Houston has a First Amendment Problem.
Lawyers for the city of Houston have subpoenaed sermons of Conservative religious leaders. Their intent? To identify Pastors who might have spoken out against an equal rights ordinance approved by the Houston City Council in May of this year. This ordinance, which bans racial and sexual discrimination in city employment, contracting, housing and public accommodations creates controversy because men and women can utilize public restrooms based upon their gender feelings, not their biological makeup.
Mayor Annise Parker says she only found out recently that the lawyers had requested sermon transcripts. She claims the request to be overly broad. However, her Tweet of October 14th hints otherwise:
If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game. Were instructions given on filling out anti-HERO petition?-A
Fair game Ms. Parker? Hardly.
According to the IRS, all pastors and churches are banned from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” But, this law doesn’t restrict every type of political speech.
Pastors can educate his parishioners about the issues and can even endorse ballot referenda. The law only prohibits the pastor from endorsing any particular candidate, as this threatens the revocation of the Church’s tax exempt status.
Leftists cry foul when Churches address the political issues of the day through the lens of God’s Word, believing the men behind the pulpits have overstepped their bounds. In reality, the issue at hand isn’t one of limiting a Pastor’s speech rights but of a concerted effort to silence those who believe the homosexual/transgender/gender neutral lifestyles an abomination in the sight of God.
The agenda pushed in Houston would allow men and women to use public restrooms of their choice. Imagine for a moment a typical Sunday morning at Church and little Sarah slips away from Mom and Dad to use the bathroom. While in the stall, someone else walks in, and when Sara steps up to the sink to wash her hands, she sees the reflection of a man standing behind her. There’s great potential for the suggested scenario to play out in Churches across America. “Pat” informs the Pastor he feels like a female, and strolls into the women’s restroom. In reality, he doesn’t feel like a woman, but instead is a child predator.
It could happen, right?
Senator Ted Cruz delivered his thoughts concerning Houston’s attempt to infringe upon religious liberty:
“Yet as we’ve seen it across the country, our hearts are particularly broken that we are seeing it (religious liberty attacked) here in Houston, Texas. This week, the government of Houston, Texas sent a subpoena to silence prayers. The government of Houston, Texas demanded of the pastors, hand over your sermons to the government. The city of Houston has no power – no legal authority – to silence the church. Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit, and when you subpoena one pastor, you subpoena every pastor.”
The month of October is designated as “Pastor Appreciation Month.” Continue to pray for those pastors who boldly proclaim the Word of God. It appears religious liberties continue to come under attack, and those men behind the pulpits are standing in the crosshairs of a Liberal agenda intent on silencing not only the voice of religious liberty but also the voice of truth.