Letter: This watchdog isn't neutral
I would like to remove the cloak of neutrality that attorney John Burns appears to be operating under in his recent activism concerning church tax exemption. While it may seem at first that he is a neutral concerned citizen, a second look reveals...
I would like to remove the cloak of neutrality that attorney John Burns appears to be operating under in his recent activism concerning church tax exemption. While it may seem at first that he is a neutral concerned citizen, a second look reveals something different. Is Burns, himself politically motivated? Are his actions, going from church parking lot to parking lot removing Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life fliers, neutral activism or are they motivated by his own opposition to this organization's pro-life position?
Is Burns an active volunteer with a particular political party (the DFL?)? Isn't he the gentleman who a number of years ago carried on First Street in Willmar a campaign sign for a DFL candidate the day of election?
He has communicated his disdain for the Joe Gimse brochure picturing Gimse behind a podium with a cross on it but I have not seen him show the same disdain for Sen. Dean Johnson's literature picturing Johnson in front of what looks like a church steeple. I have also not seen any comments from Burns when Johnson or Sen. Gary Kubly reference their government service with their positions as Lutheran pastors (as did Kubly in the Oct. 23 article in reference to marriage legislation). This lack of fairness demonstrates that he is not neutral.
He seems resentful that churches pay no taxes, but is he aware of the good the churches of the Willmar area do, which the tax exemption recognizes?
He referred to himself as a "watchdog" and then likened five local pastors (shepherds) to Iraqi fundamentalists who "butcher each other because there is no room for compromise between religious absolutes." Yet, he is the one threatening these same pastors with Internal Revenue Service violation and suggesting that they place guards in their church parking lots. I wonder if he would also like these churches to stand guard each Sunday to keep cars carrying a political bumper sticker out of the parking lot?
I think the readers are intelligent enough to know that between a watchdog and a shepherd, one is more likely to bite than the other.