Bravo to Cramer for his challenge

2012-01-24T01:49:00Z 2012-01-24T01:49:47Z Bravo to Cramer for his challengeBy the REV. LARRY G. JAHNKE Bismarck Bismarck Tribune
January 24, 2012 1:49 am  • 

Have you ever heard the phrase, "We've never done it that way before?" It's known as the seven last words of the church. Should it also be applied to North Dakota politics in the 2012 election year?

I was very encouraged to see that one of our candidates for Congress is not afraid to challenge the status quo of our election process.

Kevin Cramer is a personal friend of mine. I can't call him a political friend, because our friendship has nothing to do with politics. We talk together, we go to movies together, we have meals together, and we do a lot of laughing together. Kevin to me is a friend first, and an honest man who is running for an important national office second.

I was proud of my friend for announcing that he was going to take his candidacy directly to the people of North Dakota, bypassing the traditional method of going through the Republican nominating process.

Because of my position as a pastor, I have always stayed away from the political scene. I never wanted to have people not listen to me when I talk about Jesus because of my political persuasion. But make no mistake about it, I do vote and I do make the effort to stay well informed of the important issues facing our state and our nation.

It has always seemed less than democratic to me to have to pay a registration fee to be able to attend a nominating convention of either party to choose who can be nominated to run for a particular office. When you add to that registration fee the travel expenses including gas, food, motel, etc., it can take a sizeable chunk of money out of our pockets. It just feels a little wrong to me.

If I was contributing my money to any candidate in this process, I would want the people of the entire state to decide who they wanted for office, not the small minority of the people attending a party's nominating convention.

Bravo, Kevin, for challenging an outdated system in North Dakota politics. I hope both state parties can do away with this "pay to nominate" system.

(The Rev. Larry G. Jahnke is the founding pastor of New Song Church of Bismarck.)

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(34) Comments

  1. momof6
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    momof6 - January 28, 2012 8:35 pm
    I think Pastor Jahnke was quite open and honest about the kind of relationship he and Mr. Cramer share. It is one of friendship. To add your comment concerning Gingrich and Pelosi is a telling sign of your intellect. I happen to share popcorn at the movies with my friends as a normal thing. Yet again, let's all focus on the fact that this country is in deep trouble if we as citizens allow things to remain as they are now.
  2. iluvnd
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    iluvnd - January 28, 2012 7:58 pm
    Exactly what kind of relationship do the pastor and Commissioner Kramer have? Do they share a couch like Speakers Gingrich and Pelosi? Do they share popcorn at the movies?
  3. Cornelius Rufus Astor III
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    Cornelius Rufus Astor III - January 28, 2012 1:10 am
    More poppycock!!

    We need more and greater fees to keep the lowly commoners out. The working class simply is not genetically suited for ruling, and far too uneducated coming from so many public schools.

    You must learn your place, and trust that our noble aristocracy will do what is best.

    That you feel your diminished finances preclude you from involving yourself in government is in fact the right and just thing. You need only preoccupy yourself with the satisfaction of your labor. We'll make all the decisions.

  4. momof6
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    momof6 - January 27, 2012 7:56 pm
    What I find so very disrespectful on most comments here is the disrespect shown not only to Pastor Jahnke, but to Christianity on the whole. You have taken a letter that was very to the point in his friendship with Mr. Cramer, not politics. I personally believe this is in part why Commissioner Cramer chose not to participate in the elitist process of the Republican Party endorsement of candidates. This country was founded on Christian beliefs and principals, and in addition to the belief that every person and every vote is vital, important and respected.
  5. Report Abuse
    - January 25, 2012 1:40 pm
    Hal, just what offended you about Kadiz's statement about Nazi pastors?

    Surely you must be aware that most of the churches in Germany supported Hitler. The Catholic Church praised and supported Mussolini and later were very supportive of Hitler and the Nazis. Indeed, the current Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth although has stated that everyone was, which by the way is not true. For all practical purposes with some glaring and blessed individual exceptions, the whole of the Christian Church, Catholic and Protestant, supported the Nazis and anti-semitism. What offend me is that they did it. No courage.

    It seems that for a lot of real establishment folks, to see and take real offense at ills like this is something that I just don't understand. On the surface, Hal, it appears that you are doing that. Sort of like being labeled as un-Patriotic for oppossing the War on Terrorism and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now to Schlick. You protesteth too much. First, I could care less if you take anything I say at face value. I usually try to state what is fact and what is my opinion. You can challenge either and you should. But when you are proven wrong, stand up and admit it.

    As to your comment about the vitriol expressed by myself and Kadiz toward the Rev, you are just making that up. None exist. That is the definition of a lie. Guilty as charged.

    Next, as to Kadiz and his comment: "No ethical person can be a Republican.", is his opinion. If you find fault with it, please feel free to make your case. I know that Kadiz can express why he believes that.

    Next, what the hell are you talking about regarding slandering innocent persons? Such blatant nonsense. Or maybe your toes are sore and you need to be on of those innocents. I don't know Kadiz. I have disagreed with him frequently. You are just full of stuff to make the silly suggestion about a love fest. Grow up.

    I have made on claim as to superior deductive reasoning. You are doing that. If you are unable to keep up, don't blame me.
  6. Schlick
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    Schlick - January 25, 2012 9:24 am
    Big Jake said: "Schlick, brilliant. The Rev. said: "Kevin Cramer is a personal friend of mine. I can't call him a political friend, because our friendship has nothing to do with politics. We talk together, we go to movies together, we have meals together, and we do a lot of laughing together. Kevin to me is a friend first, and an honest man who is running for an important national office second."Schlick, do you have a point? Is it supposed to be a mystery? In my post, do you have some disagreement with the content? Are you supporting the Rev? Are you supporting Cramer? Inquiring minds need to know."

    Jake,
    No need to get pissy. I'm merely citing this example of your superior deductive reasoning to show people why we should take everything you say at face value and not challenge your "facts".
    By the way, since you are so against lying and other non-factual statements, maybe you should look at Kadizzle's statement "No ethical person can be a Republican." in his 8:22 post and tell me how that can be supported by facts.
    Shouldn't you be "pinning his ears back" for telling such a blatant lie or are factless, unprovable statements only of concern to you when they come from those whose views you disagree with?
    I don't have an opinion one way or another about the politics of Cramer or Rev. Jahnke but the vitriol you and Kadizzle are throwing at the Rev. for the mere support of his friend is beyond contempt. Try making a point or expressing an opinion without slandering innocent parties or take your little love fest with Kadizzle elsewhere.
  7. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 10:50 pm
    To the on-line editor: I ask you to look at the post of Lord Kadizzle of Jan. 24 at 7:44.
  8. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 10:48 pm
    Kadizzle: Your comment about Pastors who must have supported NAZI's is much too far. Your next line then implies a connection to the writer of the letter and his beliefs.

    I am not writing a regular response to your post---your post is over the top in my estimation.
  9. Lord Kadizzle
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    Lord Kadizzle - January 24, 2012 9:21 pm
    Anyone who wants to have fun shooting up Hoopleheads can go to the North Dakota Republican facebook sites and post facts. They hate reality. Once they realize you are posting real facts that prove them wrong, they will cut you off, but until they do, you can drive them nuts. Go to their facebook site and mention what a cheating scoundrel Newt is, or put some information about income inequality. It will drive them nuts. See how long it takes them to censor your for posting real information. I have been cut off from every North Dakota Republican facebook site for posting facts. See if you can match my record. Facts drive them nuts. They are used to Fox, and Rush.
  10. Lord Kadizzle
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    Lord Kadizzle - January 24, 2012 9:03 pm
    Big Jake, if you cure Hal, you will be my life long hero. It will be equivalent to the Berlin Wall coming down. I am addicted to shooting up the Hoopleheads. My wife thinks I am nuts for trying to break through to these people, but it is like finding a diamond. There must be one simple minded Republican you can cure. I look at it like saving someone from Hell, if I just save one from the cancer of greed I will feel better. The Mormons do their missionary work this is mine, saving people from the fog of right wing stupidity.
  11. Report Abuse
    - January 24, 2012 8:51 pm
    Kadiz, I have to admit that it is just so much fun that I can't stop.

    And you never know when some light bulb might come on. I can say with humility that I have been fortunate to have several of those experiences. I also have been blessed with mentors who were dedicated to share what they knew with any who was truly interested. It has made a huge difference.

    It must be the part of the maturing process to recall things in life that have stuck. I am the product of a one room school, and have realized what a tremendous experience that was. Not because the teachers were geniuses but they had a belief in what they were doing and in that small setting, learning was ongoing. I value it more than I can ever say.

    Enjoy your work---don't stay too long, life has a lot to offer.
  12. In the Know
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    In the Know - January 24, 2012 7:02 pm
    It appears that Cramer has the support of the Christians who believe that the Earth is 6000 years old............
  13. Lord Kadizzle
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    Lord Kadizzle - January 24, 2012 6:56 pm
    Big Jake, in a flash of insanity I have taken a job for a week. I am sending you a check for doing such a nice job with Hal while I was at work. You are far better at clarifying than I am.
  14. Report Abuse
    - January 24, 2012 6:21 pm
    Schlick, brilliant.

    The Rev. said: "Kevin Cramer is a personal friend of mine. I can't call him a political friend, because our friendship has nothing to do with politics. We talk together, we go to movies together, we have meals together, and we do a lot of laughing together. Kevin to me is a friend first, and an honest man who is running for an important national office second."

    Schlick, do you have a point? Is it supposed to be a mystery? In my post, do you have some disagreement with the content? Are you supporting the Rev? Are you supporting Cramer? Inquiring minds need to know.

  15. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 6:14 pm
    Notnek: Texas is the second most populous state in the union, and having lived there at one time I know they have some freedoms that other states do not have. One is they have the capability (legally) to review the books used in the classrooms.
    So, let's examine that; is it O.K. for a liberal left group to decide what goes into a text book?
    Is it O.K. for a conservative group to decide what goes into a text book?

    I don't care for the fact that text books are being manipulated by one group or the other, but to face the real facts---the left has far more manipulation in content than does any other group.

    You do not mind then, if various pro-abotion groups have their control over text book content??? But you would mind if pro-life people had thier say that abortion is not a desirable action???
    Depends on whose Ox is gored, eh???
  16. notnek
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    notnek - January 24, 2012 4:51 pm
    Halatbis; The only fearfulness I have is the effort by religions and political pundits to attempt to rewrite and distort actual history.
    It is an absolute fact the Tea party folks in Texas are actively attempting to alter history text books.
    The Rev. Larry made his point. My response merely reflects my thoughts on religion attempting to legislate and alter history.



  17. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 3:48 pm
    Thanks for your post Notnek. I will respond as best I can. Yes, politicians can and do leave "religion" out of their public utterances---that is easy to do. However, the basis and underlying motivations for nearly all they do, or we do, for that matter, is driven by our moral values and ethical standards. We may articulate them, or we may not, but the decisions we make and the directions we take in life are strongly influenced by our basic belief system. That system may have been shaped by Religion, or not; hence there is a value system we all have, and in some it is sketchy--others it is richly developed.

    Perhaps you may return the message and comment on the concern the liberal left and some Democrats have with the faith and political involvement of the Tea Party people. You seem to ascribe activities to Tea Party people that connect them to various activities that we, and they, do not engage in.
    I do not understand the fearfulness that comes from the Left---it sounds "hateful" to me. Your comments, please.
  18. baldwin100
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    baldwin100 - January 24, 2012 2:53 pm
    Larry, you talk about the conventions. Just how many have you attended that you have some authority to talk about the pros and cons? And if cost is an issue, why not think like a conservative? Couldn't you ride with someone to the convention? Oh, and a lot of us have friends or relatives in the cities where the conventions are held so we could ask to stay there, or maybe we could share a motel room with some others, right? And couldn't we bring a few roast beef sandwiches and some chips along? So, in my opinion, it doesn't have to be expensive. Only if you want to make it out to be for whatever motive you have. Oh, and if anyone should be able to figure out how to get to the convention to support his or her candidate, it should be a conservative.
  19. whatsnottaken
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    whatsnottaken - January 24, 2012 2:24 pm
    Larry, where did you stand publicly the past what 15 or 20 years that "your friend" was in lockstep with the party, raking in party money and toeing the party line as long as he had support of the "party system" you assail. I'm not a party backer either, but I can smell a hypocrit at the podium.
  20. notnek
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    notnek - January 24, 2012 2:10 pm
    Halatbis; If you review some basic American History the founders attempted to keep religion and churches out of the governmental structure. Forgetting the myth of Judeo-Christian beginnings. Those words All Men are Created Equal omitted slaves, women, indenture servants,non land owners and all Native Americans. How does that equate to handed down Judeo-Christian values?
    Most past American office holders were just honest and respectable people doing what they thought best for the society as a whole, while leaving their religion or lack of out of their decisions..
    Today the Tea Party activists are trying to change student history books by omitting the facts about slavery and sanitizing the founders actual actions and slave ownership. A country without truth is in far worst condition than the lack of religious beliefs, as they cannot be mutually inclusive.
    My question is, why not just say I want my religion to be the law of the land without adding myths concerning our nations founding?
  21. Schlick
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    Schlick - January 24, 2012 1:32 pm
    Big Jake said: "In the first instance, this letter appears to be written by a friend of Cramer. "

    Brilliant deduction, Jake! Did you derive that assumption from Rev. Jahnke's statement: "Kevin Cramer is a personal friend of mine".



  22. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 1:19 pm
    Big Jake; I read your post, as I take time to read your frequent posts with interest.

    You ask a question about the effectiveness of churches---and by that I assume you question the effectiveness of Religion in the broadest sense.
    That is a question that would take much discussion among a number of people to establish the under-lying points that need to be examined.
    Is the Church a social club? That depends upon the particular church. Some may be, most are not. Some people who attend a serious and dedicated church may be"social" in their reasons they go there. Kind of like saying an Elks club is purely "social". It may be to some--to others it is "civic" with service duties attatched.

    Can a church influence public affairs? Certainly; it does so today. Is it desirable to influence public affairs? I would say yes. I think our society would be far more brutish were the church (religion) in the U.S. not influential. And, certainly more crass and grasping and envious.

    We can only wonder what a nation such as the U.S. would be like without the influence of Church/religion. Luckily, we do not have to imagine it---we live within the legacy and the benefits handed down to us as a moral nation based upon Judeo-Christian teachings.
  23. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 12:59 pm
    To my Liberal left-wing friends: It seems that the principled and moral positions taken by some Republicans, Conservatives and Independents has my LLW friends in a mental twist!
    Yes, the Right side of the aisle has much to say about moral values, and many of them practice as well as preach thses values. Do some not measure up? Sometimes, but they do try and often succeed in doing the right thing most of the time.

    That said; we have other people who are also good people who espouse no particular values. There are no measurements nor expectations on them---so they are always "good" and upright---they are never hypocrites--they cannot be criticized because they have no measurement or standard to hold them to.

    There is no requirement that people have the exact same held-in-common moral and ethical standard. The point to keep in mind is those with such convictions have every bit as much right to hold them as do you to hold yours!

  24. Report Abuse
    - January 24, 2012 11:53 am
    Joe, surely you jest!!!! Nobleness? This guy is incapable of attempting to even show the appearance of nobleness.

    He represents just how far down the slippery slope we have gone.

    He should have resigned when he admitted, proudly, that he took money from those he regulates. He did not.

    His attitude toward overt conflict of interest is what happens when we fail to demand a standard of behavior. We have given tacit permission and deserve what we get.

    He is bypassing the convention bacause he can't win. One can only hope that the voters get it.
  25. Joe
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    Joe - January 24, 2012 10:46 am
    Why wouldn't a noble man of the people run as an independent? Why wouldn't a noble man of the people honestly walk away from his job as a regulatory official while he is raising money and spending a great deal of time pursuing another office? Oh, I get it, he wants corporations he regulates to demonstrate their noble acts of corporate citizenship by contributing to his campaign. Anyone guess why he has such a large campaign purse? Be a noble man Commissioner and don't on the one hand have your hand out to the party and the people while shunning the party's process and working on your personal career move. Show us at least a little nobleness.
  26. Hobson'sChoice
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    Hobson'sChoice - January 24, 2012 10:25 am
    White House aides are alarmed by uncharacteristic behavior on the part of President Obama, who they say has been laughing uncontrollably since 7 PM Saturday night January 21st.

    The aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that they heard “unusual howls” coming from the Oval Office just after the seven o’clock hour on Saturday evening, causing them to rush to the President to ascertain the cause of the uproar.

    “It was weird,” one aide said. “He was just watching Fox cable news.”

    The staff members thought little of the normally reserved President’s giggle attack until it continued throughout the weekend, which saw Mr. Obama laughing uncontrollably and stopping only to gasp for air.

    Ever since Saturday, Mr. Obama has been oddly giddy throughout White House staff meetings, the aide said, and has been seen doodling the initials “N.G.” in the margins of memos “like a love-struck schoolgirl.”

    “The only thing we can think of that N.G. might stand for is Not Good,” the aide said. “But why would he be so happy about something that’s not good?”

    Mr. Obama’s high spirits were on evidence today in a brief White House appearance, in which the President made the following statement about the administration’s energy policies: “Going forward, the United States of America will bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha.”

    Source: The Borowitz Report
  27. Report Abuse
    - January 24, 2012 10:20 am
    In the first instance, this letter appears to be written by a friend of Cramer. Standing up for your friends is not a cause for criticism. Loyalty and friendship are certainly valuable attributes.

    It is void of political substance and I must presume that is intentional. Cramer's friend makes no mention of Cramer's politics. While it can be dangerous waters, one could presume that the Pastor supports Cramer's positions or at least some of them.

    It would be a giant leap to believe that Cramer was convinced that he could win the nomination and his decision is based on some new libertarian idea---a belief that is totally contrary to his past record. It is pretty obvious that Cramer has figured out that the country club Republican establishment is beholden to Hoeven and will hand over the nomination to Goettle. Cramer has cash and outside support. He obviously thinks he has a chance to beat Goettle in the primary. He might.

    Now to Hal. Your criticism is off base. You, as usual, give your own interpretation on in this instance, Kadizzle. He is only pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pastor. Absent anything but supporting a friend, the Pastor can be challenged about Cramer's positions and just why the mainstream churches, and specifically local churches, have turned a blind eye on the condition of a vast number of their fellow Americans and presumably most of them claim to be Christians.

    That is not outside of challenge no matter what Kadiz's religion or faith is. It is a relevant question and it deserves an answer. In other words, put you money where your mouth is. You either subscribe to the faith you claim or you are selective.

    Hal, based upon your criticism, I would ask you about whether you believe that the Church has become a social club or it is a moral force in society. It is hard to have it both ways.
  28. rwb1953
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    rwb1953 - January 24, 2012 10:14 am
    Why not do it that way? Its a win-win situation for Kramer.If he dosent win he has his PSC job to fall back on........again!!!
  29. notnek
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    notnek - January 24, 2012 10:08 am
    Rev. Larry I attended a Republican caucus as a commitment to a friend. The room was full of clergy all with the same requirement of the candidate . Abortions dominated conversations with the person guaranteeing a total commitment to their wishes receiving their votes. Poverty was never mentioned however education and the teaching of abstinence was a requirement. The quality of the state and nation was a total sideline. My conclusion Rev.Larry was that your very profession is a large contributor to the process you want changed.
  30. Hobson'sChoice
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    Hobson'sChoice - January 24, 2012 9:35 am
    January 24, 2012

    Halatbis and et al., the Republican Party has always thought of itself as the party of virtuous, righteous, saintly, principled family values and has peddled that believe for a longtime.

    When someone asks when the Republican Party abandoned its longstanding position as the party of saintly family values, we will all be able to say it was shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 19, 2012, in Charleston, South Carolina.

    That is when the invited audience of 2,300 Republicans stood up and applauded Newt Gingrich's angry and defiant response to the opening question from CNN's John King about allegations leveled by the ex-wife of the former speaker of the House.

    Then His Holiness Pope Limbaugh I, pronounced that it was a “mark of character” for Newt to ask his second wife for permission while cheating on her and gave Newt his holy blessing.

    It was clear that the GOP, always judgmental about marital fidelity with Democrats, threw that out the window.

    The GOP's desire to beat President Barack Obama at any cost, and its unwillingness to join together around Mitt Romney, clearly outweighs its view on rampant adultery by one of its leading presidential candidates.

    Those willing to make excuses for Gingrich's cheating on his second wife, Marianne, with his current wife, Callista (he also cheated on wife No. 1 with Marianne, who later became wife No. 2), this makes him, in my book, a serial adulterer.
    Will it happen again?

    Is it happening now?

    Has he no shame?

    Republicans are quick to say the Christian faith requires forgiveness.

    Yes, that is absolutely right but is also says:

    You shall not commit adultery in the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:14)

    But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. (Proverbs 6:32)

    And a certain ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.'" (Luke 18:18-20)

    When and will, Gingrich apologize to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for his routine outbursts declaring both of them morally corrupt?

    When has Gingrich ever said publicly that while he was ripping others to shreds, he was doing the same to his marriage vows to forsake all others?

    Why have Republicans, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed of The Christian Coalition been so silent?

    Sadly the Republican Party still remains the Party of NO.
    No ethical leaders, no ideas, certainly no morality; but much hypocrisy!
  31. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - January 24, 2012 8:36 am
    Kadizzle: looks to me that you have ventured into an area far beyond your competence. You seem to regularly post comments that are critical of religion---that is your right. You seem to dismiss faith and religion as folly---then you presume to be an expert in the faith. You now are telling people of faith what your idea of faith requires them to do.
  32. Lord Kadizzle
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    Lord Kadizzle - January 24, 2012 8:22 am
    TGPlains, you are right this is about ethics. What kind of an ethical preacher would put a cork in his mouth and say nothing about the Republican Party? The Republican party is shoveling money into the hands of the rich while it drives the poor, the elderly, and children into poverty. No ethical person can be a Republican. Ethics implies fairness.
  33. baldwin100
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    baldwin100 - January 24, 2012 8:09 am
    This is about ethics. If Kevin believed in this, why didn't he promote it when he was party leader. To do it now, looks very self serving. Kind of like the "it's all about me" action.
  34. Lord Kadizzle
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    Lord Kadizzle - January 24, 2012 7:35 am
    Larry, you call yourself a pastor, and you support the greed of the Republican Party that drives the poor and children into poverty with tax breaks for the rich? Wow, what religion stands idly by while such an injustice occurs? It is your duty to speak out against the Republicans and what they stand for if you are a Christian.
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