In the face of massive backlash after asking Republican presidential candidates to a sign a “family promoting” pledge that, among other things, declared that African Americans were better off as slaves since more of them were raised by both mothers and fathers than they are now, The FAMiLY Leader has now removed the language from the controversial vow.
“After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued, and such misconstruction can detract from the core message of the Marriage Vow: that ALL of us must work to strengthen and support families and marriages between one woman and one man,” the group’s officials said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow.”
Julie Summa, spokesperson for the group added, “It was not meant to be racist or anything. it was just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife…we were not saying at all that things are better for African-American children in slavery days than today.”
Both Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum signed the pledge in its original form, having no qualms about the wording or implications.
After successfully organizing the push to replace the incumbent judges who recognized the legality of same sex marriage in the state in 2010, The FAMiLY Leader has now positioned itself as the gatekeeper to the Iowa social conservative and religious right vote, according to reporter Andy Kopsa. Their over all interest? Not simply “traditional family power” but implementing a Christian worldview.
In late October 2010, on the cusp of the mid-term election, I spoke to [FAMiLY Leader founders] Vander Plaats and Hurley on the steps of the Iowa Supreme Court after their anti-judge rally. The thing I found most interesting about my conversations with these gentlemen was their ability to speak softly and kindly to me about the sickness of homosexuality and its threat to our children, to our families and to society. They spoke of God’s law, natural law, of which homosexuality, they say, has no part. They affirmed fears – that their organization props up with consistent anti-gay rhetoric – that same-sex marriage would lead to rampant polygamy and fathers marrying daughters. Though they spoke with care, their disgust with homosexuals was palpable, their condescending attitude toward a non-believer evident. The way they and others have mainstreamed their radical Christian speech to pass as political discourse is utterly amazing. Their words – less about Christian Love – were more about Christian Power.
And how far will they go to push their worldview? The “slavery” part of the pledge was only eliminated after vast public outcry, and even then the group seems to not fully understand what upset people in the first place. If this is their “mainstream” media push, what sort of agenda are they really hoping for out of the public eye?
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