As far as I can tell, that small "i" in the word family is supposed to denote humility or some crap. It's also the only sign of humility on the whole damned Family Leader website (other than repeated uses of the words "humble" and "humility," of course). They're associated with both "Focus on the Family" and the "Family Research Council," two of the most strident right-wing Christian conservative groups out there.
THE MARRIAGE VOW
A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY
The president of Family Leader is Bob Vander Plaats, and he's a special breed of crazy. He's tried to explain in the past that same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to the suspension of the Constitution, the removal of property rights for individuals, and the destruction of the Second Amendment. (Yes, I'm serious about that.) His former campaign manager describes him as "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue."
Since most of the items on the Family Leader's little list have been staple Republican issues for years, I'm not entirely clear why so many of the other front-runners in the 2012 GOP Goat Rodeo are backing slowly away from it. Except that maybe, when you put it all in one place like this, it becomes a little more distasteful to the average American.
Because, really, what this "vow" wants is to put the Christian Taliban in place in America.
There have been a number of objections to parts of this pledge. For example, the first bullet point listed during the preamble to this steaming pile of piety is fascinating.
• Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an AfricanAmerican baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.As Cheryl Contee put it at Jack & Jill Politics:
Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive. I mean, putting aside the statistics on this, which are likely off-base, I could not be more angry. When will Republicans inquire with (sic) actual Black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points?But let's take a look at the actual "Candidate Vow" that Bachmann and Santorum signed on to support, shall we?
Personal fidelity to my spouse.So, we're not likely to see this supported by Newt Gingrich, are we? Or, for that matter, most Republicans. Somewhere between John McCain's divorces and John Boehner's rumored affairs, I don't see the GOP adopting this as a plank, really.
Respect for the marital bonds of others.Unless you're gay-married. Because that's just icky.
Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.See, now, there's a tricky issue, right there. Because a "faithful constitutionalist" wouldn't have allowed any Constitutional Amendments, would he? So that whole "Bill of Rights" thing? Yeah, that's out the window. We wouldn't have had to ban Prohibition, but, then again, we wouldn't have had Prohibition in the first place, so I guess there's that.
Oh, and blacks would only be three-fifths of a person. You know, it's the little issues like these that make me wonder about "constitutional originalists."
Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.Yup, there's that gay marriage thing again.
Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.Wow. Coming from people who refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution and global warming, that's almost humorous. But what the hell does it really mean? "Recognition of the evidence?" Doesn't really say anything, except "yeah, I guess that's right..."
Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended "second chance" or "cooling-off" periods for those seeking a "quickie divorce.""uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy"? Wow, that would be a fascinating list. Of course, since you've already accepted their bullshit studies in the previous paragraph, I guess the list of what you have to support has probably already been made.
Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.That's funny. You'd think that the part of DOMA that keeps states from having to accept gay marriages from other states would bother those "constitutional originalists," wouldn't it? You know, that whole Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section 1, US Constitution), where it says that "acts, records and judicial proceedings (from each state) shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States and its Territories and Possessions" as they do in the original state.
Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.See? Once again, "constitutional originalists" who want to amend the fucking Constitution.
Logic. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.You know, right at first glance, that looks like a really good part of this whole vow. It's a list of stuff everybody should be against, right?
Well, look closer. Once you get past the "human trafficking" and "sexual slavery," you'll notice that "abortion" is right there next to "infanticide," you'll note that they're not only trying to ban prostitution, but pornography. (We'll be dealing, of course, with their definition of pornography.) And can you please explain what they mean by "seduction into promiscuity" or "other types of coercion or stolen innocence?"
I mean, come on! Do you know how many things have been said to lead to promiscuity? Music of just about every kind, whether rock, rap or pop - go back far enough, even jazz has been accused of being "devil music." The media in general might be at fault. Even dancing at all is immoral. (You didn't think that the screenwriter for Footloose - Dean Pitchford, if you're curious - got the idea out of nowhere, did you?)
It isn't just sexy clothing that lead our children away from the Paths of Righteousness, it might even be something as simple as pants.
The list is endless. So how far do you think these people will want to press the issue?
Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.The gays again. This time in our military. (Maybe Vander Plaats really is obsessed with homosexuality. Methinks he doth protest too much...)
And incidentally, the womenfolk aren't strong enough to be in the military! They need to be back home pumping out babies!
Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.Um... does that include the stuff in the Bible, too? Because I might be willing to support this if it did.
Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.You know, that doesn't necessarily sound all that scary, because many of you might not be familiar with the Quiverfull movement. Yeah, they're out there.
Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.Except for those parts of the government that do the stuff we want, and the new parts to support the requirements of this vow right here...
Fierce defense of the First Amendment's rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.Free speech, but only for our side. You have to admire that one.
OK, so maybe I do see why the other GOP candidates aren't signing on to this.
Update (7/11/11): Although the link I used shows the original, it seems that FAMiLY LEADER has removed the only-offensive-if-you-know-a-black-person bullet point about slavery. And seriously, you can't blame them - there can't be more than 12 black people in Iowa, can there? And you can't expect Bob Vander Plaats to know all of them, can you?