I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely outraged at the hatred, bigotry, and vitriolic intolerance shown by the left (and even the cowardice shown by many Republicans and Republican candidates for President [instance Carly Fiorina]) shown against Kim Davis! If we give up our first amendment, we have nothing in this country anymore. This is pathetic – that a woman who respectfully declines to do what Obama himself said he was against as recently as a few years ago, is arrested and put in jail. Absolute double-standard. This is just unacceptable. America needs to stand up and say so. Thank you, TED CRUZ, that you are actually defending the first amendment. You DESERVE to be President!
It would be hypocritical enough if Kim Davis was forced to quit her job (because Democrats pick and choose what they want to obey [instance amnesty, Constitution, etc.]); but to put her in jail in absolutely insufferable! Kim Davis is getting death threats, people are threatening to blow up her house – why? – because she won’t do what she believes is morally wrong. Wow, nothing says TOLERANCE like a death threat, huh? The gay couple might have to spend an extra few hours to go to some other courthouse, in order to do what has been illegal for centuries, and which extreme liberals finally managed to get shoved through the American legal system. But for Kim to be a #ConscientiousObjector means she has to lose her job AND be put in jail. Pah-thetic. Can you imagine the outcry if extreme conservatives passed a law outlawing sodomy, and a couple of gays were put in jail? That’s the kind of double-standard we’re talking about. Liberals cried “tolerance” to the point that gays are allowed to get married, yet they are not people of principle, because when America surrendered to them (or at least the high Court), they won’t extend the VERY SAME value IN THE SLIGHTEST to anyone else. It was all about a political objective, and NEVER about “love,” “kindness,” “tolerance,” or any other such thing.
I’m from Alabama. But I knew the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally hosted by Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was going to be a special event, so I decided to drive up to it! With my Prius getting some 45 mpg, I was able to do the 30-hr round trip for about $120 of gas! On Wednesday night before starting, I decided to “decorate” my car a bit, so drivers could see a bit of enthusiasm for Cruz.
Cruzin to the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally
Who Said a Prius Couldn't Cruz?
We Need a #CruzEconomy!
On Thursday morning, I set out from Auburn, AL, and drove to Springfield, IL, passing through Birmingham, Huntsville (AL), Nashville (TN), and Paducah (KY). I stayed the night in a hotel, and did the remaining drive Friday morning, arriving in Des Moines, IA about 2:00 PM. I had a few hours before the rally began, so I decided to walk around Des Moines. I found a Ginko tree (my favorite tree, because of the thick, waxy leaves), an awesome-looking pedestrian bridge across Des Moines River, a “Robert D Ray” Asian Gardens, and a very ornate Iowa state capitol building.
On the Way to Iowa!
Ginko Tree Close-Up!
Ginko Leaves Close-Up
American and Iowan Flags
Pedestrian Bridge Over Des Moines River
Iowa Women of Achievement Pedestrian Bridge
Close-Up of Des Moines Pedestrian Bridge
Water Churning Under Des Moines Pedestrian Bridge
Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Gardens at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Close-Up of Robert D Ray Asian Gardens Building
Marble Wall at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Unique Rocks at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Unique Spiral at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Paper Birch at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Iowa Workers' Monument
Iowa State Capitol Building
Interior of Iowa State Capitol
Looking Up Inside Central Dome Iowa State Capitol
Holy Bible with Iowa Darkened
Types of Gold Plating
The Iowa Capitol Building Dome is Plated with Gold
Brave Iowan Patriots Who Gave All to Defend Against Jihad
Looking Over Des Moines, IA
After visiting at the State Capitol building, I walked through a small Holocaust memorial in the park below. There were a number of challenging quotes, including this one from Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor: “One person of integrity can make a difference.”
Helen Keller on Apathy
Martin Niemoller, Imprisoned German Pastor
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor
Since I arrived early, I was able to take some shots before lots of people arrived.
Schedule of the Rally
Iowa Events Center
Iowa Events Center
Looking Out at Des Moines
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Hallway to Cruz Event
American Flag Backlight
Windmill Light Image
Preparations for the Rally
Going Up to the Rally
Main Room Seating
Closer to Stage
With my early arrival time, I was also privileged to sit two rows behind Steve Deace (and family), the “Iowa Kingmaker,” as he is called, for the role he often plays in supporting a conservative for the primaries.
The Bontrager Family Singers, a family from Eastern Iowa that sings and plays instruments, kicked the event off with an incredible start!
Bontrager Family from Eastern Iowa
Bontragers - Incredible Multitasking Talent!
Here’s a little taste of what the Bontragers can do!
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get a picture, but Iowa Cruz campaign leader Bryan English spoke next. After that, Cruz spoke with Dick and Betty Odgaard, a Mennonite couple from Iowa that were driven out of business for refusing to host gay marriages in their church. Then, Steve Deace spoke with Aaron and Melissa Klein, Barronelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, Phillip Monk, and Kelvin Cochran, who were all similarly persecuted for their religious convictions concerning gay marriage.
Ted Cruz with Mennonites Dick and Betty Odgaard
Steve Deace with Aaron and Melissa Klein, Barronelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, Phillip Monk, and Kel
Ted Cruz with Naghmeh Abedini
Getting Ready to Pray!
Once the event was over, Newsboys “brought the house down” with some great worship!
That would have been a good enough event for most folks. But not for Ted Cruz. After all that, he came down and mingled with the event-goers for a good while, allowing them to meet him, take pictures, and get autographs! Can’t wait for Ted Cruz to get into the White House!! It would be incomprehensibly awesome!
My thoughts on the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally:
I was very moved by the rally. What was stressed from the beginning was that “their story is your story.” In other words, these are not freak cases – this is persecution that just as well could have come your way. And it’s not right. We need to speak up for other people, or we can’t complain when no one speaks up for us.
Melissa Klein shared how many people would come in and want to “support” her by buying something, but would ask not to have the “Sweet Cakes” sticker put on their purchase, because they didn’t want to associate with her (they didn’t want the “stigma”). Melissa recounted that that was the most hurtful of all the events. Steve Deace echoed those thoughts by saying (paraphrase), “Look, if you’re embarrassed, it would be better not to buy anything. It’s less hurtful for someone to be openly hateful than to show ‘halfway support’ in tough times.” Wow, those are words of truth!
It was also a privilege hearing Naghmeh Abedini speak, wife of Saeed, an American and Christian who has been tortured in Iranian prisons for three years now for the “crime” of sharing the Gospel. Ted Cruz had a Ronald Reagan “tear down this wall” moment, when he got quiet and serious, and said, “I’d like to say something very, very clearly. President Obama, bring Pastor Saeed home!”