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Thread: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons, internal communications

  1. #61
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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    In a political climate like we have today it's just plain stupid to make such a broad based request. I can't imagine that a reasonable attorney, especially one with a political interest at stake, would head down this path if their motivation was really to gather evidence. Attacking religious institutions (or even giving that impression) is generally a really bad political strategy.
    in other words you cannot go on a fishing trip looking for things, they must be defined.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post

    Why would the City of Houston need to review sermons? This makes me a little uneasy.
    That seems to be the key question. Any answers?
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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    That seems to be the key question. Any answers?
    Evidently, the opposition group(s) "might have conspired to do something illegal and some non specific sermons "might" have information about that.

    In short, there is no legitimate answer. Just a fabricated chain of vague "mights" that are unsupported by any real evidence.

    Heck, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood "might" have conspired to... . For some, however, a foul occurrs only when conservative governmental groups shake down opposing liberal groups using vaguelly defined "mights".
    Last edited by Cryptic; 10-15-14 at 04:01 PM.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    It's a civil case by a group regarding the rejection of their petition to change an anti-discrimination ordinance that just passed. The city rejected their petition, after invalidating some of their signatures, which led to the group suing to get their signatures reviewed so that they can get their petition through.
    It's an attack on the 1st Amendment; strongarm tactics to silence dissent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    That seems to be the key question. Any answers?
    The answer is, government tyranny.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    Why would the city want or need transcripts of sermons discussing homosexuality?
    Because you aren't allowed to think negatively on the subject anymore. Get with the program or you'll find your face in a rat cage, mister.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Separation of Church and State, apparently, only should go one way.
    Correct.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptic View Post
    They also want internal memorandums. If the comments were truly public, then they would already have the material. Churches, however, are not truly public venues. Rather, they are private venues and speech made there is private in nature (though generally accessible to a broad audience).


    Yes it is intimidating- espescially when it is based on vague rumors and being requested by a government body that opposes the group.

    Those groups are inherently private groups and routinely engage in constitutionaly protected activities. They also have an expectation of privacy. The subpoenas are extremely broad and are evidently not based on any specific allegation.

    In short, when ever the government goes on vague "fishing expeditions" against an opposition group (and double for a group that they just happen to be opposed to) - no matter whether it is social progressives moving on conservative churches or right wing pro military conservative shaking down peace groups, the goal is intimidation / hinderance of an opposition group.

    Now, lets change things up:

    Greg Abbot, Texas AG: Hey Planned Parenthood- you are being sued because you might have conspired to obstruct access to places of worship.
    Planned Patenthood: Really, have we done something like that before?
    Abbot: No, but you still might have done it this time. Here is a subpeona for all written material and speeches on: Abortion, the Catholic Church, pro life clinics, oh and of course, Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry.
    PP: We engage in alot of constitutionaly protected activities- those include opposing your policies. Furthermore, we have an expectation of privacy. Those topics are broad. Do you have any specific material to ask for that would support the allegation?
    Abbott: No, not really. But.... you still might have done something wrong. By the way, your humanist buddies at the "Atheist Alliance" are going to get subpeaned as well- there might have been a conspiracy between you and them.

    Wait, I can here the liberals screaming... .


    Thanks for the good information about a warrant vs a subpeona.

    It seems a good litmus test on the legitimacy of these very broad, vague and non specific subpeonas would be if the judge agrees to implement them or not.

    My guess is that the City of Houston is going to be out of luck.


    Bravo. The whole "Not Intimidation" argument is laughable crap. If a church sermon is public then pretty much everything is public. And if the law now tells pastors what they can and can't say then there is no 1st Amendment protection.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Your opinion piece is also dishonest. The language about bathroom usage was removed before the bill was passed, and was always specific to transgender people, not any one
    So much for equal protection!
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    And if the law now tells pastors what they can and can't say then there is no 1st Amendment protection.
    I truly think that this is the long term goal. It wont come directly. Rather, various pretenses will be used:

    -Oppostion to gay marriage is "hate speech" and those who use hate speech cannot be tax exempt.
    -Advocating that bathrooms be restricted to a particular sex constitutes a "conspiracy to violate civil rights" etc.

    And of course, vague accusations that a pastor "might" have broken the law and therefore, must turn over speech records (both written and verbal) on a wide variety of topics.
    Last edited by Cryptic; 10-15-14 at 05:07 PM.

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