On Thursday’s radio show, Glenn invited Pastor Jim Garlow onto the show to discuss Pulpit Freedom Sunday.The event is designed to raise awareness about the fact that pastors are not allowed to speak up about political issues from the pulpit without losing their tax-exempt status. Garlow and other pastors want to fight back against the idea that politics have no place in discussions within the church. You can catch the whole interview in the clip above from radio. Read more on these issues at TheBlaze.
Read a Rush transcript of the interview below:
GLENN: Pastor Jim Garlowe is a church in San Diego. This is a church that has stood in California and has stood against all odds and the attacks on this church are just staggering. They have tried to put this church out of business, and they’re not going to step down. He is here because he is seeing over and sheparding a program. How many years have you been doing this?
VOICE: This is only my second year.
GLENN: What the government is telling you that you can’t get involved in politics that is an out‑and‑out unconstitutional lie. They want it to be challenged in court because they know it’s unconstitutional.
VOICE: Years ago Lyndon Baines Johnson returned from Texas angry at two businessmen. They opposed him through 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. He was going through the Senate was an overhaul of the tax code. He asserted a few words called the Johnson Amendment. They didn’t have churches in mind. They had just had these two guys he was mad at. Even the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t know. So the result over all of these years pastors have backed away from fear, and people in the pew have bought into the cultural myth of separation of church and state. So pastors aren’t speaking out on issues. They bought into a cultural myth thinking as pastors we wouldn’t speak politically if we got the tax exemption. The tax exemption comes from our founding fathers. Knowing if the government can tax and they can control and the government can destroy. Based upon that separation, there have been no taxation of churches. There should be no government intrusion into the pulpit and so an entire movement has developed.
GLENN: This is really important because of everything that we’re facing now with the President, this week coming out and laying the groundwork for no blasphemy laws for Islam or any religion. Uh‑huh. The way we are moving and the press and freedom of speech is overrated, and the rest of the world doesn’t agree with it. And America needs to grow up, and starts moving the way of the rest of the world. It is if we control the speech of pulpits. The pulpits are the most important thing. Jim I know when we first met it was right before Restoring Honor in Washington D.C.. you were one of the few that stood up, and you were bold at the time, and I hadn’t seen a lot of the bold preachers or priests or rabbis. They were being quiet. Now a lot of them are standing up, and they’re not being quiet. Because they know it’s over if they don’t.
VOICE: It is over. It’s changed dramatically even the last few years. I’m amazed what has happened in the area of religious liberty. Those that are discerning know you can have religious liberty and have radicalists coming at the same time in the nation. That line is sliding very rapidly.
GLENN: I know. That’s what a church is for to tell you what the parameters are. I don’t need somebody to tell how to vote. To tell me the standard God’s standard that he holds. And then I can Judge myself. But you can’t even talk about the standard. We’re moving to a place where you can’t talk about that standard because it’s political or racist or sexist.
VOICE: The Internal Revenue Service would say that we can. Now that the people in the pew oftentimes have this wrong understanding pastor if you’re going to speak that way I’ll find myself another church. Consequently alliance of religious liberty, and hand selected 33 pastors in 2008 to intentionally challenge the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment says we cannot oppose or endorse a candidate directly or indirectly. So pastors are afraid of it. They don’t want to lose their tax exemption. They recorded their sermons, and sent them to the court. There’s a Damocles sword threatening pastors if you do this. They sent in their sermon nothing happened. In 2009 84 pastors exercised their constitutional rights but violated the Johnson Amendment which we believe is unconstitutional. And they sent their sermons. Nothing happened. The next year 2010 100 pastors did it. Last year 539 pastors did it, this year around 1,100 have signed up. We anticipate it will be around 1,500 or more masters.
GLENN: If you’re a pastor. You go to a parish and you want your priest to be involved in this what do.
VOICE: They go to pulpitfreedom.org. And October 7th is pulpit freedom Sunday. Most of us are doing it in solidarity October 7th. They can sign up at pulpitfreedom.org. This applies to a liberal left wing church. It was replies to everybody. We say there should be no governmental intrusion. They monitor our speech to see what we’re saying. We encourage people to go to pulpitfreedom.org.
GLENN: If they do this, and the Internal Revenue Service decides to go after them.
VOICE: There are 2200 attorneys prepared to defend us pro bono. It used to be the church would roll over and play dead. If a church lawyers up, the Internal Revenue Service strings it along for a couple of years and then say we’re going to close your case, and just don’t do it. The alliance defending freedom is this group of attorneys saying this is unconstitutional based on the First Amendment. We’re absolutely making it nationwide very open posting our names and sending in our sermons saying sue us, so we get this to court, and get this defined and taken care of.
GLENN: You don’t have to worry as a church you won’t have to worry about being strung along. The attorneys will do it.
VOICE: There are attorneys all across America.
GLENN: Are you going to be saying to vote for one person.
VOICE: I will walk through the biblical principles, and where the candidates stand on the issues.
GLENN: There’s nothing wrong with that.
VOICE: Any follower of Jesus Christ would not want to vote for a candidate that is defying biblical principles.
GLENN: I don’t have a problem. I do have a problem vote Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Not a legal problem. I don’t want my pastor saying that.
VOICE: If somebody doesn’t wan tto hear it that they can go to another church. We don’t want the ‑‑ the issue is who decides what a pastor says? Is it going to be the state ultimately or that pastor and the church. We’re contending ‑‑ we’re not even saying a pastor has to endorse or condemn a candidate.
GLENN: The problem is that our churches have stopped saying if you believe the Bible, I mean ‑‑ my daughter she went with a friend to a Catholic Church that’s run by a priest who is ex communicated by the Catholics. And I said did he start his own church. That’s not a Catholic Church. That’s not a Catholic Church. I don’t have a problem with you disagreeing. You want to do stuff. When you go to church I don’t understand the people that don’t buy into it. Why are you there? What are getting out of it if you can’t get somebody standing up there here’s the principle, and here’s how we apply it, and live your life according to these rules. Otherwise what are you doing? How many people do you think go to church who’re just are going there because I don’t know ‑‑ I don’t even know.
VOICE: We’re told only 9% of the people in the pew of a church know how to apply the scripture to life. And in other words have a biblical world view. 9 out of 10 do not. Are any of our communities more righteous or less righteous. We had this privilege in America for 166 years until it was taken away in 1954, and it was working very good at that time.
GLENN: Look at our world. Some things have gotten better, but a lot of things have gotten worse.
VOICE: Think what would happen if 350,000 churches would have been saying to the electorate we should be choosing the people to represent us in Washington D.C. thou shalt not steal from future generations. That’s a moral biblical issue. Our nation is in economic suicide because of a failure to follow scriptural principles.
VOICE: She’s doing well. We’re moving on this cancer journey. It’s come back seven times in five years. It’s been a long walk here. We’re moving forward. She’s having some good days recently. That’s why I’m able to be here.
GLENN: You want a good pastor or good church it’s the Garlowes in San Diego.