By Kathleen Patterson, Ph.D.
Are you surprised that Houston pastors are being called on to deliver the content of their sermons and speeches to the City of Houston in regards to the homosexual content?
I’m not, not at all.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case's discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, "all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession."
Are you surprised that tolerance has it boundaries? Most things are tolerated with the BIG exception of Christian values. And let’s face it, other religions, such as Islam, are adamantly against the homosexual lifestyle. Should we expect the City of Houston to request all their sermons and content from their services? We already know the answer to this---this will not happen.
Are you surprised that Christians are being limited in free speech and freedom of religion? You shouldn’t be—we’ve seen this coming for a long time. Bibles are being removed from schools, hotels, and the military, while other religious items/agendas are promoted. Did you know there are pastors in other nations that are being prosecuted for preaching against homosexuality, or even just holding up signs that promote a pure lifestyle? In Europe there is a Swedish pastor facing jail time for a sermon he preached over a decade ago. But of course, we think this will not happen here….though don’t be surprised---as speaking against the homosexual lifestyle is framed as hate speech, a human rights issue.
Did you know one of the seven deadly sins is apathy? Many great kingdoms and nations have fallen due to the apathy of its people to stand, to talk, and to be involved. Apathy is a slow fade, a gentle turning and a soft denial. And the consequences are horrific.
My call for you today is to be involved, stand behind the rights of these pastors to preach the Bible truth. Speak out---you have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and even when you are told this is a limited freedom, know that is not unless you let it be limited. Your freedoms, for now, are yours to use—if you do not use them then do not be surprised when you no longer have them.
If we fail to stand than we cannot be surprised when our rights are taken, our values are mocked and our freedoms are stripped.
Kathleen Patterson, Ph.D.
Director, Doctorate of Strategic Leadership Program
School of Business & Leadership
Christian Leadership to Change the World