Religious broadcasters are worried about “harassing and expensive lawsuits” if certain legislation in Washington passes.
Frank Wright, president/CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, delved into the issue in a newsletter piece, discussing the nomination of Chai R. Feldblum to run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Describing Feldblum as “an outspoken lesbian,” Wright said religious broadcasters are worried because she is an architect of the proposed Employment Non Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Wright reminded his readers that the FCC does provide a minimal employment and equal opportunity exemption for religious broadcasters who wish to make hiring and firing decisions contingent on faith-based criteria, and he noted that the proposed legislation does give an exemption to “religious organizations.”
But he repeated NRB concerns that the legislation’s attempt to exempt religious entities is “hugely flawed and will expose many Christian ministries to harassing and expensive lawsuits.” If Congress passes it, Wright wrote, “the FCC’s current exemption will suddenly and very forcefully collide with EEOC regulations. It is very likely that the EEOC, further shaped by the views of its new leader Chai Feldblum, would prevail.”
In that case, the NRB head continued, “It is entirely possible that Christian advertising agencies, publishers, bookstores and schools will be faced with legal action in the future if they refuse to hire someone whose sexual orientation, or gender identity, does not square with their view of Scripture. Religious broadcasters will be battling either the FCC or the EEOC or both, and churches won’t be exempt from the legal attacks, either. Like abortion advocates using the RICO (racketeering) laws to harass and bankrupt pro-life advocates, the day may soon come when federal employment regulations are used to harass and bankrupt Believers in a wide variety of businesses.”
“Chai Feldblum is not an ‘enemy’ of Christians,” Wright concluded. “Her beliefs are at enmity with Scripture, but Ms. Feldblum and others like her will not be won to the cross by imprudent speech or action on the part of Believers. We must walk that delicate road of standing firm for our faith, while loving those individuals who directly oppose Biblical Truth.”
Wright said NRB will work against the legislation. He called on members to support its efforts with prayer and by speaking up.