Bible Ban? Calif. Fast-Tracks Bill Aimed at Censoring Biblical Christian Teachings
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Watch the full interview with Anne Paulk of the Restored Hope Network who says the agenda behind AB2943 is to silence the Church when it comes to helping others leave the homosexual lifestyle.
A California bill that aims to ban Christian books and resources which address issues of homosexuality and gender identity could pass in the California Senate as soon as late May, sources told CBN News.
What is AB 2943?
Assembly Bill 2943 declares biblical books and Christian conferences dealing with biblical views on homosexuality or transgenderism as fraudulent under the state's consumer fraud statute. Ultimately, it would penalize those who share a traditional view on marriage.
"Whenever a pastor or a church or a para-church ministry holds a conference or an event or sells a book or video about overcoming same-sex desires or gender confusion, that could indeed be banned," Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, told CBN News.
"This is because AB 2943 is only triggered when money is being exchanged for 'sexual orientation change efforts,' and there is no exemption for religious institutions or religious material," he continued. "Could that include selling Bibles? Possibly, but not likely; much more likely to be targeted are speakers, books, and videos helping people get out of homosexuality and transsexuality."
Anne Paulk, executive director of the Restored Hope Network, adds that the bill would also make it illegal for individuals to receive biblically based counseling for these issues.
"A lot of people look for help leaving homosexuality and addressing unwanted same-sex attraction and at this point, California actually seeks to ban help for individuals who are seeking it," she said.
Thomasson and Paulk say proceedings to pass the law are taking place quickly in the state.
"AB 2943 has two state Senate committees to go through before a floor vote," Thomasson told CBN News via email. "But the Democrat legislators seem to be fast-tracking this, so the Democrat-controlled California State Senate could pass AB 2943 as soon as late May."
"I heard the goal would be to have the governor potentially sign the bill in June," Paulk shared.
'What Happens in California Rarely Stays in California'
Paulk, a former lesbian who received help from her church and other Christian resources, believes once the law is passed in California it could be adopted in other states.
"What happens in California rarely stays in California," she explained. "It's usually the set-up for the next state. Usually based upon liberal states. So they will target Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and essentially states with a little more liberal thinking. But eventually, it will invade even the Bible belt."
She oversees about 58 ministries across the U.S. that work to help people overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and said the intent of the bill was always toward the Church.
"There is a lot of power in California and they are wielding that power," she said. "The actual objective is to silence the Church in helping people leave homosexuality. If it starts there it won't stop there."
"If you surrender on the area of human sexuality and homosexuality you actually surrender the rights of the Church to hold standards in any area...you begin to erode the discipleship and integrity of the Body of Christ," she added.
Paulk told CBN News that several Christian legal firms are going to file a lawsuit as soon as the bill is signed into law, but Thomasson believes fighting this legislation on the national front is an uphill battle.
"Both Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel have spoken out on AB 2943, and are likely to mount federal lawsuits if and when it passes," he said. "Such a lawsuit could take three years to get to the US Supreme Court and its success would very likely depend on one or two unconstitutional, liberal judges retiring or dying. The high court's votes have to change, and we need at least four judges who vote to accept the case since the court has repeatedly turned down taking cases like this."
Paulk warns that the Church needs to wake up and take action.
"It is an essential part of the Gospel and we cannot surrender it," she expressed.
Thomasson adds that it is critical for pastors and church-goers to call their state senators.
"If people can meet and greet each other during service time, they can 'meet and greet' their state senator via voicemail and learn that serving Jesus Christ also means loving and protecting their neighbor's religious freedom," he said.
"SaveCalifornia.com urges concerned Californians to publicize via their social networking and other efforts what the anti-religious freedom Democrat politicians are doing," Thomasson added.
"Everyone who believes in God needs to protest this bill by calling their California state senator (we have action steps at SaveCalifornia.com)," Thomasson shared. "SaveCalifornia.com urges former homosexuals and former transsexuals to open their mouths and publicly say that counseling to overcome sexual bondage is needed more than ever."
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