The State Senator is known for his service in Iraq and losing both of his legs in a roadside attack in 2006. If he plans on maintaining a political career, he's going to have to eat some serious crow and get better people working for him who aren't going to create enemies unnecessarily. He's a blue collar guy who should probably have stayed being a blue collar guy. He just alienated himself from most of his constituency.
PASTOR’S CORNER AN INSULT AND A THREAT
Following the lead of the Minnesota bishops, who are united in promoting a state amendment supporting a Marriage Amendment to insure legal recognition is given only to marriages between a man and a woman here in Minnesota, I sent the following email to one of our local state representatives:
Dear Representative Kriesel:
Greetings from Father John Echert, Pastor of the Parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Augustine in South St. Paul. I am writing to you specifically in regards to the proposed Marriage Amendment under consideration here in Minnesota in light of an email exchange which you recently had with my Associate Pastor, Father Robert Grabner. Within your response you wrote, “Unfortunately I do not support the Marriage Amendment and will not be voting for it.” I am very saddened to learn this, especially since I had encouraged one of our parishioners, one of your campaign advocates, to have you come to our parish Fall Festival last October so that parishioners could meet you in the days leading up to the elections. Also, as a military Chaplain here in the Minnesota Air National Guard I have been using you as a heroic example of resiliency in our monthly Yellow Ribbon Program for recently returned deployers.
I ask you to please reconsider your position on this critical matter. While we can legitimately debate issues related to finances and politics, those that are grounded upon basic moral principles and family values are rooted in the laws of God. I am commencing this week with a parish campaign to promote support for a Marriage Amendment in Minnesota; I hope that you will be among those elected officials upon whom we can count for your efforts at the leadership level to protect traditional marriage in our state.
Sincerely, Father John Echert
Sadly, I received back the following response from his office, which is outright insulting (note the use of the title Mr.) and threatening, not to mention the fact that it fails to address the issue:
I would like to respectfully remind you that the Internal Revenue Service frowns upon churches and religious organizations devoting time to influencing legislation. Your admission of the commencement of a politically involved "campaign" will probably violate several state and federal tax provisions.
Representative Kriesel stands by this response and stated that he does not care if this exchange is made public in the parish. Folks, God help us if the day has come when the Church cannot speak out on moral issues. If staffer Tyler or Representative Kriesel has a mind to sic the IRS on me or our parishes here in South St. Paul, they better plan to take on the Archdiocese of St Paul, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the bishops of Minnesota and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, for that matter, for our united opposition to abortion and support for the protection of traditional marriage. In fact, on the same day that this email exchange occurred, one of our bishops was addressing the state legislature on this very issue.
PASTOR’S CORNER (continued) Next week I will publish the official text from the
Minnesota Catholic Conference in support of a Marriage Amendment. Meanwhile, if you would like to let Representative John Kriesel know your views on the issue of the protection of marriage and also let him know your opinion of his attitude towards Church activism on moral issues, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 651-297-9010, or send mail to 451 State Office Bldg, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155
I recommend that all correspondence sent to the Representative be respectful and charitable, as befitting all Christians.
Story from the CDL of Minnesota and Stella Borealis.
Also discussed at, American Papist.