The tragedy of The Last Temptation of Christ (“The stormy debate over Jesus and sex,” Films, Aug. 15) is not merely that it depicts a Christ different from the Christ of the Bible; it is that perhaps millions of people who are unfamiliar with the real Christ will be duped into believing that the movie’s portrayal is a realistic one. The beautiful truth of the Gospel is being submerged in a sea of humanistic, religious and cultic garbage.
-WILLIAM G. SMITH, Orangeville, Ont.
I am compelled to come to the defence of Martin Scorsese for what he is attempting to do in his biblical epic, and that is to show us Christ’s human frailties. As a Christian, it was important to me to accept the fact that Christ was both God and man, which in fact was the miracle of His existence on earth. If Christ were solely God, with no human qualities, He would not have wept with compassion or suffered pain on the cross. A man who cries and who anguishes in pain is a man who responds to temptation, be it for power or physical pleasure. I am one Christian who has no difficulty accepting the fact that Christ had human frailties; if it were not so, how could he understand mine? -RONALD HUDSON, Markham, Ont.
A boarded-up town
I was reminded with sadness of Schefferville’s closing by your article “Where does a prime minister run?”
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(Canada, Aug. 8). My daughter was born in Schefferville in 1974, and I had promised to take her some day to revisit her birthplace. I had hoped that rumors of the town’s reopening to mine uranium in the area were true, and that Schefferville might become again a viable, thriving community. I suppose what has happened there is not a lot different from what happened to many towns after the gold rush. There is a certain irony, however, in the fact that, given the current crisis in affordable housing in urban areas, an entire town can be simply boarded up and thrown away.
-HEATHER M. MATHEWSON, Holland Landing, Ont.
Tapping the Flamingo Tax
Three cheers for Charles Gordon’s Flamingo Tax (“Putting flamingos in their place,” Another View, Aug. 15). I work for several food banks, both in rural areas and in central Toronto, and see the need for food and housing first hand. The public is wonderful about responding to requests for aid, and there is plenty of awareness around. Gordon may have provided exactly the right idea to tap into that awareness in a way we can all live with.
-TED SCHOFIELD, Markdale, Ont.
I, for one, cannot understand Peter C. Newman’s reasoning when he states: “John Turner’s audacious tactic bypassing the will of the Canadian people ... is entirely in character” (“An exercise in Liberal arrogance,” Business Watch, Aug. 8). My understanding of the issues is that the Senate would stall the freetrade-enabling legislation until the Prime Minister calls a general election. Then the people can determine if the deal is beneficial or detrimental to the Canadian way of life. Some of us think that Canada is at a historical crossroads, and if this is “bypassing the will of the Canadian people,” Newman better take a crash course in parliamentary democracy. -HANS MUELLER,
In “An exercise in Liberal arrogance,” Peter C. Newman accuses Liberal Leader John Turner of being undemocratic in encouraging the “unelected” Senate to insist that an election be held before the free trade proposals are passed. One wonders how Newman presumes to know the people’s will. Has he forgotten that the Supreme Court, which now seems to be the supreme arbiter of the will of the Canadian people, is also unelected? The only democratic and honorable course for the Conservative party is to submit its proposals to the country by calling an election on this vital issue, which has such far-reaching implications for Canada. -LOIS WINCH,
Your excellent cover story “Car wars 1988” (Aug. 1) covered all the bases, but the official scorer would have to charge you with one error. The Ford F-series pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle in North America, not the two Chrysler minivans. In fact, with a year-to-date lead of more than 100,000 units, it’s not even close. It was the same story last year, and the year before, and .... Otherwise, your coverage was a home run. -ANTHONY FREDO,
Vice-President, Public Affairs, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd., Oakville, Ont.
I was enraged and saddened by your article “The new weapons of war” (Canada, Aug. 8). It seems strange that as Ronald Reagan, the wisecracking warmonger, finally releases the presidency and as the Soviet Union begins to make real progress in the pursuit of peace, and even Iran and Iraq negotiate to end their war, Canada suddenly decides to spend billions on killing ma-
chines. During the height of the Cold War, the case could have been made, however horrific, of refurbishing our army. But not now, when Canada—as a middle power—has a real chance to aid in the furthering of peace. We should be ashamed: preparing for war is no way to allow peace.
-SCOTT WAHL, Kitchener, Ont.
The real victims
Regarding “Killers at large” (Cover, July 18), now that you have so solicitously given your time and space to the murderers and rapists of Canada, I would like to see a follow-up on the persons who are really left without hope: their victims. Somehow, it seems ludicrous to even compare their 25 years to the forever sentence they have inflicted on their innocent victims, while they as offenders are indeed guilty and rightly deserve to be punished. An offender, by his own hand, has forfeited his right to participate in society, but we have a justice system that provides him with every benefit possible, right down to conjugal rights. The justice system as it now stands is an insult to all Canadians who have become victims of violence.
-GRACE DUNKIRK, Saskatoon
In search of cogent arguments
Diane Francis writes with a venomous pen about John Turner and the Senate but gives nothing positive in return (“A job for the hacks and bagmen,” Column, Aug. 15). If she abhors Turner and the Liberals with such alacrity, as a journalist she could give her readers a cogent argument for her viewpoint. Instead, she gives us nothing but hatred. One has to wonder, does she sleep at night? -GILLIAN SLOAN,
Into the fray
How damnably Canadian! Maclean's, everybody’s Canadian magazine, still carrying Barbara Amiel and her own particular troika of fascism, Zionism and Cold War rhetoric (“Two visions of perestroika,” Column, July 25).
-JAMES W. FORBES, Hamilton
How does one become a “former” Rhodes Scholar (“Wanted: four new top ambassadors,” Canada, Aug. 8)?
-JOHN LYNCH-STAUNTON, Montreal
Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean’s magazine, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W 1A7.
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