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The Political Christian

by Dominin Bouck, O.P. | First Things  |  published on June 11, 2015

The “Pastor Protection” bill just breezed through the Texas House and Senate with strong bipartisan support, and should soon be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. The purpose of the bill is to enshrine in law the ability of pastors to marry those couples whom their faith allows to be married, and to deny marriage to those whom their faith does not recognize as capable of true marriage.

In a recent piece for The Hill, Regina Nippert claims that the “Pastor Protection” bill protects pastors “from the law of the land.” She uses this as evidence for her main point—the politicization of Christianity is the cause of the decline in church membership.

What Nippert leaves unsaid is one of the main causes for the passage of the “Pastor Protection” bill. This past October, Mayor Annise Parker of Houston subpoenaed sermons from several pastors in the Houston area who opposed a city ordinance that would have allowed people to choose which bathroom—male or female—they could use in a public establishment. After a public “outcry,” the subpoenas were withdrawn.