COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDW.COM) - The mayor of Wylie has admitted he doesn't believe women should lead prayers in church or during political meetings, but says people are reading more into a recent email statement than they should.
Mayor Eric Hogue's opinions came to light after a member of the Wylie City Council sent him an email asking if a group of students could lead the public prayer at the next council meeting. The kids, all members of "Youth with a Mission", had apparently been walking around praying for the city and it's citizens.
Hogue cited two verses from the New Testament of the bible as his reasoning, replying, "All I ask is that those leading the public prayer be young men." He then went on to quote 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, which he said states: "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."
Hogue said that as a preacher for the Cottonwood Church of Christ he takes that Corinthians verse and another out of the book of Timothy saying, 'women learn in silence with all subjection', very seriously.
When contacted by CBS 11 News Hogue he explained that people alternate choosing who gives the city council invocation, but when the choice is his, based on his beliefs, he always picks a man.
"Yes, there have been multiple women that have led the prayers," he said. "There have been people of multiple religious.... types of religion lead the invocation."
When asked if his views, coupled with his recent actions, were discriminatory Hogue said, "I did not intend to try and step on anybody's toes or upset anybody. I stated my opinion... that's what it was. When a lady has showed up [to pray at the council meeting], when a different religion that's not Christian has showed up I've always shown the respect that they deserve. But I still have my opinion, just as everyone else does."
The Mayor said he understands about rights and religious freedoms, but it doesn't change his point of view or what he believes.
Hogue has been the top leader in the City of Wylie for 12 years.
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