January 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm in INFORUM
Two pastors arrested for drunken driving Thursday are not in danger of losing their jobs, a member of the council for Olivet Lutheran Church said Friday. Continue Reading
Tags: Crime, DUI, Fargo, Lutheran, olivet, pastors 80 Comments »
I feel we all make mistakes. This publicity will probably get these guys attention and I doubt any fine will have more impact.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 11
but we all don’t have these guys positions of leadership and authority on a moral level. but everything goes in the ELCA these days
Hot debate. What do you think? 31 39
i’m sick of this “suspicious” of drunk driving nonsense. publish some facts that matter, or else leave these guys alone, lol wow what joke news the last few weeks on here.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 15
they were arrested for drunk driving…..but not convicted yet. relax- Dont get hung up on a word
Like or Dislike: 4 4
I guess if I had been drinking and my friend was sitting talking to the cops, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to stop. My friend would be on his own.
Maybe they were not very intoxicated—it does not take much to blow a .08, I don’t think most people are impaired at .08. Most people who are impaired are blowing like .15 or higher.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 10
Why don’t you tell families that have loved ones that have been killed by .08 drivers that one? I’m sure they would appreciate it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 17
I would because .08 is roughly one beverage. Car ACCIDENTS happen sometimes and driving while intoxicated is unacceptable. However, in our society we say you can drink and drive to this point; it’s a mixed message. Frankly we should have a zero tolerance policy and American’s should view driving as a privilge not a right. That isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. So when a person has consumed one beverage and gets in an accident and the victim’s family cry drunk driver I get frustrated (It takes away from people who were really killed by a drunk driver).
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 10
“.08 is roughly one beverage. ”
No it’s not. 0.08 is one beverage for a 70 pound female. It’s about 3 drinks in an hour for a 120 pound person. For myself I need to down 5-6 within an hour (tested this myself and it lines up surprisingly well with the chart). If I have 5+ drinks in an hour I am certainly in no driving condition.
“Frankly we should have a zero tolerance policy and Americanâ€™s should view driving as a privilge not a right.”
I personally support built-in breathalyzers (accessible only to driver with a weight sensor in the seat to make sure there’s not shuffling around) but apparently that’s too much invasion of privacy.
“So when a person has consumed one beverage and gets in an accident and the victimâ€™s family cry drunk driver I get frustrated (It takes away from people who were really killed by a drunk driver).”
One drink won’t even register with most people. It certainly doesn’t with me.
Like or Dislike: 13 11
I’ll tell the families that have lost loved ones to completely sober drivers. I am sure they will also appreciate it.
another great example of trying to justify doing something wrong/illegal.
Like or Dislike: 7 4
People have been killed by drivers that are completly sober. Just because a person had blown a .08 does not mean that caused the collision. This hysteria about drunk driving is just crazy. I’m not saying that drunks dont cause accidents. But theres also people who are not paying attention (cellphones, texting, eating, kids), people fall asleep etc, as well that cause accidents.
If a intoxicated person is legally parked and sitting in their car and some kid slams into their car because they were texting is it the drunks fault???
Using MADD’s rationale it would be the drunks fault because they are a bunch of hysterical anti drinking folks.
Again I think the .08 BAC is too low because people are not impaired until .10 or higher.
Like or Dislike: 7 6
Wow! Some friend you are, you donâ€™t have many friends do you?
Like or Dislike: 1 3
your not a very good friend are you?
Like or Dislike: 0 0
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everything else is ecceptable within the ELCA so why shouldn’t being a drunk be too
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 22 42
the council statement reads. â€œWe take this situation seriously… we will support Pastors Jeff and Kris…with the aim of health, healing, and wholeness…”
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 13
Let he who is without sin, buy the first round!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
people in leadership positions and with authority ( and especially theirs) are held to a higher standard. at the very least there should have been an suspension. yes we all have sin but we are all accountable for it too. i know i have been accountable for my sin in my life and have had to pay the price for it. i expect others to be accountable too!!!
Like or Dislike: 20 6
I agree- I know very few people who lead perfect, sinless lives–OH WAIT, I know NO ONE who does!
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Wow – I guess those pollsters weren’t kidding when they said Fargo was the second-drunkest city in the nation!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 1
Drinking is an individual choice but when you choose to drink & drive, you infringe upon other’s safety. I lost siblings in a horrific car accident due to a drunk driver. The pastors are leaders & should set an example. They broke the law & they were arrested. People say .08 isn’t that bad but when officers do field sobriety tests, most can’t pass at that level.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 3
No one can pass a field sobriety test. Even completely sober, everyone will fail if the cop wants them too. They are completely subjective. Never take a field sobriety test. Insist on blood work if you are suspected of DUI.
I hope they weren’t smoking!! If so, throw the book at them!
Like or Dislike: 5 8
I’m glad the church is supporting these guys, cause if it were ELCA and didn’t I’d be annoyed. As said above, ELCA is the most relaxed Lutheran Synod. Now if they supported them, who were taking people’s lives into their hands with drunk driving, but were ostracizing homosexuals who weren’t hurting anybody, I’d be upset.
That being said, I’m not letting these guys be more examples for my kids. The position they hold comes compelte with role model status, not like athelete’s who have it thrust upon them…the pastors chose it. As such thet need to be more careful.
Like or Dislike: 11 5
Ostracizing homosexuals? (rolling my eyes.) The non-elca churches don’t “ostracize” homosexuals, they don’t want “openly-sinning and proud of it” types LEADING congregations. These two made one mistake. Leave it alone. Sheese…
Like or Dislike: 11 12
I was recently told about a meeting in one church about to leave the ELCA where ten of the biggest givers/families said they are leaving if the congregation votes to stay in the ELCA because they absolutely do not want any chance of having a gay pastor. How is that not ostracizing, which, by definition, is: To exclude from a group by common consent.
Before you repsond that I am working with second-hand knowledge, or trying to paint the congregation poorly, the person telling me was one of the ten.
That being said, No man of God should do anything to put the lives of His children at risk. Drink all you want, but don’t drive. I don’t see a line between the sin of killing and the sin of creating a situation likely to kill.
Like or Dislike: 5 6
Do as they say, not as they do!
Like or Dislike: 8 3
I can say if I were a member of Olivet, these arrests would be enough to make me leave the church. I’m disgusted, and I can also see now why I choose not to participate in organized religion. I hope they are properly ashamed of themselves.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 18 29
All it took for me to leave Olivet (grew up with the church and these two pastors) was the knowledge that they care more about feel-goods than they ever did about actually teaching the Bible. Of course, I’m a hardline atheist and was by about age 11 so… (Was still confirmed. Made the mother happy). I’ll never forget the way they attacked that poor 14 year old when I was 16 for telling his youth group leader that he wasn’t sure God existed… That kid is certainly scarred for life after the way they treated him….
Andrew, I too got tired of Church and the pastor’s and parish at about the age of 15, I still believe and have hope, but I prefer now to research and learn on my own. Many of the posters would just prefer to let this go, NOT! Those guys are older men and this should not happen, this is just a one example of bad behavior tolerated and from your post I can see there is more to the story.
Like or Dislike: 5 5
Most churches don’t appreciate free thinking of any sort.. Its toe the line mister or you’ll be excommunicated.
God is about love and acceptance but it really amazes me how much fear and fear mongering occurs.
But meh these guys made a mistake. No one was killed.. So lets just all be friends.
Like or Dislike: 2 3
“Meh”??? so drunk driving is no big deal as long as no one is killed…..great message to send. These are leaders of their faith. As such they should be punished. They should lose their jobs. Many jobs that are in leadership roles or high profile would fire them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you don’t get punished. Atonement isn’t just saying your sorry.
Like or Dislike: 6 4
As the verse from that bard Janis Joplin howled in her classic ‘Mercedes Benz’ —
…Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town,
I’m countin’ on you Lord, please don’t let me down,
Proooove that you love me, and buy me the next round,
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town…
Like or Dislike: 6 7
Olivet & ELCA are doing the right thing. I don’t belong to either, but after seeing the wise, compassionate responses of Bishop Rindy and the church, I feel like joining Olivet. This is what’s RIGHT about organized religion. These are 2 upright, caring men who have shown mercy on many, many people who have made mistakes and caused pain for others. This is what allows peope who are less than perfect to remain in the church (the body of CHrist). Having mercy and compassion for people who fall short of perfect is NOT condoning wrongdoing. It is walking the same path that Jesus walked.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 9
So would it be “RIGHT” if either man had killed someone that night? They got lucky in that they didn’t kill or injure anyone.
I also find it mildly amusing that Olivet is the only “large” Lutheran Church in Fargo that doesn’t host AA or Al-Anon meetings. Coincidence?
Like or Dislike: 8 17
An AA group meets at Olivet every Saturday morning at 8:30am.. get your facts straight
Like or Dislike: 13 0
Well then, I guess I was looking at the wrong online listing, the one I saw didn’t have Olivet listed. Sorry.
Like or Dislike: 1 6
Well, now you can go there instead of Faith Lutheran next Saturday.
Like or Dislike: 2 1
I think it very much depends on contest. Were they out on a bender at the bars, or did they have a beer at the Olive Garden? Anyway I think the right decision was made. We are all sinners.
Like or Dislike: 4 1
We all make mistakes. These two pastors are loved and supported by the congregation and I am proud to say I am one of them. The media in Fargo puts everything on the front page of the paper or the first news item on tv. The Forum only publishes gossip. Unfortunately they are facing the humiliation of making a mistake and having the entire Red River valley know about it. And enough already about what people think of the ELCA. This incident is not indicative of a set of loose morals with the ELCA. These are two faithful men of God. Maybe if Fargo would plow the streets better no one would end up in a snow bank…
Hot debate. What do you think? 27 13
He ended up in the snow bank BECAUSE HE WAS DRUNK! Drinking impairs every aspect of responsible driving, which is why it’s a criminal offense. Way to blame the road crews, instead of the driver.
Like or Dislike: 14 10
As a lover of beer (a beer advocate, you could say) I absolutely agree. There is no excuse for driving when impaired. By 0.08 you are certainly feeling the effects of alcohol. If you’re buzzed, wait an hour before hitting the road or get a ride from a friend. If you have trouble discerning your state of being, bartenders are happy to hold your keys.
I really don’t understand how drunk driving is not at least a Class A misdemeanor…
Like or Dislike: 3 2
If they didn’t get drunk and drive they wouldn’t get arrested. If this would have been Catholic priests the uproar would have been twice as bad.
Like or Dislike: 5 7
From your own experiences as a nun, what would the Catholic church say about that?
Everybody needs to take responsibility for their own actions.
Like or Dislike: 5 3
Antipalin, your completely correct. Media would love for it to be Catholic priests.
Like or Dislike: 3 4
It’s well established that talking on a cell phone while driving is as risky as driving just over the legal limit — and texting is much more dangerous. The fact that most people ignore this risk while still maligning drivers who drink, leads me to suspect that the real disapproval is with the alcohol use — not the risk. In case anybody is wondering, IMO drunk drivers get what they deserve — but I just wish the others who put everybody at risk were treated the same too!
Like or Dislike: 2 0
I don’t talk on my cell phone or text while I’m driving either, because you’re right, it is just as, or more dangerous than drinking and driving.
Like or Dislike: 1 0
Hasn’t Sandgren been in trouble before? I thought read about him having sex with a woman in his congregation.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 21
Please don’t put speculative complete lies on here about people you don’t know! Wow! Jeff Sandgren came to Olivet after former pastor Dale Trautman was let go for having sex with a parishioner. Jeff walked into a congregation that was very broken and suffering and in need of healing. Jeff is one of the main reasons that Olivet has made a complete 180 turn from those dark days.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 4
But Michael is the epitome of knowledge on these boards. Don’t you know that?
Like or Dislike: 6 0
Thanks for the info maverick. I don’t hang out on boards like this because of people like Michael and other assorted board trolls. I just felt the need to be here today to defend a friend…
Like or Dislike: 8 1
It is so nice to see how understanding so many are when Protestant clergy do something wrong. Very forgiving. Now let’s see if that extends to clergy of other denominations…I am not holding my breath.
That said, these 2 will pay fines and get probation since they are first time offenders. Their crime had nothing to do with being Lutheran or being pastors. Keep that in mind for clergy of other denominations.
Like or Dislike: 8 6
The difference between this situation and those against ‘clergy of other denominations’ is that its not being covered up by the church, they aren’t being shipped somewhere else to become repeat offenders. Also this situation hasn’t been covered up for 20 years with the knowledge of the superior church officials.
Like or Dislike: 9 2
Sex abuse is a felony, so the apples to apples thing doesn’t wash here. Nice try though.
Like or Dislike: 5 1
And if they had killed someone while drunk driving? But it is nice to see that my prophesy was correct. There are 2 standards out there. Don’t try to kid me, you don’t care about kids or drunk driving.
Had they killed someone while driving drunk, they would have met the penalties of the law. We can’t even get priests extradited back to the United States to face the charges.
Again apples to oranges.
Obviously there is no god if he couldn’t take the time to watch out for one of his priests that was going the way of demon alcohol and adultery/fornication.
Like or Dislike: 4 8
well there are obviously no personal attacks going on here!
Like or Dislike: 3 1
wake up and smell the mash cooking, there is no god so lets leave these poor drunks alone and let them continue on with their work.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 14
Wow, isn’t it something to see a main-line Christian denomination acknowledge that individuals who are a part of their congregations can do something really, really stupid and still not ostracize them from the church, or imply they’re no longer worthy of the love of God?
It never ceases to amaze me the religions that seem to exist only to host a home for the self-righteous, sin free, holier-than-thou types.
Thanks Olivet, for demonstrating what an Evangelical Church is all about.
Like or Dislike: 14 14
Having “one too many” and driving was, as you said, “really, really stupid” but these good Men have devoted their lives to their Congregation, apologized, admitted that what they did was WRONG and are atoning for their sins publicly. I imagine that if this were to be repeated, their status in the Church would change dramatically and swiftly. They are certainly not telling the Congregation that they need to accept or celebrate their unfortunate (once) behavior. What, exactly are you comparing this to? I could almost see your face redden and your blood pressure skyrocket during that post. Please explain
Like or Dislike: 12 2
You got me. I was using a veiled attempt to speak to the sin of self-righteousness. (Romans 3: 9-20)
You know the one, where people got through life over and over telling the world they’re less sinful than everyone else, yet never quite fully repent and do it again and again.
Thanks for being a better Christian than me.
Ughhh, I mean ‘go’ through life rather than ‘got’ through life. Although I suppose that might apply in the really big picture, wouldn’t it?
Stay on topic. 😉
Like or Dislike: 2 10
dn’t thnk ’m “bttr Chrstn” thn y, thnk tht tk rlgn mr srsly nd pply myslf mr ffctvly. blv tht f y d smthng snfl nd wrng, y nd t dmt nd tn fr yr bhvr, s ppsd t ttmptng t frc ppl t “tlrt” nd thn….”ccpt”…nd thn “clbrt” n’s dsgstng bhvr. Jst syn’. Hv gd nght, “mc.”
Like or Dislike: 8 5
This discussion board is about the church’s response to the recent events regarding their pastors.
My point of view is that I believe the church is demonstrating very Christ-like behavior. I also believe the community is closely watching their response and that their mission of evangelism (i.e. sharing the Gospel with people who are not sin-free) is shining through.
What are you talking about?
Ohhhhh, I get it.
The fundamentalist Christian obsession with gay sex creeps me out.
Talk about disgusting . . . .
Like or Dislike: 4 7
My cncrn s tht y r tryng t drw prlll btwn gy mrrg nd smn gng t nd hvng “n t mny.” Th tw r nt vn rmtly smlr. n fct, th Clrgy dmttd thr flt nd skd fr frgvnss. wld, rspctflly, lk t sk y th qstn “r y tryng t cmpr pn gys s clrgy t Chrstn Mn mkng mstk nd dmttng/tnng fr t?” m rfrrng t yr rmrk, nd qt “Ww, snâ€™t t smthng t s mn-ln Chrstn dnmntn cknwldg tht ndvdls wh r prt f thr cngrgtns cn d smthng rlly, rlly stpd nd stll nt strcz thm frm th chrch, r mply thyâ€™r n lngr wrthy f th lv f Gd?
t nvr css t mz m th rlgns tht sm t xst nly t hst hm fr th slf-rghts, sn fr, hlr-thn-th typs.”
I find a Christian church behaving in a non-holier-than-thou fashion to be a breath of fresh air.
Not everything is about gay sex.
The fact you consider my opinion somehow not worthy or valid or somehow needs qualification because of who I am is quite offensive.
Stay on topic.
Like or Dislike: 3 6
Upon further review of your comments Skibum, it would appear you have a methodology of categorizing sin.
Please do explain to the discussion group what criteria you use to determine.
I look forward to your response, yet expect you will ignore the request.
m ctgrzng th snnr’s rspns t th sn. t th hg rsk f bng rdndnt, f th prsn wh cmmttd th sn dmts tht wht thy dd ws wrng nd plgzs tht s cmpltly dffrnt frm smn dclrng tht nbdy s llwd t cll thr vry rl sn sn.
Like or Dislike: 4 0
Okay. This article is about ELCA pastors who demonstrated some very poor judgment.
This ELCA church in particular has resolved the issues which you insist on dragging into this discussion.
The fact you consider same gender relationships a sin requiring repentance is most certainly your prerogative, yet has nothing to do with this discussion.
I shared very kind words about a congregation that in my opinion was demonstrating some admirable behavior. You discounted my opinion based on your knowledge/opinion of my personal life.
I find that quite offensive.
Like or Dislike: 3 5
Okay. This church in particular has resolved the issue you insist on dragging into this discussion.
I think I’m going to pay the $50 online to become a priest, gather my flock and preach fire and brimstone so that I can turn around and drink like fish, sleep with every good christian woman in my congregation, shoot dope, pay for a mercedes benz with donations and not have to pay tax on anything. I could be the next Billy Graham and make guest appearances on the 700 club and have my own television channel.
Like or Dislike: 4 12
Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world.
Like or Dislike: 5 0
I dIon’t understand where some of you are getting off. These 2 pastors are both good men who had a lapse in judgement and drove when they should not have – that is it – NOTHING else. I have known these guys for >10 years – they are like younger brothers to me. Andrew – they have NOT ever attacked anyone for having doubts about God – that is not an unusual thing for people to question some time or another. Michael – you really should do your homework – Trautman was the pastor involved with a parishoner. I would rather be part of an organization (ELCA) that loves and supports individuals unconditionally than to one that only accepts perfect sinners!
Like or Dislike: 10 3
I guess Tom Emmer should have been an Olivet Lutheran pastor. He’d probably be governor right now.
â€œOrganized religionâ€ = â€œHypocrisyâ€
Like or Dislike: 3 11
Thr s nt prfct Chrstn n th plnt. Th dffrnc btwn Chrstns nd (nd s ths trm lsly) nn-Chrstns s tht Chrstns dmt thr flts (sns) nd sk t rpnt nd bttr thmslvs. s wsh tht ppl nfmlr r dsssctd wld “gt tht.” Grntd, t s hrdr t dmt sn nd mprv n’s slf thn t try t frc vryn (dsprtly nd wth grt ngr) t sy tht thr SNFL bhvr SN’T snfl bt t d s s s prsnlly stsfyng. T smply frc ppl t “dl” wth n’s gly bhvrs ds nthng fr nyn, lst f ll th prsn nvlvd. t’s lk th ld stry …wht ws t clld…smthng lk th “mprr’s Nw Clths.”
Can someone explain to me why the Bison guy’s driving record and speeding tickets was such a HUGE deal, but two bible-thumping holy rollers get arrested for DUI and everyone is OK with it?
Like or Dislike: 8 9
To me this is nothing compared to what happened in a church I use to go to. One of the elders had an affair with another man’s wife and got her pregnant. Then her husband made her get in front of the whole church and confess what she did while this guy sat in the pew and smiled.
The same guy would go up to high school and college students and tell them that God told him that they had a drinking problem and he needs to pray for them. When none of drank. He was the one with the drinking problem. He did it basically to make himself feel better about his drinking problem. But yet the church did nothing to this guy. They acted like he never did anything wrong. Here is the kicker he got arrested for DUI last year. It was his 5th one and still the church thinks he did nothing wrong and left as an elder in their church. No wonder everyone is leaving there.
All I can say about these two is at least they’re not molesting kids. Drunk driving is wrong, but like a few said before society sees it as something acceptable to do.
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