Despite the attempt by Houston officials to calm the uproar, momentum is building behind the faith community’s push-back against the city’s “intimidation” of five Houston-area pastors.
Not only is a massive event planned in the Texas city to show support for the clergymen whose sermons were subpoeaned by the government, but now a federal civil rights official has jointed the fray. This federal official calls the action by the administration of Houston’s mayor “an abuse of government power.”
Via The Washington Times:
A member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in a letter Wednesday called Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s subpoena of church pastors “an abuse of government power” and urged the mayor to withdraw the court documents.
Commissioner Peter Kirsanow said that the subpoenas, even after being amended to remove a request for church sermons, still appear to be “a blatant attempt to punish these pastors for expressing their religiously based political views.”
By clicking here, you can see Western Journalism’s coverage of the Houston controversy that essentially pits the demands of an aggressive government against the religious freedoms of a principled clergy. At the center of the controversy is a gay-rights-oriented city ordinance championed by Houston’s first-ever lesbian mayor, Annise Parker.
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On November 2nd, two days before election day, a rally to support religious liberty is planned at Grace Community Church in Houston. And just announced as a guest speaker — Duck Dynasty’s own Phil Robertson.
From the istandsunday.com website:
Hosted by Family Research Council and other partners, speakers from across the nation will gather at Grace Community Church in Houston, Texas to focus on the freedom to live out our faith, free of government intrusion or monitoring.
We will stand with pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been unduly intimidated by the city’s Mayor in demanding they hand over private church communication.
Mr. Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister who now hosts a popular show on Fox News, said at a teleconference that the Houston mayor’s effort to subpoena the pastors has alerted the public to the potential threat to freedom of religion by government officials pushing “gender-neutrality.”