This weekend I endured three days of the Values Voter Summit, where I leaped outside my comfort zone for the sake of American Journalism. I did a number of things I had never done before: I ate a lemon bar; I initiated conversations with strangers; I stared Ted Cruz in the face and didn’t immediately contract a disease.
Luckily, I was not forced to leave the conference empty handed. I found that every exhibitor at the summit was more than eager to give me a keepsake to remember them by. I am grateful for their generosity. Below, you will find a partial, alphabetized list of my new possessions:
114th Congress contact sheet: Phone numbers and room numbers for every member of congress.
Ben Carson: Rx for America: This is a 195-page printed book written by John Philip Sousa IV. I feel for the Sousa legacy.
Bumper stickers: Including “I DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA!,” “NRA: STAND AND FIGHT,” “AN UNJUST LAW IS NO LAW AT ALL,” “I AM A GRATEFUL AMERICAN,” “ONE MILLION DADS: LEAD OR OTHERS WILL,” “BIG GOVERNMENT = BIG PROBLEMS,” “WE ARE MILLENNIALS,” (the back of this one says, “Engage, share truth, apply scripture,”).
Care Net pamphlet: “Acknowledging that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection, Care Net offers compassion, hope, and help to anyone considering abortion by presenting them with realistic alternatives and Christ-centered support through our life-affirming network of pregnancy centers, organizations, and individuals.”
Christian Healthcare Ministries DVD: “You can afford it.”
Cool rubber wristband, black: White letters read “Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman www.gods-design.org.”
CPAC 2016 advertisement: March 2-5, 2016, God help us.
Excerpts from Cosmopolitan Magazine: Warning: Graphic Sexual Content Depicted.
Flashlight, white, and batteries: From Amac, the “conservative alternative to AARP.” I won this from spinning a wheel of prizes.
Holy Land Tour invitation: I could tour Israel with Tony Perkins and Bobby Jindal if I want.
MARRI (Marriage & Religion Research Institute) pamphlet: “Revealing foundational truths of lifestyle behaviors through original research on population data.”
Maps: Of Washington D.C.’s metro system and Connecticut Ave.
Two CPAC t-shirts, grey: One says in big red letters, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction -Ronald Reagan,” a quote that was repeated at least six times during the conference. The other reads, “I’m with THIS conservative,” and has a bunch of arrows pointed at the t-shirt wearer. It’s dope.
Tolerance for the Ex-Gay Community pamphlets: From Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX). One reads, “If only one part of you has gay feelings, should your whole life be labeled as gay?” That is a question.
The Torch Magazine: Christians United For Israel’s publication, featuring cover story “Times That Try Congressmen’s Souls.”
Truth Squad 2016 info packet: Information from an anti-Mike Huckabee Super PAC.
The Patriot’s Essential Liberty Pocket Guide: “A treatise on essential liberty and the primacy of rule of law by Mark Alexander, including the texts of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America, and additional resources for American Patriots.”
Postcards from Students For Life: One is bright pink and says “The Planned Parenthood Project,” the other is blue and says, “We need Legal Abortion.” The back of both cards say how terrible abortion is. The SFL rep who gave them to me said, “We’re really into clickbait.”
Postcard from Gods-Design.org: Billboard reads the same as above, plus: “Please... I need your help with this! -God” as if God said that to someone with access to a billboard.
Postcard from CosmoHarmsMinors.com: “Demand that this porn magazine be behind blinders and sold to adults only!”
Pens: One reads, “Christians United for Israel,” the other, “Lead or others will.”
Pin, blue: Reading, “A light has dawned, Merry Christmas.” Why?
Pin, yellow: Reading, “Don’t tread on my gun rights. Vote freedom first.”
Sign, unfurlable, blue: Reading, “Run, Ben, Run!”
Values Voter Summit 2016 coupon: I can go for just $50 next year if I like.
What Now? Your Church and Same Sex Marriage DVD: “A video resource designed to help churches understand this Supreme Court ruling and how to prepare for legal challenges that may arise as a result.” 23 minutes.
Infinity trees were killed to produce the above haul. Luckily global warming is a lie, so I can guiltlessly sign up to go back next year where I will take the plunge and order a large wine. God speed, Values Voters! Until we meet again.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.