What Kind Of Community Are We Building?

As I read Jennifer Rothchild’s critique of my recent letter to the editor, several things stood out to me. Her opening assertion was so vague as to be useless. In the Christian creeds, “taking care of ourselves” means to repent of our sins, trust in Jesus for forgiveness, and walk with God by faith:

“Taking care of each other” means to be our brother’s keeper, bear each other’s burdens, and share the life-giving gospel message of Christ crucified, through which the Spirit calls people to faith and life. Certainly, not every faith and belief system is so grounded.

The article she referred to (Aug. 29) was a discussion of historical facts meant to further inform the readers – nothing more. The writer may have been reading things into my article, perhaps looking for an opportunity to be offended on her own or someone else’s behalf. (See Psalm 15: 1-3, Proverbs 3:30 and 26: 17 on taking up someone else’s offense.)

I don’t share her view that we are in “volatile” times. We are all responsible for our own actions and should use self-control and patience to assess another person’s intentions and meanings. We can be good neighbors without having the same faith. There is no need to immediately take the worst interpretation of our neighbor’s statements. 

“Take people’s words and actions in the kindest possible way,” (Luther). We can have intelligent discussions in the public square and be able to digest and consider many different viewpoints. There is no need to stifle freedom of speech for fear of someone being ‘’triggered,” no need to wield the name Hitler like a weapon to shut people down.

I suggest to Jennifer Rothchild and all that you read the excellent article by Daniel Hunt in the Sept. 5 edition of this paper, “Isn’t a University a Place to Learn How to Defend Your Ideas?”

Donald Main