Fiery Pastor Vows to Keep Campaign Signs After West Des Moines, Waukee Voters Give Ward GOP Nod
Mullen: When life and politics intersect pastors “should take the freedom to speak the truth.”
Jeff Mullen, whose inaugural foray into politics ended when Senate District 22 Republicans chose Sen. Pat Ward to represent them on the November ballot, says he’s not packing up his campaign signs just yet.
Mullen, the lead pastor at the non-denominational Waukee Point of Grace Church, didn’t speculate if he’ll take his Bible-based campaign to voters in an independent run, but said politics is now part of “the fabric of my life.”
“I’m going to take the day off,” he said in a phone interview with Patch on Wednesday. “The experience was so good, I’ll never hesitate to sign on. I’ll be saving my signs.”
Mullen said he’s proud of the race – criticized as misleading by Ward – he and his supporters ran.
“We ran well,” he said. “We shared different points of view and brought some clarity to a lot of people. I’m very proud of the people who helped me. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose.”
Mullen said he convinced several first-time primary voters to participate in the process and thinks they’ll remain active through the remainder of the 2012 election cycle and beyond.
“They realized how critical primary voting is and now understand the importance of the primary,” he said. “I’m excited to stay fully engaged in the community and political process. To me, it’s just part of the journey.
“This was such a great experience,” he said. “I learned so much, I know it’s part of the fabric of my life. I will be engaged, and I will be engaging a lot of people in the future, whether in the hundreds or thousands.”
Mullen, who said the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage propelled him into politics, thinks that when issues such as same-sex marriage and reproductive rights intersect with public policy, candidates are obligated to “speak the truth of God.” He dismisses arguments that doing so violates a constitutional separation of church and state and says it’s “a lie that has been perpetuated in our nation.”
He said pastors live under the presumed threat that their churches will lose their IRS non-profit status if they address faith-based politics from the pulpit.
“Of all the pastors in all the countries who have ever spoken in regard to politics in any way, none has ever lost the 501(c)3 status,” Mullen said. “Pastors should just take the freedom to speak the truth.”
“As I was running, I was asked, ‘Will you bring your beliefs to the Capitol?’” Mullen said. “My answer was, ‘Of course, I will.’ The reality is that we all bring a belief system with us, whether it’s all about you, which means you’re a hedonist, or the word of God in the Bible.”