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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

George McGovern from a Different Perspective

Posted Monday, October 22, 2012, at 4:31 PM

What ever your political persuasions may be, you have to say that George McGovern (July 19, 1922- October 21, 2012) was a great man in political circles. An interesting fellow, he had his friends and enemies, but both are united in their sorrow at his passing. As a minister, I extend my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends.

As a minister in a conservative holiness denomination, I was very interested in the childhood history of McGovern. My source material is from an article by Seth Tupper/The Daily Republic, Worthington Daily Globe http://www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/6...

According to this article, George McGovern was born in the Wesleyan Methodist parsonage in Avon, South Dakota to holiness parents. His father was an ordained Wesleyan Methodist preacher. At that time, the Wesleyan Methodist Church was a very conservative holiness denomination. The article goes on to say that the McGoverns moved to Mitchell, South Dakota in 1928, where his parents pastored a Welsleyan Methodist Church. He graduated from Mitchell High School in 1940.

What the article also mentions is that McGovern attended campmeetings (called "Christian revivals") at the Holiness Campground along the James River about four miles east of Mitchell, SD. In his recently published book, "What it Means to be a Democrat", published 2011, McGovern begins with reminiscing of early memories of listening to missionaries speaking at the campmeetings. Unfortunately, according to the above source article, he didn't particularly enjoy all that went on at those campmeetings. He was uncomfortable with the "excessive emotionalism". According to the article, he mentions in his 1977 autobiography, "Grassroots", "discomfort experienced in listening to flamboyant evangelists at an earlier age."

With that in mind, did he then reject what we in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition call "Biblical Heart Holiness"? It appears he did. After highschool and attending Dakota Wesleyan University, McGovern joined the military and recieved many military honors. Fact of the matter is, he was a star orator and debator while in highschool and in the university. When he came back from fighting in WWII, something had happened to him. Read the article. He no longer wanted anything to do with church duties. So he switched from religious seminary to studying history. Although he went back to DWU in 1950, he had adopted liberal ideology as a substitute for religious experience.

Great man? Yes! But... a holiness rejector!

Other interesting sources about George McGovern: http://www.dwu.edu/press/2011/oct22.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McGo...

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Richard D. Swift
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My wife Susan (Sue) and I have lived in Soddard County since September of '96. We both graduated from Bible Missionary Institute, our denomination's small four year Bible college in Rock Island, Illinois. I was born and raised in Pomona, California while my wife was raised in Monmouth, Illinois. I am an ordained minister in the Bible Missionary Church. We attend and are members of the Dexter Bible Missionary Church. I've been employed by Tyson Foods for 14 years. My wife is a CNA. I've always been conservative in my political views and have always been active in politics and the Pro-Life movement. My politics have not always been Republican. From 2003-2009 I was vice-chairman of the Prohibition National Committee, the steering arm of the Prohibition Party. In '09, I joined the Constitution Party of Missouri. But, I've been attending the GOP rallys and club meetings since last year and have been campaigning for certain Republican candidates since we moved to this area. I'm on the SEMO Life Chain Committee.