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Reader Opinion: Vote through the lens of love

There is no doubt in my mind that a culture of hateful and violent verbiage directed at other people and allowed to permeate our lives leads to violent behavior. And so we have witnessed it. It has made our world coarser, abusive, and less loving. But hurtful words do not need to win the day. It's not "inevitable" as though we were bereft of empathy or creativity. Each of us can find ways to say, enough is enough: In the home, at the coffee shop, at school, and at work we can lift up respectful ways of talking about those we disagree with.

People are not merely genes with appetites. We are precious, endowed with dignity by our Creator, and granted the gift of love that seeks the benefit of our neighbor. This kind of love is not mushy or sentimental; it is a power that brings ethical courage, transformation of our hearts and renewed joy to our lives. We have choices; we can step out courageously and share goodness or we can bottle up until it dies.

Please use the lens of love and decency for all people, no exceptions, into the voting booth on Nov. 6, and let that lens help you make decisions on who might best serve the public good.

Bishop Thomas M. Aitken

Northeastern Minnesota Synod

Evangelical Lutheran church in America