20th Century, Culture, History, Shopping, Uncategorized

Southdale: First Modern Shopping Mall in the U.S.A.

Edina, Minnesota, 1950s | Hemmings Daily. blog.hemmings.com

October 3, 1956
Southdale Shopping Center, located in Edina, Minnesota, was the first totally enclosed shopping center in the nation. In 1952, its developers, the Dayton family, long-established Minneapolis department store merchants, commissioned the architecture firm Victor Gruen & Associates to create a new form designed to reflect and serve changing patterns of suburban living. The master plan combined elements of the village green, of European city centers, and of elegant arcades and gallerias, in a constant temperature-controlled enclosure. When Southdale opened in 1956, it included 72 stores, and was anchored by two major department stores, all arranged in a two-level design around a brightly lighted center court. It offered free parking, and its 5000 parking spaces were grouped into lots, well marked by clever symbols to aid in locating one’s own in the sea of cars. Not only did Southdale Shopping Center fulfill the vision of its creators as a center of commerce and of social life for suburban residents, it also fueled suburban growth and became a much-imitated model.*

One of the first questions moderns may have looking back on this event is; why? Why group several businesses together and change the cityscape of a neighborhood filled with individual stores? What is it about Minnesota that catalyzed the concept of indoor, totally-enclosed shopping? Did they really need 5000 free parking spaces when the populations of its host cities of Edina and Richfield were 9744 and 17,502 in 1950? **

Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start, by tapping into the motives behind malls based in the human psyche. Sociologists such as Lev Vygotsky and Homi K. Bhabha could be considered advocates of the “Third Space Theory”. Although this theory applies across many aspects of learning, relationships, and cultures as it pertains to this subject it pertains mostly to place. There seems to be a human need for somewhere to interact beyond home, school, or work; another living room to breathe without judgment. In the words of Southdale’s architect Mr. Gruen, he desired to “provide the needed place and opportunity for participation in modern community life that the ancient Greek Agora, the Medieval Market Place and our own Town Squares provided in the past.” ***

Given that Gruen anticipated Minnesotan’s need for this “third space”, we move to some of the environmental and land usage issues that fostered this indoor, air-conditioned mall. Many travelers have had a small taste of our winters during the holidays, but do they know that the “174 °F or 96.7 °C variation between Minnesota’s highest and lowest temperature is the eleventh largest variation of any U.S. state”? **** Let us assume that people may enjoy “street life” in a range of temperatures from 40-85deg. F; that leaves us with a 51.7deg. range of extremes where they will not congregate. Southdale solved these issues by bringing the town square indoors both in terms of places to rest, interact, and enjoy blocks and blocks of indoor walking.

Lastly, we come to the issue of the automobile; why would Gruen choose to encompass his centrum with seas of parking spaces? While obvious economic motives may be clear, i.e. more shoppers equals more profit potential, the author is reticent to place these motives on Gruen. He, as did the developers of Southdale, recognized that the democratization of transportation represented by the automobile would change the needs and wants of local residents. They may choose to work downtown, but live in new suburbs that gave them better air, more space, and an affordable home. Likewise, many found the idea of shopping closer to their homes in the suburbs desirable. Maybe Southdale’s creators parking rationale went something like this; if we divide the combined populations of Richfield and Edina (27,246) by 5,000, we arrive at a parking space for every 5.44 residents. Is it possible that Gruen wanted every family of five to have access to his “third space” even if they arrived by automobile? Perhaps we will never know that answer, but we do know that this wonder of sociology, architecture, and commerce became the iconic model for shopping malls for a generation. Bravo, Mr. Gruen!

Shall we pray? Father, we are grateful that You made us for community. You sent us the Messiah at just the right time that we could experience an eternal “third space”. We thank You for His sacrifice that satisfied our legal separation from You as the human race. You invite us to know You and to be known in Your Healing Presence!

Let us first ponder the life and struggles of Victor Gruen with You. As a youth he saw the best and worst of Austrian culture: studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, exploring social engineering and sociology, yet seeing the painful betrayal of the Nazi brand of socialism annexing his homeland. Did his urbane and Jewish upbringing combine in his designs? He brought together the forerunning concepts of sociology immersed in a very spiritual need for shabbat in the shopping mall. Though his visions may have never reached his anticipated fruition, we applaud this visionary man so much like His Eternal Father! You push us to the stars, yet You more than anyone desire our rest.

Is it grievous to You, Lord of the Sabbath, that the gift of Southdale has soured in the modern mind? Have we exercised prejudice against the shopping mall? Are we just in our assessments of this icon for suburban life past and present?

In many ways, we have discounted and discredited the 1950’s as a decade of compliance and conformity. Contemporaries mock the innocence of its cultural markers: owning a small suburban house, owning a car, and shopping at a mall. But what if we turn these words around, Spirit? The word “compliance” connotes “obedience to, accordance with, observance of, adherence to, respect for, agreement, assent, consent, concession, concurrence, and acceptance”. Additionally, “conformity” conveys the ideas of “acquiescence in, adaptation to, adjustment to, accommodation to, alikeness, resemblance, and similitude”. Have we judged You insofar as we have condemned our ancestors obedience to You and adaptation to each other?

Conversely, we acknowledge to You the seeds of rebellion sown in the soft rains of suburban life past. As a State and people, we relished the awesome freedom of travel due to the automobile. This wonderful mall gives testimony that we planned cities around it. Ease of commercial activity by car seemed to be an indicator of successful city planning. Neither of these desires counter Your Kingdom’s mores, yet even good desires can ruin us when they are in imbalance.

How does the old campfire song go? “Seek ye first the Kingdom of G-d, and His righteousness. And all these thing shall be added unto you, Alleluia.” You want us to “Halaluyah” (Heb.) “praise ye YHWH”, be in right relationship with Him, and then our desires for things come from a full heart instead of an empty one.

Where we have idolized shopping in this era and the present, when we have used it to overcome the pain of broken human relationships; will You forgive us this offense? We are people who love shiny, new things, and sometimes fail to polish ourselves and our ways of relating to others, and to our Maker. Will You forgive the feast for the eyes that shopping malls past and present represent to us, and its offense of enticement to You?

We invite Your blessing into the way(s) we find what we need. We invite You to direct our paths to our wants and needs. (We must always remember that Our Good Father, enjoys our enjoyment of good things!) Will You bless the buyers and sellers: past, present, and future into chesed? By Your Life, death, and resurrection will You direct us into the “third space”? Over Southdale and all her children, will You write “shabbat”?

“Then Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
The blind and the lame came to Him at the temple, and He healed them.” Matthew 21:12-14 BSB

Southdale 1956 Richfield Edina Shopping Mall History Video. You Tube. December 19, 2014. lumberjack1713.
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20th Century, History, Transportation, Uncategorized

Interstate Highway System Begins

1956
Congress authorizes the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Eventually, I-35 and I-94 link urban and rural Minnesota, while metropolitan multi-lanes connect suburb with city, home with work and shopping.*

To understand the largest infrastructure project in American history that began construction on August 13, 1956, one needs to backtrack to the beginning of President Eisenhower’s career. The young Eisenhower observed a convoy of vehicles and made study of their 56 day journey across the breadth of America. These findings pointed to the necessity of an efficient road system for the benefit of American citizens, their businesses, and for our military and national defense.**

Eisenhower’s goal spanned several administrations, numerous studies, and various iterations before it could be fulfilled. The timeline below shows some of the major steps.

National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956). http://www.ourdocuments.gov

1922- General John J. Pershing established the the first defensive network using existing roads. It became known as the “ Pershing Map”.


1938- President Franklin Roosevelt gives a hand-drawn map of eight proposed superhighway corridors to Thomas MacDonald; head of the Bureau of Public Roads. Macdonald’s study of these corridors is refined by Herbert S. Fairbank into the first practical study of the interstate highway system entitled “Toll Roads and Free Roads”.

1944- The “ Federal Aid Highway Act” authorized construction of a system approximately forty thousand miles, but did not provide funding.**


1952-1954- President Eisenhower tapped General Lucius D. Clay and the Clay Committee to develop the interstate highway plan. This lead to standardizations of materials, techniques, and designs. It sought to connect all metro areas in the United States with populations exceeding 50,000 people. It also necessitated a Federal Tax on gasoline which provided about 90% of the hefty $25 billion price tag. ($1092B in today’s dollars.)

So now we have a snapshot of what happened nationally, but how did this epic construction project impact Minnesota? We in the Twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul became a very important crossroads for vacationers, and commerce. Interstate 35 connects Duluth, Minnesota and the harbor on Lake Superior with a primary north-south artery of the system connecting with Loredo, Texas; a massive 1556 mile (2504km) corridor. We are also home of Interstate 94. This critical road connects the eastern branch of the Great Lakes in Port Huron, Michigan and terminates in Billings, Montana some 1585 miles (2551km) later. It’s the primary east-west branch of the Interstate system for the northern portion of the U.S.

Now we turn from history-past to addressing our G-d who lives and reigns in the Eternal Present. We remember You, Adonai, and just a few of the ways You made a way and a road for the nation of Israel. I recall how often the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke of roads.

Isaiah
“And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field.” Isaiah 36:2 ESV


“A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3 ESV


“And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” Isaiah 57:14 ESV


“Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples.” Isaiah 62:10 ESV

Jeremiah
“Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 ESV


“But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway,…” Jeremiah 18:15 ESV


“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities….” Jeremiah 31:21 ESV

(
“In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’”
Jeremiah 50:4-5 ESV

Let us sit awhile with You, and remember that You are the Lord of Logistics. (Sorry we forget about Your miraculous relocation of the nation of Israel: out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through incredibly arid and dangerous climes. Oh, and with the most formidable army in the world in pursuit!? When there is no way, there is Yah’s-way!) You make us alive, and have given every creature some mode of transportation that suits them. Yet, You care about things as practical as our Interstate system in little “flyover” Minnesota. Again, what say You about the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956?

We thank You for the epic dreams of our forbearers: General Pershing, FDR, Mac Donald, Fairbank, and General Clay! Acknowledging their planning and administration, we thank You for the tens of thousands of men and women who realized this vision. We praise You for the music of heavy machinery doing good work: excavators, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, dump trucks, loaders, and rollers! We remember all of those who burned up in the summers, worked in muddles in the spring rains, and froze in the winters. They got the job done, and did it well! We applaud them and Your approval of their efforts begun in 1956!

Our state is more secure in it’s defenses because they laid this road! Our economy is vastly improved because of the increase in interstate trade, and the reduction of the price in transportation costs to the end user of virtually every product or food; some years have seen a 35% increase in local economies because this system exists! Our people have enjoyed the pleasure of freedom of movement: they have seen more beauty through camping and RV travel, they can visit family across the US in a few days, and they do so in safety with easy navigation!

Yet, my mind moves to the spiritual and relational impact of our Interstates. How does this network of roads impact us past? We acknowledge to You the pride of colossal construction. Where have we offended You in this?

To commence, we see the temptations unique to our citizens that come with great freedom. Because it is possible to see more, do more, and trade more; we have too often taken the bait. We have not exercised self-control in our transportation businesses, to and from work, or even on vacation. Something deep in us drives us beyond a reasonable stopping point. Will You take these attachments and idolatries both past and present-tense up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Next, I pray about our ease of movement and its’ disruption of our connection to Your land. How many human and creaturely lives were disrupted because I-35 crossed their paths? How many farms were cut in half? How many animals found their pathways to food or water blocked? How many neighbors were bifurcated by this road eating at least a 272ft wide path through their neighborhood?

Granted Lord, change is neither necessarily good nor bad, but I remember this fact to You; something whole was split in two. For some good reason, You saw fit to give us a yearning for home. Humans everywhere desire a place unique to them and their families. It just seems that the more we move, it may have tainted our desire to stay.
Do we look to “the open road” myths because our hearts have detached from our homes, our friendships and marriages, and inwardly from even ourselves? Do we bustle about to expand the territory of our businesses because we cannot stop on our inward scenic overpass, take in a breathtaking view of our accomplishments, and say “I’m good.”?

Lord, as this fabulous Interstate System is a metaphor for connection, there are are a few declarations I want to pronounce with You over this epoch. By the Cross of Christ, by the Blood of Christ and His Resurrection, and by the Eternal Word I want to declare my agreement with You, Isaiah, and Jeremiah over the entire “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”, from 1956 to the present, and into Your eternal now to ‘join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten’. May the detached coasts inside be connected! Reknit the neural pathways of our minds, drive us to new habits, and bathe us in new ways of thinking! Be the defender of our hearts against evil, and help us take in the beautiful, the good, to put the rag-top down and go crusin’ with You!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** Infrastructure Explained.“The History of the Interstate Highway System”. Internet. You Tube. October 5, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n6g1ypx1PE
*** http://www.learningabe.info/NationalTrail_taskthree.html
**** https://www.transportation.gov/content/federal-aid-highway-act-0
See it in writing? “Transcript of National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956)” http://api.mnhs.org/mgg/words/html/custom/highway_act.html
Feel like watching? Check out this reliable source from TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) https://www.tpt.org/interstate-94-a-history-and-its-impact/

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21st Century, News, omnipresent history, Uncategorized

“My Little Finger”

Washington Monument January 6, 2020.

Do you ever get tired of the cycle of bad news? Are you ever amazed at how current event news, especially when an election is involved, becomes an agent of division in our society? Old friends refuse to have a cup of coffee with old friends because they believe the rhetoric online, on TV, and blowing through the airwaves that disagreement equals domestic terrorism?

When “new” news makes me tired, I find comfort in the “old” news of G-d’s eternal reporting in the Torah. The labels may change, but His laws and His words yield wisdom for those who are willing to sit with Him awhile. Look at what the sweet Rauch Ha’Kodesh led me to this week; a 2900 year old call to our leaders to emulate the Father’s perfect balance of grace and truth within moments of crisis!

Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam

Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all the Israelites had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Neat heard this ( he was still in Egypt, where he fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jerobaom, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:

“Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered,

“Go away for three days and then come back to me.”

So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime.

“How would you answer advice me to answer these people?”

They replied,

“If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them,

“What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us?'”

the young men who had grown up with him replied,

“Tell these people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’ – tell them

“My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said,

“Come back to me in three days.”

The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said,

“My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

So the king did not listen to the people. for this turn of events was form the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite. When all Israel saw that the kine refused to listen to them, they answered the king:

“What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!”

So the Israelites went home. But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them. King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who wa sin charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.” I Kings 12:1-19 NIV

Last week, my wife and I attended significant events on the east coast; events for peace and prayer, and events that lawfully protested the foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential election. Those in attendance emulated Israel; they humbly asked for their government to hear them.

Yet, this massive crowd, perhaps 800k to 1.2million people, had their voiced overshadowed, again by the actions of maybe a few hundred attendees who crossed the line into violence and riot. This small but violent mob was instantly addressed on Twitter by the POTUS, but the social media giant erased his message to stand down and disperse. Why would they do this?

As our group of intercessors left the greater Distict of Columbia, news reports began pouring in that mislabelled the entire event as a riot, and even questioned if all attendees should be thought of as “domestic terrorists”. With G-d as my witness, we heard no such messages remotely inciting violence from any events, from the stages, or from the various speakers from the six major rallies on the Mall. * This rally happened because of the failure of the following governmental entities to “hear” them or their allegations of foreign interference and or voter frXXd:

-They were not heard by the Secretaries of States, Governors, Lieutenant Governors or at least six states.

-They were not heard by the U.S. Courts of Appeals. (District Courts)

-The Supreme Court refused the case brought by Texas with the weight of 17 additional states.

-The Vice President refused to act on Article II Section 1.2 of the U. S. Constitution. ** The attendees of this rally, in my humble opinion, were united in their hope for this outcome.

So we find ourselves in a situation that divided the House of David and the house of Israel so many years ago. Will President-elect Biden follow the steps of Rehoboam, or of the wise advisors? Will the leadership of the U.S. gov’t, whether serving in elected or appointed positions “hear” the mass of people, (allegedly 75 million Trump voters) who believe our process of elections has been significantly defiled? Will we practice the “scorched earth” politics of personal destruction championed by the young and unwise advisors of our future leaders?

Perhaps most importantly, what will you choose in regards to your neighbors with whom you disagree?

Will you “scourge them with scorpions”?

Will you make the weight heavier for them?

Will you tell them a story about your “little finger”, or will you hear their fear and pain of becoming a country of men rather than a country of laws?

As followers of the way, let me be clear, I am not here to build the Republican or Democratic kingdom. My Messiah calls to all who will hear Him; “Build the Kingdom of G-d.” All truth is G-d’s truth, and that is what we seek. Come Lord Jesus, hope of the nations!

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.” *** Luke 8:17 BSB

*If one wishes to verify if indeed the POTUS DJT incited a “riot” as alleged, please see the transcripts below.

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-speech-save-america-rally-transcript-january-6

** https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/article-2/

*** https://biblehub.com/luke/8-18.htm

Another shot of the masses engaging in protest; not in violence or riotous behavior. January 5, 2020.

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Uncategorized

Proleptic Tense

For modern writers, the prophet Isaiah had an impossible job. How does one describe a Being beyond time to those whose lives are so bound by it? Let me give an example of such challenges?

“Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’”
Isaiah 46:10

Looking for possible answers to this concept, I stumbled across an article on prophetic warning called “Back to the Future” written by authors Richard and Tina Kleiss in their book “A Closer Look at Prophecy” cited in full below. Enjoy mulling over these anachronisms?
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“God is not trapped “in time” (as we are) and is thus able to see the past, present and future. When He speaks of a future event to a prophet, He often speaks of it in the past tense, as if it has already happened. This strange phenomenon occurs so frequently in the Bible that theologians have created a special grammatical tense for it that is called the “proleptic tense”. Since God is all-knowing, and all-powerful, when he wills something, it is done, whether or not it has happened in history, and thus He will speak of it in the past tense.

An example can be found in Psalm 2, written by David a thousand years before the birth of Jesus. This is a reference to the millennial reign of Jesus that will take place when He returns to Earth at His Second Coming. God speaks of it in the past tense as if it had already happened, yet it is, in fact, a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. In the same manner, the Bible speaks of Jesus having been “slain from the foundation of the world”-Revelation 13:8 NKJV because that is when God willed it.

God has a plan for this universe and for mankind. It will be completed in every detail. No one can derail it. As far as God is concerned, it is already completed because He has foreseen it.”

Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. Psalm 2:6

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Uncategorized

It takes a Village Inn?

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.

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20th Century, History, Uncategorized, women

First Minnesota Woman to Serve in Congress

“Coya Knutson at the piano, 1954.” Minnesota Historical Society. https://libguides.mnhs.org/knutson/primary

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

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21st Century, ekklesia, Uncategorized, worship

Is time to PUSH yet? Pray Until Something Happens

Profound Samples. 2015 photoshoot. Mpls.

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!

Links to the Prayerstrike youtube.

Learn more about Lou Engle and his stalwart commitment to prayer!
https://louengle.com

Don’t believe the hype! See for yourself what the International House of Prayer of Kansas City is all about?
https://www.ihopkc.org

For those of you who are watching and waiting and praying through the night, you may need a little stronger gospel to keep you awake! Wink! Enjoy this “truth bomb” from Stryper!

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21st Century, ekklesia, Faith, Uncategorized

Dreams,Prayer Strategy and the Destination of a Nation

Dean Briggs and Lou Engles discuss 2020 and the elections. Namely, the alleged widespread voting fraud, and its potential impact on our nation. These men are far from politicians, but have dedicated their lives to prayer, worship, to “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children”, and prepare this generation for the return of the Lord.

What do elections look like to modern day prophets? How does our political system in the U.S. look when viewed through a G-d’s eye lens? Where can those with an eternal perspective turn when their governmental leadership and legal structures seem to seek more and more after temporal power rather than justice or the truth?

I challenge you to take some time to hear these men, and think about what He may be whispering to you through the events of 2020. May the sweet Holy Spirit guide you into His revelations and responses. May You take action to do your part in standing for …”whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…”

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20th Century, DFL, Governors, Uncategorized

Inventing the Future: Orville L. Freeman

Minnesota Governor Orville L. Freeman, and the slate of the DFL party ca. 1954 elections. http://discussions.mnhs.org/collections/category/acquisitions/

January 5, 1955-January 2, 1961
On November 2, 1954, Orville L. Freeman secured the Democratic-Farmer-Laborite gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote. He was reelected to a second term in 1956, and to a third term in 1958. During his tenure, a water resource board was formed; the seaway port authority was created; the state’s health institutions were advanced; a fair employment practice law was sanctioned; and educational funding was expanded. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Freeman left office on January 2, 1961.*

“We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it.” This quote does not originate with Freeman, but is credited to Nobel Prize winning physicist Dennis Gabor.** Yet, it seemed to be a recurring mantra and theme of the life of Governor Freeman. Let’s explore this notion further, and excavate the actions and motives of Mr. Freeman before his time in office.

To initiate, Freeman graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1940 and bonded for life with Hubert H. Humphrey. After serving as a Marine in the South Seas, he returned home to build a bridge between the liberal Minnesota Democratic Party and the more socialistic Farmer-Labor Party.

In this action, he and Humphrey were pivotal voices in forging a consensus based around the creed; “A Pledge for American Unity”. I offer a quote of some of its planks below.
“I will never try to indict a whole people by reason of the delinquency of any member.”
“In my daily conduct I will consecrate myself, hour by hour, to the achievements the highest ideal of the dignity of mankind, human equality, human fellowship and human brotherhood.”

Orville served as a charter member and chairman of the DFL party in Minnesota from 1948-1950.*** Operating under the ubiquitous and consummate Democratic Mayor of Minneapolis, Hubert H. Humphrey, the heart of the DFL platform became reality. It’s planks today remain largely unchanged: a strong commitment to civil rights, humanizing labor, social welfare, the primacy of public education, and access to healthcare.

Governor Freeman fought to make this mantra a reality during his three terms in office.
His efforts remained tightly focussed: environment and water quality, pumping up education and healthcare, fighting for labor laws, and laying the groundwork for the Food Stamps Act of 1964. ,*** Although considered a “moderate” in his era, Freeman’s accomplishments gave witness to his allegiance to “inventing the future” of Minnesota and the DFL.

Pivoting to prayer, Lord, we honor You and remember that You: heal our past, free our present, and bless our future. We thank You that Your placement as Governor of Governors is secure and constant. You have spoken over all humanity,
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” * John 15:16 NIV

We sit with You now, and remember the heart and the mind of Governor Freeman. We gratefully perpend the perpendicular motive conflicts he avoided; what he thought, he said, and what he said he did. How refreshing, again, to find a new hero of consistency in leadership; a man unified intellectually and in his nature! Will You lead us to acknowledge what we can to You in deep roots of conflict and success in his life?

Before his terms as governor, we see a man wrestling with human nature. Like the First Family, the sons of Adam and Eve, Orville knew that even brothers can hate, disavow, and even kill each other. Will You bless his heritage of making peace; standing between Progressives and Democrats? Will You forgive us of this era of hot judgment? Progressive Minnesotans judged Liberal Minnesotans, Liberals counter-judged Progressives, and both factions judged Republicans. All of these groups are human being that You went to the Cross for, were buried for, and rose for on the third day. Will You remove this living and active root of bitterness from our local culture: past present, and future?

Moving on, we commend Governor Freeman’s ideation and creativity in the realm of policy. Changing the direction of any large organization is like trying to turn a supertanker without a rudder. Maybe a good captain can alter the course a few degrees, but momentum is powerful force to counter. Forgive my weak analogies, Lord, but we want to acknowledge the importance of Orville’s critical input in forming the key planks of the DFL. What he dreamed of in the 1940’s became his actions in the 1950’s, and have remained constants in the DFL party since!

May We quickly visit these ideas, Wise One?
Environmental Protection
Freeman realized that our incredible wealth of fresh water in Minnesota was a resource worthy of protections. Will You bless this concept? The counter-arguments then, as now, hinge on who gets to make the choice of the use of natural resources; the owner of the property, or the government? In answering this question, our people have been divided. Will You forgive us this sin of foolish division without clarity of terms? Will You forgive all Minnesotans’ judgments, irrespective of their position, of failing to acknowledge that all property is G-d’s Property? We have so little humility over natural resources that we only ever will be temporary stewards. Forgive us!

Labor Laws
Your word says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” * I Timothy 5:18 NIV

Freeman saw both the importance and limitations of labor. To elaborate, the human body has limitations of how many hours it can function before it breaks down, and those who do physical work know the direct costs to their bodies. We applaud Governor Freeman his attempts to create boundaries around our workers through laws that protected them in this epoch. We acknowledge the division and dissent some of these laws created, and their root judgments. To those who opposed Freeman, again, the issue is not a matter of the worthiness of the worker, but who gets to make the choice: the government, the employer, or the individual laboring? Will You forgive our failures then and now to adequately respect these heartfelt disagreements, and to find policies that protect while not inserting a third party into an employer-employee relationship? Will You forgive our society where we have disrupted binary relationships with tertiary ones?

Healthcare
Your Living Word says, “use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9 NIV

Orville recognized the value of human life, and the dawning of the temptation of insurance companies and hospitals to commoditize it. How does society protect its poorest and underinsured from health horrors known in previous generations. In this case, he sought to “invent the future” through legal means.
Repetitively, this created opposition in our state over the economics of health. Critics may argue that the when the government through welfare laws creates a price floor, disequilibrium will always occur. It excludes those who would buy or sell at a lower than market price, and this creates a surplus.
While these forces could temporally bring down costs for consumers of healthcare, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it would raise the cost for healthcare providers, and their employees? Lord, in this we have failed to hear each other. We want to solve one problem, but then it sets off a chain of domino events that we didn’t anticipate. Will You show us a more equitable way to solve the problems of healthcare than price? Will You forgive us our judgments past, present and future of how and why our political government is in the business of healthcare?

In sum, we remember Governor Freeman’s optimism for human accomplishment. We both acknowledge this notion, and look at it critically and soberly. As long as we do not fail to continue right relationship with each other, I’m sure he would be proud. You have made a way to consensus. Lord, give Minnesota the hesed to “invent the future with each other and with You. Amen!

*Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols. Cited by https://www.nga.org/governor/orville-lothrop-freeman/

**https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/09/27/invent-the-future/

***Read on the origins of the DFL party and Freeman’s contributions. https://www.dfl.org/about/dfl-history/

**** Delaney, Arthur. Internet. HuffPost. (01/08/2014) “Jane Freeman, Widow Of Food Stamp Founder, Discusses The ‘Need And The Embarrassment’
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/war-on-poverty-food-stamps_n_4561730

* https://www.biblehub.com/john/15-16.htm

Price, Paul. Letter to editor. “Letter of the day: Humphrey’s unity lesson as a remedy for today’s divisiveness” StarTribune. Minneapolis,MN. 08/16/2010. Internet. https://www.startribune.com/letter-of-the-day-humphrey-s-unity-lesson-as-a-remedy-for-today-s-divisiveness/100806114/

https://biblehub.com/1_timothy/5-18.htm
* https://www.biblehub.com/luke/16-9.htm

*Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols. Cited by https://www.nga.org/governor/orville-lothrop-freeman/

**https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/09/27/invent-the-future/

***Read on the origins of the DFL party and Freeman’s contributions. https://www.dfl.org/about/dfl-history/

**** Delaney, Arthur. Internet. HuffPost. (01/08/2014) “Jane Freeman, Widow Of Food Stamp Founder, Discusses The ‘Need And The Embarrassment’
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/war-on-poverty-food-stamps_n_4561730

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21st Century, ekklesia, law, Uncategorized

The Seventh Lap

Many of us were called to participate in the Jericho Prayer marches last week. Dr. Taylor Marshall, a noteworthy Catholic scholar and apologist, added greatly to the momentum of these prophetic acts. To clarify, a prophetic act is not just fore-telling or calling our broken Churches and societies to repentance. Sometimes Our Lord wants to drive a stake in the ground, and see if there are those willing to stand firm with His laws, His Authority, and with the advice of the Council of Heaven.

While obedience of any kind to the Lord will bring joy, it is no light task. Who is willing to lay their reputation and pride on His altar? Who is willing to be completely misunderstood? Who is willing to shout down a stone wall?

While my heart is to acknowledge offenses to the Lord, I feel He has already positioned people who fear Him and love the Law to stand: in politics, in terms of our laws and Constitution, in all fields of work, and in the home and our familial relationships. Today I will give honor to Mayor Giuliani and Sidney Powell. They are exposing massive corruption in numerous allegations based on mountains of primary source evidence in our various systems of election in the United States. This press conference, (link below), is an echo of the shout that brought down the walls of Jericho. The common Enemy of all that is human, hates the law, hates the truth, or even the belief that truth exists. Faithful and True One, will You hear their roar? Will You tear down the walls of America’s guardian lies? Will You judge our system of justice, and realign us with Your Kingdom values of Grace and Truth? Amen!

https://noqreport.com/2020/11/19/confidence-exudes-from-trump-attorneys-during-press-conference-laying-out-evidence/

crystalinks.com

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.” Proverbs 22:28 NIV

https://biblehub.com/proverbs/22-28.htm

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