Friend of the FAMiLY,
So here’s the story: The Annual Governors Conference on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Questioning) Youth was held in Des Moines in April. As with every other year it’s been held, in an attempt to soften the perception of promoting harmful behaviors among youth, the sponsors and the media portray it as an anti-bullying conference.
After all, who could possibly be opposed to “anti-bullying,” right? We certainly aren’t opposed to it – we don’t want any students (including Christians) to be bullied for any reason.
But as is often the case with the far-left, radical, pro-homosexual agenda, they got a little carried away, evidently forgot about their “anti-bullying” smoke screen, and ironically engaged in a little bullying of their own. As is also often the case, I was their target.
A comic book was made available to hundreds of students and the evil villain in the comic was “Bull Von Ploots” – that’s me, leader of the “dogmatic bulls” – that’s you!
We’re not going to sue them. We’re not going to make a public spectacle of them. I’m sharing this with you to simply cite yet another instance where, in the name of anti-bullying and tolerance, the radical left are the ones who are intolerant and are bullies of Bible-believing Christians.
Bullying in the name of anti-bullying. Intolerance in the name of tolerance. Baffling.
Rather than spending your time or energy being angry, pray that God would miraculously break into their hearts and minds, convincing them of the Truth about Jesus Christ. That’s who can really change hearts and minds.
Now that my boyhood comic book dreams have been fulfilled, I’m ready to move on!!
And move on we did! Just a few days ago, giving more evidence that God wants to keep using The FAMiLY LEADER to educate voters and promote pro-family, constitutional, conservative, biblical values in the political arena, we hosted our first ever U.S. Senate Family Forum. And I’m still excited about how well it went!
Not only was our venue filled to capacity (we even had to set up extra chairs,) but hundreds of Iowans also watched the forum live online.
Plus, what TFL event is complete without protesters? We had four of them outside.
As you know, filling the venue and getting folks informed at the forum were not our only goals. Most of all, we wanted to give these candidates exposure to our base of supporters – people like you, who will end up determining the winner of this race.
Here’s an election fact for you: Conservatives in Iowa are much more likely to turn out and vote in a Republican primary than moderates. And when it comes to a general election, conservative participation at the polls is essential to a Republican victory in Iowa. (Just ask President Bush  or candidates McCain and Romney [2008 and 2012]).
And that’s exactly why we orchestrated and hosted the U.S. Senate Family Forum.
It was a pleasure to have up-and-coming conservative commentator, Fox News contributor, and founder of RedState.com, Erick Erickson, as a co-sponsor and moderator of the discussion.
Furthermore, I am thrilled we were able to partner with the Sukup Family Foundation, Branstad/Reynolds 2016,
and Senator Grassley’s Hawkeye PAC to pull off this historic event. With this group of influencers, the FAMiLY LEADER is encouraging unity toward the goal of defeating liberal Democrat Bruce Braley in November.
Here are a few highlights from the candidates (in alphabetical order) and Mr. Erickson:
Sam Clovis: “The First Amendment was written into our Constitution to protect people of faith so they would not have to violate their consciences, regardless of what endeavor they were in, whether they were in a church, a synagogue, a chapel, a cathedral, or a business. I believe that a person who has fundamental religious faith issues, with how they operate their lives, to be asked to do things that are against that faith and violate their conscience is absolutely wrong. I will stand with Hobby Lobby and be as outspoken as anybody can be in the protection of our faith and our religion and our conscience.”
Joni Ernst: “I am a mom and I really do want to protect our future generations. So we absolutely have to address the issue of these entitlement programs and mandatory spending. Right now the mandatory spending within the budget is 65% of the overall budget. It’s 10% of our GDP, and within the next several decades, it’s going to double. It’s unsustainable, absolutely unsustainable. And I’m not willing to burden future generations with that problem. We have to have the intestinal fortitude of someone who will go there and make those changes with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, whatever it is, we must find solutions.”
Mark Jacobs: “One of the things I’m very, very concerned about is judicial activism – legislating from the bench. I will stand firm in terms of one of the key roles of a United States Senator: affirming judicial nominees. I will look very carefully at the track record of anybody who is nominated for a judicial position, and make sure in that record that I am comfortable that they uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and do not have a record of legislating, extending the law from the bench. For courts to be moving out into the jurisdiction of the legislative branch and moving against the will of the people is absolutely wrong.”
Matt Whitaker: “The folks in this room are tired of one-size-fits-all, thousand-page bills that spend a trillion dollars that nobody reads. Over the last several years we’ve had stimulus, we’ve had bailouts, we’ve had TARP, we’ve had Obamacare, we’ve had Cash for Clunkers, all brought to you by Bruce Braley and Barack Obama. It’s not helping our country. As a U.S. Senator I would much rather see bad legislation stopped than to come together in a bi-partisan manner like we’ve seen in No Child Left Behind, for example, and pass bad policy that does not help moms and dads sitting around their kitchen tables. If you want a Senator who is going to go there and be part of the action and be chummy with the Mitch McConnells of the world, pick somebody else. But if you want somebody who’s going to join the new voices who are setting the agenda in the Republican caucus, then I’m your guy.”
Erick Erickson (moderator): “Everett Dirksen said, ‘There are two parties in Washington, the Stupid Party and the Evil Party, and every once in awhile they get together and do something that’s both stupid and evil and the press hails it as bi-partisan.’ When I hear politicians say they want to get things done in Washington and make Washington work, it makes me cringe, because every time Washington seems to work it seems to work against the people of Iowa and elsewhere
You can watch the full 90-minute debate along with opening statements from Chuck Hurley, Senator Grassley, Kim Reynolds, and me online at TheFamilyLeader.com
It is important for The FAMiLY LEADER to continue hosting events like this, and in order to do so, we need your continued financial support. Please consider a generous contribution of $50, $100, $250, or $500 to The FAMiLY LEADER today!
Regarding this U.S. Senate Republican Primary, The FAMiLY LEADER – as an organization,
will not be endorsing a candidate. But we are united and committed to these two objectives :
1. Helping conservative Christian voters get informed about the candidates, and encouraging them to vote on Tuesday, June 3, in the statewide primary. (Please go vote!! And if you won’t be in town, vote early at your county courthouse or request an absentee ballot! Not just for the sake of the U.S. Senate primary, but for the sake of other important Congressional and Legislative primary races that will be determined on June 3.)
2. Making sure that Bruce Braley is defeated and that one of the four Republicans listed above wins in November. As one of the candidates said during last week’s Senate Forum, “any of the Republicans on stage will make a much better Senator for Iowa than Mr. Braley.”
I hope you will help us meet these objectives and spread this message among your like-minded family and friends. The year 2014 could be a very good year for conservatives on the ballot, but it depends on the involvement of those who share our convictions. And it begins during the Primary Election in June, so please turn out and get other believers to do the same.
Before I close this letter, I’d like to share just a few words on the Iowa Legislative session. I thought the session would be completed by the time this letter went to print so I could give you a full summary, but it seems to be dragging on. The full summary will have to wait until our next letter.
In the meantime, however, let me remind you how blessed The FAMiLY LEADER has been to put an incredible group of policy experts at the Capitol day in and day out. Thanks to Greg Baker, Danny Carroll, Chuck Hurley and Tamara Scott for their diligent work and Christ-centered witness up there!
And thanks to you who have donated generously to The FAMiLY LEADER so that the Truth of God’s Word, through them, could have greater and greater influence among legislators.
I find that the more we accomplish and the more opportunities God gives us, the more we become aware of what needs to be accomplished, which requires God’s provision to an even greater degree! I humbly ask that you keep our board, staff and me in your prayers as we seek wisdom from the Lord for daily and long-term decisions affecting Iowa’s and America’s future.
And please prayerfully consider making the very best gift you are able to make today. We don’t have unlimited government resources funding us – just folks like you! (And we’ll gratefully take you and your prayers over the government and its limitations every single day!)
Bob Vander Plaats
President & CEO
P.S. Please click here to support The FAMiLY LEADER with your very best gift.