After pastors from around the United States and the world mailed in sermons and Bible, which some reports claim upwards of 1,000 bible were sent to Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s office, the mayor has drop subpoenas for pastor’s sermons.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
The city of Houston will withdraw its controversial subpoenas of five pastors tied to a lawsuit over the city’s equal rights ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker announced at a news conference Wednesday.
The move is in the best interest of Houston, she said, and is not an admission that the requests were in any way illegal or intended to intrude on religious liberties. The subpoenas were part of a discovery phase in a suit filed by opponents of the equal rights ordinance, who largely take issue with the rights the law extends to gay and transgender residents.
“I didn’t do this to satisfy them,” Parker said of critics. “I did it because it was not serving Houston.”
I don’t think Ms. Parker did it because it didn’t serve Houston. It’s clear that she is playing politics here, especially after the city changed their story regarding the validation of the signatures of the citizens against the bathroom bill. How does a bathroom bill that allows gender confused, mentally ill grown men to use the women’s bathrooms serve Houston Ms. Parker? How does that work exactly?
The reality is her move is self-serving, nothing more and nothing less. She was called out and the news went national. She began to backpeddle and finally has succumbed to the pressure placed upon her. Yet, she remains unrepentant in saying that she “didn’t do this to satisfy” the pastors.
Parker said that she was persuaded by the clergymen that she met with who said they were not concerned about the ordinance or politics, but more about the subpoena’s impact on the “ongoing national discussion of religious freedoms.”
“That was the most persuasive argument, because to me it was, ‘What is the goal of the subpoenas?’ The goal of the subpoenas is to defend against a lawsuit, and not to provoke a public debate,” Parker said. “I don’t want to have a national debate about freedom of religion when my whole purpose is to defend a strong and wonderful and appropriate city ordinance against local attack, and by taking this step today we remove that discussion about freedom of religion.”
Wow! OK, first, whoever these pastors she spoke to should get a spine! They are more concerned about a national debate on religious freedoms (There is no debate, we have them!) than they are about a wicked ordinance, which Parker still calls “strong,” “wonderful,” and “appropriate.” Using terms like that about the bathroom bill can only come from a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28) with no concern for the city’s women or children.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Erik Stanley, “The entire nation – voices from every point of the spectrum left to right – recognize the city’s actions as a gross abuse of power. We are gratified that the First Amendment rights of the pastors have triumphed over government overreach and intimidation.”
Stanley went on to explain, “The scandal began with another abuse of power when the city of Houston arbitrarily threw out the valid signatures of thousands of voters” who opposed the city’s ordinance. “… The city should now do the right thing and allow the people of Houston to decide whether to repeal the ordinance.”
And that is the issue. I believe Parker thinks these concessions will make this all go away and that the bathroom bill will remain in place, but Christians must continue to stand and hold her feet to the fire on the issue. At least at this point, there is a victory for the pastors in this fight. May God grant them grace and courage to continue to see it all the way through.