Throckmorton offers a concise take-down of all of Barton's talking points:
No. Just no.David Barton: Churches Are Required to Hire Pedophiles to Run Church Nurseries
Barton is completely wrong about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It never passed both houses of Congress during the same session, and it is not law today. It was not introduced in the 109th Congress (2005-2007). As an aside, the House speaker during that Congress was Dennis Hastert and the Senate president was Dick Cheney. ENDA passed the House in the next Congress but not the Senate. Another version of the legislation passed the Senate in 2013 but not the House (see this timeline).
Barton told Mitchell’s audience that President Obama’s executive order forbidding discrimination by federal contractors came “as a result” of ENDA. Not so. Barton claims faith based groups have to hire homosexuals. However, this order only applies to federal contractors not all faith based groups. Then he uncorked a doozy by claiming that churches have to hire pedophiles who want to run church nurseries. Of course, this is ridiculous fear mongering.
Stop a minute to think about that claim. Anyone who has any knowledge of church work or volunteer work with children knows Barton’s claim is ridiculous. In many schools, you can’t volunteer to accompany your child’s classroom on a field trip without criminal and child abuse clearances. In recent years, churches have been required by liability insurers to screen all volunteers before working with children. Barton’s claims are absurd and irresponsible.
On the claim that a church has to hire an openly gay applicant, Barton offers no evidence. I know of no case where a non-gay-affirming church was required to hire a gay person for a religious function. Churches discriminate on the basis of religion all the time by hiring only those who agree on even fine points of doctrine. Many churches also discriminate on the basis of gender by not hiring women for certain functions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance makes it clear that “governmental regulation of church administration, including the appointment of clergy, impedes the free exercise of religion and constitutes impermissible government entanglement with church authority. The exception applies only to employees who perform essentially religious functions, namely those whose primary duties consist of engaging in church governance, supervising a religious order, or conducting religious ritual, worship, or instruction.” Clearly, youth directing is an essentially religious function.