File the following under Sunday Sermons That Don’t Feel Uplifting: When a woman questioned the legality of displaying political fliers at City Church in Burlington, IA, her Pastor, Steve Youngblood thundered from the pulpit that he would “like to slap her,” and that her husband should “correct her.”
“Don’t call yourself a Christian and do that,” Youngblood admonished. “We need to draw a line in the sand. We need to begin to say that at City Church this is how we’re going to be … What makes me madder is that this person’s husband won’t correct them. I don’t like rebellious women. I don’t like rebellious men, either. They’re even worse.”
According to David Pitt’s October 14th article in Des Moines Daily Register, there had been an audio recording of the sermon posted online (which since seems to have disappeared). The disputed fliers urged the recall of Iowa Supreme Court justice David Wiggins, whose vote helped overturn Iowa’s ban on gay marriage. Youngblood delivered his harsh sermon to a crowd of 150 on October 7th, which also just happened to be “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a nationwide protest by right wing churches against the 1954 law prohibiting political campaigning by tax-exempt religious institutions. The pastor reportedly concluded the service by inviting his congregants to pick up the fliers on their way out.
Pitts’ article also reports that Youngblood insisted that the fliers were not distributed in church, because services are held in the ballroom of the Hotel Burlington and the fliers were placed on a table in the foyer outside. Technically, this may be true, in the same way that technically former SC Governor Mark Sanford did not really call President Obama a “spear-chucker” on Fox News, he just said that he would be “throwing spears” at the next Presidential Debate.
The anonymous woman tipped off a pro-Wiggins organization via their facebook page, which contacted the Interfaith Alliance, which filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has not commented on this matter.