Awhile back Iowa Family Policy Center received a sizable federal grant to provide marriage mentoring.  They launched a program called Marriage Matters, and their vice president, Dr. Mike Hartwig (pictured on the left), became the President of Marriage Matters.

Now The Iowa Independent who last month reported that IFPC has received federal money through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services between 2004-2009.  I know from my conservations with Mike that IFPC desired to give up the federal grant because they became increasingly convinced it that marriage mentoring shouldn’t be funded through taxpayer money.

So they’ve been funded through other sources for some time, and now The Iowa Independent posts on this as though it has been some big secret.  I knew about this grant since before it was even awarded to them.  It was pretty well known that they had this grant.

Where’s the story in this?  Oh I know!  Because they also have the Iowa Family PAC who has endorsed Bob Vander Plaats, have an issues oriented PAC – Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION,  have been advocates of preserving traditional marriage, and they are a Christian organization they must be misspending the money.

Any proof?  None.

Now the ACLU is bringing an investigation.  Again why?  Because Marriage Matters is not a separate organization from IFPC.  In my experience working with grants.  There is a lot of reporting that goes on.  There are budgets submitted.  There are budget justifications that are required.  You have quarterly reports – data and narrative.  You keep separate books, and they check your auditing procedures to make sure money isn’t going to be spent inappropriately.  Money and payments have to be coded a certain way.  There is a high amount of accountability.

I personally know there was a desire to keep Marriage Matters as separate as possible from IFPC.  If you go look at IFPC’s website and Marriage Matters’ website you can see there is hardly any mention with the exception of Mike’s bio.  Having participated in some Marriage Matter events I am positive they have walked the church-state line with integrity.

Now speaking of integrity, Andy Kopsa’s only contributions to The Iowa Independent have been these two stories.  She is an Iowa native who now lives in New York, and has an obvious bias.  She tweeted last month.


Wow, that’s the question of an unbiased, intelligent journalist (having talked with her on the phone I recognize that while I disagree with her it was wrong of me to question her intelligence).  Her “news stories” are nothing but a hatchet job.  She offered absolutely no proof.

Presumptions do not equal facts, and I hope that the ACLU ends up wasting a lot of time and resources for nothing.

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  1. So you are worried about the cost to the IFPC of emailing copies of the reports which already exist?

    Or something?

  2. What did the christianist organization do with the money it received this year? How long have they been receiving these federal grants? If they used our federal money against us, are they required to pay it back?

    Thank god for the ACLU.

    1. First thing – Christianist isn’t a word, get. Secondly, they haven’t received federal money this year, they stopped the grant in 2009 on their own. If you read the post it said how long they’ve received federal money and the links provided will tell you how much they received in that time frame.

      Third – used against “us” I take to mean you are gay, correct me if I’m wrong. Organizations are not allowed to use federal grant money for religious or political activity. They haven’t. This grant was used for Marriage Matters which worked statewide to promote marriage enrichment, coaching and mentoring – not work on the Iowa Marriage Amendment. There is absolutely no proof of this, and they are being accused simply because of who they are. But the left obviously doesn’t feel they need any semblance of proof to make accusations.

  3. In your summation of this post you write this: “There is nothing to the IFPC federal funding story, and they are being looked into simply because of who they are.”

    I hope you are not arguing AGAINST discrimination. That would be a shock to the system.

    And, federal money should be open to review by all citizens. It is a primary reason most religious groups do not take federal money. Even the Family Research Council, national affiliate of the Iowa Family Policy Center, co-founded by the duly noted Dr. George Rekers, disclaims federal funding.

    Talk about a hatchet job. You don’t note a single error.

    One big error in your post. You make a claim that hating the gays preserves “opposite marriages” as our tedious governor calls it. But you offer zero proof. I think even the IFPC has given up on that, claiming now that gay marriage causes cancer. LOL

    1. Note when they dropped federal funding – 2009. When did the gay marriage ruling come down? 2009. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Especially when Ed Fallon was calling for gay couples to sign up for marriage mentoring through Marriage Matters.

      Being against gay marriage is not hating gays. If you want a true example of hate then point your finger at Westboro Baptist Church. You can I can be in agreement with that.

  4. “Being against gay marriage is not hating gays.”

    You pervert the question as to how hating gays preserves opposite marriage. This is not an answer.

    Rest assured, I know you don’t have one. 🙂

    1. I reject the premise of your question – I nor IFPC hate gays. Why are you so intolerant and hate Christians who disagree with your point of view? I mean the rhetorical table can be turned on you.

      Now if you want to frame the question as – “why do you think preserving the traditional definition of marriage protects marriage?” The better question would be how does it hurt society.

      I thought this statement from the Family Research Council was pretty helpful:

      How does gay marriage harm traditional marriage? One might as well ask, “How does printing counterfeit $20 bills hurt your wallet?” Or to use another example, can you imagine a building where every carpenter defined his own standard of measurement? A man and a woman joined together in holy matrimony is the time-tested “yardstick” for marriage. One cannot alter the definition of marriage without throwing society into confusion any more than one can change the definition of a yardstick. Homosexual marriage is an empty pretense that lacks the fundamental sexual complementariness of male and female. And like all counterfeits, it cheapens and degrades the real thing. The destructive effects may not be immediately apparent, but the cumulative damage is inescapable. The eminent Harvard sociologist, Pitirim Sorkin, analyzed cultures spanning several thousand years on several continents, and found that virtually no society has ceased to regulate sexuality within marriage as defined as the union of a man and a woman, and survived.

      Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason I thought gives a pretty good answer to a similar question. You can read that here –

Comments are closed.

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