Archive for Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Democrat announces campaign for 2nd Congressional District

May 22, 2012


— A Topeka pastor and community leader announced Tuesday that he is running for the 2nd Congressional District, which is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from Topeka.

Tobias Schlingensiepen, a Democrat, has been pastor of Topeka’s First Congregational Church for the past six years and a police chaplain for 12 years.

Schlingensiepen said he is running because people “want a representative who believes it is more important to get people back to work, make sure our economy rewards innovation and a strong work ethic, and addresses our nation’s ever-expanding deficit than scoring short-term political points.”

Schlingensiepen has four children and lives in Topeka with his wife, Abigail.

Jenkins will be seeking re-election to a third term in the House.

The district currently includes western Douglas County, but new district lines are expected to be drawn in the coming weeks by a federal judicial panel.

Earlier this year, Schlingensiepen helped gather signatures on a petition calling for House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, to resign for forwarding an email that referred to President Barack Obama and a Bible verse that says, “Let his days be few and brief.” O’Neal apologized over the email.

Schlingensiepen also criticized Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, for proposing a tax plan that eliminated provisions aimed at helping the working poor, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Brownback later abandoned that proposal.


Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't care if its progressive religion or backwards religion. The ministry needs to stay out of politics.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

As long as we're discussing certain professions that ought to be excluded from holding public office, I'll say lawyers. They seem to be doing more harm than good when they're in office. Any others? Yes, opera singers. For no reason in the world, I just thought I'd throw that one in there even though I'm currently listening to a fine opera. But let's get back on point. No ministers, you say. And I assume that would include priests, rabbis, imams, wiccan priestesses, etc. Yes, I'm sure you're correct. There must be a Constitutional Amendment that would disallow that, since it makes so much sense. I must have slept through the amendment's passage. Yes, sounds good to me.

Glenn Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree with your sentiment. There's issues with the practical application of the philosophy, though.

Most people find the need to make excuses for the good things or bad things they do. They find the need to make excuses for the good and bad things other people do.

Theology (fantasy role playing?) gives them that reason.

God gives these people cause to raise taxes. God give these people cause to lower taxes. God gives these people cause to be pro-choice. God gives these people cause to be pro-life. Heck, God gives these folks to be either gay friendly or homophobic.

Considering how completely opposite these positions are, it's horrifying to know that "God" is the best or only explanation these folks have. It means they have a lot of power, but no capacity to think.

The best rational folks can do is give a high five when people do good things, and a "wtf" when they do bad things.

At this point, there just isn't a place for someone who's campaign platform is "I think we should do 'x' because evidence 'y' makes it a decent plan."

There's simply not enough people who can take "reason" at face value.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

You're making a lot of assumptions about this person. Not all religionists are as you describe. He should be judged for what he is, not for what you're assuming he is.

I think he sounds better than what we have and will be watching closely as he campaigns.

irvan moore 5 years, 11 months ago

i kind of agree but really wish politicians would stay out of politics

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd rather evaluate the positions of the individual than condemn them for their vocation.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

While I agree that a pastors job in shepherding his flock strong religious and moral values are certainly needed I Washington. Separation of church and state was never intended to keep moral citizens from involvement with public policy

LogicMan 5 years, 11 months ago


And you plains apes though my name was difficult to pronounce and spell.

Hint: put on your best Col. Klink accent when trying to say the above.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Without specific words or actions that shows this person trying to inject religion into other people's lives who don't want it there, it's pretty damned assumptive to believe that he would not be able to govern equitably just based on his chosen profession.

At least have the courage to wait until he shows himself as something before you call him that, and feel free to admit that you're wrong if he doesn't

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

jonas, I completely agree with you. He has the same rights as everybody else and should be judged by the same standards. I say this as an atheist. As long as he doesn't think he speaks for God or, as you say, inject religion into other people's lives, I really don't care what his profession is.

By the way, one certainly doesn't have to be a pastor to try to use politics to force religion on other people. You all know who I'm talking about.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

We all have our crosses to bear. So to speak.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Most people are atheists towards all gods except one (or, perhaps, one pantheon of them)

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Me, I prefer to think of myself as an agnostic, or perhaps a deist, depending on my mood.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

"it's pretty damned assumptive to believe that he would not be able to govern equitably just based on his chosen profession. "

It's not a question of ability but of calling. It rather reminds me of a friend of mine back in the Y2K fiasco. He knew I lived in BFE and had enough beef walking around to my place to feed an army. He told me once that he and his wife were going to continue to live in the inner-city area they called home, because that was where God was calling them to be. But, he added with a sly wink, "if anything happens, we'll be out at your place." Um, no you won't. If God has called you to stay in Babylon, I'll be d@mned if you're getting on my boat, Jonah.*

This is the same way. The pastor is called by God to be a pastor. In certain cases, he speaks for God or at least on behalf of God. He is God's man in the church, and wields spiritual authority to some extent over the sheep of his flock. Pastor comes from the Latin word for shepherd and carries that idea in the Christian religion. It's not a job, it's a spiritual calling from God that presumes related gifts from God.

In such a case, he has no business being involved in elective office unless he resigns his ministry and separates himself from it. This applies to any pastor, be he a Southern Baptist, a Catholic, or an African Methodist Episcopalian. You can't serve God and worldly power - remember, "My kingdom is not of this world"? Pick one and stick with it.

  • For the biblically-impaired, reference available on request.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, I would certainly agree that there might be an issue with serving in elected office and acting as a pastor concurrently.

But I'd say that the "calling" so to speak, might be a calling to help serve a god, or a calling to help serve our fellow man. I can see how somebody might see opportunity to do so in both fields.

/Then I might feel pity for somebody who thought that's what political office was about these days, but that's another story entirely.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

I think that our Federal representatives are compensated well enough that they should be required to have no outside employment or other conflicts of time and interest, pastoring included.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

Not that I'm a big fan of Jenkins. Back when she was beating Nancy Boyda* like a drum, the question of the minimum wage arose:

Jenkins said during the debate, "On the minimum wage, I don't think that we need to mandate that. I'm a free-market girl. Let the free market decide.'' Questioned after the debate, Jenkins said she had been talking only about an increase, not the minimum wage law itself. (from a source)

A free-market girl, according to Jenkins, is one who does not support a change in a current governmental price control, but does support the existing price control, which she opposed when it was proposed as a change to the former price control, which she supported when it was the existing price control but opposed when it was a proposed change to the price control before that, which she supported. This is called "letting the free market decide," unless she is asked about it, at which time she simply claims to have been misunderstood.

I voted for Nancy that time that time, this time I'll vote Libertarian. I'm not going to call a pastor away from his flock.

  • Or the War of Jenkin's Ear. No relation. ** Whom I actually liked no little bit, in a Democrat Squish sort of way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

The minimum wage should be raised to $12 an hour. This would take absolutely no freedom of choice away from employers. They can hire employees, and pay them a decent wage, or they can do the work themselves. Pretty simple, really.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

It should be raised to $500/hr. That way we can all be millionaires and retire after working a year. Just think of all the jobs that would open up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, you wouldn't have to walk, but you would have to feed and stable it. Not sure if that would really satisfy your urge to laziness.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, not so simple. If the employer does decide to do the work themselves, work much harder, and earn the money for themselves, having done the work themselves, would you agree that the employer ought to be able to keep his/her hard earned wages and not support through taxation the now unemployed person? Or is that person entitled to both fair wages if they are employed and compensation if they are unemployed, both coming from the employer?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

So, you're saying that allowing employers to exploit employees (which is what the current minimum wage allows) is necessary so that employers make enough money to pay high tax rates?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Who is exploiting whom? If an employee is worth $8/hr. yet an employer is required by law to pay him $12/hr., who is being exploited? And you failed to address my point, is the employer obligated to support this person whether or not he actually works, either through wages should he work or through wealth redistribution (taxes) should he not work?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

The employer doesn't have to hire someone incapable of doing the job. And if the job can't pay enough for someone to minimally survive, then society will be subsidizing the employer to make up for the difference. I prefer to let the market decide-- if people don't want the product or service badly enough to pay what it really costs, then they don't really need it.

And the evidence is that raises in the minimum wage have very minimal effects on the levels of employment. So the premise of your hypothetical is completely flawed.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Your suggestion to let the market decide is the exact opposite of what a minimum wage is. And I'm certain that there is no evidence since your suggestion of raising the minimum wage to $12/hr. is a radical departure from the history of the minimum wage, which has increased incrementally over the years, not doubled. Your $12/hr. works out to $25,000/yr. Is that what you think a burger flipper at McDondals is worth? Is 25k what it takes to survive minimally in this country?
As an example, I've employed hundreds over the years. Some stole from my business. They were worth less than zero to me. Some were barely worth the minimum wage and were paid that amount. Some were worth much more and were paid accordingly. A radical increase in the minimum wage would place many more either below what they are worth to the business or certainly hanging on by a thread. Your proposal puts all of them at risk and I can tell you as an employer, I will cut those jobs. They simply won't be worth it to the business. Unless of course you're talking about my business radically increasing it's prices. And all others. Hyperinflation. But really, who's going to pay $20 for a happy meal? They go under, along with all their employees. I go under, with all my employees. Then who's left to fund the shelter? Who's going to pay for food stamps when we're all on food stamps?

Stuart Sweeney 5 years, 11 months ago

The founding fathers used to view politcal office as a service, they would serve their term and return home. Maybe they might run for re-election once but rarely any more. It is to bad we have our funding fathers of today paying for politician to stay in office forever, giving us what we have and probably deserve because we keep providing the votes they need on election day.

blue_moon 5 years, 11 months ago

Everyone--take a deep breath. Toby will be your next Congressman. Please do not judge him before you hear his ideas. I've known Tobias for many years. He knows what he is doing and will pleasantly surprise you with his intelligence, fairness, and honesty. I am a member of his congregation--our church is open to everyone and practices tolerance of other people's opinions and the importance of education. Tobias will be on a leave of absence--his "flock" as one of you put it--will do just fine this summer while Tobias is using accrued vacation time to run for office. Tobias is a real down-to-earth person who wants a better life for ALL of his constituents. By the way, his last name is pronounced "Shling en seepen." Just call him Toby or Tobias. Drop him a line. He wants to hear from you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

I knew Tobias during his KU college days. One of the smartest i've ever known. "Pastoring" is somewhat the family business, I believe going back at least as far as his grandfather in Germany. I hope that once the redistricting is settled, I get the chance to vote for him.

One thing's for certain-- if he does get elected, he'll be able to tell you the reasoning behind any vote he takes. And it won't be just because that's the way he was told to vote.

situveux1 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, well if Bozo likes him I'm sure he's sane...

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 11 months ago

Schlingensiepen.....just for the bumper sticker.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

I will judge a person on their actions, not their profession. I have a much bigger problem with career politicians (like Brownback) than I do pastors.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Another "religious" fanatic from the 'same' genre as Brownie and the Fred Phelps lawyer clan."

That's not even remotely true-- not that that ever factors into any of your postings.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

No, they are chastised for their despicable actions and policies, and hiding behind their religion to justify it.

But I understand that such nuance is beyond your capacity to understand.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Think I 'meld' it into my schtick."

That would imply that there is actual humor in your posts, rather than just random blather.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

good-- you definitely are lacking in that department.

Alyosha 5 years, 11 months ago

Dear Parent: your child Falsehopenochange continues to post comments that show little to no regard for the needs of readers and clear communications, and which add nothing of value to important conversations. He seems to adopt too often the unhelpful class-clown persona, likely to mask his understandable frustration about communicating in writing, instead of trying hard to seriously discuss issues. We are discouraged to see this and hope he practices being serious instead of his tired class clown antics.

We suggest a remedial course in rhetoric and argumentation. If he continues down this path we foresee a future of inane and juvenile comments and continued frustration to form coherent thoughts. We also suggest testing him for learning disabilities, to make sure he is getting all the help he needs so he can have a bright intellectual future ahead of him

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

You actually are showing your ignorance of the differences in the so called Christianity that the Tea Bag people supposedly follow and other churches who practice what Jesus taught. He follows the real Bible, not the rewritten conservative Bible.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Even though I can't pronounce his name, I'm voting for him.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

How do business people make the best politicians? I've yet to see that function as a strong point.

Why? Government cannot be managed like a personal business. Then again I'm convinced "business people" would not blow their own money like they tend to blow our tax dollars.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

"Then again I'm convinced 'business people' would not blow their own money like they tend to blow our tax dollars."

No one blows their own money like they blow tax dollars. No one. We all, when dealing with money that we earned and which belongs to us, use more foresight and demand more value than we do when given other people's money to spend. We appreciate the value of our own money. Other people's money is a toy.

That is, IMO, the best argument for insisting that politicians have as little money to spend as possible. If you* think they are not spending enough money on your pet projects, then spend your own.

  • in the collective sense, not "You, Merrill."

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Claims about budget balancing are baloney.

But the truth is neither families nor businesses balance their books in the sense of forgoing borrowing. And even if they did, to insist that government do the same would extinguish whatever remains of economic growth and job creation, not ignite them.

Few families balance their budgets the way the guardians of financial rectitude are now demanding of government.

Is borrowing the road to ruin? Not if the debt is affordable. That depends how the family spends the borrowed money.

For instance, assuming the size of the debt is manageable, borrowing to pay for education is justified if the education improves the family’s earning potential.

The same holds true of businesses. They borrow to invest and operate, especially in the United States where corporations finance the bulk of their investments by borrowing rather than by issuing stock.

While exact numbers are not available about the privately held Boch auto dealerships, rest assured that Boch’s company borrows to put the cars on his lot that he sells to the public or to build yet another dealership.

Families and businesses in the United States do quite a bit of borrowing and quite a bit more borrowing than they had in the past. Today families rely on credit to meet their needs—for everything from food to fuel, from education to entertainment, and especially housing.

Businesses, too, have increased their reliance on debt to finance their operations. Total debt of non-financial businesses was 53% as great as GDP in 1980, but reached 74.3% in 2010.

Those figures surely put the lie to the claim that families and businesses balance their budgets year in and year out without relying on borrowing to spend beyond their income. Government’s Red Ink

Still it’s true that federal government debt has increased steadily and rapidly over the last decade as the government has consistently run budget deficits. The ratio of the outstanding debt of the federal government to the country’s GDP rose from 32.5% in 2001 to 62.1% in 2010.

However, payments on that rising debt are less of a burden on the federal government budget than debt payments are on family budgets. The U.S. government can perpetually refinance its debt in ways that are not open to the richest family or the largest business. Its debt burden, then, consists of the net interest payments on its debt, which will amount to 9.5% of federal revenues in 2011. That’s two percentage points less than the proportion of their income that families devoted to making their debt payments—interest payments and payment on the principal—in the beginning of 2011.

Moreover, a good share of federal spending has gone to investments that are aimed at increasing its (and U.S. families’) future income—similar to a household taking out an education loan or a business borrowing to expand its operation.

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

"Few families balance their budgets the way the guardians of financial rectitude are now demanding of government. "

Actually, most families do exactly that. When a family borrows, it borrows with the expectation of paying it off. It may borrow for an education, but it does so (usually) with the expectation that the money spent will be paid off, usually through a better job. It may borrow for a house, but it expects that next month it will owe less on the home, not more. People expect - or at least hope - that when they die, they will have something to pass to their kids. They expect their debts will decrease as they age. Few expect to die penniless and carrying more debt than they ever have.

Government is exactly the opposite - it does not borrow for a war and then pay it off. It borrows and borrows and borrows, trying to create "economic growth" by sucking money from the future. It is in more debt now than it ever has been, and gets more debt every year, like a family with an endless credit card that just wants to keep the party going. The "guardians of financial rectitude" are the adults here, saying that it's fine to borrow and invest*, but you also have to pay it off.

  • Yes, government can invest - it can build highways and ports and other capital - but very little of what it does falls into that category. What we are actually doing is consuming on a credit card we'll bequeath to our kids when we are gone.

jniebaum 5 years, 11 months ago

Typical right-wing response: If you don't like the message, attack the messenger.

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