Hey, Dave: “It’s OK to Survey!” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

May 4th, 2009 Post by

Atlantic District President Dave Benke has long portrayed himself as a champion of “dialogue” and “freedom.” After he engaged in the unionistic and syncretistic interfaith prayer service, “A Prayer for America,” he insisted, “It’s OK to Pray.” Indeed, it appears you can still purchase “It’s OK to Pray” merchandise, cotton hats, t-shirts, ceramic mugs–FREE “It’s OK to Pray” BUTTON WITH EVERY ORDER!–with checks to be made out to the David H. Benke Advocacy and Defense Fund.

So you would think “Mr. Freedom,” “Mr. Dialogue,” would be cool with people engaging in the free exchange of information and opinion. Think again. DP Benke has taken it upon himself to issue a “Cease and Desist” order (scroll down to April 23 and following) to the Interested Laymen taking a Survey on Blue Ribbon Task Force Proposals: “The Council of Presidents of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at its most recent meeting this week made a decision as a group to discourage anyone from completing this independent survey, and on their behalf I request you to cease and desist in promoting it.”

Hey, Dave: “It’s OK to Survey!” What’s the problem? What’s wrong with giving wider distribution to the Task Force proposals, so that more people can find out about them and read them? What’s wrong with showing a variety of opinions on these proposals, so that we can think through the pros and cons? Why so heavy-handed?

BRTFSSGIn fact, the Interested Laymen’s Survey website provides several features the Blue Ribbon Task Force website has so far failed to provide. Let me list them for you:

1) At the Interested Laymen’s site, you can access the text of the presentation to copy and paste, thus making the proposals easier to distribute and discuss. At the BRTFSSG site, you cannot copy and paste the text of the presentation.

2) At the Interested Laymen’s site, there are “Other Thoughts to Consider,” thus helping us think through the pros and cons of the various proposals. At the BRTFSSG site, you really only get a one-sided view.

3) At the Interested Laymen’s site, you can read and take the Survey that the Task Force is conducting at the district conventions, thus giving more opportunity for better prepared and informed input. At the BRTFSSG site, you cannot take that survey or even see it in advance.

4) At the Interested Laymen’s site, you can read “Comments from those Taking the Survey,” thus further helping us weigh these matters. At the BRTFSSG site, you cannot see such comments.

Now if the BRTFSSG website were doing all four of these things, that would reduce the need for the Interested Laymen’s website. But even then–which is not currently the case–what would be the problem with more people showing an interest in the proposals and engaging in the free exchange of information and ideas?

Why so heavy-handed? “Oh, we’re strong-armier now than we were eight years ago!”

Interested Laymen, prepare your coffee mugs! “It’s OK to Survey!”






Rules for comments on this site:


Engage the contents and substance of the post. Rabbit trails and side issues do not help the discussion of the topics.  Our authors work hard to write these articles and it is a disservice to them to distract from the topic at hand.  If you have a topic you think is important to have an article or discussion on, we invite you to submit a request through the "Ask a Pastor" link or submit a guest article.


Provide a valid email address. If you’re unwilling to do this, we are unwilling to let you comment.


Provide at least your first name. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example.  If you have a good reason to use a fake name, please do so but realize that the administrators of the site expect a valid email address and also reserve the right to ask you for your name privately at any time.


If you post as more than one person from the same IP address, we’ll block that address.


Do not engage in ad hominem arguments. We will delete such comments, and will not be obligated to respond to any complaints (public or private ones) about deleting your comments.


Interaction between people leaving comments ought to reflect Christian virtue, interaction that is gracious and respectful, not judging motives.  If error is to be rebuked, evidence of the error ought to be provided.


We reserve the right to identify and deal with trollish behavior as we see fit and without apology.  This may include warnings (public or private ones) or banning.

  1. sumbody
    May 4th, 2009 at 21:07 | #1

    Well let me comment on this ..our DP put in our bimonthly paper to all members when we do not give our share to whatever, it hurts the organization..like synod Or not giving to Synod. Well they the head honchos don’t care how we are hurt by being not told goings on like the blue task thing OR do they think we cannot reason goings on? So when get to the survey we will do it we are lay people. It is still a free country and no Eastern DP will tell us what to do or not to do. Do we make our selves clear!

  2. Ariel
    May 5th, 2009 at 08:13 | #2

    “It’s Okay to Pray”? That’s the lamest, most bland slogan I’ve ever heard of. What, was “It’s Cool to Be Nice” taken?

  3. Elaine
    May 5th, 2009 at 08:46 | #3

    Hey, Dave–thou protesteth WAY too much, dude.

  4. Susan R
    May 6th, 2009 at 15:04 | #4

    I love how people deflect the actual argument at hand, by some ironic quip like ‘It’s okay to pray’ when prayer itself was never the issue.
    It only exposes the inherent dishonesty of the original act; and act which can only bear a dishonest form of defense, and which, conversely, proves that someone has touched a [possibly dying or 'mostly dead'] nerve somewhere.
    Yes, it’s ok to survey, and ok to respond and to discuss openly.
    The more they try to hide, and the more things they try to hide behind, the more they are exposed.

If you have problems commenting on this site, or need to change a comment after it has been posted on the site, please contact us. For help with getting your comment formatted, click here.
Subscribe to comments feed  ..  Subscribe to comments feed for this post
Anonymous comments are welcome on this board, but we do require a valid email address so the admins can verify who you are. Please try to come up with a unique name; if you have a common name add something to it so you aren't confused with another user. We have several "john"'s already for example. Email addresses are kept private on this site, and only available to the site admins. Comments posted without a valid email address may not be published. Want an icon to identify your comment? See this page to see how.
*

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.