Muslim Koch Advocates Medicaid Expansion, LGBT Rights, Constitution, and Health Care for All

Unable to muster intelligent commentary about either the Presidential debate that his nominee lost miserably last night or the South Dakota issues that should be defining our Legislative races, Pat Powers decides it’s time to blow the Sharia dog whistle for his seven or eight District 9 readers.

John Koch, Democrat for District 9 Senate
John Koch, Democrat for District 9 Senate

Powers first tries to cloak his dog-whistle bigotry in faux equanimity, saying he’s not sure why that Sioux Falls paper would make “a big deal” out of Democratic District 9 Senate candidate John Koch‘s Muslim faith. (The original version of Dana Ferguson’s article noted that both Koch and Democratic District 9 House candidate Michael Saba are Muslim; mention of Saba appears to have since been stricken from the Ferguson article.)

If Powers were sincere, I could share his annoyance at headlining a political candidate’s religion. Where and how Koch prays should not be view as any more relevant to the qualifications for political office than John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism was in 1960 or than Hillary Clinton’s womanhood should be today. Yet in the “Don’t see that every day” department, a Muslim running for office in majority-Christian South Dakota is news. Dana Ferguson notes that fact, but rather than dwelling on religious minutiae, focuses on the inclusive message of Koch’s candidacy:

“Muslims have been talked about a lot in some of the political campaigns that are going on so I think that it’s important for people to be aware of the Muslims in their own community and I think it’s important for Muslims to define ourselves within the larger community,” Koch said. “We live here and we want to have a positive impact on our state and our community” [Dana Ferguson, “Muslim Candidate Hopes to Bring New Voice to Pierre,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.09.27].

…and the policies driving Koch’s campaign:

He said he hopes to support Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to expand Medicaid in the state and oppose measure that could reduce rights of LGBT people.

“I didn’t want to see that opening go unfilled because I don’t think the Republicans in Pierre have done a good job for the people of South Dakota,” Koch said [Ferguson, 2016.09.27].

Powers faults Ferguson for not treating Sharia law as a big issue. Hmm… perhaps that’s because Sharia law is only a big issue for the bigoted Trumpist-base ragers whose fact-averse imaginations spinsters like Powers like to stoke. Koch’s own statement to Ferguson on fighting for LGBT rights makes pretty clear he’s not pushing any weird Islamic theocracy. Asking Koch about Sharia law is about as relevant and appropriate as asking Mike Rounds and Tim Kaine if they’re angling to make Pope Francis our President.

Ferguson covered what Koch is about; Powers is trying divert us from the relevant policy questions District 9 voters should ask (Gee, Senator Peters, why has your party left us out of the Medicaid expansion windfall for three years? Golly, Senator Peters, why does your party keep attacking LGBT South Dakotans?) with a dog whistle tuned to bigoted simpletons who can replace honest discussion with one religious test.

For those of you who have forgotten the Supreme Law of the Land:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States [Article VI, United States Constitution].

Koch reads the Constitution and loves it. He writes the following about the Preamble:

Does it give you goosebumps?  After all these years, it is still inspiring.  We can focus on different parts of it, but as a progressive, the part that resonates most strongly with me is “promote the general Welfare”.  One of the fundamental reasons we are bound together in this society is to promote the general welfare.  This can of course mean many things to many people.  It can mean promoting universal education.  It can be the basis for infrastructure funding.  It can be the constitutional legitimacy for providing health care for all.

In a day and age we our health care system has advanced so far beyond the ability of individuals to pay for care, the government absolutely has a role in making sure that we all have access to care.  If I am chosen to represent the people of South Dakota in Pierre, I will do my best to promote the general welfare [John Koch, “Constitutionalist,” campaign blog, 2016.09.25].

Dang—I’m grouchy that Ferguson didn’t put that in her article.


93 Responses to Muslim Koch Advocates Medicaid Expansion, LGBT Rights, Constitution, and Health Care for All

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you on your comments. One’s religion should not be part of the political discourse. Whether one is Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or any other religious body or chooses none of the above, this should not an issue in running for a political office. Are you an American, a South Dakota citizen and of age to run for political office? That’s all that we need to know.

    The Argus Leader should be more cautious in its headlines( How about “Candidate Hopes to Bring New Voice to Pierre” rather than “Muslim Candidate Hopes to Bring New Voice to Pierre”) and its use of religious references rather than good ideas as to what differentiates a candidate from their opponent.

    Oh, and by the way, I”m an Episcopalian.

    Michael Saba
    Democratic candidate for South Dakota State House District 9

  2. Thanks, Michael! I wondered why the paper had reported you were Muslim and whether that was correct. Any idea why the paper would have gotten your religion wrong in the original version of the story? Did they speak to you for the Koch story?

  3. Steve Hickey

    My religion continues to be mocked and dubbed a disqualifier. Can we say only certain religions get a free pass from public comment? Not sure how those who support women, gays can say Islam and those who support Sharia law are fine. Can we get a statement from this Senate candidate on 1) treatment of women 2) treatment and acceptance of gays and 3) support for Sharia law?

  4. Steve Hickey

    What I wrote isn’t clear. Is he willing to renounce Muslim teaching on those three areas and say he disapproves of Muslim treatment of women, gays and Shariah law?

  5. Steve, it sounds like you are both coveting “a free pass” and exhibiting too much pride in “your” religion rather than practicing it. Are you sure that you are sufficiently pure to castigate your brother?

  6. Steve Hickey

    My religion is dubbed intolerant yet even Christianity in its most fundamentalist forms it isn’t a fraction as intolerant and violent toward women and gays. I’d think this Senate candidate supports our 36% rate cap, in line with his religion, I’m asking does he really break faith on the other important issues? If he supports gay marriage and gay rights as we are led to believe, good to know, but this would reveal he is what, only marginally Muslim?

    If it is the case that he and Saba support the 36% rate cap I’m happy to thank them publicly and send notice of it far and wide in District 9 and statewide through our coalition. I’ve been working on clarifying the support of the Republicans running in District 9, so far only Wayne Steinhauer is on our team if memory serves me correctly. I will soon vote in District 9 and my inquiries for clarity are legit on their positions on these and other issues.

    Lots of issues in Pierre are moral. All law is moral. Someone’s worldview and value system will prevail to create the society our kids will live in. All voices and vantage points are welcome at the table; may the best ideas win. I’ve renounced any sort of Christian theocracy. I’m asking will my district’s Muslim Senate candidate do the same for any sort of Shari’ah rule in our state?

  7. As an adherent to the tenets of the OOH (Omnidenominational Order of Humans) I am required to follow the principles and laws of the US Constitution, especially those pertaining to the prohibition of establishing a state religion, in order to ensure peace and tranquility in the land. It has worked for a long time!

  8. Steve Hickey

    Of course, Leo, humanism as a belief system is also religious vantage point equally welcome at the table of ideas. I too would oppose the ensconcement of it as a state religion.

  9. So are pro choice pro LGBT Catholics only marginally Catholics?
    Christians supporting LGBT rights are only marginally Christian?

    Hickey’s line about Muslims supporting gay rights.

  10. Steve, Koch appears to be on record as supporting LGBT rights. I do not see comment on women’s rights or theocracy.

    I do appreciate your renunciation of theocracy. Now if we can just get voters to stop supporting the soft theocracy that automatically gives an advantage to candidates who profess the majority religion and treats subscription to any different belief as a disqualifier.

    Humanism is a belief system, but practiced properly, it is not a religion in that it does not appeal to the supernatural for explanations. Calling humanism a religion sounds a bit like the cannibal chief meeting an Scotsman who says, “I don’t eat people,” and declaring, “Ah! so you’re just a different kind of cannibal!”

  11. bearcreekbat

    Hickey needs to answer a few simple straightforward questions:

    1.) What makes you think all Muslims share the exact same views on women, gays, and Sharia law?

    2.) How can you attribute to all Muslims some of the worst views of some Muslims, but fail to attribute to all Christians some of the worst views of some Christians such as the Westboro Baptist group?

    3.) When you say “Christianity in its most fundamentalist forms it isn’t a fraction as intolerant and violent toward women and gays,” this raises the question: have you read the Christian Bible, especially Leviticus, Numbers and that fascinating passage describing what Jesus plans to do either Jezebel’s children or all non- Christians (depending on your interpretation) in Revelation:

    “I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”

    Revelation 2:23 NIV.

  12. Fair point about generalizations, Bear. When I go looking for solid information about Islam, I am frustrated by the diversity of interpretations and the lack of any authoritative central source. Tell me that Candidate X is Muslim, and I can’t conclude policy positions any more certainly than I can when you tell me Candidate Y is Christian.

  13. Darin Larson

    BCB, well said! There are extremists in every religion. Mr. Hickey should know as well as anyone that the bible can be and is distorted by extremists just like the Koran. People deserve to be judged on their own individual merits and character–not on some overgeneralized discriminatory notion of the worst aspects of extremism in a particular religion.

  14. In answer to qustions posed to me, the Argus Leader today wrote that they “erroneously” reported my religion. The Argus reporter also called me to apologize and stated that someone I don’t know had emailed her and said that I was Muslim. The reporter apologized and I stated that an apology was not necessary, correcting the misstatement was sufficient.

    I told her that I am a stong advocate of the value of diversity and human rights and that there was no need to apologize for confusing one’s religion. Freedom of religion is a basic human right and we are a nation and a state of many different religions.

    As regards Steve’s question, I am a strong supporter of the 36% rate cap and I appreciate his offer to thank supporters of that issue throughout our constituency.

  15. Frank James

    We should be proud to have a candidate who can speak this eloquently about the Constitution running for SD Senate. To focus on the words “promote the general Welfare” shows a much deeper understanding of the meaning of our Constitution than I’ve hear from others.

  16. Steve Hickey

    BCB,
    1. I know what the Koran and Shari’ah law say on these issues. Inform me if there are moderate imams and Muslims who say those teachings are okay to ignore for followers of Islam.
    2. The majority of Christians disagree with the actions and beliefs of Westboro. They are not viewed as being among those who adhere to Jesus’ teachings.
    3. Your question is based on a lack of understanding of those texts and their place in Christian scripture and theology.

    Mr Saba. Thanks for supporting the 36% rate cap. I will celebrate that prominently. At this point I can report five of six on the District 9 ballot support the cap.

  17. bearcreekbat

    Hickey, you need to identify the specific Muslim teachings you are referencing before I can identify moderate Muslims that address such teachings.

    You seem to be saying that I cannot read the plain language of the Bible because I don’t really understand what it means. Is it possible that you have a similar problem interpreting Muslim texts?

  18. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    I have never understood the logic of those who fear the application of Sharia law into our statutes, constitution, and/or common law, which causes them to promote legislation to prevent it potential application.

    Is not the First Amendment an adequate firewall itself to prevent such application by a legislature or judge? And if not, how is an anti-Sharia law or constitutional amendment a guarantee itself and of greater weight or a better firewall, that it can somehow stand in greater place of the assumed legal weaknesses of a constitution amendment such as the First, which the fervent anti-Sharia law fear mongers suggest either explicitly and/or implicitly?

    And could not the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment empower a judge or justice(s) who was sympathetic to Sharia law to question an anti-Sharia constitutional amendment or law when balanced against the intentions afforded in the First Amendment through the “establishment clause,” so as to further legitimize Sharia legal thought itself within the context of common law through fundamental fairness towards all doctrine of value whether it be secular or not in a logical sense? Making the First Amendment not so much a firewall as it should be to religious establishment, rather a legal instrument to further embolden the thoughts of a judge who is sympathetic towards Sharia law all thanks to the enactment of anti-Sharia laws or amendments and their unintended consequences.

  19. Steve Hickey

    John – The Courts increasing find all sorts of new and special rights and protections to insert in the Constitution. The Courts are no longer a firewall against anything and the shift off the basis of the US Constitution is well underway. To speak against Sharia is pretty much hate speech already and that is deemed not a First Amendment right. A stealth jihad is underway to use our own laws against us. Go ahead and poo-poo the Center for Security Policy but a second opinion analysis is what any of us would recommend if some doctor told us our tumours and pains were nothing to worry about. Muslims aren’t the tumour, Sharia Law is the tumour as it overcomes and destroys. If there are Muslims that disavow Sharia Law, I need to meet them.

    I’d love to hear Candidate Koch chime in here.

    Here’s that second opinion: https://www.amazon.com/Shariah-America-Exercise-Competitive-Analysis/dp/098229476X/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475142139&sr=1-6&keywords=sharia

  20. Darin Larson

    Hickey’s response to BCB: 1) Don’t read the bible literally, it doesn’t mean what it says.

    2) Read the Koran literally, it means what it says.

    3) Christians are not to be judged by the worst among them.

    4) Muslims are to be judged by the worst among them and they are extremists until proven otherwise.

  21. Steve Hickey

    Darin – Where does the Bible talk about killing all and their children too? That would be in the historical sections. Those aren’t to be repeated but understood for what they reveal about the righteousness and holiness of God. We have no kill the infidel commands applicable to us in Christian Scripture, the referenced text in Revelation aren’t about Christian killing anyone. We have the opposite, actually. However, the early and nicer passages in the Koran don’t carry the weight of the later and violent passages. So, yes the Koran means what it says because of their hermeneutic of abrogation.

    I’m asking if we have a Muslim here running in District 9 who renounces the later violent injunctions within of the Koran and particularly renounces any sort of Shari’ah into American jurisprudence.

  22. The Book is always subject to interpretation Hickey, that is why you and your ilk get by with hiding behind chosen passages. Renounce all in the Book to show an example.

  23. Steve, od you ask the same question of a Christian (or Jew) – if they will renounce old testament practices becoming American jurisprudence (or do we need to start stoning the adulterers and those that work on Sunday . . . )

  24. 6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

    Passages from both Books share the love and the hate that makes them what they are for the time they were written. These were violent times. Stop with the Inquisition Hickey, it makes you look false.

  25. Mr. Saba, I’m stunned. What reporter posts a claim about an issue as sensitive as a candidate’s religion on the basis on one e-mail from a third party without checking with the candidate himself or finding some other documentary support for the claim? I mean, did any reporter covering District 9 ever read my blog and say, “Steve Hickey is a fundagelical theocrat”? (I know, Steve, you’re not… and that’s my point!)

  26. Frank is right: Candidate Koch expresses his love of the Constitution well. That statement, along with his support for LGBT rights, should be sufficient to shift the burden of proving Sharia fears to Pat Powers and other insinuators.

    This discussion reminds me that the best defense against any theocratic impulses is to respect and defend our Founding Fathers’ wise separation of church and state. If folks don’t want Muslims imposing their religion via majority vote and official actions, then they’d better exemplify in their own actions an absolute commitment to keeping prayers and religious views of any flavor out of our laws and official functions.

  27. Steve, per O’s comment, shall we grill every candidate on every sapect of his or her religion? (If so, that means I get a free pass, right? Since I have no religion to grill, we get to go straight to policy and constitutional questions?) Or would we do better to respect Article VI, apply no religious test, and focus on the issues, as Ferguson did once she got past the attention-grabbing headline?

  28. Don’t worry, Hickey, here in MN we’re molding the Musims into good DFLers which the far majority of them register as. We’re educating them on the importance of women’s rights and LGBT rights.
    We’ll have them molded into good little Marxists before long. ;)

  29. I believe what my president believes regarding the terrorists. Hickey and the rest of the haters could care less about the religious part of this, it all comes down to the black president that they hate with a zeal. Muslims have lived in this country for centuries. President Jefferson had the Book of the Islamic faith. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/28/politics/obama-radical-islamic-terrorism-cnn-town-hall/index.html

  30. bearcreekbat

    Nice catch from Deuteronomy Jerry. It again makes me wonder if Hickey’s filters are so fogged that he unthinkingly makes statements about the language in in the Christian Bible, even though his statements are directly contradicted by the Bible’s plain language (and might arguably even be deemed bearing false witness). Objectively, many of these commands by the Christian God to kill innocent children and non-believers are no better nor worse than similar commands attributed to the Muslim God (which I understand to be the same God anyway, namely the God of Abraham).

    Why not just recognize that each of these books contain both good and evil? Instead of condemning everyone based on the evil, how about recognizing that most Christians and most Muslims reject that evil and try to do good while engaging others, including those with different beliefs? And then why not praise those who do good?

    I wonder if Hickey can say anything decent or complimentary about someone who lives a good life, treats his fellow man with dignity and respect, but believes fully in a faith different than Hickey’s faith, such as Islam.

    When discussing Muslims, focusing on only the evil seems almost a projection of one’s own internal struggles with good and evil. If there is indeed a Christian or Muslim God, I would imagine that God would want her subjects to focus on love and caring for each other. If not, then a God with the contrary view that we ought to torturing and killing each other doesn’t appear to hold any high moral ground and doesn’t seem to be an entity worth worshiping or obeying.

    In any event, here is Pew research that contradicts the Hickey view that all true Muslims have to want Sharia law and support ISIS style jihad.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/22/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/

  31. What always is troubling to me is how Hickey and those who follow the hatred they spew, conveniently forget the largest killing to date in the name of Christian religious belief. An eye for an eye, so to speak. http://www.ethicsdaily.com/an-accurate-look-at-timothy-mcveighs-beliefs-cms-15532

    This mass murder does not fit into the love fest they want us to swallow hook line and sinker. I have nothing against any religion and find no fault with those who believe in the organization of it. What I find fault in is that a man or woman is judged, not by whom they are, but by the way in which they find tranquility, through religious means. It makes us all the less for it that we allow the shouters to drown out the facts.

  32. Jerry,

    Except for Muslims brought to the US as slaves and whose adherence to Islam virtually disappeared as they rapidly converted and a few merchant traders who came to facilitate commerce with Muslim locations in Europe and Asia, the first wave are Muslim Immigration began post WWI with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t appear to read the Koran and study up on Islam because of any material Muslims in the United States (estimated to be approximately 1,000 and all slaves in 1776) or interest in the religion. He did so because:

    1) Before the War for Independence was even over, he was in the delegation which negotiated peace treaties with the Barbary States primarily to keep them out of the war and to keep them from impairing war supplies coming from Europe (primarily France). He basically paid the pirates to leave our ships alone.

    2) When he became President, the same Barbary States wanted a new “present” to leave our ships alone. This time Jefferson chose to dispatch the US Navy to protect US ships and international ships trading with the US because he thought it cheaper than the requested tribute demanded.

    Jefferson’s view of Muslim’s (at least these Muslim’s) was not very complimentary as he basically said their religious convictions could be bought (if I remember right, he said it during the time of his first negotiations with them). That said, his efforts with regard to religious freedom included those who were not Christian and specifically mentioned the followers of Mohamed.

    Sidenote: Historians disagree about the motives of Jefferson to deal with the Barbary States as he did. Some think he wanted to justify a build-up of the nascent American Navy while other’s think it was to enhance economic development through free trade (we shipped our ag products including cotton and timber to Europe while importing industrial machines).

  33. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Pastor Hickey, if you have no faith in our courts or legal system as you suggest, then what assurances do you gain by advocating anti-Sharia laws and/or amendments?

  34. Roger Cornelius

    Steve Hickey,
    Didn’t Mike Saba renounce Sharia Law by pointing out that he is and has been an Episcopalian? Or are you suggesting that Mr. Saba is in fact a closet believer in Sharia Law?
    John Kennedy did not have to renounce his Catholicism when he ran for president, why should Mike Saba have to renounce anything to please you?

  35. Steve Hickey

    Roger – we aren’t talking about Saba.

  36. Roger Cornelius

    Steve,
    Read the last paragraph of your comment made at 2016-9-28 at 04:12 where you specifically ask if Mike Saba will renounce Sharia Law.

  37. Quick word check:

    To renounce means to abandon a claim, to state that one no longer holds a certain belief or position. That word thus assumes that one held the belief in question at some point.

    I renounced my Republican politics several years ago, meaning I was a Republican, then decided being Republican was a bad idea. I can’t renounce Sharia law, since I’ve never subscribed to it.

    Candidate Koch may not be able to renounce Sharia law, because he may never have subscribed to it.

    For the record, I denounce Sharia and all other forms of religious oppression and theocracy.

  38. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    President Jefferson once referred to the presidency as a period of “splendid misery.” Given that, I find it hard to believe that Jefferson’s fascination with Islam was limited to pragmatic reasons.

    If you have ever visited Monticello, as I have, you will soon be immersed into the complexities of what made Jefferson who and what he was. And what he was was a man of great intellectual curiosity and his owing of a copy of the Koran in North America in the 18th century speaks greatly of how his fascination with Islam demonstrated his commitment to religious freedom for all regardless of their faith and beyond any mere transcended administration needs or curiosity….

  39. I do not recant.

  40. mike from iowa

    RogerC-you can’t use a rethuglican’s own words against him. That is not cricket, old boy. Drumpf don’t like it and I doubt if Hickey will, either.

  41. JKC, Sr.

    This is what Christopher Hitchen wrote about Jefferson and Islam. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2007/01/jeffersons_quran.html

    And, as Hitchens referenced, late in his life, he didn’t much subscribe to the God part of religion but their moral codes and as Hitchens notes, Jefferson didn’t think much of Islam’s moral codes.

    Unless you can find any evidence his “curiosity” found anything redeeming about Islam, Jefferson only said negative things about Islam I’ve seen on the record, both when he paid them tribute during the Revolutionary War to get them to leave alone ships destined for our country and when he engaged our Navy to protect ships to and fro our country.

    There is no evidence I’ve seen where he had a “fascination” with Islam. Except for when he was dealing with them formally and in strong opposition, there is little evidence he gave them much thought (in private or publicly) except to list them among the non-Christian religions to whom he supported extending religious liberty.

  42. JKC, Sr.,

    And there is this in the New Republic https://newrepublic.com/article/117173/thomas-jeffersons-quran-denise-spellberg-reviewed

    Spellberg makes clear that “the phrase ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an’ ” does not imply that references to the book were “numerous, detailed, or systematic” in his writings, or that he seriously engaged with the text. “Suffice it to say, Jefferson did subscribe to the anti-Islamic views of most of his contemporaries, and in politics he made effective use of the rhetoric they inspired.”

  43. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Troy,

    Hitchens started out from the left and then left this world as a Neo-Con. He claimed that two small enclaves of Al-Qaeda in northern Iraq near the Kurks justified the Iraq War. I myself would think two small enclaves in northern Iraq would justify a few cruise missiles without a full invasion towards Baghdad…But that is just me….

    Say what you want about Jefferson’s eventual assessment of the Islamic religion, because his assessment itself speaks of genuine curiosity and such curiosity cannot exist without a tolerance for religious freedom….And it is fair to say that only the curious and open mined would truly own a Koran in Colonial America…

  44. Troy, you can be as upset about Muslims as you wish. Facts are stubborn things to folks like yourself, which only make it more fun to show you differently. I took this from the Huffington Post as it will be a pretty easy read for you and you can then use the footnotes to examine it further. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-manseau/what-happened-to-americas-first-muslims_b_6809326.html

    Our President Obama stated very clearly that Muslims and Islam have been with this country since its beginning and had the proof of it. Now if you are speaking of the Jewish faith, then we would be speaking about the same time frame. I think that Buddhism for sure and possibly Islam reached the western coast of the United States long before the Spaniards, as there are to many artifacts showing an arrival of sorts from the Far East. I am sorry that facts have gotten in the way of your view of history, but you really should brush up.

  45. Great points Mr.Claussen. Do you find it interesting that Troy goes to the well to quote Hitchens and others like Dick Morris? These are what are being used as his intellectual go to guru’s. Hilarious

  46. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Absolutely Jerry! Especially Hitchen. Hitchen once wrote a book indicting Kissinger as a war criminal for the secret bombings of Cambodia, which resulted in the rise of Pol Pot, and I understand and agree with that thesis. But then years later, Hitchen becomes a Neo-Con and wraps himself around a whole new era of possible war criminals in his support of Bush43s Iraq War….

  47. Steve Hickey

    Read more carefully, Roger. Saba is the House candidate. Koch is the Senate candidate.

  48. Jerry and JKC,

    At the end of the day, you have no evidence Jefferson even read the Koran but it gives you a fuzzy feeling he owned it. I am glad you get a fuzzy feeling. I also get a kick that you just dismiss any information and source unless you think they agree with you. Says a lot about your intellectual curiosity.

    P S: I never said there haven’t been Muslims here for centuries. I have only said they were here in in insignificant and hardly noticed levels because most were slaves with some traders mixed in. The first wave of significant Muslim immigrants was post WWII.

  49. Troy, we here in South Dakota like to quote the famous 2nd Amendment and attribute that to President Thomas Jefferson, which is a good thing. Guns are alright in my book in the right hands, so I am cool with that as you are. Then you and the rest of the crazies drift off into la la land on the very 1st Amendment (there are actually a total 27) but what why bother with the rest, right? Anyway, the first Amendment is the Freedom of Religion, that is a big deal as it prohibits guys like you and Hickey from declaring that Christianity shall be the religion of the land and therefore abolishing all others. Jefferson read his Book of Islam to understand the religion as most folks have read their own Book to try to understand theirs. Muslims were in this country at the time, not only as slaves, but as real citizens.

    You and Hickey can hold your breath and stomp, but the facts are clear. Those facts can be found by searching them out and finding your own intellectual curiosity like Mr. Claussen and I have done. I also find it interesting that we are discussing Mr. Koch’s religion only. Why not talk about the real elephant in the room, you and your party’s blame in the raising of insurance premiums throughout our state by not allowing Medicaid Expansion.

  50. Historical context of one, Thomas Jefferson

    “And we know that Jefferson thought about Muslims as potential citizens because in 1776, a few months after writing the Declaration of Independence, he makes a note in his personal papers. He records that Locke said, “Neither pagan nor Mahometan,” meaning Muslim, “nor Jew ought to be excluded from the rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” So even that early he was thinking about it.

    And even earlier, in 1765, while still a law student (which is one of the reasons he bought the Qur’an; he was immersed in legal studies) we see he took notes for his cases based on laws from around the world. Since many people thought the Qur’an was a book of laws, and only that, he probably used it for that reason. But at the same time, he encountered a legal precedent, an earlier British legal precedent, that said that Muslims were not perpetual enemies in British legal thought. And he wrote that down, he wrote that precedent down too. So this is a world in which there were Muslims. Muslims had been in contact with the English for a very long time through trade and other peaceful means, as well as through some forms of naval conflict.”

    To think that Muslims and the religion of Islam are enemies throughout history, is being dishonest while ignoring the historical facts. The pirates of the Mediterranean were no different than the pirates of the Caribbean, outlaws that existed for the plunder and did so for their own profits, not for a state religion.

    Vote for the man who sees the future of all South Dakotan’s to help reign in skyrocketing insurance premiums while showing mercy on those that are to poor to properly take care of their medical needs. Vote for Mr. Koch as a voice to pass Medicaid Expansion.

  51. Roger Cornelius

    Steve,
    Neither of us referenced which candidate is running for which seat and it doesn’t really matter does it?
    You specifically asked if Saba would renounce Sharia Law?
    As Cory pointed out, Saba would have had to believe in Sharia Law in order to renounce it, do you have evidence that Mr. Saba endorsed Sharia Law?

  52. Jerry,

    1) Not once have I ever said there weren’t Muslim’s in this nation for centuries but affirmed it. My only comment was they weren’t here in big numbers (mostly slaves) or who were traders/merchants with the first real wave of Muslim immigration began after WWI.

    2) Not once did I assert Jefferson didn’t advocate religious freedom for Muslims but affirmed it. My only comment is there is no record he commented on the religion in particular and his only comments on its adherents wasn’t positive. That said, I made it clear his comments about adherents were in reference to particular adherents who were threatening American interests.

    3) My summary point is one can’t discern anything about Jefferson’s thoughts about Islam because he had a copy of the Koran in his library. The only indication we have is what he said in public or private communication which is sparse and none is complimentary. Until I went to using a Kindle, one can’t tell a thing me by my library of hundreds of books except I read alot of historical books and I’m Catholic as I have devotional books on my shelf. One of my favorite books (Walden by Thoreau) is right next to a book I don’t think I ever finished (Mein Kampf by Hitler) only because their size is comparable.

  53. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: Nice cut and paste of Denise Spellberg’s revisionist history. Justice Joseph Story, a contemporary of Jefferson, disagrees with her politically correct interpretation when he explains the First Amendment in his “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” :

    “The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”

  54. Troy,

    1. The only folks in this nation in Jefferson’s time with any numbers, were Native American. There were not a lot of any religions, including yours. There were mostly those who had no religion whatsoever. Most colonists were getting away from countries that sponsored state religion like the Church of England. Not hard to see why patriots like Jefferson would distance their people from matters of religion while making sure that all were welcome.

    2. I just showed you that Jefferson did not disparage the Islamic faith, but had the concern of the pirates based out of Libya as his main concern for commerce only. Jefferson followed the ideas of England regarding the truth that Muslims and the religion of Islam were not an enemy state that follows through to this day.

    3. One can discern Jefferson’s thoughts because he wrote them down. As he noted, his thoughts at the time were that the Quran was much more a book of laws than anything else, so as a student of law, he studied the book to understand. As this young country was expanding its reach to become a world wide trading center, one had to understand the laws from distant lands as well as a feel for those who lived there. The British had established relationships with Muslims as well as others from all corners, Jefferson was ahead of the curve. In Virginia, there were Muslims living there to provide any further questions if he had them. While I can not find that ever happened, I would say that it probably did. Jefferson was always interested in science so it stands to reason his interest in the Middle East. The advances made in the Middle East were scientific to the point of world changing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world

    Mr. Koch has shown a remarkable attention to something that is very clear, healthcare for all with Medicaid Expansion. Regardless of anything else, that shows me an intellectual knowledge of capitalism along with fair play. His insight into improving healthcare while substantially lower insurance premiums on everyone, makes him a great fit to making change in Pierre. It does not surprise me that you, Hickey and Mr. Powers are against all of that simply because you do not understand the economics involved in it. Instead we go to a rabbit trail of insulting religious trails that prove nothing more than clouding the issue of what is needed for our state.

  55. Thanks for the reading Coyote. How else can you present something without a cut and paste? I did not embellish the words, they are as written.

    Historically, I do not think you or anyone can deny the fact that a reason for the immigration to the new world was to rid themselves of religion itself. The last thing that the new world wanted was a state sponsored religion like the Church of England that was forced upon them. Be that as it man, Jefferson was supportive of distancing the country from church (any) and state. All were welcome here and none were supported by the government.

    Now, what about those high insurance premiums in the under 65 market? How to address them with anything other than Mr. Koch is proposing would be impossible. Mr. Koch wants to save you money and wants to make sure that we do the charitable here in South Dakota while saving ourselves a bucket full of money. I understand you guys and your outright hatred of Obama to make things difficult for honest discussions, but you all have really disparaged yourselves with this dog whistle attack. I would say that you all should be ashamed, but that train left the station on the Trump caboose.

  56. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: “How else can you present something without a cut and paste?”

    Quotation marks and an attribution to Spellberg would have been nice.

    You said, ” I do not think you or anyone can deny the fact that a reason for the immigration to the new world was to rid themselves of religion itself”

    Economic opportunity was probably the #1 reason for colonist’s coming to the New World.

    Also “The last thing that the new world wanted was a state sponsored religion like the Church of England that was forced upon them”.

    Not true. That would not explain how most of the colonies and later as states, had established religions/churches. In fact government established religion/churches existed in many of the states well into the 1800’s. I believe the last state to disestablish religion was Massachusetts in 1833.

  57. mike from iowa

    Try a silver platter with Drumpf’s head on it.

  58. Coyote, dust off your bifocals. The quote marks are there in the cut and paste. I will tell you that both you and Troy just do not like it when your words come back as lies.

    Okay then, lets go with what you are saying. Economic opportunity was the number 1 reason. Freedom to make a living unmolested as you make a point of. Is that not what healthcare for all really is all about? How can you expect economic opportunity when you are deprived of the basic right of health care?

    Let’s see what my man Ben had to say about this (note the quotation marks) “If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.”

    [Letter to the London Packet, 3 June 1772]”

    Hence the Puritans reason for coming, not for commerce but to practice there hatred. Remember Pilgrims, secular, Puritans dangerous. Pilgrims sailed from Amsterdam, just like the traders that came to Manhattan. Those fellers in Manhattan came for the money, not the religion.

    No, the last state to disestablish religion was Utah to gain statehood.

  59. Troy, there are two coasts here in the United States. I know that your geography teacher taught you that but you are just way concerned with Mexico and make believe tide from there. On the West Coast, there is also a history of early Muslim activity, pre Columbus https://historyofislam.com/the-african-and-muslim-discovery-of-america-before-columbus/

    Now, what about this Medicaid Expansion? Are you going to lobby for it to lower premiums for the under 65 crowd or are ya gonna continue looking at your belly button?

  60. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Yep, maybe Troy is right after all. Perhaps Jefferson was just a hoarder. He belonged to all of the book clubs back in the day. He especially liked the Book-of-the-Month-Club. I believe back then the introductory offer was four books for five pence…. Oh, what a bargain! He never looked at the books. He just collected them. It was fun. It always guaranteed that he would get something in the mail. And this was a good thing too, because due to his book hoarding and his great relationship with the folks at Camp Hill, he was able to successfully replenish the Library of Congress after its collection had been destroyed in a fire by the British during the War of 1812….Naught!

    Troy, one of your own sources you quote claims that Jefferson did not agree with the moral codes of Islam. How is this assessment possible without him having opened the Koran? You also allege that his only use for the Koran was for administrative reasons during the American feud with the Barbary privates. Well, if that is the case, what use was the Koran during this conflict if he did not open it up?

    Let us keep in mind, that Jefferson wrote his own version of the Bible entitled “The Life & Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” So, Troy, you are going to tell me that a man who wrote his own version of the Bible, where he cut-out the pieces of it he liked (cut and pasted them actually) and dismissed those parts of it he did not like, was also the same individual who owned a copy of the Koran in 18th century America and never opened it up for the sake of intellectual curiosity – a curiosity which itself is self-evident of religious tolerance….Huh?

  61. Dakotacare just announced they are saying adios to the ACA individual plans. Call your legislators and tell them to sober the hell up and put the Medicaid Expansion into play. Vote for a guy who already knew what was going on, Mr. Koch. We need you in Pierre.

  62. mike from iowa

    Book of the Month Club was the perfect excuse for starting the US of A Postal Service back then. Had anyone invented the wheel, yet?

  63. mike from iowa

    Saw my first four legged coyote of the year today looking to take a siesta in a neighbor’s freshly windrowed waterway. He/she didn’t stick around to auger politics. He went south aways and then headed west up a different waterway. Prolly in South Dakota by now.

  64. Mr. Claussen, we know so little about our past that even now we find new exciting things that seem improbable. With trade here long before Columbus, we have had many visitors of many different races and religions. Here is a find in an ancient Roman burial ground in London. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/chinese-skeleton-discovery-roman-history-society-southwark-cemetery-asian-remains-a7330666.html

  65. Steve Hickey

    Roger, Saba isn’t a Muslim. Why do you keep bringing that up? Never did I assume he was one as I knew previously he was not. In no place in this string have I implied he supports Muslim doctrine and law. This is a conversation about Koch.

    And Cory, please chid Mr Koch for not being transparent and for not engaging his district voters on this popular venue. It is not believable to me that he is unaware of this blog, this blog post or this conversation.

    Here is what Shari’ah law ignorance looks like among Clinton voters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKosd0xJadE

    Here is what Shari’ah law really looks like:

    This is called Hudud….

    [As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah . And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

    Google “Sharia law cutting off hand” and check out the images. It gets more horrifying when you get to treatment of women and gays.

    Help me understand liberal America’s embrace of any of these ideologues.

    Can we get any concurrence from Mr Koch that there is no place for Shari’ah law anywhere in America, and especially in American jurisprudence? Silence from him will only convey his quiet support of a documented stealth occupation and overtaking of America. I want to believe there are millions of Muslims in America that reject such things.

    God loves Muslims and so do I but I’m among many who consider Islam deeply evil.

  66. Can we get any concurrence from Mr. Hickey that there is no place for Christian law anywhere in America, and especially in American jurisprudence? Silence from him will only convey his quiet support of a documented stealth occupation and overtaking of America. I want to believe that there are millions of Christians in America that reject such things. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/30/world/meast/iraq-prison-abuse-scandal-fast-facts/

    God loves Christians and so do I but I’m among many who consider Christianity deeply evil.

  67. Steve Hickey

    By Christian law, you mean what? Do you think our laws dripped out of some secular vortex? Visit the Supreme Court some and look around. The Judeo-Christian basis of our law is foundational and pervasive. The issue today is not whether or not that is true. The issue today is whether or not we want to shift off that basis.

  68. Steve Hickey

    And also Jer, I’ve been clear for years…. all voices welcome to the table, let the best ideas win — that includes Muslims. What you seem to want is Constitution without the first amendment – the exercise of free speech

  69. Darin Larson

    Steve Hickey, why is it ok for you to brand Islam as evil based upon what extremists are doing in the far reaches of the earth, but when Christians commit atrocities right here in America, you do not brand all of Christianity as evil?

    Why do you generalize about 1.6 billion Muslims in ways that no one besides Donald Trump would generalize about people of a particular religion?

    Are you starting your own Inquisition on this site to call out people based upon religious affiliation?

    Your Republican candidate for president calls Mexicans coming to our country criminals and rapists. Is there any real difference in you labeling Islam evil? You are both discriminating against people based upon your own perception of people, most of whom you have never met.

    It also appears you have not spent any time getting to know Muslims or understanding the Islamic faith in any real way. Your failure to see the plank in your own eye as you point out the sliver in other people’s eyes is revealing.

  70. Rules for justice regarding theft. https://www.al-islam.org/180-questions-about-islam-vol-2-various-issues-makarim-shirazi/23-punishment-amputation-hands-rough

    Rules for torture at Guantanamo Bay http://thejusticecampaign.org/?page_id=273

    Rules for justice regarding theft, state by state (felon) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_theft

    Crime in the US versus over the pond http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/html/cjusew96/cpp.cfm

    Crime in the US versus crime in Saudi Arabia http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Saudi-Arabia/United-States/Crime

    Last I looked Mr. Koch did not live in a country or state that followed the sentencing guidelines of Saudi Arabia. Last I looked, Mr. Koch really only made one mistake here in South Dakota and that was his declaration of advocating a just and merciful way of providing healthcare to those who had none. His crime, in your eyes was to support a more equal way of sharing the high cost of medical care by the lowering of premiums for all.

    Mr. Koch is an American, through and through, his religion should not be in question any more than yours Mr. Hickey. I would suggest to you that you study harder and try to retain the peace that comes from serious meditation of looking into one’s own being. When you achieve that, you will find yourself without fear of your fellow citizens of the world in itself. Religion always shows the good and the bad of people, show yourself to be a little above, set an example.

  71. Steve Hickey

    Darin – I do know Muslims, on gal from France comes to a small group I have here in my home on Wednesday nights. We are studying the Sermon on the Mount. And we have an Islamic Studies Dept here in our Divinity School. Just this week I participated in the renowned Gifford Lectures where a Muslim scholar from Edinburgh tried and failed to compare Dietrich Bonhoeffer with another theologian/martyr (of the Muslim Brotherhood) Syed Qutb.

    It’s not about a plank in the eye, it’s about discerning good fruit and bad fruit. In the Sermon on the Mount text you refer to— pulling the plank out of your own eye— it then continues on in the same chapter to talk about discerning fruit.

    Bad fruit is what I’m seeing. I’m seeing no freedoms, stellar human rights abuses and terrorism. Please spare me some sort of comparison with the misguided crusades. Yes they were misguided and a serious diversion from the teachings of Jesus – I agree. But these crusades were a response of centuries of bloody Islamic expansion. We are living in what they consider a latter time of world conquest. I’m encouraged that Muslims around the world and having dreams and visions of Jesus and he is reaching them himself, since we as Christians have been a lousy witness to them and the rest of the world.

    In the news here this morning we are hearing about the raiding of Mosques in France. Both Germany and France opened their borders wide and both nations deeply regret it now only a year later. Suspicions have been confirmed in the mosques regarding jihad teaching, celebration of terrorism, radicalisation of members and weapons.

    There is nothing unChristlike about thanking God for locked doors at night, for the protections of Walled cities and for the security of discerning gatekeepers. We need let people in but not these ideologies.

  72. Darin Larson

    You just said Islam is evil, therefore all the fruit of Islam is evil according to you. There is no good and bad fruit apparently, otherwise you wouldn’t say Islam is evil. You would say some people that call themselves Muslims have evil views.

  73. Steve Hickey

    Sorry for typos. I’m juggling a few things here and typing as fast as I’m thinking. My small group is Tuesday nights. Apparently I’m still in the habit of thinking Wednesday night is church night. A few other missing words, please forgive.

    If we are just talking public policy and we want to consider Shari’ah law as a possibility for improvement, don’t we first have to be honest about why the places where Islam rules are the places were human misery is the highest?? http://www.islam-group.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/sharia-rule-law.png

  74. Steve Hickey

    I said Islam is evil.

    You are the one who said ALL the fruit of Islam is evil and I wouldn’t agree with that statement at all.

    Evil comes even cloaked as an angel of light. Incredible book I read years ago called the Beautiful Side of Evil. Basically, the devil does a lot of good and supernatural things in the world and it’s part of his disguise and deception.

  75. Having written my senior thesis many years ago on the complicity of the German people in the rise of Hitler, I found the comparing of Bonhoeffer with Sayyid Qtub intriguing, but could not find any information on the scholar who did so.
    http://atheism.about.com/od/islamicextremismpeople/a/qutb.htm

    http://www.ed.ac.uk/arts-humanities-soc-sci/news-events/lectures/gifford-lectures/gifford-lectures-2016-2017

  76. bearcreekbat

    Under our constitutional system of government our Constitution may be amended in any way the people see fit. Indeed, to date it has been amended 17 times, including amendments that have changed prior amendments and that have changed the nature of the original Constitution radically, such as ending slavery.

    Imagine that enough people in this nation decide they want to be governed by Shari’ah law, and manage to get a constitutional amendment ratified to that effect. While neither Hickey nor I might agree that such a change is a good thing, if we respect and believe in our own Constitution don’t we have the obligation to abide by such a change (until we can finally do a 21st Amendment style repeal) if that is what a sufficient number of Americans decide they want?

    So far I am unaware of any proposed constitutional amendments aimed at repealing or modifying the 1st amendment’s language about religion nor the other language in the Constitution that addresses religious views and tests. Methinks the Hickey style arguments about Shari’ah law might be a guise to simply attack people who have different religious beliefs by identifying aspects of Shari’ah law and claiming to speak for all of Islam.

    But as Hickey has explained in defending the Christian Bible’s various commands to kill gays, adulterous females, non-believers, innocent children, et al, perhaps Hickey has misunderstood the passages he identifies.

    http://misconceptions-about-islam.com/cut-off-hands-theft.htm

    Don’t get me wrong – believers in any God, Christian, Islam, or otherwise are following delusions and magical thinking to make themselves feel better, and if that makes them feel better I say more power to them. But when these magical thinkers decide to take the next step and use such magical thinking as an excuse to harm others with violence, hateful speech, horrific stereotyping, and by trying to get others to hate non-believers or incorrect believers, then such behavior deserves scrutiny, exposure and public condemnation.

  77. bearcreekbat

    Hickey implies he knows quite a bit about the devil. Perhaps he can provide some insight.

    If I understand the Christian view of the devil, it is an entity that wants us to do evil and disobey God’s commands. But many Christians tell us if we comply with the devil’s wishes God will see to it that we will be tortured in Hell for eternity. And Hell is the kingdom that God has provided for the devil to torture people who do exactly what the devil wants.

    Why would God expect the devil to torture, rather than reward, folks who do the devil’s bidding?

  78. Porter Lansing

    Hickey says “Islam is evil.”? I trust your opinions about as much as I trust gas station sushi. Not being my duty to judge, although that appears to be another of your common false witnesses. I’m sure you’ll agree Hick, that God will judge you at the gates of Heaven for that public pronouncement, quite possibly read by innocent and developing children.

  79. Last I looked Mr. Koch did not live in a country or state that followed the sentencing guidelines of Saudi Arabia. Last I looked, Mr. Koch really only made one mistake here in South Dakota and that was his declaration of advocating a just and merciful way of providing healthcare to those who had none. His crime, in your eyes was to support a more equal way of sharing the high cost of medical care by the lowering of premiums for all.

    Mr. Koch is an American, through and through, his religion should not be in question any more than yours Mr. Hickey. I would suggest to you that you study harder and try to retain the peace that comes from serious meditation of looking into one’s own being. When you achieve that, you will find yourself without fear of your fellow citizens of the world in itself. Religion always shows the good and the bad of people, show yourself to be a little above, set an example, stop the hate.

  80. bearcreekbat

    Well said Jerry!

  81. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Jerry, you are exactly right, thanks for the link.

    I would also like to share a link with everyone which shows how the Islamic faith has been a part of the northern plains since the 1880s:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/us/north-dakota-mosque-a-symbol-of-muslims-deep-ties-in-america.html?_r=1

  82. Darin Larson

    Well said jerry! At first I thought you said medication not meditation. I think mr. Hickey should try both.

  83. mike from iowa

    don’t we first have to be honest about why the places where Islam rules are the places were human misery is the highest??

    How do we know Islamic states are full of misery? Anybody bother to ask the miserable? Maybe they know no better. I certainly doubt America is that shiny,happy city on the hill. There is plenty of misery in America being ignored by those in positions of fixing things.

  84. Here ya go mfi, healthcare in Saudi Arabia as a Muslim country, plenty of things the not like there regarding healthcare, but it is available to all http://susris.com/?s=healthcare Many different links with many different forums to review

    Here is the infant mortality rates around the world. You will note where we are, shameful that as the largest economy by far, fairs so miserably. We suck at our care for our mothers and children. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

    Point is that Mr. Koch is clear that he would like to be part of a system that actually cares about all of our citizens. To Mr. Koch, it does not matter what your religion, gender or race may be, his belief is that you should have the basic right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This can be found by having healthcare for all. Stop adding to the misery and start solving the problems, elect Mr. John Koch.

  85. Steve Hickey

    Anne- here is the PDF link to the specific lecture I’m referring to from last week’s Gifford lectures: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/cass/content-images/Chapter_4.pdf

  86. Steve Hickey

    WHoops – that’s only a short synopsis. I’m sure the lectures are recorded – they get turned into a book as well. I’ll look around a bit.

  87. Steve Hickey

    Here’s the main link… https://www.abdn.ac.uk/cass/about-the-2016-gifford-lectures-514.php

    It’s an interesting comparison that works only if you ignore the elephant in the room that one man worked for peace and to end killing and his worldwide following today produces peace activists and pacifists – while the other gives us terrorism and anti-semitism on steroids and is all about world dominion of Islam via violence. Her lecture wasn’t received well here.

  88. Darin Larson

    Steve Hickey, you are a learned individual in the teachings of Christ, I assume, and yet for all your study you seem to have missed much of what Christ was all about. Taking in Muslim refugees with no other place to go is an example of a central tenet of what Christ stood for in teaching us how to interact with each other and love each other.

    Christ didn’t say it would be easy to love your neighbor as yourself. I think He indicated it might be hard.

    I can’t help but think if you are missing one of the main ideas that Christianity is based upon in this current context, I’m going to have to question your proclamations of what Islam and Muslims are all about.

  89. Steve Hickey

    Darin – I’m for taking refugees and have personally been to the refugee camps in Greece and we have ongoing refugee ministry there. You confuse me with someone else. I’ve stood against the anti-immigrant GOP bills in recent years in the SD legislature. Being for refugee resettlement and being for a thorough screening of them are things I’m for. I’m also for not giving money and weapons like Obama/Hillary have been doing to those are creating the refugee crisis. I’m for war crimes charges against leftist George Soros for funding and fueling these problems abroad and at home. I’m for doubling the pay of all our service women and men and vets while also cutting our defence spending by one third – by ending the our peace prize presidents wars and bombings and drones. I’m for responding to the refugee crisis with food and water and using the military to deliver it safely.

  90. Are you for war crimes against George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, Hickey?
    I wonder if Hickey would be willing to tell a practicing Muslim that their religion is evil. It’s certainly not very Christian like to be making statements like that I can understand if you want to make statements like that in the privacy of your home but it’s damaging the Christian brand when he, of all people, a pastor, says hurtful and mean statements in public and then think nothing of it. Words are very powerful.
    It comes across as religious “my religion is better than yours” bullying and I would have expected better from Pastor Hickey.
    The main reason I became an Agostic was of the hurt I received from Catholic kids while growing up. A person may forgive but will never forget.

  91. The ongoing refugee ministry there (convert them to Christianity so you can get a loaf of bread or die).

    George Soros was the president of the United States that started the whole shebang there in the Middle East right after his and Obama’s election in the year of our Lord, 2000. It was mostly his vice president, Barack H (Horatio) Obama that was the prime instigator in lighting the fire. Christian Fundementalists came to both and some others, mostly dumb Jewish folk like Paul the Wolfawiz and Douglas of little Faith, to sell the deal of Rapture to them. You cannot have a real good time Rapture without getting rid of that damn Saddam. So off we went on yet another Crusade. If you do not think this was a Crusade, speak to grads of the Air Force Academy, the officer core that fly those bombs flinging rigs of the sky. In the addled minds of zealots like Hickey, the Republicans had no say in this 2000 war as they have always been known as the Book refers to as lost sheep. All they could do was baaaaa and bleat even further there common distaste for forced conversion into their religious beliefs. Who does that? (Ask Hickey)

    In the hate filled minds of Hickey and those like him, Muslims must stay where they are so that the Rapture farce can be accomplished under their direction. Without slaying the Jews on the fields of Armageddon, the whole thing is just like we all know it is, smoke and mirrors. Why do you think they are so against NASA? Last thing they want is to hear ET calling home.

    As I see where haters like Hickey get further invocations on their mission of hate, the camp there in Scotland is really just another recruitment center for velvet glove terrorism by Christianity.

  92. In the meantime, Mr. Koch continues his campaign of love and compassion for those less fortunate as to not have health coverage in a great nation like we all live in here. Instead of doing nothing for veterans while allowing them to languish, he has stepped forward to declare his support for the Medicaid Expansion that will help so many of us here in South Dakota. That would be approximately 2,000 veterans who have served their country honorably in a 2014 report by PEW. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2013/05/27/a-quartermillion-uninsured-vets-will-miss-out-on-medicaid-expansion

    So, is Mr. Koch more of a supporter of South Dakota veterans, hell ya! What about Hickey? What did he say about Medicaid Expansion? He basically told us vets that we could pound sand. Not very compassionate, this Hickey.