Readers’ Views

Right path necessary

To the Editor:

The Bible recognizes national borders. When Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, he asked the King of Edom for permission to cross through his kingdom, but “Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.” (Numbers 20:14-21).

Each year, America welcomes more than 1 million immigrants who have requested permission to enter by following our immigration laws. Our nation has every right to enforce our immigration laws so that our people are not overwhelmed by foreign workers competing for scarce resources such as jobs.

The (U.S. Senate) Gang of Eight’s immigration amnesty bill will reward more than 11 million foreign lawbreakers with legal status at a time when some 20 million Americans are unemployed. We should not place illegals on the same level as citizens or legal immigrants who respected our laws.

Everyone wants to enter the kingdom of Heaven, but John 10:1 reads: “Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.”

Here’s the good news: Anyone who repents by turning around and taking the right path may enter America or “the kingdom of Heaven.” God doesn’t change his laws to accommodate lawless behavior, and neither should our government.

Paul Westrum

Albert Lea

Students band together

To the Editor:

What would happen to the season of a high school sports team whose coach was sidelined nearly the entire time and whose experienced team members devoted themselves to helping less-experienced teammates instead of improving their own game? What would the win/loss column look like?

That’s exactly what happened this year to Fairmont Area School’s orchestra and players.

Their leader, Judy Berkeland, was gone for much of the year on medical leave, which left the orchestral groups in elementary and junior/senior high without a conductor, teacher and mentor. The district stepped in with substitutes of varied musical backgrounds. But what kept a steady rhythm going was the kids in the orchestras. Seniors and juniors helped out and guided the elementary students. They brought orchestra music more often to their own lessons so they could prepare for concerts. In some cases, improving their own technique was delayed so they could concentrate on group work.

They may not have scored as high as they hoped in their solos at solo/ensemble competition because practice time went in many different directions.

Their efforts may not be obvious to most. They’re not in an arena or on the field. Their lessons and practice sessions are mostly out of sight.

How do I know this? I’m a violin teacher and some of those kids study with me. I only know about what my students did, but I’m sure everyone else contributed to make the year a success in a way they may not have expected last fall.

They are center stage in my playbook and their win/loss column has only wins.

Vicki Beckendorf