Mid-week open thread, with Bob Vander Plaats taking a stand

What’s on your mind, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread. After the jump I’ve posted a new editorial from The FAMiLY Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats. As you can imagine, he’s upset about “Republican elites” pushing for acceptance of LGBT civil marriage rights.

Vander Plaats has made a pretty good living off the culture wars, but he hasn’t done as well as National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. The pro-LGBT equality group Rights Equal Rights issued a press release today highlighting details from NOM’s 2011 tax return (pdf). Notably, Brian Brown made over $500,000 dollars: $230,000 for working full-time at NOM’s political operation, and $230,000 from NOM’s Educational Fund “where he claimed to work another 40 hours per week,” plus $47,000 in benefits.

Speaking of the “traditional marriage” crowd, Mark Doland has a slim edge over former State Senator Tom Rielly in Tuesday’s special election for Mahaska County supervisor. Rielly posted on Facebook that as of Tuesday night, Doland led by 1391 votes to 1375. Some provisional ballots and late-arriving absentees had not yet been counted.

Doland used to be a staffer for the Iowa Family Policy Center and worked closely with Vander Plaats during the 2010 campaign to oust Iowa Supreme Court justices. He now serves on the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee. Rielly, a Democrat, was mayor of Oskaloosa before serving two terms in the Iowa Senate. He retired last year after Iowa’s new map removed Grinnell from his district and added heavily Republican areas such as Pella. Republican Ken Rozenboom was elected in the new Senate district 40, forcing the special election for his Mahaska County supervisor seat.

Interestingly, Rozenboom endorsed Rielly for county supervisor, even though his fellow Republican Doland had stood aside for him in Iowa Senate district 40. UPDATE: Rielly conceded defeat by 21 votes on February 4. Republicans won’t soon forget that Rozenboom preferred a Democrat for this supervisor’s seat.

January 30, 2013 editorial distributed by The FAMiLY Leader:

Embracing Marriage

Bob Vander Plaats

Let me begin by making it clear that I believe God loves everyone, we are all (especially me) in need of grace that comes only through a Savior, and He desires for us to speak His truth with love.

This being said, the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God clearly and systematically communicate that marriage is the union of a male and a female…period. This natural and foundational law has been embraced and recognized by the authors of the Declaration of Independence and throughout recorded civilization as common sense. Thus, supporting God’s design for marriage is not about being against anyone or any group, it is about agreeing with God’s standard which sustains a culture.

Increasingly conservatives, Republicans, and Christians are being told we must moderate our views on this sacred institution so we can get in sync with opinion polling. Why? So we can win elections.

Monday, Iowans were bombarded with moderation messaging from the Republican elites regarding marriage. David Kochel, who championed Mitt Romney’s candidacy in Iowa for the last eight years told us we have lost the “culture war” and we need to move on, beyond protecting life and defending marriage, to more important issues. He states that this will help recruit good candidates who can win elections. However, this strategy did not bode well for Romney nor his idelogical predecessors.

Joining Kochel was former National Republican Committee Chairman, Ken Mehlman. Ken rose through the ranks of Republican politics on the coattails of George W. Bush’s successful elections. Mr. Mehlman is perhaps the highest ranking Republican proclaiming to be homosexual. Monday, he told the press and the few others gathered together, that Iowa, society, and our culture will be stronger and more conservative if we redesign the institution of marriage.

According to Mehlman, marriage should not be restricted to one male and one female; marriage should be redefined and available to all people who love one another. Undoubtedly, he wants us to limit the dialogue to speaking about man and man, and woman and woman. However, if we follow this illogic, marriage will eventually be redefined to mean anything…or nothing. This is good for society?

At a separate press conference, Iowa’s Lt. Governor asserted that she has never taken a public position on marriage. Why? Because she believes the people should decide what marriage means. Ms. Reynolds was corrected Tuesday morning by Des Moines Register Political Opinion Editor, Kathy Obradovich, who cited that during the 2010 governor’s race Reynolds spoke publicly favoring civil marriages for same-gender couples until Branstad’s campaign staff corrected her. Sometimes one’s silence on an issue can be deafening, and one’s attempt at clarification revealing.  Regardless, we should expect more from our leaders.

I ask you the reader, is this really what politics is about? Are we really supposed to abandon the core values and principles that have served us well throughout civilization so we can win elections? And, when we do moderate, and if we do win elections, what did we win by abandoning our core beliefs?

When I witness Mehlman, Kochel, Reynolds, and many others in the political elite who verbally and nonverbally urge us to scrap our principles, I am reminded of former President Ronald Reagan’s 1975 “bold colors” speech.  If you recall, Reagan encouraged conservatives to let these moderates “go their way.” However, for conservatives who believe in core values and principles that serve the best interest of our culture and the next generation, we need to raise our bold conservative colors high.

I agree with Reagan. It is time for true conservatives to stand, to speak, to organize, and to champion our beliefs. Those who are tossed about from poll to poll will always be searching for a path to victory. Our purpose is not a shallow victory…it is to make a difference from generation to generation.

Leaders need to lead. And, leaders need to do what is right because it is right. This is how Lincoln led in freeing the slaves. This is how M.L. King led in marching for equality. This is how Billy Graham led in urging Americans to stand for God’s design for marriage.

The FAMiLY LEADER rejects the spoken message and the chosen silence which undermines the institution of marriage. I hope you will choose to stand with us as we stand for life, for marriage, for family…for Truth!

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