Houston, we have a problem. Here’s yet another story which we hope will stay in ‘the only in America’ file.
This week in Houston Texas, the city council issued subpoenas demanding five pastors hand over their sermon notes on the topics of “equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity”. Also demanded are notes on “restroom access”.
According to the National Review Online
, it’s not only their sermons. Emails, instant messages and text messages on the same topics must also be produced.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker tweeted yesterday “If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game’.
At issue is a citizens’ initiated referendum seeking to overturn a controversial council law which allows people of the opposite sex into toilets.
Eric Metaxas, the author of the acclaimed biography of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer, tweeted:
“A mayor demanding to see sermons is fascist intimidation. The Gestapo did this to the churches in Germany, of course”.
There may be a smidge of hyperbole in Metaxas’ tweet, but nonetheless the mayor’s actions should be a big wake-up call to the church in America. And here.
Tolerance is not a virtue of the purveyors of the sexual revolution. Conformity is their demand.
When same-sex marriage was briefly legal in the Australian Capital Territory late last year, the Attorney General Simon Corbell wrote to ACL to say that exercising one’s religious freedom by declining to provide services to a same-sex wedding would be a breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Corbell was signalling that just as in the US, Australian florists, bakers and photographers would also be sued for not complying with same-sex marriage.
The High Court’s overturning of the ACT law last December meant Australian Christians did not have to face legal sanction for their religious principles.
The Greens and same-sex marriage lobbyists continually told a recent Senate hearing I was at in Melbourne that same-sex marriage would have no impact on religious freedom.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What’s happening in Houston is unreal. But as we can see, there are those in Australia who would like to see people who exercise their conscience fall foul of the law.
It’s not too late to protect religious freedom in Australia. But we will need to wake up.