A few years ago, the city of Houston, Texas elected their first lesbian mayor, and she’s just made a demand that has Christians everywhere outraged.
Mayor Annise Parker has issued subpoena’s to her city’s pastors that requires them to turn in sermons that talk about homosexuality, gender identity, or herself. Any pastor that does not comply with this will be at risk of being held in contempt of court.
“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”
“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” Holcomb added. “It is protected by the First Amendment.”
ADF is a conservative law firm that is representing five Houston pastors who are taking a stand by saying the subpoenas are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”
Annise Parker refuses to explain why she has made these outrageous demands, but she has been out for Christianity ever since she became Mayor. ADF lawyers speculate that she wants to publicly shame ministers by publishing their sermons and trying to “out” them as anti-gay bigots.
However, these pastors are not going down without a fight.
One of the first pastors to receive a subpoena was Steve Riggle, senior pastor of mega-church Grace Community Church. On top of his sermons dealing with homosexuality and Annise Parker, Riggle was ordered to hand in “all communications with members of [his] congregation” about the non-discrimination law.
“This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day,” Riggle told me. “The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”
“We’re not afraid of this bully,” said David Welch, Director of the Houston Pastor Council. “We’re not intimidated at all.”
“We are not going to yield our First Amendment rights,” Welch added. ‘This is absolutely a complete abuse of authority.”
Now, pastors everywhere are urging their congregations to rally in support of the Houston pastors. They fear for the national repercussions subpoenas such as this could have.
“The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state,” said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council. “Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I’d like to see literally thousands of pastors after they read this story begin to challenge government authorities – to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons.”
“This is a shot across the bow of the church.”
In attacking Christianity, Parker has awakened a sleeping dragon. We will not be silent while we are attacked by this crazy bigot!
What do you think Annise Parker’s subpoenas? Sound off in the comments below!
H/T: Tea Party Network