11-1-12 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Despite ouster, will there be any real change?

To the editor:

Although I applaud Cologne City Administrator John Douville’s departure, he was certainly not alone in the city’s dereliction of duties. For over seven years now the citizens of downtown have tried in vain to have a nuisance burning issue resolved. Despite overwhelming evidence — pictures, police reports, signed affidavits, EPA involvement, county involvement, and health department involvement — they city has done nothing to stop the blatant violation of our rights to enjoy our property.
Douville was only a very small part of a “good ol’ boy” mentality in small town politics that only hurts us all. I doubt if much will change. Still breathing garbage,

Bill LaRue
Cologne

Candidate refutes statement in recent letter

To the editor:

A letter to the editor in the Oct. 25 paper that was written by the current Carver County Commissioners Lynch and Ische made the accusation that myself or another candidate were “directing” a critic of theirs who was voicing accusations about them. These accusations had to do with alleged irregularities in relation to a sale of a Bobcat.
I do not, nor do I need to direct those constituents who follow Carver County politics to speak out about things they have watched the current board of commissioners do to make them “look bad.” That these two commissioners each has a challenger with widespread support speaks to how many have independently come to the conclusion that they are not satisfied with more than a few aspects of how these two current commissioners have overseen county operations. These critics of Commissioners Lynch and Ische are, not surprisingly, supporters of their challengers. To scold the letter writer for not getting his facts right, then make unfounded accusations about your challengers, is trying to have it both ways, obviously for the purpose of trying to make their political opponents “look bad.” Neither Jim Walter or myself directed the letter writer to make this charge as Lynch and Ische are accusing us of, suggesting we are manipulating information. Their letter attempted to do that very thing by trying to “direct” that incrimination on their political opponents.
For all their protests about false accusations in that letter, it certainly wasn’t a very respectable or honest communication.

Frank Long
Candidate for Carver County Commissioner District 4

Editor’s note: The newspaper’s election letter policy dictates that there will be no election letters in the last edition before an election unless allowed to give a letter writer or candidate a chance to directly respond to an attack or accusation from the previous edition.

Writer responds to previous week’s letters

To the editor:

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address multiple letters in last week’s edition, questioning my faith and understanding of American Civics. These letters reiterated my point that we are a nation of believers and non-believers. Among the believers, there are many who believe in a Supreme Being, yet have different traditions, beliefs, doctrines and practices. That is what religious freedom is all about.
Each of us has our individual choice to practice our religious beliefs. It is not about a majority religion having the power to force its beliefs onto others. That is why our ancestors fled the Church of England. Many religions accept same-sex couples and embrace their families within their congregations.
Our state’s constitution is not serving the common good if it is used to enshrine a prejudicial institution that is rooted in a majority religious belief. Our Constitution is meant to protect and promote equality of all citizens.
Civil marriage would not change the sanctity of a religious marriage. This is what religious freedom is all about, not to force one view on all. I would challenge each of you to go back and re-read the letters, but this time, replace the reference to same-sex couples with inter-racial couples or mentally-retarded couples.
We have been wrong before. If we value the dignity of all lives, we cannot enshrine such discrimination in our civic laws and especially not in our constitution.
I am familiar with the biblical references and the church’s catechism. Again, these are religious beliefs, not universal beliefs. This would support my concern that the civil rights of non-believers would be diminished by the imposition of a possible majority religious belief.
I meant no disrespect to Fr. Bennet Tran. I agree that he has a role in informing his congregation of the church’s teaching so followers are able to make informed choices in their personal lives. I continue to believe the Archbishop has abused his authority to call on us to push a religious belief on an entire citizenry. Where is the freedom in that?
I received several calls and emails from faithful Catholics thanking me for reminding them our role as Christians is to show God’s love and allow others to choose whether or not they wish to follow. God’s love is abundant and is not something that is forced. Fr. Bennett’s homily this past weekend reminds us that we must meet people where they are at in their faith.
He recited the prayer of St. Francis. I got chills as this is the prayer that I believe encompasses all that we are as Christians. We cannot be harsh and judgmental of those who do not believe; we must be gentle and loving. If we want to be a community of inclusion and love, we cannot act out of fear and hate.
I think we all agree that the “ideal” is for children to be raised by their parents in a loving and committed relationship. Sometimes that is a single parent household, sometimes it is an adoptive couple, sometimes it is extended family, and sometimes it is a same-sex couple. The important piece to remember in all of this is summed up in this quote referring to marriage: “It enhances the health, longevity, and stability of married couples. It increases the health, career, and emotional well-being of children. In providing all these benefits, marriage contributes to the happiness and prosperity of society.” This quote is true, not only for opposite-sex couples, but for same-sex couples too. Our society is best when we value everyone equally.
The most common misunderstanding is that a “no” vote on this freedom-limiting amendment is that it would make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota. That is not true. Minnesota already has a law defining marriage between one man and one woman. A “no” vote doesn’t change that law.
It allows the conversation to continue, rather than cementing a religious belief in our civic constitution.

Leanne Pouliot Kunze
Laketown Township

Editor’s note: The newspaper’s election letter policy dictates that there will be no election letters in the last edition before an election unless allowed to give a letter writer or candidate a chance to directly respond to an attack or accusation from the previous edition.

  • Linda

    In response to the ending of Leanne Kunze’s letter – a “no” vote does not allow for the conversation to continue – it means that a few activists can change the law if pursued. A “yes” vote will leave it up
    to the voters to decided should the legality of this issue be brought up and that will lead to the conversation continuing.
    Thank You

  • John

    Well written letter. We all share different belief systems and different politics and I understand the reason for each sides vote.

    But as Linda mentions that your no vote will put same-sex marriage into the hands of activists. When minorities are fighting for civil rights you are absolutely correct that it takes help from activists. African americans in the 60s would’ve still been considered second class citizens without the support of activists. If changing civil rights laws were left up to the voting majority during the 60s, civil rights laws would’ve been delayed or ignored.

    Women’s rights and civil rights changed because of the support of activists. Winning the majority of people on these types of issues takes years and this is the same process that same sex marriage is going through. Whether you support it or not, in the years to come we will see the same rights for same sex couples (just look at polling of 18-35 years old support of same sex marriage).

    Linda put yourself in the shoes of someone who is in a minority group fighting for equal rights. Your opinion of activists changes when you are in that minority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407031320 Ariek

    First let me say Im the daughter of a Korean War Vet & the Wife of a fomerr Marine & current Army Sgt. I am a proud American, I vote & I ride Harleys every chance I get.You had a chance to elect a bonafide war hero, John Kerry. Where were you then? Ill bet hed a met with your Rolling Thunder Group. Not only was Bush drunk, he didnt even show up to his service. Yet you let Kerry get bull dozed by the photo op king.THis looks like another thinly veiled racist rant. Our president was at a Veterans Memorial Cemetary in Chicago on Memorial Day. Last time I looked, Chicago was in the USA & we had plenty of guys go to Viet Nam from the midwest. Stop hating. It plugs up your a-ho;e so you dont think straight.

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