Recap of Life, Marriage, and Family Rally


…so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 

Isaiah 55:11

Over 250 Iowans came to the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday to claim that promise found in the book of Isaiah.  With the support of over 130 churches from all across the state, every Iowa legislator received their own personalized copy of The Founders’ Bible.  Over 80 churches were represented in person during the Rally and Bible presentations.

Watch the highlight video (5 min)!

See the photo gallery on Facebook

We are getting very positive feedback from several legislators who have started reading the Bible, which incorporates numerous accounts of our Founders, and their reliance on the Bible when they laid our country’s foundation.

In addition to the Bible project, we hosted Dr. Del Tackett, author and teacher of The Truth Project, and possibly the top worldview expert in the world.  Dr. Tackett met with about 25 legislators for breakfast at 7:30 Tuesday morning.  Several legislators had to leave briefly to participate in the gaveling in of the House, but they quickly returned to learn more from Dr. Tackett. 

Watch the video of Del’s presentation

Afterwards, those attending the Rally met at the Iowa State Historical Building to hear from Bob Vander Plaats and Del Tackett.  Dr. Tackett then participated in the Bible presentations, and spent time visiting with legislators, the Governor, and Rally attendees.  He was most gracious with his time, and greatly added to the experience.  We are humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of support we witnessed at the Rally and the day at the Capitol.   

The FAMiLY LEADER team gives thanks and praise to God for His blessing this week.  We are honored to have been a part of spreading God’s word, while encouraging all members of the General Assembly in their service.  We look forward to seeing what God’s word “will accomplish.”

An Open Letter to Rekha Basu

Dear Rehka,

Thanks for expressing your and the extreme Left’s view in your open letter to Dick and Betty Odgaard of The Gortz Haus. Not surprisingly, we see the world and, specifically, the unfortunate circumstances surrounding The Gortz Haus in Grimes very differently.

Late last year, you recommended that we seek civil discussion with those whom we disagree. Let’s discuss. 

Dick and Betty Odgaard, owners of the Gortz Haus, are like many Iowans who own a small business. They follow their passion, while utilizing their talents and gifts, offering distinct services and goods to the broader community. The days begin early and many end late. While Iowa is blessed with many large businesses, we should never forget that it is small business owners like the Odgaards who are the main backbone and economic engine of our communities, states, and country.

The key here is that The Gortz Haus is a private enterprise located on private property owned by the Odgaards. In no way should they have to abandon their faith and its principles when operating a business. And, they have every right to refuse service to anyone when they see a violation, either private or public of their faith. This is their “right” to conscience. We call this Religious Liberty guaranteed by our First Amendment. I believe there was a Supreme Court case last year of some notoriety involving Hobby Lobby that recently reaffirmed this concept.

Homosexuals can seek service at multiple locations in the metro. They targeted the Gortz Haus so they could make a point, act like martyrs, and scream discrimination.

The Gortz Haus also offers dinner theatres at their location. Following your logic, if a theatric production laced with profanity and nudity desired to use their facility, they should be forced to remain quiet and surrender their beliefs to their venue’s undesired use – otherwise, of course, get fined and be forced to end another revenue arm of their business.

To further illustrate this point, and to add to your “progressive and evolving” interpretation of “live and let live”, should the owners of a kosher meat locker be forced by state law to abandon their Jewish faith and commence the slaughtering and processing of non-kosher animals? The list of similar examples is endless, but I believe you get the point.

I believe the majority of Iowans, and all of the nation’s Founders recognize(d) the absurdity of this logic. In addition to the Founders’ deep commitment to religious liberty, I believe John Locke, one of the philosophers who most influenced the Framers, would add that this is an abuse of the Odgaard’s private property rights. He frequently wrote about freedom being linked to private property and those rights being a critical pillar of human freedom. According to your/the extreme Left’s philosophy, people’s property rights should conform to your evolving terms, or be subject to severe penalty.

Anyone who has ever met the Odgaards or transacted business at The Gortz Haus, knows they are two of the most upstanding and servant-hearted people anyone will have the privilege of meeting. I believe most Iowans and Americans recognize what’s truly going on here; targeted manipulation forcing those who disagree with, or remain silent towards, an extreme agenda to either conform or to cease.

You frequently advocate for the abandonment of basic morality and common sense values for the sake of “live and let live.” Yet when the Odgaards and thousands of other business owners in Iowa want to really live out what they believe, typically adhering to moral and timeless values, you believe they should be punished. So, it’s not about “live and let live”…your advocated new norm is, “embrace the Left’s definition of morality and conform!”

Frankly, Rehka, I’d like to assume you’re a better journalist than what your open letter to the Odgaards represents and I’d also like to assume the Left is better than this. Unfortunately, this public correspondence is a sad reality– a disturbing trend of government forcing all business owners and private individuals to abuse and bury our “freedoms,” versus honoring and protecting our liberties.

I invite and look forward to further conversation on this issue…maybe, over coffee…



Gortz Haus : TFL’s Official Statement

The FAMiLY LEADER’s official statement:​

It is a sad day in America when businesses suffer due to not performing a function that violates their religious conscience. This further illustrates the left’s direct assault on all of those who disagree with their extreme agenda. This is why The FAMiLY LEADER will be actively searching for candidates in 2016 who embrace the highest standard, which is the “Law of Nature and of Nature’s God”. And who will fully defend and advocate for our First Amendment Rights of religious liberty. Truly, a sad day in Iowa. As we have stated frequently – for those who desire to stay out of this debate, you will be made to care!

First round freedom win for Iowa, Mich. Christian colleges against HHS mandate

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A federal court issued an order Wednesday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s HHS mandate against two Christian colleges: Dordt College in Iowa and Cornerstone University in Michigan.

ADF attorneys represent the colleges in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s mandate that forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions and under threat of heavy penalties, to provide insurance coverage for pills and procedures that many Christians oppose. The two colleges object to the government’s conclusion that they are not sufficiently religious to qualify for the extremely narrow religious exemption from the mandate.

“Christian colleges should remain free to operate according to their defining beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor. “Under this mandate, religious employers have no real choice: they must either comply and abandon their religious freedom, or resist and be taxed for their faith. If the government can force Christian colleges to act contrary to their deeply-held religious convictions, then the government can do just about anything. The court was right to block enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate.”

The lawsuit, Dordt College v. Sebelius, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Western Division, argues that the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as the First and Fifth amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

“With full knowledge that many religious organizations hold the same or similar beliefs, the Defendants issued regulations that…trample on the freedom of the Schools and millions of other American organizations and individuals to abide by their religious convictions and comply with moral imperatives they believe are decreed by God Himself,” the lawsuit states, adding that the mandate “illegally and unconstitutionally coerces the Schools to violate” those imperatives “under threat of heavy fines and penalties.”

The lawsuit also points out that “the government has provided thousands of exemptions…for various groups, such as large corporations, but refuses to exempt most religious groups from this unprecedented Mandate. Moreover, the Mandate does not apply to countless ‘grandfathered’ employer group health plans, through which millions of American women receive health insurance coverage, belying any contention that the Mandate advances some compelling government interest.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating 19 other lawsuits against the mandate. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.

source: ADF Press release

Iowa Caucus Information

The 2014 Iowa Caucuses will be held on January 21, 2014 at 7 p.m.  This caucus is going to be a crucial one.  This may be one of the most important caucuses we have ever had, even though Iowans won’t be casting their votes for president. The FAMiLY LEADER and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition understand the importance of the 2014 caucuses and because of that, we have decided to partner together to ensure that our pro-family values like life, marriage, religious liberty, etc. are elevated and defended.

Why is it crucial for Christians to attend the Iowa caucuses and stand up to defend God’s plan for life and the family? 

There are those out there who are working to undermine the values that we all hold dear. They see them as unwinnable issues and want to remove them as values that either party upholds. Bottom line, they want to compromise and conform to the patterns of this world rather than seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

Marriage will be under attack more than it ever has been before. There will be an effort to have both parties in favor of homosexual marriage. If both parties fail to stand for marriage and other pro-family values, it will become extremely difficult for both The FAMiLY LEADER and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition to further these values at the legislative level.  Do not sit idly behind this caucus cycle just because there is no vote for president. If you do, you might wake up to a country where no major political party will stand up for our values.



To help prepare you for the Iowa Caucuses, The FAMiLY LEADER and the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition are offering a caucus training video offered below.   The training will equip you with everything you need to know before the Iowa Caucuses on January 21st.

It is extremely important for Christian conservatives to show up to the caucuses to protect the freedom-loving, constitutional values we all hold dear.  Issues like life and marriage will be under attack this caucus cycle. Therefore, your engagement in the process will be necessary to defend our beliefs.

In the video, we address questions like:

  • Where do I go to caucus?
  • What is this caucus and how does it differ from a presidential caucus?
  • Why is it important for me to attend?
  • What happens when I get there?

We invite you to invest your time to view the video and more importantly, we hope you can attend the 2014 Iowa Caucuses.  Your can make a difference for this generation and the next!


1. Find your precinct at the Secretary of State website

2. Find where your precinct will meet: Iowa GOP or Iowa Democrat Party

3. Watch this training video (60 min):

2014 Iowa Caucuses powerpoint

4. Platform Planks


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Debunking the Myth of Overpopulation

Anne Roback Morse and Steven W. Mosher posted a terrific (readable for the average person) article on the Population Research Institute website about three reasons the overpopulation myth is bunk.

You need to check it out.  Why, you ask?  Because the “myth of overpopulation” is the under’lying’ idea which drives, or is used as justification, for all sorts of atrocities such as abortion, euthanasia, radical and intrusive climate policies, child limits and sterilization policies.

So why does The FAMiLY LEADER care?  For several good reasons:

1.  Bad policies have a direct impact on the lives of people.

Believing a lie is bad enough.  But when people with the authority of the government start acting on those lies, it can have terrible consequences.  Euthanasia and abortion kills life, environmental policies can make energy and transportation expensive for struggling families, just to name a few.

2. It is an fascinating study of God’s provision.

Doomsayers have been decrying for generations we will overrun our resources.  However, God provides brilliant minds who figure out how to produce more using fewer resources.  Now we are producing more than we ever have, with essentially the same resources!  It’s great how God provides using people!

3. God told us to be fruitful and multiply.

God made man for the purpose of fellowship and relationship with Him.  And He designed the earth as a place for us.  We should use it and respect it as responsible stewards, but also realize it was made for us, and God wants to fellowship with people!

4. Good science backs up the Word of God.

As our CEO, Bob Vander Plaats often says, God designed it, Nature reveals it, and science will always back it up.  Good science, that is.  A proper perspective, like this article, will take scientific data, look at it objectively and interpret the data correctly.  And it will be consistent with the way God designed it all.


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GOP Affirms Marriage

Update: According to The Hill,

The Republican National Committee has reaffirmed its opposition to gay marriage  with a slate of resolutions passed unanimously at its spring meeting.  Several resolutions re-establishing the party’s official position were adopted  without discussion on Friday. One resolution states the party’s belief  that “the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society  is built and in which children thrive; it is based on the relationship that only  a man and a woman can form.”

Original Article:

It isn’t hard to notice in recent years the dissatisfaction amongst conservatives with the direction of the Republican party, and a desire to get back to the basics and focus on our principle liberties as laid out in the Constitution.  Most conservatives believe the keys of a healthy culture and growing society are listed in that founding document.  We see evidence of this dissatisfaction and desire for a return in movements such as the Tea Party.  There have been others, and will be others yet, but it seems the intensity is growing.

Yet in the midst of this impassioned strength that the Republican Party could be tapping into, they seem to be responding with weak knees.  They issued a “Growth and Opportunity Project” in late March which is touted as a guide to the direction the Republican party will take in an effort to secure future victories.  One of the positions on same-sex “marriage” was described as “softening.”  That type of response is causing major figures in the GOP to step up the messaging and start making some major threats.

For example, Mike Huckabee said in an interview with NewsMax recently, that evangelicals will “walk” if the party leaves the fundamentals on the definition of marriage and family:


tonyperkinsIn another example, Tony Perkins, the President of Family Research Council sent an email to supporters saying, “Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don’t send them a dime of your hard-earned money.”

And finally, a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus, several conservative national leaders including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Phyllis Schlafly, rattled their sabers and suggested that the RNC pass a resolution reaffirming their position on the values that conservatives hold dear.  The threat wasn’t veiled in the least, saying, “abandonment of its [the Republican Party’s] principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support. We could not change that even if we wished to.”

TN_Bob3The FAMiLY LEADER’s President and CEO, Bob Vander Plaats was asked by ABC News what he thought about the letter to the RNC.  Bob replied, “A lot of people in the party are concerned that the party will sell out our values in order to win, and if you do that what do you really win?” he continued.

Vander Plaats also agreed with the prediction that the GOP would lose support if it follows the recommendations of the “Growth and Opportunity Project” to the letter.

If Republicans “abandon their values, people will abandon their party,” he said. “Republicans are motivated by issues, not by the Republican name … and these issues aren’t going to change regardless of what the poll numbers say.”

What does the Bible say?  We should always stand firm on the principles of Scripture, no matter what the polls, political winds, and public opinion might say.  God’s truths never change.  The reality is, children do better with a married mother and father.  Whether the Republican Party wants to join us in holding that standard is yet to be seen.  The choice is up to them.  We aren’t going anywhere.

TFL agrees with The Register!

In an opinion editorial on Monday, The Des Moines Register endorsed former TFL board chairman, Robert Cramer, by recommending he be confirmed by the Iowa Senate for a seat on the Board of Regents.  We were pleasantly surprised!

Although the Register may have different reasons for endorsing Robert, we welcome the support.

We personally know Robert to be a strong, fair, and patient man who is compassionate to all people, no matter their position or beliefs.  He has demonstrated his thoughtful approach by consistently giving wise counsel to our organization, and other statewide organizations. His heart for young people is best illustrated by welcoming several foster children, who appreciate the stability, into the Cramer family home.

Robert now needs your help in urging the Senate to confirm his nomination to the Iowa Board of Regents.  Please emphasize that he is a thoughtful and fair man who is committed to quality education for all students attending Iowa’s public universities.

You can contact your Senator by mailing letters to:
State Capitol Building
Honorable (insert first name, last name of Senator),
Iowa Senate
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Or, email them using the below addresses:

The Honorable Bill Anderson

The Honorable Daryl Beall  

The Honorable Jerry Behn  

The Honorable Rick Bertrand

The Honorable Dennis H. Black

The Honorable Nancy Boettger

The Honorable Joe Bolkcom

The Honorable Tod Bowman

The Honorable Chris Brase 

The Honorable Michael Breitbach

The Honorable Jake Chapman

The Honorable Mark Chelgren

The Honorable Thomas Courtney

The Honorable Jeff Danielson

The Honorable Dick L. Dearden

The Honorable Bill Dix

The Honorable Bill Dotzler

The Honorable Robert E. Dvorsky

The Honorable Joni Ernst

The Honorable Randy Feenstra

The Honorable Sandy Greiner

The Honorable Michael E. Gronstal

The Honorable Dennis Guth

The Honorable Rita Hart

The Honorable Jack Hatch 

The Honorable Robb Hogg 

The Honorable Wally Horn 

The Honorable Hubert Houser

The Honorable Pam Jochum

The Honorable David Johnson

The Honorable Tim Kapucian

The Honorable Liz Mathis

The Honorable Matt McCoy

The Honorable Janet Petersen

The Honorable Heman Quirmbach

The Honorable Amanda Ragan

The Honorable Ken Rozenboom

The Honorable Charles Schneider

The Honorable Mark Segebart

The Honorable Joe Seng

The Honorable Amy Sinclair

The Honorable Roby Smith

The Honorable Steve Sodders

The Honorable Kent Sorenson

The Honorable Rich Taylor

The Honorable Jack Whitver

The Honorable MaryJo Wilhelm

The Honorable Brad Zaun

The Honorable Dan Zumbach