City of Houston Trying to Seize Church Property

The Housing Authority for the City of Houston is trying to use eminent domain to seize the property of two churches.

According various news sources and a lawsuit filed by two Houston area churches, the city is trying to implement an urban renewal program that involves the construction of a library and a 63-unit housing project. In order to complete the project, the city says it must obtain property owned by the Latter Day Deliverance Revival Church, a predominantly African-American congregation located in the neighborhood.

Eminent domain prevents the government from taking personal property without compensation. Traditionally, the government would work with property owners to negotiate a fair price for any property the government wishes to acquire.

In recent years, however, eminent domain powers have been applied more broadly in many contexts, forcing citizens and groups who do not necessarily wish to part with their property to do so in exchange for whatever compensation the courts deem fair. (more…)

Idaho, Houston Show Consequences of “Nondiscrimination” Ordinances

For several days we have followed two stories related to religious liberty in America.

The first is from Houston, where city officials are leaning hard on local pastors in order to get the ministers to cough up communications related to homosexuality and the city’s “nondiscrimination” ordinance.

The second is in Idaho, where–again, because of a “nondiscrimination” ordinance–two ministers face fines and jail time for declining to perform a same-sex wedding at their wedding chapel.

Both situations underscore the unintended consequences of these city ordinances. When cities start writing special protections for homosexuals and transgender people into the city code, they open people of faith to the threat of litigation and criminal prosecution.


Calling Christians to Contact the City of Houston

Eric Metaxas has released a call to action asking Christians all over America to contact the City of Houston over its attempt to intimidate local pastors who stand against the city’s new so-called “nondiscrimination” ordinance.

Metaxas asks Christians to send Houston’s mayor a Bible, sermon, or scripture. He writes,

“Won’t you please join us and send a sermon or a Bible or even a card with a scripture verse to Mayor Parker? Pray over it and send it in love. Pray that God would show Mayor Parker and every politician in America that religious freedom is sacred and we cannot allow the State to trample upon it — and by God’s grace, we won’t.

“As I’ve said, the church has to answer this mayor’s outrageous and deeply un-American action. We’ve got to forcefully remind those in government that the church in America has been free since 1776—and the Founders intended it to stay that way. And we do too.”

If you would like to contact Houston’s mayor, you can use the following address:

Mayor Parker
City Hall
901 Bagby Street
Houston, TX 77002

You can listen to Metaxas’ full call to action below.

[audio:|titles=Eric Metaxas – A Line Has Been Crossed]