Top evangelical in Iowa, Bob Vander Plaats, invited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis to his Des Moines church Sunday.
Vander Plaats, who is the president and CEO of The Family Leader, posted a photo with DeSantis and shared the hashtag “#ChooseWell2024” with a reference to 1 Timothy 2:1-4:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
National radio host Todd Starnes responded to Vander Plaats’ post. Click here to follow Todd on X.
“I think it’s great when the candidates attend church! Many Never Trump Republicans were upset because Trump was not a frequent church-goer,” Starnes wrote. “So, where does the DeSantis family worship back in Florida? And how often do they attend?”
Vander Plaats responded, “The problem people of Faith have with @realDonaldTrump isn’t Church attendance. Has everything to do with the ‘fruits of the Spirit.’ For example, F bombs and mocking people with disabilities. You can be a statesman while being a bold leader.”
Starnes shot back addressing the hashtag, #YouWillKnowThemByTheirFruit:
“I’d like to hear the governor’s salvation story. His testimony. And I would also like to know if he attends church on a regular basis. And how his worldview impacts his decision making,” Starnes explained.
Vander Plaats was criticized on X for his stance.
Starnes added, “Pro-DeSantis evangelicals say they made their decision based on faith and not politics. So why aren’t they supporting their fellow evangelicals who are running? What about Tim Scott? If it’s really not about politics…”
Like President Biden, DeSantis is Roman Catholic, but unlike Biden, DeSantis has rarely talked about his personal faith.
DeSantis recently told CBN, “Our household is a Christ-centered household” and said his favorite Bible verse is John 14:6 where Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
The latest Hawkeye State poll from the New York Times/Siena College shows Trump leading DeSantis 44 percent to 20 percent.