Does the church believe what it says? / The pink slip is a boomerang / Next in line for poverty?

April 3 1965


Does the church believe what it says? / The pink slip is a boomerang / Next in line for poverty?

April 3 1965


Does the church believe what it says? / The pink slip is a boomerang / Next in line for poverty?

IN HIS REVIEW of Pierre Berton's The Comfortable Pew, the Rev. A. C. Forrest reports that Berton discovered a lack of integrity on the part of the clergy (A Churchman Talks Back To Critic Pierre Berton, February 6). Clergymen, Berton found, just don't say what they believe from the pulpit. Berton should remember that the people in the pew each Sunday are those who pay the piper. If each Sunday the preacher takes the pulpit determined to offend their sensibilities, his career will be a short one. Surely Berton knows that life is like that. If there are great numbers of laymen like Berton who want to be scolded from the pulpit, why don't they attend and contribute generously enough to enable the preacher to speak his mind? R. L. TAYLOR, WINNIPEG

* Bravo, Pierre Berton! That should make Canadian Christians sit up and take notice!


* In my opinion. Pierre Berton hasn't gone far enough in his criticism of the church. The church assumes that people who fall away from it have become less religious. The fact is they have become less superstitious. They are beginning to recognize the church doesn’t preach Christianity. It preaches religiosity. Intelligent people don't believe in pie in the sky anymore.


* The church — ideally founded on the golden rule and on nonviolent means of settling conflict — has floundered on compromise with violence and social injustice in our society. The current commitment of the Canadian government to nuclear defense, or rather nuclear offense, is apparently accepted as a necessity by the church. Now is the time for theologians to act consistently with fundamental moral principles. Condoning the use of violence, by silence, is an hypocrisy — one step on the road to suicide. R. DENNIS O'NEILL, TORONTO

Fire—at your own risk

Geoffrey Heighington's article (When It's Time To Fire People, That “Hardheaded" Boss Of Yours Is Far Too Soft-hearted, Argument, February 20) reveals the great gulf that separates the mentality of the organization man from that of the self-employed, like himself. It also points up the utter inability of the specialist to see matters in the broad context of society. First, if an organization man began firing incompetents, he would create a precedent that could apply to himself some day. Second, the rewards of the rough-and-tumble of the marketplace are greater than employment in an organization; thus the only good personnel he could retain in an organization would be those who happen to be security-minded. If he began fir-

ing, the security-minded would no longer accept lower pay in return for security and the organizations would go bankrupt, either by paying too much or by losing all their good men. It is true that a few incompetents are thus protected, but this is a calculated penalty. Third, the lack of security would lead to the formation of a union, and any featherbedding today would be peanuts compared to the strict security imposed by the union.


* Heighington says he was retained by a company “whose sales had slipped by three hundred percent since 1948.” How can sales, or anything else, be reduced by more than one hundred percent?

F. A. LEWIS, HALIFAX A hundred percent for Reader Lewis. The passaye should have read: “ . . . slipped by two thirds . .

How to be poor

It is hoped that Alan Phillips' Our Invisible Poor (February 20) will arouse the interest and concern of their more prosperous fellow countrymen. My hope is to add consideration for those a step higher who are in danger of slipping from their precarious foothold. As one farm's operation expands, another must decrease, so the less efficient or less fortunate are pushed out. There is great emphasis on efficiency, but that means surpluses and lower prices. Imagine a poultryman trying to make ends meet at the price of eggs this past winter — as low as twenty cents a dozen. No wonder most of the boys have no desire to try farming. — G. WATSON,


Stalking the stalker

Please accept my sincere thanks for the wonderful publicity you gave in your January 23 issue to the persecuted wild horses in Alberta and British Columbia (Death Stalks Our Last Wild Horses, and The Best Friend A Wild Horse Ever Had — about Norma Bearcroft's efforts to save them). As a result, I have to date written ninetyeight letters in reply to twenty-six phone calls and seventy letters of inquiry — and everyone wants to help to save our wild horses. We have also been offered a refuge to purchase for the horses of British Columbia, in the Kootenays. And because of your leadership, two other magazines are now interested in adding their support by arousing the public into pressuring these provincial governments to cease slaughtering the horses and to enact protective legislation. Thank you for starting the ball rolling. - NORMA


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Weak? Not “Seven Days”! / Vancouver is ready for an emergency / How do you reckon a fortune?

Strabo's criticisms of the TV show This Hoar Has Seven Days (TV’s “7 Days” — Not A Gem In All That Mack. Reviews, February 6) arc both unjust and unjustified. This probing program is providing a great service to Canadians. It is a primary function of such an institution as the CBC

— indeed, it is a primary responsibility — to convey information on as many aspects of current affairs, to as wide an audience, as possible.


* The show’s main failure seems to be only that it is liked by the public. The critics, poor dears, arc baffled that the Canadian public could really be more interested in public affairs than Bonanza. Is it the job of a public-affairs program to make hold stands on national issues? Surely bringing these issues to the public’s attention in a clear manner, more than justifies its existence.


* Seven Days may, as Strabo says, be given to sensationalism, hut your heading would appear to be a little that way. too.


* Strabo may be interested in the comments of other critics: "Far and away the most impressive and hardhitting of the Public Affairs programs”

— Bob Shiels, Calgary Herald; “The first great program of the 64-65 term”

— Jack Miller, Hamilton Spectator; “Makes one feel that television is reaching maturity” — Winnipeg Free Press; “If they don’t succeed, then everyone in CBC Public Affairs may as well give up and go home because they will never come up with a more exciting hour” — Les Wedman, Vancouver Sun; “This program is literate and pleasant and probing and thrilling all at the same time” — Chester Duncan, professor of English. University of Manitoba, on Critically Speaking.


Rebuttal to pessimism

As Director of the Dialysis Unit at the Vancouver General Hospital, 1 would like to take exception to certain of the statements made in Why 500 Who Could Survive Will Die In ’65 (Reports, February 6). You stated that at the Vancouver General Hospital the final decisions have been taken out of the doctors' hands. This is entirely incorrect. The patients requiring dialysis on the artificial kidney are selected entirely by medical criteria. The lay committee has been set up for two purposes only: first, to assist in obtaining information about patients requiring dialysis; second, as a safety valve in case of the sudden swamping of facilities by a large number of patients. In actual fact we

anticipate that this committee will never have to make any decision. We have facilities for doing considerably more patients than either Montreal, Ottawa or Edmonton, and although they do not have any lay selection committee, when their positions are filled they make an arbitrary decision that no one else can be admitted to the program, so that they only have limited facilities for a very small number of patients. Our plan is entirely different. We intend to keep pace with the demand when medically suited patients are seen, and since we have the facilities for handling eighteen patients, we feel that this is adequate for the time being. The only problem that might arise is the sudden arrival of several patients before the equipment for dialyzing them is available. We have methods of handling this by other forms of dialysis until the equipment becomes available, and therefore we feel that this system will be comparable to that in use in other centres across Canada.


The man in the Attic

Having for fifty-eight years been a collector and student of Canadiana, I was disappointed in Treasures hi Your Attic? — Ask Mr. Stevens ( February 20). Why was silverware completely ignored? Why was the subject of Indian artifacts abruptly cast aside with the mere statement that an archaeologist had discussed digging techniques? The article should have pointed out that certain things produced in England with an eye on the Canadian market are Canadiana.


The article didn’t deal with these matters because it was concerned primarily with Gerald Stevens. However, Stevens discusses subjects such as these in his Maclean's series. Your Questions About Canadiana. For his column in this issue, see page 34.

How much is much, Sinclair?

In the January 2 Mailbag. Gordon Sinclair ridicules the thought that Rosa Brown's $75,000 be called a fortune (The Unsquelchahle Rosa Brown, December 2). No doubt to the affluent Sinclair a capital sum that would provide an unearned income of approximately $3.500 per annum would be far from a fortune. But he ignores the fact that many thousands of Canadians live and support families on an earned annual income of from $3.500 to $4,000 and it should be conceivable even to Sinclair that a person in those circumstances might well consider $75.000 a fortune. What term would he give to a sum of money that would return him an amount equal to his earned income?


Who’s a good driver?

The subject dealt with in A Candid New Report On The Teenager And The Car (December 2) is fraught with emotions, with the result that all young drivers are characterized as poor drivers. An examination of the teenage driving record shows that it can be classified according to particular age groups but, more important, further examination can prove that the properly trained teen driver is as good as or better than the adult driver. ALFRED U. OAKIE, MANAGING DIRECTOR HAMILTON (ONT.) AUTOMOBILE CLUB

* Being one of those persons between the ages of 13 and 19, I do not like in the least the idea of being classed like some sort of animal. How would adults like it if someone wrote about them, ‘They’re a menace, not because they’re bad. but because they’re old”? PADDY WALKER, REGINA

How to really help teenagers

John McMurtry’s Argument, Were Wasting Our Money Trying To “Help” Canadas Delinquent Teenagers (December 14) will not get an argument from me! I have always felt the lack of responsibility given to children is a grave error in their upbringing. Many parents unwittingly create for themselves irresponsible children by doing their duties for them and thinking for them.


What prisons are for

Your suggestion that this country should send people to prison without any hope of parole ever is far more vindictive and barbarous than the arguments for retaining the death penalty (Now We Have A Chance To Abolish Capital Punishment. Let’s Not Muff It With Sentiment, January 23). Your unmerciful suggestion ruins the concept of parole and penal reform: that prisons are for rehabilitation, not incarceration. It ignores, even frustrates, the best argument for abolition — the possibility of human redemption.


* The most ridiculous, asinine bit of rubbish I have ever read and an insult to common sense. It is about time we had a Canadian publication that stood up for the rights of the lawabiding citizen and left the interests of the law-breaker to some fledgling politician.


Whose rights are right?

Consistency is certainly no virtue to Glen How (Minorities Who Want Anti-hate Laws Are A Threat To Everybody’s Freedom, January 2). He is a great advocate of law, he says, in dealing with social issues: he has brought cases successfully before the Supreme Court on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses and he advocates that the Jews do the same, using existing

laws. However, in the very next breath he urges them not to be bothered with the ravings of an obscure twenty-year-old. It doesn’t matter whom this fellow attacks as long as it’s not How’s group, is the way I read his article.


* He urges the full use of the law in social issues, and his own record as counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses establishes this. Isn’t this exactly

what the Jewish community in our country is asking for? And incidentally, why are we leaving it to the Jews to fight for this when we should all be in the fight?


* I wonder if his intention is, not to bolster freedom, but to retain the right to vilify and abuse such targets as the Catholic church, as his group has done in the past?


Rats — you can have them!

John H. MacDonald is welcome to his friends (Our Lovable Friend— The Rat, December 2). If he had been old enough to have had to live in the trenches in World War I, he could have had millions of his friends. There is not a redeeming feature about rats. They are the dirtiest, filthiest, most repulsive animals in this world.