Rafael Cruz, the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is joining David Barton in spreading blatant mistruths about San Antonio’s revised Nondiscrimination Ordinance. That ordinance now bars discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Barton told hundreds of pastors gathered in Austin earlier this month that the ordinance bars anyone who criticizes homosexuality and same-sex marriage from serving on the San Antonio City Council. That is an outright falsehood.
But now Cruz claims that the ordinance allows pastors to be fined for criticizing homosexuality. Our friends at Right Wing Watch quote Cruz speaking on a conference call last week for the right-wing group Tea Party Unity:
“All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration. All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said.”
As Right Wing Watch points out, some interpret Romans 1 as a condemnation of homosexuality.
Rick Scarborough, the East Texas pastor who founded Tea Party Unity, joined Cruz on the call in trying to scare pastors. Scarborough claimed that the “lesbian mayor of Houston” will impose a similar “sanctions [on pastors] if they preach the Bible.”
First, the San Antonio ordinance in no way bars pastors from preaching against homosexuality. The claim that they would be fined for doing so is false. Moreover, Mayor Annise Parker’s proposed new Equal Rights Ordinance in Houston, which also includes nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people as well as others, includes no such penalties for pastors who preach against homosexuality.
Cruz, Scarborough and Barton, along with other religious-righters, are simply making stuff up in a fear-mongering, misinformation campaign — a campaign that is as unsurprising (coming from them) as it is repugnant.
2 thoughts on “Rafael Cruz Falsely Claims San Antonio Will Fine Pastors Who Preach Against Homosexuality”
Well, Dan. Because they are obviously prone to hysteria and lies, I am going to throw them some more historical meat to chew on, which will likely raise the hysteria to even greater heights.
The major thing that is at issue here is the same thing that was at issue in the 1950s and early 1960s (Civil Rights Movement). They would call it the basic, universal human right of “Free Association.” This means that every man and woman has a God-given right to choose whom they will and will not associate with in society. The most commonly heard version of that 50 years ago was, “I hate them dirty rotten chiggers and want absolutely nothing to do with them. It jist ain’t right to pass a law that forces a man to hire them at his business, eat with them, pee in the same restroom with them,and eat next to them in a restaurant. Hit jist ain’t right. A man should have complete freedom to do whatever he wishes with what belongs to him.”
The racists in Nashville were heavily into that mantra, but a really strange thing inevitably happened as a result of this—and I witnessed it first hand with my racist uncle. When the chiggers suddenly had all of these new rights and it was clear that the feds were going to fall on them like a ton of bricks at the first sniff of a civil rights violation, the chigger-haters became very afraid. Then a strange evolution occurred over the ensuing 10 years.
In the eyes of the racists, the chigger slowly became the SINGLE MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH. If someone was swiping money from the cash register on the sly, one had to proceed very carefully. If it was a white person, it was easy to go ahead and fire them. If it turned out to be a chigger, the racist and nonracist business owner alike froze in place and thought, “If I fire this person, they will forget all about the theft and say that I fired them solely because they are a chigger—it’ll be all over the newspapers—and my business will be ruined. The only thing safe for me to do is keep on absorbing the lost and keep the cashier hired. Various versions of this same story came up in other business and societal contexts by the thousands. With each one, the chigger became (in their minds) the SINGLE MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH.
They found positive ways to use it too. My uncle was the manager in a popular city tourist venue that had 1 million visitors a year. For its entire existence, it never had an admission fee. Then the city mulled over charging an admissions fee. My racist uncle was opposed to it bitterly and said, “If they try to impose this thing, I will go over into North Nashville and tell every chigger family in that area that the city is going to use an admission feel to wall out their chigger children out from visiting the popular venue. Why? Because in his eyes and many other people’s eyes, the chigger people had become the MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH.
I fully expect the same natural and inevitable evolution to occur in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and other Texas cities and towns as LGBT people win their rights to be treated with the same fairness and civil decency as other human beings. The LGBT man and woman is about to become the MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH in the eyes of Texas bigots, and they will do the same things that the white bigots did in Nashville in the 1970s. They will cower in abject fear at the possibility of a negative social interaction with the MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH—LGBT men and women.
Those of us on the sidelines will watch with humor as they hang by their necks with their own self-made ropes of hatred and twist in the high winds of social change. This need not be if they would just go back to the Genesis parable and realize that all human beings are imperfect and sinful in one way or another, that we are all made differently, and that we are all brothers sisters in the family of Adam and Eve, and family members treat each other with love and respect, even when we might not like all of their warts and moles.
Maybe if the pastors of SA (and Houston)believe this, they will stop preaching hate from their pulpits. God works in mysterious ways.