Byrne: Democrats’ ‘Equality Act’ an effort to take away constitutional right to freely exercise our religion
PRICEVILLE — The Equality Act has made headlines in recent days because of remarks made by pop star Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards calling on the White House to acknowledge a petition promoting the legislation.
During a speech given to the Morgan County Republican Party on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020, warned the Equality Act was one of a number of measures championed by Democrats that would strip constitutional rights from citizens.
Byrne explained that opposition to the Equality Act was just one of many public policy fights required to protect fundamental American values.
“I think every public policy fight we have in Washington right now is a fight over basic values — basic America values deeply embedded in our Declaration of Independence, deeply embedded in our Constitution, ” Byrne said. “And for me, our right to freely exercise our religion. Mo [Brooks] and I voted against a bill in the House called the Equality Act — in the news today a little bit. Sounds great — equality, right? Know what it does? It tries to take away from you and me our rights in the Constitution to freely exercise our religion, OK? Not to just believe what we want to believe — to go to church every Sunday and worship with the people we worship with. But when we get out of church — on Monday through Saturday, we get to actually live our lives that way. They want to take that away from us because they don’t share that value.”
The Baldwin County Republican tied this and other efforts to a belief in socialism, which would give government more control over individuals’ lives.
“They do not share the value that the Constitution is fundamental to our country,” he said. “That’s why they’re OK with taking away our Second Amendment rights. That’s why they would take away our First Amendment rights — to freely exercise our religion. That’s why they believe the Constitution means whatever they want it to mean instead of what it was written to mean. They’re socialist, OK? They call themselves socialist.”
“They’re socialist because they believe government should run your life and my life,” he added. “They fail to understand the fundamental words of the Declaration of Independence — that God gives us our rights, not the government, and it’s government’s job to secure those rights for the people, governing with the consent of the people that sent us there. The government is secondary to that process, not primary. They would make it primary.”
Byrne detailed plans by these so-called socialists to expand the entitlement state to “Medicare for all,” which he said would come at a whopping cost of $40 trillion.
“That’s why they’re socialists, and it reflects that value,” he added.
He also took a jab at the Green New Deal, which he accused Democrats of trying to repeal the laws of nature.
“They want to repeal the laws of physics,” Byrne said. “Did you know that? Look at the Green New Deal. We’re going to get America off of fossil-based fuels in 10 years. No gasoline, no diesel, no oil, no natural gas, no coal.”
Byrne said he asked engineers at both the University of Alabama and Auburn University if such a feat was possible, to which they replied, “You’ll be cold in the wintertime, hot in the summertime and you’ll have to walk everywhere — and no more cows because they produce methane gas.”