Letters: Faith is not a reason to ignore expert medical advice

10September 2020

Can we please stop using faith as a reason to ignore expert medical advice? If you think faith will protect you from the current pandemic, then open a history book and read up on the pandemics that have riddled civilization over time. Those pandemics indiscriminately killed the faithful and faithless. Why would it be different now? If you take the stance of “if it’s my time, it’s my time” then would you also not buckle in your infant child? Would you let your kids play in the middle of a busy road? For most of us (the sane), the answer to these questions is no.

Moreover, all major religions are built on a foundation of taking responsibility for your own actions. Saying “if it’s my time, it’s my time” ignores those teachings. Additionally, those same religions call for self-sacrifice to help others, especially those most in need (in light of the pandemic, that’s the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions). As a Christian, I feel extremely confident that Jesus would have every one of his followers wear a mask, even if it ultimately only saved a single life.

With all this said, I think everyone knows what “faith” typically means in these situations. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with political leanings and selfishness. So just call it that. In America, you have the right to be selfish, so just say you won’t do it because YOU don’t want to. Let’s leave faith out of it.

Robert Crandall, St. Paul


Dousing the barn-wedding business

We appreciate Bob Shaw’s article about requiring sprinklers in barn wedding venues (“Barn venues torn over sprinkler requirement,” Sept. 7). Such regulations could bankrupt rural venue owners, especially when Covid-19 restrictions are choking their income.

Our friends Michael and Paula Bushilla helped Wayne Butt get into the wedding business at Historic Furber Farm by sharing what they learned the hard way at their Hope Glen Farm venue in Cottage Grove. Wayne publicly thanked them at local Chamber of Commerce meetings. We hope he can make back what he invested in the sprinkler system, which he now wants to be required for all barn wedding venues in Minnesota.

Butt’s enormous Furber Farm barn seats 500, and is close to the Twin Cities and the airport. Very few barns will be able to generate that kind of income when restrictions lift, yet before they can reopen, they would require sprinkler systems which are generally unwarranted.

These sprinkler systems require a separate water source, uninterruptable power, and a back-up generator. For Hope Glen Farm, that would mean drilling an additional well and bringing in power from WalMart a mile away. That line alone is $100,000.

Bushillas worked with city, county, and state officials to develop a plan to keep their guests safe. Cottage Grove has helped to keep Hope Glen Farm in business. We hope Sen. Housley can help barn venue owners at the state level, and that cities and counties will see reason.

Leslie and David Ritchie, Hastings


More important stories

A friend and I were puzzling the other day about the choice to feature the impending closure of a single business (albeit a big one), Surly’s Beer Hall, as the lead front page story of last Thursday’s newspaper. In these times there are certainly more significant stories, or ones that give a broader picture of what is happening to our community and our world. Reading the article offered me no clarification about that choice.

However, buried on page 14A of that same paper was an article saying that the federal budget deficit is projected to reach a record $3.3 trillion, more than triple the 2019 shortfall. Wouldn’t this be a more appropriate front-page story?

Gale Rohde, St. Paul


Simplistic groupings

Republicans need to stop equating Antifa and the Democratic Party. Antifa is not the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party is not Antifa. There could be some overlap, but they’re not synonymous.

The same is true of socialists and the Democratic Party. There’s overlap, but they’re not one-and-the-same.

Likewise, right-wing fascists and the Republican Party are not synonymous (though, of course, there is some overlap). So, my Republican friends, unless you want the same sophomoric treatment in return, stop the simplistic grouping.

John Fineberg, St. Paul

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