Randy Discher, the senior pastor of Constance Free Church in Andover, Minnesota called on people from his church to vote. Then he included highly polarized voting guides that were warped on facts. After all this blog would like to ask, what does gun control have to do with the Gospel? When did Jesus ever talk about gun control? Randy Discher helped illustrate the scandal of the evangelical mind in what he was pushing. For myself its garbage like this that will keep me from darkening a door of a church.
“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.”
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
Acts 20:29 NIV
The other day something incredibly disturbing happened that this blog considers to be highly manipulative and warped. When I started writing this blog it was decided to focus primarily on the EFCA denomination. Many of the issues that I was interested in were related to the Neo-Calvinism resurgence, abuse and the other problems of modern American evangelicalism. Christian nationalism was not on the radar but after 2016 I realized I could no longer ignore it. Especially when it trickled into the last church I tried and that was after my transition away from it all and finally evangelicalism. So while I still write about issues with the Neo-Calvinists when necessary I write about Christian nationalism as well. The goal here is to work with and write about the issues as they occur.
The senior pastor of Constance Free Church in Andover, Minnesota is Randy Discher. Andover is in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Discher sent out a letter to the congregation recently encouraging them to vote. Now the note itself would have mostly been fine if he had included links to non-partisan and neutral voter education guides. If that would have happened I would have let this go. But that is not what happened. The Constance Free Church pastor sent out links to two culture war sites that had some really warped information. Let me show the letter below.
Now as I said above the letter by itself would have mostly been fine. But take a close look at the voting guides which I have downloaded, saved, and attached to this post.
Critique and Breakdown of the 2020 Presidential Voting Guide as Pushed by Randy Discher
For the focus of this post I am going to stick to the 2020 presidential voter guide from My Faith Votes. When I saw that presidential voting guide my jaw dropped when I saw how warped it is. Let me pick a few topics and comment on them.
Originalist Supreme Court: What does this have to do with Christian faith? When I was in an EFCA church, Roman Catholicism was called a cult and now supporting a Catholic for the Supreme Court is okay? Care to explain that 180 to me? While evangelicals just focus on abortion but what about many other issues such as Miranda, search and seizure, voting, presidential power, discrimination, privacy cases, Constitutional tax policy, etc… There is a lot more than comes up besides abortion.
Law and Order: Does this include tear gassing a church in Washington, D.C.? What about not paying taxes? Did Randy Discher pay more than $750.00 in taxes in 2017? Is practicing extortion on the Ukraine President okay? What about bribing a porn star and buying her silence? The next time the men’s group meets at Constance Free if a guy confesses to masturbating to Stormy Daniels in a porn movie called “Breast Side Story” , Randy can say the following. “That’s fine. Its okay. We support Donald Trump and his decision making. Its okay to lust after Daniels, Trump did so and we never called him out on that.”
Gun Control: What does gun control have to do with the Bible? After being an evangelical for years I never saw the topic addressed in Colossians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, etc…. Did Jesus talk about this in Matthew in the Sermon of the Mount? I must have missed this in the Beatitudes where Jesus said blessed is he who owns an AR-15. Randy Discher can you point out to me in scripture where Jesus spoke about gun control? By the way the information presented is not altogether accurate. But we’re going to get into slander below in more detail.
Protecting Religious Beliefs: When an evangelical speaks about religious freedom, what they are really asking is about the right to discriminate. Can I discriminate against that gay person? Evangelicals love to have a whipping boy to get people to be fearful of, more on this below.
Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem: Randy Discher there is a lot more to foreign policy that moving the embassy in Israel. Here is a sampling of a number of other issues in foreign policy for you to consider.
- You have the issue of Hong Kong and what is China doing to the former British territory. Then you also have Taiwan and threats to them by China.
- Autocracy in Russia and corruption as well as carrying out poisoning attacks on foreign soil such as Great Britain or Europe.
- You have the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the seizure of Crimea.
- You have illiberalism and autocracy and erosion of democracy or its death in places like Hungary and Poland.
- You have Turkey drawing near to Russia and the challenges that poses to NATO. Speaking of NATO what is the future of the organization? Its still crucial and needed.
- What about counter terrorism? From Al Qaeda in the Middle East to ISIS reaching out to Afghanistan, how should that problem be dealt with?
- What about Syria and the ongoing conflict there?
- What is our relationship with Saudi Arabia? Are we going to accept Saudi Arabia abducting and assassinating American residents like Jamal Khashoggi?
- What is our relationship with Japan?
- What are we going to do about North Korea’s nuclear program and its threats to South Korea? Meanwhile what is our relationship with South Korea? After all we have close to 20,000 United States troops in the country guarding the DMZ.
- What is the long term goal of managing Cuba? What are we doing to support democracy in Cuba?
- What is our stance on autocracy in Central and South America? From Nicaragua, to Venezuela, to Brazil and elsewhere. Are we going to support the citizens right to vote or have free press, etc..?
- What about the drug trade in South America? How should we intervene in trafficking?
- What is our policy to Nordic countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Norway?
- What do we do about Russian cyber warfare in Europe and the Baltics?
- What about the ongoing status of Brexit in the United Kingdom? If Scotland decides to go independent what should our policy be? What about the Good Friday Accords that brought peace to Northern Ireland? Should Brexit threaten that peace and should another version of the Irish Republican Army emerge to fight for Ireland?
- What is our relationship with Germany? The United States has some large bases in Germany. Should we continue to remain close to our Ally we rebuilt and supported after World War II?
- What should be our policy be in Iraq? We went to war in 2003 how should we stabilize and support the Iraqi government?
- What about the war in Afghanistan? How should we deal with the Taliban? Speaking of which what about neighboring Pakistan? What should be official American policy in that struggling democracy?
- You also have India in South Asia? How should we support India against China and simultaneously help diffuse tension with Pakistan. War in South Asia would be harmful for the global economy.
- What should be our policy in Africa? From Egypt to Kenya, to South Africa? Should we combat HIV in Africa? What about genocide on the continent?
But hey remember Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem. That’s all that matters.
Green New Deal: That is a loaded term. Its not like evangelicals care about science. After all evangelicals are still stuck in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925 and haven’t moved beyond Scopes.
What the Voting Guide Did Not Address
The voting guide just played up the culture war issues as defined by evangelicals. It didn’t address a slew of modern issues happening today. For example the voting guide did not consider the following:
- What about redistricting and gerrymandering and the effects of that on democracy? How should that be handled?
- What about voter suppression? Its become harder to vote.
- What about Neo-Nazis and the far right? The FBI director testified of the growing threat by white supremacists which is why events like Charlottesville were so shocking. Before September 11, 2001 the most destructive act of terrorism was carried out in Oklahoma City in 1995 by a white supremacist who had ties to the Michigan militia. For Randy Discher’s memory do I need to post a picture of a firefighter pulling a baby out of the rubble of a former federal building?
- What about the economy? What about regulation or banking policy? How about the unemployment rate? How about interest rates and the Federal Reserve?
- What about basic environmental law? From clean air to clean water? What about the Great Lakes and the threats foreign species pose to fishing in places like Duluth or Superior? What about managing superfund sites? What about endangered specifies? From the dwindling population of the Monarch butterfly to managing national parks?
- What about housing and homelessness? What about retraining of people into new jobs? What about the dying coal industry?
- What about health care and pre-existing conditions? While I detest Medicare for all what about how the health insurance industry operates? Skyrocketing costs for cancer treatment and more?
- What about how to take care of the elderly? What policies should be in place for the elderly population? After all in the United States we have a growing elderly population and a shrinking population of younger people.
- What should be done about drug addiction? How should we help those addicted to opioids and fentanyl?
- What about corruption and the politicization of the Justice Department?
- What about the declining United States infrastructure? From a train tunnel under the Hudson that links New York City to the country by rail to other large projects. What about freeways and interstates across the United States? What do we do about aging bridges?
- What about rural access to the internet? Connecting people in the rural parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin to 5G when that roles out? How many aspects of life today make internet access necessary? What about basic internet access for education purposes?
A Voting Guide That Does Not Raise COVID-19 in the Middle of a Pandemic?
Of all the things when I read that voters pamphlet that was being pushed by Randy Discher I was stunned to see no mention of COVID-19. Pandemics are a part of history. They happen. When I took western civilization in college we studied how pandemics affected the Roman Empire. The United States has had pandemics before with the last national one taking place in 1918 with the “Spanish Flu.” In the 1918 influenza 675,000 Americans are killed. In the COVID-19 pandemic we are at 220,000 or roughly a third of that death total. And then you consider the large uptick taking place in the Upper Midwest in places like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, etc… Shouldn’t policy as it pertains to the pandemic be on the ballet? Its almost as if for the voter guide the topic doesn’t exist? This just stunned me of all the issues I saw. Aren’t Randy Discher and the staff of Constance Free Church concerned about this pandemic and want to see people get through to the other side? Or do we stick our collective head in the sand and act indifferent?
Evangelicals Like Randy Discher Traffic in Fear and Manipulate, While Engaging in Slander
This voting guides that were pushed by Randy Discher explain why I am not an evangelical and why I won’t go back to church. All that Randy highlighted is how Constance Free is authoritarian, autocratic and living in a bubble of alternative facts. Evangelicals traffic and push fear as means to control people. When it comes to evangelicals that is their playbook. Whereas Jesus said to love your neighbor, Constance says to fear your neighbor. Whereas Jesus says to love your enemy, Constance says to fear your enemy. Whatever the situation the evangelical response is to come through fear. That BS really needs to end because young people are tired of it. That voting guide is highly manipulative and reduces an election down to just a handful of issues. A large number of issues that pertain to a healthy functioning nation-state are ignored as well.
But the other thing that was disturbing is how Randy Discher engaged in slander. I mean look at the letter he sent out and pay close attention to how it ends.
I want to leave one last encouragement. In thinking back to our recent series, “The Love Option,” we focused on 1 Corinthians 13 and how it should inform our interactions even in the area of political passion and online interactions with one another. In every post, share, conversation, and tweet, I challenge you to ask yourselves the following questions:
“Does my conduct in these times seek to unify or divide the family of Christ?”
“As a Christ follower, how can I make a difference and act in ways that empower the gospel and my own witness when this election is over?”
Now right before that section he states that people are to surrender their will and not fall victim to the devil. It was a way to suppress people. And THEN you introduce the toxic voting guides which contained slanderous information. How sick is that? When I saw the directive earlier I was stunned and read it a couple of times. This is a church that this blog would counsel people to leave or to avoid. The good thing about this blog is that people will find this post and that it will keep people from attending and becoming involved. Information is everything, and the goal of this blog is to get that knowledge into the right hands.
Why Randy Discher is a Wolf and Should Not be in the Pulpit
Randy Discher in this blog’s view is a wolf who walks among the sheep at an EFCA church in the North Central District. This is a man who has tipped his hand in how he presented himself. Most of that letter I would have let go if there was something like the League of Women Voters or some basic non-partisan voters guide attached. Christian nationalism is toxic and the voting guide helps influence it. Take the one issue of foreign policy which reduces the topic to the embassy in Jerusalem. Doesn’t Constance have daughters and sons who serve in the military? Individuals who serve in places like Afghanistan or are forward deployed in places like South Korea? Voting is done for your children’s future. Why throw that away by focusing on one issue. What Randy Discher tried to pull off reminds me of why evangelicalism is so selfish as a movement and often cancerous to a community.
Randy also tipped his hand in faith as well. Jesus didn’t die for the sins of the world. No, he died for a Supreme Court seat here in the Washington, D.C. area. That is the reason why I would never step into a church like Constance to listen to a sermon, or allow myself to be taught by any staff. Its too politicized. I have crossed paths with people who survived the September 11 attacks in the Pentagon. They deserve better. Those who serve abroad in the military sacrificed for much more than a handful of culture war issues. If you want to find God I would send you to a number of sources. If you want to pursue God I would not recommend Constance Free Church. Constance I will be writing about you again. You moved up on my radar thus earning this blunt post. Randy this blog calls for your retirement. You should not be in the pulpit.
If There are Stories About Constance Free Please Contact This Blog
This blog is highly interested in Constance Free Church and is looking for more stories about this organization. If there are problems with Calvinism or membership covenants, contact this blog. If Randy Discher, Sean MacDowell, and Randy Ahlberg were involved in covering up child sex abuse or mishandling a domestic abuse situation, please contact this blog. Toxic places often have stories within. As I write about the EFCA that is the lesson that I keep learning. Scratch the surface and what comes out is often troubling. For those who have stories or want to discuss Constance Free Church my email is firstname.lastname@example.org