Bruce Minger, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church, Dallas Center, Iowa, is referenced in a story in yesterday’s Des Moines Register about the effort to read the Bible aloud in all 99 Iowa counties. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Bible-reading marathon spurs questions — and more proclamation requests?
ADEL, Ia. — In the beginning, it rained.
At least it was a soggy start for Scott Brunscheen of West Des Moines as he embarked on his piece of a statewide Bible-reading marathon — a marathon that has sparked controversy just ahead of the July Fourth holiday. He situated a stool, music stand and card table beneath a canopy on the lawn of the Dallas County Courthouse.
He couldn’t think of a good reason why not to participate, said Brunscheen, who runs his own Christian nonprofit, so this sort of thing is in his wheelhouse.
The 99-county Bible-reading marathon, organized by Ginny Caligiuri from Osceola, under the banner of her Kingdom Builder Enterprises and as state director of the Iowa Prayer Caucus, ended up playing out in perhaps just 50 or more counties. The crux of the controversy is that Gov. Terry Branstad issued a proclamation supporting this marathon, because “regular Bible reading renews the mind of men.” (What about women?) Iowans also were “encouraged” to “read through the Bible on a daily basis each year until the Lord comes.”
Such blatant government endorsement, no surprise, went a step too far for some civil rights and secular groups.
The marathon, as it played out Thursday morning, was more understated than I expected as I roamed among a handful of central Iowa counties. There were no blaring PA systems.
The faithful simply pitch canopies on courthouse lawns, sit or stand as is their wont, and take turns reading line after line. The intent was to inspire 80 continuous hours of Bible reading at each courthouse square. But some counties launched earlier this week so readers wouldn’t have to stumble drowsily over all those confounding biblical names in the wee hours. Their county supervisors were concerned about overnight security.
In downtown Adel, Brunscheen read from Genesis 1: “There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day —
“Hey, Bruce,” he interjected as Bruce Minger, of Grace Brethren Church in Dallas Center, joined us beneath the canopy. Brunscheen barely missed a beat.
Click here to read the complete article.