As I reported on earlier, Houston’s lesbian mayor Annise Parker and her city council have failed to uphold the law. The first failed by allowing her homosexual activities, second in the proposition of a “bathroom bill” that would allow men to use women’s bathrooms, and third by ignoring the law concerning a citizen’s initiative to turn her warped bill on its head. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed and a discovery process has begun as a subpoena has been issued to receive the sermons and communications of many pastors in the area. Now the pastors are speaking out and they have a warning for Parker and her gang: Don’t mess with Texas preachers.
Executive Director of the Texas Pastor Council Dave Welch, one of five pastors who received the subpoena, said he would not be intimidated by Parker nor comply with the city’s demands.
“My answer to that is – bring it on,” he said.
Not one of the five pastors is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed after the citizens’ initiative drew more than three times the required signatures, was certified by the city secretary and then rejected by Parker and the city’s attorney.
Welch spoke with Todd Starnes of Fox News and told him that Lone Star State pastors are organizing to hold a “Don’t Mess with Texas Pulpit Sunday” event.
“We are dealing with bullies used to getting away with abuse of power,” Welch told Starnes. “We called their bluff on this.”
Starnes reported on the response from the city:
City Attorney David Feldman told me that doesn’t matter. He said in an interview Tuesday that the five pastors were actively involved in leading the fight against the Bathroom Bill and launching the petition drive.
“They are not party plaintiffs, but they certainly appeared before council repeatedly regarding the ordinance and the petition,” Feldman told me.
The city attorney defended the decision to issue the subpoenas.
“This petition was organized at the churches,” he said. “That’s where the organizing drive took place. That’s where rallies were held. That’s where signing parties were held.”
However, many people believe the city should mind their own business when it comes to this issue. I’m actually one of them. These people were charged with upholding the law and they have clearly demonstrated that they have failed in that endeavor. So, why go after these pastors for any reason in the discovery process?
Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Starnes, “The government has absolutely no reason to bully congregations who are speaking out about what they believe. It’s none of the government’s business.”
What’s even more interesting is that apparently Mayor Parker pulled a Barack Obama when it came to the subpoena of the pastor’s communications and sermons. According to Attorney Feldman, Parker had nothing to do with the subpoenas and that she was never informed. However, when Starnes pressed him on when she became informed, Feldman said, “When you guys broke the story.” Doesn’t that sound just like Barack Obama’s statement, “I learned about it in the news”?
Moore said he couldn’t imagine anyone in City Hall that thought any of this was a good idea and called it “buffoonish” in its strategy.
Moore took time to write a blog post titled Houston, We have a Constitution on Tuesday stating:
The churches, and pastors, of Houston ought to respond to this sort of government order with the same kind of defiance the Apostle Paul showed the magistrates in Philippi. After an earthquake, sent by God, upturned the prison where Paul and Silas were held, Luke tells us that the officials sent the police to tell Paul and Silas they could go. Paul replied. “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned men who are Roman citizens and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly. No! Let them come themselves and take us out” (Acts 16:37).
A government has no business using subpoena power to intimidate or bully the preaching and instruction of any church, any synagogue, any mosque, or any other place of worship. The pastors of Houston should tell the government that they will not trample over consciences, over the First Amendment and over God-given natural rights.
…the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.
Now that’s more like it! I like the fire of those statements! Let’s pray these pastors hold their ground against the wicked in power in Houston who are seeking to vet the righteous.
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