Gov. Christie Abandons Leadership, Marriage

TN_Bob3The FAMiLY LEADER President and CEO, Bob Vander Plaats, responded to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to withdraw his state’s appeal of a New Jersey court order to undefine marriage.

Bob Vander Plaats said, “Governor Christie is not showing leadership.  Leaders lead out of conviction.  It is one thing to say ‘I believe in one man, one woman marriage,’ but when the judicial branch attempts to legislate from the bench in violation of their constitutional boundaries, and then you back away from upholding the institution of marriage and the Constitution, you aren’t a leader.”

Vander Plaats continued, “This problem illustrates exactly why we must have the separation of powers.  If the courts are supposed to make all the decisions, why do we need a legislature or a governor?”

“If the Courts can undefine the foundational institution of marriage and get away with it, why do we think they would hesitate when it comes to erasing your property rights, or your second amendment rights?  Governor Christie should have responded with a vigorous appeal to the New Jersey high court.  Americans know that courts don’t get to make law.  Instead, he capitulated to the court and abandoned his job, abandoned marriage, and abandoned ‘We the People.'”

When asked about the possibility of a presidential run by Christie, Vander Plaats responded, “With his recent and enthusiastic embrace of Obama’s leadership during the peak of the 2012 election, he already raised some red flags for principled Republicans. Now, with this decision, he just added more cause for pause.  He is now guilty of backing away from the New Jersey Constitution and the separation of powers.  The base of the Republican Party is not going to go for that.”

Bob concluded, “We are asking Americans to tell Governor Chris Christie they are disgusted with his decision to abandon principled leadership and abandon marriage.  We are asking them to join a network telling Governor Christie to “Lead, or get out of the way!” by going to

Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.

by David Barnett

Most of the time, Pastor Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, stays well away from highly-charged political comments, choosing to focus on the spiritual growth of his flock.

As well he should.

However, the Christian life system can’t exist in a vacuum, and Pastor Driscoll recently demonstrated he understands this principle.  While preaching through a series on the Ten Commandments entitled, “Set Free to Live Free,” Driscoll mentioned those politicians that often “wave the Jesus flag to get all the benefits without the obligations that are to ensue.”  He gave the illustration of a recent rally at the Iowa Capitol were Midge Slater of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans prayed to God for continued access to abortion, while two Democratic candidates for governor stood nearby with their heads bowed.

“My guess is, the children would disagree,” said Driscoll.  “Don’t sprinkle a little ‘God-talk’ amongst a genocide.  The Nazis did that.”

The following Friday, Driscoll tweeted out an excerpt from his sermon:


In the prayer, posted online by The Iowa Republican, Slater thanked God for doctors who perform abortions and prayed for their safety. She also prayed that elected officials support “a woman’s right to make her own medical decision” and for continued access to “all forms of birth control.”

“We give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal,” Slater said.

The complete story was covered by the Des Moines Register.


Here’s my concern:  What is happening to the leadership of our state?  How can two candidates for governor stand by while a prayer like this occurs, and not say anything about it?  And why wasn’t there a tremendous uproar over this?  Where were the Christians — of all political persuasion?

This event and the lack of outrage it created tells me one thing – that the Church, the Body of Christ in Iowa is very anemic.  The fact that a pastor in Washington state is more outraged about this prayer than anyone I have been aware of is disappointing.

“So,” you ask, “what needs to change?”  My answer is “personal revival and leadership.”  Self-governance and Spirit-governance seems to be a lost art.  We need individuals from all across our state and nation to rise up and take their responsibilities seriously and be men and women of courage – love Jesus with such a passion it is a secret to no one.


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Iowa View: Lead or get out of the way, Mr. Obama

The Des Moines Register published this Opinion Editorial by Bob Vander Plaats on July 5:

In my travels across Iowa and the country, I hear one constant demand from everyday Americans: They crave real leadership.

They believe our nation lacks leadership across the board, and that Washington, D.C., in particular is broken regardless of which party is in charge. More evidence of the brokenness of our nation’s capital was on display this week, when President Barack Obama announced he would suspend implementation of a key component of his unpopular Obamacare by delaying the employer mandate until at least 2015.

When Obamacare was being debated in 2009, the president and his allies insisted our health care situation was in such dire straits we needed to make their idea of reform happen immediately. This urgency of a government take-over for “needed” health care reform went against the people’s common sense demonstrated by their public outcry. The result was an uprising of America’s citizens, referred to often as the tea party, handing Obama and his Democrat party major political defeats in 2010.

The suspicion of the American people regarding this hostile takeover is now realized as we recognize the light at the end of the Obamacare tunnel is an oncoming train wreck for families and taxpayers. Now, those once demanding immediate action on Obamacare (including the president himself) are delaying its implementation rather than facing the wrath of the voters again in 2014. So much for “hope and change.”

I predict the administration will also postpone the individual mandate, because to provide corporations relief but not individual consumers is political suicide. Thus, if you’re someone like Congressman Bruce Braley running for the U.S. Senate next year, your standard “class warfare” strategy suddenly becomes obsolete and your campaign is exposed as a house of cards.

From the Defense of Marriage Act to immigration, this administration has shown an unprecedented arrogance to disregard laws it doesn’t agree with. Now in the case of Obamacare, it won’t even enforce the laws it does agree with. This provides an opening for Republicans to offer the country real leadership — for a real change.

While the White House was admitting this week its signature legislation is unpopular with those who provide jobs to Americans, a recent Fox News poll found that a record number of Americans want Obamacare repealed. If there was ever a time for conservatives to show bold leadership and courage in opposing something that will devastate American families, it’s now. That’s why I suggest the Republican-controlled House of Representatives stand up and let this administration know that it won’t extend the debt ceiling come September unless Obamacare is fully repealed.

If this legislation is really the threat to freedom, to jobs, and to family budgets that we know it to be, then desperate times call for principled measures. This unpopular legislation threatens our way of life in an unprecedented manner. It’s already hundreds of millions of dollars over projected costs before it’s even implemented, and insurers are already warning their consumers of the coming devastation. When you factor in what it also does to promote health care rationing as well as abortion, Obamacare is not just atrocious public policy, but it’s immoral as well.

Between now and 2014, Republicans should show the American people they will do whatever it takes to stop Obamacare from being imposed on them. This should be their primary focus and not just in Washington, D.C. Republican governors and state legislatures should vow not to implement it in their states. I encourage governors and state legislatures to embrace the lead of the South Carolina legislators who are working to make it unlawful to implement this disastrous policy.

Real leadership responds with boldness and clarity in times of real — not manufactured — crisis. Make no mistake, this is one of those times. If the leadership of the Republican Party wants to win again, it has to first earn the trust of the American people by showing principled leadership.

I believe the American people want leaders to lead — or get out of the way. It’s time to lead.


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Whistleblower Ed Snowden Demonstrates Leadership?

Today, June 10, the top story on the Drudge Report is about Edward Snowden, a 29 year old who leaked significant information about the extensive nature of the NSA surveillance program, which included archiving vast quantities of data about American citizen’s communications.  We don’t know anything about Edward, and certainly can’t vouch for his character or true motives, but we do recognize several positive attributes of leadership which we desire to see come from more Americans, and that is the reason we launched the “Lead or Get Out of the Way” initiative, to identify and challenge regular citizens to step up and become leaders in their own family, church, and community.

For the full article, go to

Below is the video interview (12:30).

So what elements of leadership do we see?

1.  He did what he believed was the right thing, no matter the personal cost to him. 

Even though he could be extradited and brought back to the US and likely prosecuted if that happens, he did what he believed was right. “He fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him,” wrote Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian.  Edward Snowden said, calmly, “I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

2.  He is a regular guy who took responsibility and took action. 

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”

3.  He seems to have integrity in his own life.

According to Edward, he has led a very honest life, and doesn’t seem to have anything to hide:

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

4.  He put principles above personal preservation.

“For him, it is a matter of principle. ‘The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,’ he said.”

Are you hoping for better leadership?  You may be the very one that needs to step up, take responsibility and take action to make a difference.  Accept the challenge and join “Lead or Get Out of the Way” today!

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