Newt Gingrich: Houston Pastor Subpoenas Part of a ‘Radical Agenda’

In a recent article posted by Newt Gingrich, he writes a compelling article about the Houston Hodown. See below!

Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s decision to issue subpoenas for sermons from the city’s Christian pastors was for “much larger political and constitutional stakes” than just to coerce disclosure from the ministers, says Newt Gingrich in a post on his blog.

“The Mayor of Houston’s recent subpoena of sermons by Christian pastors in the country’s fourth largest city is a shocking violation of First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion,” says Gingrich in a post co-written with Vince Haley. “There is no clearer violation of First Amendment freedoms than for government officials to attempt to censor religious speech.”

Parker earlier this month had the city subpoena a group of pastors to demand sermons they wrote about her that would cover the subjects of homosexuality, gender identity, or mention Parker herself, as the city’s first openly lesbian mayor.

The subpoenas were issued after the pastors protested the city’s new non-discrimination ordinance that the city council passed in June which, among other clauses related to sexuality and gender identity, would allow men to use the women’s room and vice versa in an effort to protect transgender rights.

Opponents gathered 50,000 signatures for a repeal measure that was eventually thrown out. They sued the city, but ironically, the five pastors subpoenaed are not part of the lawsuit, says Gingrich.

He notes that the pastors’ attorneys were ready to sue to quash the subpoenas and would have succeeded, but Parker decided to withdraw the demands following protests.

The so-called “bathroom bill,” passed in May, is Parker’s signature initiative and still is being threatened by threats to repeal it through a referendum vote, says Gingrich, calling it part of Parker’s “radical agenda.”

“In politics, if politicians are not succeeding in their arguments, they change the subject,” he writes. “Mayor Parker apparently is not succeeding in her defense of a law that opponents claim creates a right, among other newly created sexual and gender identity rights, for anyone to use public bathrooms of the opposite sex in the name of gender rights equality.”

So since Parker is losing her argument, she’s refocusing her argument, he continues.

“If you’re a liberal mayor trying to create new sexual and gender identity rights, there’s apparently no better object on which to refocus the public than the Christian pastors and their beliefs on gender and sexuality,” he contends.

And as such, Parker is “trying to shift the debate from a fight over the merits of her sexual and gender identity agenda to a fight over the Christian world view of sexual ethics.”

She thought her effort would be effective, explains Gingrich, as she believed that even if the subpoenas were withdrawn, the city’s pastors would think again before criticizing her or the bill.

Further, he says, Parker is “clearly aware that there is a provision of U.S. tax law that already tends to chill the speech of some pastors from the pulpit.”

The law, the “Johnson Amendment” was authored by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson and states that tax-exempt organizations like churches may not “participate in, or intervene in…any political campaign on behalf of…any candidate for public office.”

And while the amendment, penned in 1954, is “brazenly in conflict with the free speech and free exercise protections of the First Amendment,” Parker was threatening the tax-exempt status of the churches by attacking pastors who challenge her, says Gingrich,

Congress should repeal the amendment, Gingrich adds, noting that North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones has a bill prepared for that.

And last, there is an established strategy to paint protecting traditional moral values and “opposition to newly-invented sexual and gender identity rights” as being malicious, says Gingrich. This was recently backed by the 2013 Supreme Court decision that invalidates the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
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“Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the only purpose of those who supported this traditional definition of marriage was to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ certain groups of fellow citizens, says Gingrich.

Parker can answer two questions to clear the assumption, he continues: Does she believe that everyone who does not support her bathroom bill is a hateful bigot? And, does she support a citywide referendum on her bathroom bill?

The right response to the Kennedys and Parkers of this country is “faithfulness on the part of Christians and a political awakening on the part of all citizens,” he concludes.

Make Them Bake Cake!

It is not inconsistent for a conservative Christian to have friends in the LGBT community even though they see life through very different lenses. A significant fault developes when the LGBT community seeks to eliminate the rights of individuals who differ with them. David Harsanyi articulates this issue extremely well in his recent article “Make Them Bake Cake!

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ordered a suburban Denver baker named Jack Phillips to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding that his religious objections do not supersede the state’s anti-discrimination statutes. Because if the Constitution should be subordinate to anything, it’s the local thought police, hurt feelings and nuptial pastries.

Raju Jaram, one of the reprehensible unelected commissioners — whose contact information is nowhere to be found on Colorado’s government site — apparently had this to say about the case: “I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.”

No, you can’t. Because Phillips isn’t discriminating against gay Coloradans. Gay customers, as far as all the news stories have suggested, are free to shop in the bakery and purchase (at the same price) any of the cakes, cookies and pastries they like, without ever being asked by anyone whom they love or what the gender equation is in their sex life. Public accommodations, fine. But the fact is that Phillips does not want to participate in a very specific ceremony, because he holds authentic, well-documented, age-old religious objections to such an event — in the same way that a Hasidic Jew or an orthodox Muslim might not want to participate in a ceremony that proclaims that Jesus is our Lord and savior. Maybe if we begin forcing atheists to party plan baptisms, the point would become clearer. Actually, maybe if we begin forcing Orthodox rabbis and imams to perform gay weddings, the point would be even clearer.

Though you and I may find Phillips’ objections lacking in merit or even objectionable, according to the blueprint of the American founding, religious concerns should take precedence over any “civil rights” of cake seekers. Forcing Americans to violate their religious beliefs should be avoided unless there is a clear and undeniable compelling interest. There is none here. Is there no other establishment that bakes cakes in all of Lakewood, Colorado? Because I found at least a dozen other bakeries in the town and surrounding areas that would probably be happy to bake a cake for a gay wedding in Colorado — even though, by the way, same-sex marriage is not even legal in the state yet. Capitalism, thankfully, provides gay Coloradans with a bunch of pro-gay businesses they could support less than a mile away.

It is unclear what power the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has to enforce its ruling. Does it fine Phillips until he’s out of business? In an earlier ruling, an administrative law judge ruled that Phillips could not “turn away” gay couples seeking cake but did not impose fines in the case. Perhaps the National Guard — as the National Journal’s Ron Fournier once implicitly suggested for this sort of case — should be called in to ensure that all the egg whites are properly separated from the yolks. Or perhaps President Barack Obama could chime in with, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Which would be misleading — because the idea that people should be left alone to live their lives as they see fit is quickly morphing into the ugly idea that we should all be forced to participate in your life.

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of “The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy.” Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

7 Common Careers Christians May No Longer Hold in America

For years Michael Brown sounded the alarm about an impending social, cultural and spiritual crisis, and for years critics have compared him to Chicken Little, discounting his warnings as the ravings of a hysterical, religious fundamentalist. Well, it’s a little late for that now.

Ten years ago, he charted this progression and made this prediction:

  • First, gay activists came out of the closet.
  • Second, they demanded their “rights.”
  • Third, they demanded that everyone recognize those “rights.”
  • Fourth, they want to strip away the rights of those who oppose them.
  • Fifth, they want to put those who oppose their “rights” into the closet.
  • From here on, embracing diversity refers to embracing all kinds of sexual orientation, (homo)sexual expression and gender identification but rejects every kind of religious or moral conviction that does not embrace these orientations, expressions and identifications.
  • From here on, hate refers to any attitude, thought or word that differs with the gay agenda, while gays are virtually exempt from the charge of hate speech—no matter how vile and incendiary the rhetoric—since they are always the (perceived) victims and never the victimizers.
  • Children in elementary schools will be exposed to the rightness and complete normality of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender expression, and opposing views will be branded as dangerous and homophobic, to be silenced and excluded from the classroom.

Initially, Brown was met with scorn and derision: “No one wants to put you in the closet!”

The last few years, the tone has changed to “Bigots like you belong in the closet!”

Brown states, “I hate to say it, but I told you so.”

What first appeared to be the LGBT seeking rights within the culture, is now a very successful effort to change the culture and laws. If you oppose their views your rights have completely removed and supported by law.

Many Christians choose self-employed careers because they want to be able to run their business according to the dictates of their faith and conscience.

That list is quickly shrinking as homosexuals pro-actively seek opportunities to wreck the personal business and career of any Christian who declines to support the gay lifestyle.

Don’t be fooled. This is a focused effort to ostracize and humiliate faith-based businesses and their owners. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Photography – A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6700 for politely declining to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony. The Supreme Court allowed this fine to stand.
  • Baker – A Christian baker in Oregon is facing both civil and criminal penalties, including jail time, for politely declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony. Her business has closed.
  • FloristBaronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist in Washington, is being sued by the state attorney general for politely declining to prepare an arrangement for a gay wedding ceremony.
  • Broadcasting – Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest after only one day on the job for expressing his support for natural marriage while he was a candidate for the United States Senate.
  • Counseling – Jennifer Keeton was dismissed from the counseling program at Augusta State University for her religious reservations about the homosexual lifestyle.
  • Innkeeping – The Wildflower Inn in Vermont was fined $30,000 and forced to shut down its wedding reception business after politely declining to host a lesbian ceremony.
  • Teaching – Ms. Gillian John-Charles was kicked out of a doctoral program in education at Roosevelt University for expressing in class her belief that homosexuals aren’t born gay.

What you can do about it…iphone_app

There are a number of available resources for information that enables you to quickly and effectively engage our culture when individuals come under attack from homosexual aggression because of their convictions. This is not about denying rights to homosexuals. It is about the LGBT denying rights to others who do not share their views and lifestyle

AFA provides an app for both the iPhone/Pad and Android devices. With these AFA Action Alert apps, you will get their alerts and be able to take whatever action you feel appropriate.

You can join us now by downloading the AFA Action Alert App on your handheld or mobile device.