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Letters to the Editor: October 13, 2012

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Christians support a reasonable definition of marriage

Pastor Main would have you believe that "Redefining marriage is an abuse of the estate of marriage that God has given mankind." But good Christians have always supported reasonable redefinitions of marriage. For instance, before the seventeenth century, arranged marriages were the norm. But with a growing sense of the importance of individual freedom, the culture redefined marriage as a matter of individual choice.

Before the nineteenth century, fifty-year-old men could marry thirteen-year-old girls. But with the rise of children's rights, western societies began to institute laws protecting minors from being forced into marriages.

Before the 1960s, inter-racial marriages were illegal because non-whites were considered innately inferior to whites. But developments within sociology and anthropology exposed the racist views about non-whites as non-sense, which led western societies to reject the prohibitions against inter-racial marriage.

We are now witnessing another important societal transformation. Before the 1980s, sexual desire for someone of the same sex was considered pathological and sometimes criminal. But recent work in psychology has now debunked those views, and the culture is updating its institutions in order to accommodate what we now know.

With regard to religion, it is worth noting that we are experiencing something similar to what happened in the seventeenth century. When Galileo proved that the earth is revolving around the sun, the Catholic Church put him under house arrest. Why? Joshua 10:13 tells us that God stopped the sun from moving so that the Israelites could defeat their enemies. But when Galileo demonstrated that it is the earth and not the sun that is moving, he inadvertently refuted the Joshua passage from the Bible, which is one of the reasons why the Church put him under house arrest. Eventually, the Church acknowledged that science is right and that the Bible is wrong on this particular point, which is why the Church recently apologized to Galileo.

The reality is that gay marriage will certainly be legalized in the not so distant future. This is inevitable. But the question is this: what kind of apology will the Christian Churches and pastors need to make to the gay and lesbian community in the future? The answer to that question depends on the behavior of Christians today.

Michael Lackey - Morris, Minn.

Morris Floral is business that helps the community

Sept. 27, 2012 on the front page of the Morris Sun Tribune there appeared a picture of the back of Morris Floral and Greenhouse showing some damaged greenhouses with the city's intentions to tear down the structures. As one of many part time employees of the Morris Floral and Greenhouse it was a very sad day for us to see this on the front page of the paper without an explanation from our boss and owner. Also was surprised to see this in the paper at all. He has owned this property for the past 34 years.

I have known the owner of Morris Floral and Greenhouse as a friend and coworker for fourteen and half years. I have never heard him brag about the beauty of the building but he does take pride in his work.

I remember the first time I saw the building 14 years ago and thought, "There is no way I will be purchasing my wedding flowers here." Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would some day be working there. The reason my opinion was changed was because of the owner who has superior talent with flowers and plants and cares a great deal about people in the area. He shows the utmost pride in his work and stands behind it. Besides all this he is not out to make a million but to enjoy what he does, do it well and to take enjoyment from this which often means sacrifices in other areas.

Our boss was forced to quit using the greenhouses which are now in jeopardy of destruction because of the high price of heating. Since not being used they have taken a beating in Minnesota's extreme weather. Between the high costs of heat and offering the customer low prices it was not feasible to continue this area of the greenhouse business and area he dearly loved and was very knowledgeable with. Many people in the city of Morris and surrounding areas still ask if he will ever do this again and speak fondly of buying their bedding plants at Morris Floral and Greenhouse. There still is a large selection of flowers and plants available to the public.

The next sacrifice came when our boss was told he could no longer rent out his apartments because they were no longer up to code. This drastically cut his income.

He continued to work with what he had. I know a great number of people from the area and beyond who will stand behind him with his wonderful job in doing wedding flowers, funeral flowers, grave side pots, poinsettias and Easter lollies for churches, and the list goes on and on. Morris Floral and Greenhouse is still available for ALL your floral needs. You will not hear him bragging about the beauty of his business structure, but he does care what he turns out. It saddens all of us at Morris Floral the city seems to not understand we all helped to "clean up" as best we could and with what we had. The Morris Floral Business has been a part of Morris for far more years than the current owner has had it.

I have lived in this area for 14 years and have seen a number of businesses come and go, and high costs of running and maintaining a business are something many people can relate to.

It was said in the paper there are cats and rabbits running around in it. The owner has three cats of his own which are tame and up to date on shots. Yes, there are others at times, but this seems more of a city problem. I see other cats running in town.

Rabbits? As myself and others at Morris Floral have discussed we have not seen any rabbits in the greenhouses. Around town yes, maybe this is another area that needs to be looked at in other areas in town. I believe other gardeners in the area can tell you stories about rabbits and other things in gardens too.

The back greenhouses do still have growing perennials in them. A clothing store used them for photography backgrounds before. Also some flowers grown in the greenhouses have been used in floral arrangements. Many times while working various organizations have come in for donations. Rarely do I hear my boss not donate. I personally feel after 34 years and continuing Morris Floral should be acknowledged as a business that does help the community, not as Blaine Hill was stated as saying in the paper, "This is the kind of end-of-the-line of what we do for a piece of property you're trying to clean up."

Ellen Wilts - Herman, Minn.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The question is what should we be aware of? Accept and acknowledge that domestic violence happens in our community.

The truth is:

• 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime.

• Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.

• Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes, both by women and men.

• Verbal and emotional abuse are domestic abuse.

• 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

Abuse is a cycle that is perpetuated from generation to generation. Violence is not intrinsically in our nature as human beings, it is a learned behavior. When children witness violence in the home, they are more likely to become abusers or a victim to an abuser. Domestic violence is a serious issue that can lead to psychological trauma, severe injury and death.

If we, the community, can't acknowledge and recognize domestic violence, then how can we help stop the cycle of abuse?

Help stop the cycle of abuse and support victims and survivors of domestic violence. If you would like more information or have questions, please call Someplace Safe at (320) 589-3208 or visit our website at www.someplacesafe.info or the Stevens County Violence Prevention Task Force website at www.scviolenceprevention.org.

Stevens County Violence Prevention Task Force

Let's get real about the importance of elections

I perceive voting as a privilege which is a byproduct of freedom. Obviously, voter fraud is much more of a problem than people are aware of. Few people realize that Minnesota is rated number one when it comes to voter fraud. This never seems to bother Democrats, since their candidates seem to be the ones who gain from this. The worst part about voter fraud is that it is only detected after the damage has already been done and the candidate who was not the TRUE choice of the majority of the legitimate voters is already serving.

It seems to me that if it is necessary to have an ID to get into the National Democratic Convention, then it just makes sense that an ID be required for the most important privilege of voting. College students etc. who don't have a current ID are not allowed to buy liquor in a liquor store either or allowed into many other commonplace events without a proper ID.

Please, let's get real about the importance of elections without the possibility of fraud, which can only be accomplished by the requirement of showing an ID in order to exercise the privilege of voting in a free society!

Evelyn A. Guggisberg - Starbuck, Minn.

Dutcher is pro-life candidate

This November, voters in Western Minnesota will have a clear choice for the state legislature on the issue of abortion. Two of the candidates have taken clear positions on the issue, while the third candidate has taken both sides of the issue depending on which audience he is addressing.

The pro-life candidate this fall is Scott Dutcher, the Republican. He has said that he supports efforts to defend the unborn.

The pro-choice candidate is David Holman, from the Independence Party. He has said clearly that he believes that abortion should be a woman's right to choose.

The third candidate, Jay McNamar, has switched his position during the campaign. This summer, McNamar sought the endorsement of MCCL, the leading pro-life group in Minnesota. At that time, McNamar completed a candidate survey for MCCL where he said he would support their "strategic plan for creating a pro-life Minnesota." You can find the MCCL survey online at mccl.org.

However, when MCCL endorsed Dutcher, Jay McNamar changed his position on abortion. Now, Jay McNamar is pro-choice! In a PBS debate in late-September, McNamar said he believes that on the issue of abortion "a woman has the right to choose, as she should." You can find video of McNamar's change-of-heart at www.pioneer.org.

Jay McNamar claims to be pro-choice today, but he has made secret promises to pro-life groups.

Will the real Jay McNamar please come forward?

Tom Dorry - Ortonville, Minn.

McNamar is great public servant

When I think of the person I'd like to represent me in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I think of Jay McNamar. I'd like someone who understands what makes our communities great. Jay and his wife Robin have lived in the community for 41 years, worked here, and raised a family here.

I've always believed that everyone deserves the best education we can provide. Education is the key to getting a good job and living the American Dream. As one of his former students, I know that he is dedicated to this belief. Jay was a teacher and coach for 36 years.

I think our legislators should be public servants. Beyond being a teacher, Jay served in the Elbow Lake Fire Department and still serves as an EMT. Jay is currently the mayor of Elbow Lake, which means he understands how state actions affect our local communities and how property tax hikes brought on by the elimination of the Homestead Credit are hurting our small businesses.

We have an opportunity to elect a great person and a great public servant. I'll proudly be voting for Jay McNamar on November 6, and I know he'll make a great representative for District 12A.

Jill Fyre - Elbow Lake, Minn.

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