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Letter to the Editor: "Is Decorah truly going to let people be free to be who they are and believe what they believe?"

Posted: Mon, May 13, 2019 3:44 PM

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Pastor Doug Bryce of the Christian Life Center in Freeport):

"I am writing to ask Decorah if they really stand for diversity or not.  Is is just a cover for a political ideology?  When someone is different from the predominant ideology, is there tolerance for them, or is there unrelenting pressure to conform? 

I am responding to Rev. Amy Zalk Larson's letter.  She is mistaken when she tries to frame the National Day of Prayer event at the Courthouse as a "private, outside organization."

The event was organized by local Decorah residents who had to endure phone calls from Decorah Human Rights Commission members, who, under the guise of 'authority,' used aggression and intimidation to harass and demand conformity to their political ideology.  Where is the freedom to be diverse?  Would DHRC members and others have called Muslims, Hindus or any other private citizens and demand change if they chose to pray in their own group?  Of course they wouldn't.

The truth of the matter has already been exposed that there is no tolerance of diversity in Decorah.  There is a predominant ideology and if someone does not line up with that, they are shamed and bullied.

Reverend Larson's letter asks us to 'join together' next year.  We cannot 'join together' if we do not pray to the same God and, sad to say, we don't even pray to the same Jesus.  So let's encourage anyone who wants to pray to have their own event--that's the meaning of 'diversity' after all, isn't it?

Are you truly tolerant?  Are you truly diverse?  If so, there are going to be differences and those differences should not be attacked.  Is Decorah truly going to let people be free to be who they are and believe what they believe?"