Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The caffeinated road to hell

When Bob Vander Plaats speaks, by God I listen. A gay guy couldn’t have a better friend, although my affection for that spawn of Satan did end up costing money yesterday --- had to go out and spend way too much ($9-plus) on this little bag of Starbucks coffee after old Bob issued a YouTube video of himself calling for a Starbucks boycott.

Ordinarily, I’m a Folgers kind of guy (or Hy-Vee generic when it’s cheaper). But you just know that when Vander Plaats says “do this” or “do that” it’s the Lord’s will that you do the opposite. So I figure God’s come down decisively on the side of caffeine from Seattle and I’d better jump aboard. Thank heavens for moral compasses.

Vander Plaats heads up the Family Leader, a loose affiliation of Iowa Christian whackadoodles who spend more time fantasizing about gay sex than gay people do. Starbucks attracted their attention when the Seattle-based coffee giant, along with Google, Microsoft and many others, issued a statement backing marriage equality legislation moving through the Washington statehouse en route to the governor’s pen. Starbucks has a 20-year record of extending benefits to the same-sex partners of employees who have them.

I would link to the video, but all you get today is a “removed by user.” Vander Plaats probably yanked it when it became obvious he’d used the video to demonstrate, too, something elses he’s darned good at --- lying (to hell with that pesky false-witness commandment).

As Vander Plaats spoke yesterday, alleged Starbucks quotes, complete with quote marks, flashed in the background --- “God’s design of marriage is bad for America” and “God’s design of marriage is bad for families.”

“Homosexual marriage is the core to who they (Starbucks) are,” Vander Plaats announced.

What Starbucks actually said was that “equal treatment of partners (the company calls its employees partners)” was “core to who we are and what we value as a company.” Not quite the same thing.

Besides, selling coffee actually is at the core of what Starbucks is all about. And if being fair to its LGBT employees is a sensible part of its strategy for doing that, then so much the better.


The Starbucks fiasco was the second time in the last few days that Bob’s gotten himself tangled up when twisting the truth.

Last week, the Family Leader trumpeted the news that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad had asked that his title be removed from the seventh annual “The Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth,” upcoming March 8.

Turns out that wasn’t true either, although I’d guess the governor’s managers did talk about it.

But Branstad denied Vander Plaats allegation on Jan 30, then went so far as to write a letter to conference organizers extending his “very best wishes for a successful conference this year and in future years.”

Anti-bullying strategy is a major part of the annual conference.

On Monday, the Family Leader issued a statement castigating the governor for an “obvious change” in the position it had invented for him.

“It is greatly disappointing and, frankly, disturbing that Branstad and his administration have chosen to be puppets to a far-left agenda versus being effective educational leaders,” the Family Leader’s statement continued.

I’m loving this.

And so, I expect, are Iowa’s militant atheists. Vander Plaats is one scary dude. All he has to do is be himself and straying souls contemplating a return to church turn and run as fast as they can in the other direction.

To paraphrase Miss Piggy, who has been engaging in a little editorializing herself recently, to equate Bob Vander Plaats with truth is about as absurd as suggesting that Fox News actually reports news.

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