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Houston Mayor uses lawfare against local churches

Houston Mayor uses lawfare against local churches

Looks like political vindictiveness after opposition to rights ordinance backed by Mayor.

Houston’s summer was marred by a battle over religious liberties and overreaching government.

Sparring over a city ordinance that would force businesses, among other things, to allow transgendered clientele the use of opposite sex restrooms or risk discrimination suits, Bayou City area clergy and the government aren’t exactly on the best of terms.

Rather than placing the measure on the ballot, City Council enacted the reform via city ordinance. Rallying together, clergy and concerned citizens submitted over more than twice as many required to repeal the ordinance. Then the validity of the signatures was called to question by the city attorney.

And that’s where this story picks up. The Houston City government made a bad situation worse when it subpoenaed five local area pastors.

The subpoena requests any and all communication, electronic and otherwise that remotely mentions the above mentioned city ordinance battle. But it doesn’t stop there:

All speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.

Churches qualify for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and can lose that status by engaging in electioneering or elicit candidate endorsement, just the same as any other 501(c)(3) organization; but none of the subpoenaed material falls within that category.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is openly gay and was the driving force behind the HERO city ordinance. No big deal, right?

But it’s hard to watch this situation unfold and not wonder if the subpoena is motivated by vindictiveness.

Especially when she’s tweeting things like this:

Annise Parker Tweet

Annise Parker Tweet 2

Thanks to national pressure, Mayor Parker is backing off. WOAI reports:

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 mayor says the subpoenas were too broad, and should not have included actual sermons.

“It’s not about what did you preach on last Sunday,” Parker told reporters Wednesday.  “It should have been clarified, it will be clarified.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion to stop the subpoenas earlier this week.

City Attorney David Feldman says he didn’t review the subpoenas before they were issued.

“When I looked at it I felt it was overly broad, I would not have worded it that way myself,” he said.  “It’s unfortunate that it has been construed as some effort to infringe upon religious liberty.”

The city promises to narrow the language of the subpoenas.

Senator Ted Cruz is holding a rally this morning with the pastors under fire. Annise Parker succeeded in making national headlines, although probably not in the way she hoped.

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Of course it was an attempt to infringe on religious liberty. Are they going after Muslims too? I doubt it.

I’d recommend a different ordinance: a third bathroom to accomodate any kind of plumbing installed at the Houston Asstrodom.

Gays could write gay sermons on the stall walls and on streams of paper. I’ve seen this type of sermonizing done before.

Gender fluidity or it’s discrimination.

That said, a conflict between physical and mental attributes is evidence of a psychopathy. I wonder if the psychologists who selectively normalized this condition suffered from conflicts of interest, similar to the judge(s) who normalized homosexual behavior.

Finally, it’s telling that Parker would rather normalize than tolerate, or treat, aberrant behaviors. Not only is there an effort to normalize select psychopathies, but active efforts to promote their sociopathic expression.

I wonder if Parker is pro-choice. Another psychopathy legalized through a faith-based exemption of a sincerely held belief exercised in the privacy of a planned parenthood clinic.

Separation of church and state? Yeah, right.

    Deodorant in reply to n.n. | October 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Yep, separation of church and state. Nobody is forcing you to have an abortion.

    Sorry, rationality is not a religion. It isn’t based on faith, revelation or authority. It is based on fact.

    Believing in religion is a psychopathy.

      Sanddog in reply to Deodorant. | October 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      And what would you call worship of authority figures?

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to Sanddog. | October 17, 2014 at 3:17 am

        The odoriferous one would call that perfectly rational– when that leader in question is a low-information Leftist, without managerial or leadership experience, and bearing a Islamic/African name.

        I mean, duh.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to Deodorant. | October 17, 2014 at 3:04 am

      And what would you call belief in global warming?

      Ragspierre in reply to Deodorant. | October 17, 2014 at 7:07 am

      So, the religious paragons Barrackah and MoooOOOoochelle Obama are psychopathic, huh?

      And Nanny Pill-osi, Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, Mary Landrieu, Patrick J. Leahy, Claire McCaskill, Robert Menendez, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Jack Reed, and Ken Salazar.

      But, once again, you show your ass. You have no idea what “psychopathy” means. Get thee to a dictionary.

I think the homosexual cause is a shield for the deviant heterosexual cause. For example, there were womb banks (aka “surrogates”) before normalization of male homosexual behavior. There were sperm depositors before normalization of female homosexual behavior. And elective abortion is the nearly exclusive province of juvenile heterosexuals.

That said, there is a separation of orientation and expression. Also, not everyone who transitions from orientation to expression will pursue normalization. And there is no evidence that the homosexual or “trans” orientations are a progressive condition. While normalization of homosexual and “trans” behaviors is disruptive, the greater problem is normalization of deviant heterosexual behaviors. All of these psychopathies are subversive of a functional or fit society.

    platypus in reply to n.n. | October 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    What you call ‘juvenile heterosexuals’ I call child rape victims. Other than that, your comment seems sensible and accurate.

      I’m actually referring to boys and girls, men and women, who exhibit a juvenile behavior. Specifically, they reject responsibility for their behavior. Child rape victims are a whole other class who are victims of involuntary exploitation.

    Here’s the crux of the problem – Normalization of a deviant behavior leads to the normalization of MORE deviant behavior because there is no limiting principle detailing where the normalization should cease. Approval of Homosexual Marriage leads to normalization of Poly-Marriage, because there is no “limiting principal” to the concept “if I love someone, I should be able to marry them.”

    THAT also leads to normalization of child-child relationships, because love does not know an age boundary. That then leads to the normalization of adult-child relationships where one is UNDER the age of consent, and one is just OVER the age of consent. The States have attempted to mitigate this through “Romeo and Juliet” laws and have attempted to impose a limiting principle on it, but it’s entirely arbitrary, and if we’re getting rid of arbitrary limits, why not this one?

    THAT then leads to normalization of incestual relationships, because “love” isn’t limited to non-family members. Incestual relationships also further leads to normalization of adult-child relationships, because of the treating of children as adults in other circumstances and giving them decision-making authority which is ever expanding, which is NOT in their best interest. Judges see fit to override parental decisions enough times, and then it becomes unnecessary to even go before the Judge, the child simply ACTS.

Henry Hawkins | October 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

This atheist stands firmly with any church fighting to protect its First Amendment rights, and would pick up arms on it if necessary.

I remember when being a ‘conscientious objector’ to government laws, regulations, or policies was a decidedly liberal thang. How that worm has turned. Now if you conscientiously object to performing abortions or marriage vows for gays, your ass gets blown up and you are done in whatever town you live in.

“First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out….”

What is said in a house of worship must stay in the house of worship…. Note the Left using the term…”freedom to worship” rather than “freedom of religion”. Confine religious thought and action into only small approved footprints in society… The original fear was a government approved national church….ah…. now we seem to be having government wanting to approve a template for church speech and action. The fear was genuine back at the approval of the Bill of Rights and the threat real today as witnessed by Houston’s government.

Here’s the low-down…

Porker is term-limited. She knows two things; she can get away with stuff she would not attempt if facing a vote, AND she needs to get hersef “big boy…girl…whatever” creds for her future as a Collectivist office-holder.

However, being in Texas, she’s pooed the scruch. We won’t stand for this crap here.

Now she knows. Heh!

HERO in this case stands for Her Ego Requires Omnipotence.

    platypus in reply to cbenoistd. | October 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Kneel before Zod!

    Ragspierre in reply to cbenoistd. | October 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Another lil’ high-point from Mayor Porker…

    it is ILLEGAL in Houston for people to feed the homeless.

    Why? Well, there is the GIVEN reason (sanitation) and the REAL reason (it was being done by charities…largely church- related charities).

    She’s really something. And your guess is as good as mine…

And under the bus her lawyers go!

I find it hilarious that every single dem candidate makes the rounds to every single one of these churches during election season and they are all given time at the podium to campaign, and not a word is said about it, but the churches just ONCE push back on this one thing and the boot comes down on their necks… Dems love standards so much they have two of them, one for them and one for everyone else.

    And every single one of those churches ought to tell the Democrat candidates:


    They should say it with as much venom as a “man or woman of God” can muster.

Well, Lois Lerner’s job is open and this lady (er…. person) sounds well qualified.

Midwest Rhino | October 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Rules seem to say the church can’t preach on anything that would show bias toward one candidate over another. So churches would have to be mute on topics such as gay marriage, homosexuality, abortion or just about anything traditionally Christian.

What about Sierra Club and other whacky watermelon global warming groups? They never preach about anything that favors one candidate over another? Shouldn’t we send them subpoenas and make sure they never show bias for a global warming nut over a conservative?

Vote for homosexuals and you will have the homosexual agenda rammed down your throats. Disagree with them, and they will use lawfare against you. In sum, it comes down to this: You Christians had your way with us for two thousand years. Now it’s our turn. Payback is a bitch, ain’t it!

As for the Muslims, the homosexuals will support them in some vain hope that the religion of pieces will spare them when it replaces the “vile” Christians. Good luck with that, suckers!

JackRussellTerrierist | October 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Houston? This is happening in Houston?

WTH did people expect when they voted in a lesbian? Freedom of speech? HA! Freedom of religion? Joke. Freedom of assembly? LOL!

No ignorant, run-of-the-mill Joe Lunchbucket ‘rat voter ever suspected this ‘person’ might have the homosexual agenda at the top, center and bottom of her bucket list?

    Well, you can check out her career. Up until lately, she was pretty much a neutral admin type, and certainly no worse than Mayor White. WAY better than Mayor Lee Period, P Period Brown.

    But when she turned the corner to looking NOT to Houston voters but her future ambitions, all the stealth mode came off, and she openly stated she was governing “personally” now.

This is what happens when you give power to a homosexual.

Someday, and not this day because it is the wrong context, people should probably have a grown-up conversation about the threat of tax-exempt status being ripped away getting used as a weapon to cow people of religion into submission. The fact the threat is being applied unevenly due to skin color and religion is not really the point. Eventually you get to the point where tax-exempt status is being treated like state sponsorship of religion to force religion to comply with the state. If that’s what gives these people the justification to subpoena all the religious materials used by a church, perhaps it would be better to forego the exemption and openly campaign for morality like any atheist is empowered to do?

    nordic_prince in reply to JBourque. | October 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    The implementation of that muzzle rule for churches is something that never should have happened in the first place, seeing as how it’s nothing but an infringement on the First Amendment. We have LBJ to thank for that. Either it’s something genetic, or there must be something in the water that Democrats drink that make them hate the Constitution, hate the Bill of Rights, and hate liberty and personal freedom in general.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to nordic_prince. | October 17, 2014 at 3:10 am

      It’s nothing so grand as genetics or water contamination or whatever. The Constitution just interferes with their power plays and delusions of grandeur. Pretty common traits among people, actually.

    Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | October 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

    The tax code is irretrievably corrupt.

    It needs to be burned down, and then we start with a clean sheet of paper.

    Mark Levin and I have been saying this FOREVER. But does anybody do it…??? Noooooooo…

    But the day is getting closer.

TrooperJohnSmith | October 17, 2014 at 1:41 am

Before now, I was only afraid of what Mayor Parker might do to our carpets and rugs.