Garlow Announces First Annual "Ruben Diaz Courage Award"

Jim Garlow has recently become a leading figure in promoting the Alliance Defense Fund's "Pulpit Initiative" which encourages pastors to challenge the IRS by speaking on political issues during their sermons and endorsing candidates.

On the ADF's "Speak Up" blog, a post appeared the other day announcing that Garlow would be hosting a "webinar" today to promote the effort that would feature New York state Senator Ruben Diaz, one of the most consistently vociferous anti-gay leaders operating today.

The post has since been removed, but we retained a copy of it in which Diaz was hailed as perhaps "the most courageous pastor in America":

Who is the most courageous pastor in America? There are likely many candidates for this title, but I would nominate Pastor Ruben Diaz of New York City. After you hear what he stands for and what he has endured, you might want to nominate him, too.

But more importantly, you have the privilege of hearing him in a special nationwide webinar for pastors (from either your phone or your computer) this Wednesday, August 31 at 9 AM Pacific, 10 AM Mountain, 11 AM Central, 12 Noon Eastern.

Ruben serves as pastor of, the Christian Community Neighborhood Church in New York City, in the Bronx. But there is more. He is a New York State Senator. But there is even more. Prior to being a Senator, he served on the New York City Council, winning the election 79% to 22%, the only ordained minister serving on the council.

But there is yet even more. In liberal New York City, he is 100% pro-life, one of very few – if not the only – Democrat State Senator to hold to the biblical position.

And – as you would expect – yes, there is even more. Pastor Diaz has fought hard for traditional, natural marriage, the only Democrat to stand for one man-one woman marriage in bitterly fought legislative battles year after year.

But Pastor Diaz stood – like a rock. And he has paid dearly.

Bottom line: (1) he may well be the most courageous pastor in America, and (2) you can hear him in a pastors webinar interview the Wednesday, August 31.

Today, we listened in to the webinar where Jim Garlow positively gushed over Diaz and announced that he would be the first recipient of the first annual "Ruben Diaz Courage Award" from the Newt Gingrich-founded Renewing American Leadership organization:

Garlow: You know that I am so impressed with your story and there's all kind of details that we can't go into right now. But I'm so impressed with how you have stood that an organization that I'm chairman of in Washington DC called Renewing American Leadership - as soon as we can, I hope in the next few week - I'm going to be with you in New York City and I want to present to you what I think is the first annual Ruben Diaz Courage Award that will go to elected officials each year who are willing to withstand the tide of public pressure to stand for moral and biblical issues. But you are modeling something that is such a huge encouragement to us ...

Diaz: I'm honored and humbled to hear you say that. I'm praying and waiting for that day so that I can meet you and hug you and praise the Lord together.

Garlow: I think anyone listening sees why Ruben Diaz has an award named after him. I'm going to be presenting the first annual to him, the Ruben Diaz Courage Award. Senator Diaz, we bless you, we love you, it's a joy to know you this way and I'll look forward to meeting you in person.

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