Tag archives: Minnesota

Missing My Mammoths in Minnesota

by Robert Morrison

May 25, 2012

Thomas Jefferson thought there were woolly mammoths on theGreat Plains. He really did. Jefferson was no dummy. He succeeded Ben Franklin as president of the American Philosophical Society, an organization to which the leading lights in American science all belonged.

When he was president, Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to undertake their great Corps of Discovery. Its a thrilling story, the nineteenth century equivalent of Americas race to the Moon. Historian Stephen Ambroses bestselling book, Undaunted Courage retells the story that once entranced all Americans.

The reason Mr. Jefferson thought Lewis & Clark might encounter woolly mammoths on theGreat Plainsis simple: he believed in Creation. And to his most logical mind, it did not make sense for the Creator to make something as wonderful as a woolly mammoth only to let it become extinct. We might say God doesnt make any junk.

Mr. Jeffersons theology, however, failed to take into account the catastrophic consequences of the Fall. His dearest friend, James Madison, fully appreciated Mans fallen nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary, Madison wrote in Federalist 51. I like to say that whenever Mr. Jefferson would lean forward too far, like MSNBC, Madison would be there to pull him back by his coattails.

Back to the mammoths. So, Lewis & Clark were the ones to report back that there was no Northwest Passage to the Orient on this continent. Map makers and explorers in the Age of Jefferson thought there might be an all-water passage that would open up Asia for commerce and friendship. They sent back to Washington crates of bones and fossils and they stuffed and mounted some of the large animals they saw on the Great Plains. Buffalo, or American bison, were a sensation. But no mammoths.

An all-water passage would be found much later, in 1957. The Coast Guard icebreaker, Storis plowed a pathway between the seas and lead a small flotilla from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Storis saw polar bears, seals and walruses, whales, and porpoises, but still no woolly mammoths.

Maybe the reason Lewis & Clark missed the woolly mammoths is they followed the Missouri River and turned left too soon. They entirely missed Minnesota. You gotta watch out for those premature left turns.

So, in 1973-74, I decided to do my own search for woolly mammoths in Minnesota. I trekked all over the state, raising funds for the Democratic Farmer-Labor party. I knew those big cities and small towns very well. Twin Cities, Rochester, Mankato, Moorhead, Thief River Falls, Detroit Lakes, and all the towns on the famed Iron Range—Virginia, Eveleth, Hibbing. Grand Marais sounds so romantic. Thats French for Big Swamp. In Bemidji, I saw a mammoth statue of Paul Bunyan, but no woolly mammoths.

In Duluth, in the middle of the night, I thought it was an earthquake when I heard booming and cracking. It was just the ice on Lake Superior breaking up on June first.

This would be the perfect place to find end my quest. Even if my prehistoric pachyderms were petrified in the ice, it would still be a great discovery. Some years back, the Soviets had actually uncovered mammoths in the Siberian ice. They claimed you could eat the meat. If you ever tried Bolshevik burgers, Im sure mammoth meat would be a welcome change. Now, the Russians are saying they have mammoths in Siberia. Im skeptical. Trust but verify.

Last week, I returned to Minnesota. I was there to promote FRCs support for the North Star States marriage referendum. I was honored to go to Stillwater, Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud and New Hope. Just being in Minnesota gives me new hope.

All the buzz, of course, was about President Obama and his coming out for same-sex couplings to be recognized as marriages. He finally dropped the other shoe, said all the liberal blogs. It seemed to me it was more like a centipede dropping the last shoe, but whatever.

Mr. Obama claimed he had evolved on the issue. Newsweek even hailed him as the first gay president. Talk about evolving. Then, it hit me. Thats why I couldnt find my woolly mammoths in Minnesota. Like the president, they had all evolved.

Will You Stand Up for Marriage? I do!

by Robert Morrison

May 22, 2012

I had the enjoyable experience of returning to Minnesota last week and adding a trip to Wisconsin. Joining the FRC-Heritage Foundations Values Bus in Minneapolis, we first heard famed talk show host Hugh Hewitt make an impassioned appeal for marriage at the Minnesota Family Councils annual dinner.

Of course, we will be accused of pushing marriage for religious reasons. Dont shy away from that, Hewitt said. God created the institution of marriage for our good. Consider Genesis, where God creates the world and everything seen and unseen. He blesses all saying it is good. The first time He says anything is not good is when He sees that the man is alone. Nor should we ever be ashamed of the Gospel. Jesuss first miracle was done at the Wedding at Cana.

Still, Hewitt said, we are not seeking to impose our religious views on society in general when we defend marriage. We can consider the Founders of our country. They appealed to the laws of Nature and of Natures god in the Declaration of Independence. Our very existence as a nation is premised on the natural law that we know is written on the hearts of men.

When I was interviewed on the Values Bus by Minnesota Public Radios (MPR) Rupa Shenoy, she noted the opposition of leading Minnesota liberals—Gov. Mark Dayton, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken—to the marriage referendum. I would not be drawn into criticizing local leaders. Instead, I made the case that marriage benefits everyone.

I related to MPR how, when I visit my friend Jim in prison, we are surrounded by fatherless young men. This is a national tragedy. Two-thirds of the teen murderers in our prisons and three-quarters of the incarcerated teen rapists are fatherless young men. I even noted that they write plays about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepherd, the young gay man killed in Laramie, Wyoming. His killers were two fatherless young men. Marriage, I told Rupa Shenoy, blesses everyone and bashes no one.

The venomous attacks on Minnesota for Marriages Kalley Yanta will backfire, I believe. She is called a spokeshrew and a witch promoting hatred by opponents of the marriage initiative. Such nastiness is counterproductive, especially in Minnesota.

Watch Kalley Yantas mild-mannered, reasoned Marriage Minutes on the web and try to fathom how anyone could call this lovely woman names. Its interesting that those who yell bully loudest seem to be the most practiced at bullying.

We rolled into Wisconsin on the Values Bus. Stopping in Madison, we were aware we were in the heart of Dane County, the only county in the Badger State that did not support marriage in the 2006 referendum. Still, even there we got waves and smiles. Its hard not to smile when you park next to a German restaurant and go in to hear an oompah band. (I loved seeing the childrens faces in the next booth. They were so excited. Such precious innocence. No one told them yet that polka bands are not cool.)

That 2006 Wisconsin vote for marriage should give us all heart. That was the year that Nancy Pelosi and her friends were swept into power in Washington. It was a year when we were told the old values were out.

But there in progressive Wisconsin, every county except Dane County joined the Wedding March. A stunning 59% of Wisconsinites backed marriage. Thats a landslide in any state. But in the home state of Battling Bob Lafollette, it shows that marriage has the widest support.

Marriage is not wedge issue. Its a bridge issue. I had a Minnesota State Rep. tell me that her Somali and Hmong (Cambodian) constituents had paraded through her office pressing her to vote for marriage.

Vice President Joe Biden claimed to be stepping into history when he said counterfeit marriage was inevitable. Actually, its evitable. And Biden may have stepped on a rake.

Support for marriage spans the divide. Wherever the people can speak, they say: I do.

Polling on your child’s life?

by David Christensen

November 19, 2010

Its difficult how to respond to this news that a couple considering an abortion, has put the decision to an online poll. The article says that the vote as of yesterday was 23,840 to 5,978 to have the baby. Maybe the couple thinks they can get helpful feedback either from the vote, or from comments posted regarding their decision.

The article states theyve been struggling with the decision because of the loss of three babies during miscarriages:

She and her husband, Peter Arnold, began the online vote because she was still healing emotionally from the most recent of three miscarriages, she said. They weren’t sure whether she was ready for a baby.

But it seems to me that this is rather gladiatorial, granting the crowd a vote over this life or death decision. Pray they choose life, and that they are comforted by their obvious hurt over their previous lost children.