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Our Faith, Our Morals, Our Traditions

By: Mike ZItterich
Sioux Falls, S.D
Minnehaha County

To All Who this May Concern,
In light of so many differences in political opinion and public commentary within the community, the internet...
I wanted to send a response to all those who engage with me in the relation of the local community, in both a business sense, political sense, and an entertainment sense. I wanted to reach out to as many people as necessary to explain myself.
I did not join the Republican Party cause it chose me, nor for any purpose of gaining from a political culture, lifestyle, or monetary gains, I chose the Republican Party in 2000 after nearly a decade of growing up during the 1990's of which I enjoyed attending Motorsports events, participating as a Sioux Falls Skyforce Season Ticket Holder, to Establishing myself in the community, thus, tying myself to the people themselves.
America is not about being Republican, Democrat, or some other Political Affiliation. It is about being an American front center.
As a Proud American, I am proud of the fact I was born on this soil, to a family of who instilled in me the morals of which are grounded in the Christian Religion, of which by means of being Lutheran, that means I have made every attempt to remain loyal to myself, my family, my convictions, as I go about all things in the natural world.
Being Lutheran, to me, is defined as someone who believes in the Triune God that Jesus revealed. God is one, yet He is three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God the Father created the world. We believe that Jesus Christ, true Son of God, and true man, is the world’s Savior from sin, death, and the power of the evil one. He alone won Life for us by His perfect life, death, and resurrection from the dead. God the Holy Spirit graciously delivers life and salvation through God’s saving Word and Sacraments, which create and sustain faith.
As I have been raised as a Lutheran, I have come to understand that we worship none other than the Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have access to the Father by the Spirit. Christ alone saves us and is worthy of our adoration and praise. Luther is someone God set apart as sort of our “patron saint” of Christ-centered, cross-focused theology (study of God). He’s an interesting fellow if you’d ever give him a chance to speak to you through his writings. We believe God used him in his day to help reform the Western church, that is, to help restore the church’s teachings and practices to orthodoxy.
My family heritage can be traced back to a group of people of whom lived and resided in the country, named Pomerania.
For those of you who know your history, this country was made up of a large, expansive territory of which today, would include Eastern Germany, or Mecklinburg, Poland, Denmark, the Northern Baltic States, as well as part(s) of northern Hungary.
My Ancestors, the Zulks, of which would be my mothers side of the family, and the Zitterich's of whom would be my dad's side of the family tree, all came to America in the period during, and shortly after the Civil War - 1850 to 1870.
They would have landed in the New England States, having cris-crossing the country by way of horseback, trains, making there way to the State of Iowa, where the ZItterich settled in Estherville, IA and the Zulks followed suit, but ended up traveling further west, choosing to become part of a small farming community north of Salem, South Dakota, becoming the first habitants of the Town of Unityville, South Dakota by 1880.
While my GrandParents would be born a few decades later in the 1920's - much of my family tradition had been grounded in Lutheranism, Farming, and a loyalty to God, the Father, the Lord Jesus himself, based on the principles of the Protestant Church, as per the movement of Martin Luther, himself.
My family had come to America, directly as a result of facing religious persecution, while searching for a place to settle, reside, and prosper, while being able to practice their our faith as we wish to, and based on our family traditions, ultimately, my own family heritage would have come to be known as being part of the early pioneers, settlers, of whom chose to move westward, laying claim to lands, of which would become the State of South Dakota by the year 1889.
That means, that my Great-Great GrandParents would have been a member of the first inhabitants of who would have played a role, in creating, forming, and establishing the State of South Dakota. In fact, on my mothers side, my Great-Great Grandfather William H. Kellogg, who had died in 1879 at 76 years of age, would by marriage, raise my Great Grandfather, would have been one of the first residents of Sioux Falls as the town was being homesteaded between 1860 to 1870.
While my dad's side of the family remained in Estherville until the 1950's, my moms side of the family, the Kellogg's and Zulks moved north of Salem, while my Great Grandfather, Willam H. Koepsell would have married and moved to, the area known as the "Great Bend of the Big Sioux River" of which he would have become one of the few residents in the Town of Sioux Falls by the year 1879, which happens to be very year, the Town of Sioux Falls was first established under a Mayor and 5 Commissioners.
My Great-Grandfather would have married to Alcinda, of which the two gave birth to my Grandmother Florence, of whom later married Ned Foster, my moms grandfather, to whom my grandfather, Bill Foster was born thereafter in 1921.
Knowing that my very own relatives, my heritage has become to be the very people who would have voted to adopt the South Dakota Constitution, that means, the Preamble to our Constitution, has extra importance and meaning...
We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.
My very own great-great grand-parents would have been the very persons responsible for voting for, and adopting the South Dakota Constitution, becoming the 49th State of the Union during the same period that the Town of Sioux Falls was born.
By 1920, my Grand-Parents, Adeline Zulk, William Foster, were born, let alone the ZItterich side of the family was at the same time farming, and expanding its family just east of Sioux Falls, while my parents Gary Zitterich and Vicky Foster were born in, or near Sioux Falls in the 1950's.
I was raised as a Lutheran, thanks to my family ties to the Protestant Faith, under the German religion founded by Martin Luther, of whom 'we' have taken our vows, and oath to the Lord, God, the Almighty, and of which was provided to us, his son, Jesus Christ.
I was being groomed to be grounded deeply with a set of Morals that were being honed, and guided by a principle of which a people were fast coming westward under the purpose to help reform the Western church, that is, to help restore the church’s teachings and practices to orthodoxy, of which our values were grounded in that faith, by which, the people of South Dakota remain true, and self-discipline based on the very principles adopted by Martin Luther, himself, while remaining responsible, and disciplined to adopt positive laws, of which maintain the status quo, and tradition of those beliefs.
Therefore, South Dakota is neither Republican, nor Democrat, it is a "State of People" who came here to reform, expand upon, and defend the Western Church, under the Moral Code, Values, and Traditions of the Protestant Church itself.
We, our own ancestors, worked together between 1860 and 1902 to establish a "State of People" of which All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting property and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, of whom believe the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or position on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse licentiousness, the invasion of the rights of others, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state, and of which no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union, or labor organization.
With that, I have been well grounded by not the Republican Party, but by the means of my Religion, my Faith, and the Traditions born of my Great-Great Grandparents, of whom have bestowed upon me all things of which shall be possible based on our faith in God, himself.
Everyone who has had the fortunate chance of meeting with me, speaking to me, or doing business with me, understands that I am an individual of innocence, and someone who often makes mistakes, but often accepts the fact that he is far from perfect himself. I do not see myself as any better than you, or your family, or any one else for that matter.
My family has a rich and interesting tradition of being carpenters and farmers by trade, but most importantly, we are a family of faith, of who remain loyal to our God, to our traditions, and to our own sense of moral, values, and honesty.
And that leads me to the birth of the Republican Party itself and to why it was established under the very people of which my own great-great grandparents would have been a part of, shortly before the civil war, and at the time that 'we' were establishing Dakota Territory, of which set the tables to creating the State's of North and South Dakota.
The early Republican Party consisted of northern Protestants, factory workers, professionals, businessmen, prosperous farmers, and after the Civil War, former black slaves. And with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, saw the popularity of the party grow, as it branded itself on the morals, and traditions of establishing a progressive, movement of people choosing to use their faith, and hardwork in creating the City of Sioux Falls, while at same time, creating the 49th State of the Union of States.
We are a "State of People" who had not only came to America to reform and expand the Western Church, but to utilize our faith, morals, and traditions to help shape our future as a State of People of whom remain loyal to each other, but maintain the freedom, liberty, and moral fiber of which are backed by the Ten Commandments, the Holy Trinity, and the Protestant Church.
The Republican Party did not make me, did not call me, I simply found myself by the end of the 1990's gravitating towards the political concept of using my faith, my heritage, and my morals to bring to the party a sense of hope, righteousness, and meaning. All during a period of time, the end of the 90's of which the country was moving dangerously close to what my family was escaping from, as they migrated, and came to America more than 180 years ago.
I did not actively seek to become a Precinct Committeeman, nor did I actively seek to become a member of the Republican Party, the party chose me, for my stance on morals, values, self-discipline, righteousness, and tradition.
All this talk today, whether by our current status quo of our S.D Legislator, heavily divided on lack of morals, differences in opinion, let alone, all the hate I am seeing played out by the leadership of the "party", has brought me closer to who I am as a person, for I chose not to be part of the growing divide, but the cause for "reforming" the party back to its origins, let alone moral code of behavior.
Furthermore, as I congregate with others, I am reminded everyday, that this "State" must act fast to save its soul, from an unearthly, ungodly, and dangerously ineffective means of governing - the lack of concern some have for each other, the lack of decorum that some in our legislature present to each other, and of course, all the hate that some have for each other today.
I am not like most Republicans you see in the news, for I cannot act as they do, or talk as they do, I am not a perfect person by any means, but what I am not, is someone who is so willing to give up my morals, values, and self discipline for political power.
I was nominated by a 'Group of People" from within Minnehaha County, as part of Precinct 5-22 not for my political expertise, but to bring new energy, and thought into the party, to set an example for how to act, much less, present an image of moral character.
As I watch today, several members of the Republican Party fight, bicker, attack each other, call names, let alone demonize those who think differently. I call to them, to wake up, and remember your heritage, and find your soul, before it is too late.
The Republican Party is not about power, nor fame, nor profit, it is a party that was founded about the same time that "My Ancestors" were coming to America, attempting to Reform the Western Church, a State of People, of who are well grounded in Moral Behavior, Values, and Character, let alone Self Discipline in order to present ourselves to the rest of the world, of how to act, do business, and take care of our own.
"WE" are not the Republican Party, for 'WE" are a "State of People" of whom have all taken a vow, to each other, to maintain our belief in the Church, our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, all of whom sent to us, an earthly "Patron Saint' named Martin Luther.
My vow is not, nor has it ever been to the Republican Party, my vow is to a "State of People" who call South Dakota home.
We are Carpenters, Farmers, Businessmen, and Women, Men and Women to who all believe that Holy Matrimony is between a Man and Woman, and that all "persons" are made in the image of our Creator, the Lord, God Almighty, the Father of Jesus Christ, who came to save us, take away our sins, and to guide us back to a path of hope, morals, and values.
I am not a Republican, for I am a South Dakotan, an American Citizen of my State, and a Student of my Ancestors.
I owe my gratitude to all those who came before me, who provided to me my breath, my life, and my prosperity.
I cannot, and will not stand in defense of the "Establishment of Political Leaders, nor the Executive Board of the Republican Party, and that fact alone, means I am will remain true to my convictions, my people, let alone my fellow "residents" of Precinct 5-22, and NOT the Popular Vote to whom the "Party Leaders" want me to follow.
I voted for Monae Johnson, cause she was not the establishment, nor a carer politician, nor backed by money.
I chose Donald Trump not for his own personal beliefs, but cause he chose to place America First, just as my own Ancestors did before him, and he stood up against the Political Elite, the Establishment, and Political Corruption, and above all, he Stood for God, my God, and Your God, as a South Dakota Citizen of who took your Vow of Supporting the Lord, God Almighty.
All the Social Media hate speech, personal attacks, and disdain for each other, bothers me,for it scares me, to thinking, that people rather wish hate, than "Love Thy Neighbor, and Family" ...
In closing, I direct my attention to the Republican Party Elite - to Kristi Noem, Marty Jackley, to Lee Schloenbeck, to any Member of the Party who wishes to Vote against the wishes of the People, let alone vote against our Constitution, I urge you to change your ways, become yourself in the good graces of God, Jesus, and the People of South Dakota.
To all 689 Precinct Committeemen and Women - Remain True to Your Convictions, for they are All We have in this Fight for Freedom, Liberty, and Religious Liberty, and yes, the Defense of the Western Church itself.
South Dakota is NOT the Republican Party, it is NOT the Democrat Party - South Dakota is a "State of People" of whom came to this area in 1850, led by the movement to Reform, and Make Stronger, the Western Church, in order to Establish Ourselves as a Moral, Self-Righteous People, of who will Stop at Nothing to Remain true our Convictions.
My, Creed,
I, Mike ZItterich, wholy swear, do take this vow to, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil, to a place of which, we are grateful for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.
We, the People of South Dakota, have formed our Beliefs, our Faith in God, based on our Catechism based on the words of our Holy Matronic Parable:
Martin Luther, to all faithful and godly pastors and preachers: grace, mercy, and peace be yours in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The deplorable, miserable conditions which I recently observed when visiting the parishes have constrained and pressed me to put this catechism of Christian doctrine into this brief, plain, and simple form. How pitiable, so help me God, were the things I saw: the common man, especially in the villages, knows practically nothing of Christian doctrine, and many of the pastors are almost entirely incompetent and unable to teach. Yet all the people are supposed to be Christians, have been baptized, and receive the Holy Sacrament even though they do not know the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, or the Ten Commandments and live like poor animals of the barnyard and pigpen. What these people have mastered, however, is the fine art of tearing all Christian liberty to shreds.
Oh, you bishops! How will you ever answer to Christ for letting the people carry on so disgracefully and not attending to the duties of your office even for a moment? One can only hope judgment does not strike you! You command the Sacrament in one kind only, insist on the observance of your human ways, and yet are unconcerned whether the people know the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, or indeed any of God’s Word. Woe, woe to you forever!
Therefore dear brothers, for God’s sake I beg all of you who are pastors and preachers to devote yourselves sincerely to the duties of your office, that you feel compassion for the people entrusted to your care, and that you help us accordingly to inculcate this catechism in the people, especially the young. If you cannot do more, at least take the tables and charts for catechism instruction and drill the people in them word for word, in the following way:
First, the pastor should most carefully avoid teaching the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the sacraments, etc., according to various texts and differing forms. Let him adopt one version, stay with it, and from one year to the next keep using it unchanged. Young and inexperienced persons must be taught a single fixed form or they will easily become confused, and the result will be that all previous effort and labor will be lost. There should be no change, even though one may wish to improve the text.
The honored fathers understood this well, and therefore they all consistently used one form of the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments. We should do as they did by teaching these materials to the young and the common man without altering a single syllable and by never varying their wording when presenting or quoting them year after year.
So adopt whatever form you wish, and then stick with it at all times. If, however, you happen to be preaching to some sophisticated, learned audience, then you certainly may demonstrate your skill with words by turning phrases as colorfully and masterfully as you can. But with young persons keep to a single, fixed, and permanent form and wording, and teach them first of all the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, etc., according to the text, word for word, so that they can repeat it after you and commit it to memory.
But those who refuse to learn are to be told that they are denying Christ and do not belong to Him. They are not to be admitted to the Sacrament, accepted as sponsors at Baptism, or allowed to exercise Christian liberty in any way. They should instead be simply directed back to the pope and his functionaries, yes, even to Satan himself. Moreover, their parents and superiors should refuse them food and drink, telling them that the prince is of a mind to expel such rude persons from his realm, and so on.
Of course we cannot, and we should not try to, force the Christian faith on anyone. Yet we should steadily keep on urging people toward it and help them know what is considered right and wrong in the society in which they want to live and earn their living. A person who wants to live in a certain city and enjoy its privileges should know and observe its laws, no matter whether he believes in them or is at heart a rogue or scoundrel.
Second, after they have well memorized the text (of the catechism), then explain the meaning so that they understand what they are saying. Do so again with the help of these charts or some other brief uniform method of your choosing; adhere to it and do not change a single syllable, as said above concerning the text, taking your time with it. For it is not necessary to teach everything at once, but one thing after the other. After they understand well the meaning of the First Commandment, proceed to the Second, and so on, otherwise they will be too overwhelmed to the point of remembering nothing.
Third, after you have so taught them this short catechism, take up the Large Catechism and use it to give them a broader and richer understanding. Here enlarge on every individual commandment, petition, segment, explaining in each case the various words, uses, benefits, dangers, and hurts involved, as you will find them amply described in many a book dealing with these topics. Stress especially that commandment or any other specific part of the catechism doctrine which your people neglect most. For example, among craftsmen and merchants, farmers and employees, you must powerfully stress the Seventh Commandment, which forbids stealing, because among such people many kinds of dishonesty and thievery occur. Also, for young persons and the common man you must stress the Fourth Commandment, urging them to be orderly, faithful, obedient, and peaceable, always bringing in many Bible examples of how God punished or blessed such people.
You should particularly urge those in authority and parents to govern the young well and to send them to school. Show them why it is their duty to do this and explain what a damnable sin it is if they fail to do so. For by such neglect they ruin and destroy both the kingdom of God and that of this world and prove themselves to be the worst enemies of both God and man. Thoroughly underscore what terrible harm they do by not helping train children to become pastors, preachers, writers, and the like, and how God will punish them for it. There is a great need to preach about these things. For parents and those in authority are guilty beyond words in this regard, and the devil has horrible things in mind.
Finally, now that the pope’s tyranny is over, people no longer want to go to the Sacrament but despise it. Here again urging is necessary, however, with the understanding that we are not to force anyone into the faith or to the Sacrament, nor set any law, time, or place for it. Our preaching should instead be such that of their own accord and without our command, people feel constrained themselves and press us pastors to serve the Sacrament. The way to go about this is to tell them that if anyone does not seek or desire the Lord’s Supper at the very least four times a year, it is to be feared that he despises the Sacrament and is not Christian, just as no one is a Christian who does not believe or hear the Gospel. For Christ did not say, "Omit this" or "despise this," but "This do, as often as you drink it," etc. He most certainly wants it done and does not want it left undone and despised. "This do," He says.
For a person not to prize highly the Sacrament is tantamount to saying that he has no sin, no flesh, no devil, no world, no death, no danger, no hell. That is to say, he believes in none of these although he is overwhelmed by them and is the devil’s possession twice over. On the other hand, he needs no grace, life, paradise, kingdom of heaven, Christ, God, or any good thing. Surely, if he recognized how much evil is in him and how much he needs all the good things he lacks, he would not neglect the Sacrament, which gives help against such evil and bestows so much goodness. He will not need to be forced by law to the Sacrament but will himself come running in a hurry to the Lord’s Table, constrained within himself and pressing you to give him the Sacrament.
Therefore do not set up any law concerning it, as the pope does. Only emphasize clearly the benefit, need, usefulness, and blessing connected with the Sacrament, and also the harm and danger of neglecting it. The people will then come of themselves without your using compulsion. But if they still do not come, then let them go their way and tell them that all who are insensitive or unaware of their great need and God’s gracious help belong to the devil. But if you fail to urge these things or if you make it into law and bitterness, then the fault will be yours if they despise the Sacrament. Why should they not be lazy if you are asleep and silent?
So look to it, you pastors and preachers. Our ministry today is something else than it was under the pope. It has become a serious and saving responsibility. Consequently it now involves much more trouble and labor, danger and trial, and in addition it brings you little of the world’s gratitude and rewards. But Christ Himself will be our reward if we labor faithfully. The Father of all grace help us to do just that. To Him be praise and thanks forever through Christ our Lord. Amen.
That is to what I truly have taken my Vow to, Not the "Party" nor any member, let alone to anyone who attempts to trick me, deceive me, or attack me. For I cannot be beaten, less for I beat myself, for my Loyalty to God, to my Family, my Ancestors, is most important, not the Republican Party itself.