HOUSTON, Texas — A prominent Houston pastor is getting some backlash after comments he made during one of his sermons this weekend.
Dr. Ed Young with Houston's Second Baptist Church called the bond issue in Harris County a possible result of “left-wing progressives in office," and that’s not sitting well with the Democratic Party.
Houston pastor Dr. Ed Young is focusing a new sermon series on what he’s calling “The Church Awake," described on the Second Baptist website as a way to learn how a church awake to the biblical truth can overcome a woke culture.
“Houston in all probability right now is the most dangerous city in America to live in," Dr. Young said in the sermon.
Dr. Young reads off a list of numbers, which he says details rising crime in Houston and Harris County.
“You see any difference when you put left-wing progressives in office?” Dr. Young said in the sermon. “If Houston and Harris County is to survive, we had better throw those bums out of office, they are not doing the job that we have called them to.”
Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party Odus Evbagharu said Dr. Young's sermon crosses the line, politically.
"'Vote these bums out' and talking about 'the left-wing progressive,' that’s already crossing the line because the opposite of that is voting for Republicans," Evbagharu said.
The reason it could be an issue is that as a church, Second Baptist and Dr. Young have to follow certain rules to maintain their tax-exempt status.
Under those rules, the IRS says, “organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."
“The organization may not intervene in a political campaign. That’s exactly what he did when he’s telling folks to vote for one particular side," Evbagharu said.
But Dr. Young has been in political hot water before. Back in 2018, he called Democrats "some kind of religion that is basically godless" during an impromptu speech at an election watch party.
“He is clearly coming very close. Ed Young is a well-known and experienced member of the clergy, and he knows exactly what he’s doing," KHOU Political Analyst Bob Stein said.
Stein says he’s not sure Dr. Young said enough Sunday to have the tax-exempt status stripped, but says a complaint can still be filed with the IRS, one of the options Evbagharu says they are looking at.
"In the clear presence of being in church and in front of his congregation, this is a clear violation of the church tax guide from the IRS," Evbagharu said.
Dr. Young’s sermon series happens every Sunday in person at the Woodway campus, and it is streamed online.
KHOU 11 have reached out to Dr. Young and Second Baptist Church, but they have declined to comment.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner responded to this story we shared on our social media platforms and said, "Houston is not the most dangerous city in America. That is factually not true and people should not saying it to gain some political benefit. Facts from the pulpit should matter."