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Fall from grace: how ‘Christian values’ became a non-issue in Minnesota elections

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Even in rural Minnesota, conservative candidates are rarely putting social issues front and center.

Expect a lot less Bible-thumping in the weeks leading up to this election. 

No less an authority than Allen Quist, the politician who in the early 1990s did so much to bring together evangelical Christians and politics in Minnesota, believes that social issues — and those driven by those issues to vote — will not play a substantial role in state races this year. “In terms of single-issue voters, there’ll be more single issue voters on the environment than on gay marriage,” Quist said.  

Quist is hardly alone in his assessment, and the diminished role of conservative Christians in this election cycle can be felt in a number of ways.  

Jeff Johnson, the Republican party’s candidate for governor, was generally seen as the most socially conservative of his party’s gubernatorial candidates. But Johnson, who makes it clear on his web site that he opposes abortion and gay marriage, isn’t making such divisive social issues a foundation of his campaign.  

“Jeff is socially conservative,” notes a statement issued by Johnson’s campaign when asked about the role social issues will play in his campaign. “It’s who he is and what he believes and it’s reflected in his voting record. As governor, Jeff will encourage respectful dialogue on all issues, especially those social issues for which people have deep, heartfelt convictions.”

That’s not exactly the sort of hellfire-and-damnation approach that would send the hearts of the so-called Christian-values crowd racing.   

Then there was the primary race for House District 48B Eden Prairie, which made it clear that pounding on conservative Christian values probably doesn’t make for pragmatic politics in this election cycle.   

In that race, the conservative Christians were represented by Sheila Kihne, who challenged Rep. Jenifer Loon, one of the handful of Republican legislators who voted for the law that legalized gay marriage in 2013. Loon won easily. “Since that race, I can’t imagine that the Republican party would be foolish enough to raise gay marriage as an issue in suburban races,” said DFL party chair Ken Martin.  

And it’s in the suburbs where statewide political fortunes now rise and fall.  

That doesn’t mean that such groups as the Minnesota Family Council won’t attempt to be a factor in target legislative races, particularly those in Greater Minnesota. The outcome of those races is significant, given Republicans’ hope to recapture control of the House.

But even in rural Minnesota, conservative candidates are rarely putting social issues front and center. 

In the race for House District 10B, in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, for example, the GOP’s Dale Lueck is in a rematch with DFL one-term incumbent Joe Radinovich.

It’s a race many pundits are watching. In 2012, the district strongly supported the amendment that would have outlawed gay marriage. That same year, Radinovich won the seat by 323 votes over Lueck, but then voted the next year for the bill legalizing gay marriage.

Outside groups on both sides in the gay marriage issue are putting resources into the race. But the issue itself is below the surface. “This issue is not the same as abortion,”said Radinovich. “A lot of people have changed their views in the last two years.”

For his part, Lueck says he doesn’t really broach the topic with voters. “I don’t have to raise the issue,” Lueck said. “[Radinovich] raised the issue with the way he voted. There are many issues more important to the people in this district.” 

No organization did a better job of diffusing the emotions surrounding “Christian values” in politics than Minnesotans United for All Families, the alliance that led the campaign to first defeat the marriage amendment in Minnesota — and then pushed for legalization. 

In doing so, Minnesotans United aggressively pushed back on the notion that the Christian right owned Christian values. “Our approach was not to give ground (to the Christian right),” said Richard Carlbom, who was director of Minnesotans United and now heads United Strategies, which has signed on to work for legalizing gay marriage across the country. “We gave Christian leaders an avenue to have a voice.”

That meant that virtually every time someone from the Christian right claimed to Jesus and the Bible on the side opposing gay marriage, Minnesotans United made sure a Christian leader supporting gay marriage got in front of a camera to also talk about Christian values. 

Carlbom doesn’t agree with Quist that “the shelf life”of gay marriage as a political issue already has passed. It will continue to resonate, Carlbom believes, until the U.S. Supreme Court rules that equal rights to marriage is the law of the land. But he does say that the issue “is moving rapidly… Churches themselves are evolving rapidly.” 

The Christian right certainly isn’t going away. There are plenty of organizations, large and small, that are still are trying to tie so-called “Christian values” to the current election cycle.  

In Minneapolis, Lynne Torgerson has founded Christians United in Politics. Torgerson, a defense attorney and a failed candidate for Congress, filled e-mail accounts with her endorsements for various offices leading up to the primaries.  

Torgerson gave her blessings only to candidates who espoused their belief “in Biblical based Christian values on their websites, in their campaign literature and in their talks.”  

It is her belief — and goal — that “a Christian political party” ultimately will evolve in the country, though she admits that Christian exclusivity gets theologically complex. “God will bless Christians — and I suppose Jews, too,” she said. “God does love Israel.” 

Only problem for Torgerson is that no one seems to have heard of her organization.

Not so for the Minnesota Family Council, which is seen as a savvy player in state politics, and not lacking for piety. Its theme question for its followers this year is: “What if the followers of Jesus Christ in Minnesota reclaimed their voice in businesses, schools, entertainment and government? What if we elected godly men and women to lead us and unite our communities to advance our shared values.” 

But of late, a majority of Minnesotans haven’t shared the Family Council’s values. Not only has the organization lost the marriage issue, it lost in an effort to block anti-bullying legislation earlier this year.  

Why would a Christian values-organization oppose a law meant to eliminate bullying in schools? Autumn Leva, communications director for the organization, said there were a variety of problems with the bill, ranging from free speech to cost to curriculum. For instance, curriculum changes more empathetic to LBGT students, “will cause problems for families and students from religious households of all types whose beliefs comport with sexual behavior.” 

The political losses of recent years won’t change the views of people who support the Family Council, Leva said. “These are political winds,” she said of the losses. “They don’t change values.”  

But the political winds certainly have a way of changing the rhetoric.  

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Comments (106)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/21/2014 - 10:56 am.

    Johnson

    “But Johnson, who makes it clear on his web site that he opposes abortion and gay marriage, isn’t making such divisive social issues a foundation of his campaign.”

    How much you want to bet Johnson would put the issue front and center if he wins the election and gets a Republican majority in the legislature? He would immediately claim he had a mandate from the people on the issue even though it didn’t come up in the campaign.

    Before you could say Chris Kluwe we would be a cold Wisconsin.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/22/2014 - 09:35 pm.

      Funny

      Looking at the campaign literature from my local representatives from two years ago, there is no mention of allowing same sex marriage and creating new anti-bullying laws. How much do you want to bet that more of the same will happen when the DFL retains it’s stranglehold on the State for the next 2-4 years?

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/21/2014 - 11:23 am.

    When It Comes to Offering Power to the Current Republicans in MN

    The entire state (except for their small base) has a SERIOUS case of “been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, donated it to a charity which sent it to Africa.”

    Some among us thought Pawlenty was a failure as governor because the Democrats wouldn’t go along with him,…

    but then, when the Republicans controlled the legislature and didn’t have the courage to pass any legislation (lest someone be upset with them),…

    except for two ill-advised constitutional amendments from the previous century,…

    Minnesotans had had enough.

    Now we see the economy of Wisconsin, under Republican control, sinking ever deeper into quicksand, we’re even more convinced that the Republican Party’s ideas and ideals,…

    all of which they can’t and won’t change because of their belief that these must certainly be true (despite massive contradictory evidence),…

    are misguided at best and destructive at worst.

    Whatever the GOP is selling, whether it be “moral” values (for everyone else) or “free market” (as in free to be ripped off in every way imaginable without protection or recourse) we’re not buying.

  3. Submitted by Dean Carlson on 08/21/2014 - 11:57 am.

    My biggest fear

    is that the Republicans are trying to pull a Scott Walker. Don’t campaign on the divisive stuff but once elected, look out.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/21/2014 - 01:09 pm.

      More like ‘biggest fact’

      They’ve already done this. Remember their ‘laser-focus’ on jobs and the economy if they got elected in 10? That laser focus quickly gave way to a wide beam on social engineering and other MNGOP pet projects. Which of course, ultimately led to their utter electoral destruction in 12…

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/21/2014 - 02:21 pm.

      Maybe not

      The social issues nonsense didn’t play so well with voters the last time they tried it, so I don’t know if they would want to pull it again. Once elected, they want to get re-elected.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/21/2014 - 01:16 pm.

    Theologically complex

    The very notion of “Christian values” is oxymoronic. Which brand of Christianity does the Family Research Council purport to speak for? Coptic Christians? Albigensians? Southern Baptists? Episcopalians? Catholics? Lutherans? Methodists?

    One of the few consistent messages of the New Testament is tolerance, a value notably lacking in much of the rhetoric heard from what is charitably called the “Christian Right.” Much of what passes for Christian conservatism is a kind of knee-jerk reaction to social and economic change that has little or nothing to do with Christianity, and instead is primarily focused on beliefs and events with which its practitioners disagree.

    Most of the “Christian conservatives” that I’ve encountered are neither especially Christian nor especially conservative. “Authoritarian zealot” comes closer to an accurate descriptive phrase, and there are examples of how those kinds of beliefs and behaviors work in the real world frequently in the news and in the history books, ranging from the Inquisition to the Taliban to the Thirty Years’ War to ISIS to the Holocaust. Historically, Christians have been no more tolerant as a group than have Muslims, and their response to belief systems they view as heretical has been just as hostile, and often murderous.

    A Christian state is to be feared just as much as a Muslim one. Theocracy is antidemocratic on its face. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers, who were much closer in both time and knowledge to the religious wars that plagued Europe and the Mediterranean for centuries, specifically and purposely created a secular state called the United States. That’s why we have the “establishment clause” in the 1st Amendment.

    • Submitted by Lora Jones on 08/21/2014 - 03:26 pm.

      Here, here!

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/21/2014 - 05:33 pm.

      For reference . . . . . .

      See “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      Yes, I know it’s fiction. But it makes its point fairly well.

      • Submitted by Tim Walker on 08/22/2014 - 08:25 am.

        Speaking of relevant fiction writing …

        The late, great Arthur C. Clarke said it best: “The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/22/2014 - 08:27 am.

      Money Changers

      Since there is no one version of Christianity espoused by the FRC
      and there really is no true membership vote to guide the organization [so far as I am aware]:

      One has to conclude this is “council” a new church or sect built upon the selective interpretations & biases of its handful of leaders.

  5. Submitted by Jim Buscher on 08/21/2014 - 01:30 pm.

    As an agnostic,

    I hope we’ll eventually get to the point where are politicians and the voters who elect them no longer require them to pass the “religion” test. There are just too many stories of abuse and wrong doing going on in so many churches (big and small). Americans are more educated today than in past generations. We’re not nearly as tied to the church as we were a hundred years ago. You look over in some parts of Europe and churches are being turned into museums.

    These religious political organizations were the same ones saying gay marriage in MN was going to cause riots and bloodshed. Give me a break. We’re not buying it anymore. At least not as many in the past.

    There will still be places, like in the south, where religion is important, but I hope MN becomes a little more savvy and progressive.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/21/2014 - 02:50 pm.

      Churches

      I guess in Wisconsin they tear down their churches rather than turn them in to museums,

      http://www.moleymagneticsinc.com/109-year-old-wisconsin-red-church-demolished/

      • Submitted by Jim Buscher on 08/21/2014 - 04:31 pm.

        That works just as good too.

        • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/22/2014 - 09:45 am.

          Churches

          As an atheist I don’t have much use for what goes on inside a church. It’s all just a bunch of fabricated mechanisms designed to control the masses as as far as I’m concerned.

          But looking at the building from a different point of view, I’m an enthusiastic an unabashed supporter of churches. These structures and the religions they contain have been a pillar of the community for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years. (The church I cited above was built in 1909 and was drop dead gorgeous. The low brick building they built five years ago as a replacement was unmemorable the moment they laid the cornerstone.) Iconic buildings such as these become a a touchstone for the community as one generation after another passes through them. Someone may drive by there twenty years from now and proudly explain to their grandkids “my great grandparents were married in this church!”

          It’s that sense of ownership that gives people a feeling of community as we lurch from one era to another. People feel disconnected because they don’t understand the pace and scope of change in society today. (Have you HEARD what the kids think passes for music nowadays?!) A familiar building that they always turn left at to get to the grocery store gives people some grounding as they go about the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.

          Anyway, I could go on about that soap box for days. While I don’t have much use for the services that go on in churches, I’m still inclined to keep a bit of our past to save it for the future.

          • Submitted by Jeffrey Jerde on 08/22/2014 - 01:10 pm.

            Thanks for this

            This was very nicely put, and a pleasure to read. “Feeling of community as we lurch…” is the phrase that stands out. This comment had me thinking for some time. But I will spare everybody my lengthy reflections — it’s all in there.

          • Submitted by Jim Buscher on 08/22/2014 - 02:04 pm.

            My comment was a little snarky I’ll admit. I’d certainly hate to see St. Paul’s Cathedral demolished, even though I despise the Catholic Church’s abuse and coverup scandals.

            I’ll just be happy with less churches and religion in our world. If some old buildings have to meet their fate with the wrecking ball to achieve that, so be it.

            • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/22/2014 - 03:19 pm.

              Comments

              By all means, keep up with the snarky comments! It’s good to have a twisted sense as we wend our way through the societal jungle. My philosophy is to approach life with poise, grace, and humor.

              I guess one out of three ain’t bad.

              • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/22/2014 - 05:44 pm.

                Prohibition

                Religion in some respects reminds me of alcohol, in that when used incorrectly, it leads misery. When used properly, it can lead to great things. Like the abolition of slavery, and the end of Jim Crow laws. Those are the two greatest social advancements this nation has made.

                Those who hope for a day when there is no religion would do well to remember those two great social movements were brought to us by people who took their Scripture seriously enough to go to jail for it, to be beaten for it, and even to die for it.

                Now way I’ll let a bishop who protects rapists define my religion for me.

  6. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 08/21/2014 - 04:34 pm.

    Only consistency among “values” is loathing

    I find people who say they want “Christian” values confusing when they start quoting Old Testament chapters and verse. Try the New Testament.

    Truth is Christ was a flaming liberal, hated organized religion, favored the poor and the outcast, tried to help people, didn’t like the rich and warned people about judging others. How did his words become shallow, myopic, hateful, fearful and judgmental when faced with anyone who is a little bit different than themselves.

    And then never mind that we don’t have an established religion in this country.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/21/2014 - 05:25 pm.

      Fact Check

      Christ hated organized religion? He was an observant Jew, and participated in observances at the temple. Hours before His crucifixion, He marked the Passover. When merchants turned His Father’s house into a marketplace, He blew his stack. In fact, it was the only time in the Gospels He did such. That would be odd behavior for someone who hated organized religion.

      Religious hypocrisy, now that surely did raise his hackles, such as when the authorities were horrified he actually worked on the sabbath (by healing the sick). There can be no doubt Jesus takes a dim view of Bishops who protect child rapists as well as tele-vangilists who take prostitutes to motel rooms.

      Furthermore, he started a church, instructing Peter thus: Peter you are my rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.

      The truth is, biblical values challenge both liberals and conservatives alike, and anyone who feels better about themselves after reading a chapter or two probably needs to go back and re-read it. It can be argued that concern for the least, the last, and the lost were ascendent in the state elections in 2012.

  7. Submitted by Josh Ondich on 08/21/2014 - 04:36 pm.

    Is pragmatic heads starting to prevail?

    I believe if any party like the GOP wants to be electable in Minnesota, Their party’s candidate are better to make those hardline social conservative issues like opposition to gay marriage, and abortion etc as secondary issues instead of driving issues of their platforms. We might be seeing those candidates and party leaders looking for ways to push agendas that have common ground with independent minded voters instead of what suits the party interests. I believe both parties have issues that divide voters. I believe its more important to find issues that have common ground with all sides of the political spectrum.

    Josh D. Ondich
    Prior Lake, MN

  8. Submitted by Lynne Torgerson on 08/21/2014 - 05:44 pm.

    Lynne Torgerson, Christians United in Politics

    Dear Mr. Grow, I never said what you claim, in quotes, I said. I said that God is the source of blessing and good. In a different context, I said that Christians United in Politics would support Christian and Jewish political candidates who support Biblical principles. I did say God loves Israel. I never said God blesses Christians and I suppose Jews too. That is absolutely false.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/22/2014 - 08:47 am.

      A question

      Ms. Torgerson, what is Christians United in Politics’ stance towards atheists, Muslims, or those who follow minority religions serving in elected office? I am asking as I am curious if your group is inclusive or tolerant of differing points of view.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/22/2014 - 02:17 pm.

        Muslims

        Ms. Torgerson has, in the past, made a number of statements about Islam and its status as a religion for First Amendment purposes. Interestingly enough, those webpages seem to have been taken down.

        Care to bring us up to date on your opinions on this issue, Ms. Torgerson?

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/21/2014 - 11:56 pm.

    Values enforcement

    I think it finally dawned on voters that they don’t want government picking and choosing it’s citizens personal “values”. Once you realize that, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to vote for candidates who are promising to use the power of government to enforce Christian or any other religious values. I also think a lot of people finally got a good look at the values a bunch of hypocrites, sociopaths, and damaged personalities were actually promoting and decided they weren’t impressed with either the promoters or their values. Why should I trade in my values for yours, and why would I want the government condemning my values? Just stay out of my values and fix the roads. Especially when our Constitution specifically prohibits you from using the government to enforce your religious values.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/22/2014 - 09:42 pm.

      Exactly!

      “Just stay out of my values and fix the roads.”

      Instead, we got same sex marriage and anti-bullying laws. The same bridges that were failing 4 years ago are still unrepaired. Time for a change.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 08/23/2014 - 09:14 pm.

        NIce try, Tom.

        It was the republicans that attempted to enshrine discrimination into the state constitution. The state already made the change it wanted when it booted the republicans out after one, two-year stint. If you want to pout that people can marry the person they love and ‘beating the gay” out of kids is no longer acceptable, have at it. The fact is, outside of a dwindling number of misanthropes, no one cares.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/25/2014 - 10:04 am.

        Aaaand

        You can’t drive anywhere in the state without running into road repairs. Why? Because we’re not cutting MNDOT and local budgets. Why? Because we have a surplus instead of a deficit. Why? Because we’re not cutting tax revenue. Conclusion, democrats stay out of your values and fix the roads. Letting other people pursue their happiness doesn’t make it more difficult to pursue your own happiness. Unless oppressing other people is what makes you happy?

        • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/26/2014 - 07:13 am.

          Road Repairs Are a Good Thing

          You are correct.
          Roads are being repaired all over.

          Can’t blame the people patching the roads for the potholes.
          It seems to represent a mindset, however.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/27/2014 - 10:47 pm.

          And MNDot says

          that we are billions behind in transportation funding, just to keep up with what we have. Because nothing has been done to fix that problem over the last four years despite the massive tax increases that gave the State a surplus that is being spent on everything but transportation and infrastructure. (Local municipalities are an exception in many cases as they took the money given to them by the State for tax relief and spent it fixing their roads)
          I think that everyone benefits from quality infrastructure which hopefully allows everyone to be happier. I didn’t realize that advocating for this was being oppressive to other individuals.
          And don’t worry, in a few months there won’t be any road repairs going on as the ground will be frozen.

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/22/2014 - 07:53 am.

    Aaand don’t trust them

    These guys are the kings and queens of bait-n-switch politics, like someone already pointed out, remember the laser-like focus on jobs.

    Hopefully some day republicans will produce a crop of reasonable candidates that can be trusted and actually understand the concept of public service. Unfortunately for the time being they appear bent on punishing any republican that try to represent their constituents effectively.

  11. Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/22/2014 - 07:56 am.

    Political Winds Blown Through Dog Whistles

    Do the winds actually change the underlying agenda, or are we just acknowledging the latest window dressing again?

    All this posturing & telling OTHER people what THEY must do, in order for a radical handful to sleep at night?

  12. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 08/22/2014 - 09:50 pm.

    Christian values a non-issue

    Probably because they are in the minority. As more citizens accept abortion, children born out of wedlock, drug use, multiple sex partners (of either sex), disregard for authority, etc. Christians have become merely the butt of jokes and objects of scorn labelled as bigots. Their political influence will continue to fade even as they plod along trying to live as Jesus asked them to.

  13. Submitted by John Appelen on 08/23/2014 - 09:17 am.

    Funny Title

    Of course, religious values will continue to be important in all elections. Just one issue is quiet this time.

    Here is an interesting take on this.
    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/cherry/080128

    I also found this comment humorous.

    “it doesn’t make a lot of sense to vote for candidates who are promising to use the power of government to enforce Christian or any other religious values”

    What exactly are the “Liberal Rob from the Rich to Give to the Poor” values? The passion with which it is pursued seems nearly religious in its fervor.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/23/2014 - 09:26 am.

    Mumbo jumbo

    “I said that God is the source of blessing and good. In a different context, I said that Christians United in Politics would support Christian and Jewish political candidates who support Biblical principles. I did say God loves Israel. I never said God blesses Christians and I suppose Jews too. That is absolutely false.”

    So God is the source of blessing but doesn’t actually bless anyone?

    The problem with “biblical” principles is that you never know who’s interpretation of the bible your looking at, and our constitution specifically prohibits law based on scripture of any kind simply because it’s scripture of some kind. The whole point of elections in a democracy is to select representatives that will serve their communities and constituents, not promote values and religion. In a free country people are supposed to be able to practice their own values and religions, not impose them on everyone else. Politicians who focus on enforcing values rather than making good public policy deliver dysfunctional government for a variety of reasons.

    This narrative of Christians and or white males being some kind of persecuted majority is sooooo completely at odds with reality that it’s finally collapsing in the community at large, the question is whether or not it’s collapsing within the party. It’s amazing that it last this long as a compelling narrative either way.

    The interesting thing about the various “Christian” values proponents is that they’ve created a movement that actually attracts hypocrites, sociopaths, and damaged personalities. The more populated the republican party has become with these so-called evangelical’s the more dysfunctional it has become.

    The Hagedorn and MacDonald fiasco’s show how dysfunctional the party has become. Republicans have been and will continue to lose otherwise winable elections because they can’t produce viable candidates. First they decide that MacDonald is innocent of all charges, which isn’t their call, and they decide that her legal issues are representative of the kind of police oppression we ALL face, as if affluent suburbanites are victims of profiling. Meanwhile the Tea Party wing comes up with Hagedorn who appears to be one of the aforementioned sociopaths attracted to the movement. Meanwhile Dayton will coast to victory because Johnson has nothing to offer and doesn’t even understand why we build mass transit despite sitting a board that discusses it all the time.

  15. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 08/23/2014 - 01:10 pm.

    The pendulum is shifting. The conservative religious Reconstructionist of the Jerry Falwell variety has been defeated. A libertarian approach has become more dominant among conservatives.

    Also, the gay marriage issue was defeated at the ballet box, and although disappointing, most understand that society has changed.

    However, the resurgence of the intolerant, non-inclusive, anti-religious, totalitarian far left will eventually make missteps and over-reach as did the religious conservatives of the Jerry falwell followers.

    We will soon see if the “far left” are really concerned about religious freedom, minority rights, and toleration of dissenting views or if these ideas are just “window dressing” for the squashing of freedoms.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/23/2014 - 09:52 pm.

      Good point

      Excellent comment. They seem to typically only support freedoms they agree with.

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/24/2014 - 07:51 am.

      Libertarian vs Intolerant & other Mumbo Jumbo

      That’s a great fiction.
      How do you come to that ballet?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/25/2014 - 04:42 pm.

      Squashing of freedoms

      What freedoms are being squashed, exactly?

      You still have the freedom to believe and speak as you wish. No one is going to take that away form you. The only “freedom” that is going away is your “freedom” to espouse your opinions without push back. The Sarah Palin version of the First Amendment (“I can say whatever I want, and no one can argue back.”) does not exist in real life.

      What about anti-religious? Does that include remembering the legal prohibitions against government support of religion? There are those who would call that a policy that makes religion stronger. Nothing kills faith faster that having it imposed on the public.

      You are just proving that there is no greater “victim” in America today than the conservative. The tea party should change its slogan from “Don’t tread on me” to “It’s not fair! I never get MY way!”

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 09:29 am.

        Freedoms being squashed…

        Freedom to not employee people who you believe are commiting sinful acts for one. We had a long discussion about Chik-fil-A hiring processes and the “evils” of it on G2A.

        Freedom to not have to pay for medications that you believe kill humans. (ie IUDs, Morning after pill, etc)

        Freedom of association / education control. By this I mean public schools covering gay/lesbian issues in the sex education classes. To far right religious people, this is wrong. Relative to your Liberal views, it would be like forcing your kids to learn about incest.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/26/2014 - 10:29 am.

          “To far right religious people”

          Why do they get to dictate the terms of public discourse?

          “Freedom not to employee people . . .” There have been laws against employment discrimination in this country for half a century. When they were enacted (and for some years afterwards), the “freedom” that was being quashed was the freedom not to employ “n****s if I don’t want to.” Of course, we are far too polite to say that anymore, so today the jackboot of tyranny is found in not letting employers discriminate against people who may behave or think in a way that offends them.

          Incidentally, there are many people who think hunting or eating animal products is sinful. Are you OK with a business that would refuse to hire carnivores or hunters, on moral grounds?

          “Freedom to not have to pay for medications that you believe kill humans.” The medications do not “kill humans,” and I note that you are careful to frame this tyranny in terms of what some people “believe,” or have decide that they believe, based on political expediency. People believe in all sorts of things that are not true. Can an anti-vaccination employer refuse an insurance plan that covers the MMR shots for children, based on a false belief that those vaccinations cause autism? How about a person who believes, on scriptural grounds, that the Sun revolves around the Earth: is it fair to make them pay for government maintenance of GPS satellites?

          “Education control.” This one is laughable. Homosexuality is a part of human life, so if students are to get an accurate picture of human sexuality, they will be taught about it. Incest is likewise a part of human sexuality, and while I do not condone it, it should be mentioned, if only to teach children how to protect themselves against predators in their own family (it happens, even in Wally and Beaver’s neighborhood).

          The state has an obligation to provide a system of free public schools, but it is under no obligation to make sure they are exactly to everyone’s liking in all respects. Anyone who doesn’t like what is being taught in public schools is free to send their children to a private school, or to teach them at home. I do not expect to be forced to pay for it, any more than I would have been expected to pay for Governor Dayton’s years at Exeter, or Senator Franken’s time at Blake.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 12:30 pm.

            You asked for examples.

            Reminder: as we have discussed before, science has not proven that sexual orientation is a physical state of being. That means it is still technically a choice / behvior. So comparing it to the protections provided on the basis of race, sex, age, etc is a bit pre-mature. Unless you have found more info.

            Maybe you can compare it to freedom of religion. Now isn’t that ironic.

            As for teaching gay / lesbian behaviors and beliefs, maybe schools should also be teaching them like they are religions instead of a physiological condition. Kind of like they would most sexual behaviors. At least until science resolves the issue once and for all.

            Also, as we have discussed before. Yes those medications can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. In their view this is murder, whether you agree or not.

            • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 01:14 pm.

              Science is not your shield

              You can’t use scientific endeavor to justify your prejudices. To your statements above, I would say that science has not proven that god, gods, or any sort of supreme being exists. That means religious belief and practice is a choice and or behavior.

              So, using the scientific method to demean and discount an entire segment of the global population (on a ‘technicality’ no less) because it hasn’t proven or dis-proven genetic predispositions towards sexual orientation is really, really asinine, especially when the scientific method has never produced a lick of evidence that your belief system amounts to anything more than a chemical fantasy brought on by your neurochemical makeup, childhood indoctrination, and rigid adherence to dogmatic ideology.

              If one has freedom OF religion, it therefore stands to reason that one has freedom FROM religion. Stop foisting your religion upon others.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 04:30 pm.

                I think

                “That means religious belief and practice is a choice and or behavior.”
                It is a choice and behavior.

                Science can tell us who is a man/ woman, how old a person likely is, what race they are, etc. As far as I know, to this day science can not tell us who is LGBT, Straight, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc or what makes them so.

                I don’t intend to demean any of these groups by stating that reality. I am in 2 of those categories.

                “Stop foisting your religion upon others.”
                I think that is what the Religious Right is saying about the people trying to foist LGBT behavior and acceptance upon them.

                Remember all those really cool Christmas parties we can not have anymore at school because of politcal sensitivity to religion in school?

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/26/2014 - 05:11 pm.

                  Really cool Christmas parties

                  I have Jewish friends who would disagree* with the “really cool” part. Or by “really cool” do you mean “fostering alienation on the part of members of a religion to which I do not belong?” Is it overly sensitive to ask Jehovah’s Witness or Muslim students what they think?

                  *It’s not unanimous. I have Jewish friends who genuinely enjoy the Christmas season. Just as many, however, do not.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 09:16 pm.

                    Perfect

                    Then if we can’t discuss or celebrate those beliefs and actions in schools…. Why are we making an issue of sexual orientation?

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/27/2014 - 09:38 am.

                      Discuss? Or celebrate?

                      Those are two very different things.

                • Submitted by jason myron on 08/28/2014 - 03:10 pm.

                  Christmas parties?

                  You mean the ones we used to have to show up to just to be seen by the boss and hit the door at the first opportune moment? Don’t miss ’em…the cool, fun people met on their own, away from all office politics. Only brown nosers loved company Christmas parties. I don’t know one person that pines away for those silly rituals.

            • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 01:16 pm.

              John, for the sake of clarity and discussion, please elucidate what you see as “gay / lesbian behaviors and beliefs.”

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/26/2014 - 01:35 pm.

              I asked for examples

              And the ones you have given me are worthless (I say that because I am a well-bred person).

              Why does it matter whether a person’s private actions, with other consenting adults, are the product of genetics or choice? Libertarians spend an awful lot of time shrieking about how the government is going to take away our freedom–why does it not bother you if it’s done by private business?

              I have no idea what you are getting at when you talk about sex education.

              I also have no idea why what a person believes should be allowed to trump science. Charles Guiteau believed that God directed him to shoot President Garfield, but no one gave in to that idea.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 10:44 am.

          These aren’t freedoms, these are religious beliefs.

          And no, the children of religious bigots having to learn to tolerate the other people they live and work with isn’t tantamount to ‘learning’ incest (whatever the heck that means), it’s basic respect… which you obviously don’t have for the GLBT population, since you made the comparison in the first place.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 10:45 am.

          You know what IS an apt comparison? Try this one on for size:

          “Freedom of association / education control. By this I mean public schools covering creationism (AKA Intelligent Design) issues in the science education classes. To reasonable people, this is wrong. Relative to your Conservative views, it would be like forcing your kids to learn about science.”

  16. Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/24/2014 - 07:40 am.

    “A country that looks like the red light district in Amsterdam.”

    Seriously? This is laughable.
    Is this what the intractable people are afraid of?

    Whose personal anxiety is this?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/24/2014 - 08:24 am.

      Afraid

      Personally I am not afraid of it, however that does not mean that it isn’t slowly happening.

      The increase in the social acceptance of gambling, pot, single parent households, varying sexual situations, strip clubs, bankruptcy, welfare, etc, sure is taking us away from “Leave it to Beaver days”.

      For better or worse…

      • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/25/2014 - 05:18 am.

        You want the fiction of Ozzie & Harriet?

        Afraid or not: What are you concerned about then?

        That’s a long list of anxieties to hang onto Wally & the Beav.

        Does the world need to fit your 1950’s TV sitcom:
        Does that mean we have to chuck cellphones & drive Edsels?

        Please consider:
        Just because you strung several topics together in one sentence, doesn’t mean they belong together.
        If those are your values, they are not the values of even all christians, let alone a country.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/25/2014 - 06:23 am.

        Shhh, I have a secret for you

        There never WERE any “Leave it to Beaver” days. Nostalgic pining for a past that never was isn’t a good way to determine present policy.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/25/2014 - 10:10 am.

          T2

          What principles and values do you think are important within a successful society?

          Here is my personal dream list. Though as a human, I often fail to live up to them. However having it does give me something to aim for.
          http://give2attain.blogspot.com/2010/09/g2a-principles.html

          • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/25/2014 - 11:14 am.

            No one lives up to them all the time

            isn’t that the point of forgiveness? ” ….forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” and my husband always thought that passage was just put in for trail riders and hunters.

            I would bet that all religions have some code of forgiveness that is required of believers and requested from a supreme being. People make mistakes because we are human and are constantly balancing all of our values and sometimes we mess up.

            One of the places where “we the people” messed up was in lying and cheating Indian Tribes by not living up to our written obligations in treaties. The Gale data from at least 5 years ago which was the last time I looked at the lifestyle data showed a strong correlation between charitable giving and gaming particularly in Minnesota. It is not just the effectiveness of the tribes lobbying efforts that keeps gaming mostly limited to charitable organizations and tribal governments at least in Minnesota it is seen as a fairness for righting past wrongs particularly among the “greatest generation” and older boomers who are probably more aware of history than some of the younger citizens.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/25/2014 - 12:16 pm.

            Still

            Not going to your blog.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/25/2014 - 02:36 pm.

              Answer

              You can still answer the question without exposing yourself to the dark side. I tried a different link but it did not make the cut.

              What principles and values do you think are important within a successful society?

              • Submitted by jason myron on 08/25/2014 - 05:22 pm.

                The ability

                to mind you own business and not be concerned with other peoples values.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/25/2014 - 06:51 pm.

                  Excellent

                  Then you would support a flat tax rate for all.

                  Treat everyone the same.

                  • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 08:32 am.

                    No

                    A flat-tax disproportionately affects different economic groups. It sticks it to the poor while simultaneously being a massive giveaway to the rich.

                    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/26/2014 - 11:50 am.

                      A flat tax rate would work

                      if it was done right but you will notice that almost every thinking conservative has backed off from talking about it. Why because someone spelled out what a flat tax rate would look like and how much more they would pay in taxes.

                  • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/26/2014 - 11:47 am.

                    A flat tax rate is a value

                    while knock me down I must have missed that in Sunday School and Philosophy class.

                    Taxation has nothing to do with envy it has to do with paying for collective goods and services for which a market can not be made, and subsidizing, either through direct payments,credits or deductions some activities to achieve specific outcomes.

                    Some taxes are based on equity some are based on ability to pay. My guess you would not like a flat tax if there are no deductions and everything counts as income.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 03:12 pm.

                      Taxes and envy

                      Of course it has to do with values.

                      If one is pragmatic we would all pay about the same dollars in tax. Just like a health club membership.

                      But some are jealous of the wealthy and think they are owed some of that money.

                      Others just acknowledge that one can not get blood out of turnip, so the wealthy need to pay for the health club.

                      Then there is the whole wealth transfer thing, which is totally about our definitions of “fairness”.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/26/2014 - 04:36 pm.

                      Can the health club exclude members based on their “sinfulness” or for espousing gay beliefs and behaviors?

                      Also, “American Citizenship- Just Like a Health Club” sounds like a great campaign slogan for the MNGOP to adopt.

                      I have some very wealthy friends. I do not envy their money or success, nor do I think they owe me anything. I don’t ask them to pick up the check when we go to restaurants, and I don’t ask them to buy my plane tickets when we go on trips together. I think they do owe American society and infrastructure and education for allowing them to become the successes that they are, and for offering them a consumer market in which to sell their goods and services.

                      Then, there is the whole “wealth transfer thing…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 06:43 pm.

                      Available to You

                      “I think they do owe American society and infrastructure and education for allowing them to become the successes that they are, and for offering them a consumer market in which to sell their goods and services. ”

                      Aren’t these things available to all of us citizens? As I said, I have no problem with a flat rate that excludes say the first $20,000 of income. Then your friends will pay more for their making better use of the tools that are available to us all. Still seems funny, but ok…

                      I am just against charging them a hugely progressive rates just because they and their family were successful, and I was not.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 06:45 pm.

                      Who was that political guy who got in trouble for touching himself in the hot tub. My guess is he was not welcomed back…

                    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/26/2014 - 07:26 pm.

                      Pragmatism is a flat tax?

                      Other than flat taxes being way off topic…
                      How do you make a digression from what values are seen to be pertinent in an election – to the tax structure?

                      Nevertheless: people who benefit extraordinarily in society may be doing so by using the assets of everyone. A disproportionate share of the assets over & above the social contract, if there is such a thing.

                      For example a mine owner using the water to dilute the mine tailings – using water that he does not own & potentially contaminating the aquifers or local ground water.

                      No one makes it entirely on their own in society. A seller, or company has to have customers & the richer they become very probably does not depend on themselves alone. They may require a heightened sense of responsibility to the common good for a disproportionate personal benefit.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/26/2014 - 09:14 pm.

                      A Value

                      I kept asking… “What principles and values do you think are important within a successful society?”

                      Then Jason said “The ability to mind you own business and not be concerned with other peoples values.”

                      I brought up taxation because it is an excellent example of where Liberals want to reach into other peoples lives and mandate their values by taking their money and giving it to someone else who they think more deserves it.

                    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/27/2014 - 11:40 am.

                      And conservatives want to reach into peoples

                      bedrooms and doctors offices. Perhaps it’s just a fear that the person reaching into your pocket might be gay. How about if liberals promise….

                      You clearly don’t understand the role of government. Redistributing income as opposed to wealth (except for property taxes and estate taxes) is not the purpose of government but it is the means to achieve an end.

                      The two reasons that government generally spends money. It spends money on “public goods and services” i.e. such goods where it is impossible to directly charge all those who benefit for the benefit they receive. The classic example is defense spending or legal/judicial system. If you use an economic classification (sounds like a dissertation topic) where your life is your property as in “your rights stop where my nose starts” then both military systems and legal systems (down to probation officers and police) are just property protection systems. Who has the most to benefit from property protection systems, the people with the most property. Did you ever wonder why Republicans were so pro military?

                      As for other government expenditures – the ones that people like to complain about – welfare etc. Let’s think of it as a way to squash rebellions before they start. That is also why there is a government interest in “equality”. If you don’t allow people a way out of an unequal situation – at least economically you can get what happened in Missouri. Environmental expenditures are about maintaining property.

                      Wars are about economics – the “haves” and the “have nots” it is about control of property by one group of people or another.

                      I think you are wrong it’s not that liberals or anyone who doesn’t care about taxes is looking to get into “your pocket” is envious it is something that they have learned that you haven’t. It’s only money. Until they start putting your face on the bills I would remember Mathew 22:20 KJV

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/27/2014 - 01:50 pm.

                      That’s quite a leap.

                      especially coming from someone who disparages poor people and thinks that anyone getting a government benefit should be sweeping streets and picking up trash to earn it. That’s some stunningly rank hypocrisy there, John.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/28/2014 - 10:05 am.

                      Quite the summary

                      The context of giving the uneducated poor useful work in exchange for what they are being paid…

                      I feel for them… They have been conditioned to expect their food ration from the big machine on a regular schedule… Instead of being taught that they are capable humans who can provide for themselves…

                      That seems pretty cruel to me.

                    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/28/2014 - 11:56 am.

                      How about “When they wanted to

                      provide for them selves no one would hire them.”

                      Read the “Freakanomics” section about the resume experiment. Identical resumes were sent to people with open jobs one had the name Sally Smith or say Joseph Nelson – a “white” name and the other resume had a name like Tamika Jones or Davon Jackson. Guess whose resume got pulled for interviews and whose didn’t. Remember this is exact same resume except for the name.

                    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/28/2014 - 11:57 am.

                      There are working poor too

                      or hadn’t that occurred to you.

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/28/2014 - 03:00 pm.

                      If it did occur to him

                      he has to dismiss it. It’s the only way he can clear his conscious from his utter lack of empathy for others. Hence the Mary Franson “feed the animals and they come back for more” line. The contempt these people have for anyone that doesn’t fit their social standard is repulsive.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/25/2014 - 02:19 pm.

            Yeah, here’s the thing

            John, I’m not interested in your values, I have my own. THAT’s a free country for you.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/25/2014 - 10:31 am.

    The incoherence of libertarians

    The problem with Libertarian thinking is it runs completely at odds with history. The “creeping communism” hysteria is simply recycled every decade. Now we’re supposed to believe that citizenship itself is a form of socialist oppression. We’re told that over the course of decades as we’ve seen a constant expansion of civil rights and liberties, our “freedoms” have been restricted by a government creeping into some kind of totalitarian regime. The courts just ruled that the government can’t even seize a Mexican drug dealer’s car and you’re telling us that we’re sinking into despotism? The government’s out of control.

    Such people don’t believe in much less even comprehend the nature of Democracy. Ronald Reagan warned that our children would wake-up in a communist country if we created Medicare… in 1962. And so it goes. Greetings comrade.

    This simple fact is that certain people perceive the extension of their rights and privileges to other people as oppression; as if freedom is a zero sum game. It’s incoherent. Again, it’s a fantasy that the majority has somehow become oppressed by minorities. It’s hysteria pretending to be caution. We have a nation that has for over 200 years expanded liberties and equalities decade by decade and yet these guys would have you believe that Obama is a communist dictator… as he prepares to leave office without a shot being fired. Well, I’d like to stay and continue being a dictator, but my 8 years are up. Gotta go.

    • Submitted by jody rooney on 08/26/2014 - 11:58 am.

      But Paul it is about lazy

      and being cognizant of history. If you don’t know history then you don’t know what is being recycled.

      Making people united in fear against a threat is a lot easier than making them united for something positive. Most people don’t stop to evaluate whether the threat is real or not.

  18. Submitted by E Gamauf on 08/25/2014 - 06:05 pm.

    Did one of us fall asleep during “Walking Dead?”

    You said: “You can still answer the question without exposing yourself to the dark side.”

    Is your blog really the dark side?
    Please set the TV sleep timer.

    I don’t have a lot of interest going there either:
    Not fretting about dark sides, I just don’t want the Ozzie Nelson buzz cut!

  19. Submitted by Jon Lord on 08/26/2014 - 02:10 pm.

    The shift

    I still have to laugh about Pat Robertson, once the darling of the religious right, offending the “young earth” Christians. Simply because he finally recognized that the earth is billions of years old and no dinosaur ever lived during the reign of humanity. Oh yeah, he also stated that evolution is also real. He just believes that a creator started the big bang. The “young earthers” have abandoned him in droves.

    Freedom of religion should simply mean staying out of anyone else’s ideas of what it means to them. Jesus said once “And when thou last shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.”

    Freedom of Religion simply means stick to your own and leave everyone else’s to them and leave Politics out of it entirely. Read another way, leave Religion out of Politics.

  20. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/27/2014 - 10:06 am.

    Values indeed

    Anyways, it’s always amazed me, here you have a group of people who’s “values” start with greed and selfishness and go down hill from there. As you tumble down the hill you crash into dishonest and distorted information, deliberate ignorance, hypocrisy, hysteria, and bigotry. Here you have the only group of people in the world who actually can’t answer the question: “Who would Jesus Bomb?” They come up with a list… and their big claim to fame in the world is being Christians?

    And we’re supposed to be impressed with these values and the people promoting them? We’re supposed abandon OUR values and submit to this toxic mixture of sociopathic fantasy? The amazing thing is that at one point a significant number of Americans actually DID vote for this. Dodged a bullet there we did, yessiree. Don’t get fooled again.

  21. Submitted by John Appelen on 08/28/2014 - 10:17 am.

    Used that example

    “Let’s think of it as a way to squash rebellions before they start. That is also why there is a government interest in “equality”.”

    I have used that argument with far right conservative before. (ie Egypt) Yet I am not sure paying off extortion is such a good idea either.

    I do believe that government should help give people a hand up when they are down. (ie safety trampoline) I just don’t think we should pay willfully unproductive citizens so that they don’t revolt.

    And it is a small percentage of citizens in this category, per a G2A discussion it looks like about 0.3%… But that is still almost 1 million people.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/28/2014 - 01:26 pm.

      .03% eh?

      And how exactly did statisticians reach into the soul of respondents and see that they’re “willfully unproductive?”

      Man, those people sure are cheap, we can keep them living in poverty and for a few hundred bucks worth of food stamps they won’t revolt. Because you know, willfully unproductive people are the MOST likely members of society to launch a rebellion.

      Now lets return to planet Earth.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/28/2014 - 03:09 pm.

        Strange

        I am puzzled with why you would question that such a small percentage of people are happy to free load off society. This would only be 3 out of every 1000 citizens.

        Have you never met these people in your daily life?

  22. Submitted by jody rooney on 08/28/2014 - 12:12 pm.

    This is theJuly 2014 referenced data on welfare

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/

    Paul Udstrand and I are going to have so much fun with this site.

  23. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/28/2014 - 01:27 pm.

    Jody

    Why do you hate America? 🙂

  24. Submitted by John Appelen on 08/28/2014 - 03:24 pm.

    Working Poor

    Here is a better link that Sean gave me.
    http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/14/indicators/rpt_indicators.pdf

    I think most working poor would be in the “recipiency” category. The “3 out of 1000” I claim are welfare dependent would be the long term folks in the “dependency” category.

    See Figure SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1993-2011. Apparently Dependency is about ~4% however many come and go from that list.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/28/2014 - 10:12 pm.

      Wrong

      There is no: “willfully unproductive” category in this document for obvious reasons. You’re making assumptions about long term dependency based on your own values instead of economic or personal individual realities. Human beings are not cogs in your economic machine. The value of a persons contribution to society isn’t a function of your notion of “productivity”, nor do we distribute aid and assistance according such mechanistic notions.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/29/2014 - 09:23 am.

        I agree whole heartedly

        You are happy to give other people’s money to anyone, whether that individual is striving to learn, work, support our society, etc or not.

        Same question I posed to Matt, why do you have such a hard time admitting that 0.3% of our citizens are dead beats when you seem to beleive the upper 2% are greedy, self serving, near criminals?

        • Submitted by jason myron on 08/29/2014 - 01:38 pm.

          Why do you care?

          And stop using the term “other peoples money” as if we’re not the paying for it as well. Yeah, I care a lot more about the 2% that can afford carry a larger load than the people at the bottom that have nothing. Is there a miniscule portion of people who are deadbeats? Of course…and there always will be…so what? You can also spare us this myth that the 2% are “striving to learn, work, support our society,” because history and current events have shown that a large cross-section of the demographic couldn’t give a rip about the rest of society.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/30/2014 - 09:18 am.

            Miniscule (0.3%) is about 750,000 in the country and 15,000 in Minnesota.

            So you are okay with 15,000 of our free loading neighbors living off your efforts via government payouts?

            So you are okay with them having children and teaching them that dependency is the life style to live? Teaching those children that they deserve no better…

            Sorry. I want more for those people and their kids.

            • Submitted by jason myron on 08/30/2014 - 09:28 pm.

              Yup…

              I’m totally fine with it….those numbers are a drop in the bucket compared with the fiscal damage and outright fraud committed by corporate America against their own workers and the country in general Also, you can dispense with attempting to convince any of us that your concern regarding the “free loaders” of society goes any deeper than your tax position. You’ve made it quite clear that your interest is little more than an anthropological study.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 09/02/2014 - 09:29 pm.

                Charitable giving

                I am always willing to compare charitable giving percentages with you?

                I believe in giving to the needy, not demanding that others do it.

  25. Submitted by jody rooney on 08/28/2014 - 04:03 pm.

    Interesting Mr. Appelen

    I will enjoy more fully later. Thank you.

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