Mitchell Hard Town for Love: 19 of 22 Pastors Refuse to Bless Same-Sex Marriages

The Mitchell Daily Republic publishes the findings of its survey of local churches on gay marriage. Out of 35 churches contacted, only 22 responded. Nineteen said nope, they won’t perform same-sex weddings. Two, both United Church of Christ congregations, said yes, they’ll marry you regardless of your privates. One Presbyterian pastor says she’s cool with same-sex marriage, but her congregation has not taken an official position on the issue.

Reporter Candy DenOuden says that several of the pastors she interviewed said that their opposition to same-sex marriage is not grounded in “malice or judgment toward anyone.” UCC pastor Kristi McLaughlin offers testimony to the contrary:

Seemingly in a minority of pastors in Mitchell who endorse same-sex marriage, McLaughlin said her stance has drawn ire from her fellow clergy members. In February 2011, The Daily Republic published an opinion piece authored by McLaughlin in favor of gay rights and same-sex relationships. She said the backlash was strong and swift.

“After my editorial came out, I have been called by my clergy peers in Mitchell the antichrist, I have been told that I’m not a Christian. I have been told that I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” she said. “There’s many people who believe that I’m not a Christian … not only due to my belief on equality, but on many issues” [Candy DenOuden, “Deciding Who Says ‘I Do’,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2015.11.21].

Pastor McLaughlin gives such malice and judgment (come on: you don’t use the word antichrist without some judgmental malice) a theological whatever:

But McLaughlin said it’s her faith that has helped her weather those accusations, and she no longer takes them to heart.

“I’m not living my life for my clergy peers or other Christians. I’m living my life to learn how to love and be accepting and as generous as I can for all people,” she said. “My understanding of Jesus is that Jesus gave us this idea of being fully human. To be fully human means we have to fully love” [DenOuden, 2015.11.21].

The Family Heritage Alliance was supposed to bring its Religious Liberty Town Hall Tour in Mitchell yesterday to ask the following questions to rouse the faithful to theocracy:

  • Are you ready…to be arrested?
  • Are you ready…to lose your children to the state?
  • Is your pastor ready to go to jail for refusing to officiate a same sex marriage?
  • Will your church be shut down?
  • Will Christians be forced to break the law? [Family Heritage Alliance homepage, downloaded 2015.11.21]

DenOuden does not report any concerns from the anti-equality pastors she spoke with that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges last summer will lead to President Obama or President Sanders coming to take their Bibles. However, they weren’t able to get together to discuss such concerns yesterday; FHA had to cancel its Mitchell town hall due to Friday’s snowstorm. I’m sure that act of God was not grounded in malice or judgment toward anyone.


155 Responses to Mitchell Hard Town for Love: 19 of 22 Pastors Refuse to Bless Same-Sex Marriages

  1. larry kurtz

    Liberals are wishy-washy parochial gay baiters. There is no such thing as “same-sex marriage.” There is marriage and there are civil unions.

  2. Chill out, Larry, and quit hogging first slot with your angry distractions. You know darn well that the Supreme Court and I agree with you that marriage is marriage, regardless of the participants’ privates. But the headline makes no sense if I just say “Marriage.” “All marriages?” a reader might reasonably ask. “No,” I’d be obliged to elaborate, “just marriages between same-sex couples.” “Oh, you mean same-sex marriages,” the reader would say. “Yes,” I’d reply, “the kind of marriage that enjoys the same legal standing as traditional heterosexual marriage in the eyes of the United States Constitution.”

    Yes, yes, yes, marriage is marriage, but there are all sorts of marriages: happy, unhappy, second, third, ninth, biracial, healthy, long-distance, open, arranged, you name it. You can waste your time playing adjective cop and calling names, or you can get with the program and promote some substantive discussion.

  3. larry kurtz

    You make a good point, Cory. Why anyone lives in Mitchell remains a mystery.

  4. larry kurtz

    Btw, my quote of your tweet using only marriage got three retweets while yours using ‘gay marriage’ got none.

  5. larry kurtz

    How is the phrase “counterfeit marriage” any different than the phrase “gay marriage?”

  6. owen reitzel

    Rev. Keith Nash, senior pastor at Mitchell Wesleyan Church, said “Nash countered those arguments by describing divine revelation throughout the Bible as a “moving target.” For instance, he said the Bible could be misinterpreted as allowing for slavery. ”
    But any honest reader of the Bible would come to the conclusion as you read it, slavery is not something the Bible advocates. It’s a terrible social sin,” Nash said.

    Maybe I’m looking at this wrong but it looks like Nash is trying to explain was the Bible is wrong on some things and right in others. In others words he’s making excuses for being homophobic. Of course Nash’s church is the the one that was going to host Family Heritage Alliance until God said “NO” and blew in a snow storm to cancel the nonsense.
    I suggest that people read the story. I thought it was well done.

  7. Mitchell is a nice town aside from a few Sibbynistas. It’s size is not too big or small yet offers DWU and the nice McGovern Center, Mitchell Tech, Lake Mitchell which they are trying to find the best way to clean up, The Jim river with an abundance of heart healthy high in Omega 3 Asian Carp that are also clean to eat despite the AG runoff & pollution. Nice recreation center with hopefully voter approval of a new competition level indoor pool, Art scene and the GMO/ Organic Corn Palace.

    Corona Village offers some of probably the best Mexican food around! Not the pre-made microwave dishes.

    Oh yeah a good location to jump on the Interstate and go to wherever. :)

  8. It appears to me you’ve become less than a sibbynistic here, Lynn. Go easy on Sib, you’re tripping on your skirt.

    Fear tactics work, Cory. Check history on the winners of most elections.

  9. bearcreekbat

    I need some help from you Protestant readers who believe the Bible is the word of God. Until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible had 80 books. But about that time 14 books were removed from the Protestant Bible reducing the total number to 66 (Catholics kept all 80 books).

    http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/

    Were the removed 14 books the word of God or did someone speak to God and learn that Protestants had been deceived for over a thousand years? Perhaps there are additional books that have not yet been removed, such as Leviticus, that deceives?

  10. Owen,

    Mitchell is a fairly diverse town right? It seems that way to me.

  11. mike from iowa

    A Town Without Pity
    Gene Pitney
    When you’re young and so and love as we
    And bewildered by the world we see
    Why do people hurt us so
    Only those in love would know
    What a Town Without Pity can do..
    If we stop to gaze upon a star
    People talk about how bad we are…
    Ours is not an easy age
    We’re like tigers in a cage
    What a Town Without Pity can do..
    The young have problems Many problems
    We need an understanding heart..
    Why don’t they help us, try to help us
    Before this clay and granite planet falls apart..

  12. bearcreekbat

    I also wonder whether these anti-gay Michell pastors share the view of Pastor Kevin Swanson, who during his introductory comments to a rally for Jindal, Huckabee and Cruz, proclaimed that “homosexuality should be punished with death”?

    http://www.advocate.com/media/2015/11/09/watch-rachel-maddow-breaks-down-pastors-kill-gays-rally-attended-gop-candidates

  13. Many times this site has shown how ethnic or other cleansing works, bear. As in Lynn’s stance on rec mj or my stance on liberal shared responsibility in SD for our problems, enough folks shouting the same orgy word makes it true and and hanging happens.

    Our religious organizations have become so poli correct they serve little more than religiosity to a needy congregation with their hot button phrasing.

  14. Cory,

    Unless you get to California, New York, known liberal metro areas or isolated pockets in the country like Asheville North Carolina I wonder how much your percentage will change?

  15. Bill Fleming

    Cory, any info on what churchs (religions) comprise the 13 who didn’t respond to the survey? Could be some interesting info there. Why would a church in Mitchell decide not to answer a survey like that?

  16. Douglas Wiken

    Get with “Civil Unions” for government sanction and let churches use “marriage” in any rational way they want as a sacrament. I have nearly zero patience with those who desire to continue this unnecessary distraction no matter what side they are on.

    Get over it.

  17. owen reitzel

    I think Mitchell is a diverse city. I work there but don’t live there.
    If they are smart they’ll pass the pool vote.
    My granddaughter swims and we’ve been to meets in Watertown and Pierre and you can see the money they bring in.
    Plus the pool should be easy and affordable for everyone in Mitchell to use.

  18. Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages. https://doh.sd.gov/records/marriage-requirements.aspx

    For same sex couples who want to marry in Mitchell, are there justices, judges or magistrates who will perform the ceremony, given that the majority of the churches won’t? This seems to be the more important question.

  19. Bill Fleming

    Doug, my friend, sometimes people have to fight for liberties, rights and social recognition you and I enjoy by the luck of the genetic draw. If the evidence of their struggle seems insignificant or distracting to you, you are of course free to ignore it. But please be clear, just telling victims of discrimination to ‘get over it’ because you’re tired of hearing about it is no solution at all. It just shines more light on the true nature of the problem.

  20. Owen,

    I agree. Mitchell has one of the best park & rec departments in the state and adding that long overdue indoor pool really helps contribute to quality of life, another healthy fitness option, positive economic impact and growth of the region. Some of these opponents want us to go back to gravel roads and outhouses. The mayor was checking into enclosing the Hitchcock Park pool? That’s crazy and will ruin that jewel of a historic park that is enjoyed by many everyday!

    Back on the topic it’s really all about nothing. Those seeking marriage the way the law is now will find a way on their own where they feel comfortable and welcomed for such a special event.

  21. so, calling it marriage is like calling it marijuana, right? counterfeit, heterosexual, recreational, illegal, libertarian all describe both choices. synthetic ‘marijuana’ is killing kids and adults alike.

    legalize freedom.

  22. mfi-great song, maybe a cover idea. my folks must not have been listening to gene. starting to rock out and twist w/ ray charles (my dad) and chubby checker (my mom) then

  23. With marriage being legal for all supply and demand will work itself out.

  24. larry kurtz

    How many teenagers are rushing out to get same-sexed married?

  25. larry kurtz

    Love is a drug just like religion is. Boycott Mitchell.

  26. boy, isnt that the truth, larry. too bad our ed system doesnt teach the chemistry of love, rather than leaving it up to uninformed parents. a lot less songs would have to be written

  27. owen reitzel

    I’m sure Larry that every town in South Dakota have most of their churches that feel the same way as the ones in Mitchell. You’d have to boycott the whole state.

  28. Edwin Arndt

    Civilization’s definition of marriage has been the same for thousands of years, the joining of a man and a woman. No court ruling can change that. Arguing for the oxymoron referred to as same sex marriage is tantamount to arguing that that the earth is flat, and that water runs up hill.

    The five justices that ruled for same sex marriage employed some very tortured reasoning. We can only guess what interesting concoctions the equal protection under the law argument is
    going to produce in the future.

    All those who oppose same sex marriage are not bigots. Some of us are serious thinkers who
    have a conscience. The court and the constitution are not the final arbiters of my conscience.

    As to Bill Fleming’s question on why a church would not answer a survey.
    It is not the responsibility of the church to answer surveys. The churches first mission is to
    preach the word of God.

  29. Yes, I am sure churches are just tripping over themselves to stoop to bring in liberals for a gay wedding…the first and last time they will see any of them. They should keep their contact information for future volunteer opportunities just for comedic effect.

  30. Bill Fleming

    Spencer, your first error is presuming all, or even most gay people are liberal. Then your ridiculous confabulation gets even worse from there. Go back to sleep and be happy you have no clue what you’re talking about.

  31. Candy DenOuden writes:

    [Kristi] McLaughlin pastors Anew United Church of Christ, which she describes as a “progressive community of Jesus followers in Mitchell.”

    I’ve never understood why people would want to call themselves “Jesus followers” if they believe we have no reliable record of who Jesus was or what He taught. McLaughlin’s religion boils down to redefining God in her own image and worshiping herself as God, which strikes me as more dishonest than simply denying His existence.

    DenOuden quotes McLaughlin:

    “After my editorial came out, I have been called by my clergy peers in Mitchell the antichrist …”

    I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but I totally don’t believe two Mitchell pastors called McLaughlin the Antichrist.

    Owen Reitzel writes:

    In others words [Keith Nash is] making excuses for being homophobic… I thought [DenOuden’s story] was well done.

    I used to attend Keith Nash’s church, and a few years ago he and his wife invited me to their home for Thanksgiving dinner. He’s one of the kindest and most evenhanded individuals I’ve ever met, and I’m pretty sure he’s DenOuden’s pastor.

    “Bearcreekbat” writes:

    I need some help from you Protestant readers who believe the Bible is the word of God. Until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible had 80 books. But about that time 14 books were removed from the Protestant Bible reducing the total number to 66 (Catholics kept all 80 books)…

    Were the removed 14 books the word of God or did someone speak to God and learn that Protestants had been deceived for over a thousand years? Perhaps there are additional books that have not yet been removed, such as Leviticus, that deceives?

    The 14 books of the Apocrypha were never part of the Hebrew Bible. They’re never quoted in the New Testament, and they were never generally regarded as infallible by evangelical Christians.

  32. bill. the season is over. the yankees need you next year

  33. Lynn, I’m not sure how to quantify “fairly diverse”, but I’m willing to speculate that, on a national scale, referring to any community in South Dakota as “fairly diverse” exaggerates the actual diversity.

    The Census Bureau says that in 2010, Mitchell was 93.6% white. South Dakota was 85.9% white, so even on ignoring the rest of the country, Mitchell is less diverse than the state as a whole.

    I’d love to know what the percentage of Christians is in Mitchell. Statewide, Pew says we are 79% Christian.

  34. Porter Lansing

    Proud to be, and that also my daughter are members of United Church of Christ. (It was known as the Congregational Church, when I was confirmed). We were the church of the pilgrims, which is responsible for much of the Puritan influence of USA and for that I’m sorry. Always been open minded which is not the case with many of the Protestant congregations that have now gone to the dark side aka born again, evangelical prosthelizers.

  35. Bill, DenOuden’s article names 13 of the respondent churches: the two UCC yeses, the Presbyterian pastor-yes/congregation-unstated, and ten of the noes, which include both Catholic churches and four of Mitchell’s larger Protestant churches. DenOuden didn’t mention any of Mitchell’s three ELCA churches (Zion Lutheran of Mitchell, mentioned as a no, is Missouri Synod) or any of the non-responders.

  36. No, Edwin, extending the right of marriage to same-sex couples is not tantamount to arguing that the earth is flat or that water runs uphill. You’re trying to assign the certainty of physical laws (both scenarios you pose boil down to gravity) to human institutions. Gravity is what it is. Marriage is what we say it is. Those are very different things. Even if you’re thinking very seriously, you can’t think marriage into a physical phenomenon independent of human choice and judgment.

  37. Even the most liberal Catholic churches in the Twin Cities with a large LGBT congregation won’t perform that ceremony. Unless it is a break off Catholic church from the Vatican I don’t see it happening.

  38. bearcreekbat

    Kurt, thanks for your response. Some follow up questions:

    Do you agree with the article I linked on the history of the English Bible that the 14 books of the Apocrypha were made part of the original Protestant Bible and remained part of it until the 1880’s?

    If so, how and why did non-Catholic Christians decide to remove these 14 books at that time?

    And before removal did Christians consider these 14 books to be the word of God? If not, why were they ever included in the Bible?

  39. bearcreekbat

    I also wonder whether the anti-gay pastors would agree with the more recent policy declarations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) that:

    “declares married gay couples to be apostates and bars their children from baptism until the age of 18 (and further requires them to move out and disavow their parents’ marriage)”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/21/i_left_my_church_for_my_family/

    Isn’t baptism necessary for Mormon salvation? Talk about punishing children for their parents’ supposed sins – ouch!

  40. owen reitzel

    Kurt I never said Nash wasn’t a good guy, but in this case he’s not being Christian. Plus it was his church that was hosting the Family Heritage Alliance-a scary group for sure and I’m sure gay bashing is in order.

  41. Porter Lansing

    Mr. Kurtz … a point of clarification. There is no such thing as synthetic marijuana. It’s called spice and may resemble weed but it has no marijuana in it. Calling spice synthetic pot is highly inaccurate. *I know how you don’t like to be schooled as with so many of the males who live on this site, so don’t think I want to argue.
    PS … We liberals won’t be worth a darn fighting Republicans unless we practice on each other, often. The military does it. Sports teams do it. It’s war games and it’s healthy for us, until the big battle next November. Don’t take it personal but also don’t hold back. Just sayin’.

  42. I wonder if the Catholic Church would excommunicate me if I as a wedding minister were to provide the ceremony for a same sex couple? I’m not a wedding minister under Catholic Law.

  43. A note for you, Porter that few will address here. My friends in law enforcement speak of street mj laced with meth to get kids and users hooked.

    A valid reason for legalization in my book.

  44. Cory, Have you thought about changing the name of your blog to Dakotans For Pot or the Marijuana Chronicles?

    Lets see….back to marriage equality?

  45. “”Talk about punishing children for their parents’ supposed sins – ouch!”” We definitely have that problem in many areas, bear. Can’t help this kid or that one because parents have money but spend on booze or drugs or etc. Since when do we not help those in need because of someone else’s actions, right wrong or otherwise how those actions may be viewed?

  46. bearcreekbat

    Les, it is at work today in the actions of Noem, Thune and Rounds in an expanded form – punish Syrian refugees, including children, for the actions of French and Belgium terrorists.

  47. Hey, Les, don’t go down that road, not on this post.

    Lynn, I can live with the Catholic Church not performing LGBT weddings, just as I can live with a Missouri Synod pastor declining to officiate in any way in a non-Missouri Synod church service. I still believe in freedom of religion, as long as it includes freedom from religion.

    And heck, if 86% of churches in Mitchell won’t perform certain weddings, I’m sure the UCC pastors will be happy to take that business.

  48. Cory,

    Exactly! I certainly don’t want to see this forced on churches or faiths. It is bad and shows no respect for everyone involved regarding their religious beliefs. If there is enough demand it will come to serve those otherwise they can change the place of worship to somewhere more accepting, start a new church or pay for a minister to travel and rent out a space if that is the route they wish to go.

  49. Edwin Arndt

    Cory,
    My point is that the earth is not flat, water does not run uphill, and there is no such thing as
    same sex marriage. It is simply an impossibility. Marriage is what we say it is. Really? You refuse to recognize what has been seen as the norm for centuries? Would you then endorse
    the union of a father and daughter as marriage? Two brothers? How many absurdities would
    you accept? To say that marriage is what we say it is, is going of the rails entirely. If that is the case, why bother going to court?

  50. Kristi mclaughlin

    Whatever. (Big smile)

  51. Your repetition of your point ignores my refutation, Edwin. Human definitions of human institutions, even those hundreds or thousands of years old, are not the same as our understanding of physical laws.

    I do not endorse incest. Neither I nor Pastor McLaughlin is obliged to endorse incest by endorsing same-sex marriage. We can still draw our lines.

    Nor am I compelled to surrender to the broader relativism you suggest. When I say marriage is what we say it is, I’m not advocating individual moral anarchy. I’m saying that we as a community (society, millennium-spanning civilization) create moral rules. I like moral rules: they make our social lives not just better, but possible. But we still make and occasionally break those rules, in ways that we cannot make and break physical rules of the universe. (Shorter: I care about morality, but gravity doesn’t.)

    We bother going to court because we live in a nation of laws, and for years, those laws were discriminating against a large group of citizens without any demonstrably compelling state interest in maintaining that discrimination.

  52. Roger Cornelius

    The Supremes summer ruling on same-sex marriage is still relatively fresh in our minds, so fresh that we are arguing the issues debated prior to their ruling.

    For now, many will call it same-sex marriage or something else that fits their conscience. Many pastors in many churches will not yield to the court ruling and that is their right.

    However, in future generations we will recognizes same-sex marriage as marriage with no qualifications, it just takes the public some getting used to.

    I suspect that with more and more people coming out as gay, lesbian, or transgender, gay marriage will impact more and more families and churches.
    At some point in the future, churches will have to play catch up on their perceptions and opinions on gay marriage.
    Gay marriage is now legal in all our states and there is no changing that for now.

  53. Pastor KM, thank you for persisting merrily in your Lord’s work in the face of malice and opposition.

    (Lynn, I gave this blog the only name change it needed in March. The name changes you suggest misrepresent my values and mission.)

  54. mike from iowa

    Here’s an absurdity accepted by wingnuts. 53% of wingnuts believe unemployment has gotten WORSE under Obama. Even more believe we are still in RECESSION and of course they all blame the Muslim,Kenyan usurper-the black guy in the their White House.

  55. Barbara, I’m not sure if the mayor or other public officials have taken a position on whether they would carry out their duties to marry willing and legally entitled couples. That is a good question.

  56. mike from iowa

    When clergy remain silent when they know their brethren are child molestors.that is an endorsement of child molestation.

    “Psssst janitor,I’m filling in for the Father for confession. What does he usually give for oral sex?” Janitor says,”a candy bar.”

  57. mikeyc, that's me!

    Oh, Good Lord.

  58. Edwin Arndt

    Cory,
    I maintain that same sex marriage is an impossibilty, hence my reference to physical laws.
    I further maintain that the state has a compelling interest in maintaining a certain moral standard.
    I believe that the same sex ruling constitutes a deterioration of those standards. I also fear
    a continued deterioration of those standards with ever more creative use of the equal
    protection argument, possibly drawing lines that even you are not willing to accept.

    We have evidently arrived at different conclusions. Your views are not evolving.
    Nor are mine

    Have a good evening

  59. All the gay people I know are white, married or not, with the exception of this nice young black couple whose names I cannot mention here out of them not wanting to be attacked by Lar or that young Porter fellow. I have told them that Mr. H can be trusted and they may visit the bloggings some day.

    But I don’t that American Indian couples can be gay as I don’t know any and haven’t seen them walking on the paths holding hands but I bet it is the same as with everybody.

    And when these preachers refuse to marry some of them that young Tatewin Means will scream “racism” and not sexism and try to arrest them. It is not about being a certain people race, it is about one’s behavior. And Ms. Means will never understand that.

  60. happy camper

    Who wants to get married in a church anyway? That’s so 1450.

  61. larry kurtz

    Porter: you’re a dork.

  62. Edwin, again, the impossibility you claim is a linguistic construct, not a physical reality. Moral standards are good, but they aren’t gravity.

  63. Hey, Hap, I enjoyed my church wedding in Brookings. Nice church decor, and the bagpipes sounded great. Of course, I also recognize that the pastor (not to mention the woman I was marrying) would have been perfectly in his rights, “An atheist marrying a Christian? Not at my altar!” and I’d have had to go find a different venue (and bride).

  64. Cory,

    (Lynn, I gave this blog the only name change it needed in March. The name changes you suggest misrepresent my values and mission.)

    Are you sure? All the nice plugs (posts) for pro-marijuana related efforts? I’m sure we will see more from Melissa @ NASD but yet claim to dance around being neutral or whatever kinda like the denying at the Clay County Dem fundraiser. lol

    Have you interviewed Tony Harrison from the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team and the data that was sent to you?

    Curious what Steve Hildebrand has to say about legalization? Interview plus to talk about his current and future efforts?

    Then historically there has been the constant injection in many non related threads by your sidekick Larry From New Mexico for Cannabis this or that.

    Prime example is to look at this thread. They bring it into a marriage equality thread? Hey they are the ones putting money in the tip jar right?

  65. happy camper

    Same thing about gay marriage. I respect their right to say no that’s not our values. When I lived in California a black co-worker wanted me to go to her church. I told her no cause they won’t let me be a member there (because I’m gay). She said yeah, but you can still come, you just can’t be a member. Amazingly we say f u.

  66. larry kurtz

    if cows had wings we’d all be eating cow wings.

  67. happy camper

    And she was black! But didn’t understand why I wouldn’t go somewhere I couldn’t be a member. We are so used to being 3rd class citizens but it’s better than Syria.

  68. larry kurtz

    remind us how standing rock is not syria, hap.

  69. larry kurtz

    Rural churches are the last pews in the US: May they rest in geese.

  70. larry kurtz

    america, america, dog sheds its space on thee.

  71. larry kurtz

    marriage equality was the gleam in a revolutionary’s eye not so long ago. it’s time to stop the scourge of counterfeit drugs and embrace recreational marriage.

  72. mike from iowa

    Pretty much every marriage vow I have heard uttered included stuff about honoring and obeying and forsaking others, etc, Don’t recall any mentioning sex of any kind and certainly nothing about sex for procreation only.

  73. larry kurtz

    mitchell is minot without the b-52s, the calgary without the stampede, the yukon without the caribou, the fort pierre without the view.

    suicide isn’t painless, it’s mitchell.

  74. larry kurtz

    just hogging first slot with my angry distractions, cory. kurtz donut?

  75. Some of us love your angry firsties, Lar.

  76. larry kurtz

    grud’s hill city is the mitchell of the hills: white, old and in the way.

  77. Grudz, Me too. Cory’s sidekick never ceases to amaze me with his anger filled ramblings from New Mexico plowing the road no matter what is in it’s way. One of the best gifts the SDGOP could have! Mitchell this! Mitchell that! Boycott Mitchell! Boycott South Dakota! Boycott America! What next? Boycott planet Earth? lol

  78. When Mr. Verchio was mayor he would not have put up with shutting down the main thoroughfare for loud motorcycles and people who want to run down the hill from the big carving. Mike for Mayor, again!

  79. When Mr. Verchio was mayor, we would have been the county seat.

  80. When Mr. Verchio was mayor, we would not have had to put up with the signs about the bear collection.

  81. larry kurtz

    Cory is a conservative, parochial herbert and no sidekick of mine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQONBf9xMss

  82. When Mike is the mayor, we will change the slogan from “One mile of Hell with a church on each end” to just “One mile of Hell.” It fits on the billboards better.

  83. Herbert? I don’t think Mr. H’s ears look anything like Mr. Herbert’s ears do.

  84. I think Lar, that most think you are Mr. H’s sidekick. It seems to be the case.

  85. larry kurtz

    Cory often makes Porter look sane.

  86. larry kurtz

    Hit Cory’s tip jar, people, or we’ll have to rely on Pat for pablum.

  87. Mr. Porter and Lar have the same deep seated anger over not being fed enough royal jelly.

  88. larry kurtz

    ouch, grud. there is that.

  89. Solving the world’s problems, one doobie at a time…

  90. larry kurtz

    maybe make your point, grud then jump that shark over your wife’s golden parachute.

  91. Grudz I will add all day and night. What a miserable life!

  92. Supt. Joe Graves can marry persons because he is an ordained minister in the Roman Catholic Church, a Permanent Deacon. I doubt he was asked!

  93. Rod,

    Joe Graves is a Deacon and not an ordained Priest. A Deacon cannot perform the Holy Sacrament of Marriage. He could assist the Priest though but it would go against the Roman Catholic Church for the purpose of this thread.

  94. A deacon delegated by a priest can perform marriage, Lynn.

  95. Lynn. Joe Graves is an ordained minister in the Roman Catholic Church. As a Deacon he cannot forgive sins nor cause the wine to become Jesus blood or the Host to become Jesus’ flesh. I am not Catholic but I have attended Holy Family with my wife all the 15 or so years that Joe Is listed as Dr. Joe Graves, Deacon.

  96. The Role of Deacons in the Catholic Church “Deacons can baptize, witness marriages, perform funeral and burial services outside of Mass, distribute Holy Communion, preach the homily (which is the sermon given after the Gospel at Mass)http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-role-of-deacons-in-the-catholic-church.html

    http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/diaconate/faqs.cfm also states that a Deacon can witness a marriage. Nothing about actually performing the sacrament of marriage.

  97. Bob Newland

    I think three pastors can probably handle the rush of same-sex couples in Mitchell looking for god’s blessing on their unions.

  98. Sibby ordained then?

  99. (I have no sidekick. I also have too many commenters focused on their own little world of squabbles rather than inviting the general public to the conversation.)

  100. Mike McGirr

    I am thankful people in this country, even in South Dakota, remain free to choose their religious affiliations, or none, and that religious organizations and leaders remain free to choose deities and demons, cite favorite passages from whatever they consider holy scriptures, and limit whom they will welcome or serve within their private realms. To those christianists with closed minds and hardened hearts: You would do well to meditate on Pastor McLaughlin’s words. Consider the moral implications and the consequences of your promotion of fear and hate. And do not cross the line of creeping theocracy. I will defend your right to your own religious beliefs and practices in your personal life, but will not allow you to impose those beliefs on myself or others through abuse of the public law.

  101. Roger Cornelius

    Kurtz as Cory’s sidekick?

    Hardly, just go back and review any of Kurtz’s blog comments and see how he is downright antagonistic about Cory and Dakota Free Press. They really aren’t hard to find.

  102. Mr. C, you and I love Mr. H, but I fear Lar’s heart is two sizes too small to hold all the hate he has.

  103. tim johnson

    Hardly any of those churches in Mitchell will allow Jews to join, or Muslims, either, and they have nearly no black members.
    So the bigotry and discrimination run deep and wide.
    The arrogance, the pride, the exclusivity is really unChristian.
    It seems a pattern developed, with centuries of such bigoted,discriminatory policies leading, climaxing, we might say, with the arrogance today to think they can tell people who to have sex with and tell them generally how to live.
    Get off it. Leave us alone.
    It’s unconstitutional for these groups of bigots tell everyone else what to do and then not even allow most of us to join their churches.
    They need to be shut down.

  104. That seems mighty unfair, Mr. Johnson. I know some people at some churches in Mitchell and they all allow any to join. Are you insaner than most? Did you get dropped on your head last week? There is no god but your goofiness really makes my doopa chafe.

    Yes, grudznick sez let the churches ride.

  105. larry kurtz

    Excellent point, Mr. Newland. Even three may be a bit high.

  106. Tim, are there black members to be had in Mitchell?

    As for Jews and Muslims, again, I’ll need to see some evidence of a significant number of Jews and Muslims in Mitchell trying to join churches and being turned away to blow the bigotry trumpet. But you can’t really be a member of a Christian church and still be a practicing Jew or Muslim. That’s not discrimination; that’s just definitions.

    I do not contend that churches need to be shut down. They simply need to keep themselves behind the wall of separation wisely enshrined in the First Amendment, for the good of the state and the churches.

  107. Cory,

    (I have no sidekick. I also have too many commenters focused on their own little world of squabbles rather than inviting the general public to the conversation.)

    Are you sure about that?

    How many online sites and twitter accounts has Larry From New Mexico been banned from because of his vile and obscene online conduct? Yet it is permitted and practically supported here.

    You have had his two blog feeds which is hate filled tabloid material most of the time is not substantiated.

    He often goes off topic with his hate filled distractions.

    Many times he has stated he will “plow the road for you!” Collateral damage? Evidently who cares right?

    You credit him with material he has sent to be used in blog postings.

    Yeah there have been little temporary spats of not going all for his agenda but it sure seems to smooth over and it sure appears you both are intertwined on this blog. The definition of Larry From New Mexico being your sidekick sure seems to fit!

    You might as well embrace it I guess regardless of the how it affects South Dakota politically.

    Regarding this thread calling to boycott Mitchell? Boycott South Dakota? Boycott America? Good grief!

  108. Cory,

    (Lynn, I gave this blog the only name change it needed in March. The name changes you suggest misrepresent my values and mission.)

    Are you sure? All the nice plugs (posts) for pro-marijuana related efforts? I’m sure we will see more from Melissa @ NASD but yet claim to dance around being neutral or whatever kinda like the denying at the Clay County Dem fundraiser. lol

    Have you interviewed Tony Harrison from the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team and the data that was sent to you?

    Curious what Steve Hildebrand has to say about legalization? Interview plus to talk about his current and future efforts?

    Then historically there has been the constant injection in many non related threads by your sidekick Larry From New Mexico for Cannabis this or that.

    Prime example is to look at this thread. They bring it into a marriage equality thread? Hey they are the ones putting money in the tip jar right?

  109. larry kurtz

    111 comments and how many hits, Cory?

  110. (Larry, hits don’t matter if they are the same handful of people mistaking me for the story and degrading the value of the conversation for everyone else.)

  111. happy camper

    Interesting post. Even for SD the numbers are surprisingly low. The last service I went to at our large Lutheran church they inserted anti-gay literature in the hymnal. Granted that was 15 years ago after friends encouraged me to come because they “were so welcoming.” Religion and churches have been screwing with people’s heads since the beginning. Thank goodness I know a few atheists who are rooted in the reality of things. Cory is the only vocal atheist I know though. Most seem kind of timid about it. One 30 year old said I was the first atheist he had ever met. Ha. Indoctrinate them while they’re young.

  112. larry kurtz

    Steve Hickey believes the fights for cannabis rights and for marriage equality are pioneering work, not a false equivalency. Arguments for religious and personal freedoms are jobs for patriots and revolutionaries when the courts fail.

  113. Hap, you don’t have a copy of that anti-gay literature, do you? Did the church itself print it, or did it come from an outside group?

  114. larry kurtz

    “It’s against the law” is a phrase for cowards to deny freedoms to a peace-loving populace surrounded by bigots and pitchfork-wielders.

  115. Dang, Larry knows how to draw me out. The right to form a lifelong partnership with the person you love is worth far more sweat and ink than the clamor to get high. Marriage rights matter. The phrase “cannabis rights” makes a joke out of the term “rights.”

  116. happy camper

    People get fixated on their issues. On Yahoo you can’t read a post about kittens without someone ranting about Obama. Lynn, you’re a bit fixated too. You’ll never agree. Call a truce!

    Back on subject matter ultra conservative values are why many people leave South Dakota. Higher educated people tend to be less religious. It’s part of the talent drain for the state.

  117. larry kurtz

    Uh, the right to grow cannabis was as essential to colonial America as marriage was even as homosexuality was a sin while Thomas Jefferson smoked hashish and opium as Ambassador to France.

  118. Cory,

    See? Another day with this thread being about marriage equality thread and your sidekick brings what up predictably? lol It’s already known by many but might as well make it official by changing the name to Dakotans For Pot or The Marijuana Chronicles: Dakota Edition. Might as well embrace it! I’m sure NASD, Monarch America and FSST will purchase some advertising.

  119. happy camper

    No, I didn’t save it, but it looked prepared by the outside. You don’t ever forget those things. Must be hard for gays who really want church in their life in smaller towns.

  120. larry kurtz

    Pat must be seething with jealousy as DFP crushes his numbers.

  121. Happy,

    As you probably know there are churches more accepting to the LGBT community here in SD although few. It really depends on what fits and the level of acceptance. Is it within driving distance? Do you gain strength and feel about yourself or told relentlessly you will be a crispy critter? It depends.

  122. good about yourself*

  123. Bob Newland

    Cory says: The right to form a lifelong partnership with the person you love is worth far more sweat and ink than the clamor to get high. Marriage rights matter. The phrase “cannabis rights” makes a joke out of the term “rights.”

    Wrong. They are the same fight for the same rights. Government has no place in either issue.

  124. happy camper

    Yes, I agree with Bob. Cory being such an unapologetic atheist years ago really made me think and probably gradually pushed me to libertarian positions. That’s why I see them similarly. And I am kind of surprised Lynn would feel so strongly about it. This is the libertarian criticism of both Conservatives and Liberals, that they want to regulate things that government should not be involved.

  125. Happy,

    Surprised? Why?

  126. larry kurtz

    Hap, i am a libertarian progressive and not a liberal Democrat like Cory is.

  127. happy camper

    Well, when you read people’s posts over time you see a general consistency, a reasoning, which seemed one way until the pot issue came up. Then all hell broke loose.

  128. Weren’t you You one of the gals that said I can put whatever I want in my uterus and keep your hands off my uterus, Lynn?

    Libertarianism works when it fits our needs. Just doesn’t work well when we want to regulate others.

  129. Les,

    I didn’t post that comment.

  130. larry kurtz

    Lynn is a Democrat like Pat Powers is a triathlete.

  131. I can thankfully say that I am not a Democrat by Larry From New Mexico’s definition.

  132. larry kurtz

    I can thankfully say that i’m not from Mitchell.

  133. happy camper

    To some extent these are just words, but when people want to control what other people do, if that action is not affecting them and others rights are being respected, then you’re taking away someone’s liberty. Worth noting Charles Koch considers himself a “Classical Liberal” which sounds a lot like Libertarian. He says liberal is a great word!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/charles-koch–you-can-call-me–liberal-213100751.html;_ylt=A0LEVvhC3VFWLQ8AmFgnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

  134. larry kurtz

    Do what is right; go down to City Hall and vote no on the pool referendum before Dec. 8.

    Steve Sibson

  135. The citizens of Mitchell would most likely agree though Gaddy our newest resident would be happy your here.

  136. Do you agree with that comment, Lynn?

    I as a conservative can agree with it as long as you don’t ask me to cost share your experience.

    The fact that our society has become so judgmental and religion so fine tuned to judgment, expect a total separation from WWJD. Along with that, a breakdown of society as we fight for our beliefs in this cleansing.

  137. mike from iowa

    There are lots of things clergy shouldn’t be involved in,gubmint is the first one. Having any influence with or over politicians is another. Tax exempt status is a third thing. They should stay in their tax exempt safe havens and preach to the choir,only. Wingnuts don’t need any help screwing everything and everyone up and over.

  138. bearcreekbat

    Lynn apparently has abandoned the mantra of reasonableness long ago and now feels compelled to attack people, such as Cory and larry here, rather than address the problems with her own obsessive ideas about medical marijuana.

  139. Lynn has her right to express her dislike of cannabis legalization.

    The real problem in America at the moment regarding drugs is prescription Opioid abuse, which I blame the doctors and Big Pharma on. It’s gotten to epidemic proportions. It’s absolutely alarming how doctors have introduced Opioids to their postop patients and have disregarded the dangers of abuse. It is a major problem in MN at the moment and I know in Sioux Falls it is an issue also. The underground availability of Prescription Opioids is a problem that is strictly the fault of American doctors and Big Pharma. There was tons of money to be made folks, and this is how the American Healthcare system works.

  140. bearcreekbat

    Jenny, you are absolutely correct on Lynn’s right to oppose legalization. I did not mean to imply otherwise.

    My point is that her recent writings don’t seem to advocate policy, but seem to use name calling and insults directed at people like larry who have stated a different perspective on the issue than she does, or even Cory for allowing larry’s comments on his blog.

    That said, it is also her right to treat others with disrespect and call them names, but such attitudes suggest she lacks reasonable policy arguments.

  141. Jenny,

    As you have noticed not many people and especially women ever comment here especially in opposition to legalizing other intoxicants that is constantly promoted by here because of the widespread damage they have experienced or witnessed from addiction. They will be attacked by every angle. lol Go back and read all the non-related threads that it has been injected into by those who lifestyle revolves around its use.

    We were discussing marriage equality and look where others have taken this like so many.

  142. larry kurtz

    Uh, women have full voice at DFP contrary to Lynn’s apocryphal ramblings.

  143. happy camper

    Who am I to tell you what to do? People get to decide. And I would never tell anyone what they could or couldn’t put up their uterus.

  144. I don’t know what Larry’s issue is, Lynn. He seems full of anger and needs a place to release it. You two are always going at it. Maybe it’s b/c you’re a woman, and he sees you as an easy outlet to release it. Maybe he’s lonely and needs a woman, I don’t know. Just remember, I’ll tell those DFP boys to back off when needed!

  145. Douglas Wiken

    Newland wrote,”Wrong. They are the same fight for the same rights. Government has no place in either issue.”

    He is mostly right, I guess. Government has no place in the marriage sacrament of churches and the churches should agree with that. Government civil unions should be required of any kind of long-term relationship that wishes legal sanction. It is up to churches to decide who they want to entangle with their sacraments.

    I say “get over it” to both whining sides in this. Agree that there are civil unions and there is marriage and that they not necessarily ever meet. There is literally no reason for continuing the dispute.

    Amend all state and federal laws to replace “marriage” with “civil union”. Then the fundamentalist religious nuts can shut up and the whining special pleaders can also shut up.

  146. This godless heathen says Amen to Mr. Wiken’s comment. Nobody likes whiners.

  147. larry kurtz

    Suffering fools of any gender is crazy-making, for sure.

  148. Jenny Thank you!

  149. I know what Lar’s issue is.

  150. larry kurtz

    Thanks, Doug!

  151. happy camper

    He’s a military brat.

  152. Bill Fleming wrote:

    Cory, any info on what churchs (religions) comprise the 13 who didn’t respond to the survey?

    Cory wrote:

    Bill, DenOuden’s article names 13 of the respondent churches: the two UCC yeses, the Presbyterian pastor-yes/congregation-unstated, and ten of the noes, which include both Catholic churches and four of Mitchell’s larger Protestant churches. DenOuden didn’t mention any of Mitchell’s three ELCA churches (Zion Lutheran of Mitchell, mentioned as a no, is Missouri Synod) or any of the non-responders.

    According to a complete breakdown in the print edition, there were only 10 groups that didn’t respond at all: Mitchell’s Life Church, Mitchell Community Church of God, Faith Missionary Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Fusion, Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene, First Reformed Church, Salvation Army, and Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    It says these three responded but declined to comment: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, New Home Lutheran Church, and First Lutheran Church.

    I’d answered a question from “bearcreekbat”:

    The 14 books of the Apocrypha were never part of the Hebrew Bible. They’re never quoted in the New Testament, and they were never generally regarded as infallible by evangelical Christians.

    “Bearcreekbat” writes:

    Kurt, thanks for your response. Some follow up questions:

    Do you agree with the article I linked on the history of the English Bible that the 14 books of the Apocrypha were made part of the original Protestant Bible and remained part of it until the 1880’s?

    Actually I don’t. Protestants typically placed the Apocrypha in a separate section between the Old Testament and the New Testament, or after the New Testament as an appendix.

    And before removal did Christians consider these 14 books to be the word of God?

    There were probably exceptions, but as I said above, the books of the Apocrypha were never generally regarded as infallible by evangelical Christians.

    If not, why were they ever included in the Bible?

    According to the standard Protestant view, it was a Catholic mistake.

    Cory asks:

    Tim, are there black members to be had in Mitchell?

    Tim doesn’t seem to be answering, but quite a few black DWU football players attended Northridge Baptist when I lived in Mitchell.