The Sioux City Council recently appointed Scott Raasch to the Sioux City Human Rights Commission. The Commission, according to its website, enforces local, state and federal anti-discrimination laws. It also works to prevent and eliminate discrimination in Sioux City. The following, according to the Commission, are considered protected classes: race, color, religion, creed, sex, nation origin, age, marital status (in credit), families with children (in housing), mental or physical disability, actual or perceived sexual orientation, and gender identity.
According to one Sioux City pastor, the city council, made a grave mistake with that decision. Rev. Cary Gordon (pictured above), executive pastor at Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City told Caffeinated Thoughts that Raasch should be removed from the Human Rights Commission immediate. Gordon said, “The City Council failed to carefully scrutinize their candidates, and his presence on any ‘Human RIghts Commission’ is a shameless mockery of much more than the stated purpose of the HRC, it is a mockery of reason, equity, and justice.”
Gordon’s complaint stems from an alleged email exchange he had with Raasch around Christmas of 2010. Gordon was heavily engaged in the successful campaign to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices from the bench after they declared Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in 2009.
Pastor Gordon said Raasch emailed him on December 20, 2010 in response to the victory, the text of the first email sent at 2:34p said:
I’m not the one running around bragging about breaking the law….I think you’re the one that needs to grow up and set an example for everyone in your community. You are a joke and your “church” is our version of Westboro Baptist. You are haters and bigots and you will get what’s coming to you sooner or later. I hope you rot in hell.
Pastor Gordon told Caffeinated Thoughts that he responeded “with as much decorum as I could muster, attempting to share the purpose of the Jesus’ crucifixion with him, and its connection to the Christmas holiday he was desecrating.” He said Raasch replied at 2:47p:
I know Christ and don’t need a snake oil salesman like you to tell me about him. I guess that’s the difference between us because I think there are many people that deserve to burn in hell….including you and your entire family. The sooner the better for our community! Now be a good little bigot and go break some more laws now so you can get more attention for your snake oil show.
Gordon said that he received death threats during this time, but that they were usually anonymous, not so with Raasch’s emails. Gordon said that he is concerned that a man who gives “death wishes” to a local pastor’s wife and children at Christmastime is likely to guarantee that the Human Rights Commission’s prosecutorial powers will become abusive to people of faith in Sioux City.
Gordon said that he has emailed the city council on three different occasions about this matter with no response.