Readers write: April 12, 2021 issue

April 7, 2021 | Opinion | Volume 25 Issue 8
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Reader calls on Mennonites to reject COVID-19 vaccines
: “A duty to love our neighbours,” March 1, pages 1 and 18.

I am deeply saddened that so many leaders of the Mennonite church are endorsing vaccinations for COVID-19, and that this magazine would print such a one-sided article. Surely there are some leaders who at least question the legitimacy of the global panic.

Why should we put our trust in a vaccine from any of the giant pharmaceutical companies when our “fearfully and wonderfully made” bodies can give us a stronger and broader-based protection from every current virus and all future mutations? Why would we put our trust in an injection of genetically modified foreign material into our bodies when the usual long-term test trials have not been conducted? Even the designers of these so-called vaccines acknowledge that they are being rolled out with unprecedented speed.

If we really wish to be good to our neighbours, we will say no to this massive, unnecessary vaccination program that serves only to generate massive profits for the same companies that have destroyed millions of lives and livelihoods across the globe with their proliferation of drugs, chemicals and genetically modified organisms in the name of health protection and crop protection.

It is so sad that the leaders of faith groups across the globe—with a few exceptions—have become complicit in spreading the biased government and media narratives.

I will refuse to accept this vaccine and pray that my choice will not lead to further restrictions of my fundamental human rights.

It is time to return to our Anabaptist roots of independent thinking and to object to this violence that is being inflicted upon humanity.
—Steve Martin, Clifford, Ont.


Beware the Trojan horse of humour
What is appropriate humour?” March 1, page 19.

I agree fully with author Joanne De Jong and Brian Froese that humour is certainly essential to have a healthy life. Proverbs 17:22 tells us, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

The concern that I have is that it is with the Trojan horse of humour that much harm can also be done. Personally, I would place the The Simpsons TV show on the top of the list that has mocked and diminished much of what is sacred in our society. Yes, there are issues and hypocrisies that need to be addressed but, unfortunately, many people enjoy the safe place of a soft, comfortable chair from which they laugh at the problem rather than getting up and doing something about it.

When there are hypocrisies in the lives of adults in the faith communities, young people enjoy mocking the inconsistencies because it provides a release for the pain of confusion. For some, it gives them an excuse for not doing what is right. When the leaders fail, as illustrated by Jesus’ comment, “Do as they say but not as they do,” they were likely the laughing stock of the community. 

Unfortunately, laughing at them did not help to improve or correct the situation. Humour alone can be dangerous when humorists are using the failures of others to get a laugh for their own benefit. In reality, they are mocking the pain of the victim and legitimizing the offence of the offender. 

Jesus exposed the failure and he also gave serious instruction as to how to correct the situation. I believe that more than once Jesus might have finished his message with “Neither do I condemn you, go, but sin no more.”

Yes, laugh and the world laughs with you. It’s funny until you are the object of someone’s joke. We need to learn to laugh at our own mistakes and never take ourselves too seriously. 
—David Shantz (online comment)


Snail mail and email both appreciated
: “Instead of just hitting ‘Send,’ ” March 1, page 23.

I appreciated Angelika Dawson’s article.

I recently had the misfortune of spending two months in hospital due to some injuries and then living through COVID-19.

I now have a small drawer full of emails, cards and other messages sent to me by family, friends of my children and members of online church. These messages mean a lot to me. I have read and reread them and will do so again.

I appreciate Canadian Mennonite.
—Anna Neufeld, Ottawa, Ont.

Update (May 3, 2021): Thank you to those who offered responses. The online comments for this page are now closed. We advise all readers to follow the recommendations of their regional, provincial and national health authorities. –Virginia A. Hostetler, Executive Editor

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Share this page:


Another gaffe by the CM editorial team. What other outcome could there be to publishing Steve Martin's letter but to lend credence to his misinformed and dangerous views? Shame on you CM!

The mainstream social media platforms at least have the decency to flag vaccine and COVID-related posts and include disclaimers and links to correct information. It is not reasonable to expect my church magazine to do the same? You can not hide behind “views of the reader do not reflect the views of the magazine” when the very act of publishing the letter endangers lives.

I would like to commend Steve Martin for his courageous letter regarding faith leaders and vaccine promotion. To quote Rabbi Chananya Weissman who seems to have an uncommon dose of common sense in regards to this vaccine: "Those who raise concerns about this medical treatment are being bullied, slandered, mocked, censored, ostracized, threatened, and fired from their jobs. This includes medical professionals who have science-based concerns about the drug and caregivers who have witnessed people under their charge suffering horrible reactions and death shortly after being injected. When the establishment is purging good people who risk everything simply to raise concerns about a new medical treatment — even if they don’t outright oppose it — I will trust these brave people over the establishment every time. I cannot think of a single similar case in history when truth and morality turned out to be on the side of the establishment."

I would also like to commend the Canadian Mennonite for behaving like a true news source and not censoring like social media would . It is very important to allow dissenting opinions. Like Steve Martin said, "It is time to return to our Anabaptist roots of independent thinking and to object to this violence that is being inflicted upon humanity."

Canadian Mennonite advises all readers to follow the recommendations of their regional, provincial and national health authorities.

I am just in the final stages of preparing a Zoom discussion for our church (Lendrum Mennonite Church) on COVID 19 Vaccines - the Science and the Myths. I happened to drop by our church's foyer and saw copies of the CM for distribution and picked up the 12 April issue. The first letter illustrated precisely what I will be lecturing on; the malicious spread of utter, total and completely false information on Covid vaccines. I single out the worst of the misinformation items.

Why should we put our trust in a vaccine from any of the ....companies when our fearfully and wonderfully made bodies can give us a stronger and broader based protection from the current virus and future mutations?
Terribly and dangerously false! There are over 24,000 graves in Canada (and over 3 million worldwide) that testify to the opposite. Furthermore, it is thanks to such vaccines that the reader has not had to fear smallpox, polio, diphtheria to name but a very few deadly illnesses. NONE of these diseases ever disappeared because of natural immunity - they disappeared only after mass vaccination.

The usual long-term test trials have not been conducted. First, how many more graves does the reader wish to see to see 'long-tem' trials completed? Another million? Another 5 or 10 million? (the Spanish flu epidemic took 50 million lives). Second, due to the world wide spread of the pandemic, more than adequate trials have been conducted. The Pfizer trial had 40,000 participants - far more than most of the vaccines we already use. Third, in countries that have completed or greatly advanced their vaccination programs (Israel for example) the case numbers have declined drastically. Better yet, the effectiveness of all 4 of the common vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca & Johnson & Johnson) at preventing severe disease and death is nearly 100%. And those stats have a data base of very many millions of the doses given worldwide.

This letter is dangerous and malicious nonsense and should have been fact-checked carefully before being published.

Arnold Voth MD, LMCC, FRCP, FACP, Edmonton Alberta

Thank you to those who offered responses. The online comments for this page are now closed. We advise all readers to follow the recommendations of their regional, provincial and national health authorities.

–Virginia A. Hostetler, Executive Editor