Campaigning heats up

Delegates who have attended pre-convention meet-ups are reporting some interesting trends. It’s not uncommon for District leaders to encourage delegates to vote one way or another – although they’re usually pretty careful to avoid outright endorsement. I’m hearing reports from folks whose District Presidents might be best described as supporters of President Gerald Kieschnick. These delegates say that they’re generally being encouraged to support the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. One of the reasons given for why? Well, people put a lot of time into developing the recommendations.

I actually think this is similar to the way some of the worst pieces of legislation get passed here in the Washington, D.C. Elected officials, their staff, lobbyists and special interest groups put so much time into developing some gargantuan bill that they sort of lose all perspective. And the media spends so much time covering each minute of the fight that they end up cheerleading it on as well. In my view, “time spent” is one of the least convincing arguments in favor of something.

Anyway, we’re also learning a bit about the campaign talking points that some Kieschnick supporters are using.

–President Kieschnick made a comment to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggesting that his decreased support from congregational nominations, which paled in comparison to Harrison’s, is proof that congregations are happy with him. I thought this was a statement that he probably immediately regretted making. But apparently the Kieschnick camp thinks this is a good talking point because his supporters are repeating it. I can’t explain it. Particularly since the feedback I’ve been hearing is that this talking point is going over like a lead balloon.

–Another talking point is one I’ve also heard from some of my International Center contacts. It’s a bit tricky but here’s the idea. They’re saying that if delegates vote for the Blue Ribbon Task Force proposals, they need to vote for Kieschnick. But if the vote is going to go for Harrison, then they shouldn’t give him the centralized power that the restructuring would grant.

When I encounter legislative proposals to change the size or scope or power of government, I always try to imagine my least favorite politician implementing the proposals to see if I still like them. My suggestion is that these recommendations should be judged on their own merits. If you wouldn’t like seeing the changes under one administration but you would in another, that’s probably a good sign that there’s something wrong with the proposed change. But that’s just my opinion.

Anyone else have anything they want to report from their pre-convention meetings?


Campaigning heats up — 109 Comments

  1. Kebas & Helen,

    President Kieschnick’s use of the official convention website for his campaign videos (at synod expense, and excluding the other candidates) is just one of the many privileges of incumbency.


  2. These delegates say that they’re generally being encouraged to support the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. One of the reasons given for why? Well, people put a lot of time into developing the recommendations. — M. Hemingway, reporter

    Ah, yaaas. A solid bit of cerebral cogitating, that one, by certain DP’s.

    It strikes me that the chief priest and his Sanhedrin, “put a lot of time” into cultivating false witnesses to come up with a rational charge against the Lord Christ. None the less, even those rascals didn’t dare assert that their mental sweat was to be a basis for nailing the Redeemer to the cross.

  3. I have not seen [the master campaigner] in person for some time and was surprised how old, tired, weary and worn out he looks and sounds. — Kebas

    Sounds familiar, somehow.

    But would a Missouri election, lost, really equate to the fiery horses and chariot of Israel?

  4. If the matters are as serious as this article implies, shouldn’t people be willing to call those in need to repentance, no matter the cost? — Rev. Gilbert, doing some law-giving

    That’s true. We should also be willing to pick up our crosses, every day, no matter what the cost. But we don’t. I suspect it’s because people are … well, they’re people. It’s why Jesus picked up, and was elevated, on His cross, thank God. Because people are people. Sigh.

    Clearly these “contacts” care about the situation, but not enough to do anything about it other than talk to Mollie and hope that she’ll compose an article on the subject? — Rev. Gilbert, doing some sleuthing

    It’s also possible that the “care-ers” fear something. I find that possibility … which cannot be discounted, at this juncture … intriguing. So the “clearly” (regarding the assertion that the “contacts” do not care enough about stuff, other than talk to Mrs. Hemingway and hope that an article is churned out) is not merited, in my view. The anonymity could be the result of a slothful and rascally bent of the mind, of course, especially given this very political subculture which the Lutherans find themselves immersed; or it could arise from a dread of some sort of repercussion, arising from their vested superiors (after all, there is a history of some arbitrariness, here. You get good radio ratings, and you get deposed, for example). There could be other reasons as well. The human brain is sinful, but that in itself doesn’t rule out a remarkable degree of complexity.

    This confuses me, and I hope I’m missing information here. — Rev. Gilbert, doing some dithering

    And I hoping you’re not, given your vocation. If you are, the rule of thumb “People can be counted on to be people” is most useful information, and a splendid approach to deciphering inter-personal life, until the Day of our dear Lord’s Return. Which reminds me: “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. I won’t argue, even if it’s before the Convention jousting formally begins.”

  5. The consensus was all the resolutions from Floor Committee 8 must be voted down as the result will be a centralization of power under the SP.

    Thank you, Wyoming District delegates and your leader, Captain Obvious!

  6. You will glad to know that my DP did not tell us how to vote whatsoever. It was an MO of encouragement to read the proposed resolutions carefully, and let this process be lead by the Spirit. The only time he came close to leaning one way or the other was on the proposal that would lead to more District convention delegates I paraphrase “Would more delegates lead to a better convention? More delegates = More $, and you know who pays for that ? He points back to the crowd. I was very pleased with how everything went. When push comes to shove (not literally I hope) God is in Control!

  7. @Carl Vehse #106
    “The consensus was all the resolutions from Floor Committee 8 must be voted down as the result will be a centralization of power under the SP.

    Thank you, Wyoming District delegates and your leader, Captain Obvious!

    However obvious, let it be said often enough so that more than 50% of the delegates “get it” and vote accordingly.
    Someone here seemingly couldn’t get his mind around that fact that it will not be “business as usual” for World Relief & Human Care, unless Harrison is elected.

    Grasp that, and hold on to it!
    If Harrison goes down, so will “Human Care”!

  8. @Pastor Tim Rossow #91

    Pastor Rossow,

    Your further explanation is helpful. I simply didn’t see everything you saw with the words provided by “Anonymonopia” in comment 41.

    His/her words…

    “Have you called your congregation to repent for deciding to publicly give up the Biblical direction of Gottesdienst in favor of the upward ladder of a American Christianity by confessing their Lord’s Day as something to be done in a ‘worship center’?”


    “Maybe you don’t have a problem with a ‘worship center.'”

    …sure made it look like the problem was with the name or location of one place where we offer our worship. With those words, I thought his/her complaint was that worship is taking place somewhere other than a “normal” sanctuary, hence my discussion of store-front properties and high school gyms. I see now that I could have taken his/her words “worship center” as a metonymy with “contemporary” worship. What I originally saw with comment 41 was a hypothetical call to repentance for using one of the venues by which we administer the Word and Sacraments and calling it a “worship center”. Thank you for offering your interpretation of his/her words.

    I hope next time he/she is worshiping here, he/she will approach me with these concerns. I’m sure you would encourage such discussion.

    @jim_claybourn #96


    Could you please cite the similar uses of anonymity in the JesusFirst newsletters? I don’t read those, so I don’t know the specifics of what you’re talking about. The reason I’m vocal here is because this is really the only Lutheran blog I keep up with. I’m doing that less and less these days, so I don’t know what posts by Pr. C. Mueller, Jr. you’re referring to either.

    I recognize that by focusing almost all of my reading here at this side of the political spectrum, I open myself up to valid criticism like yours because I am not fully versed in the practices that both political sides are likely employing. I hope in the future that you will not associate me with JesusFirst simply because I disagree with an author’s decision to put together this or other articles with the help of anonymous “contacts” from within the Body of Christ.

    I note and appreciate that this blog accepts comments from anyone and that JesusFirst, from what I understand, does not. That makes communication with the writers/administrators much easier, and allowed me to voice my skepticism. This is a commendable practice, though I wish people would choose to use their actual names in such interactions.

    And so, here are my insights as per your request:

    If anyone is using anonymity to call out or point to possible sin, I can’t see myself ever laying down to that and accepting such a deplorable practice. That includes those in the JesusFirst crowd, whom some here curiously seem to believe I blindly support, embrace, or even serve as a “runner” for. (I don’t, if anyone was wondering.) Disagreeing with the practices here does not automatically demonstrate support for the “other” side. It’s disheartening that detractors here are at times understood that way.

    @Michael L. Anderson #105


    It is a sad reality that they are likely hiding behind anonymity because of a fear of retribution. In many ways, politics is a disgusting and violent beast, and this is seen clearly when it forces its way into the Church.

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