Religious Conservatives Attack ‘Bully’ Houston Mayor, Even After Subpoenas Withdrawn
Mayor Annise Parker today withdrew the subpoenas issued to fiveÂ Houston pastors, but the religious right is still furious — and making it known just how much.
Today, after weeks of attacks and name-calling, email and telephone campaigns, and 1000 bibles sent in protest, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced she is directing the City’s attorney to withdraw subpoenas served to five local area pastors.
The subpoenas originally requested all communications, including emails, speeches, and sermons related to HERO, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance that the city passed and Mayor Parker signed into law in May. Upon signing the law, Parker tabled its effective date, knowing there would be lawsuits.Â
Indeed, pastors are suing the city over the ordinance, and the subpoenas, a very common legal tool to obtain information, were served in that regard. Almost immediately after the subpoenas were filed, Parker had the requirement for sermons removed.
Watch today’s press conference:
In the press conference today, Mayor Parker announced her direction to withdraw the subpoenas. The Houston Chronicle reports that Mayor Parker said “she was persuaded in part by the demeanor of the clergymen she met with Tuesday, saying they were concerned not about the ordinance or politics but about the subpoenas’ impact on the ongoing national discussion of religious freedoms.”
“That was the most persuasive argument, because to me it was, ‘What is the goal of the subpoenas?’ The goal of the subpoenas is to defend against a lawsuit, and not to provoke a public debate,” Parker said. “I don’t want to have a national debate about freedom of religion when my whole purpose is to defend a strong and wonderful and appropriate city ordinance against local attack, and by taking this step today we remove that discussion about freedom of religion.”
“I didn’t do this to satisfy them,” Parker said of critics. “I did it because it was not serving Houston.”
Regardless, the mayor’s critics were not quieted. GraceÂ Community ChurchÂ pastorÂ Steve Riggle, who was among the subpoenaed pastors, said, “If the mayor thought the subpoenas were wrong she would have pulled them immediately, not waited until she was forced to by national outrage.”
Of course, Riggle was not the only religious right activist who is still furious, just because.
Sen. Ted Cruz is of course outraged!
While itâ€™s terrific news Houstonâ€™s mayor dropped the subpoenas, they should’ve NEVER been issued in the first place http://t.co/PDKeqIZXgB
â€” Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 29, 2014
To Matt Barber, one of the most anti-gay extremists in the country, even getting your way is still cause to decry “homofascism.”
BREAKING: Embattled Houston Mayor Withdraws Unconstitutional Sermon Subpoenas http://t.co/Q3roH7tsTv #Homofascism, #lgbt #tcot #teaparty
â€” Matt Barber (@jmattbarber) October 29, 2014
FRC’s Vice President for Communications had a uniquely victimized take:
“The Mayor rescinded the subpoenas to hurt attendance” at #IStandSunday – @Steve_Riggle #4Houston5
â€” JP Duffy (@JPDuffy) October 29, 2014
This conservative is actually angry conservatives got their way:
http://t.co/etVnxO5nrr Damn ðŸ˜ I say continue sending the Bible/ Constitution pic.twitter.com/6t5aHMx7to
â€” Ron Murphy (@THETXEMBASSY) October 29, 2014
Fox News’ Lou Dobbs couldn’t help but name-call — even after winning:
What a Gawdawful Excuse for a Mayor: Houston mayor drops bid to subpoena pastors’ sermons | Fox News http://t.co/t2bf032kd1 via @fxnopinion
â€” Lou Dobbs (@loudobbsnews) October 29, 2014
Greg Abbott, running for Texas Governor, could n’thelp but cash in on the action:
Another victory for religious liberty in Texas! http://t.co/OgIlp9qn3K
â€” Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 29, 2014
So did Missouri US Senator Blount:
Houston mayor announces withdrawal of subpoenas – good news in this case of extreme govt overreach #StandWithPastors #4Houston5
â€” Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) October 29, 2014
Apparently, “over-reach” is a big theme for the Missouri Senator:Â
Good discussion on Obama Admin’s executive over-reach w/ @TeamCavuto today. Click here to watch: http://t.co/joQxXXrWkE
â€” Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) October 28, 2014
The Houston mayor’s attempt to subpoena pastors’ sermons is extreme govt overreach, violates religious freedom #StandWithPastors #4Houston5
â€” Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) October 27, 2014
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
The Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives Friday morning passed HR 5, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” legislation similar to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ laws that have led to book bans and targeting of LGBTQ children.
The bill passed 213-208, with 14 Members not voting. All yes votes were from Republicans only. Five Republicans joined Democrats to vote no.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California warned the legislation “pits parents against parents.”
“The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Lieu warned.
READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis.
This bill pits parents against parents. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/T02sluBAzB
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) March 24, 2023
U.S> Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) warned, “H.R. 5 would codify Republican book bans all over the country. Stories of Holocaust survivors, enslaved Americans, and over 1,600 other stories have already been pulled from shelves.”
U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) said HR5 is “a vehicle for hate and political nonsense.”
.@RepMaxwellFrost on H.R. 5: “This bill is just a vehicle for hate and political nonsense…It's not about policy, it's about politics. It's not about freedom and liberty, it's about the fear of a problem that doesn't exist.”
The civil rights community opposes this legislation. pic.twitter.com/5eNd5MCNDa
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) March 23, 2023
Congressman Greg Murphy, Republican of North Carolina, in a recorded statement falsely claimed the bill was needed because “Children are being taught to hate our country,” and “parents are labeled as domestic terrorists.”
In his speech before the bill passed, Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared, “We believe parents should know what your children is [sic] learning.”
CNN reports the bill would also “require elementary and middle schools that receive federal funding to obtain parental consent before ‘changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms.'”
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the legislation “Orwellian to the core,” and promised it “will not see the light of day.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Far Right Christian Nationalist Brags His ‘Biblical Worldview’ Group Is Behind Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Anti-Trans Law
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation Tuesday prohibiting transgender people from using public school facilities that match their gender identity. Later that same day, Jason Rapert, a former Arkansas state senator and founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, posted a video crediting his organization for the legislation.
Rapert, a longtime religious-right activist and ardent Christian nationalist, bragged that this piece of legislation was first proposed by Arkansas school board member David Naylor during an annual NACL meeting, endorsed by the organization, and finally brought to the Arkansas state legislature by state Rep. Mary Bentley, who serves on the board of the NACL.
“The NACL has seven working committees,” Rapert said. “Those committees actually debate and discuss every major policy issue in this country, all from a biblical worldview.”
“We make model laws,” he continued. “Do you know that just recently Rep. Mary Bentley of Arkansas passed a model law that the NACL adopted at their last meeting in the state of Texas?”
“Rep. Mary Bentley, [who] is our chair of the National Legislative Council, she went to the Arkansas legislature, took that concept that came from Dr. David Naylor that was then adopted by the full body of the NACL, and guess what? It’s already been placed into law in the state of Arkansas,” Rapert crowed. “That’s the difference the NACL can make in your community.”
“This is what the NACL does every day all across this country,” Rapert bellowed later in the video. “We are fighting for the lives of little babies. We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality. We’re standing up. We’re pursuing school board policies to save the nation. We are standing up and have our members running bills in the halls of the state legislatures to stand up against this woke ideology, to push back against the things of the devil in our country.”
In December, Rapert declared that right-wing Christians must rise up and “take authority” over everything from their local school boards to the federal government. The National Association for Christian Lawmakers seeks do just that, advancing legislation that fits their narrow conservative biblical worldview in statehouses throughout the country. The group’s advisory board includes politicians like Mike Huckabee and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as well as influential religious-right activists like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Jim Jordan Busted for Helping Trump ‘Tamper’ With Probe: ‘Beyond All Bounds of What’s Legal’
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg rebuffed a Republican House demand for a peek inside an investigation involving Donald Trump as “unlawful,” and MSNBC’s Al Sharpton agreed it amounted to “tampering.”
Bragg’s general counsel denied a request for documents and an interview with the district attorney by Judiciary, Oversight and Administration Committee chairs Jim Jordan (R-OH), James Comer (R-KY) and Bryan Steil (R-WI), calling the congressional inquiry an “unprecedented” intervention into a pending local prosecution undertaken at Trump’s request.
“Any man that is up in the middle of the night, that is going with this kind of language, is scared to death,” Sharpton said of Trump, who has been posting highly provocative online attacks against Bragg. “The problem, though, is that he is inciting people, no matter how small they have become as a crowd, to do something. Add that to him having the photo of the bat at a sitting prosecutor, I mean, it’s unimaginable. You’re right, we’d be arrested for that.”
“We have chairmen of committees telling a prosecutor, who is in the middle of an investigation, to come and give us the evidence,” Sharpton added. “I mean, they’re really tampering with an investigation. This is not an investigation that’s concluded. Before we know whether there is an indictment or charge, they’re saying bring us the evidence? I mean, this is unheard of. What is Jordan talking about? They’re in the middle of a grand jury proceeding. You want the prosecutor to leave the proceeding and tell me the evidence you’re giving, and we’ll put it on national television so the target can understand the evidence? I mean, we are going beyond all bounds of what is legal, what is respectful, and we have a man who is scared to death, that is up in the middle of the night inciting violence, having a photo with a bat, because he’s scared to death he’s going to have to face this prosecution.”
READ MORE: Trump is ‘out of his mind scared’ after late-night outburst : Morning Joe panel
Watch the video below or at this link.
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