Wylie Mayor Defends Religious Belief That Only Men Should Lead Public Prayer

In an email, the Mayor of Wylie said only men should lead the prayer at council meetings and cited two bible verses about women remaining silent.

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The mayor of Wylie is defending himself after an e-mail he wrote to a city council member over the weekend.

As a magician, minister, and mayor of Wylie, Eric Hogue wears many hats.

Over the weekend, his roles as minister and mayor met as seen in an email obtained by a political blogger then posted online.

“I just was flabbergasted, it's 2020,” said Mary Shaddox, a Wylie resident who saw the post.

The email exchange began Thursday when a Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester asked Mayor Hogue if a local missionary group could “come to our next meeting and lead us in prayer before the meeting.”

Mayor Hogue agrees saying with one stipulation: "...that those leading the public prayer be young men."

“I am a Church of Christ preacher and I am a member of the Church of Christ and we take the new testament literally,” Mayor Hogue said.

In the email, Mayor Hogue quotes a bible verse that says: "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."

“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,” Mayor Hogue said.

"I don't share those same beliefs," said Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester.

In his 12 years as mayor, Hogue said he's only selected men to lead council meeting prayers.

Wylie resident Mary Shaddox disagrees with his beliefs.

“That's his right in his church and his home but he cannot bring it into a government office,” Shaddox said.

Mayor Hogue said this is all politically-motivated by people upset the May election of a new mayor had to be pushed back to November because of the pandemic.

“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.

Mayor Hogue announced earlier this year he isn't seeking re-election.

Until his term expires in November, he said he will not compromise his beliefs to try to appease people.

Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester told NBC 5 he doesn’t share the same religious beliefs as Mayor Hogue.

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