There seems to be a large amount of confusion and misinformation surrounding the taping of Sen. Dean Johnson's comments on the defense of marriage amendment at a New London pastors' meeting. I am a member of Harvest Community Church and Brent Waldemarsen is my pastor. I know that Waldemarsen has taken every opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the taping, but unfortunately, that message does not seem to be getting out in the local paper. First of all, this was not an informal lunch with fellow pastors, as Johnson first tried to characterize it.
Regarding the letters in the West Central Tribune on the marriage amendment, my question is whether a tape is made of the meeting on Jan. 19 or not, to me, isn't the issue. God is listening, is he not? Priscilla Wasberg Spicer
I have never come across this analogy: Pastor Brent Waldemarsen secretly tapes a person's conversation. Waldemarsen's premeditated actions, asking to be invited to the ministerial meeting, purchasing a taping device so small that it could be concealed and then secretly taping this meeting, have created an atmosphere of doubt in the hearts and minds of anyone seeking out the counsel of a clergyman. Pastor Waldemarsen, your actions have not measured up to your calling. The ends did not justify the means. Janet Flick Willmar
The overwhelming suggestions and responses from the marriage protection people and concerned Minnesota citizens state concerning comprehensive and complete marriage protection have been incredible. We have also seen at least one local church leader that has been brave enough to risk criminal prosecution and violate the confidence of his own colleagues by secretly taping a closed and private conversation that indicated another colleague could well be trying to prevent people from wasting precious time and effort on a smokescreen issue that probably won't go anywhere anyway.
I have been reading the letters about the marriage amendment to the Minnesota Constitution with some interest. I can see some validity on both sides of the question, and there are valid quotes from Scripture that seem to support both sides. However, I would suggest that the Bible doesn't really align itself readily with either extreme. The Scriptures do tell us to love our neighbor, our enemies, and everything in between.
Sometimes it is hard to get all the facts into one short letter. Earl O. Knutson made the comment in his letter (Public Forum, Feb. 27) that I had not told all the truth. I believe he finished my point, that it is supply and demand that establishes the price at the pump. Oil companies average 10 cents profit per gallon of gas (the government's tax is about three times that amount or more). He mentioned that thermostats were turned down and people put on sweaters and used less fuel. That caused the demand to go down which increased supply, making my point.
I'm having a hard time understanding something. We have an elected official who lied. Why is all the focus on someone else? Sen. Dean Johnson is to represent us -- he was voted for. He lied. Shouldn't that upset us all? What else has he "sanded the truth" from? I was at the Capitol with the group from Willmar two years ago when we were told we could not tape him. My then 16-year-old son had brought a video camera as he was going to tape our meeting with Johnson for school. We were very disappointed when told no one could tape him. At the time I thought it rather odd.
Regarding Sen. Dean Johnson's current situation, I am reminded of the words of Sister Helen Prejean in her book, "Dead Man Walking." She reminds us that "none of us is as bad as the worst thing we've ever done." While intentionally misleading his colleagues was a reprehensible act, if this is the worst thing he has ever done, he is certainly not beyond redemption. If sainthood is required for public service, then none of us is qualified. If intelligence, dedication and compassion are required, the senator has a lifetime record that demonstrates ample quantities of all. Bruce Reuss Willmar
To those who continue to denigrate, disparage, run down, besmirch, revile, smear, vilify, badmouth, and defame Sen. Dean Elton Johnson, I say this: You have earned the right to continue to snipe, but only if your own life is completely blameless and sin-free. You can't ever have made a single mistake! Because, if you cannot say that you, yourself, are above reproach, then you need to back off. Jesus put it much better than I ever could.
Republicans have filed an ethics complaint against Senator Dean Johnson, saying his conduct has brought disgrace to the Senate.