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Pastor Scott Craig Running for District 33 House

Isn't one pastor in Pierre enough?

The Secretary of State lists Scott W. Craig of Rapid City as a Republican candidate for District 33 House. Could that be Pastor Scott Craig, pal of Rapid City radical right-wingnut Gordon Howie? If so, District 33 can expect Pastor Scott to deliver all sorts of lies about President Obama and other matters mostly irrelevant to the practical business of governing South Dakota. Pastor Scott's parishioners can also expect the candidate to use his pulpit for his own political gain, since after all, it's God, not just Gordon, telling Pastor Scott to run and rectify this South Dakota Babylon.

District 33 has just two official candidates (the other is Republican incumbent Jackie Sly). If no one else files by 5 p.m. today, Pastor Scott won't have to campaign from the pulpit. If he does enjoy a free pass to Pierre, maybe he can one-up the good Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey by proposing a resolution to require students to study the Bible and taekwondo.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.03.27

    What district are you in, Fleming?

  2. Bill Fleming 2012.03.27

    District 34 (I think). They just redrew everything, so they could have gerrymandered me out. I might be from Pine Ridge now, who knows? LOL.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.03.27

    How much money do you need to run?

  4. Troy Jones 2012.03.27


    Criticize his ideas and not his profession. Your opening statement looks rather bigoted.

  5. Bill Fleming 2012.03.27

    Run for what? Canyon Lake Park? I'm not candidate material, Larry. Like my old friend Bill Harlan once said, "Fleming, you don't just have skeletons in your closet. They're all sitting out in the living room having a beer party." Besides, I think it would be about the most boring thing I could possibly imagine doing. I'd rather stab myself 20 times in the knee with a dull ice pick. LOL.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.03.27

    Okay. Any hope for Dems in the Hills?

  7. Bill Fleming 2012.03.27

    Don't know, Larry. I'm not doing that gig.

  8. larry kurtz 2012.03.27

    According to DM's piece in the RCJ, term limits are creating opportunities for for Democrats because the earth haters won't challenge incumbents.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.03.27

    Bigoted? Oh, Troy, you do enjoy coming after me instead of the issue.

    I reject the accusation wholeheartedly and categorically. We have one active pastor in the Legislature. He has supports some good legislation (anti-usury) but also some real stinkers (Bible study in public school, anti-abortion, HB 1234). His politics and perhaps his theology bear signifcant resemblance to those of Scott Craig (though given the blog crowd he runs with, I suspect I may find interacting with Pastor Scott less enjoyable than interacting with Pastor Steve). One pastor of that sort is most certainly enough making the laws that threaten my livelihood and my wife's liberty.

    Besides, given the relative expenditures of state government on education and on religious matters, our Legislature needs more expertise from the classroom, not the pulpit.

  10. Troy Jones 2012.03.27

    All I'm saying is criticize ideas. Profession is irrelevant whether they be Pastors or teachers. And to reference it, especially considering you are not a believer, comes off as bigoted which hurts your argument.

  11. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.27

    I went to Craig's website, and that of the "school" he is starting. I put "school" in quotes because I saw nothing about any kind of accreditation or affiliation with a recognized academic institution. I did find this bit of information on their history page: "John Witherspoon College has secured an affiliation agreement with a partner institution." Who?? That sentence in fact means nothing without naming the "partner institution", though it does confirm that place is not accredited.

    I wanted to read about his beliefs and get a feel for where he is coming from. I am not encouraged by his theology. Following items come from the "schools" website:

    "Thus we believe that God’s revelation in Scripture is the only inerrant, infallible, authoritative basis for education."

    Okay, so the Bible is perfect and any contradictions within it are to be papered over, ignored, or rationalized away. In truth, no one believes the Bible is truly inerrant in every word and line. What they do believe is called "selective literalism." In other words, some parts are absolutely true as written, while others are not.

    In addition, does the part about the bible as the only basis for education mean that anything that is not in lockstep with the Bible is useless?

    "substitutionary death on the cross"
    That is about Jesus' death and the purpose of it. This version of Christology says that it is because we are such worthless scum, and because God is so bloodthirsty and rageful, the only way God's honor could be salvaged is if Jesus died instead of us. There is certainly no love there.

    "Those who are accepted in Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace"
    I can say that I am not certain what that means. It sounds like once an individual is saved, including going through certain steps, that's it. They've been bopped with the magic wand and all is well.

    As I read the bios of the people who are going to be a part of that place, I noticed a major lacking in Craig's bio that all the others included. It told us about his taekwondo expertise, but nothing about his education. I think that is pretty odd. Curious.

    I could be wrong about some of these. I'd love it if Craig would respond here and clarify/spin some of these issues.

    I wrote a similar comment on a blog topic about Hickey, asking him to please respond and clarify the issues. He flatly refused, saying I should go look them up on his website, or something. Makes me wonder what Hickey is hiding, but I guess we'll never know.

    In the meantime, I hope Craig is not as fearful of discussing his beliefs. Since he's been clear about how his theology affects everything he does, and he wants to represent some Rapid Citians in our state legislature, I think it's pretty important that we learn everything we can about that theology.

    Oh Pastor Craig, will you talk with us?

  12. grudznick 2012.03.27

    God wants you to run, Bill.

  13. Bill Fleming 2012.03.27

    Right, grudz. run over and eat that biscuit off your gravy plate.

  14. grudznick 2012.03.27

    That won't be the young Ms. Strong big sistering you around next year, or pulling you by the ear to her very own church. No sir, it won't.

  15. Troy Jones 2012.03.27

    Despite the name Bishop, that was commentary without charity or understanding of fundamental "Once saved, always saved" theology (must have gone to an unaccredited seminary or didn't learn anything). One does not have to agree with one's theology or political views but is pretty un-Christian to be so vicious, especially from one who claims to be ordained, about one from just reading a church website.

    And, then to take a swipe at Pastor Hickey because one is too lazy to read his website.

    In the future, don't lecture us about love until you get it right yourself.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.03.28

    Wrong, Troy. You're projecting what you wish you could argue, not what I'm arguing.

  17. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    "our Legislature needs more expertise from the classroom, not the pulpit."

    More science theology from the New Agers. Your wife's liberty is at the expense of liberty to others Cory.

  18. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    Sibby thinks everything is an accounting problem. As if there is a finite amount of liberty and if someone has too much of it, they must have taken some of his. Typical paranoid. LOL

  19. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    "As if there is a finite amount of liberty and if someone has too much of it, they must have taken some of his."

    Not true, oh deceptive man of great knowledge and reason.

  20. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    You're trapped in the prison of your own mind Sibby. You should liberate yourself. It's your only hope, Obi Wan.

  21. Stace Nelson 2012.03.28

    Mr. Jones, your comments above, especially after your temper tantrums and vile attacks recently on DC, cannot be made from the gutter where you placed yourself.

    In order to attack from the high ground, you actually have to hold the high ground. You cannot get there with little feet aimed for someone's groin.

  22. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    Stace... does "high ground" mean you're the tallest guy in the room? Just checkin'.

  23. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    (, it's a target rich environment here this morning, Cory ;^)

  24. Troy Jones 2012.03.28


    Never can say it enough. :) Take care. To answer a question you asked me somewhere else, I forget to go there. I do find Ken always pretty interesting, intelligent and thought provoking.

  25. larry kurtz 2012.03.28

    Looks like our little buddy is on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio today:

    @SoDakPB:Is there a link between biology and political preference? Are you predisposed to being a Blue or Red? Dakota Midday, noon CT on SDPB Radio.

  26. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Troy, I know my theology upsets you, and my education upsets you, my ordination upsets you, and my questions upset you. That is a given.

    To move beyond that I will point out that in regard to Hickey, I did go to his website. I read the information there, and asked questions based on that information. He refused to respond.

    Questioning one's theological underpinnings is not unChristian or vicious. It's what theologians do. It's part of the learning and growing process, for both the questioner and the one questioned. The more one is required to defend one's faith, the stronger is becomes.

    Troy, you make your issues plain in your comment, and you are welcomed to them. It is a mistake to generalize them to everyone else.

  27. Steve Hickey 2012.03.28

    Bishop - do you have time or interest to answer complex theological questions from someone who is only trying to bait you? I don't and especially if the matter is off topic in a thread. My answer was clear - if you want to know my beliefs, listen to the hundreds of hours of podcasts available through our website or read a couple of my books or attend my intro class where I give interested people the full scoop on what we teach here. I am not hiding from anything. In fact my views are out there for any to check out. Certainly your theology, your education nor your ordination are any sort of threat or intimidation to me. Not in the slightest. Who are you? What is your full name? Do you serve somewhere or are on staff or faculty somewhere??

  28. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    I'm not the one holding public office Hickey. You are. That does not mean I have time to " listen to the hundreds of hours of podcasts available through our website or read a couple of my books or attend my intro class. . . "

    Nor do I have an expectation that I am threatening to you. It's only your refusal to respond to my sincere questions in kind that gives rise to my curiosity about your silence. What were there, maybe 5 questions? It's not that complicated.

  29. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    Bishop, I saw your questions and they were loaded with BS.

  30. larry kurtz 2012.03.28

    Like either Steve has a lock on reality.

  31. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    Well, D.E. that's a pretty good sign.

    If Hickey says they were "complex theological" and Sibby says they were "loaded with BS," you know you're on the right track, sister.

    What WERE those dang questions again? I forget?

  32. larry kurtz 2012.03.28

    Every earth hater in the legislature is a choir member anyway: one more christofascist with bona fides from Janklow's School of Divinity will change little. DD was interviewed from China apparently horrified of the simple locavore existence he witnessed from the bullet train.

    Rewild the West.

  33. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    Hickey... were they really hard questions, or did you just not want to answer them? (Either way is okay with me, I'm just curious.)

  34. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    "Bishop – do you have time or interest to answer complex theological questions from someone who is only trying to bait you?"

    "If Hickey says they were “complex theological” and Sibby says they were “loaded with BS,” you know you’re on the right track, sister."

    Fleming, the "trying to bait" is the "loaded with BS". Steve is right. If Bishop wants a constructive understanding it will take time and an open mind...both things neither Bishop or you will provide.

  35. Steve Hickey 2012.03.28

    Bishop, the vibe I get from you is total intolerance toward the beliefs of others and it's very apparent you have no interest to have any sort of open "learning and growing process" in dialog. Being in public office doesn't mean I have to respond to everyone who baits me and as a practice of my faith - most of the time - I just let this stuff go. Grace. And Peace.

  36. Troy Jones 2012.03.28

    Another's theology doesn't upset me but I do question the quality of one's education and learning if they are unable to understand Pastor Craig's statements on his school's website. Although it is not the theology to which I ascribe, I understand it as it is pretty basic "once saved, always saved."

    Nor do I consider it very charitable to refer to one's deeply held beliefs as:

    1) Mocking a statement and making assumptions with regard to the Bible being "inerrant." The use of the word and its application includes a continuum of understanding of how literal each word, phrase is to be considered. You concede the point with your "selective literalism" (which has a connotation that could be taken pejoratively).

    2) To characterize his words “substitutionary death on the cross” as connoting "we are such worthless scum, and because God is so bloodthirsty and rageful, the only way God’s honor could be salvaged is if Jesus died instead of us. There is certainly no love there." instead of accepting Christ died for our sins.

    3) To described "once saved, always saved" (a theology I do not ascribe to) as a "magic wand."

    4) Finally, are you really calling for a religious test in elections? It sure sounds like it when you say: ". . .it’s pretty important that we learn everything we can about that theology." I thought in America we are to make our decisions on stances on the issues and not a person's creed. Furthermore, to say it appropriate because his beliefs affect everything he does would then require every believer to have their religion vetted.

  37. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Bill, I can't find the original post of my questions for Hickey. I thought it was on War College or SD Politics or on this blog earlier. Did a search, no luck. If someone else can find them, please post them.

    In the meantime . . .

    Hickey, your beliefs matter to the public because they have an effect on your votes in the SD Legislature. You are not a private citizen, and we do need to know.

    Yes Troy, I do get angry at some of the pseudo-Christianity that is going around. Well, it always has gone around, but due to our pervasive ability to communicate on a large scale, it's much easier to find and has become more influential.

    For example: There are very large churches in Texas and other parts of the southeast that preach what they call the Prosperity Gospel. That means that a "good" Christian will be wealthy and successful like Abraham. They actually do pray for wealth in their worship services.

    The Substitutionary Atonement theory is also widely known, and does mean what I said, though stated less critically.

    There is a form of Christianity that says "real" Christians are only white people, and that Jesus was Caucasian.

    There is a lot of crap going around, and it's very damaging to the faith. So yes indeed, buzz words like faith, traditional, Christian, family values, etc., mean little to me. There are wide varieties of interpretations for many biblical terms. They are not at all standardized.

    I am indeed critical, I am indeed doubtful. That's the wise thing to do. Being critical and questioning are very Christian activities. Blind faith/acceptance is not.

    So. . . Hickey and Craig, tell us what you are about. Or promise absolutely that your faith has no effect on your votes.

  38. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Oh, and if "substitutionary atonement", or any of the other bits of theological language, does mean something different to either of you, please enlighten us.

  39. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    One more thing Troy, about my use of the word "upset."

    As I recall of our exchange on Blogmore, you used lots of capitals and exclamation points. You did a heck of an imitation of upset. But it's all right. I didn't mind then, and I don't mind now.

    From the point of view of a conservative believer, I understand and expect my comments to be upsetting, or something resembling that. That's just part of the deal.

  40. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    And Bishop, there are so-called Christians who say immoral sex is OK because God loves you and it is OK to sacrifice your child because immoral sex is a right.

  41. Steve Hickey 2012.03.28

    I am a Christian. And I have a Masters of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary, additional and doctoral studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Fuller Theological Seminary. I was ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church but frankly I don't push denominations at all and that's why Church at the Gate is non-denominational. There is an extensive statement of belief on our church website to which I ascribe.

    Here's a good summary from that long statement which I think should cause just about anyone to relax: "WE BELIEVE in the reality of freedom in Christ. This freedom creates a climate which allows for differences of opinion in matters of interpretation, doctrine and practice within the context of Biblical guidelines and historical Christianity."

    I love it Bishop, how you are the judge of what's orthodox. Next can we talk about the log in your eye.

  42. Steve Sibson 2012.03.28

    "If someone else can find them, please post them. "

    Rev. Hickey, I don’t know what your faith tradition is, so I lack a context for your statements. When you talk about the role of faith in government, I don’t know what you have in mind. To help remedy that I’ve gone to your church’s website and read the faith statement. I have some questions:

    The faith statement says –

    “Church at the Gate recognizes that it cannot, and does not desire to, bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent.”
    In what areas is the bible silent?

    “All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.”
    Does that mean that if members disagree they will be kicked out?

    “WE BELIEVE that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct.”
    I notice that “conduct” is included here. Does that mean that you make your legislative decisions based on your interpretation of the bible?

    “Jesus voluntarily paid for our sins according to the scriptures by dying on the cross as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice…”
    Human beings were so terribly sinful, and had so terribly affronted God that the only effective way to satisfy God’s rage was that Jesus should be killed? Would Jesus not have died if we were better people? Jesus’ crucifixion was our fault? Many, many denominations have challenged substitutionary atonement.

    “All who come by grace through faith to accept the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.”
    Does infant baptism surrounded by a cloud of believers satisfy your requirement for being born again?

    “WE BELIEVE the Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the Church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection and confirm the power of the gospel.”
    Specifically, what does this look like?

    “WE BELIEVE that other religions and ideologies are not alternative paths to God…”
    Does that mean non-Christian religions, or does it mean other denominations of Christianity?

    “This freedom creates a climate which allows for differences of opinion in matters of interpretation, doctrine and practice within the context of Biblical guidelines and historical Christianity.”
    Would you please expound further on that statement? It seems to directly contradict on of the first statements I quoted.

  43. Troy Jones 2012.03.28

    My comments on blogmore was with regards to inaccuracies and false judgments you made about another's theology. You have a right to your opinion and theology. But, asserting blatant falsity does justify forceful setting the record straight.

    In the words of St. Ignatious: "Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it."

    You jumped to the conclusion, insinuated, alleged to distract/denigrate or demanded Pastor Craig prove he was not one who believed in the Prosperity Gospel or "“real” Christians are only white people, and that Jesus was Caucasian." Seriously, what purpose did that serve? And you expected him to respond to your invitation to dialogue? Really?

  44. larry kurtz 2012.03.28

    "The secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, encouraged women who have aborted to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation." Source.

  45. Stace Nelson 2012.03.28

    The Good Lord Jesus made a lot of folks hopping mad when he blessed this ugly world with His footsteps, Grace, and wisdom.

    I would ask all that believe in Him, to remember the example He set, and how He would want to be represented.

    God bless...

  46. larry kurtz 2012.03.28

    and jesus said: go forth, split the atom, and bomb the other guy into the stone age.

  47. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Thanks for posting that Sibson. It was more questions than I remembered.

    Thanks Hickey, for sharing more information about yourself. I do have a couple of questions based on what you've said and I've read:

    You said in your post, "This freedom creates a climate which allows for differences of opinion in matters of interpretation, doctrine and practice within the context of Biblical guidelines and historical Christianity.”

    That is clear to me. But on your website it says, "“All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension.”

    I find that confusing when viewed in conjunction with the first statement. Would you clear that up for me?

    As I read again through your faith statement, I have a question about its purpose. Is it seem as encouragement to members, while accepting differences? Or is it a requirement for membership?

    (That question goes to the rigidity, or lack thereof, in your church. If your church is rigid, you probably are too. The opposite it also true.)

    Also, the question about your understanding of substitutionary atonement is valid because it goes to your view of humanity. That must have a big effect on how you govern.

    That's all. It's very good to have you share this information with us.

  48. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Oh Troy. Let's try this:

    I remember when I first felt that I was called to have to go to that damn seminary and hang around with those awful, milquetoast religious people. Ickeeeee!!! So I made a deal with God. I didn’t want to go, it was patently absurd . . . but if I had to, I wasn’t going to turn into one of those namby-pampy, mush-voiced, ultra-bland, soft-spoken, perfectly controlled, very moderately and modestly dressed in neutral colors, religious people that I was used to. (I had next to no religious experience before my call, so I had my own stereotypes.) I was going to stay as edgy, outspoken, opinionated, critical, skeptical, profane, and occasionally outraged as ever! So there!

    I’ll be damned if God wasn’t willing to go with that. Son of a bitch. That was not what I had in mind. But I had made a deal, so I had to keep it.

    That, dear Troy, is where I am coming from. Given that, I'm sure I will never be your ideal of a "real pastor" or a "real Christian." Then again, John the Baptizer probably wouldn't be either.

    You don't need to defend Christianity Troy. Christianity can take it just fine. In fact, being questioned, attacked, struggled with, is how Christianity is refined and strengthened.

    I remember you said on Blogmore that you felt you had to believe that your understanding of faith and all that accompanies it has to be the only way, and the only right way, to believe. Go ahead. Your belief is not mine. I'm okay with that. My faith is not a threat to yours. Relax.

  49. D.E. Bishop 2012.03.28

    Oh, and Hickey, you said, "you are the judge of what’s orthodox."

    I never said that. In fact, I know I'm not orthodox.

  50. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    Personally, I have a problem with dogma. It seems like splitting hairs to me, and usually misses the point. But hey, that's just me.

  51. Bill Fleming 2012.03.28

    ...oh , and James Joyce:

    "Then, said Cranly, you do not intend to become a protestant?
    MI said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost selfrespect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?"

    — James Joyce (1882-1941), Irish author. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ch. 5. Stephen Dedalus's friend at Trinity College asks the question about conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism.

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