Family Leader Removes Slave Reference From Marriage Vow

VanderPlaats So, that vile "marriage pledge" Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats and his group, The Family Leader wanted GOP presidential candidates to sign?

In addition to all the homophobic language, it also included a section that suggested black families were better off during slave days.

Here it is:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 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.

As Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post reports, however, the Family Leader has now removed that segment.

I suppose that's what conservatives mean when they say they have "common sense."


  1. says

    When a person of his noteriety removes part of what he had written as an official document, it indicates that it was poorly written if the first place; and that there are other parts that are also suspect.
    Maybe he should read it again and take out some more that is incorrect.

    Probably all of it!!!

  2. LeoNard says

    Seeing as both Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum signed the document before the change was made, we can only assume that they subscribe to this racist view. Hateful bigots through and through.

  3. anon says

    The point made in the original statement was probably meant to be very narrow, but it seems to context neutral to be effective. Black children these days, for example, are not expected to pick cotton all day starting at age five. It’s not so much racist as ridiculous. Further, while we’ve eliminated slavery, petty drug offenses put 10% of the black male population behind bars. Overall, they have the highest incarceration rate in the world (25%). This contributes mightily to the instability of black families.

  4. Doug Chgo says

    Will Crazy Eyes & Frothy Mix have to sign the pledge again, or will their signatures be good on the original document?

  5. gaylib says

    Bachman really does belive that black families were better as slaves. She has a history of associating (I think she helped him research a book) with a white supremacist historian who believed the founding fathers supported slavery because it was the best way to “protect” black people. She is an extremist, a homphobe, and a racist.

  6. Plainotm says

    Bachmann will sign the new pledge and swear it’s exactly the same pledge. Bachmann and reality are total strangers.

  7. Roger Ramjet says

    Too late. And that tea-bagging Nutter, Michelle Bachman’s signature is AALLLLLL over the original, non-redacted version of the Bigot’s Pledge.

    In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: “HA-HA”

  8. Pete n SFO says

    Could I see a show-of-hands… Is racism over in America? Ah, white-folks only, please.

    Great, problem solved.

    No racism here. Have a nice day.

  9. Bryan says

    I loathe the Family Leader as much as any intelligent America who doesn’t want to live in a de facto theocracy, but to interpret that paragraph as in any way supporting slavery is grotesquely disingenuous. While I’d like to see some references, I would be surprised if what it says isn’t perfectly true.

    Pouncing on a pathetic, bogus opportunity for a witch hunt has allowed the implication that Obama is somehow responsible for the state of African American families to go unchallenged.

    Does no one remember how to argue, or can we only moralize?

  10. mstrozfckslv says

    how is the original statement even provable?

    in fact what accounting books we do have 9which are not many)by slave owners at the time show otherwise with parents and children being sold off right and left and separate from each other

    But said documentation isn’t large so one draws logical conclusions which are contrary to the original statement

    The kind of minds that would come up with the original statement are the kind of minds that day dream about happy slaves singing and dancing thanking master for being wonderful

    BLAH! idiocy

  11. DeeVee says

    @MSTROZFCKSLV – Thank you for pointing that out — I guess Vander Plaats didn’t study that part of history where families were deliberately broken up. He seems to be one more uninformed and/or uneducated elected official.

  12. jeff in la says

    Actually there is plenty of documentation that husbands, wives and children were sold as property, and often separated from their families during the years slavery was legal. Not to mention the families that actually did stay together were subjugated, children often watching the spiritual and physical emasculation of their fathers, the sexual procurement of their mothers by slave owners, all while they worked in the fields beginning at the tender age of 4. This document is grotesque. Anyone who would sign it is no American I would want making important decisions for our country, let alone fostering children as Ms. Bachman has allegedly done. No American at all.

  13. Mack says

    Actually, Byran, it remains incredibly offensive, and is yet another example of willful ignorance and revisionist history. That particular paragraph ignores the historical fact that slaves were property, and as such families were ripped apart. Children were frequently sold, removed from their parents’ lives and care. Fathers and mothers were also routinely sold and traded, ripped away from their loved ones. And, we shouldn’t forget that slaves were often raped, women forced to carry the child of their abusers. The notion that a child born to his or her slave parents made for some ideal nuclear family portrait complete ignores and belittles the utter suffering that slaves endured at the hand of their owners.

    And therein lies the issue. While at Oral Roberts University, Bachmann was taught and ascribed to the notion, mentioned in another comment above, that Blacks were kept in slavery as a twisted form of protection–certainly a justification used at the time. This rationalization reframes the portraits of those who enslaved human beings so that they are cast in a light of heroes, of benevolent paternal defenders of the very human beings from whom they ripped away every basic human right.

    And when viewed from that perspective, it is understandable that some could view that paragraph as some sly endorsement of a practice so evil that the effects continue to be felt today, more than a century removed from its abolition. Even if not an endorsement, it certainly is a disgusting comparison based on some white washed view of the despicable practice of slavery and those who engaged in it.

  14. Gregv says

    “…I would be surprised if what it said wasn’t perfectly true.”

    Bryan, I would suggest that you rent the mini-series Roots to get a better grasp on the conditions blacks actually live through in the times of slavery. One of the most profound impacts it had on me as a child was realizing how families were for idly ripped away from each other.
    I remember as a child watching Kunta Kinte chained and taken away from the family he loved in Gambia, never to see them again, and staring at the moon at night thinking on how his family stared atthat same moon.
    Kunta’s daughter Kizzy made “mistakes” such as learning the alphabet, and was punished by her “owner” by being sold. I remember as a kid imagining the horror as she was tied up and hauled away, screaming for the parents she would never see again.
    Then Kizzy is violently raped by the new “owner,” Tom Lea, later giving birth to Chicken George. ( Do these nuts at The Family Leader count the rapist who owned him as a good example of growing up with o e’s biological father?)
    Seriously, Roots was one of the most impactful things I’ve ever seen made for TV. Watch it and I think you’ll recognize better why the Family Leader’s Ideas of these happy family’s picking cotton for their white protectors is a complete load of Cr@p.

  15. Rin says

    Man has always been inhumane to man. Again, why animals are preferable to people. They seem only to be cruel when it comes down to their survival. They aren’t “greedy”.

    Even pre-religious cultures had slavery, subjugation, etc.

    There is something within man to want more than his own fair share. I subscribe to Maslow, but I also think that this “greed” comes from a perversion of basic needs (that these people’s brains think that all resources are scarce)…or something.

    We’re just so awful sometimes… :(

  16. dixichuk says

    The terrifying truth is – if “we” elect these people, the referenced children may well have been better off.

  17. Tyron says

    Let them sign on the dotted line – it just serves to confirm (in writing) the hatred and bigotry in their hearts of which many of us are already aware. Should any of these signing fools actually win the nomination this document will be plastered all over the place and they will be questioned about it wherever they go. They will have created for themselves a huge problem that could very easily be their own undoing. So please, all you bible beating Republican candidates show your true colors and step up and take the pledge.

  18. wimsy says

    Politically tone-deaf.
    Logically crippled.
    Historically ill-informed.
    Philosophically brain-dead.
    Relentlessly self-referential.
    Hopelessly bigoted, homophobic, and racist