Texas seems to have a lot of conservative beliefs and principals that might be hard to understand in more liberal states, but the Dallas- adjacent community of Wylie might actually be trapped in a time warp, because their mayor is openly advocating for denying women the right to speak in church.
An e-mail written by Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue to Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester over the weekend was posted online by a political blogger, according to local NBC news affiliate DFW5. Hogue is not just the Mayor, he is also a magician and minister. I’m not sure why the former is mentioned in the piece, but it does add color to the story. As minister and mayor, Hogue was responding to a request from Forrester regarding a missionary group that wanted to “come to our next meeting and lead us in prayer before the meeting.”
Mayor Hogue agreed that the missionaries were welcome as long as “those leading the public prayer be young men.”
He says as a member of the Cottonwood Church of Christ (???) he had to stand by his beliefs, which are that women can’t lead prayer.
This is so disgusting. I am a strong young woman who plans to do many things with her voice. Eric Hogue should feel ashamed of himself. A man like that should certainly not be in politics. I feel so sorry for all the women in his life. They are human and deserve a voice pic.twitter.com/j1ohbzNhiE— Bailey (@BaileyCausey624) May 21, 2020
He then cited two Bible verses, which he says are taken very literally in his church:
“Corinthians 14:34-35: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
Timothy 2:11-12: “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.””
While he has insisted in interviews that his policy is in regards to leading prayer only, those passages are recommending silence in church for women. If we are taking them literally. Which he says he does.
But Hogue told reporters, “What I will say is a woman can do absolutely anything and everything but if we’re in a public setting, in a religious setting, the bibles teaches that she’s not to say a public prayer or to lead the singing or to deliver the sermon.”
Wait until they hear about that at Cottonwood.
Hogue seems to think people’s objection to the email is coming from political motivations. Elections for the new mayor were meant to be held in May and have been pushed until November due to COVID-19.
“I think the main thing is the budget cycle is coming up and they would like to have the new council in place. I totally get that but we are living through a pandemic,” he said. He claims he is not intending to run for re-election in November, but he certainly is extending what power he has until then, saying he will not change his mind to appease his constituents.
As for Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester, he simply says, “I don’t share those same beliefs.”
Good call, Jeff.