Dispatch from Iowa: “Values Voters” Bus Tour Doesn’t Speak for Us
As a member of Faithful America, I had the opportunity to participate in a peaceful rally at the Iowa State Capitol on August 9th to challenge the social injustices and dishonest rhetoric promoted by the Religious Right’s “Values Voters” bus tour, which coincides with the GOP presidential candidate debate and Straw Poll held this week. Our group of 14, holding up a banner that read “Thou Shalt Not Lie”, held a brief program declaring our belief that caring for the needy, upholding social justice, and truthfulness in political campaigns are faith and values issues. We then stood in solidarity along the sidewalk across the street from the tour bus, which was emblazoned with the message “Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Religious Liberties,” as political operatives advanced their a discriminatory, fear-mongering agenda while proclaiming their “faith” and “values”.
Our goal at the event was to show that the “Values Voters” tour doesn’t speak for the majority of the faith-based community. Unfortunately, a political bus tour draws a lot more attention. However, we did share our message with several media organizations, and our message was included in TV, radio and print media coverage. They also reported that the media outnumbered the “Values Voters” supporters, which were fewer than twenty.
After the grandiose dialogues ended and the bus headed to its next stop, several of us from Faithful America chatted with a journalist with the Norwegian Business Daily, who was covering the GOP events this week. I asked him what he thought of the message the “Values Voters” were promoting. He was silent for a moment, then said “They are kind of crazy, aren’t they.” He shook his head repeatedly as we discussed their lack of substance. So, THAT’S how the rest of the world sees these people. I hope and pray that it’s contagious in the United States.