Tag archives: Values Bus

Rolling through the Old Dominion on the Values Bus

by Robert Morrison

October 29, 2012

We drove in the Values Bus down Virginia’s Route 29 past the Brandy Station battlefield. That was the site of the greatest cavalry battle ever fought on this continent. We are fighting an entirely different kind of battle these days. We are trying to rally Virginians to vote their values. In Virginia, this is an old fight. Virginians in 2006 voted 57% to support true marriage. This is the state where America’s religious liberty was first attained. Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom of 1786 set the highest standard for this nation and the world. No other country has established religious freedom as its foundation. James Madison, who traveled this very road many times on his way to and from Washington, said the passage of this law, drafted seven years earlier by his good friend Thomas Jefferson, would add to “the lustre of our country.” Even more than that, Madison believed that religious liberty was the necessary foundation for civil liberty. He said so in his famous Federalist No. 51.

At Liberty University in Lynchburg, we have a light turnout. But Dean Mat Staver comes out to greet us. Dean Staver is also president of the Liberty Counsel. Having the chance to meet this Christian leader is worth the trip. We all make our statements and join with Bishop Harry Jackson and Rev. Dr. Philip Goudeaux. Bishop Jackson is leading us on this marriage tour. He speaks with passion of the need to “vote vertical,” that is, to vote as God has told us in His Word to honor the threatened institution of marriage.

Dr. Goudeaux pastors America’s largest black church, with some 24,000 members. He has come all the way from Sacramento, California, to support this marriage effort. But his pro-life testimony is what shines brightest. Born to a 14-year old mother who had been raped, Dr. Goudeaux says he thanks God for his mother’s biblical values, that she spared his life. And what a life it has been!

Genevieve Wood, Vice President for Communications of Heritage Foundation, makes the strong point that our economy is not going to improve without strong families. And the key to strong families is the marital bond. Everywhere we go, our cooperation is made stronger by Family Research Councils commitment to fiscal conservatism and Heritages understanding that marriage is essential. Its why we say the value issues are indivisible.

Not all conservatives agree, unfortunately. A smart young fellow I met at the gun show in Pennsylvania said, of course, he thought the churches should be free to keep marriage as the union of one man and one woman. But “the government should stay out of marriage.”

As gently as I could, I remind this fellow that out of wedlock births are the quickest route to poverty for women and children and the express lane to state socialism. Dont take my word for it. Just ask Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner. He argues we cannot cut social spending because four in ten children born today qualify for Medicaid. That would be the 42% out-of-wedlock births that this administrations policies promote.

Recall Julia. Shes the fictional character trotted out by the White House to show the benefits of a life lived under government tutelage and subsidy. Julia goes from Head Start to Medicare and Social Security under the supervision of the federal government, in the scenario offered by President Obama. At age 29, Julia decides to have a child. No marriage is mentioned. No husband intrudes. In fact, Julia has no father, no brother, no male friend or business partner. In the entire fictional Life of Julia we have been offered, the only man in her life is Barack Obama.

The Values Bus rolls into Richmond. On the grounds of Jeffersons beautiful State Capitol, we make our statements. What an amazing event. This building was once the heart of the Confederacy. Now, black and white Christians link arms to defend the bedrock of civilization. Virginia voters were united with voters in every state of the Old South to defend marriage. Black Southerners provided the winning margins in every contested state, some of those marriage victories scored as high as 72%.

Most recently, North Carolina voters in May gave 61% approval to a marriage amendment. This landslide victory included 49% of the Tarheel States Democrats. North Carolinians heard Billy Graham plead with them to support marriage and former President Bill Clinton, who had signed the Defense of Marriage Act, urge them to overturn it. They went with the evangelist. Imagine that.

In Fredericksburg, we meet at the Prayer Furnace. We meet an enthusiastic reception among the scores of young Pentecostals here. This mixed race ministry is engaged in prayer, teaching, and preparing missionaries. Some of these young believers have come out of tragic situations of poverty and abuse. They have found a refuge of love here. One woman, who seems older than the rest, but still not more than 35, tells me of her abortions as a teen. By Gods grace, she says, she now leads a pregnancy care center. A bruised reed He did not break.

Here, State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) addresses the gathering. He is a champion in Richmond for family values. Sen. Reeves last year defeated an entrenched liberal incumbent by just 86 votes out of 50,000 cast. That narrow win has not caused him to back off on fighting for life, marriage, and religious freedom.

After our short speeches, several of these loving young people gather round me and pray most earnestly for my safety. You know they are Christians by their love.

Their prayers for us, and those of thousands of others, have been a hedge of protection for the Values Bus. As I finish my time on the road, visiting my eighth state, I count this as one of the great experiences of my life. Forty years ago, I campaigned for my own election. I came out against abortion and suffered a crushing defeat. Two months later, The New York Times trumpeted the victory of liberal abortion and said the controversy was over. I have not believed the gray lady since.

We dont know how this election will turn out, or how the values issues will fare in the ballot box. But we know this much: The struggle to protect innocent human life will never be over. When I looked out at all those eager faces of the young Christians at the Prayer Furnace, I thanked God for their lives.

From the Values Bus: We Have Friends in Pennsylvania

by Robert Morrison

October 25, 2012

Ive long enjoyed visits to Pennsylvania. We used to take the Witherspoon Fellows, our FRC interns, to Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg regularly. The majestic Pennsylvania State Capitol was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt. He called it the most impressive public building in America.

Until recently, when most Americans thought of Pennsylvania probably thought of Penn State Universitys legendary football program, and of their legendary coach of the Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno. Sadly, it was another kind of lion that stalked the shower stalls of Penn States football program.

Our friend Michael Geer has movingly written of the origins of that scandal. Michael heads the Pennsylvania Family Institute in Harrisburg. Michael pointed to the moral relativism of Penn States president, Dr. Graham Spanier. Spanier told a legislative committee of inquiry he had trouble understanding what his questioner meant by wrong.

Penn States president could not see anything wrong with a Sex Faire on campus that featured a tent of consent in which students were told they might engage in any sexual conduct that struck their fancy. Spanier, of course, was dismissed. His failure to act promptly to stop the serial rapes of ten boys was disclosed in the devastatingly thorough report of Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI. Dont worry, though. Dr. Spanier is working to protect all of us as a defense consultantwith a Top Secret clearance. He says the fact that he retains a Top Secret clearance proves he did nothing wrong. But he also testified under oath that he doesnt understand the meaning of wrong.

When I was a teacher, we were told we legally acted in loco parentis (in the place of the parents) in our duty to protect the children in our care. Today, I think parents would be loco to put their young people in the charge of a man like Graham Spanier.

We had a happier mission to Pennsylvania last weekend on the Values Bus. Our first stop was a gun show in Bloomsburg. We wanted to meet first hand the folks who were described by candidate Barack Obama as clinging to their guns and religion. We met lots of them. But they werent bitter. They were happy. And they were eagerly looking forward to casting votes in the presidential election. Our purpose was to make sure that voters know about the important values issues that are also being decided by informed citizens. On the Values Bus, we advance values like the right to life, the defense of marriage and the preservation of religious freedom.

On Saturday night, we rolled into Uniontown and stopped at Liberty Baptist Church. Sr. Pastor Ewing Marietta welcomed us heartily and fed us royally at a church supper. We set up our Family Research Council and Heritage Foundation tables for literature distribution, but the folks there wanted answers to questions. We had a lively Q&A after brief presentations by Pastor Ewing and myself.

All the while, we were being photographed by a silent presence. A tall man with bushy gray hair and a walrus mustache wore a NatGeo ballcap, He said nothing, but continued to photograph our every move. It was creepy. I was determined not to be deterred.

Other reporters straightforwardly introduced themselves and asked fair enough questions. Ive become used to this and we are actually happy to answer any honest question. I recall one reporter on the trail in Wisconsin who tried to entrap me into saying the purpose of our bus tour was to defeat Obama. I never said that, I parried. But your friend said that, the reporter countered. Our friend is with the NRA. He can say whatever he wishes. We are here to talk about the Values Issues. Unpersuaded, that dogged reporter said the NRA man is speaking here, at your rally. Its not our rally. Its a TEA Party rally. Were invited guests, just like the NRA man. We are adhering strictly to our mandate: issues, issues, issues.

Talking about issues is important. The parties have platforms that say a lot about the right to life, the defense of marriage, and religious liberty. Voters need to know what those platforms say. When pressed by persistent reporters, I quote Thomas Jefferson: Give light and the people will find their own way. We are in the lighting department, I say.

Besides, people are smart. They get it. In Iowa, at a Sioux City restaurant, a high schooler was regaling the young ladies with talk of his wrestling prowess. When we asked him to seat us, he spied my iVoteValues button and looked out at the Values Bus: I dont have to guess who youre voting for, he said laughingly. People are smart.

The economy is on everyones mind in Pennsylvania, as across the country. Up here, you learn about Marcellus Shale. It seems that most of Pennsylvania, southern New York State, Eastern Ohio,and all of West Virginia are floating on a vast ocean of shale oil and gas. Getting at it in an environmentally safe way is the big challenge of our day. Here, we could be energy independent. And this contentious issue is, frankly, putting Pennsylvania in play in the election.

One of the best events in Pennsylvania was the candlelight vigil Pastor Marietta organized at sunset in front of the Ten Commandments monument at a local junior high. The atheizers, typically, are trying to get it removed. Its been there for 55 years. The mixed race crowd heard Rev. Thompson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church pray for the children of the school and the well-being of the community.

I am puzzled by the controversy. In the Pennsylvania State House, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth sits under a Violet Oakley mural titled Revealed Law. It is a great, colorful rendering of the carving of the Ten Commandments. Its not just silent somber stone. In this painting you get Moses inscribing Gods Word, hammer, chisel, thunder, lightning, fire, the works. How can it be unconstitutional for schoolchildren to see Gods law when their black robed elders in Harrisburg sit in judgment under it?

We come back to Washington through some of the most beautiful of fall colors. Whizzing by at 65 mph, we see Fort Necessity. That was the place where young Col. George Washington battled the French during the French and Indian War. Its truly one of the most important places in our countrys history. We have no time to stop, sadly. We are working this fall to make sure that our countrys history will go on.

On the Values Bus in Colorado

by Robert Morrison

October 11, 2012

Following a press conference and joint statements on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, the Family Research Council and Heritage Foundation Values Bus returned to the Airport Crowne Plaza to set up for the Western Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The mood was apprehensive among the activists gathered for this important meeting. It was the afternoon of the first presidential debate.

The following morning dawned cold and clear, but the mood had changed abruptly. It was as if a jolt of electricity had gone through the attendees. Gov. Romney came by for a short, unscheduled greeting to the CPAC conferees. He received a hero’s welcome. It was truly amazing to see the change in the atmosphere. Must have been climate change.

The Values Bus proceeded to Loveland in a cold drizzle. There, a small but enthusiastic crowd huddled to hear Heritage’s Vice President for Communications Genevieve Wood and this writer speak about the vital social and economic issues that voters should consider this fall. Candidates for state and local office joined the speakers roster as they endorsed the ideals principles promoted by the Values Bus.

It’s a reminder of what Ronald Reagan said before a church audience in 1980: You can’t endorse me, but I can endorse you. When candidates take the time to publicly embrace the Values Bus message, it counts.

Saturday, we set up shop at a gun show in Pueblo, Colorado. Several thousand people came through the exhibits. It took awhile for some of the attendees to warm to our FRC message. But once the kids started taking little blue basketballs, the ice broke. We had many families coming by, showing their children the big blue bus and explaining what we were about. The Coloradans say “Howdy” in an unaffected way. It is definitely a laid-back crowd. And not since I stood duty in the armory in boot camp have I seen so many weapons. Don’t Tread on Me flags captured the spirit of the event.

I had a chance to walk around the exhibits and engaged the “Gunzilla” folks in a lively conversation. They were selling a product that cleans, protects, and lubricates guns without chapping and cracking the users’ hands. The son of the marketer of “Gunzilla” explained to me how his friends, soldiers coming back from Iraq, had shown him their cracked and bleeding hands. This was the result of the harsh cleaners they had had to use to keep their weapons functioning in fire fights. The young man proudly told me how his dad had approached a chemist friend and they’d provided a safe, non-flammable, and environmentally sound alternative product that would do everything with one application. And it was kind to hands.

That led to a discussion of gun oil in general. In my writing with Ken Blackwell, I had learned that wolves are highly sensitive to the smell of gun oil. They have learned to associate that smell with humans, with hunters, and stay away. Thus, even the non-gun bearing hikers and campers who go out into the wilderness are protected by the hunters and ranchers.

Our last stop was a happy homecoming at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. Harsh weather forced us inside the lobby of Focus’ beautiful main building. There, we set up our tables and banners. FRC’s Rev. Randy Wilson opened the rally with prayer. He was most eloquent in that House of Prayer.

Carrie Gordon Earll of CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, welcomed us and urged all the rally attendees to take their Colorado voters guide. This is the state equivalent of the FRCAction Voters Guide. Together, we provided citizens with the information they need to hold their state, congressional, and presidential candidates accountable.

State Sen. Kent Lambert reminded everyone of the national and international issues at stake in the fall elections. Sen. Lamber is not a candidate this cycle, so he was free to speak of the importance of the full range of issues voters will decide.

Former State Sen. Dave Schultheis offered a prepared address that raised profound issues of forcing Americans to pay for the destruction of innocent human lives through abortion. Sen. Schultheis movingly appealed for Christian citizens to vote and bring their family and friends to the polling places in order to preserve our heritage of religious freedom.

I was happy to applaud both of these able public servants—even as they stole all my lines. Happily, I had been talking earlier with Congressman Doug Lamborn about our mutual admiration for Ronald Reagan. The Congressman is a candidate this cycle, so legal advice given to our hosts preferred he not address the rally.

Very well. I thanked Mr. Lamborn for coming. And I launched into a tribute to Ronald Reagan’s pro-life and traditional family values positions. I pointed out that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was wrong to say that Reagan didn’t care that much about abortion. (Correcting Chris Matthews’ errors could be nearly full-time work.)

Ronald Reagan was the first president to speak of the unborn in his Inaugural Addresses and in his State of the Union messages. He called abortion “a wound in America’s soul.” He wrote a book titled “Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation,” the first sitting president to publish a book. I noted that I had gone to the Reagan Library for three days of research into Reagan’s actions on the abortion issue.

I thought when I went that I might not have enough material there to occupy for three full days. I could easily have spent three weeks there. I held hundreds of handwritten letters in my hand—letters in which Ronald Reagan invariably anguished over “this slaughter of innocents.”

How moving to see this oldest of America’s presidents care so deeply about the youngest of Americans.

I concluded by speaking of the speech President Reagan gave at the Berlin Wall. He said “Tear Down this Wall” there. That part was widely reported.

But I discovered only in 2009 another important part of Reagan’s speech. He said the East German Communists had erected a radio tower to overshadow all the church steeples in East Berlin. But it had a defect. The atheist authorities there tried to etch it out with acid. They tried to paint it over. They tried to sandblast the defect.

But when the sun shone on the globe of the radio tower, the President said, “it reflects the Sign of the Cross.” I shared with my listeners at Focus on the Family the fact that that was only time any president had publicly invoked the Sign of the Cross. And I admitted that I got excited at reading my president’s words, just as Chris Matthews does now.

On the Values Bus: A Mile High Mission

by Robert Morrison

October 4, 2012

The Values Bus rolled into Colorado this week. Our first stop was Denver, the site of last night’s presidential debate. Yesterday, we had a chance to meet with some key state legislative leaders at the Centennial State’s impressive Capitol. Like Iowa’s (and Massachusetts’s and West Virginia’s) this great domed structure is covered in gold leaf.

I was especially pleased to renew my friendship with Amy Stephens. Years ago, Amy was the policy director for Focus on the Family when I had that role at FRC. Now, Representative Amy Stephens is the Republican leader in the state house. That’s a nice change.

Wherever we go on the Values Bus, I make it a point to meet and talk to as many local and state elected officials as I can. It’s a most encouraging effort. These are really sharp folks. They are close to their constituents, conscientious, and capable. In Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Virginia, we had strong support for the Values Bus from locally elected lawmakers.

With the president headed into Denver for his debate, I had the rare opportunity of agreeing with him. Mr. Obama recently said “Washington is broken and we can’t fix it from the inside.” You are so right, Sir! And in my remarks on the steps of the State Capitol, I ventured the opinion that it would have been so nice if the President had realized that before his administration took control of banks, insurance companies, college student loans, the nation’s health care, GM, and Chrysler.

The impression one gets at these majestic, solid state capitols is of people being capable of self-government. They built these impressive monuments to the peoples’ ability to run their own affairs before Mr. Obama pressed on them a stimulus, before he issued mandates, and even before his EPA did an environmental impact study.

We are rolling through the American heartland with our friends from the Heritage Foundation. The Values Bus is a joint project. Heritage’s Vice President for Communications, Genevieve Wood, is another long-time friend. She used to fill that role at FRC. She always generously gives FRC a hat tip at each stop. I return the salute, saying we are honored to work with Heritage Foundation as they ride through the heartland dispensing subversive literature—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution!

Gov. Mitt Romney last night offered this “means test” for a federal program. Is it so critical that we are willing to borrow money from China to continue funding it? So long, Big Bird! And maybe The Jim Lehrer News Hour, too. (Although, after last night’s performance as the debate’s hesitant moderator, it may be we have liberal agreement on that one.)

Whenever I visit a state capitol, I am moved to ask: “Who would think the people who built this are not capable of running their own schools?” SAT scores are continuing their years-long slide under President Obama. I don’t blame him for that. He doesn’t take the tests. But I do criticize him and even some of his Republican predecessors for continuing to shovel money at the unconstitutional and wasteful federal education department. Can any Americans point to a single improvement in their local schools we can attribute to the federal education department?

I should know: I worked there for three years in the 1980s. I served under President Ronald Reagan. When a liberal Republican congressman asked for a meeting with the president to talk about the future of the Education Department. Mr. Reagan wrote in the margin of the meeting agenda: “I hope it doesn’t have one!” Right you are, Mr. President! And, as Genevieve Wood reminds us: This is how you pile up a $16 Trillion debt.

The state capitols are an eloquent reminder of a time when state and local governments served Americans best because they were closest to the people. If we lose the ability to govern ourselves in our state and local governments, we cannot expect wisdom suddenly to descend on the banks of the Potomac. As Thomas Jefferson said: “If we had to wait for Washington [D.C.] to tell us when to plant, we should soon want bread.”

On the Values Bus: Iowa Strong

by Robert Morrison

September 28, 2012

Im wearing a new red rubber wristband: it says Iowa Strong11.6.12 Its a good reminder for me and for Iowans of the important role this state plays in our presidential selection process. Iowa has a high voter turnout. In 2008, the nations turnout was unusually high61.6% But Iowas was higher still69.4%. The Hawkeye State has a strong commitment to grassroots democracy.

The sense of Iowa Strong made itself clear again last weekend as we took the FRC-Heritage Foundation Values Bus through the state. Starting in Osceola, local leader Scott McLin organized a rally in a church parking lot. Citizens came together on a windy, clear Saturday afternoon to hear State Rep. Joel Fry and State Senate candidate Amy Sinclair speak of the urgent need to control spending and stand strong for basic values. Heritage Foundations Genevieve Wood warned of Taxmageddon, the avalanche of new taxes that will hit American homes and businesses if Congress and the president do not act soon to avoid the automatic expiry of Bush-era tax cuts.

I had a chance to make the case for policies that protect unborn life, preserve marriage, and defend our essential religious freedom. Pastor Matt Flood spoke movingly of our responsibilities as Christians to exercise our right to vote. He quoted from American Founder John Witherspoon. Rev. Witherspoon was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Pastor Flood cares deeply about the nations pastand its future. His eloquent remarks got me thinking: John Witherspoon never heard of Iowa. He died before President Jefferson made the historic Louisiana Purchase that brought Iowa into American possession. But Witherspoonlike all the Founderscared deeply about securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. We are those millions yet unborn for whom the Founders were willing to sacrifice so much.

Its humbling, too, to hear John Witherspoons words read out to appreciative Iowans 236 years after they were written. Will anything we say on the Values Bus tour be read and appreciated in the year 2248? Perhaps, but only if we succeed in keeping this beloved country the last best hope of earth.

Moving on to Council Bluffs, we are regaled with local stories. This city has one of only six remaining Squirrel Cage Jails in America. That aptly named hoosegow is three stories high, consists of pie-wedge shaped cells, and allows the entire lockup to be overseen by a single prison guard. The Squirrel Cage Jail is no longer in use for prisoners. Maybe the ACLU thought it cruel and unusual to be twirled around every time one of the inmates had to go exit the single door. But I had a great time imagining a reality show in Council Bluffs. Instead of voting people off the island, we could vote them into jail. I confess Id like to see a lot of political consultants in both parties there. I have a little list and therell none of them be missed.

Local notable Grenville Dodge had a great Victorian mansion in Council Bluffs. Local political leaders told us that Abraham Lincoln once dined there, before he was president. They say there are six wine glasses lovingly tended and on display. They dont know which one Lincoln used, so they preserve them all. Lincoln, I knew, was almost a teetotaler, so those wine goblets really are rare.

On to Sioux City, our bus rolls in to an Olive Garden restaurant for dinner. The buzz cut teenager who escorts to our booth takes one look at the big red, white, blue and gold Values Bus and my I Vote Values button and says: I dont need to guess who youre voting for for president. Thats another reason I like Iowa. When one in the crowd presses me for an endorsement, I just quote Jefferson: Give light and the people will find their own way.

Riding on the Values Bus, we are in the lighting department. Our purpose is to make sure the vital issues that the media too often like to ignore are not ignored. They are a critical part of voters decision-making. The party platforms make it clear, too. For one party, abortion is central. For one party, too, counterfeit marriage has become the order of the day.

It wasnt always so. At various stops, I related the history of the Defense of Marriage Act. In 1996, that bill passed through both houses of Congress overwhelmingly. The House voted 342-67; the Senate 85-14 to defend marriage. That bill would have passed both houses of Congress if there had not been a single Republican in either chamber. And it was signed by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

I thank the young voters at every stop for leading America firmly in the pro-life direction. They know what even some liberals are admitting. TIME Magazines Joe Klein says ultra-sound has made it impossible to deny that that thing in the womb is a human being. Right you are, Joe Klein. And most young Americans have seen their own first picturesultra sound photos. Impossible or not, there are leading politicos in this country who deny reality every day. You could find thousands of them meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently.

Pastor Cary Gordon at Cornerstone World Outreach Church presides over a truly Shining City on a Hill. CWOC is built on the highest point in that city. Pastor Gordon invited Congressman Steve King and State Senate candidate, Col. Al Ringenberg, to address a large assembly. The pastor emphasized that all candidates are welcome to speak in his church and he will ask them all where they stand on life, marriage, and religious freedom.

Congressman King reminded attendees of this administrations attempt to ban the Bible at Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington, D.C.

In my remarks, I noted that Walter Reed was the most famous military doctor, the one who eradicated Yellow Fever. Dr. Reed wrote to his wife the prayer of twenty years has been answered. I asked if Walter Reed himself would be banned at Walter Reed hospital?

Riding through the night, we return to Des Moines. Big Bus Driver Scott Wilson has logged tens of thousands of miles on the Values Bus, tirelessly pressing on. And Ive never seen him get lost or make a mistake! FRCs Chris Bosch has perfected the setup and breakdown of our booths to a science. He can do it in less than five minutes. FRC Actions Kathy Flavin handles the scheduling of events with amazing professionalism. In my time on the bus, weve never been late or missed an engagement.

Were up early for a Monday rally at the State Capitol. Pro-family leaders Bob Vander Plaats and Tamara Scott remind the crowd assembled in the shadow of the majestic gold dome how important it is to remove Judge David Wiggins from office. He is one of seven Supreme Court judges who overturned marriage in Iowa. In 2010, FRC President Tony Perkins and FRCAction leader Connie Mackey led a Judge Bus Tour around Iowa that helped to recall three of those judicial activists. Judge Wiggins is simply Number Four in line to be removed. Tamara Scott showed her hand-made D- signthe grade given to Judge Wiggins by the Iowa Bar Association. Even his peers recognize that Wiggins is a less than mediocre judge.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum spoke most powerfully of Americas unique constitutional order, our exceptional system of checks and balances, so necessary for the maintenance of liberty. Sen. Santorum famously visited all ninety-nine Iowa counties in his year-long quest for the GOP presidential nomination.

I thanked Iowa voters and noted that black, white, Hispanic and Asian voters had come together to vote out those anti-marriage judicial usurpers. In every state, marriage is a bridge issue that brings together Americans of all races and creeds.

Standing under that beautiful Iowa State Capitol, you cannot help but marvel. That impressive structure was erected by a free people, without federal funds, without federal mandates. Yes, Iowans, you did build that!

Will You Stand Up for Marriage? I do!

by Robert Morrison

May 22, 2012

I had the enjoyable experience of returning to Minnesota last week and adding a trip to Wisconsin. Joining the FRC-Heritage Foundations Values Bus in Minneapolis, we first heard famed talk show host Hugh Hewitt make an impassioned appeal for marriage at the Minnesota Family Councils annual dinner.

Of course, we will be accused of pushing marriage for religious reasons. Dont shy away from that, Hewitt said. God created the institution of marriage for our good. Consider Genesis, where God creates the world and everything seen and unseen. He blesses all saying it is good. The first time He says anything is not good is when He sees that the man is alone. Nor should we ever be ashamed of the Gospel. Jesuss first miracle was done at the Wedding at Cana.

Still, Hewitt said, we are not seeking to impose our religious views on society in general when we defend marriage. We can consider the Founders of our country. They appealed to the laws of Nature and of Natures god in the Declaration of Independence. Our very existence as a nation is premised on the natural law that we know is written on the hearts of men.

When I was interviewed on the Values Bus by Minnesota Public Radios (MPR) Rupa Shenoy, she noted the opposition of leading Minnesota liberals—Gov. Mark Dayton, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken—to the marriage referendum. I would not be drawn into criticizing local leaders. Instead, I made the case that marriage benefits everyone.

I related to MPR how, when I visit my friend Jim in prison, we are surrounded by fatherless young men. This is a national tragedy. Two-thirds of the teen murderers in our prisons and three-quarters of the incarcerated teen rapists are fatherless young men. I even noted that they write plays about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd, the young gay man killed in Laramie, Wyoming. His killers were two fatherless young men. Marriage, I told Rupa Shenoy, blesses everyone and bashes no one.

The venomous attacks on Minnesota for Marriages Kalley Yanta will backfire, I believe. She is called a spokeshrew and a witch promoting hatred by opponents of the marriage initiative. Such nastiness is counterproductive, especially in Minnesota.

Watch Kalley Yantas mild-mannered, reasoned Marriage Minutes on the web and try to fathom how anyone could call this lovely woman names. Its interesting that those who yell bully loudest seem to be the most practiced at bullying.

We rolled into Wisconsin on the Values Bus. Stopping in Madison, we were aware we were in the heart of Dane County, the only county in the Badger State that did not support marriage in the 2006 referendum. Still, even there we got waves and smiles. Its hard not to smile when you park next to a German restaurant and go in to hear an oompah band. (I loved seeing the childrens faces in the next booth. They were so excited. Such precious innocence. No one told them yet that polka bands are not cool.)

That 2006 Wisconsin vote for marriage should give us all heart. That was the year that Nancy Pelosi and her friends were swept into power in Washington. It was a year when we were told the old values were out.

But there in progressive Wisconsin, every county except Dane County joined the Wedding March. A stunning 59% of Wisconsinites backed marriage. Thats a landslide in any state. But in the home state of Battling Bob Lafollette, it shows that marriage has the widest support.

Marriage is not wedge issue. Its a bridge issue. I had a Minnesota State Rep. tell me that her Somali and Hmong (Cambodian) constituents had paraded through her office pressing her to vote for marriage.

Vice President Joe Biden claimed to be stepping into history when he said counterfeit marriage was inevitable. Actually, its evitable. And Biden may have stepped on a rake.

Support for marriage spans the divide. Wherever the people can speak, they say: I do.