Despite the backlash that followed, Hogue defended his views and said he will not compromise his beliefs to try to appease people until his term ends in November.
The mayor of the Dallas-adjacent community of Wylie has come under severe fire for admitting that he doesn't believe women should lead prayers in church or during political meetings. Mayor Eric Hogue's prehistoric beliefs came to light after a member of the Wylie City Council sent him an email seeking permission for a group of students to lead the public prayer at the next council meeting. Hogue's response to the email, which has gone viral on social media recently, gives them permission to do so under the condition that the prayer is led by a couple of young men rather than women.
Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue cites biblical passage saying women should "keep silence in the churches." https://t.co/H8AyunoWDL— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) May 22, 2020
According to CBS 11 News, the request came from members of the Christian missionary and outreach group Youth With A Mission, who have been walking around praying for the city and its residents. Justifying his condition that only male students would be permitted to lead the prayer, Hogue cited two verses from the New Testament of the Bible which forbid women from speaking in churches. "All I ask is that those leading the public prayer be young men," he wrote. "Here is why I make that request, as a preacher for the Cottonwood Church of Christ, we take the two verses below literally."
Wylie mayor Eric Hogue admits he doesn't believe women should lead prayers in church or during political meetings, but says people are reading more into a recent email than they should. https://t.co/jxlYuielfX pic.twitter.com/9dNZOnkswz— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) May 21, 2020
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 also quoted 1 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."
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
Speaking to KXAS-TV Fort Worth about the mayor's email, Wylie resident Mary Shaddox said: "I just was flabbergasted, it's 2020. That's his right in his church and his home but he cannot bring it into a government office." Despite the backlash, Hogue defended his views in an interview with the network, saying: "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." He revealed he has only selected men to lead council meeting prayers in the 12 years that he has served as mayor.
With the power vested in me as a third-generation Wylie native, raised in First Assembly of God (where women can preach), and valedictorian of the WHS Class of 1995, I hereby pronounce you unfit to lead my hometown. #AHMOhttps://t.co/XyPlE8wXRf— Amber Benson (@AmberBenson) May 21, 2020
He further claimed the backlash is simply a politically-motivated stunt by people who are upset the May election for a new mayor had to be pushed to November due to the pandemic. Hogue, who announced earlier this year he isn't seeking re-election, reiterated that he will not compromise his beliefs to try to appease people until his term ends. Speaking to CBS 11 News, he said that while people alternate choosing who gives the city council invocation, he always picks a man when the choice is his.
Seriously? Patriarchy is alive. Not well. But alive. Wylie mayor defends belief that women shouldn’t lead public prayer https://t.co/BTpkyRJeER— Sue Bornstein (@sue_bornstein) May 22, 2020
"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 pointed out that his actions and beliefs would come across as discriminatory to others, 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 shown up [to pray at the council meeting], when a different religion that’s not Christian has shown up I’ve always shown the respect that they deserve. But I still have my opinion, just as everyone else does."