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

  1. #71
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    Re: Houston Mayor orders pastors to turn over sermons about gays, gender and... the m

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    It's an attack on the 1st Amendment; strongarm tactics to silence dissent.
    No it isn't. It is certain groups agreeing to not conduct certain activities and ordinance/rules that define the proper way to get valid signatures to overturn or enact a law.
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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
    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.
    And no understanding at all for what the civil suit is even about. It actually isn't about any pastor that may have broken a specific law, but rather breaking a rule when it comes to getting valid signatures on a petition. If those signatures have to be gotten a certain way, then you cannot cheat and get them a different way without them being invalid. That is what this is about. Using churches to get signatures for a petition in some way that makes at least some of those signatures invalid.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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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
    And no understanding at all for what the civil suit is even about. It actually isn't about any pastor that may have broken a specific law, but rather breaking a rule when it comes to getting valid signatures on a petition. If those signatures have to be gotten a certain way, then you cannot cheat and get them a different way without them being invalid. That is what this is about. Using churches to get signatures for a petition in some way that makes at least some of those signatures invalid.
    Ok, I can accept that. The core concept is that the mayor has accused the pastors of an illegality (of what sort is not really that material).

    The Mayor's accusations are so vague and general that she cannot even ask for specific sermons where this illegality purportedly occurred, nor specific written material that purportedly called for illegal actions.

    Rather, she is on a fishing expedition that is requesting all interal information on very broad topics in an effort to shake down a group that dared to oppose her.

    In short, if the accusation of illegal action is so vague and poorly supported that you cannot ask for specific documents or the transcripts of specific sermons, chances are your accusation is bull ****.
    Last edited by Cryptic; 10-15-14 at 05:44 PM.

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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
    Ok, I can accept that. The core concept is that the mayor has accused the pastors of an illegality (of what sort is not really that material).

    The Mayor's accusations are so vague and general that she cannot even ask for specific sermons where this illegality purportedly occurred, nor specific written material that purportedly implemented called for illegal actions.

    Rather, she is on a fishing expedition that is requesting all interal information on very broad topics in an effort to shake down a group that dared to oppose her.

    In short, if the accusation of illegal action is so vague or poorly supported that you cannot ask for specific documents or the transcripts of specific sermons, chances are your accusation is bull ****.
    Not really what happened though. The group turning in the petition to overturn an ordinance were told that their signatures were gained, gathered (at least some of them) in some way that invalidates those (presumably that involves the churches in this group, some of them). This information has to come from somewhere, likely people who heard sermons that made inappropriate suggestions or proposals when it comes to these petitions. That led to the group being told that they didn't have enough signatures because of the invalidation of some. This then led the group to challenge the invalidating of those signatures. Now the government needs to get more evidence that the signatures were gathered inappropriately or that the churches did something unethical in attaining these signatures in order to prove they should be invalidated. This actually doesn't involve a crime at all or illegal action per se, just whether the signatures on the petition are legally valid.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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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
    Not really what happened though. The group turning in the petition to overturn an ordinance were told that their signatures were gained, gathered (at least some of them) in some way that invalidates those (presumably that involves the churches in this group, some of them). This information has to come from somewhere, likely people who heard sermons that made inappropriate suggestions or proposals when it comes to these petitions. That led to the group being told that they didn't have enough signatures because of the invalidation of some. This then led the group to challenge the invalidating of those signatures. Now the government needs to get more evidence that the signatures were gathered inappropriately or that the churches did something unethical in attaining these signatures in order to prove they should be invalidated. This actually doesn't involve a crime at all or illegal action per se, just whether the signatures on the petition are legally valid.
    I do respect the reseach you have done on this. I also think you have the wrong approach to the burdens of proof.

    At the end of the day:

    - the government took punitive action against a group opposed to their policy (Hey, these signatures are not valid, so your petition fails)
    - The action was evidently based on vague accusations from a private group also opposed to the churches ("We purportedly heard a sermon say "X", but we are not sure which one it was")

    - The goverrnment's actions then get challenged.
    -Rather than say "Our actions were justified because we have specific information, show us A, h, and p", the government says: "Ok, we"ll fish around a-z and we"ll see if we can find anything that justifies our actions... ."

    Basically, when the government takes a punitive action against an oppostion group- even a mild action, they need to do so based on specific information. Not, take the action, then scramble to justify it by shaking them down.

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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
    I do respect the reseach you have done on this. I also think you have the wrong approach to the burdens of proof.

    At the end of the day:

    - the government took punitive action against a group opposed to their policy (Hey, these signatures are not valid, so your petition fails)
    - The action was evidently based on vague accusations from a private group also opposed to the churches ("We purportedly heard a sermon say "X", but we are not sure which one it was")

    - The goverrnment's actions then get challenged.
    -Rather than say "Our actions were justified because we have specific information, show us A, h, and p", the government says: "Ok, we"ll fish around a-z and we"ll see if we can find anything that justifies our actions... ."

    Basically, when the government takes a punitive action against an oppostion group- even a mild action, they need to do so based on specific information. Not, well take the action, then scramble to justify it by shaking them down.
    Gathering more information to support your position is what is done in these cases. Neither side is supposed to just be limited to what they start with. They can get more information, including through subpoenas.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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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
    Gathering more information to support your position is what is done in these cases. Neither side is supposed to just be limited to what they start with. They can get more information, including through subpoenas.
    I can accept that- but the subpeonas need to be for for specific material. Once again, if one cant make specific requests, then it is a good indication that the accusation is baseless. My guess is that the judge tosses the subpeonas into the garbage can.

    The govt should not be able to take punitive action against opposition groups based on vague "might have" accusations made by another partisan group.

    Try replacing "City of Houston" and conservative groups with "Greg Abbot" and "Planned Parenthood":

    - I heard Planned Parenthood leadership conspire to violate a rule regarding non profits.
    - No, I am not certain when and where I heard it.
    - No, I dont like Planned Parenthood- at all.
    - Hey Greg, take punitive action!
    _Greg Abbott: Ok, sounds good. I can always shake them down in the hopes to justify it....

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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
    No it isn't. It is certain groups agreeing to not conduct certain activities and ordinance/rules that define the proper way to get valid signatures to overturn or enact a law.
    Subpoenaing sermons and private correspondance is an attack on the 1st Amendment and stongarm tactics, that are being used to intimidate American citizens.
    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 roguenuke View Post
    Gathering more information to support your position is what is done in these cases. Neither side is supposed to just be limited to what they start with. They can get more information, including through subpoenas.
    The subpoenas are being used to silence dissent, not gather information. The city has zero authority to regulate free speech.
    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?
    No, not yet. But subpoenaing sermons seems like a stretch.

    And I think what seems to be an overreach may backfire on Annise Parker. It's certainly divisive, and I hate that this is going on because the ill will may last for a very long time, and this would be a shame. I'll be curious to learn how ordinary Houstonians respond.

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