Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

11/16/2004

Garrison Keillor Shows His Hand

Could it be that Minnesota native and "humorist" Garrison Keillor inadvertantly tipped his hand on a new strategy Mark Dayton could employ to keep his seat in 2006? As widely reported in the blogosphere, Keillor opined that the franchise should be denied to evangelical Christians: "I’m trying to organize support for a constitutional amendment to deny voting rights to born-again Christians. I feel if your citizenship is in Heaven—like a born again Christian’s is—you should give up your citizenship. Sorry, but this is my new cause. If born again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?"

It is hard to imagine this side-splitingly funny diatribe being employed successfully against any other religious or ethnic group but the patrons of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel ate it up as "tears of laughter rolled down audience members' cheeks". And why not? As this link shows, evengelicals account for 25.2% of all Minnesotans. If the right to vote could also be stripped from like-minded devout Catholics and Lutherans, you could conceive of an electorate composed entirely of secularists, Wiccans and other coffee house denizens (and the most progressive members of the ELCA). This -- more than any other conceivable strategy -- could give Senator Dayton a big advantage as he faces an electorate minus the "citizens of heaven".

Dayton v. Kennedy acknowledges we violated rule #1 of "Minnesota Nice" by mixing religion and politics. "But Mom, Garrison did it first!" Moreover, no slight was intended toward coffee houses per se. Dayton v. Kennedy is often times seen amongst the local glitterati at Nokomis Beach.

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