First Posted 16-Oct-2014
The conservative talk-show circuit is alive with anger over the mayor of Houston and her decision to supeona the sermons of several pastors. I’m not going to rehash what Mayor Parker did. Go read the story. This is my take on what she did.
Mayor Parker is one more who seems to believe that she is doing the right thing to fight discrimination against the LBGT community. I don’t know why she wants all those sermons. The story I cite opines that she wants them to use them as a way to expose the pastors as anti-LBGT bigots.
Here is the problem. The only permissible opinion is hers. This is fine when the one holding the opinion is a no-account, mostly ignored blogger like me. I can declare that from this moment forward everyone has to use pink tinted aluminum to make their tinfoil hats. I can say that starting right now men must wear pink tutus as outerwear anytime they are outside their homes. Nobody cares what I declare. Well, maybe some do, my aunt perhaps, and maybe my friend who works for Google, ok, maybe my son. Still, that’s only three people.
Annise Parker is the mayor of a large city–Houston, Texas. Her actions affect a lot of people. It matters that she would attempt to subpoena the sermons of area pastors. It matters why she wants them, what she’ll do with the sermons once she has them. Speculation, but if her reason is to force pastors who believe homosexuality is a sin to change their opinion–to accuse them of racism and hate crimes because of their beliefs–we are in trouble. We are a banana republic in a very real way.
Annise Parker might say she’s fighting for the rights of her fellow members of the LBGT community. Maybe so. But she’s not an opposition leader on the sidelines protesting the bad behavior of the elite. She is the elite. She’s in charge of a big city. Now, her insistence on a particular doctrine regarding gender identity and significant relationships becomes the policy of Houston. It’s trouble for us that believe homosexuality is a sin. In a free democracy we are not free if there are only some opinions and beliefs that are approved. It’s no different from a country that implements Sharia law and makes Christianity illegal. Those who claim to be progressive, to be liberal, to be for the free-er expression of authentically held beliefs in fact demonstrate a very strict orthodoxy and a willingness to punish those who don’t also believe in the same doctrine. We end up being no different from Muslim extremists who are evangelizing at gun and knife point. We end up not free.