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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Politics and the church

As always, the combination provokes strong feelings

Loving your neighbor & casting your vote" (October, page 24) was well-written and thought-provoking. My experience says there's a need to throw up a large yellow caution flag. And if respect for truth, getting facts straight and doing homework seems like too much trouble before going on the attack, a plea for a red stop flag is in order. Go back to a peaceful form of ignorance. Many of us outraged and fired-up, self-righteous Christians do a lot of unintentional damage to innocent people by firing at the wrong targets. Just having an opinion ought not be enough for a Christian practicing "neighbor-love" to take aim and fire. The example set by Martin Luther that was so heavily depended upon in this article ought to give us pause to reflect some more. His laudable, strong points were often noted in the article. But, remembering that he was a sinful human being like the rest of us, we should also remember his ill-tempered attacks on people, particularly the Jews of his day. If we do not exercise great care as Christians acting in the political arena, we appear to those outside our number as another bunch of prejudiced, hate-filled religious zealots, not neighbor-lovers.

Larry Kallem
Madrid, Iowa


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