HOUSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Trump-hating evangelicals — who dismissed predictions of Biden's dystopian LGBTI+ agenda and its cataclysmic consequences — will respond only with mild protest to the passing of the Equality Act, a world-renowned scholar on homosexuality tells Church Militant.
In an extensive write-up, Professor Robert Gagnon put fellow evangelicals on notice, calling the so-called Equality Act the "most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level."
The eminent New Testament scholar argued his case on what he labeled "Get-the-Homophobic-and-Transphobic-Bigots (In)Equality Act" a week after the Equality Act was passed in the House of Representatives on May 20, 2019 by a bipartisan 236–173 vote.
Under the Trump presidency, the U.S. Senate did not act upon the bill and Trump himself signaled he would veto the bill. During his campaign, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden had stressed that passing the Equality Act would be a priority in his first 100 days in office.
"If a Democrat is elected President in 2020, call it game, set and match. It means the hard-left sexual extremists win, with you and your children (and generations to come) the big losers," wrote Gagnon, best known for his magisterial The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Act by a vote of 224–206 after it was reintroduced to Congress.
Pleading with Never-Trumpers to reconsider their opposition to Trump, Gagnon spelled out in starkly prophetic language the bill's lethal repercussions for orthodox Christians:
No area of existence in this life will be free from the reach of its tentacles. You will be made to conform. If you resist, you will be fined, fired and ultimately threatened with imprisonment. Under certain circumstances even your children can be taken away. It is police-state ideological enforcement of radical, biology-denying fake science. Kiss goodbye the liberties you hold so dear and for which countless fought and died. That's how important defeating this bill is.
Gagnon described how the bill would affect every aspect of life "from cradle to grave, from use of one's talents and skills to mandated speech, from home to public venues, from school to employment, from day care centers to hospitals and nursing homes, from all sources of entertainment to all news outlets, from religious institutions to para-church organizations and even places of worship."
Church Militant asked Gagnon how Trump-hating evangelicals — who oppose homosexual practice and transgenderism — would react to the passing of the bill.
"Most will react with only mild protest. That is because they have shown by their refusal to cast an effective vote against Biden that they are not all that concerned with Biden's trampling of First Amendment protections to speech and free exercise of religion or with the killing of unborn children," Gagnon told Church Militant, lamenting that only "some Never-Trump evangelicals will respond vigorously to Biden's anti-Christian agenda favoring 'LGBTQ+' coercive laws and virtually unlimited promotion of abortion."
"Biden already made clear before the election that among those who opposed this bill were 'virulent people' and 'the dregs of society.' If that wasn't enough for Never-Trump Evangelicals to cast an effective vote against Biden, then they care relatively little about preserving civil liberties of Christians," Gagnon said.
"If they didn't take the necessary steps to prevent Biden-Harris from being elected, they are not going to stick their necks out now," Gagnon, who teaches at Houston Baptist University, remarked.
Church Militant asked the professor why such a monumental self-delusion had descended upon the very people who are supposed to be championing biblical truth and even were fighting against homosexual practice within mainline Protestant liberal denominations.
I think that most evangelicals in their politics are being shaped (duped) by the left-wing narrative about Trump as the great threat to the republic and are fearful of denunciations of Evangelical Trump voters by the elite left-wing power brokers of our day (the media, the academy, the tech giants, peers). In short, the reasons for their acquiesce to the Democrat Never-Trump strategy is a combination of ignorance arising from a dearth of critical thought and of a virtue-signaling fear of the Left.
In his prognosis of the Equality Act, Gagnon pointed out how the new law would "force doctors and nurses, even at Catholic hospitals, to perform 'sex reassignment surgery' even on minors and would force all hospital and nursing home staff to refer to 'transgender' patients by their preferred pronouns and opposite-sex name (conscience be damned)."
The law would "put churches in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status for opposing the promotion of homosexualism and transgenderism" and "churches that allow their buildings to be used by non-church members will be required to make these buildings accessible for functions promoting homosexuality and transgenderism, including 'gay weddings,'" he said.
Virtue, a veteran crusader against the LGBT+ agenda in the global Anglican Communion for over 40 years, replied:
Heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents than all the culture war issues defending Donald Trump or decrying Joe Biden. The alliance of evangelicals with Trump has proven idolatrous, and Nones, the fastest growing group of unbelievers in America, will never believe our gospel in the face of this pseudo-Christian nationalism. Chinese Christians have no constitutional protections, and they are growing by the million.
It should be noted that in four years under Trump no one challenged Roe v. Wade or the Obergefell decision. Why not? Evangelicals had four years to make their case. They were silent. God is not moved by our prophetic utterances or the belief that our constitution is sacred.
Church Militant also asked Rev. Janet Echols, from the conservative Anglican Church in North America, if she regretted her opposition to Trump — especially if a biological male were given permission by Biden to enter her 15-year-old daughter's locker room or shower.
"I did support President Trump in prayer just as I will support President Biden in prayer. I hope you realize that just because I didn't wholeheartedly agree with President Trump doesn't mean that I wholeheartedly agree with Biden," said Echols, vicar of St. Matthew's parish in South Carolina.
But Gagnon emphasized that evangelicals had failed to recognize "the key point" about the bill, which would "codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs."
For Gagnon: "Everything else is commentary."