Readers Speak Out: February 9, 2020

  • February 7, 2020

War-free world

Re: Victims of madness (Jan. 19):

Your editorial sounds great but fails the test of dealing with all of the facts accurately. I think the majority of Canadians and Americans would prefer to live in a war-free world. 

Criticism of the tactics used in this incident (the U. S. assassination of an Iranian general) requires a little more thought. How many husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers who gave up their lives in the Second World War would have lived to see the amazing things happening in health and technology today if Winston Churchill had authorized the assassination of Adolph Hitler in 1939?

William Hazlitt,


Contradictory demands

Re: A war forged in broken Christian culture (Jan. 26):

Bishop Robert Barron writes that the First World War was between the baptized. My question is: Where were the churchmen who disagreed with the general Christian acceptance of wars as necessary?  

In fact, clergy of virtually all denominations supported the governments that declared war.

In Ray H. Abrams’ Preachers Present Arms, the author wonders if the men in the trenches remembered their baptism. Does the author actually think that in the mayhem, mud and murder of the trenches young men were thinking of their baptism as a possible barrier to the killing they were ordered to do, encouraged even by their priests and pastors?  

It is, I believe, fair to say that most of them had no training for the contradictory spiritual demands of having to be a soldier. That failure can be laid at the door of the clergy and bishops of the time.

Walter Klaassen,

Saskatoon, Sask.

Open-air prison

Re: Israeli-Palestinian peace slipping away (Jan. 26):

Right at the start you hurl the standard accusation about Gaza being an open-air prison. If it is, it is the Gazans who have achieved this by launching rockets at Israel, digging tunnels to carry out terrorism in Israel and launching incendiary balloons and kites which have burned thousands of acres of Israeli land.  

In fact it is the Arabs who have turned Israel into the world’s largest open-air prison, with every border lined with double barbed-wire fences, constantly patrolled to prevent infiltration, because Israel’s neighbours would like to, and often try to, kill them. Often they succeed.

And again the classic nonsense that the “settlements” are an obstacle to peace. If that were true, why was there no peace for the 20 years between 1948 and 1967 when there were no settlements?

You are right that Canadians need to be better informed about the Arab-Israeli conflict, not misinformed by articles like the one you published (and as they are by almost all the media).

Gordon Vinberg,


Understanding celibacy

Re: Two’s a crowd (Jan. 22):

Your editorial is disappointing to say the least. 

Instead of criticizing the untimeliness (of a book that includes an essay by Pope Benedict XVI), which is arguable, why not instead encourage Catholics to read the book From the Depths of Our Hearts so that we might all gain a greater understanding of celibacy. 

Angela Rutledge,


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