Tim Tingelstad’s challenge to current Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson has flown under the radar in a year in which contentious presidential and congressional races in Minnesota have captured mainstream attention. Declaring that “judges must be God-fearing men and women,” Tingelstad is running a quiet campaign to bring radical Christianity to Minnesota’s Supreme Court.
Because 2008 is a change election, Tingelstad might have a shot. On the statewide ballot, the voter knows which candidate is the incumbent — it’s marked with an “I” next to the incumbent’s name. Tingelstad beat out one other primary challenger in September to ensure that he’ll be one of the top two vote recipients to advance to the general election. (He garnered 22 percent of the statewide vote to Anderson’s 63 percent.)
To mainstream audiences, Tingelstad says his campaign is mainly concerned with maintaining the election of judges in Minnesota, a process that has been under serious criticism for years. But his campaign web site tells a different story.
“As God’s Word has been removed from our public lives, the resulting darkness has led to our present social disorder and political divisions,” his website, Highest Hill, reads. “The correction of these problems will only begin when the Light of Truth is returned to our land’s highest hills, the Supreme Courts. Until our highest courts return to an acknowledgment of the existence of God and His Truth, the people will continue to walk in the confusion of darkness.”
The separation of church and state, Tingelstad argues, is a myth. Justices should rule from the “Word of God” first, and from sources such as the constitution, statute and case law second.
The church that Tingelstad advocates injecting into the judiciary is not quite mainstream Christianity, either. Until mid-September, his campaign website had a section for volunteers called “Gideon’s Army.”
Today’s Secular Humanists, like the Midianites, appear to have the upper hand in our culture. When we sow the seeds of faith from God’s Word into our children, the Secular Humanists come against us and destroy the crops by teaching against the things of God in our schools. The people of God are being told to retreat into the caves and dens of our church buildings and homes.
The primary weapons used by the Secular Humanists have been our schools and our courts, which have indoctrinated the people into a belief in a false wall of separation between church and state.
Gideon’s Army refers to a battle in the Book of Judges where 300 Israelites vanquished 100,000 Midianites. It is also the name of a rebranding effort by members of the Joel’s Army movement.
“There is a commonly held belief in the church that the army of Joel and the army of Gideon both represent the same end time, militant and victorious church,” wrote Robert Holmes, a prophetic visionary in the Pentecostal movement, back in 1995. (For a glossary of terms related to Joel’s Army and Pentecostalism, see the Minnesota Independent report, God’s Army: A short guide to Sarah Palin’s extreme religious worldview)
In contrast, incumbent Justice Paul Anderson’s re-election campaign centers on judicial fairness for everyone. His campaign web site says:
Justice Anderson has participated extensively in professional and civic activities, particularly those involving court interpreters, multicultural diversity and racial fairness in the courts, legal education and writing, the selection and performance of judges, and access to justice.
Among other activities, he has served as chair of the Court Interpreter Advisory Committee, member of the Implementation Committee on Multicultural Diversity and Racial Fairness in the Courts, member and chairman of the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission, and adjunct professor of the University of Minnesota Law School.
Anderson is also a Christian; he attends the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Anderson has not made his faith an issue in his campaign nor made it a litmus test for judicial office.