One fifth of Americans have no religion

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has published an important new study of Americans who are unaffiliated with any religion.

One-fifth of U.S. adults say they are not part of a traditional religious denomination, new data from the Pew Research Center show, evidence of an unprecedented reshuffling of Americans’ spiritual identities that is shaking up fields from charity to politics.

But despite their nickname, the “nones” are far from godless. Many pray, believe in God and have regular spiritual routines.

Their numbers have increased dramatically over the past two decades, according to the study released Tuesday. About 19.6 percent of Americans say they are “nothing in particular,” agnostic or atheist, up from about 8 percent in 1990. One-third of adults under 30 say the same.  . . .

But the United States is still very traditional when it comes to religion, with 79 percent of Americans identifying with an established faith group. . . .

Members can be found in all educational and income groups, but they skew heavily in one direction politically: 68 percent lean toward the Democratic Party. That makes the “nones,” at 24 percent, the largest Democratic faith constituency, with black Protestants at 16 percent and white mainline Protestants at 14 percent.

By comparison, white evangelicals make up 34 percent of the Republican base.

The study presents a stark map of how political and religious polarization have merged in recent decades. Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa.

Some said the study and its data on younger generations forecast more polarization.

“We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. “The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics” aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.

via One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation, study says – The Washington Post.

I’m struck by the comment that a typical congregations would include people of different political beliefs and how that isn’t the case so much anymore.  (My impression is that churches that don’t mingle politics with the gospel, such as Lutheran congregations, still generally contain both Democrats and Republicans.  That’s evident in the commentary on this blog, which has people who are very conservative theologically representing different political positions.)

I am also struck by the contention that churches getting involved in politics seems to be a major factor in the rise of the “nones.”   I wonder how many pastors who want their churches to be ‘missional” and who make a point of adopting all of the church growth methodologies designed to make their congregation more attractive to the “unchurched” endorsed a candidate on Political Freedom Day, not realizing that this kind of political activism is exactly what is driving people away from churches.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    The politicization of Christianity is one reason a fifth of all Americans reject church. Legalism, discussed yesterday, is probably another. A focus on marriage and family is probably yet another. 50% of adults are single, and one out of seven live alone (by choice). Then there’s that thing we’ve discussed in the past, where extroverts find a place in the life of a church but introverts don’t (the strongly introverted are about 20% of the population). So there’s more to the story of the unaffiliated than politics alone.

  • Tom Hering

    The politicization of Christianity is one reason a fifth of all Americans reject church. Legalism, discussed yesterday, is probably another. A focus on marriage and family is probably yet another. 50% of adults are single, and one out of seven live alone (by choice). Then there’s that thing we’ve discussed in the past, where extroverts find a place in the life of a church but introverts don’t (the strongly introverted are about 20% of the population). So there’s more to the story of the unaffiliated than politics alone.

  • Michael B.

    “That’s evident in the commentary on this blog, which has people who are very conservative theologically representing different political positions.”

    It’s true that there is a lot of diversity under the labels conservative and liberal, but I’d ask you to name a person on here who is a political liberal, but has theologically conservative beliefs.

    “I’m struck by the comment that a typical congregations would include people of different political beliefs and how that isn’t the case so much anymore. ”

    If a congregation is truly politically diverse and representative of the population at large, I wonder if it’s because the sermons are bland, or the opposite extreme, that the sermons are all over the place and there’s no coherent message. If a pastor has a well-defined worldview in his message, and he gets his message across to his congregation, then I don’t see how that won’t affect how they vote.

  • Michael B.

    “That’s evident in the commentary on this blog, which has people who are very conservative theologically representing different political positions.”

    It’s true that there is a lot of diversity under the labels conservative and liberal, but I’d ask you to name a person on here who is a political liberal, but has theologically conservative beliefs.

    “I’m struck by the comment that a typical congregations would include people of different political beliefs and how that isn’t the case so much anymore. ”

    If a congregation is truly politically diverse and representative of the population at large, I wonder if it’s because the sermons are bland, or the opposite extreme, that the sermons are all over the place and there’s no coherent message. If a pastor has a well-defined worldview in his message, and he gets his message across to his congregation, then I don’t see how that won’t affect how they vote.

  • Tom Hering

    … name a person on here who is a political liberal, but has theologically conservative beliefs.

    Hi. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    … name a person on here who is a political liberal, but has theologically conservative beliefs.

    Hi. :-D

  • BW

    Michael B,

    Challenge Accepted. Look above you, Tom Herring would be someone you could call a political liberal but a theological conservative. Not sure where exactly tODD falls politically, but he is certainly no “Cranach Conservative Lap Dog.” FWS I believe is politically liberal, but try and find a more vigorous defender of Lutheran theology…I could go on into the more politically libertarian commentators….

  • BW

    Michael B,

    Challenge Accepted. Look above you, Tom Herring would be someone you could call a political liberal but a theological conservative. Not sure where exactly tODD falls politically, but he is certainly no “Cranach Conservative Lap Dog.” FWS I believe is politically liberal, but try and find a more vigorous defender of Lutheran theology…I could go on into the more politically libertarian commentators….

  • Michael B.

    And perhaps I’m being too narrow in my definition of theological conservative, or you’re being too loose. By theologically conservative I mean someone like a John Piper or a John MacArthur. By theological conservative, I mean someone who believes homosexuality is an abomination. And someone who doesn’t believe in evolution or an old earth. And someone who believes in a physical, literal, hell where there is conscious suffering. And anyone who doesn’t accept your faith ends up there. That sort of theological conservative.

  • Michael B.

    And perhaps I’m being too narrow in my definition of theological conservative, or you’re being too loose. By theologically conservative I mean someone like a John Piper or a John MacArthur. By theological conservative, I mean someone who believes homosexuality is an abomination. And someone who doesn’t believe in evolution or an old earth. And someone who believes in a physical, literal, hell where there is conscious suffering. And anyone who doesn’t accept your faith ends up there. That sort of theological conservative.

  • BW

    Michael B @ 5,

    Who says Piper and MacArthur are the definition of theological conservatives? I think my post still stands. Be careful about setting up a strawman and only looking at the data that supports your position.

  • BW

    Michael B @ 5,

    Who says Piper and MacArthur are the definition of theological conservatives? I think my post still stands. Be careful about setting up a strawman and only looking at the data that supports your position.

  • Tom Hering

    Michael @ 5, check, check, check, and check.

  • Tom Hering

    Michael @ 5, check, check, check, and check.

  • fjsteve

    BW, I hope you weren’t setting up your own strawman with the Cranach Conservative Lap Dog remark. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone who fits that description. Even the conservatives among us, it seems to me, often vehemently disagree. What I see here mostly are well-educated people with their own fairly well though-out political and theological positions.

  • fjsteve

    BW, I hope you weren’t setting up your own strawman with the Cranach Conservative Lap Dog remark. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone who fits that description. Even the conservatives among us, it seems to me, often vehemently disagree. What I see here mostly are well-educated people with their own fairly well though-out political and theological positions.

  • fjsteve

    I’m not one to LOL much, but I L’d OL at #3. Tom, you were the first person I thought of when Michael made that comment.

  • fjsteve

    I’m not one to LOL much, but I L’d OL at #3. Tom, you were the first person I thought of when Michael made that comment.

  • Random Lutheran

    Harold Bloom would beg to differ…see here.

  • Random Lutheran

    Harold Bloom would beg to differ…see here.

  • Mary

    I need to look up the actual questions from this survey, but my first thought is how did Pew separate categories on this? I was called several days ago by Pew and asked a mix of religious, political and statistical questions (age, race, income bracket). The categories for religion were: Protestant, Born again christian, Roman Catholic, Jewish or other. Hmmm. I am LCMS, so the only one close is probably Protestant, but doesn’t exactly fit does it? We don’t fit most stereotypes. Just a thought.

    Several of my friends and family members are very liberal politically, but on the conservative side of the LCMS. Six day creation,no women pastors, literal hell, Jonah really in the belly of a fish etc.

  • Norman Teigen

    Because of the craziness of Sarah Palin and the right-wing extremism of the current Republican candidates, consider me a political liberal and a Lutheran Confessional conservative.

    In the Evangelical Lutheran Synod we have an extreme right wing political candidate in the Minnesota 1st Congressional District, Allen Quist, who, along with his finance chairman, serve on the ELS Doctrinal Committee. There are marked similarities between the candidate’s political platform and certain ELS doctrinal statements. It is now “Onward Quistian Soldiers….”

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

    Hopkins MN Precinct 06 Caucus Chairman (DFL)
    SD 46 DFL Committee Member

  • Mary

    I need to look up the actual questions from this survey, but my first thought is how did Pew separate categories on this? I was called several days ago by Pew and asked a mix of religious, political and statistical questions (age, race, income bracket). The categories for religion were: Protestant, Born again christian, Roman Catholic, Jewish or other. Hmmm. I am LCMS, so the only one close is probably Protestant, but doesn’t exactly fit does it? We don’t fit most stereotypes. Just a thought.

    Several of my friends and family members are very liberal politically, but on the conservative side of the LCMS. Six day creation,no women pastors, literal hell, Jonah really in the belly of a fish etc.

  • Norman Teigen

    Because of the craziness of Sarah Palin and the right-wing extremism of the current Republican candidates, consider me a political liberal and a Lutheran Confessional conservative.

    In the Evangelical Lutheran Synod we have an extreme right wing political candidate in the Minnesota 1st Congressional District, Allen Quist, who, along with his finance chairman, serve on the ELS Doctrinal Committee. There are marked similarities between the candidate’s political platform and certain ELS doctrinal statements. It is now “Onward Quistian Soldiers….”

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

    Hopkins MN Precinct 06 Caucus Chairman (DFL)
    SD 46 DFL Committee Member

  • SKPeterson

    Norman,

    I’m not familiar with Quist, having left Minnesota eons ago, when there was still meaning to labels like Farmer Democrats and Independent Republicans.

    As to your statement, are you implying that Quist in his position as serving on the Doctrinal Committee of the ELS may have inserted political ideology? Can you elaborate more? I’m not challenging your contention, I’m just really, really curious as to how that might have come about. Besides, as we all know, the proper Lutheran political position is for radical theocratic anarchy a la Judges.

    As to politics and religion, at least in the LCMS or on Cranach, that there is a range of political opinion expressed amongst all the participants here, as well as a range of theological opinion, but that the categories of liberal or conservative are not so neatly defined. This goes toward Mary’s observation that pollsters often pre-define categories, which could reveal their own biases. When asked, many Lutherans would say “Protestant” when asked, but I could just as easily have said “Catholic” as long as “Roman” wasn’t added to the label. I could also say that I was a “Born Again Christian”, but I doubt that my definition of Born Again is quite what the pollster would have in mind. What if I said Evangelical Catholic, the “official” definition of what Lutherans are? What about the Anglicans? They’re somewhat in the same boat – not really Protestant, but not considered “Catholic”.

  • SKPeterson

    Norman,

    I’m not familiar with Quist, having left Minnesota eons ago, when there was still meaning to labels like Farmer Democrats and Independent Republicans.

    As to your statement, are you implying that Quist in his position as serving on the Doctrinal Committee of the ELS may have inserted political ideology? Can you elaborate more? I’m not challenging your contention, I’m just really, really curious as to how that might have come about. Besides, as we all know, the proper Lutheran political position is for radical theocratic anarchy a la Judges.

    As to politics and religion, at least in the LCMS or on Cranach, that there is a range of political opinion expressed amongst all the participants here, as well as a range of theological opinion, but that the categories of liberal or conservative are not so neatly defined. This goes toward Mary’s observation that pollsters often pre-define categories, which could reveal their own biases. When asked, many Lutherans would say “Protestant” when asked, but I could just as easily have said “Catholic” as long as “Roman” wasn’t added to the label. I could also say that I was a “Born Again Christian”, but I doubt that my definition of Born Again is quite what the pollster would have in mind. What if I said Evangelical Catholic, the “official” definition of what Lutherans are? What about the Anglicans? They’re somewhat in the same boat – not really Protestant, but not considered “Catholic”.

  • kerner

    Why isn’t the headline: “Four fifths of Americans are religious!”
    In industrialized western culture, this is a remarkable statistic.

    I think it is because there is a tendency among American Evangelicals to write off the religion of many people as a sham. And that is a mistake, I think.

    Michael B, You said:
    ” If a pastor has a well-defined worldview in his message, and he gets his message across to his congregation, then I don’t see how that won’t affect how they vote.”

    My mother (very right wing) used to rhetorically ask, “Isn’t it possible to commit a sin while in a voting booth?” Interesting thast you seem to agree with her.

    Norman T @12:

    I studied under Al Quist in 1972-73 at (then) Bethany Lutheran Junior College. He didn’t seem like a radical right winger to me then, and he doesn’t now:

    http://www.quistforcongress.com/

    I particularly would like to know how his “No foreign wars for nation building” plank fits into that catagory.

    Come to think of it, John Molstad was in my class. He had Kelso-like seventies show hair back then, but he did have the moustache. ;)

    http://abc3miscellany.blogspot.com/2012/02/fifth-annual-emmaus-conference.html

  • kerner

    Why isn’t the headline: “Four fifths of Americans are religious!”
    In industrialized western culture, this is a remarkable statistic.

    I think it is because there is a tendency among American Evangelicals to write off the religion of many people as a sham. And that is a mistake, I think.

    Michael B, You said:
    ” If a pastor has a well-defined worldview in his message, and he gets his message across to his congregation, then I don’t see how that won’t affect how they vote.”

    My mother (very right wing) used to rhetorically ask, “Isn’t it possible to commit a sin while in a voting booth?” Interesting thast you seem to agree with her.

    Norman T @12:

    I studied under Al Quist in 1972-73 at (then) Bethany Lutheran Junior College. He didn’t seem like a radical right winger to me then, and he doesn’t now:

    http://www.quistforcongress.com/

    I particularly would like to know how his “No foreign wars for nation building” plank fits into that catagory.

    Come to think of it, John Molstad was in my class. He had Kelso-like seventies show hair back then, but he did have the moustache. ;)

    http://abc3miscellany.blogspot.com/2012/02/fifth-annual-emmaus-conference.html

  • kerner
  • kerner
  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 14, your headline should read “Four-fifths of Americans are affiliated with a religion!” just as Dr. Veith’s should have read “One-fifth of Americans have no religious affiliation.” The article is clear that many of the unaffiliated are religious.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 14, your headline should read “Four-fifths of Americans are affiliated with a religion!” just as Dr. Veith’s should have read “One-fifth of Americans have no religious affiliation.” The article is clear that many of the unaffiliated are religious.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Theologically, the terms conservative and liberal have lost almost any meaning, and pigeonholing is perilous. It might be more fruitful to think of the terms 1) orthodox, 2) traditional and 3) liturgical here. For instance, some Lutherans could check all 3. Many loose out at number 2, and some at number 3, and some at number 1 as well.

    Orthodoxy would be defined by the Creeds, especially the Ecumenical ones. Traditional speaks for itself. Liturgical would be defined as having a liturgy defined (only) by the LSB / BCP etc.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Theologically, the terms conservative and liberal have lost almost any meaning, and pigeonholing is perilous. It might be more fruitful to think of the terms 1) orthodox, 2) traditional and 3) liturgical here. For instance, some Lutherans could check all 3. Many loose out at number 2, and some at number 3, and some at number 1 as well.

    Orthodoxy would be defined by the Creeds, especially the Ecumenical ones. Traditional speaks for itself. Liturgical would be defined as having a liturgy defined (only) by the LSB / BCP etc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Religious affiliation is a bit analogous to political affiliation in as much as those who identify with and join a particular group have more carefully thought out positions and are more diligent in their participation and adherence. Those in the middle who lack both the understanding and the commitment to choose a side are identified by the GSS as, uh, less fluent in their understanding of what is said about many things.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Religious affiliation is a bit analogous to political affiliation in as much as those who identify with and join a particular group have more carefully thought out positions and are more diligent in their participation and adherence. Those in the middle who lack both the understanding and the commitment to choose a side are identified by the GSS as, uh, less fluent in their understanding of what is said about many things.

  • http://www.princetonlutherans.com longhorn

    I am an ELS pastor. I’m sorry, but I am not aware of any similarity between ELS doctrinal statements and any particular political position. The Doctrine Committee is charged with keeping the pastors and congregations updated on trending issues that impact Scriptural doctrine and ways to address them, and they have done that. One thing that comes to mind is a statement put forward, and adopted by the ELS in convention, that speaks to what the Bible says on 6th commandment issues, including homosexuality. By the way, when the ELS convention adopts something it truly does represent the whole synod: one pastor and two lay delegates from every congregation are eligible to come to convention every year.

  • http://www.princetonlutherans.com longhorn

    I am an ELS pastor. I’m sorry, but I am not aware of any similarity between ELS doctrinal statements and any particular political position. The Doctrine Committee is charged with keeping the pastors and congregations updated on trending issues that impact Scriptural doctrine and ways to address them, and they have done that. One thing that comes to mind is a statement put forward, and adopted by the ELS in convention, that speaks to what the Bible says on 6th commandment issues, including homosexuality. By the way, when the ELS convention adopts something it truly does represent the whole synod: one pastor and two lay delegates from every congregation are eligible to come to convention every year.

  • #4 Kitty

    The Barna Group
    has some interesting reasons why organized religion has become anathema to the younger generation as well. However, despite these reasons and the ones listed in the above comments, it has become obvious that the church is losing it’s ability to indoctrinate children. Perhaps, as a church, we should evaluate our indoctrination techniques.

  • #4 Kitty

    The Barna Group
    has some interesting reasons why organized religion has become anathema to the younger generation as well. However, despite these reasons and the ones listed in the above comments, it has become obvious that the church is losing it’s ability to indoctrinate children. Perhaps, as a church, we should evaluate our indoctrination techniques.

  • DonS

    Norman @ 12:

    Because of the craziness of Sarah Palin and the right-wing extremism of the current Republican candidates, consider me a political liberal and a Lutheran Confessional conservative.

    Can you please unpack this statement? Are you saying that you have done a political about face since 2008, because of Sarah Palin? That would fit with Kerner’s finding @ 15, but I find it difficult to believe that you changed YOUR political philosophy because of a particular candidate you didn’t care for. Sure, I could understand not voting for that candidate, but not changing your political value system. And how are the current Republican candidates “extreme” right-wingers? Mitt Romney, an extreme right-winger? Sheesh.

  • DonS

    Norman @ 12:

    Because of the craziness of Sarah Palin and the right-wing extremism of the current Republican candidates, consider me a political liberal and a Lutheran Confessional conservative.

    Can you please unpack this statement? Are you saying that you have done a political about face since 2008, because of Sarah Palin? That would fit with Kerner’s finding @ 15, but I find it difficult to believe that you changed YOUR political philosophy because of a particular candidate you didn’t care for. Sure, I could understand not voting for that candidate, but not changing your political value system. And how are the current Republican candidates “extreme” right-wingers? Mitt Romney, an extreme right-winger? Sheesh.

  • Tom Hering

    I second that “sheesh.” If Mitt has to move back to the left again, in order to work with the Dems – to pass signature legislation and secure his place in history – he’ll do it in a heartbeat.

  • Tom Hering

    I second that “sheesh.” If Mitt has to move back to the left again, in order to work with the Dems – to pass signature legislation and secure his place in history – he’ll do it in a heartbeat.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The word “extreme” is in danger of loosing all meaning…..

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    The word “extreme” is in danger of loosing all meaning…..

  • Abby

    Kitty @20: What do you call “indoctrination?” — teaching? Do you prefer this kind of “indoctrination”: http://youtu.be/VZbM_MIz4RM

  • Abby

    Kitty @20: What do you call “indoctrination?” — teaching? Do you prefer this kind of “indoctrination”: http://youtu.be/VZbM_MIz4RM

  • Abby

    I LOVED my Lutheran/Christian “indoctrination” AS A CHILD. It was some of the best education I ever got FOR MY LIFE!

  • Abby

    I LOVED my Lutheran/Christian “indoctrination” AS A CHILD. It was some of the best education I ever got FOR MY LIFE!

  • Abby

    The problem in our youth groups now is the watered down teaching that is being given. If high school students can be involved in serious political debates, they can surely learn some heavy doctrine as well. Like the Eastern Orthodox church is doing — they are teaching their high schoolers the book of Romans for Bible bowl contests!

  • Abby

    The problem in our youth groups now is the watered down teaching that is being given. If high school students can be involved in serious political debates, they can surely learn some heavy doctrine as well. Like the Eastern Orthodox church is doing — they are teaching their high schoolers the book of Romans for Bible bowl contests!

  • kerner

    Abby:

    I’d take the message from Pink Floyd a lot more seriously if they had learned to say “Hey, teacher, leave THOSE kids alone!”

  • kerner

    Abby:

    I’d take the message from Pink Floyd a lot more seriously if they had learned to say “Hey, teacher, leave THOSE kids alone!”

  • #4 Kitty

    @Abby #24

    What do you call “indoctrination?” — teaching?

    Yes, catechesis.

    I LOVED my Lutheran/Christian “indoctrination” AS A CHILD. It was some of the best education I ever got FOR MY LIFE!

    I have no doubt you’re right.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Abby #24

    What do you call “indoctrination?” — teaching?

    Yes, catechesis.

    I LOVED my Lutheran/Christian “indoctrination” AS A CHILD. It was some of the best education I ever got FOR MY LIFE!

    I have no doubt you’re right.

  • Abby

    Kitty @28: So, you consider catechesis “thought control?”

  • Abby

    Kitty @28: So, you consider catechesis “thought control?”

  • Abby

    Kitty @28: What do you call all of Jesus’ words in the Gospels? What do you call Luke 24:13-35? What was His preaching/teaching ministry about?

  • Abby

    Kitty @28: What do you call all of Jesus’ words in the Gospels? What do you call Luke 24:13-35? What was His preaching/teaching ministry about?

  • Abby

    Kerner @27: Well, kids without education would not notice. :)

  • Abby

    Kerner @27: Well, kids without education would not notice. :)

  • #4 Kitty

    @Abby

    So, you consider catechesis “thought control?”

    Yes, of course it is.

    What do you call all of Jesus’ words in the Gospels? What do you call Luke 24:13-35? What was His preaching/teaching ministry about?

    The long form of the Augsburg Confessions?

  • #4 Kitty

    @Abby

    So, you consider catechesis “thought control?”

    Yes, of course it is.

    What do you call all of Jesus’ words in the Gospels? What do you call Luke 24:13-35? What was His preaching/teaching ministry about?

    The long form of the Augsburg Confessions?

  • Norman Teigen

    RE: Allen Quist. I said that he would be strong. Michelle Bachmann and Willard Romney are strong candidates, too, but that does not indicate support. By the way, Allen has been a friend of mine for more than sixty years.

    Longhorn, are you kidding me?

    Here is a quote from last night’s debate between the 1st District Candidates. Here is what Allen Quist said. “The problem is not the gun laws and the problem is not the guns. The problem is the deterioration of the family in the United States of America. I grew up at a time when families were intact and shootings, like, have become commonplace in our day, were unheard of. You look at the correlations between the deterioration of the family and the onslaught of all kinds of social problems including crime, and the correlation is very, very strong. And we need to start having policies that encourage family strength. Not tear them apart. And this is why, the marriage penalty in Obamacare absolutely, absolutely terrifies me. Because BF Skinner said correctly whatever you punish, you get less of. And for us to have policies that further damage the family is unconscionable.”

    This marriage penalty thing is phony. The ELS has earlier passed this along to the faithful as official church teaching. Baloney.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    RE: Allen Quist. I said that he would be strong. Michelle Bachmann and Willard Romney are strong candidates, too, but that does not indicate support. By the way, Allen has been a friend of mine for more than sixty years.

    Longhorn, are you kidding me?

    Here is a quote from last night’s debate between the 1st District Candidates. Here is what Allen Quist said. “The problem is not the gun laws and the problem is not the guns. The problem is the deterioration of the family in the United States of America. I grew up at a time when families were intact and shootings, like, have become commonplace in our day, were unheard of. You look at the correlations between the deterioration of the family and the onslaught of all kinds of social problems including crime, and the correlation is very, very strong. And we need to start having policies that encourage family strength. Not tear them apart. And this is why, the marriage penalty in Obamacare absolutely, absolutely terrifies me. Because BF Skinner said correctly whatever you punish, you get less of. And for us to have policies that further damage the family is unconscionable.”

    This marriage penalty thing is phony. The ELS has earlier passed this along to the faithful as official church teaching. Baloney.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Abby

    Kitty @32: “The long form of the Augsburg Confessions?” Well good then, I’m in the right church.

  • Abby

    Kitty @32: “The long form of the Augsburg Confessions?” Well good then, I’m in the right church.

  • DonS

    Norman @ 33: In this article: http://www.nationalreview.com/critical-condition/285966/truth-about-obamacare-s-tax-subsidies-and-marriage-penalty-darrell-issa

    Darrell Issa explains the marriage penalty as follows:

    The JCT estimates also reveal that Obamacare created a massive new marriage penalty. They estimate that only 14 percent of tax filers who claim the subsidy will be married. About half of the beneficiaries will be single individuals without dependent children. The reason for the marriage penalty is two-fold.

    First, the subsidy is linked to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), which is estimated to be $45,600 for a one-person household and $61,600 for a two-person household in 2014. The result of linking the tax credit to the FPL is that two individuals who make between $61,600 and $91,200 in 2014 will not benefit from the tax credit if they decide to marry, but both individuals can qualify for the tax credit if they remain unmarried or if they decide to divorce.

    Second, a recent HHS rule prevents families from accessing the subsidy if either parent has an offer of coverage at work — but in cases where only self-only coverage is offered, the rest of the family cannot claim a subsidy. Essentially, Obamacare treats otherwise identical individuals very differently, depending on the source of their health insurance rather than the quality of it.

    How is that phony? Explain. It looks very real to me, if this explanation is accurate.

    You didn’t answer my question @ 21. Two parts: 1) Were you conservative or moderate before John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his VP in 2008? That seems to be what you are claiming. 2) How is Mitt Romney a right-wing extremist?

  • DonS

    Norman @ 33: In this article: http://www.nationalreview.com/critical-condition/285966/truth-about-obamacare-s-tax-subsidies-and-marriage-penalty-darrell-issa

    Darrell Issa explains the marriage penalty as follows:

    The JCT estimates also reveal that Obamacare created a massive new marriage penalty. They estimate that only 14 percent of tax filers who claim the subsidy will be married. About half of the beneficiaries will be single individuals without dependent children. The reason for the marriage penalty is two-fold.

    First, the subsidy is linked to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), which is estimated to be $45,600 for a one-person household and $61,600 for a two-person household in 2014. The result of linking the tax credit to the FPL is that two individuals who make between $61,600 and $91,200 in 2014 will not benefit from the tax credit if they decide to marry, but both individuals can qualify for the tax credit if they remain unmarried or if they decide to divorce.

    Second, a recent HHS rule prevents families from accessing the subsidy if either parent has an offer of coverage at work — but in cases where only self-only coverage is offered, the rest of the family cannot claim a subsidy. Essentially, Obamacare treats otherwise identical individuals very differently, depending on the source of their health insurance rather than the quality of it.

    How is that phony? Explain. It looks very real to me, if this explanation is accurate.

    You didn’t answer my question @ 21. Two parts: 1) Were you conservative or moderate before John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his VP in 2008? That seems to be what you are claiming. 2) How is Mitt Romney a right-wing extremist?

  • Jon H.

    Mr S, @35 Your question about Mitt is a bit disingenuous since no righty thinks one can be a ‘right-wing extremist.’ But Mitt did say he’s ‘severely conservative,’ though he seems to want to walk that back. Yet he want to raise defense spending to extreme heights, give Bibi veto power over US foreign policy, explode the deficit, banish social security and Medicare, etc. These are extreme positions to the normal citizen.

  • Jon H.

    Mr S, @35 Your question about Mitt is a bit disingenuous since no righty thinks one can be a ‘right-wing extremist.’ But Mitt did say he’s ‘severely conservative,’ though he seems to want to walk that back. Yet he want to raise defense spending to extreme heights, give Bibi veto power over US foreign policy, explode the deficit, banish social security and Medicare, etc. These are extreme positions to the normal citizen.

  • BW

    Jon H. @ 36,

    Is Obama extreme then also? I don’t think either Obama or Romney want to do anything really radical with either SS or Medicare. Though someone will have to at some point because both programs are unstable.

  • BW

    Jon H. @ 36,

    Is Obama extreme then also? I don’t think either Obama or Romney want to do anything really radical with either SS or Medicare. Though someone will have to at some point because both programs are unstable.

  • Norman Teigen

    DonS: You can’t be serious citing Congressman Issa. Issa is an implacable political opponent of the President. Find another source to bolster your credibility.

  • Norman Teigen

    DonS: You can’t be serious citing Congressman Issa. Issa is an implacable political opponent of the President. Find another source to bolster your credibility.

  • DonS

    Mr. H @ 36: “Disingenous”? No, it’s a legitimate question, no matter what Mitt might have said in the primary. And, of course, all of the points you make concerning Mitt’s “plans” are “disingenous” as well.

    During the debate, Obama said that his position and Mitt’s were the same on Social Security.

  • DonS

    Mr. H @ 36: “Disingenous”? No, it’s a legitimate question, no matter what Mitt might have said in the primary. And, of course, all of the points you make concerning Mitt’s “plans” are “disingenous” as well.

    During the debate, Obama said that his position and Mitt’s were the same on Social Security.

  • DonS

    Norman @ 38: I cited the specific ways in which the Obamacare legislation imposes a marriage penalty. Rebut, please.

  • DonS

    Norman @ 38: I cited the specific ways in which the Obamacare legislation imposes a marriage penalty. Rebut, please.

  • DonS

    And, Norman @ 38, when you do, don’t cite Obama. Because he’s an “impacable” political opponent of Mr. Issa :-)

    Wow, this makes debate easy. Just say you won’t respond to any arguments made by your political opponents, and you win the debate! Without any substance at all!

    Awesome!

  • DonS

    And, Norman @ 38, when you do, don’t cite Obama. Because he’s an “impacable” political opponent of Mr. Issa :-)

    Wow, this makes debate easy. Just say you won’t respond to any arguments made by your political opponents, and you win the debate! Without any substance at all!

    Awesome!

  • Jon H.

    Mr S@35, Norman says there is no marriage penalty. In response, you cite a source that notes that there is a ‘difference,’ and calls that a ‘penalty,’ then accuse Norman of failing to rebut what you haven’t proved.

  • Jon H.

    Mr S@35, Norman says there is no marriage penalty. In response, you cite a source that notes that there is a ‘difference,’ and calls that a ‘penalty,’ then accuse Norman of failing to rebut what you haven’t proved.

  • DonS

    Oh my, Jon H. @ 42. That’s dissembling of the worst order. By your definition, if I am assessed extra taxes for not filing my return on time, that’s just a “difference”, not a penalty.

    Why don’t you just let Norman speak for himself on this one. I don’t think he needs the kind of help you are offering.

  • DonS

    Oh my, Jon H. @ 42. That’s dissembling of the worst order. By your definition, if I am assessed extra taxes for not filing my return on time, that’s just a “difference”, not a penalty.

    Why don’t you just let Norman speak for himself on this one. I don’t think he needs the kind of help you are offering.

  • Jon H.

    MrS @43, your source doesn’t say what you seem to think it does. Norman can speak for himself, but I, an observer, don’t think your source proves ‘marriage penalty.’

  • Jon H.

    MrS @43, your source doesn’t say what you seem to think it does. Norman can speak for himself, but I, an observer, don’t think your source proves ‘marriage penalty.’

  • DonS

    Well clearly, Jon H., you didn’t read it. Go back to my comment @ 35, and read the two paragraphs I quoted. See the first one? It says the subsidy for health insurance is linked to the federal poverty level, so that singles qualify if their income is $45,600 or below, and married couples qualify if their income is $61,600 or below. So, a couple living together in an unmarried state qualifies with incomes totaling up to $91,200, but if the married couple has a combined income over $61,600, they don’t. This is similar to the marriage penalty in the income tax. The second paragraph says that HHS regulations have been written to prevent anyone in a family from obtaining subsidized health coverage if one of the couples has access to coverage at work, even if that coverage is self-only. Obviously, that would not be the case if the couple were living together unmarried.

  • DonS

    Well clearly, Jon H., you didn’t read it. Go back to my comment @ 35, and read the two paragraphs I quoted. See the first one? It says the subsidy for health insurance is linked to the federal poverty level, so that singles qualify if their income is $45,600 or below, and married couples qualify if their income is $61,600 or below. So, a couple living together in an unmarried state qualifies with incomes totaling up to $91,200, but if the married couple has a combined income over $61,600, they don’t. This is similar to the marriage penalty in the income tax. The second paragraph says that HHS regulations have been written to prevent anyone in a family from obtaining subsidized health coverage if one of the couples has access to coverage at work, even if that coverage is self-only. Obviously, that would not be the case if the couple were living together unmarried.

  • kerner

    Norman T:

    I assume the position Quist was taking was this one:

    http://www.quistforcongress.com/2012/03/poligraph-quist-claim-on-health-care-law-rings-true/

    Basically, he says that Obamacare treats single individuals differently than married couples, much to the detriment of married couples at certain income levels and under certain circumstances.

    While I grant you that this position doesn’t strike me as appropriate to be presented as official ELS doctrine, you haven’t shown us a source from the ELS where that was done.

    But more to the point, I still don’t see how this makes Al Quist an “extreme right wing[er]“. I mean, let’s review. A political candidate in a debate responds to a question on gun control by saying that guns and gun control laws are irrelevant to increases in violence, and then claims that the problem of violence is related to the deterioration of the family as an institution, and then segues into claiming that an unrelated law identified with his opponent undermines the institution of the family by costing some families extra money. The law aparently does, in fact, cost some families more money than it costs single people.

    Political gamesmanship? Sure. “Phony”? I don’t see how. But what I still don’t see at all is how this makes Al Quist, or anybody else, an extreme right winger.

    I’m glad to hear that you and Al Quist have been friends a long time. I only knew him that one year as a student. I forget what grade I got in his class. But I generally enjoyed my year at Bethany, and most of my first hand knowledge of the ELS is derived from that time in my life, as supplemented by my acquaintenance with people on this blog, of course (which I am also glad to have).

  • kerner

    Norman T:

    I assume the position Quist was taking was this one:

    http://www.quistforcongress.com/2012/03/poligraph-quist-claim-on-health-care-law-rings-true/

    Basically, he says that Obamacare treats single individuals differently than married couples, much to the detriment of married couples at certain income levels and under certain circumstances.

    While I grant you that this position doesn’t strike me as appropriate to be presented as official ELS doctrine, you haven’t shown us a source from the ELS where that was done.

    But more to the point, I still don’t see how this makes Al Quist an “extreme right wing[er]“. I mean, let’s review. A political candidate in a debate responds to a question on gun control by saying that guns and gun control laws are irrelevant to increases in violence, and then claims that the problem of violence is related to the deterioration of the family as an institution, and then segues into claiming that an unrelated law identified with his opponent undermines the institution of the family by costing some families extra money. The law aparently does, in fact, cost some families more money than it costs single people.

    Political gamesmanship? Sure. “Phony”? I don’t see how. But what I still don’t see at all is how this makes Al Quist, or anybody else, an extreme right winger.

    I’m glad to hear that you and Al Quist have been friends a long time. I only knew him that one year as a student. I forget what grade I got in his class. But I generally enjoyed my year at Bethany, and most of my first hand knowledge of the ELS is derived from that time in my life, as supplemented by my acquaintenance with people on this blog, of course (which I am also glad to have).

  • kerner

    The evaluation of the accuracy of Quist’s position was originally generated by “Poligraph”, which is apparently a feature of Minnesota Public Radio, which I have not heard of being a hotbed of “phony” right wing extremists.

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/03/poligraph_quist.shtml

  • kerner

    The evaluation of the accuracy of Quist’s position was originally generated by “Poligraph”, which is apparently a feature of Minnesota Public Radio, which I have not heard of being a hotbed of “phony” right wing extremists.

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/03/poligraph_quist.shtml

  • Tom Hering

    I nominate this thread as the fastest ever to go off topic. Way off topic.

  • Tom Hering

    I nominate this thread as the fastest ever to go off topic. Way off topic.

  • Norman Teigen

    Yes, this thread has wandered and I accept my share of the responsibility for this happening.

    Veith cited Putnam and Robinson. These researchers point out that the nones are very much put off by the extreme political expressions of the churches. The tides have shifted in public attitudes. Wise people will reflect on these things and avoid stereotyped descriptions which alienate.

  • Norman Teigen

    Yes, this thread has wandered and I accept my share of the responsibility for this happening.

    Veith cited Putnam and Robinson. These researchers point out that the nones are very much put off by the extreme political expressions of the churches. The tides have shifted in public attitudes. Wise people will reflect on these things and avoid stereotyped descriptions which alienate.

  • Mr. J

    Michael B @2 – Me! WELS Lutheran, politically leaning more left every day. I was horrified at first, of course, but the 2-party system is seriously screwed up, and for all I don’t really want to be associated with either, the left is seeming like the lesser of 2 evils lately. I do believe homosexuality is a sin, but I’ve yet to be convinced that it shouldn’t be legal. I have a major issue with abortion, but that’s just one issue. Apart from unborn babies, the right doesn’t seem interested in helping anyone but themselves. I don’t believe in evolution or old earth, and I do believe in Hell.

    That said, I think a church can be “missional” without being political. And we should be. Rather than endorsing a political party that supports your mission, do it yourself. Roll up your sleeves and do the work that needs done. If you’re concerned about the poor in your community, open a soup kitchen, volunteer, help build shelters – don’t just endorse a political party that will help the poor. If you’re against abortion, open a counseling center, gather money and resources for struggling mothers, educate local teens about birth control (if you’re down with that) or abstinence – don’t just endorse a political party that will outlaw abortion. Perhaps on a national level, the politicals can effect greater change, but on a local level, YOU are the most powerful force. Getting political is almost getting lazy.

  • Mr. J

    Michael B @2 – Me! WELS Lutheran, politically leaning more left every day. I was horrified at first, of course, but the 2-party system is seriously screwed up, and for all I don’t really want to be associated with either, the left is seeming like the lesser of 2 evils lately. I do believe homosexuality is a sin, but I’ve yet to be convinced that it shouldn’t be legal. I have a major issue with abortion, but that’s just one issue. Apart from unborn babies, the right doesn’t seem interested in helping anyone but themselves. I don’t believe in evolution or old earth, and I do believe in Hell.

    That said, I think a church can be “missional” without being political. And we should be. Rather than endorsing a political party that supports your mission, do it yourself. Roll up your sleeves and do the work that needs done. If you’re concerned about the poor in your community, open a soup kitchen, volunteer, help build shelters – don’t just endorse a political party that will help the poor. If you’re against abortion, open a counseling center, gather money and resources for struggling mothers, educate local teens about birth control (if you’re down with that) or abstinence – don’t just endorse a political party that will outlaw abortion. Perhaps on a national level, the politicals can effect greater change, but on a local level, YOU are the most powerful force. Getting political is almost getting lazy.

  • kerner

    Mr. J

    I don’t know where you live, but there are plenty of counselling centers right near you, if you can’t afford to open one of your own:

    http://lifecall.org/cpc/wisconsin.html

    or if you want to feed the poor, try this ministry my church(in a very Republican neighborhood) participated in:

    http://trinityfreistadt.com/Ministries/FeedMyStarvingChildren/tabid/4197/Default.aspx

    And we have sent mission teams (congregation members) to Mexico, Ghana, The Wind River Indian reservation, and poor parts of Milwaukee to build homes or church facilities for people in need. There are plenty of opportunities for that kind of thing if you are willing to organize it. But I have not noticed political right wingers being less willing to participate.

  • kerner

    Mr. J

    I don’t know where you live, but there are plenty of counselling centers right near you, if you can’t afford to open one of your own:

    http://lifecall.org/cpc/wisconsin.html

    or if you want to feed the poor, try this ministry my church(in a very Republican neighborhood) participated in:

    http://trinityfreistadt.com/Ministries/FeedMyStarvingChildren/tabid/4197/Default.aspx

    And we have sent mission teams (congregation members) to Mexico, Ghana, The Wind River Indian reservation, and poor parts of Milwaukee to build homes or church facilities for people in need. There are plenty of opportunities for that kind of thing if you are willing to organize it. But I have not noticed political right wingers being less willing to participate.

  • Joanne

    Too many issues are becomming political issues instead of people issues. The church isn’t becoming politized, it’s issues are. Marriage is a church issue, that needs support from the state to enforce certain aspects of it. Sex is a church issue that has always used the power of the state to suppoort and enforce it. A once-upon-a-time compromise between the church and the government was to allow vice districts in large cities, somewhat out of public view. You can be more draconian about open and unrepentant sin when you can make the sailors stay in the vice district. Education is a church and family issue, and the government really doesn’t need to be involed in that at all (Sputnick or no Sputnik). Health care is also a church issue, especially in it’s eleemosynary aspects. The government has a role in this when we have epidemics and diseases spread, the government can help with organizing the responce to minimize the number who become sick by declaring legal quaranteens and enforcing them.

    The Church has no role in making the currency of a nation. The government works to make the currency stable, valuable, and reliable. There are systems that can do this through private banks alone, but the government holds the banks’ feet to the issues of stable, valuable, and reliable. Banks can create currency, and in our mostly electronic money day, our money is just an electronic file that says how many money units are in it. If a bank in Switzerland sends a bank in Australia 55 billion Swiss Francs, it happens at the speed of electricity and nothing phisical, like paper or metal, goes anywhere. But the Occupiers, egged on by the bank-haters in the White House, have politized banks. A government that spends a trillion dollars more a year than it takes in, will sooner or later have lots of trouble with banks and every type of value scheme out there. America is officially 16 trillion in debt, want to buy some of it. Please do, we have to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Borrow, isn’t that what you do from a bank.

    The Fed is not federal and Mr. Bernanke has no boss nor oversite. Its initial task was to keep our currency stable so that gas prices don’t go up and down all the time. Most of what you pay at the pump are government taxes and fees. You pay a modest price for the gas, but much more than you should because of the falling value of the dollar and when transportation fuel goes from one value scheme to another, it take more of a falling currency to buy today for a buck what you paid yesterday for 2 bits. It the Fed hadn’t gotten bored with it’s missing and gotten into so many Q and tarp schemes, and the over-printing, they don’t really print that much new money, the Fed just credits the TBTF banks with a billion here and a few billion there.

    But, the church suffers like all private citizens when the Government and it’s croney institutions have vast amounts of money that all must be spent in a hurry for the scheme to work. There is always less and less money left over for private schemes, like a Lutheran Hospital in Witchita to use up those moral medical professionals the Concordias are educating. Button, button, who has the button? The government does, but they say they will share.

  • Joanne

    Too many issues are becomming political issues instead of people issues. The church isn’t becoming politized, it’s issues are. Marriage is a church issue, that needs support from the state to enforce certain aspects of it. Sex is a church issue that has always used the power of the state to suppoort and enforce it. A once-upon-a-time compromise between the church and the government was to allow vice districts in large cities, somewhat out of public view. You can be more draconian about open and unrepentant sin when you can make the sailors stay in the vice district. Education is a church and family issue, and the government really doesn’t need to be involed in that at all (Sputnick or no Sputnik). Health care is also a church issue, especially in it’s eleemosynary aspects. The government has a role in this when we have epidemics and diseases spread, the government can help with organizing the responce to minimize the number who become sick by declaring legal quaranteens and enforcing them.

    The Church has no role in making the currency of a nation. The government works to make the currency stable, valuable, and reliable. There are systems that can do this through private banks alone, but the government holds the banks’ feet to the issues of stable, valuable, and reliable. Banks can create currency, and in our mostly electronic money day, our money is just an electronic file that says how many money units are in it. If a bank in Switzerland sends a bank in Australia 55 billion Swiss Francs, it happens at the speed of electricity and nothing phisical, like paper or metal, goes anywhere. But the Occupiers, egged on by the bank-haters in the White House, have politized banks. A government that spends a trillion dollars more a year than it takes in, will sooner or later have lots of trouble with banks and every type of value scheme out there. America is officially 16 trillion in debt, want to buy some of it. Please do, we have to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Borrow, isn’t that what you do from a bank.

    The Fed is not federal and Mr. Bernanke has no boss nor oversite. Its initial task was to keep our currency stable so that gas prices don’t go up and down all the time. Most of what you pay at the pump are government taxes and fees. You pay a modest price for the gas, but much more than you should because of the falling value of the dollar and when transportation fuel goes from one value scheme to another, it take more of a falling currency to buy today for a buck what you paid yesterday for 2 bits. It the Fed hadn’t gotten bored with it’s missing and gotten into so many Q and tarp schemes, and the over-printing, they don’t really print that much new money, the Fed just credits the TBTF banks with a billion here and a few billion there.

    But, the church suffers like all private citizens when the Government and it’s croney institutions have vast amounts of money that all must be spent in a hurry for the scheme to work. There is always less and less money left over for private schemes, like a Lutheran Hospital in Witchita to use up those moral medical professionals the Concordias are educating. Button, button, who has the button? The government does, but they say they will share.

  • Mr. J

    kerner @51 – My jibe at the right-wingers was more political, in that the Democratic party tends to support social justice causes more, and the Republicans support tax cuts for the wealthy. I understand the trickle-down theory and the idea that these policies will make things better for everyone in the end – I guess I didn’t really want to start a political argument there, maybe I should’ve kept my mouth shut on that particular topic.

    I wasn’t trying to imply that these opportunities don’t exist, merely that it’s not necessary to be political to make changes. Churches can be a force for good in their communities and help support values systems, etc without endorsing a particular party or candidate.

  • Mr. J

    kerner @51 – My jibe at the right-wingers was more political, in that the Democratic party tends to support social justice causes more, and the Republicans support tax cuts for the wealthy. I understand the trickle-down theory and the idea that these policies will make things better for everyone in the end – I guess I didn’t really want to start a political argument there, maybe I should’ve kept my mouth shut on that particular topic.

    I wasn’t trying to imply that these opportunities don’t exist, merely that it’s not necessary to be political to make changes. Churches can be a force for good in their communities and help support values systems, etc without endorsing a particular party or candidate.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier
  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier
  • kerner

    Norman T:

    OK, so you have failed to establish that anything Al Quist has said is out of the ordinary or inaccurate. We have however established that he is a Republican candidate for Congress and that you, an active Democrat, disagree with him. So I assume that that fact alone is sufficient for you to call your friend an extremist.

    Maybe your larger point is correct. Maybe our politics HAVE affected the way we follow the principles of our religion.

  • kerner

    Norman T:

    OK, so you have failed to establish that anything Al Quist has said is out of the ordinary or inaccurate. We have however established that he is a Republican candidate for Congress and that you, an active Democrat, disagree with him. So I assume that that fact alone is sufficient for you to call your friend an extremist.

    Maybe your larger point is correct. Maybe our politics HAVE affected the way we follow the principles of our religion.

  • kerner

    Mr. J @53:
    “I wasn’t trying to imply that these opportunities don’t exist, merely that it’s not necessary to be political to make changes. Churches can be a force for good in their communities and help support values systems, etc without endorsing a particular party or candidate”.

    You are correct of course. And I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. I’m just saying that often people who ARE political often to other things to make changes in addition to the political things they do. Often, because their politics holds that these things are not the proper function of government, political right wingers do a lot more privately than political leftists do.

  • kerner

    Mr. J @53:
    “I wasn’t trying to imply that these opportunities don’t exist, merely that it’s not necessary to be political to make changes. Churches can be a force for good in their communities and help support values systems, etc without endorsing a particular party or candidate”.

    You are correct of course. And I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. I’m just saying that often people who ARE political often to other things to make changes in addition to the political things they do. Often, because their politics holds that these things are not the proper function of government, political right wingers do a lot more privately than political leftists do.

  • DonS

    Norman Teigen: I take it that you are not going to back up your claim @ 33 that the marriage penalty in Obamacare is “phony”, with a shred of evidence, despite the fact that I took the time to lay out for you exactly what that penalty is claimed to be. So, that makes you an official Democratic bloviator. Congratulations!

    You also never answered my questions concerning your alleged startling political change after John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP candidate (presumably you were going to vote for McCain until he did that?), or as to how in the world Mitt Romney (!), of all candidates, can be claimed to be an “extreme right-winger”.

    Oh well, Democrats often seem to have trouble with substance.

  • DonS

    Norman Teigen: I take it that you are not going to back up your claim @ 33 that the marriage penalty in Obamacare is “phony”, with a shred of evidence, despite the fact that I took the time to lay out for you exactly what that penalty is claimed to be. So, that makes you an official Democratic bloviator. Congratulations!

    You also never answered my questions concerning your alleged startling political change after John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP candidate (presumably you were going to vote for McCain until he did that?), or as to how in the world Mitt Romney (!), of all candidates, can be claimed to be an “extreme right-winger”.

    Oh well, Democrats often seem to have trouble with substance.

  • Norman Teigen

    Participants on this site might be interested in reviewing an interview with Republican Allen Quist. My friend Allen Quist is also on the ELS Doctrinal Committee and I believe that his political views have been adopted by the ELS. How this has happened is anyone’s guess. It is more of a political thing, some of us believe , than a considered discussion of Lutheran faith and belief. I believe that the ELS has been more Quistian, than Christian. Here is the link:

    http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x1200621724/VIDEO-In-depth-interview-with-Allen-Quist

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    Participants on this site might be interested in reviewing an interview with Republican Allen Quist. My friend Allen Quist is also on the ELS Doctrinal Committee and I believe that his political views have been adopted by the ELS. How this has happened is anyone’s guess. It is more of a political thing, some of us believe , than a considered discussion of Lutheran faith and belief. I believe that the ELS has been more Quistian, than Christian. Here is the link:

    http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x1200621724/VIDEO-In-depth-interview-with-Allen-Quist

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

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