Viewpoints

Wed
03
May

Word for Word 5/3/23

It’s “almost” growing season. I can’t wait to get outside and get my garden going. How about you?

It’s exciting to grow plants in the spring and summer and it’s a great time to grow our faith as well. As the earth warms, it’s a wonderful time to intentionally invite God to expand our love, peace and faithfulness. So in that spirit, let me suggest four ways you can be about spiritual growth this time of year.

1. Dive into the Word
By “the word,” I mean the bible. Why read the bible? There are lots of reasons. Most of all is that by reading it, we can encounter God. The bible is living: “The word of God is alive and powerful... It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12). There are apps for your phone to help you read the bible conveniently. So in the coming months, don’t just dive into the pool, dive into God’s amazing word. You’ll be glad you did!

Wed
03
May

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Ann Hart

To the Editor:

For the past 30 years state victim compensation funds have covered the cost for contraception and abortion care for rape victims. Plan B works to prevent unintended pregnancy by preventing ovulation and is a highly effective method to help rape victims avoid unintended pregnancy.

These non-taxpayer offender accountability funds are separate from taxpayer funds appropriated by legislators each year in the state budget process. Most startling, a majority of those served by these funds are juvenile victims of sexual abuse.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has halted this practice. She is not sure if this is an appropriate use of public funds even though these are not tax dollars. This is funding put forward from the fines, fees and penalties paid by convicted criminals.

Wed
26
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Ann Fields

To the Editor:

We love our state. We know how great Iowa can be when we put our money where our values are. Creating bike and hiking trails to enjoy our pristine lakes, rivers and landscapes. Repairing our roads for safety and moving the goods we produce. Paying for the public schools and educators our kids deserve, and so much more.

But Iowa’s priorities under Governor Reynolds are skewed as she continues to pick winners who are already winning and punishing the struggling households and families. From installing barriers to those on SNAP, reducing earned unemployment security, and refusing to lift the minimum wage while passing bills that give the richest among us and wealthy corporations more and more handouts and less and less taxes.

Reynolds picked MAGA Republicans and corporate greed over everyday Iowans. She’s taking away our freedom to access abortion, our freedom to learn, and the freedom to afford groceries and a roof over our heads.

Wed
26
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Rolf Johnson

To the Editor:

The Des Moines Register recently reported that our state legislature has passed a new law (House File 802), since signed by Governor Reynolds, that prohibits the teaching of the view that Iowa or the U.S. is “fundamentally or systemically racist.” As a former teacher I have a few questions regarding the interpretation and application of this law. Is teaching that our country or state is systemically racist prohibited because the view is false? Or is it banned even if it happens to be true?

Suppose there are reputable historians on both sides of this issue, then presumably one side can be taught but not the other? Notice further that the law is worded in the present tense - “is fundamentally or systemically racist.” How then are we to approach the study of the past? Is it okay to teach that pre-Civil War America was racist?

Wed
26
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Mark Jacobson

To the Editor:

It can be difficult to watch someone struggle with their mental health, and it can be equally difficult to experience your own mental health struggles. Here are some common symptoms of depression to watch out for.

Difficulty Getting Out Of Bed. It’s perfectly normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning or taking a shower, can feel exhausting.

Wed
19
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Osmund “Ozzie” Quandahl

To the Editor:

First, I have to say, I am a big Trump supporter. His four years as President were tremendous.

No President has ever accomplished more good things for the USA than Trump. A man came up to me and said, “I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, I voted for Trump, and I believe he is a God send.”

I’ve seen many surveys that show 60% of Democrats would not vote for Biden again and wish they had not voted for him. Question: What kind of person would vote for what we have now, a country on the brink of disaster?

Putin has destroyed Russia and Biden has destroyed the USA. I call Putin a war criminal. Question: What should we call Biden, a super destroyer? By the end of Biden’s term, you will not recognize our country, it will be a third world situation.

Kindest Regards & God Bless,
Osmund “Ozzie” Quandahl
Waukon

Wed
12
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Arthur Clocksin

To the Editor:

In reading about the International Transgender Day of Visibility event in Lansing March 31, I took note of the two main purposes of this event: to honor the joy and resilience of transgender and nonbinary people, and to raise awareness of discrimination faced by this same group.

The article notes that transgender and nonbinary youth experience anxiety and depression at a much higher rate than their cisgender peers, with an alarming attempted suicide rate of 29 percent. Is there resilience here which we can honor? Definitely. But is there joy that can be honored in this scenario? I don’t think so.

Wed
05
Apr

Word for Word 4/5/23

Pastor Abraham Faugstad
Pastor Abraham Faugstad

Everlasting Hope

I’ve had a number of conversations with people who aren’t Christians but are sympathetic to Christianity. Usually, the conversation goes, “I don’t necessarily believe there is a God, but I think it’s great you can give people some hope in their lives.”

Maybe you know someone who thinks this way or find yourself thinking that way about religion. Many are dismissive of Christianity because they think that it is simply made up. They think Jesus wasn’t real or that he was simply a good person, a moral example, certainly not the Savior that the Bible claims Him to be.

The Apostle Paul addresses this in his First Letter to the Corinthians. He writes, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (I Corinthians 15:19). If Jesus is just a salve for our daily troubles, something to be happy about in this fallen world, a moral example, “we are of all men the most pitiable!”

Wed
05
Apr

Letter to the Editor: No to Senate File 478

To the Editor:

Governor Reynolds appears to have established a history of not listening to experts. She seems to ignore legal, medical, financial, and federal experts when their advice doesn’t match with her political agenda.

Senate File 478, introduced  by Senator Bousselot, restricts the State Auditor’s office from obtaining crucial information which could uncover government waste or wrongdoing through an independent audit. By their nature, audits are based on evidence. The State Auditor watches state agencies and government entities.

This proposed law has drawn attention from 27+ State Auditors and a former U.S. Comptroller who all declare that this proposed bill is egregious. This potential law could easily cost Iowa multiple federal dollars, including funding under federal auditing standards, as well as unknown dollars lost through hidden fraud, waste and abuse.

Wed
05
Apr

Letter to the Editor: Help children grow and mature

To the Editor:

It takes nine months for a baby to fully develop. If at any time prior to this a baby leaves the womb, it is premature. That means the baby left the womb before it was fully developed and ready for the outside world. How ever many days, weeks or months premature will determine the degree of intervention that will be needed to keep the baby alive, if possible, until the baby is fully developed.

At first, a baby stays put. Where you lie the baby down is exactly where the baby will be when you come back. In due time, that will not be the case. At that time, the baby has acquired the ability to rollover and scoot around but the brain has not yet developed the concept of an “edge”. Therefore, for the baby’s protection, the baby is put in a playpen or a bed or sofa with things around it to prevent the baby from falling over the edge and getting hurt.

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