Victory in Houston for Pastors!On Oct 30, 2014 Comments Off on Victory in Houston for Pastors!
Round One in the On-going Saga Between First Amendment Rights and a Houston Lesbian Mayor.
This victory is not the end of the story by any means, but it is an example of what conservatives must start doing if we are to regain the position of strength in the media on marriage and family issues that we’ve lost over the past decade.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 was a miraculous day – proving that if we do not give in, if we do not lose faith, if we are not defeated, if we boldly stand up, roll up our sleeves and double our effort, we can – and will – prevail over the unconstitutional actions of federal judges attempting to re-define marriage between a man and a woman. Here’s what happened:
At the invitation of Reverend Bill and Dr. Deborah Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, American Leadership Fund joined the Executive Director of the Houston Area Pastors Council, Dave Welch and other pastors from all over the country to participate in a critically important news conference.
We were delighted to reunite with our dear friend Janet Boynes of Janet Boynes Ministries.
We were gathered in unity to speak out against the egregious violations of religious liberty unfolding when lesbian Mayor Annise Parker subpoenaed sermons and communications of five Houston-area pastors. This action not only violated U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rights of those pastors, it also violated the voting rights of the thousands of believers that supported the referendum to repeal the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Petitions had been gathered and more than enough signatures validated to get the referendum on the ballot. Through a series of shenanigans, the mayor’s office attempted to stop the referendum.
Initial victory came the day after the press conference when the mayor’s office announced that they were withdrawing the subpoenas. While this is just the beginning of a long road to fighting for religious liberty, it sends a strong message to conservatives and church leaders everywhere that we can no longer be silent. We cannot be soft-spoken. It was the passion and energy and the conviction of these pastors and their followers that carried the day.
Tuesday’s news conference was a great success, getting national coverage. Had the pastors not taken bold steps to refuse to allow their sermons to be touched by a government official, the immediate results may have been much different.
This Victory Is Only Temporary
While the mayor is still determined to force her extremist policies of non-discrimination in a law duplicated from state to state and town to town, including such conservative states as Utah, we can see why we need to take a different tactic from the past decade of allowing the other side to intimidate.
Stand up and just say NO!
Utah has a great legislature and an opportunity to stand up for its states’ rights on the issue of marriage, as well as other over-reaching encroachments of the federal government. Now is the time. Let’s all join together and show the strength of these five pastors.
Hollywood Conservatives Stand with the Houston Five
Joining these pastors at the press conference was Hollywood filmmaker Jeff Chamberlain who stood to let the nation know that there are conservatives and people of faith in the Hollywood film industry who are also standing with these pastors, and that they will not be silenced either. (Thanks to cameraman Robert Starling for the photos and additional clips soon to come.)
Here’s the NBC coverage and the full statement American Leadership Fund made at the press conference: “We went to Houston because these pastors’ cause is our cause. It’s America’s cause. When one faith is attacked, all are attacked. If government can come after your sermons, government can come after ours. These activists were sure they could steal our religious liberty while we weren’t looking. But because the Houston pastors and citizens are rising up, the entire nation is now looking.
“The actions of Houston Mayor Annise Parker imposing a non-discrimination ordinance on people of faith are not only unfair and unreasonable, they are unjust, unconstitutional and un-American, and they do violence both to the institution of traditional marriage and religious liberty.
“Those who stand for religious liberty have been targeted, intimidated and bullied. Their property has been damaged, lives threatened, businesses damaged, jobs lost. Over the past decade, good people of faith have allowed gay activists to gain favor in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion. But now those good people are waking up. We will no longer be threatened, intimidated or silenced.
“66% of Utahns voted for Amendment 3. 77% of our state legislature filed a legal brief to the Courts defending our marriage law. Then one federal judge struck down the will of two million people. Now Utah ‘s 66% is rising up. We will not allow our First Amendment rights and our states’ rights to be stolen. Our legislators are developing a resolution defending our states’ constitutional right to defend its marriage law, just as the Houston Five are standing to defend religious liberty.
“From the Supreme Court to President Obama to Mayor Anisse Parker, we have a message: “Don’t mess with Texas.” “Don’t mess with Utah.” “Don’t mess with all God-fearing believers. And don’t mess with America’s pulpits.”
It was a joy to be with these extraordinary and brave people and to link hearts with some great leaders. We thank the Reverend Bill Owens and his wife Dr. Deborah Owens for reaching out to us in Utah, for launching their new civil rights movement there and for organizing this wonderful event. We look forward to a continued collaboration.
Here are just a few of the stories generated by yesterday’s event:
Message to Conservatives Everywhere: Just Say NO!
The Mayor and the gay activists had all hoped that this story would go away. It was because these pastors stood up and said they would not bow down to the Mayor’s request that this had a good ending.
The Houston Five are an example of the leadership that we need at all levels of society, from elected officials to religious leaders who are willing to do whatever it takes to defend their religious liberty.
This is not the end of the fight, but it is an example of what we must all be willing to do no matter where we live. States that have fallen to the unconstitutional actions of federal judges must take note and rise up together in defense of their liberty and their states rights.
We need your help and appreciate any amount of donation – $5, $10, $25, $35, $50, $100 or more – to help us offset the costs of engaging in this fight in a meaningful and effective way.
Never forget, in a dark time of history, one man stood up and led. It was his voice that carried a nation, a continent to victory. His name was Winston Churchill. We need many leaders to stand up and LEAD! Of that time he said: