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10/24/2014

11/2 in Houston: Activists mad that churches were noted for their politicization head to a church—to politicize

by Jeremy Hooper

The request, made to five pastors who have been on the front lines of an attempt to rollback a nondiscrimination law in the city of Houston, was essentially standard legal procedure. The subpoenas sought any instructions on filing petitions that these pastors might have delivered during their sermons, since the filing of petitions is at the center of the lawsuit. Even so, the mayor (who had not seen the filing prior to the media circus) said she did see the language within as somewhat broad and was willing to refile. She has since made that happen.

But leave it the professionally social conservative, a movement that seems as focused these days on dumbing down every conversation as they ever were in actually stopping LGBT rights, to keep beating their B.S.-laden drum even after the mayor and the city did precisely what they asked. Next Sunday, some of the nation's most anti-gay activists, a Fox News personality who has made spinning fake stories of supposed anti-gay persecution his journalistic beat, and no fewer than four reality TV personalities (or would-be reality TV personalities in the case of the Benhams) who have damaged their brand through their outward hostility toward LGBT rights and people will gather in Houston to continue to politicize church engagement in America:

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Why is anyone contesting a lawsuit brought by anti-LGBT activists even nominally interested in sermons? Well, because these churches are where the majority of the political activity against us takes place! These pastors are the ones who have made it their mission to shape CIVIL policy. Mayor Parker's legal team wasn't even slightly interested in whether or not these five pastors were preaching against her or her "lifestyle;" I'm sure she suspects they do that on the weekly! Instead, they only wanted to know if these pastors were using their sermons to talk to their congregants about the petition at the heart of the lawsuit. That is what you do during the discovery phase of a legal contest: you discover what the other side has, in fact, said and done so that you can match that up with the claims of the suit.

And yet here we have these political activists yet again taking to a church so that they can score political points against this out lesbian mayor and, by extension, LGBT rights activists everywhere? It is completely and utterly gross.

But even worse is the way this movement has now turned itself into an army that seriously seems like it is at work with rational, reasonable conversation on topics that are more complex than "GAY. BAD. VICTIM. US." Any time any situation like this comes to light, they just start screaming and stomping their feet. There is no pause. There is no deep breath. There is no accepting "yes" as an answer when even the mayor herelf agrees that the language could be reworded in order to please all parties. They just keep the noise machine going in hopes of riling up base anger from an angry base. It is aggressive anti-intellectualism on speed!

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*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post had the date as Sunday, October 26, rather than Sunday, November 2. Sorry about the confusion.

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