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Minnesota Family Council ramps up campaign for marriage amendment

The Minnesota Family Council has ramped up its efforts this week to pass a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between one man and one woman. The group is seeking volunteers to reach out to pastors and has launched a nine-month training program called the Minnesota Worldview Leadership Project.

In an email to supporters late last week, MFC president John Helmberger wrote, “Even though this campaign promises to be a great struggle, we are very confident of victory – if we receive your help and that of thousands of other Minnesotans who believe in God’s design for marriage. With your support, we will help the voters of our state see the timeless institution of one man-one woman marriage asthe foundation on which our society is built and the best environment for producing and raising children.”

Helmberger added that the media is carrying water for supporters of same-sex marriage.

“The media is overwhelmingly against the amendment and they slant news coverage to make it seem as if we are going to lose,” he said.

The group also exaggerated the level of success that proponents of such amendments have had in the past: “[T]raditional marriage has been on the ballot in 31 states, and in every single state, voters have risen up to support traditional marriage – even in deep blue states like California and Maine!”

As the Minnesota Independent reported in July, only 29 states have passed an amendment similar to the one proposed in Minnesota.

In his email, Helmberger laid out the group’s plans:

For our campaign to be successful, however, we need people of faith to rise up, speak, and participate in the campaign. We know that those who want to redefine marriage to their own purposes will benefit from millions of dollars in support from wealthy donors in Hollywood, New York, and other centers of “popular culture”. They will not lack for resources. We must counter that with the power of our people, who will volunteer their time, speak the truth, and contribute of their resources to help our campaign.Our campaign plan relies on recruiting and deploying thousands of volunteers throughout the state of Minnesota. We will be conducting a massive voter education effort – speaking one-on-one with every Minnesota resident about the amendment and why it is necessary to preserve traditional marriage in our state and prevent activist judges or legislators from ever redefining it without the support of voters.

In a followup email on Wednesday, the group solicited volunteers to contact pastors and identify “Church Captains”:

One of the key components to getting the amendment passed – and protecting marriage – is contacting pastors in Minnesota for the purpose of engaging their churches in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect marriage. In fact, if pastors don’t get involved, the measure my fail, leaving marriage to be redefined by the legislature or activist judges.*

That’s where you come in.

We need volunteers with good communications skills that are willing to be trained to contact pastors via telephone during business hours. As a volunteer you would communicate the importance of marriage to the well-being of society, the legislative and legal threats against marriage in Minnesota, the critical role of the church in the passage of the amendment and assist in identifying a Church Captain. The amount of time you are willing to commit is up to you.

And the group is launching an extensive training program for people of faith around the amendment battle. The Minnesota Worldview Leadership Project will feature information from Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is part of the Minnesota Family Council’s Minnesota for Marriage coalition, as well as religious right figures such as author and Watergate convict Chuck Colson, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, and NOM’s Jennifer Roback Morse. Morse flew to Minnesota in May to testify in favor of the amendment at Minnesota House and Senate committee hearings.

“Our program is designed to help you better understand and develop a worldview regarding marriage and the family rooted in a biblical foundation and supported by scientific evidence,” the invitation reads. “Through this program, you’ll learn how to cut through the confusion, lies and half-truths circulating in the media, entertainment industry, universities and even some churches. You’ll be informed and equipped to be actively involved in restoring a culture of marriage.”

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