Election 2020 – How do I vote?

Where you can you find helpful information on voting your biblical values? Right here!

The FAMiLY Leader is compiling research, links, videos, resources, and more to help you make an informed decision this election season and to help you encourage other Christians to steward the gift of the vote that God has given us:

For voters:

Are you registered to vote? Learn more and register here.

Absentee ballots? Early voting? Learn more here.

WHERE do I vote? Find out here.

WHO do I vote for? This year The FAMiLY Leader is partnering with iVoterGuide to compile candidate’s records, endorsements, contributions, questionnaires, and more to help you make an informed decision. Simply enter your zip code here to see iVoterGuide’s evaluation of the candidates on YOUR ballot!

Read Bob Vander Plaats’ column on why he’s voting Trump in 2020 here.

***  What about the judicial retention races?  *** See TFL’s statement and research here.

What about the “constitutional convention” question? Learn more here.

For pastors/churches:

How do you encourage your church to engage biblically, not politically, in this year’s election? Discover election resources you actually want to use at Honoring God 2020.

Candidate conversations:

Candidate for Iowa House Jon Dunwell

State Rep. John Landon

State Senator Brad Zaun

Vice President Mike Pence sharing his personal testimony of faith in Christ:




Election 2020: What about the judges on the ballot?

Click here for a list of judges up for retention in YOUR district and what is known about their record on life.

In 2010, The FAMiLY Leader (then known as the Iowa Family Policy Center) vigorously opposed retention of three State Supreme Court justices who exceeded and abused their judicial power to foist same-sex marriage upon Iowa in the 2009 Varnum v. Brien case.

At TFL, we believe it is our responsibility as Christians to speak out for biblical values and our duty as American voters to defend the constitutional separation of powers and limited powers of the judiciary. We cannot be silent when our values – or the Constitution, the only contract by which Americans have agreed to be governed – are violated by judicial overreach.

In 2010 Iowans like you agreed and shocked the world when you voted against retaining all three of the State Supreme Court justices on the ballot.

Of the seven judges who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2009, three left office after the retention vote in 2010, one has since retired, two have passed away, and the final justice will soon reach mandatory retirement age.

In the upcoming 2020 election, therefore, there will be no justices on the ballot remaining from the Varnum decision. The following State Supreme Court justices, however, will be up for retention vote:

Susan Christensen
– Appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds and sworn in on Sept. 4, 2018.
– Christensen is the current chief justice.

Edward Mansfield
– Appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011.
Mansfield sided with Planned Parenthood in 2015, overturning Iowa’s ban on “telemed” abortions, effectively allowing a woman to get an abortion without an in-person doctor’s visit.
Mansfield, however, also voted against the abhorrent 2018 Planned Parenthood ruling that concocted a “right to abortion” in the Iowa Constitution. His dissent, joined by Waterman, has been a significant aid in arguing against that so-called “right.”

Christopher McDonald
– Appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds and sworn in on April 5, 2019.

Thomas Waterman
– Appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011.
Waterman sided with Planned Parenthood in 2015, overturning Iowa’s ban on “telemed” abortions, effectively allowing a woman to get an abortion without an in-person doctor’s visit
Waterman, however, also voted against the abhorrent 2018 Planned Parenthood ruling that concocted a “right to abortion” in the Iowa Constitution. He joined the dissent, written by Mansfield, which has been a significant aid in arguing against abortion as a so-called “right.”

Unfortunately, the justices on the ballot this year have either too little or too mixed a record to reach a definitive conclusion on whether or not they should be retained. The FAMiLY Leader, therefore, cannot make an unequivocal recommendation on how to vote.

We can, however, celebrate the judicial nomination reform signed into law by Gov. Reynolds in 2019, a measure TFL has been advocating for years. Under this reform, the people of Iowa – rather than a small group of left-leaning attorneys – will now be given a greater voice through their elected governor in choosing Iowa’s Supreme Court justices, hopefully making the Court more representative of the people of Iowa and their values.

We can also make available what information we currently have available on judges up for retention. The FAMiLY Leader and pro-life allies researched the records of the judges on life. While most judges have little record to be found, click the link below to see a quick, reference glance at what we discovered:

Click here for a list of judges up for retention in YOUR district and what is known about their record on life.

And click this link below for a more in-depth look at judges and their backgrounds, compiled by our Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders allies at Iowa Right to Life:

Learn more about the judges up for retention and their backgrounds here.

As always, TFL recommends Christians research the candidates and issues that appear on the November ballot and take seriously the calling to vote. The voice we have at the ballot box is a gift from God (that not all Christians around the world enjoy), and it’s a gift to be carefully and prayerfully stewarded for His glory!

To help with researching candidates:
TFL is also partnering this year with iVoterGuide.com, an extensively researched tool for making sense of who’s running and what they stand for. Check it out today!




WATCH: Vice President Pence speaks to TFL audience

On Thursday, Oct. 1, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a COVID-limited, but sold-out crowd at The FAMiLY Leader Foundation’s “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” event in Des Moines.

His words championed the vital role that Christians have played in shaping our nation.

“Bob [Vander Plaats] and The FAMiLY Leader are really emblematic of a very rich tradition in the United States of America,” Pence said at the opening of his remarks. “Even a casual study of the history of this nation shows that people of faith have made the difference throughout our country’s history from the very founding of the nation – the robed regiments of the American Revolution, the preachers of revival in our Great Awakenings, the way that the pulpits of America thundered for abolition of slavery and led the Civil Rights Movement.

“It has been people of faith, I believe with all of my heart, who have led us toward a more perfect union, and I want to congratulate and thank each and every one of you for being a part of that great American tradition,” he said.

Watch the day’s event below:

“We were thrilled to welcome to Iowa such a prominent guest as the Vice President of the United States,” said Bob Vander PLaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader Foundation. “This special event presented an unprecedented opportunity for our audience to see how people of faith can have an impact in leading others and leading our nation.”

The “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” event also featured U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, Mike Lindell of MyPillow and the Lindell Recovery Network, and Vander Plaats as speakers.

The day’s event provided a welcome respite from our culture’s constant political news and advertising to remind us all that our greatest hope lies not in elections and politicians, but in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. It also encouraged Christians that we can have a great, positive impact when we lead others from the heart of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

“Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” was not a campaign rally, but an opportunity to educate and inspire Christians toward active, civic engagement and leadership. Funds raised from donations and sponsorships supported the ministry of The FAMiLY Leader Foundation and its “Honoring God 2020” initiative, an effort to encourage Christians to view their vote as a privilege and gift from God to be stewarded for His glory.




Vice President Pence shares his testimony of coming to Christ

The “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” event hosted by The FAMiLY Leader in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, Oct. 1, featured several, excellent speakers – including U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, MyPillow’s Mike Lindell, New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, and TFL’s Bob Vander Plaats.

But the most prominent speaker at the event was Vice President Mike Pence, whose comments included the powerful story of a couple whose obedience to God, even in the midst of discouragement, made all the difference in God’s plan to bring a future Vice President of the United States to faith in Jesus Christ.

Watch below an excerpt of Pence’s address, a 5-minute clip in which he shares his personal testimony of coming to faith:

In these few minutes, Pence shared not only his testimony, but also the reason for his hope for tomorrow – and as it turns out, both stories point to Jesus Christ.

“Even when things don’t seem like they’re going the way we expect,” Pence said, “they’re going the way [God] expected.”

Watch the entirety of Pence’s speech, as well as the other great presentations, from “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” here.




White House responds to TFL-signed letter on girls’ sports

The U.S. Department of Education has responded to a letter sent by dozens of pro-family organizations, including The FAMiLY Leader, with assurances that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on “gender identity” will not prevent the Trump administration from working to protect girls’ sports.

In June 2020, Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, joined national allies and dozens of peers from the Family Policy Alliance in writing a letter to President Trump and the Department of Education.

“In 2017, the Department of Education, along with the Department of Justice, reinforced the obvious need for sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms under Title IX for boys and girls,” the letter pointed out. “[But] many activists now claim that the recent Bostock v. Clayton opinion from the Supreme Court means that schools must permit biological males to compete on girls’ teams.”

“The continued success of our women and girls under Title IX depends upon your strong stand against a political agenda that frankly doesn’t care about preserving women’s opportunities in sports,” the letter continued. “Female athletes need the Trump Administration to lead the way in preserving the heart of Title IX and ensuring women and girls have access to exclusively female sports teams and a fair playing field.”

In addition to Vander Plaats, the original letter was signed by representatives from the Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, Heritage Action for America, Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, Eagle Forum, Save Women’s Sports, Truth and Liberty Coalition, Hands Across the Aisle Women’s Coalition, American Principles Project, and dozens of pro-family state organizations.

On Sept. 1, 2020, Kimberly M. Richey, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, penned an official response, agreeing to preserve womens’ sports for women athletes.

The letter asserts Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education “share your commitment to ensuring that Title IX is vigorously enforced at every level of education.”

“Title IX regulations authorize single-sex sports teams,” the letter states unequivocally. “The Supreme Court’s opinion in Bostock does not affect the Department’s position that its Title IX regulations authorize single-sex teams based only on biological sex at birth—male or female—as opposed to a person’s gender identity.”

“The Bostock decision was narrowly decided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and by its own terms, does not control Title IX,” the response concludes. “The Department will continue to vigorously support and protect female student athletes under Title IX.”

Before Congress passed Title IX in 1972, girls in America were offered fewer opportunities in sports and represented a far smaller share of student athletes. Few colleges participated in any championship-level women’s sports, and American Olympic gold medal winner Donna De Varona famously could not even obtain a college athletic scholarship.

According to statistics reported by the Washington Post, before Title IX, 160,000 men participated in NCAA sports compared to just 30,000 women. Female athletic participation at the high school level was even worse. Only 295,000 girls participated in high school sports compared to 3.67 million boys.

Today, however, there are 2.6 million girls playing high school sports and over 216,000 women competing in the NCAA.

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock decision asserted employers, under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, could not discriminate based on “gender identity.” Activists and court cases have since arisen, attempting to assert Title IX must also include “gender identity,” compelling schools to include biological males who “identify” as female to participate in women’s sports.




Iowans display attitude of Christ in storm and crisis

by Greg Baker

Iowa’s recent “derecho” storm – and, more specifically, the way Iowans have responded to it – reminds me of what makes this coastless state in the Heartland an incredible witness to the nation and an incredible place to live for the over 3 million people who are blessed to call it home.

Even before the pavement could dry from the derecho’s downpour, Iowans fully displayed an incredible heart of service and love of neighbor that remind me of the verse in Philippians, where the Apostle Paul challenged Christians to make their attitude that of Christ Jesus, who emptied Himself of everything. Iowans have and must continue to strive to make their attitude that of Christ Jesus.

I had the opportunity to join my church from Des Moines in serving a fellow church in Marshalltown, as they worked to clean up from storm, which leveled a wide swath of Iowa’s crops, trees, and buildings with the force of a rare, inland hurricane. The path of destruction stretched over 100 miles long.

Upon entering Marshalltown my heart was just broken, as it seemed not a single tree survived the storm, and so many dwellings sustained serious damage. It took a full day’s work from dozens of volunteers to clear just two people’s yards.

This might seem a discouraging pace, but I left the day encouraged instead. During our time removing trees, neighbors who had just finished up their own yards joined us. Their addition of chainsaws doubled our production and allowed us to finish in an afternoon what would have otherwise taken several days.

This incredible story of churches from outside communities and neighbors working together was not unique to us, neither was it unique to this storm. It has been the story across Iowa since COVID’s persistent time of crisis began in March. From serving food, offering childcare, giving blood, standing with a neighbor, and now clearing debris and offering shelter, Iowans have stepped it up to serve one another.

This incredible example we are seeing in neighborhoods across our state is exactly what Christ had in mind for His Church in neighborhoods all around the world. Christ not only commanded this, He also modeled it. Christ modeled it when He looked after the orphan and the widow. Christ modeled it when He fed the poor and healed the sick. Christ modeled it when He dined with the sinner. Christ modeled it when He died on the Cross for those who would never show their gratitude.

Christ, who was fully God, full of more wealth and power then anyone could ever imagine, gave it all up for us.

The Bible says, “He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7) and, “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to their point of death, even to death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Jesus served us, taught us about the Kingdom of Heaven, and died for us on the Cross, satisfying the payment of our sins and giving us the hope of eternal life. Jesus did this not for Himself, but for us.

This is the incredible example Christ has set before us. He has called us to not only look out for our interests, but to also consider the interests of others. This is exactly what Iowans are doing across the state and will continue to do. It is in our history. It is who we are. It is who Christ has called us to be.

Greg Baker is The FAMiLY Leader’s vice president of church engagement.




Vice President Mike Pence to speak in Des Moines Oct. 1

Urbandale, IOWA – The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation is exceptionally honored to announce Vice President of the United States Mike Pence will be speaking at a special event dubbed “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, October 1!*

*Please plan to arrive significantly early to clear Secret Service security. There will be a line. Doors open at 1:15 p.m., with the program planned to begin at 3:00 p.m.

“We are thrilled to welcome to Iowa such a prominent guest as the Vice President of the United States,” says Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation. “This special event presents an unprecedented opportunity for Christian audiences to see how people of faith can have an impact in leading others and leading our nation. We’re exceptionally honored that Vice President Pence has agreed to come, and we believe it will be an inspiring and encouraging event!”

Tickets for the event have now sold out, but you can still catch the livestream by clicking here!

Mike Pence is a former U.S. representative from and governor of the state of Indiana. He currently serves as the sitting Vice President of the United States.

The “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” event will also feature Bob Vander Plaats, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, and MyPillow’s Mike Lindell.

Ben Carson is a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, one of the most distinguished neurosurgeons in American history, and currently serves as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Joel C. Rosenberg is the author of 13 bestselling novels whose uncanny ability to foreshadow geopolitical realities has marked his place as a leader in fact-based fiction.

Mike Lindell is inventor and CEO of MyPillow and founder of the Lindell Recovery Network.

The “Faith in Leadership, America’s Need for Revival” event is not a campaign rally, but an opportunity to educate and inspire Christians toward active, civic engagement and leadership. Funds raised from donations and sponsorships will support the ministry of The FAMiLY Leader Foundation.

The FAMiLY Leadership Foundation is the 501(c)3 arm of The FAMiLY Leader, a ministry that seeks to strengthen families by inspiring Christ-like leadership in the home, church, and government.




Join national leaders in weekly prayer for America

Each Wednesday morning between August 12 and November 4, which is the morning after the 2020 Election, our friends at the Colson Center will host a national prayer time, via webinar.

We invite you to join in, each week, to pray first and foremost for God’s mercy, that He would revive His church, that He would bring about renewal of righteousness, that He would empower us to courageously offer protection for the most vulnerable, to champion reconciliation across our deepest divides, and that He would allow us to be instruments in the sustaining of religious freedom and the national recovery of the family.

Each prayer time will feature a devotional challenge and prayer by Christian leaders such as Os Guinness, Joni Eareckson Tada, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, and more.

Due to Zoom capacity, there will be limited live spots each week available to all who register. However, each week’s recording will be sent to anyone who signs up.

Register today to join the prayer webinar!

Or, you can simply join the prayer time live at the Colson Center’s Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. central each Wednesday morning.

In Ephesians, Paul tells us, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

When people see us as their enemies, it’s difficult to remember they aren’t our enemies. But through prayer, by God’s grace, our hearts and eyes can be turned to see where the real battles are – not in politics or news or social media, but in the spiritual realm.

The great Jonathan Edwards urged his fellow pastors to “be much in prayer and fasting, both in secret and with one another. … [I]t is God’s will that the prayers of His saints shall be great and the principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s Kingdom in the world. When God has something to accomplish for His church, it is with His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayer of His people.”

Similarly, Paul tell us to pray for all things at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and specifically to pray for our leaders, both spiritual and secular. This is what the world needs from the Church right now, instead of the outrage we are too often known for. So that’s what we will do, together, each Wednesday until the election. I hope you will join us.

Prayer Leader Schedule:

Aug 12 – Rick Warren
Aug 19 – Os Guinness
Aug 26 – Pastor Garland Hunt
Sept 2 – Kay Cole James
Sept 9 – Jim Daly
Sept 16 – Kelvin Cochran
Sept 23 – David and Jason Benham
Sept 30 – Bob Fu
Oct 7 – Felix Orji
Oct 14 – Todd Wagner
Oct 21 – Joni Eareckson Tada
Oct 28 – Steve Green
Nov 4 – Ed Stetzer

Register to join the Church in prayer today!




VIDEO: A conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

At a private dinner following the 2020 FAMiLY Leadership Summit on Friday, July 17, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo sat down for an interview with The FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats.

The intimate setting opened up opportunities to discuss faith, family, and a behind-the-scenes look at Pompeo’s time as director of the CIA, Secretary of State, and even life inside the Oval Office.

For the first time, TFL is now making video of that conversation available to the public. Watch here:

Earlier in the day, Pompeo joined a stellar lineup of speakers for the Summit, including Dr. Del Tackett, Mike Lindell of My Pillow, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Rick Santorum, former NFL player Jack Brewer, New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, and more.

Get exclusive access to all of the 2020 FAMiLY Leadership Summit speeches for a donation of just $10. Click here now!

Pompeo’s address at the Summit specifically highlighted how the State Department is currently implementing a foreign policy that is pro-national security, pro-religious freedom, and pro-life.

Watch video of U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo addressing the 2020 FAMiLY Leadership Summit below:

Attendance at the Summit was limited by COVID-19 capacity restrictions, so available tickets for the event sold out weeks beforehand. Nonetheless, The FAMiLY Leader also made livestream access available so hundreds more from across the country could join the Summit online.

“It was so encouraging to see the passion and the enthusiasm of so many at the Summit and so many watching online,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader. “TFL is blessed to bring together everyday Americans committed to seeing meaningful and positive change in America. Together our heart beats for a revived America that honors God and blesses people, and on Friday, we all left the Summit with new life and a new spring in our step to see that revival come.”




U.S. Sec. of State Pompeo addresses sold-out Summit

On Friday, July 17, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo joined a stellar lineup of speakers for the 2020 FAMiLY Leadership Summit at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Pompeo began with the kind words, “The FAMiLY Leader is making a real difference all across the country.”

He also shared why his work at the State Department is making a difference to Iowans: “I know American families are busy; the first thing on their minds isn’t the work of the State Department every day. But it matters. It matters what we do. We have a responsibility to keep you all safe. We advocate, too, for American businesses abroad, helping create jobs in every state in the union. And we represent your principles.”

Among those principles, the Secretary of State highlighted how the State Department advocates a foreign policy that is pro-national security, pro-religious freedom, and pro-life.

“We’ve executed a foreign policy that American families in Des Moines and Dubuque and Davenport can believe in,” he said.

Watch video of U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo addressing the 2020 FAMiLY Leadership Summit below:

Attendance at the Summit was limited by COVID-19 capacity restrictions, so available tickets for the event sold out weeks beforehand. Nonetheless, The FAMiLY Leader also made livestream access available so hundreds more from across the country could join the Summit online.

“It was so encouraging to see the passion and the enthusiasm of so many at the Summit and so many watching online,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader. “TFL is blessed to bring together everyday Americans committed to seeing meaningful and positive change in America. Together our heart beats for a revived America that honors God and blesses people, and on Friday, we all left the Summit with new life and a new spring in our step to see that revival come.”

At the Summit, Vander Plaats also spoke of God’s hand of abundant blessing over TFL’s last 10 years; shared updates on how TFL’s model of Church engagement is spreading across the country; and offered an inspiring vision of God’s hand at work in America, with the power to overshadow even national elections in terms of impact and cultural transformation.

Watch the inspiring video of God’s favor on TFL over the last 10 years and His direction for tomorrow:

Vander Plaats and Sec. Pompeo shared the stage with over a dozen other speakers, including Mike Lindell of My Pillow, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Rick Santorum, former NFL player Jack Brewer, New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg, and more.

Dr. Del Tackett of The Truth Project and, now, The Engagement Project, kicked off the Summit with an acknowledgement of America’s social unrest and pandemic fears.

“From looking at the trends of what is going on, the Body of Christ is going to go through a refining fire,” Tackett said. “But you and I are not to be surprised by that, and we are not to be taken with fear, with hopelessness, but to recognize this is our day.”

The opportunity, Tackett explained, is not in a public square that is increasingly shunning biblical voices, but in the power of being salt and light, one-on-one to our neighbor.

“How is this going to change?” Tackett asked. “This is going to change through one person engaging with another person in a meaningful relationship.”

Mike Lindell of My Pillow echoed the tone of hope. In an interview with Vander Plaats, Lindell described how the Lindell Recovery Network – scheduled for launch this September – is being designed to provide addiction sufferers across the country with videos, testimonies, and resources that they can relate to and that can make a real difference in their lives. What’s more, the Network is designed to point them toward the truest source of hope: Jesus Christ and His Church.

“Everybody’s looking for hope,” Lindell said. “I see this COVID as an opportunity for hope. This is the time for the biggest revival in history.”

The Summit also spotlighted the executive and Church Ambassador Network directors from nearly a dozen state organizations similar to TFL. These directors are partnering with TFL in “The Daniel Impact,” an effort to export TFL’s model of inspiring the Church to engage government – not for political ends, but to advance the kingdom of God.

Shannon McGinley serves as executive director of New Hampshire Cornerstone, one of the The Daniel Impact states spotlighted on stage.

“So many people around the country have written off New England as a lost cause,” McGinley told the Summit, “but New Hampshire is so critically important, because we are the first-in-the-nation primary and we set the agenda for the nation, along with Iowa.”

The challenge, she explained, is that the voice of the Church in New England has been marginalized, even “neglected.”

“There are so many faith-filled individuals who are hungering for a way to engage in the political sphere, but they don’t know how to go about it,” she said. “But [through the work of The Daniel Impact], I feel confident there really is the possibility to have great success in New Hampshire.”

“It brings chills to me when I think of what we’ve seen in Des Moines,” testified Greg Baker, vice president and Church Ambassador Network director for The FAMiLY Leader in Iowa. “I can’t imagine how God’s going to go bigger than He has, but He will. To hear New Hampshire, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the other states – it’s remarkable.”

What’s more, Baker said, “God’s institution of the Church is an international institution. … Every single place God is moving, and we get to be a part of that.”

The annual FAMiLY Leadership Summit brings national leaders to the Midwest to address Christian audiences with the theme of “Principle over Politics.” Since its inception in 2012, the FAMiLY Leadership Summit remains one of the most encouraging and inspiring events of the summer, challenging and equipping attendees toward Christ-like leadership in the home, Church, and government.




Chief Justice Roberts, judicial injustice, and 5 things you can do about it

Commentary by Dr. Nathan Oppman

Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurrence in the judgment of June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo, which struck down a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, is a shocking example of judicial overreach.

In the decision Roberts states: “I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today, however, is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”

Roberts openly admits that even though the conclusion he will reach is wrong, he feels that he must reach it to uphold precedent. This is a poor judicial reasoning at best … and utter dereliction of justice at worst.

Roberts seems to have overlooked that the primary role of a judge is to do justice, not to preserve the Court’s past rulings. Yet Roberts is so committed to precedent that he is willing to come to a conclusion even he believes is wrong to preserve it. In Roberts’ mind the precedent of the Court is even more powerful than his commitment to right and wrong.

When your legal doctrine demands that you allow injustice, it is time for your legal doctrine to change.

Yet Roberts is hardly alone in creating and following bad precedent. The Iowa Supreme Court has committed massive judicial overreach as well.

In 2018 the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds that was one of the most egregious examples of bad jurisprudence in the history of our country. That opinion concocted a “fundamental right” to abortion out of nothing and put even the most basic pro-life laws in jeopardy.

Iowa’s newly constituted Supreme Court may get a chance to reconsider that opinion, as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new law implementing a short waiting period of 24 hours before a woman can obtain an abortion. That law is now being challenged in court. Let’s hope Iowa’s Supreme Court is not as committed to bad precedent as Chief Justice Roberts.

But is there anything that can be done beyond hoping for courts to change? Yes, there is! Courts only have as much power as the legislature, governor, and We the People give them. And in Iowa one of the most direct ways to correct a bad interpretation is to tell the Court our opinion on the issue.

This year the Iowa Legislature narrowly failed to pass a constitutional proposal called the Protect Life Amendment, which would have given We the People the right to give our opinion on the issue of abortion. I would encourage you to sign up for The FAMiLY Leader’s text and email alerts to stay informed on the Amendment’s progress.

Below are five other things you can do to make sure your opinion is heard on the abortion issue.

  1. Pray for your leaders, including Chief Justice Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court and Chief Justice Susan Christensen of the Iowa Supreme Court. Pray that they will do justice to those who come before them.
  2. Ask your state legislator where he or she stands on the Protect Life Amendment and encourage them to support the amendment during the next legislative cycle.
  3. Commit to voting, and consider running for elected office.
  4. Volunteer, donate, or help at a local women’s health center that helps women considering abortion to have the resources they need to choose life. Changing hearts and minds one at a time is invaluable in the fight for life.
  5. Share all of these action steps with 5 friends and encourage them to follow you in taking action.

We must never lose hope. Though decisions like Justice Roberts’ are discouraging, we must remember the abortionists are the ones playing defense, fighting off a passed law they knew would protect unborn children. And the 24-hour law put those who support abortion on defense once again.

Perhaps our Iowa Supreme Court will ignore bad precedent and speak boldly for life. Or perhaps they won’t. But we must never lose sight of the fact that each battle gives us an opportunity to move one step closer to a place where all innocent life is cherished and protected, from the moment of conception to natural death.

Nathan Oppman is a member of The FAMiLY Leader staff and Capitol Team.




Feds funnel $2 million to Planned Parenthood in Iowa

The Office of Population Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, June 30, awarded Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Des Moines, Iowa, a three-year grant totaling over $2 million to ostensibly “replicate effective teenage pregnancy prevention programs.”

This, despite federal studies that show Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs not only fail to reduce teenage pregnancy, but in five states even increased the number of pregnancies among those subjected to Planned Parenthood’s “education.”

As The FAMiLY Leader documented in a Des Moines Register column in 2019, three federal studies show Planned Parenthood-led programs failed or even hurt students.

From 2011 through 2014, Planned Parenthood received $4 million to teach sex education across five northwestern states. According to the report, titled “Evaluation of the Teen Outreach Program® in The Pacific Northwest,” six different Planned Parenthood affiliate partners taught over 3,500 students in 87 schools. Both the short-term and final impact analysis concluded that the program “had an impact in the undesirable direction on females becoming pregnant.” Or more bluntly, Planned Parenthood’s program resulted in more students getting pregnant!

Researchers stated that in the short-term sample, “Among males, females, and non-Hispanics, TOP® [the program taught by Planned Parenthood] students were significantly more likely than controls to have ever been pregnant or to have caused a pregnancy.”

The equally revealing Safer Sex Intervention: Final Impact Report demonstrates Planned Parenthood failing where another contractor at least had a little success. Buried in Appendix B, you can compare the results for yourself. The Hennepin County Department of Public Health, teaching the same curriculum over the same period in the same evaluation, created short-term, positive changes in three sexual behaviors. In contrast, Planned Parenthood failed to impact a single sexual behavior after receiving nearly $500,000 in taxpayer funding.

The third federal study involving Planned Parenthood took place in Chicago, where they were one of three contractors. Here again, the program did not positively impact any student behavior — a clear pattern of wasted time and money.

In fact, the only study TFL could find showing positive effects from a Planned Parenthood-led sex ed program was commissioned and paid for by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

Planned Parenthood sex education, paid for with tax dollars, repeatedly failed to help students. Studies in Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska all confirm their ineffectiveness.

“We should recognize the obvious pattern,” says TFL Capitol Team member Daniel Sunne. “The last organization government should pay to prevent teen pregnancies is Planned Parenthood.”