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The Family Research Council Does a 180

Lee Phillips
October 15th, 2014

The Family Research Council is a Christian political organization mainly engaged in using shoddy research to malign homosexuals. Another thing they don’t like is Thomas Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state: “One of the greatest deceptions ever perpetrated upon modern America has been through the myth of the ‘Wall of Separation between Church and State.’” That’s the FRC talking.

But now they’ve changed their minds about Jefferson’s wall. They seem not only to be of the new-found opinion that it exists, but they’re rather fond of it. In fact, Tony Perkins, the head of the FRC, recently bitterly complained that “The state is breaching the wall of separation between church and state.”

Yes, they are, in a way, and Perkins and the FRC are right to be outraged. The state in question is Texas. Well, it’s not the whole state – just Houston. That city has subpoenaed a parcel of pastors to turn over a pack of sermons and “communications” with their parishioners that might happen to mention any one of a plenitude of topics.

I know, Fox. I assumed this was totally slanted and something crucial was left out of the reporting. One Google session later and I’m satisfied that the story was fairly presented. Houston and its mayor have stepped way over the line and are abusing their authority and the legal process, bullying a group of pastors with whom they have a political difference of opinion. And the FRC is rallying to their defense, bringing to bear all weapons, even invoking principles which until now they claimed did not exist.

I hope after this case is resolved and the Houston city government has lost that the FRC and their friends will not return to their previous position. I encourage them to pause and consider before they resume the cheering on of state-supported religion. The principles of secular government established by our founding fathers are not articles of foul weather gear to be slipped on when the storms are against you and cast aside when the sun comes out. Intelligent clergy and religious people support Jefferson’s wall, because they know that the blending of political power with any church is a threat to religious freedom, as well as to the freedom to be nonreligious. They know that the logical conclusion is Saudi Arabia. You’re on the right track, FRC. You don’t want to live in a place where the feds chop off your head for practicing sorcery. Stay the course. Read some Jefferson. Educate yourselves.

The inevitable

Update 30 Oct. 2014 : The mayor has withdrawn her subpoenas. The article in the Houston Chronicle quotes University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, a “specialist in religious liberty law,” on the subpoenas: “There was so little that seemed relevant and legitimate”.

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