Evangelical megachurches across San Diego, Calif., are joining Catholics on Sunday to make a public outcry against abortion in their first ever joint pro-life rally.
The demonstration, which will take place after the multiple worship services that typically take place at megachurches, is being held on the same day President Barack Obama will take the stage at the University of Notre Dame to deliver the commencement speech.
While the San Diego rally is fundamentally a pro-life rally, the undertone of the event is "a statement to the president that the killing of babies must come to an end," Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church told The Christian Post.
Garlow, along with thousands of Catholics, believes the University of Notre Dame is violating its Roman Catholic values by awarding Obama with an honorary doctor of laws degree.
"We join with many in noting this moment of deception and shame," Garlow said.
The Skyline Church pastor is not new to the cultural wars scene.
Last year, his 2,500-member church actively rallied California congregations to help pass Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
This year, he called up his busy "evangelical friends" to create a "powerful new force" to the pro-life movement. And at a moment's notice, Garlow noted, they hopped on board.
"I'm amazed," Garlow said. "I have not seen this willingness to be active and speak out for about 20 years."
"I have not seen this kind of concern over the pro-life cause."
The cause for concern and urgent sentiment, the San Diego pastor believes, is President Obama's recent pro-abortion actions, including the repeal of the Mexico City Policy which banned federal funding for international groups that perform or promote abortions.
"With President Obama releasing the floodgates of abortion and murder of children, it has caused a national shift in public opinion," Garlow noted, noting the recent Pew Research and Gallup polls that show a majority of Americans now identify as pro-life over pro-choice.
"While the pro-life cause has lost in the courts, lost in the halls of Congress, and lost in the White House, the American conscience is recognizing abortion for what it is: murder," he stated. "And a public outcry is mounting."
Although Obama has expressed commitment to reduce abortions, many evangelical pastors are not satisfied.
"It's like saying 'ten people were unjustly killed but since I dropped it to four people, it makes me better,'" Garlow said. "A murderer is still a murderer."
On Sunday, congregants from Skyline, The Rock Church, Shadow Mountain Church, Horizon Church, New Venture Christian Fellowship, and East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church will rally in front of the San Diego County Administration Building. There, participants will hear live reports from the Notre Dame campus where protests and arrests are ongoing and where some 40 graduating seniors will hold their own gathering in opposition to Obama speaking.
"I believe the Bible mandates that we speak out on the truth," Garlow stressed. "We're not commanded to be silent, but to speak the truth and boldly, not only hidden in pulpits but openly on the streets."
"That's the nature of Old Testament prophets and what Christ did," he added. "He'd be speaking out against abortion as a horrible, unjust treatment."