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Letters to the Editor: November 17, 2012

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One vote can make a difference

Isn't democracy wonderful. If the candidate you voted for does not do what he/she promised, or if he/she does something you don't like, you can always say: "Well, my one vote did not elect him/her, it was somebody else's vote."

(Although, sometimes one vote does make the difference.)

Ted Storck - Morris, Minn.

Love is not the gospel

In a recent letter in the West Central Tribune (11/2/2012), Rev. Chilstrom declared his support for same-sex marriage. He went on to assert that "our common love for Jesus was what matters most."

Here he shows that he's not only wrong about marriage, but also wrong about love. Our love is not what matters most, not even our love for Jesus.

But what's wrong with our love? It's simply this - our love is not the gospel. Jesus Christ alone is. And it's the preaching of his death and resurrection that creates true faith and delivers sinners from the wrath of God. Our love will never do that. As Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." In light of the clear witness of Scripture, I urge Rev. Chilstorm - and everyone for that matter - to stop boasting in our sinful love. Our love does not save, only God's love in Jesus does. So repent and believe in the gospel.

Rev. Michael T. Hanson - Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Morris, Minn.

Graves open at cemetery

Recently I visited the cemetery by the U of M - Morris. I don't understand. It's not twenty below zero and all the recent graves remain open. Usually graves are filled in while the grieving family eats lunch. Often family members will visit the grave again the same day as the funeral.

Maybe the people in the Morris area should consider bringing along a shovel and a rake to see so their family members graves are closed up properly.

Ed Lee - Benson, Minn.

Congratulations Democrats

You got rid of most of the conservative Republicans in the state. Now you liberals will be free to raise the state budget billions of dollars. Our schools and teachers will have unlimited funding, there will be plenty of money for state programs and universities. There might even be free funding for students to go to liberal arts universities where learning the evils of capitalism and how to become a social Democrat is a top priority. The best part is it will all be funded by taxing those evil job creating corporations. I'm sure we will all get the promised tax cuts and finally have utopia.

Steve Fults - Donnelly, Minn.

Proposed amendment denied equal opportunity

I'm all for everyone expressing their views. I like it when that happens. However, I object to people expressing "their views" without giving due credit to the source from which they gleaned "their views." With the exception of the first and last paragraphs, Councilman Miller's article published under the Human Rights Commission banner was "put together" using the exact language or paraphrases from two articles (Why Marriage Matters and Threat to Marriage) included on the Minnesota for Marriage website. Unlike Publisher Dieter, to his credit Councilman Miller never said he wrote the article. Nonetheless, it is my view that he should have told the readers the source he used to put it together.

Publisher Dieter wrote that "In fact, it is only because he is a member of the Human Rights Commission that Jeff publicly supported a 'yes' vote on the ballot question." If this is so, then it would have been helpful if Mr. Miller had included in his Letter to the Editor how, as a member of the Commission, he reconciles his support for the amendment with the Commission's mission to "Build relationships ... to create equal opportunity and eliminate discrimination and inequalities." In my view, the proposed amendment clearly denied equal opportunity and discriminated against a same sex couple's human right to have their long term committed relationship defined as a marriage.

Finally, if the Morris Sun Tribune and the Morris Human Rights Commission are defenders of free speech and comfortable with the decision making and subsequent actions they took prior to Councilman Miller's October 27 article being published, why is the article not included on their websites? Where should people who missed the article go to get some context regarding what the fuss is all about? Pretending that the article never existed does nothing to further the much needed community dialogue regarding the implications of treating our LGBT neighbors as second-class citizens.

James Moore - Morris, Minn.

Views do impact ability to serve on Human Rights Commission

I appreciated Morris Sun Tribune Publisher Sue Dieter's statement in favor of freedom of speech in the last issue of the paper. However, I strongly disagree that Jeff Miller's views, as expressed in the column published with his name, have nothing to do with his ability to enact the mission of the Human Rights Commission.

The letter included several mistruths about the GLBT community - information that simply does not reflect decades of research. There is no scientific evidence that children who are raised by a mother and a father fare better than children raised by two parents of the same gender. In fact, research shows that the only negative consequences for children raised by two parents of the same gender is that they face more bullying and prejudice - a negative consequence that could be alleviated if people were more tolerant of others regardless of their views (and taught their children to be).

In addition, there is no evidence that businesses, professionals, teachers, or places of worship would be affected by a new definition of marriage - which, by the way, was never on the ballot to begin with (marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman now, just as it was before the election). Any business person or place of worship can choose to serve or marry anyone they please now, and the same thing will happen in the future, even if gay marriage were to be legalized. There is no proposal that the state of Minnesota will adopt a state standard requiring anything about marriage of any type to be taught in schools, so teachers will not be forced to teach about gay marriage. How could we trust someone who is so misinformed to "educate the public about human rights issues," as the Morris Human Rights Commission has been commissioned to do?

In a community where several GLBT people are raising birth and adopted children, serving as lay leaders in churches, coordinating community service efforts, and serving on community boards, how would someone who believes that gay marriage would somehow damage children and society put that belief aside and "work with school districts, agencies, or community organizations to work on human rights issues" or "act in an advisory capacity with respect to planning or operation of any City department on issues of civil and human rights issues?" A person who will act as an advocate for an oppressed community needs to believe that the community, at the very least, does not damage society by its very existence.

Like all of us, Jeff Miller has a right to his views, and to publishing those views in a letter to the editor. But someone who has a fundamental prejudice against a group of people in the community who have in the past and may continue to need assistance from the Morris Human Rights Commission should not be on the commission.

The Morris Human Rights Commission should stick to activities that further its mission. If the letters to the editor were intended to meet the first bullet point of that mission - to educate the public about human rights issues - then they should have been fact checked. If they did not have a clear purpose related to the organization's mission, then they should not have been printed at all under the Morris Human Rights Commission banner.

Argie Manolis - Morris, Minn.

Informational meeting on proposed child care guidelines

Parents - are you concerned about the state choosing where your child can go for child care? There will be a community wide informational meeting regarding the proposed 34 Child Care Licensing Recommendations on Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Old #1 Southside. We are seeking your valuable feedback on how these recommendations will affect your family.

Will these recommendations reduce the risk, prevent or even stop SIDS and babies from dying?

How will these new recommendations affect the availability of childcare in Stevens County where there is already a shortage of child care?

Is it important to you to have all of your children in the same daycare?

Can you go to work if you aren't able to find childcare for your children?

Discussion - come and share your comments and concerns. If these recommendations go before the legislature, how will it affect your childcare provider, your family, our community, and our state?

We strongly encourage everyone to attend. This program is provided by the Concerned Licensed Child Care Providers of Stevens County.

If anyone has questions, to call Sherry Tiegs at 589-3333.

Becky Vogel, Stacie Manska, Amy Zimmel, Darcy Furhman, Marie Hanson, Sherry Tiegs

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