Wednesday, June 16, 2021


In The Washington Post, Henry Olsen tells us that ranked-choice voting could give Democrats a Senate seat in Alaska.

Alaska's 2022 general election for the Senate seat will feature the top four vote-getters from a non-partisan primary. The Trump-skeptical incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, will probably be one of those candidates, as will Kelly Tshibaka, a Trumpist Republican who led the race in a recent poll, with Murkowski a distant third.

The second-place candidate in this poll is Dr. Al Gross, who hasn't said he'll run but has expressed interest; he lost a Senate race last year, but raised a lot of money and has high name recognition (in part because he once killed a bear in self-defense).

Olsen writes that the ranked choice voting system
opens the way for Gross, or another strong Democrat, to win even if Tshibaka gets a plurality on the first count. Both the 2016 election results and polling show that Murkowski’s support overlaps with voters who would normally vote Democratic. As a result, Tshibaka’s attacks on Murkowski could backfire; it could push the incumbent into third place but might anger Murkowski’s backers so much that they either support a Democrat or don’t rank Tshibaka at all on the second or third rounds of counting. That could be enough to give Democrats a majority of the vote.
However, that poll shows Tshibaka, the Trumpist, currently winning the instant runoff:

Olsen calls Tshibaka "an almost postcard-perfect candidate for Alaska conservatives," in part because she "is a devout Christian who, with her husband, Niki, founded a church in Alexandria, Va., and has worked extensively in faith-based activities."

But here's what Olsen doesn't mention:
Kelly Tshibaka ... once wrote in support of an "ex-gay" Christian organization that promoted discredited "conversion therapy" and said that homosexuality was caused by "sexual molestation during childhood."

In an article unearthed by CNN's KFile, Tshibaka wrote that gay people can "work through the process of coming out of homosexuality" through Christianity and urged gay people to "not be controlled by the 'once-gay-always-gay' rhetoric used to advance political agendas" in a 2001 Harvard Law School student newspaper article.

In other blog posts found by KFile that have since been scrubbed from the internet, Tshibaka said that the "Twilight" book and movie series "is evil and we should not read or watch it" because "entertaining and participating in these kinds of activities leaves us spiritually vulnerable. It also leaves us open to the enemy's attacks."
The essay on homosexuality is a nasty piece of work:
"Today is National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day, a day dedicated to helping homosexuals overcome their sexual tendencies and move towards a healthy lifestyle. Compassionate people nationwide recognize this day, rather than the more publicized 'National Coming Out Day,' because they want people to live and enjoy their lives to the fullest," she wrote.

Tshibaka urged gay people to "not be controlled by the 'once-gay-always-gay-rhetoric' used to advance political agendas" and said that gay people can instead "come out of homosexuality" with the help of Jesus Christ.

She repeatedly cited the work of Exodus International, a Christian nonprofit "ex gay" organization that maintained gay men and lesbians could change their sexual orientation through prayer and psychotherapy, an idea that has been debunked and discredited by major medical associations in the US.

In one passage, she included their bogus claim that "the most common cause of homosexuality is sexual molestation during childhood." In another, she supported Exodus' recommendations that gay people participate in "pastoral counseling, accountability groups, personal prayer and Bible studies.

Exodus International later renounced "conversion therapy" in 2012 and its leader apologized for the pain caused by their programs. The organization dissolved in 2013 after its leaders concluded they could not change a person's sexual orientation through psychotherapy.
Eight years later, Tshibaka's blogging on Twilight wasn't much better.
She called it "evil and we should not read or watch it."

"Some say this book is harmless, that it promotes Christian values, and that it does not promote anything wicked at all. But Satan does not usually look repulsive, horrific, and evil on the outside," she wrote in an October 2009 blog post.

"Make no mistake: 'Twilight' is a perfect example of how the enemy twists, perverts, and ridicules the things of God. This is his m.o. This is how he works," Tshibaka added.
That post is available via the Internet Archive. In another post, she also attacks the Harry Potter books (without having read them).
To preface this, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books, although I did see two of the movies. But here is my opinion, based on my experience and some study I’ve done....

I believe all fantasy books involving magic are potentially spiritually dangerous, especially to the vulnerable, i.e. children and anyone who is not well-grounded spiritually and are on guard against the wiles of the devil – our very clever enemy. This includes books written by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. However, I do believe that the Narnia books and the Ring series are delightful, wonderful literature that should be read and enjoyed, with one caveat – the parents need to be involved....

... I got into magic/witchcraft through reading the Fellowship of the Ring.

... [It] was only a couple of months after reading the Fellowship that I started practicing....

I was “discovered” by another witch in my sophomore year of high school when she felt me using magic on her. And so I became involved in her group and got deeper and deeper, as one always does. Witchcraft is like drugs – anyone who says they can use it and say they are not addicted is a liar. It draws you in, entangling you more and more until you are completely trapped and there is no out (aside from God, that is). I was increasingly tormented by the demons I sought to control, until I heard there voices taunting me constantly. And no, I was not mentally ill, I knew these creatures well, as I had called them to me through my magic, although at first I did not recognize them as demons. Later on, I did recognize them for what they were and still called them, seeking to control them as they did in the books I read.

I eventually left my group and tried to stop practicing to get them to stop, but by then it was too late, I had sold myself to them for a little power... (And yes, God did show up and save me, buying me back with His blood). All this because the enemy used the Fellowship of the Ring, a good book with a great moral, to draw me into an area God wants to keep us away from, to protect us.

I say all this to illustrate what can happen when one indulges in a little “innocent” childhood reading....
Is she really a good fit for Alaska? Alaska is one of the least religious states in the union, and the least religious red state.

But she says that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against Trump, so she'll win, unless Murkowski or a Democrat can beat her.

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