City of Houston Uses Nazi-Era Tactics Against Pastors

If Christian pastors across the United States don’t get the message from what the city of Houston Texas is doing under the leadership of Mayor Annise Parker, then their churches deserve to be shut down by the government.

Officials with the city of Houston, who are fighting for a controversial ordinance that would allow men to use women’s restrooms, have demanded to see the sermons preached by area pastors who have spoken out publicly about the pro-homosexual ordinance.

“The recent move came in a subpoena from the city to pastors for copies of their sermons – and copies of other communications from the pastors to their congregations – in the city’s defense of a ‘non-discrimination’ plan that allows ‘gender-confused’ people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.”

Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity. The mega-church pastor was also ordered to hand over “all communications with members of your congregation” regarding the non-discrimination law.

Can you imagine such a thing? What would liberals say if the mayors of Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama, demanded that black pastors turn over their sermon material because they fought against segregation in the 1950s?

The mayor of Houston needs to be reminded that the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-1956 was promoted and organized by pastors. (She and her homosexual supporters would most likely claim that the “gender-confused” are being discriminated against in the same way. These people may be “gender-confused,” but their anatomy and DNA aren’t.)

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. met with a committee at the Mt. Zion AME Zion Church to discuss boycott strategies. As a result of their activities, “King and 89 other boycott leaders and carpool drivers were indicted for conspiring to interfere with a business under a 1921 ordinance. Rather than wait to be arrested, they boldly turned themselves in as an act of defiance.”

Mayor Parker is becoming the “Bull Connor” of the pro-homosexual movement. Instead of fire hoses and police attack dogs to intimidate pastors; she’s using the legal system paid for by tax dollars. Her attack dogs are a cadre of lawyers.

I suggest that hundreds of pastors turn themselves in to the civil authorities and dare them to take legal action. Make a public spectacle of the Nazi-era tactics of Mayor Parker, who was “legally” married to her same-sex partner in California in January of this year.

A little of Nazi-era history might help to put things in perspective for the mayor. Not only is she like Bull Connor, but her tactics are reminiscent of the Gestapo.

When German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) used his pulpit to expose Adolf Hitler’s radical politics, “He knew every word spoken was reported by Nazi spies and secret agents.”1 Leo Stein describes in his book I Was in Hell with Niemoeller how the Gestapo gathered evidence against Niemoeller:

Now, the charge against Niemoeller was based entirely on his sermons, which the Gestapo agents had taken down stenographically. But in none of his sermons did Pastor Niemoeller exhort his congregation to overthrow the Nazi regime. He merely raised his voice against some of the Nazi policies, particularly the policy directed against the Church. He had even refrained from criticizing the Nazi government itself or any of its personnel. Under the former government his sermons would have been construed only as an exercise of the right of free speech. Now, however, written laws, no matter how explicitly they were worded, were subjected to the interpretation of the judges.2

In a June 27, 1937 sermon, Niemoeller made it clear to those in attendance had a sacred duty to speak out on the evils of the Nazi regime no matter what the consequences: “We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of the authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.”3

A few days later, he was arrested. His crime? “Abuse of the pulpit.”

If Parker is successful, we’ll see similar Nazi-era harassment of churches take place in other cities where these crazy laws are being passed:

 “Similar cases also have erupted in Maryland, Florida and Colorado, which adopted a radical ‘transgender nondiscrimination’ bill in 2008 that makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the ‘perception’ of gender identity. One consequence of the law is a ruling forcing authorities to permit 6-year-old Coy Mathis – a boy who says he thinks he’s a girl – to use the girls bathroom at his elementary school.

“Nationwide, 17 states and the District of Columbia have embraced the transsexual agenda. Rhode Island added ‘gender identity and expression’ to its anti-discrimination law in June with the support of Gov. Jack Markell, and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced his support in an Equality Delaware video.”

Don’t say it can’t happen here. It is at this very moment happening here. Your town and church may be next.

  1. Basil Miller, Martin Niemoeller: Hero of the Concentration Camp, 5th ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1942), 112. []
  2. Leo Stein, I Was in Hell with Niemoeller (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1942), 175. []
  3. Quoted in William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 239. []
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