I reference the article in the Enterprise Sept. 11 regarding the District 2 legislators’ town hall meeting of Sept. 7 in Park Rapids. The three state legislators, all Republicans, headed that meeting in Park Rapids at Abide Vineyard Church.

Sen. Paul Utke (Dist. 2) indicated he was “impressed by the turnout, which filled the church to overflowing.” The topic mainly discussed and identified by your own heading was the COVID vaccination, and the discussion was extremely politicized.

As a pastor, albeit emeritus, I am committed to my own Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). Our constitution reads that we in LCMC are apolitical (meaning non-political). Mr. Utke is a member of an LCMC congregation and yet, in my opinion, disgraces that membership by using another church for his political agenda.

Mr. Utke has already been called out earlier by one of our local doctors for inappropriate gatherings that did not coincide with our health guidelines in fighting the virus. He set a poor example as he jeopardized the healthcare measures and safety of his constituents. In this way, measures such as masking, distancing and now the vaccine itself have left the arena of healthcare and entered the dark, shady, nebulous and dangerous realm of politicization – and that in a church setting.

The church milieu should represent how I love and care for my neighbor. Nowhere in scripture do we hear of our own particular rights. Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, which do not tell us about individual rights but about doing and living the right thing for our neighbor and for our children.

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So, let’s take ourselves out of the center of the circle. And keep in mind that one out of every four Delta variant COVID cases are children – children who are getting the virus from unvaccinated adults who are spreading it and dying by the droves!