Letters to the Editor

Published May 1, 1998

Palestinians must see Jews in Israel to stay

Dear editor,

The demands made by Sabeel in your April Focus on Middle East page were disturbing.

When in Israel in 1996, I felt sympathy for the Arabs, imagining how it would feel if my home were taken over by people who felt it was their absolute right to do so. Since my return, I have read many books to try to understand the problem better.

It was upsetting driving down beside the Jordan to see the miles of barbed wire. The Israelis are a people under siege, and quite naturally they have a siege mentality. The Palestinians must face facts. The Jewish people are there to stay. If both parties want to live in peace, they must compromise. They must respect each other’s needs. The demands of Sabeel are unreasonable. They do need help, but as long as they want a return to the past, there will be war.

On a recent trip my companions were four Jews, children of immigrants, who had begun life in Brooklyn, N.Y. All spoke of the overwhelming emotion that came over them when they visited Israel. The Jews through the centuries have never had a homeland. I could not fully understand, but empathized with them remembering how I had felt in Galilee.

Eleanor Hammond.

Brockville, Ont.

Entertaining violence corrupts our young

Dear editor,

Recently, I heard an interview on CBC radio with two teenage girls from different areas concerning the problem of violence in the schools. The interviewer was sensitive and the girls responded thoughtfully and earnestly.

The question that still resonates for me was why they thought that violence was escalating so rapidly and why they thought so many young people were involved. One girl said simply: “Well, violence is entertainment now, isn’t it?”

When the society in which you are growing up not only condones but actually sponsors the portrayal of violent solutions to a host of problems – as almost any evening of television bears out – is it any wonder that those solutions are increasingly adopted by the young?

As a society, we are pathetically inconsistent. On the one hand, we lobby and march and protest to stop the pollution of our natural resources, yet are curiously reticent to speak out about the pollution of mind and senses that results from constant and graphic portrayals of brutal, mindless violence in movies and television.

We waffle about the right to express ourselves – too often taken as licence by those who have violence to express – and, in real life, young people are learning to stand around and watch. When we are discussing rights, I believe that our children have the right to a safe and peaceful environment. We do not talk about the rights of a drunk driver to kill.

I spoke to the principal of one of the schools represented and he said that young people are desperately in need of knowing that they have the support of adults in finding solutions.

Perhaps God’s call to act can come through the CBC.

Anna C. Thomas

Grimsby, Ont.

Vanished centre found

Dear editor,

If Dean Hockin really wants to track down the vanished “centre” (February issue) he will find it in the Prayer Book Society, where it has been given refuge until such time as Anglicans rediscover Anglicanism. That will happen when we realize that the Prayer Book is more than just a book.

Canon Robert Tuck

Charlottetown, P.E.I.

(via e-mail)

Writers made fascinating points

Dear editor,

There were several fascinating observations in your February issue which deserve specific comment.

Archbishop Peers’ experience of having been asked to submit three questions, to be answered by the congregation, is truly liberating and a great step forward.

Dean William Hockin’s essay, entitled, I Only Want to Reclaim the Centre, echoed the relieved sentiments of many Anglicans whose worship is perhaps more quietly intense, as well as on a possibly higher spiritual level than the more audible and visible emotions of some of their fellow parishioners.

Indeed, there must be a comfortable centre, considering and respecting each other’s feelings and not treading hastily where angels fear to tread.

A.S. Sikkink Monkman

New Westminster, B.C.

Some of God’s `rules’ amusing, barbaric

Dear editor,

I refer to John Greeve’s March letter to the editor regarding guidelines on sexuality/homosexuality, in which he says the issue at stake is the validity of the Bible as God’s written word: “If we disregard some parts of the Bible because they are offensive to our own personal beliefs, then what can we believe?”

I wonder how Mr. Greeve views the directions regarding a rebellious son found in “God’s written word” at Deuteronomy 21:18-21. Briefly put, when parents are at the end of their tether they are to bring their son before the elders of the city, who shall stone him to death.

God’s written word contains rules and regulations, some of which are mildly amusing, such as not allowing blends of yarn in cloth, and some of which are frankly barbaric.

But don’t take my word for it; spend half an hour digging around in Leviticus or Deuteronomy.

Colin Proudman


Can rich, powerful buy church’s pardon?

Dear editor,

The debate will continue regarding the church and homosexuals. It is reassuring to hear, “We accept all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, as equal before God…” This sounds like the Gospel of Jesus Christ – inclusive and non-judgmental.

St. Paul includes homosexual perverts with slanderers, drunkards, thieves and adulterers. Are some sins more acceptable than others?

I think Jesus Christ warned his disciples more times about hypocrisy, greed, judging others and sins of the heart, than he warned about sexual acts.

Marie Kirchmeir

Blind River, Ont.

Anglican traditionalists should sit near back

Dear editor,

Concerns have been expressed about inclusive language, including female images of God and Christ, in the new hymn book (March Journal). We are told the extent of this issue will depend on where people sit and that some will find it a theological stretch.

For Anglicans still true to tradition, an ideal spot to sit when confronted with the approaching onslaught of inclusiveness and feminist theology is near the back. This vantage spot will afford the dissenter a means of speedy exit.

Willlam J. Holtham


Newfoundlanders also deserve thanks

Dear editor,

I would like to call attention to your March article concerning the generous actions of Moosonee Natives during the ice storm. Much thanks is due them, as well as the hydro crews from Ontario, Québec and the U.S. However, no mention was made of the Newfoundland power crews who volunteered their services, went to the stricken area and also helped to restore power lines. They also deserve credit for their contribution.

Greta Hussey

Port de Grave, Nfld.

Rewriteman turned poetic liturgy to prose

Dear editor,

Very interesting to read about the significant role Rev. Paul Gibson has played in the recent life of the Anglican Church here in Canada (March Journal). But there seem to be a few anomalies.

A Baptist, Paul at 19 was, so he says, “swept away by the beauty of the (Anglican) liturgy.”

A rewrite man with Canadian Press, Paul Gibson moved on to become the first editor of the Book of Alternative Services. Always the rewrite man, it appears that it was he who swept away most of the beauty from his beloved Anglican liturgy.

In life, it would seem, we all have to make sacrifices. In rendering prosaic his Anglican liturgy, Paul Gibson appears to have made his own sacrifice for the benefit of us all.

Wallace Beaton

Woodbridge, Ont.

Bicyclist peddles plea for Arctic

Dear editor,

Thank you for letting the thousands of Anglicans I met during the To the Top Canada expedition know that I successfully arrived in Tuktoyaktok. The first journey in history of 6,520 kilometres from the very bottom of mainland Canada to the top under a person’s own power was possible because of the kindness of Anglicans everywhere in Canada.

Many Anglicans saw the story in the Anglican Journal but want to know where they can send their cheque to make the Arctic Miracle happen – where they can help build a new Anglican church in Inuvik. I encourage every Anglican to make Canada better by sending $10 to the Anglican Church of the Ascension, 194 MacKenzie Road, Box 1040, Inuvik NWT, X0E 0T0. I want to emphasize again my commitment to realizing this dream.

In 1998, as an award winning professional speaker, I will do my inspirational multimedia presentation of the To the Top Canada expedition for any Anglican group that makes a donation to build this church in the Arctic. This is a great opportunity to show children what Canada looks like from bottom to top and to have children meet a person who wears his Christianity like a badge of honour

Chris Robertson

To the Top Canada Expedition

395 Sanatorium Rd.

Hamilton, Ont. L9C 2A7

Tel: (905)387-0721

Destroy evil, don’t drink tea with it!

Dear editor,

I refer to the March Journal, and specifically to the Primate’s condemnation of possible military action against Iraq.

I think the church still teaches that one of our roles, not only as Christians, but for anyone who is a decent human being, is to recognize evil and do something about it.

Take the lessons of history and extrapolate; if Saddam Hussein does not back down, then attack is mandatory – no choice.

It is true that a lot of innocent people would die – and no one but a lunatic takes pleasure in that prospect. But just how many Kurds, Iranians, Marsh Arabs, Iraqis and others have already died?

The choice is not whether anyone will die, but rather, how many.

Negotiations? Diplomacy? How successful have these been with any such as Hitler, Stalin, the Japanese leaders prior to and during the Second World War, Pol Pot (Cambodia), Idi Amin, some of the Serbs today, Ian Paisley in Northern Ireland, who are all prime examples of ultimate wickedness.

And a prayer or two or sharing a spot of tea with Hussein is not likely to be any more successful in resolving the situation than it was – or would have been – with any of the others.

Again, we are taught to destroy the manifestations of evil, not negotiate with the perpetrators.

A.B. Sturton

Mt. St. Hilaire, Que.

Anglo-Catholic info sought for research

Dear editor,

As an MA candidate at McMaster University I am engaged in research on the Anglo-Catholic movement’s relations with working-class British immigrants in Hamilton in the early part of this century. I am preparing the fruits of that research for publication. Now I hope to expand upon it by looking at other cities. I would be very grateful to hear from any readers or parishes that might be able to help me. I am particularly interested in efforts to provide social services, the role of women in Anglo-Catholic parishes, and several other issues.

Access to parish archives and records, as well as personal reminiscence, would be of great help to me. While my current focus is on the period before the Second World War, any information and assistance concerning Anglo-Catholic parishes in Canada would be appreciated.

Interested parties, whom I hope will be numerous, can contact me at the following addresses: S.J. Connacher, History Dept, Brock University, St Catharines, Ont. L2S 3A1,

or by e-mail at [email protected]

Stephen Connacher

St. Catharines, Ont.

(via e-mail)


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