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SHOCK! Modern Day Inquisition as City of Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermons

Teresa Neumann : Oct 15, 2014  Staff — Charisma News

"This is a shot across the bow of the church. Pastors need to step forward and challenge this across the country. I'd like to see literally thousands of pastors—after they read this story—to challenge government authorities, to dare them to come into their churches and demand their sermons." -Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

(Houston, TX)—The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, or Annise Parker, Houston's first openly lesbian mayor, says Fox News host Todd Starnes. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

"Those ministers who fail to comply," he adds, "could be held in contempt of court."

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyers have since filed a motion to stop the subpoena. So what's all the fuss about?

As reported in Charisma News, Houston city officials are upset over a voter lawsuit filed after the City Council rejected valid petitions to repeal a law approved in June that allows members of the opposite sex into each other's restrooms.

The Houston Chronicle reported that opponents of the "bathroom bill" launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures—more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot. The City Council threw out the petition in August citing "irregularities."

Although Mayor Parker refused to speak with Todd Starnes, Stanley was quoted as telling the Fox News host that the mayor's motives may be to publicly shame the ministers, possibly using their sermons to reveal them as "anti-gay bigots."

Said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb, "The city's subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented. The City Council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions. Political and social commentary is not a crime; it is protected by the First Amendment." (Photo: John Wesley preaching/Wikipedia)

The ADF brief reads, in part: "The message is clear: Oppose the decisions of city government, and drown in unwarranted, burdensome discovery requests. These requests, if allowed, will have a chilling effect on future citizens who might consider circulating referendum petitions because they are dissatisfied with ordinances passed by the City Council. Not only will the Non-party Pastors be harmed if these discovery requests are allowed, but the People will suffer as well. The referendum process will become toxic and the People will be deprived of an important check on city government provided them by the Charter."

To find out more about this outrageous development and also read the brief in its entirety, click here.







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