You know, I don't claim to speak for everyone here in Bonners Ferry. However, my predecessors settled in what now is Montpelier, Idaho, circa 1855.

Knowing this heritage, I can imagine our Native American hosts find it rather ironic that a bunch of European-American immigrants are arguing over who arrived here first or has lived here the longest.

Last week, approximately five guests claiming religious values spoke in opposition to the City of Bonners Ferry's diversity statement.

These speakers were not residents of the city. Two speakers, myself included, spoke in favor of the statement.

I'm making the point that city policy should not be formulated by those who do not reside within it.

The Boundary County Human Rights Task Force was founded with the full support of the Boundary County Commissioners years ago when it became apparent that seeds of intolerance were being sown. Their foresight is duly noted.

The city's diversity statement does not endorse any behaviors associated with any citizen's identity. It merely affirms their equality and access enumerated within the Declaration of Independence.

I encourage all individuals within the local faith community to ask their church leaders whether they are in the business of saving souls or passing judgement.

It is my understanding that the latter is reserved for the Almighty Himself.

Where were all the good people of faith in Germany when the Nazis were slaughtering God's chosen people by the millions? Unfortunately, too many of them were Nazi sympathizers or wearing the uniform of the swastika.

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Responding to each point.

The city claims to speak for everyone in the diversity statement, for churches, organizations, etc., which are attended even by non residents.

The city policy should NOT be formulated without the consent of those who reside within it.

Years ago the human task force did not have members who have recently shown themselves to be intolerant and hateful.

The diversity statement INDEED endorses the behavior of those who were created equal.

Churches and leaders of the local faith community know their job is to teach and to spread God's Word, even about God's judgement.

The good people of Germany were being accused of not being tolerant by those who called evil good, and good evil just as some people in our community and nation are doing today.

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