Two Willmar ministers were caught not being forthright with their audience at a January meeting. Their behavior is not something either should be proud of. Sen. Dean Johnson apologized Friday for stating at a January meeting of local ministers that three state Supreme Court justices told him they would not deal with the Minnesota's marriage law. Johnson was right to apologize. In the heat of a serious discussion, he said something he should not have.
In reading recent headline about a local minister -- a senior pastor tape recording a meeting of a local ministerial association meeting, I cannot believe a minister did this. Do I now dare to talk to my local pastor for fear that if I said the wrong thing he will release it to the local paper? How dare he do such a thing? The church forever has steadfastly kept silent about these matters told in confidence, and I feel that the same rules apply to local pastors when they meet.
In the March 16 West Central Tribune, Sen. Dean Johnson was quoted as saying, "I don't answer to them, I answer to my constituents." I'm a constituent and always have been one of his supporters. Over 70 percent of his constituents want to be able to vote in November on a marriage amendment. He needs to evaluate that if he doesn't use his political and leadership influence to answer his constituents and give us what we want now, he will have to answer to us in November. H. Eugene Hippe Willmar
Recently there has been a lot of news about the gay marriage amendment. Letters to the editor have been numerous on both sides. The Senate will probably not allow this amendment to get on the ballot. Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson is apparently very concerned about the welfare of gays and lesbians. His real reason for keeping the marriage amendment off the ballot is that such an amendment would bring out a heavy vote at the polls. Many of these people are only interested in this amendment and may not otherwise vote.
We would like to use this venue to thank Sen. Dean Johnson and all of the people who are working to ensure that all of our citizens will be treated without discrimination. Changing our constitution is a very serious matter and should be done only when the passion of "right and wrong" have been calmed and we can all consider it rationally. Shirley and Jim Conway Willmar
Senator Johnson: Yes, It is about "integrity and keeping your word." I read Thursday's front page article about Sen. Dean Johnson's controversial comments at the New London-Spicer Ministerial January meeting with interest. I was there, and with my colleagues I heard what the senator said and promised.
The straw that broke the camel's back was the recent ad placed in the paper using this scare tactic -- it asked what will our children learn if gay marriage is allowed? Hopefully, our children will learn about the constitution and how it was written to protect our rights and should not be rewritten to infringe on a person's right to have the same rights as you and me. If the group who placed the ad is there to "protect" the sanctity of marriage, how about the other threats to a marriage, such as spousal and child abuse, divorce and poverty.
Why should newspapers matter? In the Internet age, when virtually anything you want to know is available 24/7, should people not already in the habit of reading newspapers care if they survive? Think of it this way: newspapers are to the brain what exercise is to the body. Television, which delivers limited amounts of news with an eye on demographics and advertisers, is more like junk food -- immediately satisfying, but not good for you if consumed in large quantities.
When our Constitution was debated among our Founding Fathers, compromises were made. It was decided that the Senate was comprised of two senators for each state, thereby protecting the rights of small states. The House was represented according to population in order to protect the rights of the more populous states.
This letter is a point of clarification regarding the article Thursday in the West Central Tribune about the meeting between the New London-Spicer Ministerial and Sen. Dean Johnson. After a request from one of the pastors in the NLS area for Johnson to speak to our ministerial group about a possible marriage amendment, he was invited, and came to our January meeting. A pastor from a Willmar church also came because he said he was not able to attend the Willmar ministerial meeting last fall when this same topic was addressed.