FILE - Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. speaks in Charleston, S.C., in this photo taken June 29, 2011. Facing a Thursday deadline to report quarterly fundraising, Republican presidential hopefuls make final-hour pitches for contributions that will be an early measurement of their campaign's strength _ or potential weakness. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to report the largest haul.(AP Photo/Alice Keeney) (AP)

Weird slavery reference yanked from Bachmann pledge

But the social conservative "Marriage Vow" still contains a promise to protect women from porn and promiscuity

Justin Elliott
July 11, 2011 4:01PM (UTC)

That bizarre reference to slavery -- and how African-American families were better off in the antebellum South than they are today under President Obama -- has now been removed from an Iowa social conservative pledge signed by Michele Bachmann.

Politico reports that the group that put out the Marriage Vow pledge, the Family Leader, apologized for "any negative feelings this has caused" and that, "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, and such misconstruction can detract from the core message of the Marriage Vow: that ALL of us must work to strengthen and support families and marriages between one woman and one man."


To understand why this pledge is a big deal in Iowa, it's important to know that the Family Leader is a vehicle for its executive director, a man named Bob Vander Plaats. In the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, Vander Plaats ran a campaign centered on rolling back same-sex marriage, and he finished in second place with an impressive 41 percent of the vote. (He has also called homosexuality "a public health risk.")

Perhaps more interesting than what got yanked from the Family Leader pledge -- signed by Bachmann and also committed to by Rick Santorum -- is what remains in it.

There is still the paternalistic promise to protect women (but not men) from pornography and slutiness:


Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.

And there is still the bizarre reference to "Sharia Islam":

Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.

"Sharia Islam" -- which would be translated as "Islamic law Islam" -- is a phrase that betrays the level of knowledge the authors of the pledge bring to the issue.

Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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2012 Elections Michele Bachmann, R-minn. War Room

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