Like most pastors who lead thriving evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd was asked frequently to give his blessing — and the church's — to conservative political candidates and causes.
The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute "voters' guides" that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn't the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?
After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called "The Cross and the Sword" in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a "Christian nation" and stop glorifying American military campaigns.
Lori Sturdevant talks about South Dakota:
It would be a long stretch to claim that, when abortion was outlawed, South Dakotans suddenly found their inner feminists. What rankled folks wasn't that lawmakers wanted to deprive women of control over their own bodies, observed Planned Parenthood's Kate Looby.
Instead, it was that lawmakers showed no pity for women impregnated by acts of rape or incest, or for those whose health would be adversely affected by pregnancy and childbearing. Some people also objected to the use of their state tax dollars on a legal errand for the national right-to-life movement.
Looby, whose bunker-like Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls is the only abortion provider in the state, believes the "prolife" label masks the shades of gray in South Dakotans' opinions. "There are many moderates on this issue," she said. "They say, this [all-out ban] goes too far."
Sponge tries his hand at a Shogunmoon reinactment. I'd give him 3 magnetic spiceracks out of a possible 4.
The DFL may be down to one candidate for Senate, but far be it from Democrats to let something like that stop us from fighting each other. (And yes, I know Daryl Stanton is still in the race.)
Finally, cool off a little...