THEMAIL

‘Society is seeing more problems with our children. Could the absence of God in many of our schools and homes be contributing to these

Karen Wight March 22 2004

THEMAIL

‘Society is seeing more problems with our children. Could the absence of God in many of our schools and homes be contributing to these

Karen Wight March 22 2004

THEMAIL

‘Society is seeing more problems with our children. Could the absence of God in many of our schools and homes be contributing to these

Karen Wight

God and cinema I was completely disgusted and left speechless after reading Brian D. Johnson’s criticism of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (“The power and the gory,” Cover, March 8) as being excessively violent. Although watching Christ being tortured was very difficult, it was absolutely necessary to achieve a genuine representation of what Jesus went through for us. So if that means showing a blood-drenched Jesus in a helpless state, then so be it. Doesn’t Johnson realize that this is a spiritual and religious film in which we are faced with the reality that Jesus died for our sins? Why should Gibson have had to hide what really happened? Why is it so hard to watch Jesus’ salvation? Unless you are a non-believer, you will love this film. Anoush Demirdjian, Montreal

As a Roman Catholic priest, a big sincere thank you to Brian D. Johnson for putting into words so well my feelings after viewing The Passion of the Christ. Rev. Art Seaman, Gimli, Man.

As I read Brian Bethune’s article “Jesus: what do we know about him?” (Cover, March 8), my reaction was extreme sadness. I fail to understand why so many feel it necessary to disprove the Gospel accounts of the Christ more so than any other religion of the world. The religious freedom we enjoy in this great country seems in this generation to be extended only to those who are not Christian—or to those who do not make movies or statements concerning their Christian faith. Pastor William F. Blair, Guelph, Ont.

Only one word comes to mind after reading Brian D. Johnson’s review—Godless. Ken White, Chatham, Ont.

Never has Brian D. Johnson been so right as when he pointed out Mel Gibson’s history of violent filmmaking in relation to his latest bloodbath, The Passion. From when I first saw Gibson in Mad Max, through Braveheart and The Patriot, it’s become obvious that he has tried to sell us graphic violence as a form of entertainment. With The Passion, he’s distilled his gore to such a level that all that remains is the violence. Roger Bartel, Toronto

Watching a bit of Braveheart was enough to warn me not to go to see The Passion. We all know Jesus suffered. Why would we want to watch it happening? Rosemary Hill, Kingston, Ont.

The reason Christians revisit this Passion is a testament to their daily struggles to do the will of God, in spite of society’s doctrines that often encourage ungodly responses. And to that end, the blood and gore Christ suffered remains an inspiration and example—never an embarrassment as Brian D. Johnson suggested. Brenda Cook, Mississauga, Ont.

To quote Brian D. Johnson: “A lot of evangelical Christians will also be seeing their first subtitled movie.” How condescending! So you’re implying that “evangelicals”—or more accurately, “fundamentalists”—are so culturally isolated that they would never have seen a foreign film dubbed into English. Now who’s showing prejudice? Benton Mischuk, Vancouver

Parallel pictures I was really moved by one of the pictures in the photo essay “Up against the wall” (March 8). The ugly wall and what it represents, the dirt road, the dark clothes of the adults and overall rather gloomy aspect of the picture evoked a feeling of sadness—but most of all I was touched by the little girl. My youngest daughter looked just like that when she was four. I remember walking with her, the small hand in mine, ponytails bobbing as little legs stretched to the limit to keep pace. There was no wall along that road, only a fence to keep the farmer’s catde from wandering. She never heard gunshots, or words like “terrorist” and “suicide bomber.” She had nothing to fear in our rural village. Hers was a safe and happy childhood. And that is what I wish for the little girl in the picture. I hope that when she is a mother the wall will be down. Lillian Davidson, Edmonton

Politics-not prejudice Barbara Amiel is correct to describe antiSemitism as “a plague without a cure.” (Column, March 8). For 2000 years the Jews have been the scapegoat for other people’s failures, prejudices and resentments. But to describe the outrage so many of us feel about the policies of Ariel Sharon, including the security fence, as “plain old anti-Semitism” is sophistry at its most disingenuous. Hugh Faulkner, Rougemont, Switzerland

I was rather bemused to read Barbara Amiel’s diatribe about anti-Semitism, where her own zeal for hypocrisy and racial insensitivity are clearly on display. She states that European Jews are more likely to be attacked not by another European, but by a Muslim immigrant or the son of one. Her implication is that while Jews can be European, Muslims (even those born there) cannot. M. M. Zaman, Toronto

Back in the day I was so glad to see Patricia Pearson’s article about teen fashion (“Preteen temptresses,” Column, March 8). I am a grandmother who is appalled by some of the things I see on children, not to mention my grandchildren. I was raised in the days of censorship and strict school dress codes. Believe me, it was much better the way it used to be. Betty Summerhayes, Dunnville, Ont.

Am I summarizing your article correctly? People are bored with sex and sexuality. Drawing attention to being physically attractive is trashy unless you can ground it in some bygone movement of freedom. Fashion and pop culture newly enslave children into having sex—and they should be freed by covering up in an attempt to become as conservative and dull as you sound. From my experience as a Grade 6 and 7 teacher, it sounds like you need a crash course on catalysts of adolescent behaviour. Arthur Sanderson, Burnaby, B.c.

I was dismayed that Maclean’s published this article. It will make my job as a sex educator that much tougher. Dressing has little or nothing to do with a teenager’s promiscuity. Openly, honestly and properly educating our children on their bodies and their sexuality is the best way to ensure they make the best choices. Trina Read, Calgary

I’m 16 years old and believe it’s up to parents to monitor what their children are wearing and what music they’re listening to. You can’t expect celebrities to teach children the difference between right and wrong. They’re doing their job, selling their CDs, and it’s about time parents started doing theirs. Parents are role models, too. Take a stand against your seven-year-old daughter and tell her she can’t listen to Britney Spears and wear shirts that show her belly button. You’re the adult, you should be telling her what to do, what’s right and what’s wrong. Radmila Djekic, Kitchener, Ont.

a I admire the determination of the women who lace up the skates so they can play the greatest game in the world

Word finder I read with pleasure Isabel Gibson’s account of her desperate search for a bunny hug (“Watch what you say,” Over to You, March 8). If only she had checked her Canadian Oxford Dictionary, she could have saved herself from so much worry and self-doubt. She would have found “bunny hug n. Cdn (Sask.) a hooded sweatshirt.” Jo MacKinnon, Oxford University Press, Don Mills, Ont.

Hockey evolution Perfect timing with the article on female hockey (“Hockey with a fresh face,” Sports, March 8). We have seen the sport evolve and improve since the late ’80s when our oldest daughter no longer wanted to be a fan of her brother’s team, but a player on a team of her own. We are still involved, as our youngest is an avid team player. With the influx of young girls playing, the sport is becoming more accepted and these young girls are reaching for dreams and goals never imagined just a few years ago. We are noticing the girls’ self-confidence improving by leaps and bounds. Irka Anderson, Thedford, Ont.

I enjoyed your article about the increasing number of girls enrolling in minor hockey, but you neglected to mention the huge number of women beginning to play recreational hockey. After a lifetime of longing to play, and years of watching my husband and son play, I began playing five years ago at the age of 43. For me and thousands like me, playing in our youth wasn’t an option, as much as we wanted it to be. I admire the courage and determination of these women who lace up the skates so that they, too, can play the greatest game in the world. Diane Needham, Victoria

Unfair I was shocked that one of your experts stated that the only way teenage girls can take in the amount of food that the average teenager eats and wear jeans that show the midriff is by being bulimic (“Teen trouble,” Cover, March l). This is a gross generalization. I am a teen myself, and while I can don jeans that show my midriff, I am still a very healthy individual. While, sadly, there are girls who suffer from bulimia, this does not extend to all teenage females. Amy Poulston, Vancouver

Acknowledging heroism I would like to congratulate Maclean’s for publishing the story of the Nova Scotia nurse who rescued 5,000 Armenian and Greek children from slaughter by the hands of Turks in Smyrna in 1922 (“Saving the kids,” History, March 8). Sara Corning is a Canadian hero, and I am glad she has been recognized. Although these events took place almost a century ago, the world is not very different as we still hear of genocide, wars and conflicts. Garry Aslanyan, Gatineau, Que.

CORRECTION Due to a typographical error in the Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities 2004, we incorrectly state that there were 27 residence spaces reserved for first-year students at Lakehead University in the 2003-2004 academic year. In fact, 927 spaces were reserved for first-year students. We regret the error.