It may be true that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” but Jay Sekulow, the advocate for conservative religious causes, seems to have found a way. A new report alleges that Sekulow and his family have reaped millions in defending religious organizations and fighting the separation of church and state. What is clear is that his decision to fight for religious groups did not involve a vow of poverty.
The report below details how in the 1980s, “Jay Sekulow’s career was in shambles. His Atlanta-based law firm had failed, leaving him millions in debt and bankrupt.” Yet, he soon hit upon a winning course in fighting dark secular forces on behalf of religious groups. The result was both spiritually and financially transformative.
Here is the run down of payments since 1998:
$15.4 million to the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, a law firm co-owned by Jay Sekulow. According to the 2009 tax form, he owns 50 percent of CLAG. The firm was known as the Center for Law and Justice when it received some of the payments.
$5.7 million to Gary Sekulow, Jay Sekulow’s brother. He is paid for two full-time jobs — as CFO of both the American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, and Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, or CASE. In 2009, his combined compensation topped $600,000.
$2.74 million in private jet lease payments to Regency Productions, a company owned by Jay Sekulow, and PFMS, a company owned by his sister-in-law, Kim Sekulow.
$1.78 million to Regency Productions for leasing office space and media production.
$1.11 million to PFMS for administrative and media buying services.
$1.6 million to Pam Sekulow, Jay Sekulow’s wife, including a $245,000 loan from CASE, which she used to purchase a home from the charity. The balance of the loan was later forgiven over several years and reported on the 990s as income.
$681,911 to Jay Sekulow’s sons, Logan and Jordan, for media work and other duties at CASE.
Notably, various people who have done business with Sekulow continue to defend him in this article as a modest and godly man — and his side is not reflected in the article. However, the huge sums going to his children and spouse would raise concerns for any advocate — secular or religious. For full disclosure, I have met Jay and participated in panels with him. I have always found him to be civil and knowledgeable on the religion clauses.
I am now considering turning this blog into a religious advocacy site. Frankly, you bums are clearly not the right sort to be consorting with . . . if I want to retire at any reasonable time. I support free exercise rights while I believe strongly in separation. While personally fulfilling, it is far from wealth-maximizing. For that reason, the site will likely be converted in the coming days to http://www.JDs-for-Jesus.org or http://www.lawangel.org. It is true that “no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” However, a few million dollars could give me the time I need to reconcile my internal struggle in the South of France.
Source: Tennessean as first seen on ABA Journal.