Five hundred years too late, Lutherans and Roman Catholics ask forgiveness for years of religious division and numerous wars, including the Thirty Years’ War that Wikipedia suggests killed 8 million people. My ancestors were hounded from country to country seeking religious freedom, coming finally as refugees to Massachusetts, Virginia and New Amsterdam, many of them rare survivors of thousands who perished making the Atlantic crossing or died not long after arrival in wars that displaced the native peoples and diseases that ravaged the continent (“In historic service, pope urges Lutheran-Catholic unity,” Nov. 1).

Today we repeat these mistakes; the players a bit different but the stereotyping across religions the same, as are the bitter wars and the refugees seeking safe places to worship. Are we 500 years from realizing our sins?

Sherry Gray, St. Paul

THE 2016 CAMPAIGN

My face-to-face negotiation with Donald Trump impressed me

I have always been told that running the U.S. is paramount to running the biggest business in the world. It is time to see if a successful businessman can turn around the problems and wasteful government spending plaguing our country.

As owner of the Truffles Chocolatier companies, we had stores in major shopping centers around the country. The last store opened in the Trump Tower. At one point, it faced a situation that I needed to discuss with Donald Trump himself.

My secretary called to set up the meeting the next morning. Donald appeared in the conference room on time with two of his executives, not knowing what would be discussed.

He asked why we were there; I told him. He asked what I suggested. I had suspected that he likes to get right to the point, so I simply outlined an offer that would benefit both of us. He then asked his staff to follow him into the hallway while I waited.

They returned in only a few minutes. We negotiated a bit more, and the deal was done. From start to finish, only 20 minutes had elapsed. There was no paperwork to sign. A handshake was all. He recognized that we are both businesspeople, and he respected that.

The only side of Trump I have known is the accessible and respectful one — the one that listens, then discusses to resolve the situation. I know he loves this country and is deeply concerned about the health, military and financial problems that are going to get worse, and he wants to address this and more.

He also knows many leaders in these areas who are anxious to work with him.

Margaret (Peggy) Liemandt, Minnetonka

• • •

We have heard throughout this campaign from many Republican leaders who do not support Trump the man but due to their dedication to the Republican Party will either be voting for Trump, or will incidentally be voting for him by not supporting Hillary Clinton. As such, Trump is benefiting greatly from “loyalty to party at all cost.” Ironically, he has shown in various ways (including his reluctance to heed the counsel of key Republican leaders, and his public denouncements of them), that he will not reciprocate this loyalty if in office. Very ironic.

Andrea Simonett, Minneapolis

• • •

Last week I drove to Fargo and back on Interstate 94 and noticed all the Trump signs on farmers’ fields of corn, soybeans, etc. What are these farmers thinking? If Trump gets elected, he has promised to destroy our trade agreements and they will have to find new buyers for their crops. There will be huge surpluses; prices will drop like a brick, and he will not bail them out. International negotiating skills are far more important in maintaining foreign markets and keeping prices high. These farmers can find a better use for their land than promoting their own poverty.

Lewis Damer, St. Paul

• • •

Marc A. Thiessen lists numerous investigations that are likely to take place if Hillary Clinton is elected (“Get ready for four more years of Clinton scandals,” Nov. 1). Let’s hope that Congress can find the time between investigations to actually govern and address the country’s issues.

Nic Baker, Roseville

• • •

This election is not about voting for a Republican or a Democrat. It’s not about what candidates stand for or their views on each issue. It’s not about their experience or where they come from. Rather, this election is about Hate (yes, that’s a capital H). It’s about a few candidates, and one happens to represent Hate. I grew up in the church, and the one word that I was taught at a very young age was Love. As Christians, we try to epitomize what Love is with everything we do.

For the most part, Christian followers like me tend to vote Republican regardless of who is running. I like to think I am open-minded when it comes to the major issues that we see every election. I’ve voted Republican and Democrat over the years, so I am fairly moderate when it comes to politics. Again, this election is not about the issues or the candidates’ party affiliations. I would encourage you to vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent Hate. I know I am. If you’re voting for Jesus, then you’re voting for Love. You have the choice to vote for or against Hate.

Daniel Vogel, Eagan

• • •

There is no such thing as a wasted vote. When you vote your conscience, democracy is true to itself.

Richard Tietz, Golden Valley

MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOLS

Voting ‘no’ on levy because of district’s troubles isn’t logical

In response to former Minneapolis school board member Ann Berget (“ ‘Yes to Kids’? Failure is not something to toss money at,” Oct. 31), and to a Nov. 2 letter writer who is also opposed to renewing the district’s $74 million excess levy:

I teach in Minneapolis. My wonderful students include many with mental health, learning, behavioral and even motivational challenges. We are all together every day in my crowded classroom. Sometimes their individual needs overwhelm the learning environment. I am sometimes frustrated and often exhausted. The system could indeed be a whole lot better.

It isn’t my job to defend or explain district policies. I honestly don’t know whether our tax dollars are being used in the most effective ways. I’m pretty sure losing $74 million won’t be good for anyone.

But I still show up every day to do my best. Because my students deserve it. Because healthy public schools are pillars of a healthy community.

You want to just give up?

Will you also stop funding soup kitchens because they haven’t eliminated hunger?

Will you stop paying highway taxes because the roads are bad?

Argue all you want about how to improve public schools. Get involved. Learn what works and what doesn’t. But don’t just give up on us.

Alan Husby, Minneapolis