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Monday, May 24, 2010

Hickey Poll Asks Different Question, Gets Different Answer

Pastor Steve Hickey runs a poll related to pastors' politicizing their pulpits and gets results the opposite of mine.

I could add his poll results and mine and conclude that if you throw South Dakota blog readers together, you'll still find people opposing pastors endorsing candidates from the pulpit by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.. But I can't do that, since Pastor Hickey and I asked entirely different questions. My poll asked, "Do you want your pastor (rabbi, etc.) to endorse political candidates from the pulpit?" Hickey's poll asked "Should clergy (from their pulpits) be able to set forth the Biblical teaching on issues and show how candidates measure up to that standard?"

We also offered different answer options. I simply offered options for "Yes" and "No." Hickey's loaded options elaborated: "YES, the First Amendment/ Constitution trumps IRS code (i.e. 1954 Johnson Amendment)" versus "NO, the IRS is right to extend a benefit (tax exemption) to silence a certain kind of speech." He also included options where respondents could indicate whether they "faithfully" attend church. After some grumbling from me, Hickey added this option: "I'm not a church goer but believe Separation/Church& State means gov't must help pastors write their sermons."

Pastor Hickey acknowledges the weaknesses in his poll, as I try to do with mine. He also notes that Gordon Howie's risible effort to portray himself as the candidate of God in the GOP primary isn't flying with most pastors, who see no Scriptural justification to pick one GOP candidate over another (well, not counting Dave Knudson, according to some fundegelical interpretations).

I'm still waiting to hear any spiritual justification for any pastor to use the pulpit to endorse any fallible human candidate over another. The church should challenge political powers, not praise and promote them.


  1. Justin Becker5/24/2010 11:38 AM

    I'm still waiting to hear any spiritual justification ...

    Keep waiting Cory; they're manufacturing it as quickly as they can.

  2. "I'm still waiting to hear any spiritual justification for any pastor to endorse any fallible human candidate over another."

    You obviously don't want an answer. If you did, you would have noted the countless times I have answered that question at Madville alone, not to mention at Dakota Voice. Pastor Hickey has also answered this question

    If you have any interest at all in knowing the answer, I encourage you to read the comments I've left on the articles you've written on this subject over the past week, or those at Dakota Voice, including my comments--preferably with your eyes and mind open, this time. If you don't really want to know, don't bother.

    Burying your head in the sand and pretending there are no answers is not a good way to learn anything. (But it IS a good way to "justify" keeping the conscience of our society muzzled so you can advance your immoral agenda unchallenged).

  3. Hmmm. "The church should challenge political powers, not praise and promote them." I'm not buying that either. How about they just stay the heck out of it.

    As far as Bob goes, he answers the question to satisfy himself but the logic just isn't there for someone like myself that believes separation of church and state is necessary. Even if every founder was a devout Christian that's not how they wrote the Constitution. Even if they had written the document to promote Christian values, this is 2010 and we have to interpret the Constitution so it functions in a modern society.

    Bob, here's a guy who is no "God hater" and he doesn't agree with you either. The man is logical, but something tells me you would reject Christian Humanist ideas:

  4. This guy is either amazingly ignorant or a pure propaganda artist. Christian doctrine and the doctrine of humanism are completely at odds with each other. He might as well call himself a "Christian atheist."

    The piece you linked to is full of generalized propaganda and can be knocked over and debunked with a feather.

    The doctrine of "separation of church and state" (which isn't found in the Constitution) is found in the First Amendment, which prohibits a state religion or state church. It does NOT mandate that our government be divorced from Christian values.

    I have dozens and dozens of citations that debunk both this guy's nonsense and your warped "separation of church and state" nonsense. If you're interested, you can start here: http://www.dakotavoice.com/tag/christian-heritage/

    If you want to maintain your illusions, however, don't read any of the articles at that link, or here: http://www.dakotavoice.com/tag/church-and-state/

    Or here: http://www.dakotavoice.com/?s=federer&submit=Go

    Or elsewhere at Dakota Voice.

    The absolute fact of America's Christian heritage the the vital role the Christian worldview has played in our government and public policy is absolutely undeniable...for anyone even slightly informed and/or who can be honest.

    Don't feel bad when you realize how wrong you were, though. Most of us were taken in by liberal propaganda at one point or another; 10 years ago, even I hardly had a clue of the extent of our Christian heritage.

  5. Justin Becker5/25/2010 11:07 AM

    I have to wonder how someone like Mr. Ellis can be so certain he's correct while I am so certain he's wrong.

    Is this somehow related to expectation bias in that we each see what we wish to? In the same way that a researcher performing a study without blinds, each of us finds that our "study" of the constitution comes back with results that indicate our own expectation is correct.

  6. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's=acknowledge government as reality."

    -Thich Nhat Hanh

  7. Justin, never underestimate any man's ability (including yours and mine, not just Bob's) to believe what he wants in favor of what is.

    But when a poll offers such loaded questions, it's hard to tell what the majority really believe.


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