Glenn Gruenhagen - Senate photo
by Steve Timmer
Feb 15, 2023, 6:00 PM

Who is the author of suffering?

(I’ve not been around here much, for reasons I’ll describe in coming days, but here’s a little story I couldn’t pass up.)

The Minnesota Senate became a lot more, um, colorful, with the addition of a some of former House members, Steve Drazkowski (Mazeppa), Eric Lucero (St. Michael) and Glenn Gruenhagen (Glencoe), and the political newcomer Nathan Wesenberg (Little Falls). This new little band of Senate Ciceros made their oratorical debut, really, in the Senate’s floor debate of what has become law with the governor’s signture: the PRO Act. They dragged the debate out for sixteen hours, changing exactly nobody’s mind.

Wesenberg, Gruenhagen and Drazkowski – Senate media

The PRO Act isn’t even what I want to talk about, though; it’s this, SF 517, offered by Glenn Gruenhagen:

Gruenhagen bill – SF 517

The bill has no other authors; it has no companion in the House. It was referred to the Senate Education Policy Committee, where it will die an ignominious death, without a hearing. Which is too bad, really; I’d love to hear Gruenhagen present this clunker to the committee.

The first act of critical thinking here is: What the hell does this bill say? To quote Inigo Montoya, I don’t think it means what you think it means, Glenn.

Gruenhagen is a great moral thinker, the author of a bill to bring back the death penalty in Minnesota, and a proponent of the idea that beating children will reduce bullying. Jesus. So to speak.

Is Glenn suggesting that his god is the author of suffering? If he is, it’s not a god that I have any interesting in following, much less worshiping. That’s just a god for keeping the rubes in line. Which is an important god job, I acknowledge.

Imagine, though, the deep ninth-grade theological discussion about the source of suffering. And imagine also, the ninth grade teacher, opening their mouth on a subject required by Glenn’s Law, who is then hauled before the Theological Council, also known as the school board.


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