Earlier this week, the city of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., issued a subpoena to a group of pastors demanding copies of sermons that touched on the subjects of “homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly-lesbian mayor.”
Let that sink in. In America, a city government has demanded that religious leaders turn over their sermons or face contempt of court charges, even possibly jail time.
Words fail me. This is beyond outrageous. John Stonestreet and I—and Chuck Colson before us—have been warning for years that our religious liberties are in peril in every aspect of life. This may be the wake-up call the church in America needs.
Okay, so here’s the background. In May, the city council enacted an ordinance that permitted transgendered men to use women’s public restrooms.
Mayor Parker defended the ordinance as a measure that supported the “Houston I know [that] does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic and business life.”
Missing in that high-sounding rhetoric was any guidance regarding how to distinguish a transgendered man from a guy who simply wants to see women in various states of undress in a public restroom.
In response to this, opponents of the ordinance gathered more than 50,000 signatures to put a measure repealing the ordinance on the ballot. While “the city secretary, who is entrusted by law to examine and certify petitions, certified [it] as sufficient,” the city attorney and the mayor’s office threw out the petitions claiming irregularities. The people behind the petition drive then sued the city.
That’s when Houston decided to play hardball and issued the subpoenas to the pastors. Mayor Parker called the demand for the sermons “fair game,” even though none of the pastors was directly connected to the petition drive or the lawsuit.
Source: Christian Post
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