Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
If you aren’t clear about the Iowa group The Family Leader – a disproportionately powerful right-wing Christian organization – is this is a helpful primer from an article I wrote earlier this year for The Revealer:
Every four years the national political eye shifts to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. With the 2012 presidential election only 15 months away, the campaign frenzy in Iowa has already begun. Local and national media are eagerly following Republican presidential hopefuls as they glad-hand farmers, eat local delicacies and stump, flanked by American flags, through soybean fields.
In February next year, Iowans will head to their local caucus to give a traditionally coveted victory to one Republican who could go on to face President Obama in the general election. That Republican – be it Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich – will need to secure the blessing of the radical religious-political group The Family Leader.
Bob Vander Plaats, the outspoken head of The Family Leader (TFL), is the man The Atlantic has called a Republican political “kingmaker” in Iowa – and the man who The Hill just ranked as having the ability to give one of the top 10 “endorsements the presidential candidates covet most.”
The media has documented his – and the TFL’s – statements about homosexuality (worse than second-hand smoke) and women’s role in society (producing lots of babies). Last week TFL made national news again with its Marriage Pledge – already signed by Bachmann and Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania – touting the benefits of slavery to African-American families (after vocal push-back, TFL has since removed this from the pledge). None of Vander Plaats’ work would be half as interesting a story if The Family Leader, a Focus on the Family affiliate, hadn’t been built with over $3 million in federal funds.
Now that you are up to speed (I do encourage ongoing research on your part) I offer up an opportunity.
On November 19th TFL will be hosting their next right-wing get together called innocuously enough, Thanksgiving Family Forum. It will featuring GOPers Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and the quivering Rick Santorum.
When The Family Leader invites you to something – you show.
Just a few short moments ago this alert popped into my mailbox from Bob Vander Plaats:
If you were sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table with the Republican presidential candidates, what question would you ask? We will be formulating the questions for the upcoming Thanksgiving Family Forum and we’d like your input. Click here to submit your question. Simply fill in your contact info and enter your question in the “message” section.
This is the chance you have been waiting for. We, en mass can flood the candidates with all the pertinent questions. Por ejemplo:
You get what I am getting at here. I am sure there are kajillions of questions you have for this impressive milieu. Click on the link above and submit yours – early and often!