The Situation in Houston and the Erosion of Religious Liberties
You may be aware of the situation in Houston, Texas, where five pastors who have been vocal in opposing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) were subpoenaed by the mayor, demanding that they hand over materials related to what they may have said about gay and lesbian issues, and about the mayor herself. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to those who imagine there has been no serious erosion of religious liberties in America.
Al Mohler offers a perspective worth reading:
Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston — The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal
The scandal over the subpoenas issued to several Houston-area Christian pastors continues, even after the city refiled legal documents, removing the word “sermons” from the demand. They have clearly not removed the scandal from their city, and from the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. As the mayor’s own comments make abundantly clear, she stands at the center of the scandal.
When news broke earlier this week that the attorneys working for the City of Houston had issued subpoenas to pastors for sermons, I was fairly certain that some mistake had been made. When the actual text of the subpoena came to me, I could hardly believe my eyes. Here was a legal demand, sent to Christian pastors in the name of one of America’s largest cities, to surrender “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (an anti-discrimination ordinance), the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”
That subpoena is nothing less than ruthless thuggery, exercised by an elected public servant and her city attorney. And that thuggery has been done in the name of the people of Houston, Texas.
Russell Moore writes, “The separation of church and state means that we will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and we will. But the preaching of the church of God does not belong to Caesar, and we will not hand it over to him. Not now. Not ever.”
Also check out Thom Rainer's perspectives in Seven Good Things About the Houston Subpoena Controversy.