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Religious Liberty Under Assault in Texas

Pastors' Private Communications, Sermons, Subpoenaed

Jared Woodfill, candidate for Republican Party of Texas Chair and former Harris County Chair, is making national news as the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Democrat Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker.

When Mayor Parker passed an ordinance that allows, among other things, biological males who are gender confused to use female restrooms and locker rooms, 55,000 Houstonians signed a petition to hold a referendum vote on the ordinance. Now Mayor Parker has embarked on a citywide intimidation campaign of area churches. This campaign is nothing less than an all-out assault on Texas pastors’ religious liberties as provided by the First Amendment. As part of the litigation, Mayor Parker has subpoenaed the emails and other communications of local pastors, including their sermons and private messages.

Everyone from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz94%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard94% (R-Texas) to the liberal Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have challenged Parker’s unbridled abuse of government power. The Mayor “should be ashamed,” Senator Cruz told reporters in Houston. “This is wrong. It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American. The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons.”

Attorney General Greg Abbott also weighed in on the issue. “Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Abbott warned in a formal letter to Houston City Attorney David Feldman. “The people of Houston and their religious leaders must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious affairs are beyond the reach of the government. Nothing short of an immediate reversal by your office will provide that security.”

Says Woodfill, “As the rest of the country looks on, it’s important that people understand that this is not some kind of political aberration. If we do not stand against these tactics, this will be the norm in a world where human sexuality is completely disconnected from biological reality. We’re witness the impact on religious liberty from this cultural collision course that President Obama has set us on by promoting the redefinition of marriage. I believe that we should stand firm that marriage is the relationship between one man and one woman.”

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