Julie Sandvig, West Fargo, Published June 03 2013
Letter: As preacher or congressman, Cramer does not measure upLately, Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has made some controversial remarks. He’s threatened Native Americans, blamed school shootings on the legalization of abortion and defended those remarks as “truth.”
Those of us who know Cramer have known for years that he has his own version of the truth. I grew up in Kindred, N.D., and had the good fortune to attend a beautiful country church, Norman Lutheran. Our regular pastor, Al Sandness, was excellent at preaching about God’s love and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. He allowed me to understand that all sins would be forgiven through Christ to those who repented and accepted his love.
For a few weeks, we had a different pastor – Kevin Cramer. For those few weeks, it seemed as though the God that Sandness preached about was not the same God that Cramer preached about. Cramer preached about a God that would damn us all to hell. I remember one sermon in particular where he said that people who told dirty jokes were evil. Cramer preached judgment. He preached a God that I had never been taught before.
I was only a teenager, but I remember thinking that if that’s the way it is, why bother trying? I could never live up to that standard Cramer believed I needed to get into heaven. What’s more, I felt like if I believed what he said, everyone I knew was going to hell (except my Grandma Opal – that woman was a saint).
As I grew up and Sandness went back to being our pastor, I came to believe that God does love me. My sins are forgivable. One of my favorite biblical quotes that I live my life by is “judge not, lest ye be judged.” I wonder if Cramer has ever read this one. I wonder if he believes those Supreme Court justices who heard Roe v. Wade and changed the future of women in this country are all going to hell. I wonder if he understands that Jesus loves everyone.
Although I am a Christian, I believe that religion has no place in government. In fact, the entire reason this country was founded was to free those who believed differently from religious persecution.
Don’t be surprised by Cramer’s statements, North Dakota. This is who you voted for. While I thought briefly that I should support my hometown candidate, I remembered those hellfire and brimstone sermons and remembered that is not a man who should be making decisions for others.
I cast my vote for Pam Gulleson. I only wish you had done the same, and I hope you will remember this in 2014.