Readers write: December 1, 2023

December 1, 2023 | Opinion | Volume 27 Issue 24
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Don’t ignore pain and rage

I was encouraged to see Canadian Mennonite give space to understanding the conflict in Palestine that is currently so front and centre (“Palestinian voices,” October 20; “Attending to war,” November 3).

I was especially pleased to see the focus on the stories of Palestinians themselves. Given that our own government has averted its eyes from the oppression that Palestinians have been under for the past 75 years, let us not look away from these courageous people who have trusted us with their pain. If our government will not stand with them, let us at least be brave enough to say, “Not in my name.”

I hold dear the commitment to peace, but sometimes we ignore the pain and the rage of oppression and injustice in our race to see the culmination of peace. We need also to hear and feel the pain.

Let’s keep looking in the eyes of our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Let us weep with them at the outrageous injustices perpetrated against them. Then, let us do all what is in our power and influence to work for an end to the oppression.

—Joan Barkman, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Aberdeen Mennonite Church)

Online comments

Sustainability and capitalism

Great piece (“Can we talk about capitalism?” November 17). Yesterday, in a faculty/student gathering on campus, we were discussing that any definition of sustainability that did not mention capitalism was suspect. It is a very open question right now as to whether the two are compatible.

—Blake D. Poland

Alternatives to capitalism

Thank you for daring to talk about capitalism (“Can we talk about capitalism?” November 17). It is a system that I have grown up within and didn’t think about much until the last few years, when I started learning about alternatives.

When I grew up, words like socialism and communism were considered evil. As I get older, I want more coopera- tion instead of competition; more equitable income and resource sharing, resulting in less crime and punishment; more connection to nature and less emphasis on tech and working in offices; less hierarchy and fewer material goods.

I’m slowly changing how I spend time to create my world around these new values.

—Andrew Blake

The peace button and the poppy

Thank you for this article (“To remember is to work for peace,” October 20). I’m not a Mennonite, but I wear my peace button every November 11 alongside a poppy.

Many years ago I met a Mennonite couple who were wearing the buttons, and I immediately wanted one for myself. They gave me one of theirs. Since then, I’ve twice brought some to my Quaker meeting, where they are much appreciated.

My parents used to wear white poppies in England, but I wouldn’t feel good about that. I think that wearing the peace button alongside a poppy recognizes the heroism and sacrifice of those who have fought in wars. It also recognizes that war is never the answer, and that we always need to be working toward peaceful solutions.

—Christine Tansley

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

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