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Letter to the Editor: "Sheriff Dan Marx was 100 percent right!"

Posted: Wed, May 1, 2019 5:43 PM

(Tessa and Mark Voigt of Decorah have submitted the following Letter to the Editor):

"We have been seeing multiple responses to the Easter holiday message that was put on the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Department's Facebook page.  This was meant to be a light-hearted community post, but it has become  an all-out community assault on our local sheriff's department.  Though both sides of the argument have had many admirable intentions, it is obvious that the department's intentions were purely innocent.

Have we really come to an age where we need to view well wishes to people of the community from ANY source in ANY capacity as a negative or discriminatory action towards our citizens?  Our sheriff is an elected official placed in his position by the people of this community because of his integrity and ability to perform his work admirably and with professionalism.  Our Decorah law enforcement departments are full of professionals; a simple Facebook post wishing someone Happy Easter should not deter any citizen from believing they are safe within our city or county limits. 

Could it be construed as prejudicial and non-inclusive in stating that Christian greetings are inappropriate or offensive?  Why are we assuming offense for people of other faiths?  If the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office had stated Happy Ramadan, Passover, or Cinco De Mayo, would they have been congratulated, stating that they were progressive, forward-thinking, and inclusive?

We should be including everybody.  Sherriff Marx is 100 percent correct in stating that he was supporting his staff and simply stating "Have a happy Easter."  He and the department were not intentionally excluding anybody.  To break down our community in to an us-versus-them over something as little as a Facebook post is disheartening and disappointing.   Decorah and Winneshiek County, We can do so much better!!"