September 15 2003


September 15 2003


‘Christianity is about not judging. Loving your fellow man or woman and treating them as you would want to be treated-isn’t that the Golden Rule?’

Letters to the Editor:

Judgment days

After reading your article on the opposition to gay marriage (“Backlash,” Special Report, Sept, l), I can’t help but wonder: have we truly progressed as a nation and as a society? How can we call ourselves modern when some of our attitudes seem utterly medieval? And how can anyone call themselves Christian when all they preach is hate, ignorance and intolerance? But then I’m just some 18-year-old high-school graduate. I’ve probably been brainwashed by those evil liberal-minded teachers.

Scott Domenie, Halifax

As for the issue of God and His hate for homosexuality, why don’t you ask Him how He feels about all this? When the B.C. government decided to allow same-sex marriage, it was about the same time the fires started. Kind of reminds you of Sodom and Gomorrah, doesn’t it? God’s hate for homosexuality will come in the form of more than just forest fires. Try massive earthquakes and storms off the Pacific Ocean like we have never seen in B.C. And that is just God warming up.

Dave Gray, Surrey, B.C.

Hallelujah! Sound the trumpets! I thought it was just us Yanks who had right-wing nutbars running loose shouting that the sky is falling. While I’ve been told that Alberta was the Alabama of Canada, who knew that the tunnel-vision folks were also running loose in Ontario?

Michael St. Clair, Seattle

Grow up, Canadians. If homosexual couples want to commit themselves to a loving relationship built on trust and respect, who are we to stop them? Rather than thinking that changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships is eroding the “moral fabric” of our country, we should realize that homosexuals are embracing traditional values. The same values that certain heterosexual couples seem to disregard, based on our high divorce rate.

Lise Murphy, Ottawa

The chosen self-designation for the exclusive male-female relationship is being annexed by the courts and by Parliament to serve the interests of a few who want more recognition than they deserve. Do we who have long understood the meaning of our own words need to be educated as to their usage? Do we now need to coin new words to express old relationships because the minority has stolen old words to refer to new ones?

Rev. Andrew R. McGinn, Erin Mills Baptist Church, Mississauga, Ont.

In my 56 years of life in my country, I have been tolerant of many of the changes in our way of life. I have tried to accept forced bilin-

MANY READERS REMAIN UNCONVINCED BY THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AS presented in “Backlash,” our Sept. 1 Special Report. “How dare you live freely under the protection of our Constitutional rights,” asks Shannon McArthur of Oakville, Ont., “then say to a minority group that they cannot have the same rights as us, simply because we don't agree with their ‘lifestyle’? Justice and fairness are what being Canadian is really about. End of story.”

gualism, multiculturalism, metrification, abortion, etc. But same-sex marriage takes the cake. I cannot accept this. Every moral fibre in my body is opposed to this! I will fight, I will lobby, I will do whatever I can to prevent this from happening. To degrade the sanctity of marriage to this level is apprehensive. It is bad enough that homosexuals were given the right to adopt children and raise them in their degrading way of life. Christine Bryant, Bragg Creek, Alta.

In “Backlash,” the gentleman Richie Scott refers to a discussion he had with a group of teenagers at his church who said they thought “homosexuality was OK.” I can understand his apprehension and fear. Where is this great country of ours headed when our young citizens express their understanding and acceptance of people’s differences? Oh, what will become of Canada if we raise a generation of open-minded, loving and understanding people!

Julie Stanski, Kelowna, B.C.

When I was a child, homosexuality was considered a criminal offence. The term homosexual was also automatically coupled with pedophile. We have come a long way in 50 years. On Aug. 9 my daughter married her partner of 11 years. The fact that they are both female did not make this any less moving a ceremony than a heterosexual marriage. So, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth while reading “Backlash.” What are people so afraid of? Are the churches openly demonstrating why they have become irrelevant in the lives of so many Canadians? I applaud this decision and hope Parliament will have the intestinal fortitude to uphold it.

Barbra Grasswick, Saturna Island, B.C.

The best arguments for same-sex marriage are conservative in nature. Recognizing same-sex relationships in a serious way would promote stability in homosexual relationships, discourage or reduce promiscuity, and provide a more stable home for any children raised in the household. The goals of marriage are served, not undercut.

Prof. Emeritus Douglas Sanders, Faculty of Law, UBC, Vancouver

As the daughter of a minister, one of the things that drove me from the church and keeps me away is the single-mindedness


with which religious people feel their views are the only ones that can exist. In “Backlash,” someone commented that “homosexual activists have turned the public arena into their bedroom .... But shouldn’t we have equal rights to oppose their lifestyle?” The answer is, “The only reason this is public is they don’t have the right to marry and, no, you don’t have any more right to oppose their lifestyle than they do yours.” For some reason these people feel that same-sex marriage challenges them personally. It is not about them and never has been. They can go on and live their lives any way they choose, but they should not be allowed to dictate how the rest of the world lives.

Marilyn Wilson, Richmond, B.C.

As a life-long bachelor, I can’t understand why anyone would want to marry in the first place but, as a citizen of a democracy, I will defend the right of consenting adults to marry regardless of my opinion or some dogma-spouting churchman’s.

Gerald Becker, Thunder Bay, Ont.

The cross-section of people interviewed in “Backlash” did not necessarily represent the voice of the Christian church. As Christians we love everyone (we try to) and we strive to accept the person, but we challenge the sins. If there is any trace of bigotry or hatred in the voice of the person speaking, you can be sure that Jesus is not one that he/she is submitted to. The gay marriage issue is waking up a sleeping giant in Canada as Christians for the first time see their values, beliefs, freedoms and rights as Canadians disintegrating before their very eyes. Many voices will be heard over the next few months. Some voices will be filled with hatred, but the voice of the Christian church will be: love the person but do not accept the sin. Please do not get the voices confused.

Jonathan Dyck, Toronto

As a Canadian who is 18,1 find it reprehensible that people can believe opening the door to gay marriage will also allow legalized pedophilia or the Bible being declared “hate literature.” The majority of people my age support legalizing same-sex marriage. To say that’s a result of school brainwashing and corruption of our values is an absurd reaction. The truth is, younger generations are more accepting of change and

opening up of society. Change will occur, if not now, then eventually, and bring all people equally into society.

Ross Prusakowski, Edmonton

The value of values

In his column “Challenged by Change” (The Editor’s Letter, Sept, l), Anthony Wilson-Smith draws an analogy between his recent purchase of a new vehicle and the current debate regarding same-sex marriage. Though it was difficult to part with a vehicle that had many treasured memories associated with it, he reasoned that the time had come to trade up to a newer model. Wilson-Smith then suggested that it was time that those opposed to same-sex marriage do the same thing and move on. Surely our vehicles are not of the same importance to us as our values and beliefs. Wilson-Smith felt it time to trade in his vehicle though it was only six years old; core values should not be as easily traded away.

Rev. Barry Van Dusen, Nobleton, Ont.

I am so grateful that Paul Wells has blessed this already absorbing magazine with his presence. Tonight, after a very long day with my two babies, he restored both my sense of humour and my sense of justice with his observation that “if it takes forever to get any satisfaction [regarding equal rights for gays], because your MP or senator believes

you’re just a wee bit icky, then too bad for you” (“Ottawa’s lost souls,” The Back Page, Aug. 25). Priceless!

Jennifer Norn, Port Alberni, B.C.

A kinder, gentler whaler

I would like to point out that Iceland has no intention to catch any of the endangered species of whales killed on a grand scale by the big whaling nations in the past (“Whaling,” The Week, Sept. 1). Icelandic authorities fully appreciate the need for careful conservation of marine resources; the economy depends on those resources for more than two thirds of its exports. Iceland has been a leading advocate for international co-operation in ensuring sustainable use of natural resources, including whales. It has also made it clear that commercial whaling will not be authorized without a sound scientific basis and an effective management and enforcement scheme.

Hjálmar W. Hannesson,

Ambassador of Iceland to Canada, Ottawa

Just the facts

Peter Mansbridge is right (“Tuning Out the Dead,” Sept. 1): people are tuning out the news because journalists have forgotten what news is. The emotions of people in pain, whether the result of war or tragedies at home, is not news. Coverage of human pain does not inform. News is the facts; the reasons behind things. Ironically, Mansbridge’s suggestion that we follow the flagdraped casket to explore the pain of the victim’s family and community is exactly the problem.

Jerry Storie, Killarney, Man.

Just finished reading Peter Mansbridge’s article about coffins arriving in the U.S. daily and wanted to say how much I appreciated it. Sadly, most Americans will never be aware of things like this because of the so-called news they’re watching. Keep up the good work. Alan Charles, Fairmont, N.C.

My read on the Iraqi situation is that most Americans are aware of the huge price in dollars and personnel and have agreed to pay it and quietly bury their dead. Americans have recognized, and I believe correctly, that their country is under attack, vulnerable and at war with terrorists, and this war must be won regardless of the price and duration. David Usherwood, Cochrane, Alta.