This article is written in support of Houston churches. About 400 of them. Yes, this bulletin of the Liberty, Texas Church of Christ is written in support of Southern Baptist Churches, Missionary Baptist Churches, Community Churches and all other churches that are being harassed by the City of Houston.
Why would a city harass its churches? Not so long ago, cities like Houston held their churches in high esteem as partners together in the cause of "leading peaceful and quiet lives" (II Tim. 2:1-3). Now, Houston's city offices see Houston's rectories as enemy territory.
The Bathroom Ordinance
Houston's new non-discrimination ordinance is the Ft. Sumter in this civil war. In June, Houston's City Council, at the urging of Mayor Anise Parker, passed this new ordinance (called HERO - Houston Equal Rights Ordinance). If a non-discrimination ordinance sounds benign, understand that this new law is also called the "Bathroom Ordinance."
Among its LGBT-friendly lines (Houston Mayor Anise Parker is openly L and an aggresive LGBT advocate; when she was elected, Texas Monthly magazine ran a story entitled "Houston Has Two Mommies") the "Bathroom Ordinance" neatly dispensed with several thousands of years of advancing civilization by requiring all public bathrooms be open to every sex.
Cultural advance had moved our private bathroom doings first out of the forest and into the privies (note: privies, as in private), then indoors with flush toilets, and finally into separate public facilities for men and women. Now, according to Houston's non-discrimination ordinance, bathrooms in Houston must be his and hers and ours and theirs.
What Could Go Wrong?
To quote Constance Towers, who played Miss Hannah Hunter of Greenbrier in the John Wayne movie The Horse Soldiers, "I don't know how you Yankees do things up North, but down South, well, there are times when we Southern women prefer our privacy." Chastened, John Wayne's Colonel Marlowe assigned two calvary troopers to ensure Miss Hunter's private time. Anise Parker reassigned the troopers to adjoining stalls.
Adjoining Stalls; the Battle Joined
Many of Houston's citizens and especially Houston's churches reacted predictably.
Petitions have been signed and lawsuits filed against the ordinance. And (gasp, Shock, SURPRISE, HORRORS) Houston pulpits have spoken against the LBGT agenda and against reassigned, unassigned stalls.
In response, the City of Houston has also reacted predictably - if, by predictably, we now can predict that our public servants will be ham-handed and overbearing. No, Houston's city attorneys did not put on brown shirts and begin smashing stained-glass windows. They did the next worse thing.
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding that a group of pastors turn over "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Anise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession." "And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court."
"Overbroad, Unduly Burdensome, Harassing, and Vexatious"
This is an outrage and harbinger of things to come. The political left is attempting to reduce the circle of religious liberty to a very small dot by replacing the traditional term Freedom of Religion with Freedom to Worship, as in "Ya'll Christians just shuffle on off to your little old church houses and keep yourselves quiet." Parker's outrage (maybe even her rage) goes into churches to bring what is preached there into governmental inspection and censorship.
Do not doubt that the LGBT Movement and its allies in government mean to harm the Christian faith.
And so to the coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that are opposed to the ordinance, the Liberty, Texas Church of Christ says "Hang in There!" We would also say "Give Them the Devil!" but that doesn't quite fit, does it? We say Godspeed, then, to the attorneys of Alliance for Freedom representing you; Godspeed, "Knock on it," and smite them hip and thigh.
For the record, (i) the LBGTXYZ agenda is an abomination (Lev. 20, Rom. 1, I Cor. 6, and etc.), (ii) those who forward this agenda, specifically Mayor Parker, are "doing evil with both hands earnestly" (Mic. 7:3), and (iii) things like the Bathroom Ordinance are silly, unnecessary and uncivilized.
By the way, to any prying City of Liberty officials, County of Liberty officials, State of Texas officials, United States officials, United Nations officials, or (un)officials of the dark international conspiracies of Tom Hanks' movies, kindly recognize the National Rights of Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech and please excuse yourselves.