For those of us with kids, we all know we are capable of making rules we don’t live up to ourselves. It’s a staple of “shame-based” systems and relationships to practice the misbelief of “Do as I say; not as I do.” Shame teaches us to focus on blame, and not on responsibility. Shame makes people into the problem, instead of dealing with conflict and genuine disagreement in an honest way.
It appears that this dad, husband, and also Honorable Governor of the North Star State operates under this premise in this instance.
Good Father, will You move him to lift this heavy shut-down off our shoulders so we can: be responsible for our own health, make adult decisions, operate our small shops, restaurants, bars, and businesses, be restored to worship freely, have our kids go to school, and otherwise pursuit happiness? Will You forgive Governor Walz’s example as you forgive us our inconsistent examples? Let us be a free and happy people again, and trust our life and health to You! Amen.
1955 to 1958 Cornelia “Coya” Knutson (1912-1996) was the first Minnesota woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. She served from 1955 to 1958. Her legacy as Minnesota’s first female representative in Congress remains, as does the initiatives she pushed for regarding student loans, cystic fibrosis, and Minnesota farms.* What a joy to find that this pioneering woman in Minnesota politics had the foresight to compile her own archives. What better evidence of a life exists than the testimony of the one who lived it? Enjoy the summary below left by the Honorable United States Representative Knutson!
“Cornelia Genevive Knutson, or “Coya” as she was commonly known, was born in Edmore, North Dakota, August 23, 1912, the daughter of Christian and Christine (Anderson) Gjesdal. She received a B.S. degree in English and music at Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota) and did post-graduate work at Moorhead State Teachers College and at the Julliard School of Music. She began her career as a high school teacher in Oklee, Minnesota, and married Andrew Knutson on March 21, 1940. She served in the state Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1941-1942), as a member of the Red Lake County Board (1948-1950), and as a representative from the 65th district in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1951 to 1954. As a Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate in Minnesota’s ninth congressional district, Knutson defeated Harold Hagen, a twelve year incumbent, to become the first Minnesota woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. She held that position from 1955 to 1958. Knutson was defeated in 1958, and campaigned unsuccessfully for the seat in 1960…” **
What so abruptly curtailed the momentum of this bright woman’s political career? It appears that she was the target of a focussed “shame campaign”. Now we go to a sound source on the topic; the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library to clarify the method(s) used to halt this good woman. “She was the only Democrat in the United States House of Representatives to lose to a Republican in the 1958 election. The upset came after her husband urged her to leave Congress. Headlines around the U.S. featured his plea: “Coya, Come Home.” The Knutson’s were later divorced. (Coya Knutson, New York Times, December 26, 1976)” *** So, can we defer that this attack on the Honorable Representative Knutson is at least two-pronged: publicly shaming her for pursuing leadership instead of matronly pursuits, and a blatant appeal to pity? While I do not have supporting evidence, the circumstantial evidence makes clear that the rhetoric used against her attacked her as a mother of her adopted son Terry, and as a supportive wife to her husband Andy.
I find the shameful emotional manipulation of her husband especially repugnant. While this case also piles on the sexism of mid-century mid-western values, this type of attack is nothing new. For those who study rhetoric, it is known as an “ad misericordiam” argument defined as: an appeal to pity or compassion. A quick search of the Center for Hellenic Studies-Harvard University reveals numerous cases recorded in Ancient Greek literature. Shall I list a few of the more famous examples? We see ad misericordiam arguments and attacks in: “Apology” (Socrates and Plato), “Wasps” (Aristophanes), and the famed speech of Demosthenes “Against Meidias”. **** all this to establish that the attacks on Coya followed the low bar of rhetoric set over twenty four centuries before her.
What is it about appeals to pity and shame that make such an emotional impact? Dr. Brene Brown has studied shame, vulnerability, and courage for decades. I’ve pulled a few quotes that may crystallize the impacts of shame. “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.” “We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame.” “Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.” * May I unpack these, statement by statement?
When one is attacked through media, in this case radio and newspaper articles, it is not a two-way debate. How could Coya publicly defend herself while only the reporter holds the microphone or pen? These are the kind of questions that have no answer, and to which there is no expectation of an answer; they are only intended to attack a person and not the problem. To Brown’s second statement, we find a public willing to project their judgment of Rep. Knutson in precisely the same areas they felt the most vulnerable as mothers and husbands. To the last point, I see the insecurities of a husband that loves too little attempting to regain control. Though an adult, he seems to be unable to celebrate her success, or privately, thoughtfully, and constructively convey his objections to her career. Too often, wounded people will choose ego over love, and pride over understanding.
So we move towards You; the Healer of the Universe! You offer us real relationship with the Only Complete personality of all time! You offer us the gift of vulnerability, and are immune to our attempts to emotionally manipulate the Maker of Emotions!
We commend the forerunning of Cornelia Genevive Knutson to You today. We honor her contributions to the benefits to our farmers and those who love the outdoors. We honor her bravery to step outside the schisms in her marriage and the cultural mores of Minnesota to embrace the loneliness of leadership.
In her era, by the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ, and the Eternal Word of G-d we come to acknowledge our heinous separations and offenses against You. We shamed Coya into compliance instead of Your adventure for her. We wrote or believed written misbeliefs, disbeliefs, unbeliefs, and falsehoods about her and the Knutson family. We not only withhold our approval of her as a human being, but withheld our votes and broke relationship with her through false accusations based on mostly false information. When we judged Coya, where we judged Coya, we have also judged Your confidence and pleasure in her. Will You forgive us?
Conversely, by the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ, and the Eternal Word of G-d we make these healing declarations over the Knutson lineage, and all Minnesotans present and future. We declare and invite the leadership of women who fear-respect You, and love the law. We declare the doors of shame through media closed over Minnesota’s leadership, and ask that the scales of wisdom and discernment equalize and come into perfect balance. We declare the era of “gotcha politics” over, and invite You to mature us a people willing and able to: agree well, disagree well, love our enemies, seek the benefits of others before ourselves, and remain in relationship in all our present and future political discourse. May we all “Come home” to our Christ who gave the example of selfless service out of a full heart! Amen!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2 Berean Study Bible
1955 “Taconite promises to save an Iron Range that is running short of iron. New technology converts low-grade taconite rock into concentrated iron pellets and Reserve Mining Company opens a mine and processing operations.” *
Sometimes, our most brilliant ideas are buried. After the ravages of World War II, and the tremendous steel production demands of those years, the Mesabi Range was largely depleted of its high-grade ore. The race was on to find a way to save these mines and miners from extinction. What could be done to save the world’s first “billion dollar business” a.k.a. United States Steel? ****
Yet, the contest already had chosen a victor in Dr. E.W.Davis. His research into extracting the iron from hard taconite rocks began four decades previous to this moment. During this period, Davis invented an affordable process that unlocked the potential of taconite.
So, what did this method involve? He first needed a way to crush these very hard rocks; an engineering feat in itself. Next, he solved the riddle of removing the iron content of the crushed stone, and chose to use magnetism. The separated iron is next reconstituted into pellets through a tumbling and rolling operation. In this final state, as pellets, they could easily be transported and utilized by the end user when liquified in a blast furnace. ***
At the same time, to commence and fulfill the 19 patents of research by Dr. Davis, the Reserve Mining Company began to retool their operation to refine taconite. This lengthy process of planning spanned the years between 1939-1952 and entailed: reconditioning of plants, acquisition of lands, supporting Davis and his work at the University of Minnesota Mines Experiment Station, water studies, aerial surveys, and proposed harbor modeling. Below is a quotation from “A Chronology of Reserve Mining Company” written by Richard C. Hemmersbaugh. “XXIV. Operations in Silver Bay. The first pellets were produced at Silver Bay on October 20, 1955. The first pellets were shipped from the new port of Silver Bay on April 6, 1956. The Managers of the Silver Bay Division were successively, Edwin C. Lampman, Matthew R. Banovetz, Kenneth R. Judkins, James A. Reynolds and David L. Dingeman.” And “XXVIII. Reserve Mining Shipments According to the Minnesota Mining Directory, as of 1986, total cumulative shipments by Reserve Mining Company were 218,839,191 tons of pellets.”
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29
We now turn to You, Adonai, and sit in reflection with You. We remember Your exceeding greatness today. We pause before Your masterful Creation and Your abilities of re-creation! We remember Your masterful timing and positioning of resources and human lives; before we ask, You have done the homework and spent the eons of time necessary for our provision and the fulfillment of Your purposes. No one is like You, Lord!
We reflect on this single sentence recorded by Jeremiah 2606 years ago. We ponder that You named this man according to his purpose: “the Lord exalts”, “the Lord establishes”, and the Lord “throws down”!? What an apt reminder of Your Sovereignty, and even of the symbolism for a quiet little state in the center of a great continent and our history of taconite mining! You break the rejected waste of our rocky hearts, reform them, and by the fire of the Holy Spirit, remake them into a blessing for us and our neighbors!
Who, but You, could foresee the talents of E.W. Davis? Who, aside from You, could hone his life’s talents and travail so perfectly that at just the right moment he could collaborate with the Reserve Mining Company? Who, apart from YHWH Jireh (the Lord will provide), could serendipitously arrange the decades of planning and research of both of these partners into a single flow of creativity? None but the Almighty could see the end from the beginning: to save the livelihood of thousands of workers, to save an industry, and to turn these rejected waste stones into hundreds of millions of tons of useful building material! With You, nothing is something!
We acknowledge to You the bitter-root judgments and curses of iron and taconite mining in the Range of Minnesota. So much of the best resources You gave were used in war! Once taconite took over, we began tainting the ground water and Lake Superior with the tailings. * We overcame many obstacles, but didn’t see some of the “cause and effect” of these creative actions. Insofar as we offended You in our mining and refining, will You forgive us?
Under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Cross, by His resurrection, and by Your Unchanging Word, will You take this burden: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? In faith, we declare Your forgiveness over these events past, and ask that You breathe life into our present. Be the oversight of this industry, its’ innovators, workers, and the natural resources of the North Star state!
We end this prayer with a declaration of blessing. May we see and foster the growth of inventors like Dr. E. W. Davis! May we be blessed with a workforce that honors You and the future of their neighbors by faithfully executing the daily grind of its dangerous and mostly unrecognized labor! May our future continue in Your security through the diligent planning and administration of the great industries of the North Shore like the Reserve Mining Company! May we receive the blessing of Our Father; the G-d who Makes Something from Nothing!
April 1955 to August 1977 “Saint Paul’s Roy Wilkins becomes a national leader in the civil rights movement during its most turbulent and productive years. In April 1955, Wilkins is named executive secretary (the title was later changed to executive director in 1964) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He serves in that position until August 1977. Wilkins participates in the March on Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965), and the March Against Fear (1966). In 1969 President Lyndon B. Johnson will bestow the Medal of Freedom on Mr. Wilkins, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States.” *
Roy Wilkins landed in Saint Paul, Minnesota circa 1906 after losing his mother. Raised by an aunt and uncle, he attended an integrated school, (much to his pleasure), and grew up happy in a blue-collar neighborhood. After high school, Roy attended the University of Minnesota gaining a degree in sociology with a minor in journalism. His articulate writing led to multiple positions as a journalist reporting for: “Minnesota Daily”, “Kansas City Call”, “St. Paul Appeal”, and “The Crisis”. ,*
Returning to Missouri with his bride Minnie, his birthplace, Mr. Wilkins noted the atmosphere of racism surrounding Kansas City. To use his own words, “…even good manners could be a crime for a black man.” ** Such experiences made the Wilkin’s family take note of differing treatment of African Americans regionally, and so moved him to join the NAACP where he served his community continuously from 1934 until 1977.
What one finds most characteristic about him in the era he led the NAACP, (1955-1977), is his model of peaceful dissent. He wanted to exhort and persuade society, and make legal changes following a Constitutional process. In the words of the NAACP, “Wilkins strongly opposed militancy in the movement for civil rights as represented by the “black power” movement.” *** In agreement, the Black Heritage Commemorative Society stated the following about Executive Director Wilkins: “…the militant “black power” movements of the 1970s, including the Black Muslims and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, faulted Wilkins and the NAACP for failing to take more direct action. Wilkins held unswervingly to the principal of democratic processes within the legislative system, saying: “Muffle your rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”” **
How did Roy Wilkins sum up his life’s work? Again, we let the man speak for himself.
“Without us, without our struggle, the country would have floundered in moral emptiness long ago. We must never lose faith in the justness of our cause and the certainty of our success. We have tried to create a nation where all men would be equal in the eyes of the law, where all citizens would be judged on their own abilities, not their race.” -(Excerpt from “Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins” by Roy Wilkins and Tom Mathews, 1982.)
With these words ringing in our ears, we turn to the Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, how proud we are of Your commitment to all of Your human family throughout history! We remember this song of David to You; Our Dear One.
“When they were few in number, few indeed, and strangers in the land, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.
He let no man oppress them; He rebuked kings on their behalf: ‘Do not touch My anointed ones! Do no harm to My prophets!’
Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but it is the LORD who made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy fill His dwelling. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him.” ****
Eternal Father, how fitting this song is for the life of Roy Wilkins, and his tireless advocacy for African-Americans! He followed Your example, but instead of rebuking kings he challenged the Presidents of the United States. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter all listened to his message to: impute, assign, attribute, evaluate, and pass fair judgment on Americans of African descent.
We see such powerful examples of Your masculine strength of love in his determination. Again, we also see Your strength under control in his actions; though he had reason to rage, he put it away. He communicated deliberately, continuously, and took the painful slow path to persuasion and success. How grateful we are to You for his message and methods to convey it!
We acknowledge to You: by the Cross of Christ, by the blood of Christ, by the Resurrection of Christ, and Your unchanging Word, the bitter root judgments and curses made against Roy Wilkins, Black citizens of Minnesota, and Black America in his era. We name names of only some of these generational root sins: enslaving Africans, transporting Africans to America against their will, embittering their lives with hard labor, judgments based in ethnocentrism of their: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities, that all dark-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, judgments stemming from their participation in the Civil, Spanish, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, judgments made on their Republicanism, judgments made on their Democratism, judgments made on their acceptance of the New Deal, FERA (Federal Relief Emergency Administration), judgments made on their acceptance of welfare: Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Housing Assistance, and Food Stamps, and finally the political judgments made upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and denying the Image of G-d in His Black peoples? Will You take this pain: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?
Conversely, will You forgive the counter bitter root judgments of African American culture of Wilkins era against their non-Black neighbors in Minnesota and the greater United States? We name names of only some of these generational root sins: ethnocentrism against the: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities of non-African-Americans, that all light-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, their Democratism or Republicanism, and denying the Image of G-d in His Non-Black peoples? Will You take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?
By the Authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Cross, His Blood, His Resurrection, and His eternal word we announce His forgiveness of these bitter root judgments, experiences, and curses of Minnesota and the greater United States during the decades of Director Wilkin’s career with the NAACP. Will You breathe life into his wisdom for all of us to; “Muffle our rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”?
Will You give us impartations of love to see Your Masterpiece: the African-American human being before us? Will You give us favor, Holy Spirit to see Your Masterpiece, the non-African American human being before us? May we “Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations” the dignity and beauty of His handiwork both in the present and until He returns! By the Authority of the One existing before all races, and for whom all races exist! Amen!
Maybe I like Solzhenitsyn because he is just like me; a two-hearted and two-minded male. Enjoy this quote which destroys the self-righteous beliefs of an “ism”, and shows how evil short-circuits every life: past, present, and future. Will You give us the gift of humility to recognize the lies we aim at ourselves today?
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Below is a the text of both a hard-copy letter and e-mail blast I sent out this morning to everyone I know who names the name of Jesus, or is G-d fearing. We are living through a year where we are constantly receiving diametrically opposed messages from our neighbors, workplaces, media, governmental leadership, and iconic voices from pop culture. We are being asked to both trust science, (when it comes to the World Health Organization), but disbelieve science when it comes to the Covid response of nations like Sweden or states like South Dakota. We ask students to verify their sources, yet daily take in opinion-based current event stories who fail provide a single credible source for their information. We are taught the merits of observational truth, yet are comfortable in denying election judges from all parties observing something as basic as a vote tally!?
It seems we may be reaching an epoch in our society where these bifurcated beliefs have infected our process and methods of voting. We are taught, “Every vote counts”, but can observe dozens of populous counties where more than 100% of the vote has been collected and counted. We are taught “All politics are local”, but then can observe the influence of foreign actors such as George Soros, and nations such as Cuba, Venezuela, and China influencing the vote counting hardware and software of allegedly up to 30 states. Yet, we who know the risen Messiah do not have reason for fear, but to raise our appeal to a higher court than public opinion or even the Supreme Court of the United States. Let’s ask and see what He says today?
Tuesday December 1, 2020
GOOD MORNING! RISE UP AND PRAISE HIM!
I’m sending this to you because I trust your hearts and minds as voices of discernment. There is much contention still in this election process and the allegations are serious enough we need to respond prayerfully to call the Justice of Heaven to intervene. Our nation, in my recollection, is experiencing a time of incredible partisanship. The “us versus them” mentality that is often present only at the times of revolution or great division.
I thank G-d that we are called out of this partisanship and into his kingdom. We are not here to build: the kingdom of the Democrats, the Progressives, the Greens, the Libertarians, or the Republicans to name a few. Like Daniel, we act as the authority of our authorities when we fast, pray, and agree with the eternal laws of heaven. Why did the Lord chastise Israel over dishonest weights and measures so often: Proverbs 11:1 “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord…” Proverbs 20:23 “Unequal weights are detestable to the Lord…” Micah 6:11 “Can I excuse dishonest scales…” Leviticus 19:35-36 “You shall do no wrong in judgment…” Deuteronomy 25:13-16 “You shall not have in your bag differing weights…” Ezekiel 45:9-10 “Stop your expropriations from my people…” Amos 8:4-6 Condemnation of conspiracy to cheat one’s neighbor Hosea 12:7-8 “A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress…” Proverbs 22:28 “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set…” He clearly loves honesty and integrity. When we practice these, we also are practicing His Presence in our homes, businesses, and in our city, county, state, and Federal Government.
But… We do have a very clear mandate in I Timothy 2:1-5 to contend in prayer for our civic leaders. We are to pray the Grace and Truth and Justice of the Lord into the legal and political fabric of our society.
This movement, started by Dean Briggs of IHOP KC and Lou Engle, began during the week before Thanksgiving. Even though its “old news” I invite you to join in prayer, worship, and fasting for our 2020 Election process and its aftermath throughout December. Come bring clarity to our confusion, dear bright Morning Star!