After a blizzard of negative press blasting Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker for attempting to subpoena sermons and communications from several area church pastors to merely search for information about being against her agenda to expand gay rights, according to the Houston Chronicle she has decided to withdraw her request of the legal notices to search for information.
There has been political fallout a plenty for Mayor Parker as a group of local and national pastors in part persuaded her to withdraw her witch hunt for evidence of area pastors being against her agenda to expand sexual orientation rights. There is a national debate involving religious freedom and Parker’s subpoenas against the pastors generated a firestorm of protests.
An extremely unpopular ordinance started the turmoil when a measure to force Houston to allow transgender individuals access to all city restrooms was passed by the Houston city council even though there was enormous public protest. In spite of its unpopularity, the majority of the council passed the measure after spirited debate in the public forum.
That did not sit very well with the Houston residence who responded by circulating a petition to rescind the measure on the ballot. Around triple of the signatures required to qualify the measure was turned in by the supporters within the timeframe to qualify for the ballot.
In a move that could easily be described as political maneuvering, Parker’s Administration disqualified the petition for irregularities of some type. Irregularities took place, but they had nothing to do with the petition.
Superior rights vs. equal rights
There is a significant difference between equal rights and superior rights, and the actions of Parker’s Administration clearly demonstrate a propensity of self-promoting that ignores the consensus of the people they are supposed to represent.
Hardly anyone wanted such a broad majority of the public interest to be ignored in lieu of providing special access to a small percentage of people with options already to access unisex restrooms. The ill-advised decision of the Houston mayor and city council people that voted for the measure to allow such sweeping access ignored common sense.
Additionally when one inspects how the Parker Administration behaved regarding a petition turned in by it citizenry that refuted the controversial petition, they behaved like….well, like spoiled children.
The effort to subpoena some church pastors that may have voiced opposition in sermons, phone calls, or texts represents an illegal venture merely to gather information. The city attorneys that are there for the city’s legal interest either fell asleep or were themselves bullied to follow through with the subpoenas.
The legal purpose of a subpoena is to compel the offender to give up evidence which exists, not do an expedition searching for anything that could be deemed not flattering to the mayor or city council. The overreach of the government injecting itself so intrusively into the church was a major infraction to religious freedom and an absolute violation of separation of church and state that is often used against the church.
Intrusion goes both ways with the separation of church and state. It is not a provision that only restricts the church from interfering with the government, but restricts the government for showing prejudice towards any particular religion.
Ignoring the religious freedom of the pastors by ignoring the First Amendment because of wanting to force compliance to the sexual agenda of a vocal minority is a dangerous implementation of superior rights by advocates of expanding sexual expression. The next step was to jail those pastors if they decided to ignore the subpoenas.
Being political correct can generate its own form of intolerance.