October 20, 2014
Recently the Houston, Texas city council passed an ordinance allowing transgenders to use the public facilities of their choice. However, critics point out male sexual predators can use this to dress as women to enter female facilities to watch and potentially harm or rape girls and women. In efforts to overturn this ordinance, faith-based organizations coordinated petition signature drives to force a public vote on the issue. After the city secretary confirmed there were enough signatures, the city lawyer decided unilaterally that over 2000 were invalid and dismissed the petition. The organizations filed a lawsuit against the city which responded by charging that several pastors participated in the city ordinance protest and subpoenaed their sermons. However, the pastors are not part of the actual lawsuit. The city decided to target these pastors in efforts to intimidate and paralyze the faith-based groups from continuing with their lawsuit.
Liberals have so turned the First Amendment on it’s head that the Houston mayor, Annise Parker, who happens to be gay, believes she not only has the right to ask for and review the sermons, she has the right to threaten the pastors with their tax exempt status. After 60 years of repeating "separation of church and state", people today actually believe it is part of the . It is not. Much of this deliberate misinformation by liberal politicians stems from the 1947 Supreme Court case of Everson vs. Board of Education which sited "separation of church and state" in their ruling. They claimed the Founding Fathers built a solid wall between the two entities that must be preserved. Unfortunately the justices invoked a policy that was never part of the Founders’ framework but has corrupted American culture ever since. (see )
The term "separation of church and state" was originally used by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 in a private letter addressing a specific question from the Baptist church. The Danbury Baptists were concerned the from the implied religious freedom was granted by the government and not by God, or inalienable. They were worried that one day the government might try to regulate the church’s beliefs and traditions. Jefferson's letter makes it clear the government is strictly prohibited from dictating the actions, practices and speech of the church, not the other way around. However, this is exactly what the Houston mayor is attempting to do. It never meant that churches and pastors could not participate, protest or be activists in the political arena. Ironically liberals are doing exactly what the Baptists were concerned about and what Jefferson said the government was explicitly not allowed to do when he used that phrase. Jefferson was in no way saying there was a wall limiting free religious public expression. He was instead putting the yoke of limitation on the government's right to interfere with that expression.
When the Founding Fathers wrote the , they were protecting the people from this very behavior of an overreaching government. The was purposefully put first to show that your ability to speak your mind without fear of governmental threat is central to freedom. Americans have the right to say and believe whatever they want. This includes political statements from the pulpit. The Politically Correct police are desperately doing everything they can to guilt and shame you into silence. They have convinced Americans that pastors are prohibited from political comments. That is not freedom and it stomps all over your liberty.
In the early days of America most little towns had a few businesses and a church. That church often served not only as the local place of worship, it was also the school, the town meeting hall, and the location of many social events. Public prayers would accompany these events and any religious symbols would remain proudly displayed for everyone to see. The church was the center of the town. It would have been inconceivable for the Founder's to demand a wall be built between the church and government.
Democrat Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1954 saw an opportunity to start controlling religious rejection of the liberal and progressive agenda by offering the Johnson Amendment. He added religious organizations to the tax-exempt 501c3 status code claiming he was helping churches. As churches started receiving this status, many were threatened with the loss of this privilege if they spoke out against certain politicians, parties, or policies. This is a complete violation of the First Amendment and a far cry for the left's precious separation of the two institutions. Because of the 's guarantee of freedom of religion accompanied with the ’s protection that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof", churches were never taxable because they are not under the control of the government.
Democrats demand separation if they believe a church is in anyway associated with a Republican. The news media harasses the politician until they have to publicly detach from the church and apologize. Democrats, though, freely address black congregations and campaign at churches, some even speaking from the pulpit. President Obama’s minister damned America from the pulpit for it’s past, he was criticized by the right, but supported for his view by the left. Shouldn’t the left have demanded that his tax exempt status been revoked? Political statements in the church are fine if they agree with gay rights, hatred of America, or environmental issues.
In Houston the mayor is now backtracking. She has suffered a significant backlash from the national awareness of her subpoena. The pastors held to their rights and brought awareness to this unconstitutional demand. After tweeting the sermons were "fair game", Parker is now claiming she didn't know the subpoenas even requested them. It is a shameful display of lawlessness and an out of control government. Even though the city is retreating from wanting sermons, they claim it is only because the subpoenas were too broad in their requests. Promises have been made to clarify the information needed by the city. This is not over by a long shot. That’s what "progress" is all about. The Progressive movement is just Communism without the revolution. They progress slowly towards total government control.
Liberty, your freedoms, your rights, and your independence is constantly in jeopardy of being taken from you by deceit, manipulation, or outright force. You must constantly be vigilant of the government's actions, both local and national. America became lazy in regards to holding our politicians accountable for the promises they made and broke, the laws they passed, the judges they approved and appointed, and their overall moral and ethical behavior. We can't let that happen any more. If God answers our prayers and your dad and I are able to pass a free America on to you, I pray you and your generation do a better job of being "We the People" than we did. I hope our generation is waking up before it is too late.
That's my 2 cents.
KEEPING THE FAITH