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Letters to the Editor

ELCA letter

gets it wrong

I must dissent from the characterization by Norman Olsen (Jan. 16 Sun Tribune Letters to the Editor) of ELCA Lutheran pastors and bishops as bullies. In nearly seven decades of membership in the ELCA and its predecessor bodies I've been involved with Lutheran clergy in the congregation, as a member of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod council, as a voting member at three church-wide assemblies, and as an observer of the work of the church in alleviating hunger and misery on three continents. Our synod and national church bishops have been unfailing in courteously and fairly encouraging all sides to be heard in debate at assembly. Parish pastors and leaders in mission give selflessly and gracefully to the people they are called to serve. I'm concerned that the sour mood of some pastors and members is leading to withholding of mission support and even a scattering of people and congregations that is destructive to the mission of the church. We experience consequences of decreased mission support even here at Morris as we struggle with reduced resources for campus ministry to students at UMM. I recognize that values aren't negotiable, but opinions should be open to discussion and engagement and we need to struggle with the messy border of opinion and belief. We can and must work in a changing society in order to have a big tent to gather "all nations" even as we hold to basic values. A faithful church is called to gather believers and show mercy on our neighbors - let's put aside differences of interpretation and be about that work.

Dennis Johnson


Trying terror

will be costly

In 2008 the people of the United States voted for change, but it will take more than change to pay for security when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is tried in a New York City court.

After President Barrack Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder decided to hold the civilian trial in New York City instead of on a secure military base, New York City submitted Congress its anticipated tab for hosting that trial: $216 million the first year and $206 million each year thereafter. The trial will not only cause turmoil in New York City, it will cost millions of dollars better spent elsewhere. To paraphrase a song: "What were they thinking?"

Ted Storck

Surprise, Arizona

and Morris