Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, his son Alan, and Mike Huckabee are joining other speakers at a Houston rally defending religious freedom after the city issued subpoenas earlier this month demanding a several pastors turn over sermons dealing with LGBT issues.
Christians and conservatives nationwide have been rallying to protest what many believe is a violation of the ministers’ First Amendment rights, including actor Chuck Norris, who published a piece in Townhall entitled “Houston, We Have a (1st Amendment) Problem.”
“If the city attorney and Mayor Annise Parker need a primer on the First Amendment, then let them know that America’s founders drafted it even to protect the political speech of preachers!” Norris wrote.
The Inquisitr reported recently that the mayor of Houston had backed down on the demand for the sermons after the backlash caused by the subpoenas.
However, according to the Washington Times, the subpoenas still order the pastors to turn over emails, texts, and other communications with church members on topics such as the mayor, homosexuality, and gender identity.
The city’s requests are being challenged in court by attorneys for the pastors.
A large event scheduled for November 2, “I Stand Sunday,” which will take place at Grace Community Church in Houston, was organized to support the pastors and “the freedom to live out our faith free of government intrusion or monitoring,” according to the event website.
Duck Commander Phil Robertson has been mum so far – at least publicly – on his opinion of the city’s demands. Perhaps the backlash against him and the Duck Dynasty Empire after he expressed his views on homosexuality in the past have made him a bit cautious, but with Robertson’s outspoken history that is doubtful. For whatever reason he has withheld his views, but considering that his religious beliefs are well known and the fact that he and other Duck Dynasty family members have quite a following among conservatives, his presence at the rally is a feather in the organizers’ caps.
Huckabee, on the other hand, has been vocal in his objections to the city’s demands, saying that the Houston mayor’s actions are a forewarning of the potential threat to freedom of religion by government officials pushing “gender-neutrality.”
“When pastors in Houston, Texas, are told, ‘Give me your papers, correspondence with church members, sermon notes, church bulletins,’ this is truly unsettling, It could be what the mayor of Houston has done unwittingly is to do more to wake up people in the church pews than 100,000 pastors could have done by screaming at the top of their lungs that our culture is rapidly fading away from us.”
Other speakers joining Duck Dynasty’s Phil and Alan Robertson and Huckabee include pastors involved in the controversy and other prominent religious leaders, as well as several well-known conservative public figures including Fox News‘ Todd Starnes.
[Image via the Washington Times]