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Barbara Hovland shared some thoughts related to her perceptions of society. I agree that the killing of anyone is wrong, and that it is reprehensible that any police officer is killed. I also agree that pedophilia is horrific, as is any kind of abuse.

However, I support a woman’s right to choose, especially in this climate of defunding support networks. It is unfortunate that Ms. Hovland linked the Target indecent exposure incident with the issue of a transgendered person’s right to choose a bathroom based on their gender. Regarding the incident, NBC reported the child’s mother was in the bathroom with her, no indication the man was transgender, and store management immediately called the authorities sharing security video.

Ms. Hovland states, “Some ministers in churches seem to be afraid to speak out against the social issues that are against God's word. It's time for some churches to stop trying to be 'socially acceptable to all' and speak God's truth, God's teaching, God's word.”

As a clergyperson I do speak out against actions that seek to denigrate, exclude, or unjustly imprison anyone just because they are not white, heterosexual, middle-upper class, or a U.S. citizen.

God's Word (I am assuming Ms. Hovland is referring to the Bible) is pretty clear on how we should react to those who are different than us: we should love the stranger.

Ms. Hovland also states, “It’s time for some churches to stop trying to be 'socially acceptable to all.'” Perhaps a discussion that explores what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some,” would be fruitful?

I would be happy to explore possibilities that strengthen our community and focus on compassion for all rather than cast stones.

Chuck Kelsey, Mason City

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