My friends, the persecution of Christian pastors has begun in this country. We previously warned about the efforts of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and its secretive settlement with the IRS allowing them to demand sermons to scrutinize for “political activity.” Well, it has indeed happened, in one of the reddest of red states in the reddest county in America: Houston, Harris County, Texas.
As reported by Fox News, “The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be 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 in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.” ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”
If there is anything that should unify Americans, it should be an assault on Christian ministers. It is absolutely amazing that the Obama administration sends a personal congratulatory note to the Islamic center in Oklahoma that spawned Alton Nolen who beheaded a 54-year-old American grandmother — and we have this openly lesbian progressive socialist tyrant allowing a subpoena against Christian pastors.
This is the test case (and as it happens I was just in Houston last week and will be back next Monday) and this is unconscionable! However, if this case is successful, it will be replicated elsewhere — and where is the Left screaming out about First Amendment rights of these pastors: “Freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof?” Where is the ACLU? After all, they care so much about the rights of unlawful enemy combatants aka Islamic jihadists and terrorists.
“Political and social commentary is not a crime,” attorney Holcomb said. “It is protected by the First Amendment.” Fox says, “the subpoenas are just the latest twist in an ongoing saga over Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance. The law, among other things, would allow men to use the ladies room and vice versa. The city council approved the law in June.”
This is just how upside down Mayor Parker is and reflects her intent to establish a radical far left, gender-blind agenda and through coercion and intimidation, destroy any opposition – including church leaders. This is the tyranny of the Left and the radical gay agenda in full display. And I just have to ask, how does this bring anyone into alignment with the gay community if they are fully supportive of these initiatives?
Houston is home to Pastor Joel Osteen and I wonder if he’s going to make a stand and speak out — or is his ministry just for show? I can bet that just up the road in San Antonio, Pastor John Hagee won’t be taking this lying down. And what about Pastor T.D. Jakes up in Dallas — where does he stand?
Many people laughed when the progressive socialists came out with their “Turn Texas Blue” campaign – who’s laughing now? The State Capitol of Texas, Austin, is well known as a bastion of progressive socialists and now look at what’s happened in Houston — perhaps Gov. Rick Perry should stop going to Blue states and asking them to move to Texas. Leftist progressives are like locusts; wherever they migrate they bring along their destructive policies and agenda in order to infest their new host — just look at how the migration of leftist progressives from California has affected Colorado? And now it’s happening to Texas.
Here’s a clear example of the radical gay agenda and tyranny of Houston Mayor Parker. Per Fox, “the Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot. However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.” As voter referendums supporting traditional marriage are being tossed aside by courts, judicial activism and legislating from the bench is alive and well.
“After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit, the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors. The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.”
Mayor Parker won’t explain why she wants to inspect the sermons — and what makes her believe she has the power to do so anyway. Mayor Parker’s director of communications, Janice Evans, said “We don’t comment on litigation.”
Fox reports that “ADF attorney Stanley suspects the mayor wants to publicly shame the ministers. He said he anticipates they will hold up their sermons for public scrutiny. In other words – the city is rummaging for evidence to “out” the pastors as anti-gay bigots. Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity. The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding 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.” Rev. Dave Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, also received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by the mayor.”
I’ve said before that America is under assault from the unholy alliance of progressive socialists, Islamo-fascists, and secular humanists. What is happening in Houston is wrong on so many levels, it defies logic and reason but it is to be expected from the tyranny of the Left.
If Mayor Parker is successful, it will happen in other major American cities under radical progressive socialist control. It is time for all — especially Christian Pastors — to stand up, “be strong and courageous,” and defy this illegal edict reminiscent of Henry the Eighth, who proclaimed himself head of state and head of church.
Mayor Annise Parker is out of control, and knowing the backbone of true Texans and Houstonians, she will be defeated. To the gay community, if this is what you support and believe in, you’re not positively advancing your case – but demonstrating you advocate coercion as a means.
Time to rally America, and let’s send a message to Mayor Annise Parker of Houston: Molon Labe!
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.