Des Moines, IOWA – The FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats took to Twitter Wednesday to denounce Iowa State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann’s obscene gesture in a speech in the Iowa Capitol.
Kaufmann, R-Wilton, was speaking at a rally for the Convention of States movement Tuesday, concluding his speech with the words, “When it comes to these gun-grabbing, freedom-hating, over-regulating, civil liberty-violating tyrants … here’s my message,” then he flipped both of his middle fingers into the air.
Vander Plaats responded to news reports of the gesture with a message of his own: “This is not leadership. And, it’s no way to win a debate. #LookHigher #ThinkBigger #ExpectMore #RestoreCivility”
Later that day, Vander Plaats accepted an invitation to join WHO-TV’s Dave Price to discuss Kaufmann’s gesture and The FAMiLY Leader’s emphasis on restoring civility:
“I just think there needs to be a higher standard for those of us who are called to lead, especially in the public sphere, ” Vander Plaats told Price. “Right now we have good Republicans, Governor [Kim] Reynolds, as well as many good Democrats, who are calling out, ‘What’s going on in our public schools today with obscene and vulgar materials?’ Well, then we can’t take a stage and give two middle fingers to people that oppose [us]. It just doesn’t connect.”
“So I’d say, ‘Let’s try to do what’s right. Let’s reach to the higher standard, and let’s have vigorous debate,'” Vander Plaats continued. “But it’s not about giving obscene gestures for those who disagree with you. That’s not leadership.”
The FAMiLY Leader is a non-partisan Christian ministry that seeks to inspire Christians to engage with government to advance the Kingdom of God. It counts among its top issues defending the sanctity of human life, biblical marriage, and the family’s role in education, as well as restoring civility in the public arena, with the vision to one day see a revived America that honors God and blesses people.