Houston Mayor Annise Parker has revealed her purpose behind subpoenaing pastors.
Despite protestations from her office that they cannot comment on ongoing litigation, Parker did, here.
If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game. Were instructions given on filling out anti-HERO petition?-A
— Annise Parker (@AnniseParker) October 15, 2014
As we reported earlier, the sermons in question are accessible online without a subpoena. Parker did not need to unleash lawyers to obtain them. She is asking for much more than just sermons. Her subpoenas demanded that the pastors appear in person. They also demanded internal communications within and among the churches that were involved in the petition drive.
But the above tweet reveals her purpose. She wants to build a case that the pastors engaged in politics from the pulpit.
Which means that she is building a case to attack their tax-exempt status.
That’s the threat here, and it’s real. Mayor Annise Parker wants to shut churches out of political and cultural discussions because she disagrees with them, or shut them down if they refuse to comply with her diktats. That will intimidate other churches to either agree with her, or self-censor out of fear.
That is an abuse of power.
h/t Joshua Trevino