Letters to the Editor

Published April 1, 1998

Greener pastures for all?
Re: Scientists probe brief brushes with the afterlife (Jan. 14, 2011, anglicanjournal.com): what I find puzzling about reports of near-death experiences is why only a few people would have them. I’d also like to know if non-Christians have had these experiences. And, finally, why would people see green pastures when they are near death? What about those who live in deserts, jungles and mountains?
William Bedford

Is Capitalism compatible?
Those who are familiar with the teachings of Christ will know that he despised gratuitous wealth and taught that one should acquire only what one needs to live; also, he was adamant that his disciples sell their assets and give the proceeds to the poor.Many Christians are capitalistic and somewhat callous toward society’s most needy. Some hold the belief that God blesses his people with the right to own three cars and a swimming pool. It’s not enough for Christians to give a small portion of their earnings to their churches and go home feeling that they’ve done their moral share.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr.
White Rock, B.C.

Sense of entitlement
I recently read of the Rev. Eleanor Clitheroe’s attempt to have her private pension from Ontario Hydro increased to more than $33,000 a month from the $25,000 a month she nows receives. Are clergy not vetted for their sense of entitlement? There is no doubt of the Rev. Clitheroe’s right to pursue the righting of what she perceived as a wrong. And certainly no one expects a “vow of poverty.” But surely a life of service should override what is perceived by many as greed. It would be enlightening to hear a response from the bishops as to how they view the Rev. Clitheroe’s actions in relation to the values they look for in their priests.
Linda Godhue
Barrie, Ont.

Baby boom not needed
I was disturbed on hearing recently that Haiti is having a baby boom.

Haiti needs many things, but definitely not a baby boom.Many of these pregnancies are the result of rape of girls as young as 13. The babies are entering a world of extreme poverty in which there is not enough clean water, food, medical care or housing. Haitian girls and women are a resilient people; an increased population only lessens their country’s chance of recovery.
Sheila White
Summerland, B.C.

A lot to “unlearn
“Brian Johnson is a Christian who writes, “How can Christians see that he [His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama] is lost in his sins?” (Christian Analysis, Feb. 2011, p. 4). Many great people have tried to teach that, above all, love is the key to peace on earth. The Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, are examples. The attitude in this letter should give Anglicans and other Christians the answer to why our churches are dying. Dogmatic doctrines close the door to those who want peace and spirituality. They can’t find it in places where people don’t show love for all humans. Jesus told the religious leaders of his day to put love before doctrine and laws.To quote from a recent book, My Stroke of Insight: “Enlightenment isn’t earned by learning, but is earned by unlearning.”Mr. Johnson, the church and religions in general have a lot to “unlearn.”
Woody Woodhouse
Kitchener, Ont.

Fighting for Peace
Colin Miles (Letters, Jan. 2011, p. 5) has become an ally of mine in the war against warfare.Christians, followers of the Prince of Peace, appear to be playing a losing wicket when it comes to making love, not war. Killing people is evil; but we can always say, “Sorry!”-as Canadians do-afterwards.Dear Saint Joan, pray for us in this, our twenty-first century AD
David Ellis
Edmonton, Alta.

Perk up, I say!
It has come to my attention that some charitable organizations pay their CEO’s generous salaries plus perks. My comments pertain to World Vision. You may wish to do your own research.The Journal allows World Vision (for a price) to insert their booklet many times over the past few months. I am not impressed.I know that church finances are dwindling and there are many reasons for this. However, I feel the ethics of the Journal in accepting this contract goes against the policy of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and the Christian principles of good stewardship. Surely the Anglican Church of Canada does not have to resort to receiving money from an organization that inflates the salary of the CEO plus grants additional perks.
David Ferguson
Dartmouth, N.S.

Do we care what God thinks?
We, as a diocese, have produced guidelines for the blessing of same-gender commitments. There are persuasive arguments in favour of moving in this direction-despite the persuasive arguments, that by moving in this direction we are acting in direct disobedience to the will of God. Do we care what God thinks?
Steve Bessada

Prayer of Preservation
Re: Prayers for the Planet (Jan. 2011, p. 1).I would suggest we could include in the prayers of the people the attached prayer. This “Prayer of Preservation” follows the style of the great Anglican Prayer of Humble Access.We cannot presume to live on this thy earth, O merciful Lord, without accepting our obligation for its preservation.We confess that in our greed and ignorance we have damaged your creation by polluting the air, the water and the land.In thy mercy, Lord, give us strength now that we understand the impact of our lifestyle on the earth, to change our ways so that thy earth may be restored and preserved for future generations. Amen.
Michael Blore
Deep River, Ont.


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