Update: I’ve received a couple of rebukes from people I respect and upon reflection have come to the conclusion that 1. this post didn’t need to be written.  2. the tone was petty and not becoming.

I was irritated by the email and I don’t personally agree with the approach, but this is a post that shouldn’t have been written and it was frankly not the godly approach.

So I apologize to my readers and to The FAMiLY Leader.

I’m not removing the post because I’m not going to pretend that this post wasn’t written, and I’m not going to hide my warts.  It is unfortunately already out there.

Original post: I received an email from The FAMiLY Leader today that just rubbed me the wrong way.  It isn’t about any position they took, but the email was basically nothing more than claiming a victim status and then asking for money.  This isn’t the first time they’ve sent an email like this as they’ve pointed out hate mail they have received as well.  This time they pointed out a t-shirt that was being sold in the East Village of Des Moines where it is unlikely they have many friends.

There is no question that having a picture of Bob Vander Plaats with next to it saying, “Hi, I’m a huge f**king d**k” is beyond being inappropriate.  It is sophomoric and I hope that the proprietor loses money on the deal, but it is something best left ignored.

Instead they send out an email that says:

This shirt, with our President & CEO Bob Vander Plaats’s face on it, is for sale at a t-shirt store in Des Moines’ East Village. (Note: the letters are not blurred out on the actual shirt.)  I guess the people behind this would rather attack and smear an individual than have a civil discussion about the issues.

Please keep those of us at The FAMiLY LEADER and our work, as well as the people who spew this sort of vitriol, in your prayers, and remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:11: "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."

Also, please consider becoming a partner with The FAMiLY LEADER for as little as $40/year (11 cents/day).  Click here to donate now!

Now asking for prayer is certainly more than ok, but the fundraising pitch at the end… well that seems to me to be opportunistic.  Anyone who stands for biblical principles will be attacked for sure (though we also need to realize that sometimes we’re persecuted because of the way we communicate the message, not just the message itself).   I’m sure that Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition receives negative email and attention, as well as, Iowa Right to Life.  They are just not claiming victim status and using it as a fundraising opportunity.

But hey I’ve been called names and insulted, that’s just par for the course.  I actually have had to look up some of the insults to know what I was actually being called on occasion.  Then sometimes it hasn’t been so subtle.  So hey, I’m a victim as well, so go ahead if you feel so led to donate (because I’m not getting paid to express my opinion, you get it for free, lucky you) you can do so here.

2 comments
  1. I see nothing wrong with the original post, Shane — so I’d love to hear why people objected.  Did TFL play off of the vulgarity of a T-shirt – with a Bible verse awkwardly inserted as justification – to make $$ for the group?  Check.  Did their mass distribution email, however unintentionally, spread the T-shirt’s vulgarity to many MORE people? Check.  I do think there is a desperately needed conversation here — but not about a T-shirt — instead about how Christians who enter politics seem to want to want it both ways.  They want to enter a realm where these fundraising pitches are par for the course, but then want immunity from criticism when called out for practicing interest group politics.

    1. Hey Kedron,

      The reasons I heard and one of those people was my wife – thought my post sounded petty and that I was looking for something to criticize them over.  Another person thought that there were better ways I could spend my blogging time instead of stirring up a controversy.  Another didn’t appreciate my tone/snark.

      So I thought I’d try to keep the peace.  My original opinion hasn’t changed though.

      How are you guys doing?  Drop me an email sometime, I’d love to have coffee with you.

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