I find this demand totally unconstitutional and utterly disturbing. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says,
A church should not be required to have the government sign off on their pastor's sermons.
Yet, that's just what's happening in Houston, Texas. Mayor Annise Parker has issued an unprecedented legal demand that several key pastors turn over sermons, emails, and text messages, even communications with members of their congregations, under the threat of fines imprisonment or both. [emphasis in original] The pastors that have been targeted are pastors who have spoken out against Parker's LGBT special rights ordinance.
Mayor Parker has breached the wall of separation between the state and the church. This attack on religious freedom and the freedom of speech should be universally repudiated by all Americans who value our constitutional freedoms.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions." The pulpit is to be governed only by the Word of God, and the chilling effect of government scrutiny of our pastors is unconstitutional, and unconscionable. Mayor Parker's use of her bully pulpit to silence pulpit freedom must be stopped in its tracks.
Please sign our petition to stand unapologetically with the Houston pastors and their churches, and call for the City of Houston to retract their demands and issue a clear statement in support of the free speech of all people.
** For more see
- Fox News' Todd Starnes' initial report.
- "The Blaze" has an extensive report.
- The Faith & Freedom report, which concludes: Contact Houston Mayor Annise Parker and demand that she stop bullying pastors and infringing on their religious liberties!
Mayor Annise D. Parker
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562 Houston, TX 77251
Phone (713) 837-0311