It’s called “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family,” and Vander Plaats announced that candidates who refuse to sign the pledge won’t even be considered for an endorsement. Given Vander Plaats’ sway among right-wing activists in Iowa — his group, The Family Leader, is a conservative power in the state — this will no doubt get GOP candidates’ attention.So, what is in this lovely pledge that Vander Plaats is asking GOP candidates to sign? Well, you can read it for yourself.
Basically, it asks the candidates to be faithful to their spouse (Sorry Gingrich). It implies that a child born into slavery was "more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‟s first African-American President." Be completely and totally anti-gay and anti-porn. And, asks them to be against "Sharia Islam."
The anti-Sharia movement has been very interesting to watch amongst the Religious Right. They are basically claiming that Sharia law has crept in and is taking over our legal system. What is ironic about this is that Sharia law is not very different than what some of these crazy evangelicals want to impose as part of their vision of an American Theocracy. I mean, Sharia is a serious threat isn't it? Hardly. Less than 2% of the entire US Population consider themselves Muslim. Many of them are very moderate in their views. The thought that such a minority voting block could somehow manage to take over the US Legal System when the Religious Right has been trying to do that for decades (with some success) is asinine, but such is the fear and hate mongering of the Ring Wing Christians.
Sharia is also anti-gay and anti-porn, so there seems to be a bit of a conflict of interest there.
The always insightful Steve Benen has his take on this at is blog Political Animal.
Update [7/11/2011] The Family Leader group that published the vow and retracted the slavery came with the following comment:
“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,” said Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader. “We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow.”So, it's not really an apology. They were just concerned that others would "misconstrue" what they were saying. Utter bullshit if you ask me. Besides, that doesn't change the fact that Bachmann and Santorum still signed it with the original language.