Pastor Jim Garlow Endorses Political Candidate at Church, Then Tells IRS, “Sue Me”

Last week, I posted about “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an event where church pastors defy the law by endorsing political candidates from the pulpits of their tax-exempt churches. (The law basically says that non-profit groups, including churches, don’t have to pay taxes — in exchange, though, they can’t endorse or campaign against specific candidates.)

The IRS ignored pastors participating in this event for years due to (what they say were) bureaucratic reasons, but they recently settled a lawsuit brought about by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and promised they would prosecute pastors who violated the law.

So what does it look like when a pastor endorses a candidate? CNN’s Sara Grossman tells us:

On Sunday, pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California stood before his congregation of more than 2,000 and told them he would be making an unusual announcement.

The pastor proceeded to warn his audience against voting for a candidate in the upcoming midterm elections who supports gay marriage and abortion, even if that candidate, Carl DeMaio, is a Republican.

Garlow told his followers he would be endorsing DeMaio’s rival, Democratic incumbent Scott Peters, representative for California’s 52nd District, to send a scathing message to Republican leadership that candidates who back abortion and gay rights are unacceptable to the party’s Christian base.

You can watch the video below. It was part of a sermon series called “Brave” (sure…) and featured an in-person message from Rick Santorum. The fun begins around the 53:00 mark:

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Celebrating Secular Invocations

The Central Florida Freethought Community put together this fantastic video showcasing the great secular invocations we’ve seen since Greece v. Galloway:

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Religious Statues in Spain Frequently Get Government Medals; a Secularist Wants To Put a Stop To That

From the You Can’t Make This Shit Up department, via the Wall Street Journal:

The latest winner of Spain’s Gold Medal of Police Merit never walked a beat or made an arrest. True, she never flinched in the face of danger. But that is because she can’t move. Reaching far outside its uniformed ranks, the Interior Ministry awarded this year’s medal to a life-size statue, Our Most Holy Mary of Love, “for sharing police values such as dedication, caring, solidarity and sacrifice.”

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Pakistani Critics Notwithstanding, Malala Yousafzai Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

The then-15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for women has been awarded the Nobel Prize.

Malala Yousafzai, now 17, survived the attack and subsequently moved to Birmingham, England, where she has continued to be an outspoken proponent of peace and human rights.

Given her emphasis on the importance of education, I like this sentence from the New York Times story:

Ms. Yousafzai was at school … when the prize was announced and was taken out of her chemistry class to be informed of the award.

No previous Nobel Prize Winner was ever in high school; Malala is the youngest recipient of the award in Nobel history.

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Rise of Radical Islam Means Catholic Church Can Grab Market Share, Anglican Bishop Suggests

You gotta love the opening line of this article from Catholic Say:

The former Church of England’s bishop of Rochester has spoken of the overriding importance of the Catholic Church’s global voice for the future of Christianity in a world threatened by Islamic militancy and secularism.

He’s right to casually mention those two threats in the same breath, all equivalent-like. Surely you’ve heard of the insurgent atheist movements all over the world whose members have been beheading people of faith, detonating bombs in trains and subway cars, and flying passenger jets into cathedrals.

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