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Letter: Embrace religious diversity

This letter is in reply to “Our values are at a crossroads” published April 28. The writer quoted President Obama saying, “One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population … we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

You are misinterpreting President Obama’s overall point when he said this. The part you skipped over was he pointed out that, “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation…”

We have a secular government and a secular constitution. Separation of Church and State is in the constitution so that people can have religious freedom, not just the Christians, but also people of all different faiths or no faith. We were founded on the idea of giving people the freedom to practice or not practice religion.

We have never had a national religion for a reason.

I am working towards my bachelors in ministry, I am a Christian and a Willmar resident. I’m tired of seeing in the religious right fear-mongering of other religions and people groups, it’s a turn off.

You are lucky enough to live in a diverse community; cultural and religious. Embrace it and get to know your neighbors and love them.

Letters like the one published are harmful to Christianity. It has an “us” vs. “them” mentality that is detrimental to our religious community. Instead of focusing on our “separateness” and taking a step backward in this country and community, let’s take steps forward and embrace that we are a melting pot of religion and culture.

Ben Larson