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On Nov. 19, there was a “Baraboo Gathers” meeting to bring healing to the community regarding a controversial photo. Community clergy were present, and there were prayers said, which was reported to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Their response was “Religion is exclusionary and only exacerbates the division from which the Baraboo community is attempting to heal.” The nightly news should tell us that there is much division outside of religion also.

Nevertheless, we who are followers of Jesus need to acknowledge that divisions have been a part of our history. That history begins in Genesis where God says to humanity, “I have something ‘very good’ for you.” This was the beginning of the Gospel – a word that means “good news” – a word that is often disbelieved.

The Gospel can be expressed in many ways. For example, one pastor in the meeting addressed God as “heavenly Father.” Shouldn’t our “heavenly father” be better than any good human father? A good human father will love his child in jail; our Heavenly father can love his child forever - even in Hell.

As followers of Jesus we will hold different positions. I think the best way to come to a healing is to examine our positions in light of the Gospel. Ask a simple question: “Does my position make the Gospel clearer or cloudier?”

John Torgerson, Wisconsin Dells