Pastor Tim, with the approval of the Chapel elders, recently signed a Pastoral Statement Opposing the Equality Act, a bill currently before the US Senate. The statement is sponsored by Alaska Family Action and will be distributed to Senators Sullivan and Murkowski. The text of the statement follows:
Statement by Alaska Faith Leaders Opposing Equality Act
We are Christian pastors and leaders from across the state of Alaska, and we are writing
in opposition to the Equality Act.
We firmly believe that all people have dignity and are made in the image of God, and one
aspect of that is that God created us “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). To act or speak
otherwise – as the Equality Act would require – would be to violate our deeply held religious
convictions. Moreover, we believe that the policies advanced by the Equality Act would greatly
harm our neighbors from many walks of life.
The Equality Act could force people of faith in a variety of professions to choose
between violating their beliefs or losing their livelihood.
Medical professionals could be forced to promote or participate in medical “gender
transition,” a process which can leave patients sterile and potentially involves amputating or
altering healthy body parts. This is something to which even some non-religious medical
professionals may object because of the harm it can inflict on patients.
Faith-based nonprofits would be affected, as well. Foster and adoption agencies, for
example, could be compelled to affirm a young child’s belief that they were born in the wrong
body, and to only place children in homes that would likewise affirm this belief. If they don’t
comply, they could be forced to shut their doors – limiting the already-slim resources for
children in need. Similarly, battered women’s shelters may be compelled to admit men into their
facilities, despite knowing that this may cause women to re-live the trauma of the abuse from
which they are trying to recover.
Meanwhile, the Act could threaten the freedom of artists and other professionals to live
according to their beliefs, and the ability of our own churches to require employees to abide by
core tenets of our own faith. Adding insult to injury, the Equality Act would specifically bar
invocation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
Even for those who do not hold religious convictions, the Equality Act poses a threat.
Notably, it could undermine parental rights – harming families across the nation. And, it would
force schools to allow males to compete in and win sports contests reserved for females.
As Christians, we are compelled to follow Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor
as yourself.” We consider it unloving to electively subject a young person to potential
sterilization and mutilation, “treatments” which fail to heal the wounds of the heart. We believe
it is unloving and unwise to undermine the ability of parents to lovingly care for their children in
the way they see best. And, it is certainly unloving to force victims of abuse to re-live their
trauma, or to make talented female athletes watch as their opportunities for athletic achievement
are swept from under their feet.
We oppose the Equality Act because it is unloving to our neighbors and because it stands
to threaten the ability of people of faith to live according to their convictions.