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Letters to the Editor: October 29, 2011

Bachmann statement saddens and upsets

Recently on television I heard Michele Bachmann say that if she were elected President of the United States she would build a fence between Texas and Mexico, enforce English as the official language of our country and make sure that every person who comes into this country agrees that they will not receive taxpayer's subsidized benefits of any kind.

I was saddened and upset by this statement.

Recently in church I heard one of our local pastors in Morris say that one of the most common examples of segregation in our country occurs on Sunday mornings when most white people, black people, Hispanic people, etc. each attend their own churches. He invited all of us who were not Hispanic to attend the Spanish church services held in Morris, even if we do not speak Spanish. He said that we can all smile and say hello, and that will go a long way in extending welcome to our Hispanic neighbors.

I was challenged and encouraged by his message.

The reason I am living here in the U.S. is because my grandparents immigrated to this country from Germany. They spoke no English. In fact, they helped to start a church here in Minnesota where services were held only in German. Four miles down the road from this German speaking church was a church were Swedish people gathered and services were held in Swedish. These dear people all became my friends and neighbors.

My grandparents were welcomed to this country and were given help.

I would be honored if some of my tax dollars were used to help immigrants. In fact, this is a Biblical principle as stated in Deuteronomy 10:17-18: "The Lord your God shows no partiality . . . He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing."

May we be challenged by these words and by the words of the contemporary hymn by Marty Haugen entitled "All Are Welcome."

"Let us build a house where love can dwell,

And all can safely live,

A place where saints and children tell

How hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions,

Rock of faith and vault of grace;

Here the love of Christ will end divisions.

All are welcome,

All are welcome,

All are welcome

In this place."

Linda Hodgson; Morris, Minn.

Pedestrians need to walk safely

Minnesota Statute #169.21 Sub. 5, "Pedestrians walk on left side of roadway," states, "Pedestrians when walking or moving in a wheelchair along a roadway shall, when practicable, walk or move on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder giving way to oncoming traffic. Where sidewalks are provided and are accessible and usable it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or move in a wheelchair along and upon an adjacent roadway."

I am sure there are many persons who are not aware of this statute. This summer while driving around the state I was amazed by the number of pedestrians walking, dangerously with their backs to traffic. On occasion I would ask if they were aware of this and the answer was no. Be safe! Walk facing traffic.

Bill Rickmeyer; Morris, Minn.