# Religion



Iowa Senate district 14: A "rap sheet" that speaks for itself

Herb Strentz reflects on Republican Jake Chapman’s claim that his Democratic opponent Sarah Trone Garriott is a “radical activist.”

Fear-mongering and baseless campaign attacks against candidates for public office are not restricted to Iowans who dare to seek election while being Black—as is the case for Deidre DeJear, Iowa’s Democratic candidate for governor.

Yes, commentators from Bleeding Heartland to the Des Moines Register’s editors have rightly condemned Governor Kim Reynolds’ ads against DeJear as race-baiting.

And yes, “politics ain’t beanbag.” It’s not for the thin-skinned.

That “beanbag” contrast is as true today as it was in 1895, when Finley Peter Dunne quoted his fictional character, Mr. Dooley, pontificating about rough-house Chicago politics.

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Take two on Kim Reynolds' racist campaign commercial

Governor Kim Reynolds’ re-election campaign continues to air a television commercial that plays on racist tropes in order to boost the governor among the largely white Iowa electorate.

Reynolds’ campaign spokesperson Pat Garrett has not replied to Bleeding Heartland’s inquiries about the commercial. But after Iowa Democratic Party chair Ross Wilburn denounced the ad as “a cheap, racist and dangerous stunt using harmful stereotypes to score political points,” Garrett told some other reporters that the spot “contrasts the failed policies supported by liberal Democrats across the country with the common sense leadership of Gov. Reynolds.”

Visual evidence shows the ad-makers were determined to create negative associations with Black women. The tactic would undermine the governor’s Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear.

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An open letter to coaches in Iowa public schools

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities:

As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his post-game prayers on the field.

Writing for a 6-3 majority in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Justice Neil Gorsuch mischaracterized Kennedy’s actions as a “short, private, personal prayer.” In fact, the coach sought public acclaim and extensive media coverage for giving thanks to God at the 50-yard line, sometimes surrounded by players.

No doubt the coaches who copy Kennedy will be celebrated in many Iowa communities.

I’ve been thinking about how coaches like him will change the school sports experience for students like me.

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Separating the ethic from the dogma

Richard Lindgren is Emeritus Professor of Business at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, now retired in Gulf Coast Florida. He blogs at godplaysdice.com.

A Kentucky circuit court recently granted a temporary injunction to halt the implementation of Kentucky’s “trigger law” that would ban abortion in response to the recent Dobbs Supreme Court decision. The judge spelled out perhaps the clearest rationale to date why the most extreme of the anti-abortion laws are blatantly unconstitutional according to the Kentucky state constitution (regardless of what the current Supreme Court says):

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Are we a Christian nation?

Henry Jay Karp is the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanuel in Davenport, Iowa, which he served from 1985 to 2017. He is the co-founder and co-convener of One Human Family QCA, a social justice organization.

One of my seminary professors told a story about a time when he was invited to address a group of Jesuit priests. He opened his remarks by saying, “I’m a Jew. I want to let you know that we’re right and you’re wrong!”

As you can imagine, that remark caused quite a stir in the audience. He then went on to say, “That’s OK because you believe that you’re right and I’m wrong! With that understanding, we can begin to dialogue.” At the time, I was quite taken with that story. What a wonderful way to open an interfaith dialogue!

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