The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Calvary Baptists don’t condone funeral protests

We received an anonymous call at Calvary Baptist Church from a member of the Montevideo community expressing their anger at Baptists for protesting at funerals of people killed during the tragic Orlando shooting on June 12th.  

It is the Westboro Baptist group that is known for protesting at funerals that is doing this.  I agree with the caller that protesting at these funerals is appalling behavior. The actions of this sick group in no way represent the beliefs, attitudes or actions of Calvary Baptist Church or Baptists in general.   

One Baptist congregation in Orlando that is part of our denomination is CrossPointe Church. CrossPointe is providing clothing and gift cards to five families of victims, about 30 to 40 people. They are giving $25 Panera cards to family members visiting the hospital (Panera is nearby) and $50 gas cards to assist with transportation costs. The church is also writing notes to first responders and inserting gift cards to area businesses. These are actions that align with the beliefs of Calvary Baptist in Montevideo and are an example of being the church.

What took place in Orlando has led to many conversations and opinions on what should be done in response. On Sunday, I shared these three suggestions as appropriate responses.

First, know that our hope is in Jesus. Changes to laws and policies may be appropriate, but don’t put your hope in those, put your hope in Jesus. Second, grieve with those who grieve.  Forty-nine people who were created in God’s image and who Jesus died for on the cross were killed in Orlando. Third, soundly reject violence as the answer.  There is a temptation to want to take matters into our own hands and combat violence with violence. With grace and truth be willing to challenge this thinking in yourself and others.

The anonymous call to our church is a reminder to me of the importance of taking time to build relationships and talking personally with others to understand their beliefs and actions before making conclusions. I can’t make the Westboro group take Baptist out of their name, but I can assure you that their actions are rejected by Calvary Baptist Church.  

—Pastor Gregg Zeidler


Our freedom is not free

As we approach the Fourth of July and the celebration of the birth of our great nation, let us always hold both of these concepts very dearly.

Our liberty is not easily won or easily kept. We can have them, but do you, your countrymen and women, or more precisely, your government, allow you to utilize them.

When law upon law is piled upon our people, soon many don’t know which way to act, operate or know where to turn for answers to life itself. Having these gifts is one thing, but to know and to act with or utilize them in every day life is different.

Freedom is not free! Liberty is lost when quickly given away or you allow it to be taken from you.

Today we have a society turned upside down. A few — many times a very few — will wrest the control of our freedom, liberty, away very quickly. Three hairs on the dog’s tail wag the dog, or so they would wish.

When people don’t exercise their liberties, don’t choose to check out the real problems in life, discern what good solutions are, mount a defense and vote accordingly, we lose big-time. Then, apathy, our arch enemy, can step in and the greatness is soon gone, as it is in so many parts of our world.

Don’t let this happen to you or us.

—Dave Swenson