The Houston Pharisees Parker & Feldman back away

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

Cardinal Francis George

A general rule of thumb for public officials is, if tweets like this:

Remind people of things like John 18:19-23:

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area 10 where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.  Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”

When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”

Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

It’s probably best to back away a bit:

But in a breaking development Wednesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker appeared to be backing away from the initial requests. Janice Evans, a city spokeswoman, told Law Blog in a statement:

Mayor Parker agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastor’s sermons.  The subpoenas were issued by pro bono attorneys helping the city prepare for the trial regarding the petition to repeal the new Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in January.  Neither the mayor nor City Attorney David Feldman were aware the subpoenas had been issued until yesterday.  Both agree the original documents were overly broad.  The city will move to narrow the scope during an upcoming court hearing.  Feldman says the focus should be only on communications related to the HERO petition process

And start spinning:

“Let me just say that one word in a very long legal document which I know nothing about and would never have read and I’m vilified coast to coast,” Parker said. “It’s a normal day at the office for me.”

That statement isn’t consistent with the tweet we started this post with is it?

I suspect that the critiques from Ed Morrissey:

This demand was intended to send a message to the dissenters. When that backfired, the city backpedaled and claimed they were the victims, but that’s nonsense — and it still reveals exactly what Houston has in mind with its equal-rights ordinance.

National Review:

So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on “restroom access,” that has to be produced. 

Oh, and did I mention that the pastors aren’t even parties to the lawsuit?

The sexual revolution, apparently, brooks no dissent. Not even from the pulpit, or in Skype chat boxes.

Texas Sparkle:

This is a gross violation of the First Amendment. This should come as no surprise, because the left seems to think the First Amendment only applies if you agree with them.

and Ted Cruz:

The City of Houston’s subpoenas demanding that pastors provide the government with copies of their sermons is both shocking and shameful.  For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight.  This is wrong.  It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.  The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons.

Likely didn’t move her as much as pieces from people like Doug Mataconis 

More importantly, the rules about tax exemptions for religious institution do not prevent churches and Pastors from taking stands on political issues of the day or even advocating certain positions. If they did, then people like Martin Luther King Jr. would have been violating those rules throughout the Civil Rights Movement.  According to some reports, the city is arguing that the churches were engaging in supposedly illegal campaigning by backing the repeal measure and helping to organize the signature, but even if that’s true it strikes me that any law that would prevent such activity would be a violation of the First Amendment rights of both the churches and the Pastors themselves, not to mention being a pretty extreme intrusion by the state into the church’s operations.

and allies like Charles Kuffner who while referring to the Pastors as “haters” leads his post with:

Not sure about this.

and is concerned about this

The other concern is that the HERO haters will do an effective job at portraying themselves as victims. It is the one thing they are really good at, after all. It looks like they succeeded, unfortunately.

FYI; that last phrase is what we in the real world call “projection”.

but I suspect the thing that moved her the most is fear of a possibility raised by Stacy McCain:

Christians in Texas are not going to surrender without a fight, and every Democrat in Texas ought to be held accountable for what radical Democrats led by Annise Parker are doing in Houston. Every Democrat in the state should be publicly challenged by Republicans either to endorse Mayor Parker’s extremist agenda, or else to denounce it. And every Texas Democrat who claims to oppose Mayor Parker’s agenda should then be called upon to condemn any Texas Democrat whosupports Mayor Parker’s agenda. It is high time, you see, that “moderate Democrats” stop pretending to be moderates, because the Democrat Party is not a moderate party.

And he suggests not stopping with Texas

Mayor Parker’s radical agenda is the agenda of the Democrat Party, not only in Houston, not only in Texas, but everywhere. The sooner Democrats are forced to admit this, the sooner the American people can decide whether they want to follow the Democrat Party down this highway to hell that Democrats are paving at taxpayer expense.

Because this is in fact the agenda of the Democrat party and the last thing their candidates need in what’s already looking like a wave election is to be given the choice between keeping their radical base happy or exposing their radical agenda.

But they shouldn’t worry there is a zero possibility that the mainstream media that forced the entire republican party to answer for Todd Akin’s remarks would hold democrats to that same standard.

The real question is this.  Will the media attempt to stigmatize Christianity reach the point where the left will see this type of behavior as a positive electoral decision.

Olimometer 2.52

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