Howie: God told me to run.
Ratliff: A polled Hereford is an entirely different animal than a South Dakota woman.
Gordon Howie: Amen

The Rapid City Journal reported today that last night's legislative campaign forum at the School of Mines sounded a bit... interesting. From the Kevin Woster article:
District 30 incumbent Republican Rep. Gordon Howie - who said in a recent campaign solicitation that God called him to run for the Legislature - defended actions by the 2006 Republican-controlled Legislature that critics have labeled extreme because of conservative moves on social issues such as abortion.


Howie took a public pummeling last year after he compared pregnant women to pregnant cattle in a legislative crackerbarrel. On Tuesday, he criticized "moderates" for supporting causes such as abortion on demand and same-sex marriage.


District 30 Senate candidate Catherine Ratliff, a Democrat, began her short presentation by offering to give Howie a tour of their district, as well as a short Darwinian lesson in species identification.

"He can look at a polled Hereford and can know that it's an entirely different animal than a South Dakota woman," Ratliff said.

Howie smiled, clapped his hands and added, "Amen."
Ooookay.. You can read it here.

First off, if someone has that "God called me" campaign mailing of Howie's, I'd like to see it. You can e-mail it to me here, or just drop me a note and I can get you my mailing address.

I think "fletch" mentioned it on this website the other day with regards to letters to the editor that quoting the bible in your letters might reinforce you with the 20% of the electorate who agree with you, but it does nothing for the other 60% you're trying to get (or the other 20% your opponent automatically has).

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-religious. Far from it. However, I consider my religion a personal thing, not one I use in political mailings.

When candidates send out mailings that note that God called them to run, they might be firming up that base of the electorate who already support them, but there is also a percentage of voters who don't share his convictions. And they're going to be out there asking the candidate who they intend to represent in the legislature - they, as constituents, or God.

I'd argue that many of us have great faith in God without him having to call us up directly and note that we need to run for office. Most of us believe that a long time ago he set down guidelines and instructions which have been recorded for our edification.

Before I open up a landmine-filled field on a discussion of religion in poitics, any candidates out there care to offer their thoughts on sharing their personal faith with the electorate in campaign mailings?


Anonymous said…
Anytime someone says that God told them to do something, it is going to turn off a lot of people. While the person might honestly believe that he is called by God to take action - and it could be true - most people are going to question that statement because there is nothing concrete to confirm it.

The bottom line is that anyone could make that statement, but no one could prove it short of divine intervention.
Anonymous said…
Isn't Howie the one that issued his own press release in the RCJ last spring warning everyone that a scandal was about to break and he was involved. He's getting couriouser and couriouser. Strange indeed.
Anonymous said…
Okay, here's the exact replay.

On Dec 15, 2005, Gordon Howie addressed a Rapid City audience. Using persuasive logic in support of traditional family values and the capacity of an abortion ban to reenforce TFV, he said, "Just like a mother cow, as soon as you know she is pregnant, she is even more valuable." One woman told me, "My mouth just dropped when he said that."

At the Chamber forum last week, I described District 30 -- mostly rural ... ag and tourism are #1 and #2 ... Fall River county is 95% cattle.... "I would like to invite Mr. Gordon Howie to come here and look at one of them. You can clearly see that a polled Hereford cow is an entirely different species than a South Dakota woman." That was all.

If District 30 wants this kind of representation, District 30 will vote for it.

What Mr. Howie said clearly sprouted from a peculiar conviction that some of us consider extreme.

Curious, peculiar, and extreme.
Anonymous said…
AND another thing.

You said,

Before I open up a landmine-filled field on a discussion of religion in poitics, any candidates out there care to offer their thoughts on sharing their personal faith with the electorate in campaign mailings?

I would think twice, three times, before doing that.

The Pharisees of Christ's age thought public shows of holiness were important. Their spirituality was rigid and their devotion to tradition was so extreme they missed what was most important. In every age the Pharisees are with us, and they have made a comeback in South Dakota.
Anonymous said…
Did I miss something? What is Catherine Ratliff running for?

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