Houston ‘Backs Down’ From Demand for Pastors’ Notes

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Democrats speak with forked tongues, that much is true.

After trying to pull off a massive and flagrant violation of the First Amendment, the liberal-run city of Houston has appeared to back off from subpoenas demanding “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” of area pastors suspected of using their pulpits to fight a pro-homosexual bathroom ordinance.

The law, euphemistically named the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, would among other things allow male sexual predators legal access to women’s showers, girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and any other gender-exclusive facility by erasing that old-fashioned notion that gender is determined by your actual gender.

When the subpoenas first became known publicly on Tuesday, Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian who won office by promising never to push her personal homosexual agenda, defended the gross violation of constitutional rights, whining that it was “appropriate” because of a lawsuit against the city to demand pastors’ notes.

The lawsuit only came about in the first place because the city attorney arbitrarily dismissed thousands of signatures against the HERO law on the theory that — gasp — local pastors may have influenced their flocks to sign petitions.

In case you might have missed it (and Houston is hoping you did), the city’s action in dismissing the signatures represents sort of the next stage in the legal assault on Christianity in this country. Now that the unconstitutional exclusion of Christian expression from the public view has been well established in courts under the catch phrase “separation of church and state,” and the homosexual “marriage” agenda is entrenched in the majority of states, opponents of biblical morality are moving forward with plans to keep Christians out of politics altogether by stripping away their rights to free expression.

The only legal prohibition on religious speech (and barely legal, if that) is on those religious organizations that voluntarily accept IRS-created restrictions in exchange for tax-exempt status. Otherwise, pastors are covered, like everyone else, by the First Amendment protections of religious expression and free speech.

Activist pastors have been key players in our nation’s history, for good and sometimes for ill. How far would the 1964 Civil Rights Act have gotten without Martin Luther King? And in Colonial times, churches were known as hotbeds of revolutionary activity. In fact, it was not uncommon for pastors to keep a pistol behind the pulpit, just in case the Redcoats came snooping around during services.

After the subpoenas kicked up a firestorm, Parker had the city attorney issue a statement claiming to agree with citizens’ concerns. Part of the statement said the city would “move to narrow the scope during an upcoming court hearing” and that the subpoenas’ “focus should be only on communications related to the petitions to overturn the ordinance.”

But wait a minute, you might say, how is that any different from what the city was already asking for?

The short answer is it’s not, really. The city is trying to get complainers off its back.

The question raised by the lawsuit is why the city illegally dismissed thousands of petition signatures opposed to HERO, but the city is trying to defend its position by saying essentially that any signature inspired by a Christian pastor is invalid.

This is war on Christianity itself. This is the beach head for the assault whose goal is to crush and ultimately replace Christianity with some brand of leftist-Marxist religion where the state is God and the only commandment is “do what you will.”

 

 

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Tad Cronn is a member of an endangered species, the California conservative. Once abundant, California conservatives have seen their habitat increasingly overrun and heavily regulated by Los Angeles liberals and other non-native rodent species. This makes surviving conservatives such as Tad very grumpy and prone to sarcasm. Feed him at your own risk.

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