Mike Delph calling out churches

Dateline: Mon 17 Feb 2014

Oh, for God's sake. People, leave those churches alone.

Brian Howey's "Howey Politics Indiana" reported Feb. 14 that Carmel's Sen. Mike Delph, who had a hissy fit and then some over HJR-3 dropping its second sentence which banned civil unions, is blaming the Evangelical churches in his district for not supporting his antiquated cause.

Reports Howey, speaking of the senator's overactive tweets: "He (Delph) also took aim at churches in Carmel, tweeting at one point: 'My biggest criticism is with the Evangelical Church: Grace CC, E91, College Park, Northview, etc....you should all be ashamed!"

Sorry, but this is the same bullshit argument that Indianapolis Star columnist Erika Smith used when she flagged black church pastors for being against gay marriage or civil unions.

Delph, who is older and should know better, needs to understand that humility and love of "the other" are central to Jesus' teaching. Even if that message is lost on him, he should understand that he's not God and he can't dictate to those pastors and their congregations.

My experience with responsible religious groups and leaders in this community is that they take their mission seriously. Since we have freedom to practice religion in this country, it seems awfully high and mighty for someone -- anyone -- to tell churches which side they are supposed to be on. 

If you don't recognize the names of the churches Delph targets, I do -- Grace Community Church, East 91st Street Christian Church, College Park Church and Northview Church, all strong Evangelical places of worship in Carmel.

Those churches do a lot of good in Carmel and beyond. I'm not here to do PR for them.

But I am here to say that Mike Delph has got an awfully big head of steam if he thinks he can, and should, boss them around. Thinking of my own church here, the Church of Rome, it's not like these churches have broken laws. One assumes they are simply following their conscience and not getting on the anti-gay/anti-civil unions, cause. Or maybe they are simply prayerfully, humbly quiet.

Freedom to practice religion -- it's a biggie in the Constitution, First Amendment. 

Leave the churches alone.



hendy [Member] said:

Daft as Delph is, he can say whatever thing he wants. You can freely express your religion while he freely expresses his speech.

Is he a twit? Which ayatolahs are we talking about here? The dogmatic dimwits grouse my soul. Perhaps the haters, the sanctimonious SOBS, the reinventors of various scriptures, snakebit preachers that die of snakebite. Some of us get to dislike them. We get to say our piece/peace. From the pulpits of so many places in the USA, contrary to the law, contrary to the policy of the IRS that forbids it, send strictly political messages.

So: fie. Fiddlesticks. Harrumph.

There was a time when from the pulpits of Indiana, fire and brimstone would rain upon the privileged white class if they were to marry the nigra. The world would surely come to an end. Pat Robertson believes that every damaging hurricane is a sure sign from God. It's a sure sign that the Koch Bros will kill us all.


2014-02-17 20:43:52

ruthholl [Member] said:

You make good points. I missed the boat re: free speech and freedom of the press, but then my larger view is that people in a position of power would be wise to try to understand other perspectives, rather than throw their weight around. In communication, the whole point is not to have your say, but to reach some understanding of what one another is saying. Ne'est-ce pas?

2014-02-18 10:57:06

hendy [Member] said:

You're asking a lot from a politician. Not trying to manage expectations or anything, but whereas people preach from the pulpit with an interpretation of some philosophy to back them up (teachings, writings, Biblical interpretations), the motivations of politicians are ostensibly civility, but in fact, most often are based on getting re-elected so that their ostensible power can be maintained.

In theory, they present the sentiments of the voters, who would thence throw them out next election if their interests were perceived to not served, but the electorate is now bombarded with messages that appeal to them to choose sides, not candidates.

This binary thinking method doesn't suit but a few needs that sway a mass sentiment, and often deny those sensible choices made from deep and profound understanding of issues. Rather, it's power, monetary/pecuniary gain, and status that rule the choices. Proxy parsonage politicians (PPP for short) can be found promoting agendas that are contrary to common sense frequently, viz climate change deniers, fracking enthusiasts, and GodIsBusiness promoters.

Clarity is difficult to find. Obscured in the smoke are final decisions, based on debate and merit, where we move on. These days: no one moves on, and issues are ground into unidentifiable fragments of actual thought until one side cries: Uncle!

Even public media fails us now.

2014-02-18 21:22:10

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2014-02-19 04:26:00

John M [unverified] said:

I don't understand your criticism either of Delph or Erika Smith. Yes, the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. I don't think either Delph or Smith is proposing that the government sanction those churches because of their criticism or lack thereof of the goings on in the General Assembly. They both are criticizing churches for taking positions that they consider contrary to the public interest. They can do that!

Ruth, you hide behind the First Amendment with your argument, but the First Amendment does not insulate anyone, including churches, from criticism. Let's take a step back to 1965. The Civil Rights Act had passed with much controversy and the Supreme Court had not yet voided miscegenation laws. Many ministers in the south invoked the Bible as providing support for their belief that Jim Crow should remain the law of the land. By your argument, those ministers, because they were sincere, should have been entirely insulated from criticism. If you disagree with this last point, tell me where I misunderstand you.

2014-02-20 07:34:44

Roberta X [unverified] said:

...Sure, Mike Delph can say anything he wants -- but as an elected politician he should be mindful that his speech is more than mere talk, more than a newspaper opinion column. Serving politicians should be a bit more circumspect in what they say and how they say it: *their* notions, crazy or clever, foolish or noble, can affect everyone.

First Amendment concerns are rightly raised when politicians attempt to dictate to churches. Even when (as in the Civil Rights example above) the churches are espousing a notion we deem repellent and the pols are, as it were, on the side of the angels. "Criticism" is one thing; criticism by members of the government can escalate well beyond mere words.

The First Amendment is there to be hidden behind; if not everyone who seeks that shelter is a plaster saint, well, them's the breaks in a free society. The alternatives are far worse.

2014-02-21 06:19:13

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