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A matter of religious freedom

August 10, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

An open letter to the Mike Parry Campaign

Your most recent campaign mailing reached my home today. I will not go into all the things you alleged in your literature. There is one matter, in particular, where you need to examine what you are saying. You wrote: "Quist stated that he believes men are 'genetically predisposed' to be heads of household." You cite this as a reason voters should not elect Allen Quist. In doing this, your campaign has moved into territory where you are denying Quist's right to freedom of religion. Quist is simply reflecting his belief in what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church." Now I know that not all churches take this verse literally, but I am not writing to get into a debate on biblical interpretation. I am writing to discuss the matter of freedom of religion. What Quist believes is what his church teaches. There are other churches that believe this also. In our country, people have freedom of religion. Our forefathers came from countries where state churches dictated what they must believe. When they came to this country, they wisely drafted the provision for our citizens to enjoy freedom of religion. In this country, no government and no person has the right to deny another the freedom of religion. We do not live in a theocracy.

Your charge also opens up a pandora's box. If you wish to question Quist's right to follow the beliefs of his church, you should examine the consequences of your actions. Will you then question the Roman Catholic church's views on the roles of men and women? Will you question the views of the Mormon church on the roles of men and women? Will you question the views of Hindus and Muslims on the roles of men and women? Churches and religions have differing views on this issue. However, in this country, all have the right to freedom of religion. If we don't like the particular views of a church, we don't have to join it. However, as citizens of this country, we should be ready to stand up for the right of freedom of religion. The charge that Quist is unfit to hold office because he holds to the views of his church is an assault on the religious freedom we hold dear.

Lyle Lange

New UIm



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