“All I ask is that those leading the public prayer be young men,” Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue wrote in an email to a member of the City Council who requested an invocation from members of a student group called Youth With a Mission, according to local media.
“I just was flabbergasted,” one of his constituents, Mary Shaddox, told KXAS-TV Fort Worth. “It’s 2020.”
Hogue wrote that he takes the Bible literally and cited two biblical passages forbidding women to speak in church.
He noted that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 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.”
And he said 1 Timothy 2:11-12 warns:
“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.”
KXAS noted that in Hogue’s 12 years as mayor, he has never selected a woman to read the invocation. However, he told the local CBS station that he hasn’t stopped women from delivering the invocation when they were selected by others.
“Yes, there have been multiple women that have led the prayers,” he said, adding that he has always been respectful “when a lady has showed up.”
He told WFAA-TV, the Dallas ABC station, that he believes women can serve as president, CEO and school superintendent... but not preacher.
“If you attend Church of Christ, there will not be a female preacher. There will not be a female song leader. There will not be a female that leads the prayer,” Hogue told the WFAA, but he said there are “ladies that teach other ladies” as well as children’s classes.
Hogue is not running for reelection, but a local conservative Facebook group called Befuddled by the Clowns said the city shouldn’t wait for a new election and urged Hogue to step down.