January 10 2005


January 10 2005


‘We may not approve of the man our daughter chooses to marry, but do we outlaw this marriage? No, it’s her choice. Why is gay marriage any different?’ -scottDempsey,Peterborough,ont.

Da Vinci’s inquest

Kudos to Brian Bethune for putting the silly Da Vinci Code in its place (“Cracking the Da Vinci code,” Cover, Dec. 20). It’s bad enough for a society to allow the good name of an institution cherished by millions, such as the Catholic Church, to be tarnished with impunity under the cloak of a work of fiction or in the name of art. But to allow someone to do the damage with third-rate writing, to present fiction as truth and to walk away with millions of dollars in his pocket, is simply pathetic.

Xavier Olleros, Montreal

Brian Bethune’s comb is too fine-toothed. The Da Vinci Code is so wildly popular because of the convergence of two very broadly based factors. It is a jolly good whodunit and it addresses a yearning in many modern spiritual seekers: there must be another choice in Christianity today between believing in a literal, definitive Bible— which many cannot or will not do—or not believing at all.

Jim Robertson, Calgary

I just read your article on The Da Vinci Code and couldn’t help but notice that it includes a picture of two young women as they admire the obelisk in Paris’s Church of St. Sulpice. If you look carefully at the skirt of the woman on the right, you can clearly see the face of Jesus (or perhaps it’s Mary, or maybe even St. Sulpice himself). No kidding, have a look.

Ian Shaw, Gloucester, Ont.

I don’t think that Brian Bethune understands that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction. It is to be read and enjoyed; an escape, just like a movie. He seems pretty worked up over something that is meant to be entertainment.

Lisa Whalen, Fredericton

I was greatly saddened to read Brian Bethune’s remark that “reflexive anti-Catholicism, with its centuries-old roots in the Englishspeaking world, remains among the most

tolerated of prejudices.” If the book was written to promote prejudice against Catholics, then I am sorry I bought it. I simply thought it was an escapist novel from a unique imagination. Whatever its purpose, the Catholic Church has survived 2000 years, and I am sure it will survive The Da Vinci Code.

Ruthann Fisher, pastoral assistant, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Kitchener, Ont.

Mo’ money’s worth

We are shocked that you would run the “Canadian-made chocolates” article (Money’s Worth, Dec. 13) without doing your homework. We live in New Brunswick where Ganong Chocolates makes its home, and

Record response I

Nothing like same-sex to fire up readers

When the Maclean’s website asked, “Do you agree with the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage?” it was bombarded by thousands of responses, four times more than the average for questions posed on the site in the past five years. Forty-three per cent agreed with same-sex marriage, 49 per cent disagreed and eight per cent asked, “Why all the fuss?”

we know about the great variety of product that is available here beyond the “uninspired” purple box you wrote about so dismissively. Since this inexpensive Ganong product at $5.99 was being compared with Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia examples from $21.95 to $42 a box, why didn’t your writers take the time to explore the Ganong Chocolatier Shoppes in the towns of St. Stephen and St. Andrews, where a customer can make selections from as wide an array of high-end product as we have seen in any major city.

Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Stiles, Saint John, N.B.

Mutual (funds) admiration society

In his Dec. 13 column (“Beware funds bearing gifts”), Steve Maich presents a wholly negative view of the mutual fund industry that is far removed from reality. The fact is that mutual funds deliver excellent value to Canadians. They remain the most affordable way for investors to build diversified, professionally managed portfolios. All the recent press about mutual funds only demonstrates that mutual funds offer more disclosure about their costs, objectives, operations and comparative performance than any other investment. As well, mutual funds offer liquidity as they can be sold in whole or in part on any business day, unlike GICs or other fixed-term investments.

Tom Hockin, President and CEO, Investment Funds Institute of Canada, Toronto

Avoiding debtors’ prison

It is old-fashioned to live within one’s means, particularly when the means are limited (“Hip deep in hock,” Personal Finance, Dec. 6). And it is hard when your teenagers are wearing last year’s clothes or you have to pass up an invitation to join friends at expensive restaurants. Yet my family feels a deep satisfaction in knowing that we can meet our needs on what we earn and by making sure that our needs are ours and not imposed on us by others.

Sudhir Jain, Calgary

Unsung heroes

would like to thank you for your article about troubled youth (“At risk—of succeeding,” Over to You, Dec. 13). As a youth, I am tired of being bombarded with the latest on youth crime, violence in schools and how teen culture is obsessed with sex, drugs and, of course, a lack of respect for authority. Every

October, my school collects canned goods for the needy in our community, and then, in December, we donate gifts and money to poor families so their children can feel the magic of Christmas. We have various clubs such as Knights Fighting Cancer to help cancer patients and their families get through this stressful time. You will never see our constructive efforts on the cover of a magazine, but that does not mean they don’t exist. Your article helped change the bias and the stereotype of youth in our community.

Katelyn Leger, Hamilton

The marrying kind

It distresses me that when the government can’t make a precedent-setting decision on its own, it runs to the Supreme Court to make the decision for it (“The same-sex debate heads Parliament’s way,” Up front,

Dec. 20). It is this kind of political cop-out by our elected representatives that I find disturbing.

Ian McLellan,

Newmarket, Ont.

Let the people decide, not the politicians the judges. A national referendum is order.

David Lee, Montreal

As a youth, I am tired of being bombarded with how teen culture is obsessed with sex and drugs

I do not approve of same-sex marriage, but I fully approve of same-sex unions that give gays and lesbians the same rights and obligations. Having had the courage to come out and declare themselves, why are they not demanding to have their own institution with a name chosen by them and a vocabulary and ceremony suited to their situation with the same status as marriage?

Jean Ross, St. Petersburg, Fla.

We should celebrate and acknowledge gay and lesbian alliances just as we do heterosexual alliances. A stable relationship is infinitely preferable for the stability of our society.

Daphne Sinclair, Burnaby, B.c.

Without warning

A health item in your Dec. 13 issue (“Stressful week,” Up Front) incorrectly states that one million Canadians have suffered panic attacks. In fact, five million Canadians have suffered panic attacks, which are sudden periods of fear that occur in the absence of any real danger and can be accompanied by severe symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. The one million figure refers to the number of Canadians who have suffered the even more serious panic disorders, which are recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.

Pamela Ramage-Morin, Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa