Rick Scarborough, who pioneered the “Patriot Pastor” machine in Texas, offered Values Voter Summit activists a sermon-like exhortation for pastors to get their churches more involved in politics. “I am convinced what is missing in the culture war is the involvement of pastors,” said Scarborough, who quit his church in 2002 to work as an activist full-time. According to Scarborough, “America is dying” because “the church is sleeping” during high-stakes political campaigns — specifically, he called attention to the upcoming referendum on a total abortion ban in South Dakota (where “the forces of hell have marched in with their millions of dollars”) and a referendum on stem-cell research in Missouri, where he has been holding rallies since July.
Scarborough warned of what he believes he is facing: ruthless corporations bent on destroying America for profit. “What drives the abortion industry, what drives the gambling industry, what drives the embryonic stem-cell industry is money. … They will kill you if they have to to maintain their trade of evil.”
Scarborough said that “The leading edge of the culture war is in Missouri and South Dakota,” and he warned that, even though “we’re living in the last days,” if “the people pull the lever and approve of abortion and approve of creating to kill, then we may have stepped over the line” with God.
He called on pastors to disregard concerns about political activists not being tax exempt, and said, referring to Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, “God is looking for courageous men who will look the Devil in the eye and say, ‘Shoot me if you will, but I’m not going to stop!'”
And, echoing a previous fundraising pitch for his newly-formed political action group (a 501(c)4 non-profit classed to advocate for or against legislation), he said (somewhat melodramatically, given that the issue is whether donations are tax-deductible or not):
I’ll go to prison before I quit preaching about what I believe to be the moral issues of our day. If that means we have to burn our 501(c)3s, let’s burn ’em!