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Letters to the Editor

Don't turn them away

My name is Kenny. I recently lost my great-nephew "Josh". He was only 19 years old. He took his own life from depression.

I feel he had reached his bottom, because he was seeking treatment. He was excited about going. On Sept. 22, 2009 he had an appointment at a treatment center in the early afternoon. They turned him away because they said they didn't have any room. Well later that day is when he attempted suicide and passed away on Sept. 25.

We, the family, feel that he might still be here if he hadn't been turned down for treatment.

So we would like to suggest that there be a law passed that if a person goes to a treatment center on their own that they can't be turned away. We would like you to look seriously at this. If it would save one life it would be worth it.

Please write or email your congressmen about this. Thank You.

Kenny Bills

Long Prairie

Anger is not the reason

A recent letter by my neighbor prompts this two-fold response. The first paragraph suggests that we are angry because of the votes at the church-wide assembly last August. Anger is not the reason or the right word! The words are concern and compassion (love) because the CWA voted against the law in the Word of God. The law shows us what is sinful and the Bible is very clear on that. If the ELCA CWA votes to un-sin certain sins it leaves people without the need to confess, without the need for forgiveness, and without the need for a Savior.

At this point we need to remember 1 John 1:8-10. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in our lives."

The second issue is about benevolence funds. As one of those vocal Lutherans I would never suggest withholding benevolence funds from the ELCA and just holding them. No, a far better alternative is to redirect benevolence funds and send them directly to the mission or cause you wish to support. By going direct this is faster, more efficient and avoids the middleman. This would certainly not punish but deliver more help to the poor and needy.

Lauren Sansness


Are you proud of the flag?

Are you still proud to be an American?

Lately, when I drive around, I've paid particular attention to the way people and businesses display their flags. Maybe you can just call me old fashioned, but when I was growing up (about Boy Scout age), I was instructed in the proper ways to display our nation's "living symbol." If you feel as if you're still somewhat interested, answer me this: Is it better to not fly an American flag at all than to fly one incorrectly, in a way that brings a sense of shame to those who observe it?

I do not consider myself to be a true patriot, but I do feel, individually, we must rekindle a sense of national pride. This may seem simple, but it's a doable place to start. Torn, tattered, faded and worn -- and anything else that can happen to an unattended flag flown almost everyday, even in inclement weather -- is a disgrace to all who have and are fighting and dying so that we may be allowed the priviledge to display it proudly.

If for some reason you are not familiar with proper U.S. flag protocol, please contact any local veterans group. They can and will help you. Let us all participate again in proudly displaying and observing the national symbol which acts to remind us of how truly blessed we are.

John Stephens