In his column dated Nov. 24, Herald columnist Lloyd Omdahl had quite an ax to grind regarding some area Christian clergy. He even provided the following statement in quotation marks: “We are going to trust God to rescue us from our own foolishness.” Many of us readers would like to know: who exactly said this, where, and when? Without proper citation, such an inflammatory remark is the dictionary definition of a straw man argument.

In early May, the bishop of the Diocese of Fargo gave permission to its parishes to resume the celebration of public Masses. Attached to that permission was a publicly distributed, lengthy list of safety measures expected of each of us. Our faith community promptly did so, knowing that a middle way was possible; namely, to worship God without endangering ourselves or others. What motivates us is a love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, the same treasure for which countless martyrs have shed their blood in our Church’s long history.

We know well that quite a few of our brothers and sisters are choosing to stay away for a time. We harbor no ill will toward them whatsoever, and we will welcome them joyfully when they feel conditions will allow them to return.

Since last spring, I’ve often seen the parking lots of Wal-Mart and Target filled with dozens of vehicles. Where is Mr. Omdahl’s scorn for those businesses? And if there indeed are states where indoor church services are prohibited, while, for example, strip clubs can remain open, why would Christians not be aggrieved to the point that they feel unjustly discriminated against?

Please come to St. Mary’s and visit us, Mr. Omdahl. You will find a house of prayer where God’s Word is proclaimed in season and out of season, and where our parishioners conduct ourselves responsibly and care for each other with Christlike compassion. For this, we have no need to apologize.