Friday, October 17, 2014
Houston Mayor Back Peddling On Subpoenas To Pastors
We are now learning that the "mayor of Houston herself initiated the city's reaction to opposition toward the 'Bathroom Bill' and the resulting subpoenas served on local pastors.
I rarely carry a story forward to a second day, however, this merits doing so. If you did not read our article yesterday, please do so.
The mayor is now back-peddling, doing damage control after the national media picked up the story about her subpoenas.
Here's what local News Radio KTRH 740 in Houston is reporting.
News Radio 740 says, "Houston Mayor Annise Parker is doing damage control after national media picked up on her subpoenas targeting local clergy who protested her equal rights ordinance."
The news radio is also saying, "The mayor is saying the subpoenas were too broad, and should not have included actual sermons."
Parker told reporters, "It's not about what did you preach on last Sunday---It should have been clarified, it will be clarified."
City Attorney David Feldman says he didn't even review the subpoenas before they were issued.
He says when he looked at them he felt they were "overly broad" and that "it's unfortunate that it has been construed as some effort to infringe upon religious liberty."
I'm sure there is sorrow in his camp, and one hardly has to "construe" to see it is in fact an "effort to infringe upon religious liberty"--it just didn't work out as they had planned.
Translation would go something like this: We didn't think we would get caught-- didn't think this would become a religious liberty issue therefore becoming such a big deal. We were only trying to transform the culture, can't we just focus on the bathroom issue?
There is an attempt to now blame the outside law firm they hired to serve the subpoenas.
Feldman is promising the city "will narrow the language of the subpoenas."
Pastor Dave Welch, head of the pastor's association, isn't buying the explanations.
He says Mayor Parker has a history of activism for both homosexual issues and the atheist agenda and that is why the city is trying to blame the outside law firm they hired to draft and serve the subpoenas.
Welch says this issue has progressed from a disagreement over a bad law, to a fundamental issue of voting rights, to now, an attack on our first amendment rights by this mayor's administration.
He says he and the other pastors fully understand that the actions of this mayor and city "were an act of intimidation and harassment by the city" through these law firms "to bury us in this type of demand, attempting to shut us down, to try to run us out of time, or money, to continue this law suit to its conclusion."
Welch says, "This is a battle between two belief systems."
He says, "This mayor led action in Houston represents the general attack against the foundational Judeo-Christian order in our culture. We are now at the point where we are arguing over what's male and female. There's a much bigger picture than the ordinance itself and what this is really about. It's now morphed into a much bigger battle."
Welch speaking on behalf of the pastors says we "want to keep the pastors and the churches on the battlefield both for choosing good leaders in office and also holding those leaders accountable to a standard of decency and integrity."
"The encouraging part," Welch says, "is that we are the latest in a series of skirmishes across the nation in this battle. We are committed to stopping this here and now and hoping to turn the tide back, if the Lord permits, to restore the moral foundations."
"We are not going to let this radical agenda succeed and basically undermine our families and our freedom" he says.
This story reminds me of perhaps the most famous Patriot Pastor--Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg.
In January of 1776, after completing his Sunday morning sermon from the text, Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven," Pastor Muhlenberg stepped down from his pulpit and said, "and in the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight." He then removed his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Colonial Army officer. That afternoon, he rode off leading 300 men from his congregation to join General George Washington, as the Eighth Virginia Cavalry. Pastor Muhlenberg rose to the rank of Major General before the war ended.
John Adams, our 2nd President, said that pastors were the primary cause that resulted in America's signing the Declaration of Independence. In fact, they agitated the British Parliament so much they often derogatorily called the pastors the "Black Regiment" because they stirred the peoples hearts toward liberty.
Welch says, "We are not going to let this radical agenda succeed and basically undermine our families and our freedom."
May God be with them.