"This has to be a joke," he told Fox News on Sunday about his initial reaction. "This cannot be happening in America."
But once Metaxas got deeper into the subject, he said he knew "a bold red line" had been crossed. "If there was ever a time to throw the tea into the harbor, this is it," Metaxas told Fox News.
The subpoenas involve sermons that may focus on homosexuality or Houston’s contentious equal rights ordinance supported by Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. While Parker had seemed to back down from the wording in the subpoenas, calling the language overly broad, the controversy appears far from over.
And beyond the widespread outrage over what seems like a strike against religious freedom in America, Metaxas sees "chilling" parallels with the social and political climate of 1930s Germany. That time and place is the backdrop to his best-selling book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian leader who was jailed and later executed for plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
"It's a shocking thing," he said of the similarities to what's happening in Houston, adding that "everyone in America should be freaking out."
"If we tolerate this kind of abrogation of religious freedom in this nation, all of our liberties will be unraveled," Metaxas continued. "It is that serious. America needs to wake up. The church, especially, needs to know that this is a huge trampling of something that the Founders said was at the heart of all of our liberties."
Here's the clip: