence Against Women Act, and Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (77 FR 5662);
“(B) employers to provide wages, other compensation, or benefits including leave, or standards protecting collective activity in the workplace;
“(C) protections against child labor, abuse, or exploitation; or
“(D) access to, information about, referrals for, provision of, or coverage for, any health care item or service;
“(2) to any term requiring goods, services, functions, or activities to be performed or provided to beneficiaries of a government contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other award; or
“(3) to the extent that application would result in denying a person the full and equal enjoyment of a good, service, benefit, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation, provided by the government.”.
As those who practice deviant lifestyles become politically active and become ‘protected classes’ of people claiming discrimination, we will see this law reach new heights.
The ‘Do No Harm Act’ would also forbid religious objection to ‘any healthcare’ service. Nurses or doctors who believe in the sanctity of life will be required to perform or assist with abortions even if abortion violates their religious beliefs.
Make no mistake. Christianity is under attack in America. Unless Christians begin to pay attention to what is going on in Washington, they will wake up one day and find out that the only place they are free to practice their faith is inside the walls of the church.