Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Professors Snider and Trethewey weren’t the only ones offended by the MSU-Northern’s Graduation Prayer

The Corrector has been contacted by someone with a little more information on the recently filed ACLU complaint over the prayer at the MSU-Northern graduation. While the Corrector has blasted Professor John Snider and Professor Janet Trethewey for filing the complaint we have been told by a source at the University that there were numerous people involved with either filing the protest or had complained about the prayer that are on the faculty at Northern.

These include not only Snider and Trethewey but also Dr. Steve Hesske, a Vietnam era veteran and a defender of the first amendment. Additional faculty who took offense includes Steve Lockwood, Suzanne Lockwood, Jakko Puisto, Darlene Sellers, Curtis Smeby, Will Rawn, and Pam Wilson.

Thanks to our reader that e-mailed us and set the record straight.


  1. Even if you add all of them together they are a very small minority. What is going on in this country that we all have to pander to the few that just want to attract attention to them selves?

  2. If we didn't "pander to the few" than minority groups would still be in the dark. And how does the HDC not know that people sitting in the graduation itself weren't offended, but weren't sure the proper course of action to take?

    If some pandering hadn't been done in the 1960's, I probably would be bakin' pies in a kitchen for a husband and being horribly miserable.

    If some pandering hadn't been done black and white children would be attending different schools on opposite ends of town.

    I say, Pander away! Pander is what brings equality!

  3. I am just guessing here but looking at the number of letters to the editor in the paper yesterday that spoke against these guys and the rumblings I hear about it I agree with Joe that they are a minority

  4. I guess this will be the end of having pow wows at msu as they are also religious for some.I really do not see the big issue if someone were to say god bless you after a sneeze would any of these people be offended? If you do not believe in something just choose not to listen. I am guessing that the reason that msu required the staff to be persent for graduation was in some small way to thank all the students for going to msu and paying the over inflated salaries. I feel for the pastor who was there, he was lead to think he was welcome and probably would have had better things to do than offend anyone on his day off. If we are at the point that we can not learn anything from others than we are all doomed, instead of being offended learn form what is being said, if you do not believe then reafirm you're thinking and know for yourself what you believe is ok for you and what others believe for them is ok for them. I would also like to know if any of the offended people got up and walked out if not why not?

  5. fuelburner... This issue has been thoroughly hashed out on a previous blog, but let me help you out. RELIGION is NOT allowed in a govt sponsored building. Period! I was not at the graduation, but other posters have said this Pastor repeatedly said something to the affect of Christ as our saviour, etc. It was inappropriate and I think the professors were trying to make a point. They are required (and I have to bet that most would be there anyway) to attend the graduation, so therefore they didn't have the option of walking out because they were offended. And anyone who says that teachers have over inflated salaries obviously has no idea what a teachers job intails. I agree dandelion, as a woman I have no interest in being barefoot and pregnant, at home all day cooking and cleaning...isn't that what our Country was founded on?? And freddy, I don't think anyone would disagree that the majority was likely in favor of the prayer, but that certainly doesn't make it OK. There are rules that need to be followed. Religion belongs in your home or in your church, not in our public schools.

  6. Well red how come we let the pow wows go on in this government facility. I have seen many native dances and chants at the capitol and in DC when the native nations send there reps out for more money. If they would have walked out they would have proved a point and if ther was anything said after the fact then they would have had a case.

  7. fburner-

    There is a double standard. There is the Sweetgrass Society at Northern, however, if a group decided to start a "white only society" there would be an even bigger storm.

    The fact that there is exclusive Native presence,Native ceremony, and a Native religion is not a reason or excuse for the offensive things that were stated by the good pastor. If the drumming was religious, and I am not sure it was, it is equally as wrong as the bible thumpers attempted indoctrination. Actually it may have worse from the standpoint that they drummed for a long, long, long time.

    I think those person who complained were actually obligated to do so. It would be easy to ignore the prosylization that was going on (and I really wonder what Schwietzer was thinking, and I am a fan of his, but I think it was can we go to the Palace Bar yet?)

    I digress.

    It is the obligation of the intellectual leadership to speak for the betterment of society, and to speak for those who do not. I was at the graduation ceremony. I was offended by the good pastors comments. I am thankful that these individuals complained. I am also thankful they did it through proper and civil means.

  8. You may very well have a point fuel, I am not defending one while condeming another. I am not very familiar with pow wows or their chants. Is that a religion or is that a culture. Is it like Norwegians serving lefse at a graduation? I just don't know if chanting/singing is comparable to asking people to bow their heads and pray to what many people consider a fake God? While at work these professors and from what I read on these blogs, several other people do not wish to participate in any religious acts. I understand that many of you have faith, but it isn't for everybody and therefore IMHO is should be kept at home or in the churches.

  9. Red if you accept one culture than you have to accept everyones culture even if it is a religious culture point in case buddist munks.

  10. fuel...religion and culture are two different things. One is real and one is make belief or faith based. And I don't have to accept anyones religion and neither do the professors at Northern.

  11. Red there you go you said it perfectly you do not have to accept anyones beiliefs culture in the dictionary states the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another dose this not sound like the bible and the christian culture?

  12. Wow im actually with Red on this one. Leave it at home or in church.

    Joe, you dont like minorities? They dont matter? If you look at the big picture your the minority! Christianity is not the most followed religion. Hello Joe! Wake up and smell the stolen religion!

    Christianity was derived from other religions. All of its important dates were taken from Pagens and Mythra. Mythrism predating christianity by 600 years. December 25th was the day Mythra was born not Christ. Man... if people read more than the first thing thrown at them they might open their eyes a bit and not be so closed minded and sure of themselves. Maybe dont believe all the drivel you read and think for yourselves. Sorry for the rant. haha I shouldnt even speak when it comes to religion. I could go all day.

  13. Oh and red I was at a recent funeral where the pastor was talking about christ being our savior and guess who was in front of the 5th ave christian church? I'll tell you it was the same woman that filed the complaint funny how one can be offended on one weekend and not another.

  14. That was at a church fuel!!!!!! What point does that make??? Keep that crap outa the schools!

  15. fuel...are you for real? She was in a CHURCH dude. She was paying her respects to an individual. Can you say apples and oranges. On one hand you have her at work and another you have her during her free time in a place for prayer. Culture is everything from food to clothing to spirituality. I am just saying its well known and documented that drumming was part of the native culture, I do not know if that is part of a religion? God and all of the fairy tales that go with that are not well documented and there isn't one single fact (look fact up in the dictionary) to support your God...that I know of?
    Are you serious that you really don't comprehend why Mrs. Thretheway and several other professors filed the complaint. You can disagree with something and yet still see the validity of the can.

  16. I do see the piont you are saying that poeple that do not believe in god have more of a right to not hear a word mentioned about him than those of us who do. You have a right to go any place you want and push you'r beilifs and we do not. It all comes down to beliefs and non believers have more places to preach from than believers. Can you honestly tell me that one group has more rights that the other. Yea I am for real if you are so shallow you can not listen to a pastor at a graduation you certainly do not belong in the church listening to a pastor at any time. Can you say phony these people have the right to walk out on the graduation at any time and their employer could not say anything the piont was they did not wish to attend the graduation and by fileing this complaint they are trying to fix it for next year. I say mail the diploma and then nobody has to be offended. Better yet close the school and let them find a real job good luck with that. Shawn you can keep you'r crap to you'r self also

  17. fuel...if you believe that these professors are simply trying to get out of a work obligation than #1 you are crazy and #2 you must not know ANY of these professors personally. I know Janet, she is not only a very knowledgeable teacher but she is the first in line to volunteer her time to help with anything at that school or any of her students. Steve Heske is the best English teacher I ever had and also he spends a great deal of his free time helping his students and volunteering. Your just pissed that these people don't subscribe to your faith. Well wake up fuel, because we might not be the majority, but there is a lot of us who don't believe in your book of stories. I will say it again, Religion (which ever one you subscribe to) belongs ONLY in your home and your Church. I don't know what you are talking about that we have more places to preach from than you "believers" do? What is that supposed to mean? You sound like a very close minded person...everyone has to tolerate your religion, while you don't have to tolerate their right to not believe in your religion. Maybe there were a lot of mormons, muslims, buddists, JWitnesses in the audience and they didn't want to hear about Christ your saviour. So yes I am saying that poeple that do not believe in god have more of a right to not hear a word mentioned about him than those of us who do.
    Also are you suggesting that if we don't believe in your God, whichever God you choose to worship, that when you die we shouldn't come to your funeral to pay our respects? Really?

  18. Crap????? Look it up, these are facts fuelburner. Look it up!!! No i wont keep it to myself. This is a blog. You rant your stupid opinions. Dont be mad at me because your religion is a scam and you have been lied to your whole life. That crap being spewed from the pastors mouth is fine in a church but simply does not belong in any school. I go pay my respects to my friends when they die. Is that not ok Fuel?? Well i bet your pastor would disagree with you. Religion has its place. In the hearts of the weak minded. Use christianity to explain Dinosaurs!! Its real funny when a pastor says that dinosaur bones were put here to test faith! Hahaha what a joke. If you have to believe in god and Heaven to make you feel better about dying then go ahead just keep it out of the schools. Oh and i mis-typed its 1600 years before christ

  19. Ok Shawn and Red, give it a rest for heaven's sake, oops didn't mean to offend, better call the ACLU!

    No one is asking anyone here to become a Christian, we simply ask that you respect our beliefs just as much as you believe yours and if that means sitting quietly and ignoring a prayer, so be it.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, just because the ACLU says it does not make it so. They filed a complaint they didn't get a Supreme Court ruling on the matter. This is not settled law as much as the atheists would like to have you believe. While there are cases where the Courts have ruled prayer inappropriate, there are just as many complaints that have been tossed. This is not an organized establishment of religion by the State as, but rather a prayer at a Graduation ceremony. Indeed Congress begins each day with a prayer and the U.S. Supreme Court itself opens each session with a prayer for strength and wisdom, what's the harm?

    You have every right not to believe and I respect that, but I do feel when a gesture of faith is made in the public square we should not stone that person do death because we might disagree that is not what the Founding Fathers intended or even considered.

    Freedom of relgion is a tough thing on the one hand it tolerates faith of many different belief systems and yet by its very definition could be considered offensive by agnostics. This together with the Establishment Clause act as a balancing scale protecting the people from the tyranny of a government sponsored religion and guaranteeing the people's right to worhip as they see fit.

    As for your obvious disbelief in God and disrepect of religion that is your business and having a spiritual life is important to me and to most of the people on this Earth. Shawn you say Christianity is derived from other beliefs--you're right, but be careful of trying to prove your point by suggesting we all don't know what we speak of. The Christianity you speak of is New Testament teachings which is an important part of Christian philosophy as its the teachings of Christ himself, but don't forget the lessons of the Old Testament as well which are much more to the line you are referring to.

    As a nonbelieve I think it is almost more important for you to remember than those of us rooted in faith, science and religion have been at odds since the day the words themselves were uttered. Those who believe in science say without a doubt such relgious teachings are myth because there is no empirical evindence to prove its existance, right? If you have proof, you don't need faith. See faith is not just an allegience it is about fullness and peace withones self knowing that control rests outside of our own being.

    I will pray for each of you and hope you can at least believe in the Golden Rule the most basic tenet of all relgions including those you mention Shawn, treat others as you want to be treated or reciprocity of respect.

  20. I think all you people on here are hilarious to read and I'll apologize in advance for this, but it was in my church newsletter and thought it was very fitting for this conversation. Enjoy.

    If you're spiritually alive, you're going to love this!

    If you're spiritually dead, you won't want to read it.

    If you're spiritually curious, there is still hope!

    Why Go To Church?

    A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

    This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

    "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing...... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

    All right, now that you're done reading, send it on!

    I think everyone should read this!

    "When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you get that for me?"

    Here ends the lesson for today!

  21. Jerry...I like it. Too bad that religion couldn't just be something that people could have to make themselves better people. Instead, IMHO religion is now used by the religious people as something to MAKE other people better (supposidly). Case in point, our laws against gay marriage. Since marriage these days literally means more than just a piece of paper and affects us more on a financial and family rights level. Gay people are not allowed to benefit from the rights afforded by marriage simply because of the religious majority...correct? I would consider myself more agnostic, meaning I believe in a spiritual afterlife, but I have no use for the judgemental book you call the Bible and I have no use for a group of people who use their vote to make people live by their religious values.

  22. You know i have been pooping for 25 years now. I cannot for the life of me remember what one of those poops felt like. But if I did not poop for all those years i would probably have exploded by now. Im sorry but I would have exploded if I took in all the stupid things people say into my head instead of in one ear and out the other. Grain of salt.

  23. I have been reading this blog a long time and one common theme to all the liberal comments is that they go on all day long (and night too) every day 24/7 by the same people

    Doesn't anyone other than me have a job? Am I also supporting you?

  24. yes I have a job "Your Honor". So are actually suggesting that only liberals are on here all day and night?? BTW...I am self employed and don't work 9-5 so I enjoy the freedom of setting my own schedule. Is that OK with you Sir/Your Honor? And if your so damn busy at "work" how are you having the time to read everyones posts?

  25. Thanks Norm and Jerry I like you'r post

  26. Noam- there is a really interesting video series about combining God and Science to explain the world. It is a more contemporary movement. I don't remember the name of the series, but its pretty interesting.

    I think the main thing that irked me about the whole Northern thing is that if they are choosing to allow prayer, they only had one religion speak.

    If more religious speakers had been available, or they provided a way for the students who chose to have prayer receive it, that is much more fitting.

    I have a friend who works for Northern, and the staff is required to attend graduation.

    Being forced to listen to prayer from a faith that is not yours is extremely disrespectful, as is only representing only faith.

    Christianity is the majority religion, but no where in the Bible does it preach intolerance or forcing religion on unbelievers. People have to choose their own paths in life.

  27. I have two jobs Your Honor! I own a house and pay taxes too. I have had a job sinse i was 15. I have worked hard for what i have. So NO you dont pay for me. How many 25 year olds do you know that own a house? and not the spoon feds that give their kids houses. Awful cocky to think you pay for everyone. Must have a hell of a lot of money.

  28. shawn,
    I remember a few of my poops!

  29. Yea i guess there has been a couple good ones i can recall as well

  30. Dandelion,
    2 religions were represented with the drumming.

  31. thinker...what religion is the drumming?

  32. I think the drumming is more of a connection with Native American culture.

    But hey, I have a friend who's Lutheran and in a band. He should of been asked to play an instrument, then the Lutherans would have had their religion heard too.

    And culture and religion are not the same. Culture is a lifestyle, religion involves spiritual belief.

  33. My native friends tell me that drumming is part of their religious ceremony. They are paying homage to their creator. Sound like religion to me. But many will spin it into being called "culture". Christians have their "culture" too. Can we sing Christmas songs at government funded establishments because it is our culture?

  34. red said..... I will say it again, Religion (which ever one you subscribe to) belongs ONLY in your home and your Church.

    I have it on pretty good authority from more than one person who has attended college at MSU-N that at least one of the professors who was offended by this situaion preaches themselves, during class, about how there is no god and implies that those who do believe in a god or religion are crazy themselves.

    does that meet the definition of "seperation of chruch and state"? or is non-belief not technically a "religion" so it can be pushed anywhere anyplace anytime?

  35. I know from first hand experience that they do that also thumper

    Be sure to come on up to Gilford this weekend as we are celebrating. We are also saying a prayer at the park funded by the taxpayers of the community.

    Make sure you identify yourselves before hand if you will be offended by this prayer and I will get some people to hold their hands over your ears to block that nasty stuff away from your itzy bity closed mind

  36. idiotthumper,
    I would have to say bashing religion isn't a religion itself but doing so surely is a violation of the rights of others. Otherwise the arguement is that the professor can bash religion, but no one could defend religious beliefs because defending might offend others?
    I have just as much right to not listen to my religious beliefs being bashed as much as the professors have the right not to be preached to at graduation.

  37. Hey Hillbilly is that little gathering your having in Gildford manditory? No? Its not the same thing then is it? People have Itty bitty closed minds because they dont want to hear your prayer? That sounds pretty closed minded to me. Let some other religions in and you will realize they are all equally bat shit crazy.

  38. Shawn.....Hillbilly's attendance may not be mandatory at the park dedication but students attendance are surely mandatory if they choose to get a passing grade. They are actually paying to attend class to be subjected to this stuff. How many classes are there during a given semester????? How many graduation ceremonies are there during a given semester???? seems a little disproportionate....I ask you this....who is getting preached to????

  39. I am worried now about you HillBilly. That prayer in Gildford might just well be attended by Janet Trethewey. Aren’t they from up the hi-line someplace? I would bet her and Jack will be there campaigning she might hear that prayer and will have to name poor HillBilly in the next ACLU lawsuit.

    If anyone sees Jack at these events I would like them to ask him why it would be ok to raise taxes rather than cut services like he alluded to in last night’s paper. I hate people that always want to raise my taxes and to save some “service” that’s why I support Phil. On the other hand maybe Jack can get them to quit opening the legislative session with a prayer that is offensive to other atheists.

    Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would
    overstep their authority and instead of
    interpreting the law would begin making law
    an oligarchy the rule of few over many.
    Every session of Congress begins with a prayer
    by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid
    by the taxpayer since 1777.