Iowa: Mobilizing Pastors To Remove Judges

Yesterday we noted how Rick Scarborough of Vision America was mobilizing pastors across Texas to help Republicans win the upcoming mid-term elections and now, via the Iowa Independent, we see that similar efforts are underway in Iowa as part of the right-wing effort to vote out three Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality:

A pastor from Waukee is wading into the retention election for three Iowa Supreme Court justices, asking religious leaders around the state to inform their congregations about “out of control” judges. But some contend the effort is actually encouraging churches to violate federal tax law.

Jeff Mullen, senior pastor of Point of Grace Church in Waukee, has launched, a site that aims to “build strategic partnerships to mobilize Pastors and Congregations to pray effectively and to vote righteously.” The site, along with its sister site – — focuses almost exclusively on the judicial retention vote. A disclaimer on the sites says they are “not associated with any other organization.”

Mullen and church officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But in a video posted on the site, Mullen takes direct aim at the judges, pointing specifically at the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in April 2009 that legalized same-sex marriage. And while he never specifically says pastors should encourage their congregations to vote “no” on retention, it’s clear he disagrees with the court’s decision.

“Our freedoms are in peril today because of judges. Not legislators, but judges,” Mullen said, later adding: “Inform your congregation about the importance of the judicial retention election and what it means to turn the ballot over and vote their values.”

Mullen is distributing voter guides put together by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a state affiliate of Ralph Reed new organization, and also appears to have partnered with Iowa Renewal Project, which is an American Family Association-backed effort that supported Mike Huckabee during the GOP primary: