Houston Pastors Ordered: Hand Over Sermons

City officials subpoena sermons from Houston pastors in fight over pro-transgender ordinance.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” – Charles de Montesquieu

The first amendment is invoked so frequently that I think we sometimes forget just how important it is. The first amendment is the concrete wall that separates us from tyranny; it is the man with the gun, protecting us from the wolves of government. A great many people mistakenly believe that the government is a benevolent creature, one whose sole purpose is to help us, and make our lives better. What these people don’t understand is that the government is run by human beings, and as such, is corruptible. The idea of governance is pure, but people are contaminated.

Just as a refresher, here is the text of the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s been said—and I am a subscriber to this belief—that the way in which the first amendment will be subverted is through the notion of Justice, and fairness. This subversion has already taken place, and it has begun a slow, deliberate process by which specific individuals and groups will be persecuted under the notion of justice.

Remember Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman? They were the lesbian couple who accused Aaron, and Melissa Klein of discrimination because the Kleins refused to bake the couple a wedding cake. The Kleins believed that baking a cake for the wedding of two women violated their faith, and their beliefs regarding homosexuality, and as such, they told the women that they could not do it. They lost. According to Fox News: “Underu state law, the complaint against the bakery now moves into a period of reconciliation. If they can’t reach an agreement, formal civil charges could be filed and the Kleins could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.”

There are many other cases similar to the Klein’s. Just Google them, and you can see a slow, but widespread targeting of Christianity at the hands of the government. But this next one scares me more than any of the previous cases.

According to Fox News:

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

This case is all part of a much larger incident in which there was protest of a new non-discrimination ordinance. This ordinance allowed men to use women’s restrooms, and vice versa. The ordinance was seen as problematic, and great overreach, and a large group of people attempted to get it overturned. Their 50,000 signature strong ballot initiative was thrown out over “irregularities,” and in response, a lawsuit was filed. Though the pastors were not directly involved in the lawsuit, they are being targeted as revenge.

This is disturbing at best, and terrifying at worst. There is a movement—one which is gaining momentum—that is targeting Christians who oppose anything the left believes is sacred. Even though this behavior is illegal, members of this movement are finding attorneys, and judges to redefine what the first amendment means. Through the notion of tolerance, and alleged hate crimes, this movement has begun to remove first amendment protections from those with whom they disagree. We are on a march toward tyranny, and once the wall that separates us from the government is breached, there will be no turning back.

What is occurring In Houston is clearly, and obviously illegal, and yet it is still moving forward. This case is being treated as if it has merit. The very fact that this case is being treated as though it has merit is a sign that we have moved past a certain point of no return. This case should be laughed out of the courtroom, not written about with concern. We have begun the process of normalizing these kinds of accusations, and court cases. The more they are normalized, the less frequently, and fervently the media will cover them, and over time, the people will simply accept what is being done. The targeting will advance, and in time, the persecution will become physical: jail, torture, death. That is the line upon which these processes move. And anyone who laughs this off as nonsense should talk to me in 30 years, and see where we are.