‘Paul Martin’s priest says he is undecided on same-sex marriage, yet he concedes that the homosexual act is inherently sinful.'

Hay-Roe February 28 2005


‘Paul Martin’s priest says he is undecided on same-sex marriage, yet he concedes that the homosexual act is inherently sinful.'

Hay-Roe February 28 2005


‘Paul Martin’s priest says he is undecided on same-sex marriage, yet he concedes that the homosexual act is inherently sinful.'


Same-sex: relenting or repenting

I am pleased to hear Father John Walsh’s comments about same-sex marriage (“If there is no place for the sinner, there is no place for me,” The Maclean’s Interview, Feb. 14). We need more Church leaders to be as open and loving as he is, instead of being so damn judgmental. I am a straight, fully practising Roman Catholic and I am ashamed of how so many priests hound us with their self-righteousness Sunday after Sunday.

Rosemary Merkley, Midland, Ont.

Father John Walsh has to be the most sensible, compassionate and loving Catholic priest in the world. But I do have a few disagreements with him. I am totally against same-sex marriage, mainly because it dishonours heterosexual marriage that was instituted to help a man and a woman to produce and properly raise a family of upstanding citizens. I’m not against government-registered same-sex unions, but they should be called by some other title. Still, Father John is right when he says that it’s healthy for Canadians to be in this debate. Cy Poissant, Blairmore, Alta.

Thank you for the interview with Father John Walsh. I agree with him when he said, “the debate [about same-sex marriage] has become confrontational rather than conversational, and that I find a very sad situation.” Human history is full of confrontation and relatively little conversation. When two consenting adults love each other and are committed to one another, what is the problem? Does it change anyone else’s marriage? Perhaps we should take a deep breath and focus on real issues such as poverty, homelessness, preventable diseases and inadequate health care. We in Canada like to think we are advanced but our journey toward true social justice is only beginning.

Glenda Komenac, Eikford, B.c.

Is it any wonder our Prime Minister can rationalize his support of homosexual marriage relative to his Catholic religion when

his own priest, Father Walsh, won’t support the Church’s position on this issue? Both men are misguided.

Harry Legris, Guelph, Ont.

Bovine big business

Thanks for Brian Bergman’s “It’s mad cow madness” (Feb. 14). I am the daughter of a sodbuster who arrived in Alberta in 1903 to open up the country. Our cattle, pigs and chickens ate grain grown on our farms. Three members of my family now ranching in Alberta also feed grain to their cattle. So what happens to these animals when they leave the ranch and move to big feedlots to

be finished before slaughter? Big business feeds them on the cheap. Why can’t these corporations invest in their own farms to grow grain, turn animal parts into food for the soil, and burn the bones and spinal columns as they do in Britain? As for BSE testing, the cost should be borne by the federal government for its slowness of action in this dilemma.

Olga Walker, Smithers, B.C.

Dinner, sure, but no humble pie

Steve Maich wrote in his column All Business (Feb. 14) that I had not “mistakenly” used the company’s chequebook (Hollinger International) to pay for my wife’s $42,000 birthday party. The dinner in question was a corporate one at year-end, following a directors’ meeting, and was attended by almost all the directors and their spouses. Because it happened to be on my wife’s 60th birthday, I proposed a toast to her and imported a singer from the Metropolitan Opera House at my own expense to sing her an aria, and paid personally for one-third of the dinner. For Maich to compare this to the huge bankruptcies costing shareholders billions of dollars, and numerous felony convictions, at Enron and WorldCom (while Hollinger shareholders have prospered), is, to say the least, irresponsible. Good corporate governance will not be assisted by the misplaced selfrighteousness of elements of the press, who as a group have little to teach the business community about ethics.

Conrad Black, chairman and CEO, Argus Corp., Toronto

A ‘Gas,’ pure and simple

One of the unsung delights of Corner Gas (“Small-town shtick,” Profile, Feb. 14) that makes it the most enjoyable sitcom on television today is the happy absence of irritating, unnecessary and insulting canned laughter.

Trevor Raymond, Georgetown, Ont.

No monopoly on suffering

It is hard to fault Peter C. Newman’s assertion that David Ahenakew should lose his membership in the Order of Canada (“Smug about anti-semitism,” Feb. 7). Newman’s persistence to oust Ahenakew reminds me of Mackenzie King’s “none is too many” when our former prime minister refused entry to Jews fleeing Hitler’s ovens. What is

The hot issues I AntiSemitism and same-sex marriage still smoulder

Clearly, racist remarks and gay unions are subjects that galvanize our readers. Letters poured in about Peter C. Newman’s column damning Order of Canada recipient David Ahenakew for his malicious statements about Jews. As for Father John Walsh, he was applauded and criticized almost in equal measure for his remarks about sin and same-sex marriage.

clear to this Jew is Canadians are indifferent. One of the most telling qualities of a nation’s citizenry is how folks behave in the face of injustice. In the case ofjew-hating, Canucks appear to ignore what is commonly termed anti-Semitism. And that silence is the hatemonger’s friend. That’s how the Holocaust happened. Remember?

Mendelson Joe, Emsdale, Ont.

I am a member of the Okanagan Nation in B.C., and I say, yes, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations David Ahenakew must be removed from the Order of Canada. Yes, he is an unrepentant excuse for a man in every sense of the word, but why give him mention in your magazine? It simply gives him the benefit of an audience. Furthermore, the Jews do not hold a monopoly on suffering and genocide. Just ask an indigenous person. Ask an Armenian or ask an Irish person living in Belfast if racism is alive and well. At least Newman can pass for a Gentile. For the rest of us, well, it’s get to the back of the bus.

Byron Louis, Vernon, B.C.

If Peter C. Newman wants to exact revenge on bigmouth Ahenakew, he should find a vehicle other than the Order of Canada. This is an honour bestowed on Canadians for their past accomplishments. Besides, I am sure Ahenakew has learned his lesson

by being ostracized and will, no doubt, be further humiliated in a court of law.

Joe Palaschuk, Judique, N.S.

Peter C. Newman uses the irresponsible behaviour of 20-year-old Prince Harry as the basis for arguing for the abolition of the Canadian model of government that has served us so well. And in citing the Nazi sympathies of Edward VIII, Newman overlooks the heroic behaviour of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, who, in refusing to leave London during the Blitz of the Second World War, exposed themselves and their family to great danger in order to be among their people. We should not fear that the conduct of any future monarch will serve to embarrass or humiliate Canadians. There are already enough Canadian politicians doing that particular job and doing it quite well.

John Thévenot, Deux-Montagnes, Que.

Saving the planet

Thanks for the great article on “101 easy ways to save the environment, and money too” (Cover, Jan. 24). I was surprised that

one of my favourite ideas was not on your list—reducing the number of plastic shopping bags. There are so many opportunities to say no to a plastic shopping bag—telling the checkout person not to doublebag the toilet paper, adding the one item you are getting from this store to the bag you were given in the last place, telling the convenience store clerk not to bag the carton of milk that is going straight into your car. If every adult North American says no to just two plastic shopping bags a week, that means 28 billion fewer bags have to be manufactured and disposed of in one year. Glenn Mair, Vancouver

I loved your environment cover package stories. However, the headline should have been “101 ways to save our environment,” not the environment. By calling it the environment, we externalize it from ourselves. We need to get used to the idea that the world is our home; it is part of us. And what we do to the world, we do to ourselves.

Gabriel Hurley, Winnipeg

Running toward Armageddon

For this reader, the cover of your Feb. 7 issue (“How to get richer in ’05”) accurately identifies the chains of greed that keep us mired in tragic conflict. Contrary to good advice from an ancient and otherwise wellrespected teacher, the money-changers have indeed taken over the temple. As demonstrated by oil wars and other global ineptitudes, the perceived riches of financial success have almost eliminated peace, beauty, love, dignity and respect as having any worldly value.

Peter Rowlands, Smithers, B.C.

I read the headline “How to get richer in ’05,” but didn’t bother to read the article. As a handicapped senior trying to get by on a small pension, I have little sympathy for those whose biggest concern is how much more they can pile up, as if they were going to take it with them.

W. Allen Dyck, Debolt, Alta.

The moneychangers have indeed taken over the temple. And it’s greed that keeps us mired in conflict.