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Letter to the editor: The Nine speaks truth so people can be free from fear

Lloyd Omdahl’s recent article about nine ex-Hutterites that was published on July 14 prompted a response from The Nine due to false allegations in his writing. It is obvious he does not understand or know our hearts in writing our book, “Hutterites,” and the message it contains. In writing our stories we expound upon plain facts of truth without hearsay or gossip. The message in the books is clear — that those who so desire can find hope and freedom.

The truth spoken in love may hurt and may offend, but in the end it will bring healing. On the other hand, the lies and misconceptions that have been allowed to prevail concerning the religious group known as Hutterites are damaging the spirit, soul and body of countless individuals. Since Omdahl has never lived as a Hutterite we can understand why his perspective of the Hutterites is skewed. The Hutterites may have an outward form of communal living and pacifism, but the Hutterite lifestyle has become, as Scripture says, “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” (Mark 7:6)

Omdahl claims that we are incorrectly using the Declaration of Independence to support the rights and freedoms of individuals. Is it wrong to quote a document that states the true source of an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Those involved in writing the letter to King George understood these rights didn’t originate from a monarchy but from “our creator.” The purpose of the government, as understood by our forefathers, is to ensure these God-given freedoms continue to exist. This is in harmony with Romans 13, that the government is a minister of God to punish the wicked and protect the righteous.

To view our American rights as purely secular, as Omdahl seems to do, is the reason for the failure to consistently uphold these rights in this nation.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

We wrote more in-depth about the role of church and government in our second book that was just released, “Since We Told The Truth.” We speak the truth boldly so people can be set free from fear and oppression. This is our heart in writing our books, and they are written in love.

(Waldner is a member of The Nine, a group of nine individuals who left their Hutterite colonies.)