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What’s in a person’s heart

I’d like to share some thoughts regarding John Placek’s “controversial” billboard on 422.

While some think it best to keep opinions to oneself, in an effort to avoid civil discord, it is clear that Mr. Placek prefers to exercise his right to publicly air his views.

A major grievance against the billboard was that it initially included a swastika. It’s a blessing that the image has been removed, particularly in the light that it was a conversation with a Holocaust survivor that led to the removal. I hope that this can teach us all a lesson.

Christians should contend for the faith by being prepared to give an answer to any who ask us the reason for the hope that we have. I strive to adhere to the Biblical mandate to “do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). This can provide a framework for those of differing views to work together for the common good.

Let us keep in mind that no one knows a person’s heart except for that individual and God. Just because you disagree with a person’s worldview, and may hate what they are saying, does not always mean that they are guilty of hate speech. At the same time, although everyone in this country has the right to use harsh, divisive words, that does not always mean that it is right to do so.

I recall that our Savior taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I hope every person reading this message will take to your own heart the words: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Rev. Matthew A. Kail

Center Township

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