Friday, October 24, 2014

Houston, we have a hate fest

Brian Brown
Brian Brown dropped in on my inbox last night to tell me that National Organization for Marriage is a partner in I Stand Sunday, which is scheduled for November 2. As usual, Mr. Brown is rather loose with the facts.
Five pastors and churches in have had their internal church communications subpoenaed by Mayor Annise Parker. This is part of an intimidation campaign that comes amidst a lawsuit brought by citizens against the city of Houston after a petition from residents was basically thrown out by the city administration.
These records weren't subpoenaed by the mayor, they were subpoenaed by the city which is the defendant in a lawsuit. But since the mayor happens to be a lesbian, well … you know. And no, it wasn't “basically thrown out.” The city secretary found that the measure would have qualified for the ballot by about 600 valid signatures. The city attorney further determined that a number of signatures amassed by signature gatherers did not conform to the rules. Those require that each page be signed and the gatherer must be a resident of Houston. No, the subpoenas are not an effort to intimidate anyone. The subpoenas are part of discovery to defend the city properly. Oh, and the internal records are all for non-privileged communications.

It is five pastors and they are in Houston. Brown has those parts factually accurate.

The matter of the subpoenas is now before a judge who will determine what is fair game. This isn't persecution of the Christian majority — just zealous lawyering by the city's outside counsel.

Of course what is really at work here is disdain for the city's lesbian mayor. Couple that with the fact that they are trying to overturn and anti-discrimination ordinance affecting transgender people (that they Christian-lovingly refer to as a “bathroom bill”) and you have a perfect storm for anti-gay advocacy. Check out the speakers list:
  • David & Jason Benham, Co-founders, Benham Companies 
  • Hernan Castano, Pastor, Iglesia Rios de Aceite — Houston 
  • Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President, Southern Baptist Convention 
  • Magda Hermida, Founder, Magda Hermida Ministries 
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee, Host of Fox News' Huckabee, former Gov. Arkansas 
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council 
  • Pastor Steve Riggle, Founding Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church, Houston 
  • Alan Robertson, Star of Duck Dynasty 
  • Phil Robertson, The Duck Commander/Duck Dynasty 
  • Dr. Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America 
  • Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio 
  • Dr. Ed Young, Pastor, Second Baptist Church Houston 
Not a whole lot of tolerance and respect for diversity in that crew. Must Mike Huckabee show up for every anti-gay event anywhere in the United States? What? No Crazy Ted Cruz?

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