Houston Pastors File Suit Against Tyrannical Mayor
The long, heated battle between Houston conservatives and their ultra-liberal mayor got a little more interesting this week when local pastors filed suit against Annise Parker. Claiming their civil rights were ignored last year when Parker subpoenaed their sermons, the pastors’ council is taking the fight to court.
“The purpose of this lawsuit is not to retaliate for her wrongful behavior, but instead is to create a deterrence to all future Mayor Parkers to let them know once and for all, if you’re going to violate rights, there will be reckoning and accountability in a court of law,” said an attorney representing the plaintiffs.
The lawsuit stems from the battle over Houston’s equal rights ordinance. The ordinance, pushed through by Parker despite a divide in public opinion, was meant to provide extra discrimination protections for the Houston LGBT community. When conservatives turned in petitions demanding repeal, Parker determined that they were not properly filled out and ignored them. That led to the first lawsuit, one which ended up in the Texas Supreme Court. They ruled that voters must be allowed to decide the issue in a referendum this November.
But in the midst of the legal fight over the ordinance, Parker’s lawyers issued a subpoena demanding transcripts of any sermons that addressed the issue of homosexuality. Parker dropped this demand last October, but the pastors filing suit insist that’s not good enough. They want to make sure nothing like this happens again.
Parker’s office issued a statement calling the lawsuit political in nature. “It is being waged by a small group that wants to take Houston backward instead of moving it forward,” the statement read in part.
It’s stunning that Parker would have the temerity to suggest that the pastors are filing a politically-motivated lawsuit. As though her efforts to transform Houston into a gay haven were not equally political in nature. When you take a stand against the First Amendment, you lose the moral high ground. Someone should clue Parker in.
The subpoenas, of course, were intended to throw the tax status of Houston churches into question. This is a favorite new strategy on the extreme left. Prove that religious leaders are somehow influencing legislation from the pulpit and take away their tax exemptions. If successful, this effort would shut down thousands of American churches. And since it is the only conceivable way the LGBT agenda can destroy its greatest enemy, it is a strategy these liberals find very tempting.
It is for that reason that all conservative eyes should be on Houston. The results of this fight could have wide-ranging implications for the rest of the country. Will our courts, politicians, and voters stand for religious freedom and free expression? Or will we sacrifice our God-given rights for the sake of an angry community of gays and transgenders?
Judging by what we’ve seen over the last couple of years, the answers to those questions are very much in doubt.