Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee
of Southwest Washington

Josh VanGelder
2021 Battle Ground City Council Candidate
Pos. 4



Survey Response:

A Consistent Ethic of Life and The Common Good require respectful, inclusive dialog and broad application of moral principles valuing the sacredness of human life.  While the major threats to life (abortion, fetal plundering, euthanasia) are nationally debated, there are local manifestations that can be addressed, such as crime, failing schools, library pornography, problem pregnancies and homelessness. Threats to The Common Good include illicit acquiescence to special interests (e.g. the abortion lobby) and governmental coercion (e.g. State agencies) that promote moral degradation.   Will you as a city council member work for public policy that promotes The Common Good and a Consistent Ethic of Life?

Yes. I believe in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as laid out by the founders, and even more so, the fact that God created all people in His image. I believe the right to life applies to all people, from conception to death.

The US Supreme Court in its 2003 ruling United States v. American Library Association, Inc, upheld the use of library internet pornography filters.  Chief Justice Rehnquist stated for the plurality that "to fulfill their traditional missions, public libraries must have broad discretion to decide what material to provide to their patrons.  Although they seek to provide a wide array of information, their goal has never been to provide 'universal coverage,'" and "most libraries already exclude pornography from their print collections because they deem it inappropriate for inclusion."   In 2010, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that public libraries' use of internet filters does not violate the state constitution.  See FVRL porn history here.  Will you as a city councilor appoint, recommend or request (depending on your level of authority) only library board candidates who oppose the inclusion of pornography in public libraries, whether by internet or printed materials?

Yes. The libraries should be a place of wholesome learning. Pornography and the like should not be provided publicly on the tax payers dime. 


Recently, some public libraries have been hosting Drag Queen Story Hours.  These events use men dressed as burlesque and flirtatious women to read gender dysphoria stories to children, with the purpose and effect of facilitating gender confusion.  More information hereWhat is your position on public libraries hosting Drag Queen Story Hours?

_____ Support

__X__ Oppose

_____  No Opinion

_____  Other:

I will do my best to cut funding to any library that participates in this disgusting activity. As with pornography, the taxpayers should not be forced to fund something that goes against their personal morals.


The U.S. Supreme Court in Young v. American Mini Theaters, Inc., (1976) and Renton v. Playtime Theater, Inc., (1986), concluded that municipalities have "substantial governmental interests" in protecting and preserving the quality of life for its community against the adverse secondary effects of sexually-oriented businesses while allowing for "reasonable alternative avenues of communication."  Land Use Studies from cities around the United States were cited in both U.S. Supreme Court cases documenting the harmful secondary effects of these businesses including 1. Increased Crime - rape, sexual assault, prostitution and illegal drug sales; 2. Decreased Property Values - both residential and commercial; and 3. Urban Blight - people and businesses fleeing the community.  Will you diligently seek and maintain zoning ordinances, licensing procedures, permit requirements and operational regulations which serve to minimize the adverse secondary effects of Sexually-Oriented Businesses? 

Yes. These types of businesses will do nothing but accelerate the degradation of the family values that make our small town strong.


Recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington State in 2012 by Initiative 502.  The drug though is still banned federally, and considered dangerous by many, including the FDA, the AMA, and The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) states "The normalization, expanded use, and increased availability of marijuana in our communities are detrimental to our youth, to public health, and to the safety of our society."  The Alaska Association of Police Chief describe some of the negative aspects of legalizing the drug here.   For additional dangers see here.  For an extensive report by the National Academy of Sciences (Jan 2017) see here What is your position on the legal production, processing and sale of recreational marijuana in the jurisdiction of the office you are seeking?

__X__ Support

_____ Oppose

_____  No Opinion

_____  Other:

I believe that the choices people make about what they put into their body is their business, and their personal responsibility, so long as it does not infringe on others rights. While there are certain substances that may make people more aggressive, violent or unsafe, marijuana is not one of them. However, as with other issues, I completely oppose the government subsidization of these types of businesses, on the grounds that no one should be forced to fund something that goes against their personal morals.


According to this 2014 research by Tate Twinam, there is "a long tradition in the sociology literature of linking high densities to pathological behavior (Sampson 1983, Wirth 1938)."  Given the importance of livable and affordable neighborhoods for the city's wellbeing, is quality city planning important to you?  Are you a high density proponent?

The importance of city planning is high, especially in the city of Battle Ground. Given the actions of the majority of the current council, it is more important than ever to be responsible and thoughtful in the growth of our city. High density housing is not desirable for our city. However, there are certain requirements from the Clark County Urban Growth Plan that our city must follow. I intend to keep high density areas to a minimum.


Even dedicated proponents of abortion acknowledge that life begins at conception.  What do you believe?  Does a unique human life begins at conception? 


If not, how long after conception does a human life begin?

___3 mths   ___6 mths   ___9 mths   ___1 yr   ___18 yrs?

The 14th Amendment states "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, 1973, stated that "if this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."  The Court regrettably concluded though that "we need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer."  
Do you believe that the right to life of the unborn child is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?

Without a doubt.

Is taking the life of a pre-born child through abortion ever morally permissible?  Check all that apply:

__X__ No, it's never permissible

_____ Yes, to save mother's life

_____ Yes, in cases of rape or incest

_____ Yes, for physical deformity

_____  Yes, for gender

_____  Yes, for race

_____  Yes, to punish spouse

_____ Yes, it's always permissible


The nation's biggest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, in the 2018-2019 fiscal year received $616.8 million in tax payer funding and aborted 332,757 babies.  Should Planned Parenthood be contracted with to make community presentations, provide literature, birth control chemicals or devices, and/or abortion services?

Planned Parenthood should never be allowed in the city of Battle Ground, and should be treated as the legalized murder organization that it is. I will never approve of them being in any jurisdiction that I have any amount of influence over.


"Religious communities are the largest and best-organized civil institutions in the world, claiming the allegiance of billions across race, class, and national divides. These communities have particular cultural understandings, infrastructures, and resources to get help where it is needed most" (World Conference of Religions for Peace).  Southwest Washington has a broad range of religious communities that contribute substantially to the welfare of families, children, seniors, the homeless, sick, and refugees.  They are a highly valued part of our community which respects and defends human life at every stage.  Are you an active member in a church, synagogue, temple, mosque or other religious assembly?


If so, you may state where at: Church on the Rock, Battle Ground

The White House's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships ensures that religious and other community organizations are able to compete on an equal footing for participation in Federal programs without impairing the character of such organizations and without diminishing the religious freedom of those served.  Is the  collaboration of government with faith-based charitable works good for our communities?

Yes. Churches are a vital asset for combating many communities, such as homelessness, drug abuse, sex abuse, community improvement, etc. Government at all levels should make use of the assets in communities, in a partnership manner, not in a controlling manner.


In the 2013 US Supreme Court ruling of Greece v. Galloway, all nine justices (following Marsh (1983), affirmed the acceptability of having an invocation at the beginning of public meetings.  Writing for the court, Justice Kennedy stated: "Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government to alter or define and that willing participation in civic affairs can be consistent with a brief acknowledgment of their belief in a higher power, always with due respect for those who adhere to other beliefs. The prayer in this case has a permissible ceremonial purpose. It is not an unconstitutional establishment of religion."  What is your position on your city council instituting (or continuing) a prayer at the start of the meeting?

__X__ Support

_____ Oppose

_____  No Opinion

_____  Other:


Please state your professional experience, community involvement, education, family successes and other qualifications for a mayoral or city council position.

I was born and raised within 15 miles of Battle Ground, and have always loved the small town feel here. I have been an operating partner in a local business, and am currently employed with a company just outside of Battle Ground. I served on the Clark County Sheriff's Office volunteer Search and Rescue team for several years. I was homeschooled with a high school level education, and my wife and I are expecting our first child any day as I write this. I believe I am qualified for this position because I am not linked to any special interest groups, and I am not a politician. I am just a citizen who loves his city, and wants to see it returned to the wholesome, small town values that I’ve come to know and love.


You may state here any policy positions you have in relation to the office you are seeking:

The right to life applies to all people, born or otherwise.

The right to free speech is inherent, even if it hurts peoples feelings.

The right to keep and bear arms must be preserved for all citizens.

The right to move about freely, unhindered by government mandated muzzles or untested vaccines must be saved from the overreach that has been experienced over the last year and a half.

I believe that the city should be more welcoming to businesses and build an atmosphere that encourages businesses to make Battle Ground their home, thus adding more opportunities for locals to work close to where they live.

I believe that it is the responsibility of all government officials to serve the citizens first and foremost. This should be reflected in the way that they handle the taxpayers money in a responsible way, making sure to always search out the lowest cost and highest return options, while only spending on things that benefit the community. It is also the responsibility of the council to ensure that the citizens are taxed the lowest amount possible to carry out the will of the people. Citizens should always feel heard and as if they can communicate openly with their public servants.

Article 1, Section 1 Washington State Constitution:

All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

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