Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 14, 2005
WCR Letters to the Editor
Doctor decries Oscar award
I was dismayed to learn that the highest honours at the 2005 Academy Awards went to Million Dollar Baby, a film that in essence glorifies euthanasia. I have seen the movie and believe that acclaiming it "Best Picture" lays another burden on parents attempting to teach our children basic values in a world riddled with moral relativism.
The film's conclusion implies that murder is an acceptable act if committed by a conscientious person motivated by love upon a despairing person who has not yet found a spiritual basis to continue living. This message is, at best, misguided sentimental folly and, at worst, manipulative blinding evil.
What of the Fifth Commandment? What are we to say to our children? That murder is wrong except when it's not? That any corrupt action can be justified by an individual's isolated interpretation of "love"?
The leading man is supposedly deeply religious and arrives at his decision through lengthy, painful soul-searching. His portrayal is fraudulent, for where is God in all of this? A person of true faith would never leave God out of the picture; would know that, no matter how bleak matters appear for a suffering person, God has the power to turn everything around 180 degrees for everyone concerned.
What is required of all of us in situations like the one depicted in the film are unflinching solidarity with those suffering, perseverance in prayer, and unwavering faith that humans are capable of finding meaning in even the most desperate and hideous circumstances.
As a physician with 30 years clinical experience, I can testify that such faith is rooted in hard evidence.
I weep for my physically disabled patients whose lives are devalued by this film. I weep for the innocents who may be deceived by its reverence for euthanasia. And I weep for my brothers and sisters whose vision is so dimmed and whose moral sensibilities so deadened that they applauded these awards.
Joan Johnston, MD
Letter to the Editor - 03/21/05
Citizens must be reasonable
Most Canadians want to see the existing definition of marriage maintained. Our society badly needs a thorough public discussion on what is at stake in this debate.
The most compelling reason to oppose same-sex marriage is that it would not be in the best interests of children. Same-sex marriage would mean accepting that marriage is intended primarily for the benefit of the partners to the marriage and only secondarily for the children born into it.
Children, however, have a basic right to know who their biological parents are and to be brought up by them, unless an exception (such as adoption) can be justified as in a child's best interests. Same-sex marriage would radically change that norm by detaching marriage from procreation.
Traditional marriage is much more than a close relationship. It does not honour some persons above others; it honours a certain form of relationship that is important to society's well-being.
The book Divorcing Marriage: Unveiling the Dangers in Canada's New Social Experiment explains how the equality-rights argument is seriously flawed. This book makes a well-reasoned, secular case for retaining the traditional definition of marriage. It notes that the issue is not whether marriage, as it stands, is a perfect institution, but whether society and especially children are better off with it than without it.
One can oppose same-sex marriage while respecting homosexual persons. Legally recognizing civil unions, while retaining the traditional definition of marriage, is one alternative.
Divorcing Marriage notes, "In addition to tolerance, every society must be guided by wisdom. And that requires citizens to be as reasonable as they are tolerant."
Prince Albert, Sask
Activits seek ethical government
The Canadian Foundation for Ethical Government (CFEG) is a non-profit organization formed in response, to what seems to be a trend by the Liberal government, to legislate a series of increasingly un-ethical social values.
In their attempt to re-engineer the social and moral values of Canada, they have turned their back on reason and the rights and freedoms of the majority of Canadian citizens.
We at the CFEG currently endorse seven campaigns that need to be brought to the attention of the Canadian people. Our focus is on matters arising from the proposed legislation now before Parliament that has lead to our campaign, In Defence of Natural Marriage.
We need to educate ourselves as to the real issues at hand, their consequences and their potential to disrupt the society we believe is representative of our ideals.
Many of us believe that political activists will use the passing of this new moral standard to legally challenge religious institutions and individuals that by their conscience cannot accept socially self-destructive behaviour as normal.
The recent tsunami in Asia demonstrates effectively what can result from the creation of only one crack in the structure that supports a nation. The proposed legislation, if passed, will result in a permanent erosion of family values and a major blow to the structure of the family unit and to our society.
The CFEG began in Edmonton. Its founding members include: president, Robert Picard; honorary chairman, Peter Goldring; chairman, Ron Schuster; advocate, Liam Connelly; treasurer, Andrew Chan; advisor, Richard Rajotte; and secretary, Maurice Prefontaine.
The mailing address of the CFEG is P.O Box 662, Edmonton AB, T5J 2K8. Our website is www.cfeg.ca. Take a look.
The Canadian Foundation for Ethical Government, Edmonton
Applause for columnist
Although I am no longer Catholic, I would like to say how much I enjoy the column of Father Ron Rolheiser. He is an intellectual and spiritual treasure. I hope you lavish him with thanks and praise. He is so richly deserving of our appreciation.
Exploring the mystery of Christ is an arduous if rewarding journey. At the heart of it all is the paschal mystery; the story of the shaming and subsequent celebration of Yeshua/Jesus. Let us praise him.
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