The Aug. 19 front-page article “Fewer ministers, heavier burdens” seemed very one-sided. The article focused mainly on ELCA and Catholic churches. Churches that teach the Bible without compromise are mostly growing. Those that don’t are mainly getting smaller.
A January 2018 article by Glenn T. Stanton in the Federalist, “New Harvard Research Says U.S. Christianity Is Not Shrinking, But Growing Stronger” (tinyurl.com/us-christianity), states that mainline churches “are tanking as if they have super-sized millstones around their necks. Yes, these churches are hemorrhaging members in startling numbers, but many of those folks are not leaving Christianity. They are simply going elsewhere. Because of this shifting, other very different kinds of churches are holding strong in crowds and have been for as long as such data has been collected. In some ways, they are even growing. This is what this new research has found.
“The percentage of Americans who attend church more than once a week, pray daily, and accept the Bible as wholly reliable and deeply instructive to their lives has remained absolutely, steel-bar constant for the last 50 years or more, right up to today.”
Churches that believe the Bible is God’s word and take it as literally as the literary style allows find that God himself is active in those churches because he is active in the lives of those who attend. It’s really quite simple.
Mark Lundstedt, Farmington
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I appreciate the Star Tribune’s look into “The Unchurching of America,” but I can’t help but think of the larger context in which this is taking place. This installment of an occasional series was published within days of a story about the Catholic Church covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 children. The series is also running during the presidency of a man who bragged about sexual assault and was elected with, and continues to enjoy, the overwhelming support of conservative Christian voters. From a broader perspective, perhaps we have been sensing these contradictions for some time. Perhaps Christianity is incompatible with the patriarchal structures that seek to hold power at the expense of teaching the Gospel. I look forward to reading the next part of the series and hope that the authors can dig into the larger context.
Robert Anderson, White Bear Lake
Proud to see it happening. (Maybe don’t call it that.)
I was pleased to read about the “pink wave” in our state and nationally (front page, Aug. 19). It was a very difficult journey for me in 1976 when I was elected the very first female to the Hennepin County Board. It was even more difficult serving as the first chairperson of the board. I hope to live to see the day when women will be a majority in Congress and a woman serves as our president.
Nancy K. Olkon, Medina
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I am appalled by the use of your term “pink wave” to describe the women who are candidates for public offices. These women should be treated with the same respect that their male counterparts are. It is degrading to all women to be labeled “pink,” which generally describes little girls with frilly dresses. These women are strong, intelligent and independent people who chose to be involved in our political system, and are not to be denigrated as lower-class participants.
Carole J. Schulze, Hopkins
Glad to see Robert Frost poem as an inspiration, with a caveat
Regarding Timothy Taylor’s Aug. 19 commentary “Everything I know about walls” and its use of the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost: Growing up in New England and later graduating from Boston University majoring in liberal arts, I was from the beginning drawn to the familiar portraits drawn by our local poet with his seemingly simple language and subject matter. Later I understood there was much more complexity in his writing, but for me the pragmatic aspect of his writing was always dominant. “Mending Wall” is one of my favorites, and I enjoyed this article immensely — but I’m not so sure that Robert Frost would ever be so explicit about what he meant.
R.F. Smith, Wyoming, Minn.
‘SIMILAR OFFENSES, DIFFERENT FALLOUT’
An opinion styled as this one was should not be published. Shame.
In regard to “Similar offenses, different fallout: What’s going on?” by Victor Davis Hanson Aug. 19), I have a few questions for the commentary editors: Did you read the submitted article? Do you bother to do a cursory fact-check? Was the editorial staff of Infowars or Gateway Pundit too busy to supply you with an article?
Mr. Hanson’s argument is riddled with false equivalencies and a few outright misstatements of fact. To start with the New York Times’ hiring Sarah Jeong while firing Quinn Norton is an obvious framing of a false-equivalence debate. Jeong has been notably indiscreet in past Twitter utterances, and Hanson characterizes her as anti-white, with a hatred for males. Norton, he leaves to our imagination, perhaps realizing that writings on befriending neo-Nazis and engaging in meaningful First Amendment dialogue with Nazis is not a strong selling point for his equivalencies. Hanson continues in this vein with recent hiring decisions at the Atlantic, before turning his ire onto his true target: the Mueller investigation.
His charges include we “know that members of the FBI and the DOJ misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by deliberately hiding critical facts about the Steele dossier.” No, we don’t know that. We know that U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes believes that, despite the factual refutation of that charge by the release of the relevant FISA warrant. Apparently Hanson, like Nunes, prefers belief in “alternative facts” to objective facts, but should the opinion page of a newspaper promulgate their delusions?
I further question the Star Tribune’s judgment when Hanson continues with the false equivalence of Paul Manafort to Tony Podesta. True, both were lobbyists, each with a different party designation, but one is charged with crimes while the other remains under investigation. More to the point, our own native son, former U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., of Mercury Public Affairs, also remains under investigation in this same case, as noted by the Star Tribune on Aug. 1.
In a final note of misdirection and unintended irony, Hanson piously informs us that “people suspect that our institutions define wrong behavior and bad words as those in service to the wrong political agenda.” The recent revocation of security clearances for speaking against the current administration demonstrates the poverty of his facts and reasoning on his implied support of labeling the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”
As a subscriber, I thought better of the commentary editors’ judgment than this article’s mixture of drivel, outright misstatements and omissions of fact would indicate.
Abigail Lamberton, St. Paul