Welcome to Family Heritage Alliance
Faith and Freedom Coalition Voter Guide
Folks, our constant plea during this election cycle has been: "please do your due diligence, research the issues and the candidates, and vote your values!" Well, here we are less than a week away, and the times have never been more critical for God's people to get involved. Please get out and vote. Early voting is going on right now, so if you can't get there on Tuesday, get out now and let your voice be heard. Take someone with you. Energize those around you.
One of the most important elections in recent history is the one that will fill retiring U.S. Senator Johnson's seat. If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with the candidates and their position on the issues that matter to you. We are including a simple voter's guide from the Faith and Freedom Coalition regarding this race. We are also providing a link below where you can download a printable version of this guide. There has to be several in your sphere of influence who would like to know what is contained in this simple guide.
As always, thank you for your prayers, moral and financial support for the ministry of the Family Heritage Alliance.
Click Here to Download the Print-Ready South Dakota Voter Guide
Click Here to Download the Print-Ready South Dakota Voter Guide 2 up
The Importance of the Christian Vote
By S.D. Representative / Pastor Scott Craig
Click here for the manuscript of Scott's message...
Although Family Heritage Alliance has fundraising events scattered throughout the year, the primary source of our income is our annual “Stand” banquet. The concept is a simple one. We bring together supporters and potential supporters from all around the area, drop in some notable elected officials and candidates, charge the room with faith and patriotism, then add a powerhouse keynote speaker, and step back and see what happens. This year was exceptional for a couple of reasons. First off, this is the first time in the history of the FHA that we have done back to back Stand banquets in Rapid City and Sioux Falls (no small feat—I assure you). Secondly, we shattered our attendance record (which wasn’t hard to do in Sioux Falls). Since the October 16 gala was the inaugural Sioux Falls Stand banquet, the 240 in attendance beat last year significantly. On October 14 In Rapid City, the standing room only Civic Center LaCroix hall saw 620 in attendance (up almost 100 from last year). The Sioux Falls event was held, thanks to the hospitality of Pastor Wade Mobley and his team, at Living Word Free Lutheran Church.
In Rapid City, Senator Rick Santorum keynoted the event, absolutely mesmerizing the crowd. In Sioux Falls, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins had the keynote honors. As a longtime friend of the FHA, Tony has never failed to ignite the crowd, and October 16 was no exception.
Our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher delivered a report on the FHA’s work at both events. Pastor / Representative Scott Craig emceed both events. The army of individuals responsible for these two massive undertakings would be too numerous to list. You know who you are, and more importantly, so does God! He gets all the glory! To all who worked the long hard hours to make Stand 2014 the stunning success it was, a heartfelt and sincere thank you!
See our Facebook page for additional pictures of the events. Video from both events should be up soon.
FHA Team Attends DC Values Voter Summit
FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher and FHA Advisory Council Chair Bob Fischer were in attendance at this years' Values Voter Summit. The Summit was hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC Action) based in DC. A constant theme throughout the three-day event was the growing assault on religious liberty overseas and here at home. Featured speakers included Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, David and Jason Benham, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and Mariam Ibraheem (pictured here with Dale as she has been recently released from a Sudanese Prison after having been jailed due to her amazingly strong Christian faith) -- all of whom have experienced varying degrees of persecution for their faith.
For the second year in row, Senator Ted Cruz finished first in the Values Voter straw poll, winning 25% of the vote. Dr. Ben Carson finished second with 20%, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 12%. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in fourth place, followed by a tie for fifth between Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Dale found himself working the crowd, networking with passionately conservative, Christian world-viewed Leaders from across the country. Two such Leaders were Senator Rick Santorum, our FHA's West River Stand Banquet's Keynote Speaker (pictured here) and Bill Crystal, a conservative national news commentator (also pictured here).
To view and listen to the many guest speakers, including FRC President Tony Perkins, click here to watch them online.
FHA Executive Director Attends FPC National Summit
On Thursday, September 25, FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher was once again invited to attend a National FPC Director's Summit. This event was held at the beautiful DC Headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC). This was an all-day think tank/training session for the 38 Family Policy Council Directors gathered from across the nation. Dale was given the opportunity, as South Dakota's FPC Director, to speak of God's Favor and work with the Family Heritage Alliance here in the great state of South Dakota. The next gathering of FPC Directors, of which Dale anticipates being in attendance, will take place one-day prior to the FRC's Watchmen on the Wall Pastors' DC Briefing, May 20-22, 2015.
FHA Executive Director Attends Lincoln County's L-RDD
On Saturday, September 20, FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher participated, along with approximately 250 others, in the 2014 Lincoln County Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner. Betty Otten (pictured with Dale), wife of State Senator Ernie Otten, serves as the Lincoln County Republican Party Chair and chaired the organizing of this great event. The program included patriotic music, a terrific meal, speeches by SD Constitutional Office Candidates, and an inspiring keynote speech by SD's Lt. Governor Matt Michels (pictured here). The FHA ACTION was honored to have sponsored a table-of-eight College Republicans for the evening's event as mentoring our next generation's conservative, family valued young men and women is key to our mission.
The evening's program carried this thoughtful quote by former President Ronald Reagan: "I believe that part of our troubles are because back over the years, the leadership of the opposing party has step-by-step taken us away from the constitutional principle that we are a federation of sovereign States, and they have tried to reduce the States to administrative districts of an all-powerful Federal Government. And the Federal Government has tried to do things that the Federal Government is not able to do."
Religious Liberty Tour Swings Across S.D.
The South Dakota Religious Liberty Tour is now history. The Liberty Institute’s Jeremiah Dys, Esq., and our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher worked hard to deliver hard-hitting information at three venues across the state of South Dakota. The kickoff to the tour was in Rapid City on September 17. The musical group “Heart of David” provided a fantastic listening experience prior to the beginning of the kickoff event. 152 enthusiastic friends of the FHA joined us in Rapid City to listen to Dale and Jeremiah address the issues. The dynamic duo then left for Aberdeen where, on September 18, 20 folks joined them for lunch and part two of the tour. Ending the tour the evening of September 18 in Sioux Falls, Bartscher and Dys were welcomed by a crowd of 50. We want to extend our gratitude to “Heart of David”, the Liberty Institute, and especially to Mr. Dys for the gift of his time and expertise. Also, we are so grateful to the following pastors and their staff and volunteers for making this tour possible.
- Pastor Craig Moore, Pastor of Rapid City’s First Assembly of God
- Pastor Jon Droege, Pastor of Aberdeen Christian Fellowship
- Pastors Kirk Flaa and Matthew Ballmann of Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls
Attorney General Jackley...
Attorney General Jackley Joins Bipartisan Attorneys General Group Requesting US Supreme Court to Address Same Sex Marriage Cases
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty J. Jackley announces that South Dakota has joined with 19 States in a request to the United States Supreme Court to determine whether the U.S. Constitution requires States to adopt and recognize same-sex marriage (17 plus Utah and Oklahoma).
“I have joined the bipartisan Attorneys General request to the U.S. Supreme Court as it offers the most realistic and cost effective approach to defending both our State Constitution and statutory law. It remains the State’s position that the institution of marriage should be defined by the voters of South Dakota and not the federal courts,” said Jackley.
SOUTH DAKOTA LAW
In November 2006, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment making marriage valid only between a man and a woman. South Dakota voters approved this amendment by a vote of 172,242 to 160,173. South Dakota Constitution Article XXI, Section 9 defines only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. In addition, our Legislature has enacted SDCL 25-1-1 defining marriage as a personal relation between man and a woman.
TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE CHALLENGES
There are an astounding 89 cases challenging traditional marriage laws in the 31 States that define marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman.
South Dakota’s constitutional amendment defining marriage was challenged in May of 2014 in Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard, No. 14-cv-4081 (D. S.D.). Both parties have filed dispositive motions that are pending before our federal District Court in Sioux Falls and appeals are anticipated once the decision is rendered.
ATTORNEYS GENERAL REQUEST TO SUPREME COURT
The Attorneys General are requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to answer “whether the U.S. Constitution requires States to adopt and recognize same-sex marriage.” In defending their respective States, the Attorneys General advocate that “The question presented in this petition goes to the heart of the States’ traditional role in regulating marriage.” The Attorneys General are requesting the Court to answer this question through the Utah and Oklahoma cases that do not have the procedural defects created by Attorney General Eric Holder and the California state officials’ refusal to defend federal statutes and state constitutional amendments defining marriage that occurred in the previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions handed down in June of 2013.
The Attorneys General further point out that “these cases are divisive and costly, not only in terms of money and man power, but in terms of respect for the democratic process and deliberation undertaken by millions of voters where the nature of marriage has recently been debated.” The Attorneys General have explained to the Court that “In the year since this Court decided United States v. Windsor every State with traditional marriage laws has come to exist under a legal cloud that is fast becoming a storm.” Federal courts have found the laws of Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin to violate the 14th Amendment, while Louisiana and Nebraska have prevailed in federal District Court.
Sioux Falls Area FHA Luncheon
The recently held Sioux Falls area FHA Luncheon was a summer sensational event! On Wednesday, August 28, fifty-five passionately patriotic FHA friends gathered in the beautiful sanctuary, turned dinning hall, at the Church at the Gate. Their Pastors Steve Hickey and Dennis White welcomed us royally and their team of volunteers blessed us immensely. Thank you Church at the Gate! FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher led the program declaring the truth that, "Together we are strengthening and preserving marriage, family, life and liberty in South Dakota." We also heard an encouraging report from John Witherspoon College President Dr. Richard Wells. JWC, located in Rapid City, is beginning it's three year of ministry with a record number of students….50+.
FHA Shows Up At LifeLight
FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher was once again joined this year in the FHA LifeLight Booth by Dr. Ron Lewis of the John Witherspoon College. Our 10 x 20 foot FHA/JWC LifeLight booth was a hub of activity for the three days of this year's LifeLight experience, August 29-31. Thousands of folks streamed by our booth and a host of friends and soon-to-be friends stopped in and spent some time walking through our materials and visiting about Faith, Family and Freedom issues.
It was especially gratifying when South Dakota Representative Manny Steele stopped in to say, "Dale, I'm giving you a break so go get a bite to eat and walk around as I watch the FHA display for a while." This was a blessing indeed. "Thank you Manny!"
Yes, the FHA and JWC plan to be back NEXT YEAR as this is an event one would not, should not miss.
LifeLight Founders, Alan and Vicki Greene wrote the following as a festival recap saying:
This is what it's all about! Honoring, loving, and glorifying God no matter the circumstance. And just where do we begin? Here is a glimpse of what we experienced as we watched in awe of all that God was doing among and through His people.
The Attendees - umbrellas and tarps overhead and hundreds if not thousands standing in the pouring rain; some in muck boots, some in ruined shoes, some with mud between their toes. They stood there in the rain and worshipped with hands raised high.
They danced in the mud to the music. They stood and waited when the sound was lost and nothing was happening on stage. They were silent and listened when the words of the Gospel were shared through the speakers. They praised Him in the sun and they praised Him in the rain…
The Vendors, Volunteers and Staff — they all worked and worked and worked in the mud, serving with smiles; caring, sharing, hauling, moving, climbing and even pulling cars and campers out of the mud…
The Artists, Speakers and Musicians — they painted, they sang, they spoke, they served, they practiced and practiced and played and prayed and worshiped and gave their all to the crowd waiting to hear from them…
We all came together for one purpose. The Audience of One — to Worship Him.
Together we praised Him in the sun and we praised Him in the rain!
Ok, enough said! To God be the Glory!
FHA Makes A State Fair Stop
Following this year's LifeLight Music Festival, August 29-31, FHA Executive Dale Bartscher made a stop at the South Dakota State Fair located in the beautiful city of Huron. The Republican building was a buzz with activity and it was great to run into Jason Glodt with the 'Rounds For U.S. Senate' team. [BTW - you have probably heard that the FHA Action has endorsed Governor Mike Rounds for the SD U.S. Senate Seat but have you recently heard that on Wednesday, September 3, the National Right To Life has also endorsed Governor Rounds for the U.S. Senate. Congratulations Governor Rounds!] It was also encouraging to visit with several other FHA friends like SD State Senate Jim White of Huron. Senator White honorably serves District 22 (Beadle, Kingsbury counties). Note: In 2015 it is the goal of the FHA to have a booth presence at both LifeLight in Sioux Falls and the SD State Fair in Huron which take place at the same time. There's no grass growing under the feet of the FHA!
Sioux Falls Human Trafficking Conference
On Wednesday, August 13, the Family Heritage Alliance hosted their first Church’s Response to Human Trafficking Conference at the Sioux Falls First Assembly of God Church. Close to 200 friends and partners of faith joined together to learn about the scourge of modern day slavery in our state. FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher served as the evening’s program Emcee. FHA Human Rights Director Tess Franzen started things off by covering Human Trafficking 101, and sharing an update from this year’s Sturgis Rally.
Each of our guest speakers ROCKED the house! Michael Bartel, Executive Director of F.R.E.E. International, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and Keynote Speaker Congresswoman Kristi Noem shared from their hearts and their experiences, and imparted practical wisdom to the audience.
These individuals are each champions in the effort to end human trafficking, and we appreciate their generosity in taking time away from their very busy schedules to speak about human trafficking in our state. Audience members learned what human trafficking looks like her, what is being done to end it, and how the church is uniquely equipped and called to stand between innocence and evil in this fight.
Not only are these individuals generous with their speaking time, they have each been actively participating with the FHA’s Human Rights Division and the West River Human Trafficking Task Force in this effort. We are honored to be partnering with them, and we’d like to thank each of them for all they do.
People of faith often ask how they can get involved in the fight against human trafficking, and there’s a definite and essential role for each of us to fill. Believers know they can pray and donate money, but they often desire more practical involvement. This event clarified the role of the church in this fight, and audience members left with the challenge to become world changers.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a great event!
Click here for KELO's coverage of the event.
Click here for the Argus Leader's coverage of the event.
Click here for more FHA info on human trafficking and other human rights issues.
Bridge Building at Turner County Fair
Parker, South Dakota is home to the oldest county fair in the state, and for the last two years, FHA / FHA Action has had a presence there. This year, from August 11-14, Our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher and his intern sidekick, Cape Molstad manned our booth there. With thousands walking past, our team had many tremendous opportunities to network and communicate the mission of the FHA organizations. The list of South Dakota’s elected officials who stopped by the booth to wish us well got longer as the fair progressed. Among many others, U.S. Senator John Thune and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem stopped by. Of course, not all who walked by were well-wishers, but from our point of view, those folks represent a shot at building a bridge. Bridge building is much harder and more rewarding work than blowing them up.
We also want to thank our Sioux Falls Area Representative, LaVonne Fossness, who traveled to Parker to assist at the booth.
Sioux Falls Office Open House
On Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, the FHA officially celebrated the opening of our office in Sioux Falls. It has been a long road, and truthfully, an enormous step of faith, but we are open for business in the Sioux Falls. Our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher was there of course, and he had the following to say: “Right at 50 friends walked through our office door and the 'good will' expressed by all was especially gratifying. It was a special treat to see our own FHA Board Member Gayla Meyer walk through the door on Saturday. It was helpful having FHA Student Intern Cape Molstad (Baltic, SD) join us on Friday all day.” Several legislators were among those visiting, and so many commented on the attractive and spacious accommodations. It would be impossible to adequately thank LaVonne Fossness who serves as our Sioux Falls Area Representative, and without whose diligent work and networking, the open house and the office itself would still just be a dream.
FHA Campaign Takes Aim at Human Trafficking
Ahead of the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally, the FHA is launching an awareness campaign. Beginning next week, just ahead of the rally, the Family Heritage Alliance, with the assistance of Free International and other ministries and organizations, will launch an awareness campaign against human trafficking and sex slavery. Radio and TV PSAs with Representative Kristi Noem, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson will hit the airwaves for the campaign. Also, you will see a billboard on Interstate 90 right outside of Sturgis, as well as several digital billboards around the area.
Update: Be watching for the video spots below on your local TV stations. Also, a second billboard is up on Mt. Rushmore Road just past Tower Road. And lastly, due in large part to the work of our Tess Franzen, SD Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed August "Human Trafficking Awareness Month"! Click here to read the proclamation.
Last year, nine men were charged with sex trafficking during the Sturgis Rally. You might be interested in reading: Belle Fourche man found guilty of sex trafficking during rally.
July 30 BH Area FHA Luncheon
Wednesday, July 30 found almost 100 friends (which may be a record for this time of year) of
the FHA gathered at South Canyon Lutheran Church in Rapid City for our
Summer Black Hills Area Luncheon. The Keynote Speaker for the event was
Family Research Council’s SD field representative,
Bruce Lau. Also on the program was a report from our Tess Franzen,
Director of FHA’s Human Rights Division regarding the ongoing work
toward stemming the tide of human trafficking in our state. As always,
we want to thank Pastor Bruce Thalacker and the wonderful folks at South
Canyon Lutheran Church. Also, a huge thank you goes out to the army of
FHA volunteers that helped make this event a success!
Pastor Yorba Takes Faster Pastor West Trophy
Sunday, July 13, 13 area ministry leaders gathered to duel it out in what has become an FHA tradition. The Faster Pastor Go Cart Race West, postponed from its regular spot at the conclusion of our Celebrating Family event, was every bit the grand finale we were expecting. Pastor George Yorba of Open Range Bible Outfitters fame took the trophy. He officially took possession of the coveted trophy in front of the Hills Alive crowd on Sunday, July 20 at 2:50 pm. The other participants were: Pastor/Elder Jim Price (Black Hills Church of Christ), Pastor Troy Carr (Faith Temple Church), Pastor Karman Blake (Good Healing Voice Ministries), Pastor Jon Fiester (Bible Fellowship Church), Pastor Wayne Titus (Rapid Valley Community Church), Father Jonathan Dillon (Cathedral of OLPH), Father Nathan Sparks (Cathedral of OLPH), Pastor Karl Kroeger (Piedmont United Methodist Church), Pastor Rob Crumb (Dove Christian Center), Father Mark Horn (Cathedral of OLPH), Pastor Layne Lindberg (Freedom Life Outreach), Pastor Steve Selfridge (First Wesleyan Church). See more pictures from the event on our Facebook Page.
FHA Opens New Sioux Falls Office
As the ministry of the Family Heritage Alliance and FHA Action expands, the logical next step has always been a permanent, brick and mortar presence in Sioux Falls. As of Tuesday, July 1, that next step was achieved as we received the keys to our suite in the FCA building located at 1601 East 69th Street. Our suite is #206.
We are still in the process of getting utilities set up and ready to go, so it may be a day or two before a phone number is published. However, we are "chomping at the bits" to get operations up and fully functional in Sioux Falls.
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting an Open House Reception at our new office on Friday July 25 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and Saturday, July 26 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Refreshments will be served. We are looking forward to seeing you there.
First Annual Sioux Falls Walk Run
Saturday, June 28 was a beautiful summer day for our first annual Sioux Falls Run Walk for Faith, Family and Freedom. This year, we partnered with the Joe Marrowbone and the Ram Center. It is the heart of the FHA to reach out to our Native American brothers and sisters in Christ and this was our first successful attempt at doing so. Our Sioux Falls Area Coordinator, LaVonne Fossness did a superb job lining up this event which raised over $1000 for the two ministries. Just so you know, Dale and LaVonne weren’t in any trouble, the two Sioux Falls motorcycle police officers just dropped by to wish us well.
FHA Action Endorses Mike Rounds
Celebrating Family West 2014
Many of the mini-golf (pardon the pun) holes were under water, but still the hearty golfers golfed on. At times they watched intently to see if their golf ball managed to find its mark under the surface of the water. Talk about a water hazard. The climbing wall seemed the best idea, since you could at least get to higher ground that way. Yes, the rain came and the temperatures were less than cooperating, but still around 250 folks from the Rapid City area came out to enjoy fellowship, food, and fun. On June 21, the weather was far from ideal, but the 2014 Celebrating Family West came off quite well considering. When the FHA does an event like this, there is always an army of volunteers who make it all possible. To those volunteers, and the wonderful folks at the Ranch Amusement park, we extend a great big ‘thank you’.
Many of those attending waited patiently for 3:00 as that was the scheduled time for the “Faster Pastor” race. However, because of the waterlogged race track, the grand finale had to be scrubbed at the last minute. But be of good cheer, we already have the Faster Pastor race rescheduled for July 13. As a result of the reschedule, a few of the contestants had to bow out, so we are looking for a few who might be interested in filling their place. If you are interested, call our office at 605.718.5433.
2014 Celebrating Family East
Well the clouds rolled in early in the morning on June 14. The rain fell, the wind blew, and they pounded the FHA’s tent, but it was founded on something substantial enough to withstand the storm and provide shelter for the FHA team preparing to spend some time celebrating family in Sioux Falls. And, when the sun finally came out, so did about 150 folks looking to share in the “Celebrating Family” experience, and wow did we make up for lost time. Sure, we were hoping for 500, but the fact that 150 braved the rain and wind and came out to spend the morning with us is a win worthy of any trophy case. We were blessed to have a great team of volunteers who efficiently worked to make the best of weather. We can’t say enough about Al Novstrup and the great folks at Thunder Road who donated tickets to the attendees, and just generally made the experience a great one.
As is our custom, the grand finale to the day, was the Faster Pastor race. We had 11 participants, and the event was a goodhearted perfect conclusion to our “Celebrating Family” in Sioux Falls. The following pastors participated, and represented their respective ministries well. Pastor Tyler Tufte took the checkered flag.
- Pastor Spencer Aalsburg – United Reformed Church
- Pastor Aaron Asmus – Memorial Lutheran Church
- Pastor Chris Ascher – Resurrection Lutheran Church
- Pastor Joe Marrowbone – First Assembly of God church
- Pastor Dave Tims – First Reformed Church
- Pastor Tyler Tufte – First Assembly of God Church
- Pastor Brian Narcomey – Center of Hope Church
- Pastor Larry Fossum – Cowboy Way Church
- Pastor Jon Sanders – The Rescue Church
- Pastor Kurt Schiferl – Volunteers of America
- Pastor Chad Weidenbacher – Faith Temple
Our special thanks to LaVonne Fossness (our Sioux Falls Area Coordinator) who, as always rallied an amazing team of volunteers, and did a great job getting everything lined out and ready for the event.
JWC's First Commencement Exercise
John Witherspoon College is the first and only institution of its kind in a five-state region that includes more than 300,000 people living in a 2000-mile radius. One biographer said that John Witherspoon transformed Princeton into an institution that equipped "the revolutionary generation." God has given this school that bears his name, the resources, the vision, and the passion for equipping a "new revolutionary generation." All to the glory of God!
On Friday, May 9, JWC celebrated both her FIRST Commencement Exercise and graduated her FIRST Graduate. That Graduate is Scott D. Wiggins pictured here second from the left standing beside FHA Executive Director and Vice-Chairman of the JWC Board of Trustees. Also pictured are JWC's President Dr. Richard Wells and her Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean, Dr. Ronald J. Lewis. Mr. Wiggins graduated with an Associate of Christian Leadership and the FHA congratulates him and wishes JWC God's speed.
UPDATE : Bible Curriculum in Public Schools
By Perry Lewis
One year ago the Bible Curriculum in Public Schools was presented to Superintendent Tim Mitchell of the Rapid City School District, which is the largest district in South Dakota, and then presented to this audience.
We believed this great curriculum of history and literature was well received by Dr Mitchell and we know you received it well. It seemed to be moving in the direction for approval as an elective course in Rapid City High Schools.
A few weeks ago I met again with Dr. Mitchell. The climate of this meeting was substantially different than the first meeting in the following ways:
- Up front he told me he had been attacked by several people soon after it was announced the Bible Curriculum would be considered. Note: You may remember a very negative editorial by the Rapid City Journal followed by several negative letters to the editor. Shortly thereafter Dale Bartscher of Family Heritage Alliance had published in the same paper a very positive response.
- Dr. Mitchell told me he was overwhelmed (my word) by the Common Core planning and execution.
- He also said he works at the direction of the School Board and they gave him six directives to be his priority.
- Dr. Mitchell then told me, “There is no room for any electives that do not apply to higher education”.
- Finally he told me the Bible Curriculum concept is back to square one, and frankly it appeared to me he is not at all interested at this point in trying to move it forward.
May I suggest that Dr. Mitchell’s position, in view of Common Core [Standards], is probably not much different than Superintendents across the state, and nation for that matter.
Does Common Core and its dictates mean the end of the effort? Wars are seldom won with a single battle. Is it time for our legislature to become more proactive in school curriculum with legislation that reflects the standards we would want for our children? How many Christians are serving on school boards?