Readers Write: June 19, 2017 issue

June 14, 2017 | Viewpoints | Volume 21 Issue 13

Random thoughts from a reader

  • As I was reading “Be a CO at tax time,” April 10, page 4, I was a little confused. Is Mary Groh encouraging breaking the law in not paying taxes? I know what it means to have a balance with the Canada Revenue Agency. Once it starts calculating daily interest and adding to the balance, it doesn’t take long before you could lose your home.
  • In the late 1950s and early ’60s, our Mennonite farmers were small producers of grapes in our area. When we asked why, they replied that the grapes from the Mennonites were used in the production of “grape juice,” as they didn’t want them to be used for wine production. Today, the Mennonites rank with the top producers of grapes for the wine industry.
  • In Saskatoon last summer, a resolution against Israel was passed at the Mennonite Church Canada assembly without hearing a delegate from Palestine or Israel. How dare we point fingers when we hardly know the facts nor have lived under the constant threat of extinction?
  • What are we doing tearing ourselves apart over homosexuality in Canadian churches while thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are starving, raped, killed or driven from their homes by the brutal war in South Sudan?
  • Our women are prepared to march in a demonstration in Washington in support of an agenda based on everything else but the Bible (“Marching in the aftermath of inauguration,” Feb. 13, page 18). How is it that many Mennonites vote for candidates in federal or provincial elections that clearly have an anti-Christian agenda?

Perhaps we need to focus on the mandate of Jesus, and unity may return to us.

Isaak Eitzen, St. Catharines, Ont.


At the right place to run into our loving Abba Father’s arms’
Thank you for the “Diversity as a blessing” article by Annette Brill Bergstresser, April 24, page 20.

I love my Anabaptist Mennonites and have been heartbroken for a very long time. I believe the Anabaptist Mennonite faith is a very deep well that needs desperately to be cleaned. We believe faith is a relationship between God and ourselves. It never was God, money and ourselves. There is just no room for that.

I believe we have a listening problem. But now, since we have the big problem that we live in a time when sex and feelings scream so loud and tell us it’s an unchangeable issue, I believe that we are at the right place to run into our loving Abba Father’s arms. And that old rugged cross is still standing and the blood of Jesus heals all the wounds. And I will not give up prayer and hope that we will get up and, even with broken wings, fly to Jesus.

Marlene Hiebert, Steinbach, Man.


Reader seeks information about Mennonite settlers
I have recently been studying the history of the Mennonite settlers in western Canada, and in particular the displacement of indigenous people that made this settlement possible. Is there any record of spoken or written material about this displacement in any fashion: justification, gratitude, apology, compensation, horror or any other reaction? Or was this topic not considered to be of importance to the settlers? I would appreciate any leads on information anyone might have on this topic.

You can contact me at
Orly Friesen, Winnipeg


Memorial cross more important than a new dam
Re: “They’re destroying our home,” an online post published in print as “Then the river shall flow again,” May 8, page 7.

I agree with this article. Manitoba Hydro should not be affecting people’s lives in a negative way to just make a dam. They can find a different way to make energy somewhere else.

“They’re destroying our home”: this is a perfect title for this article. Their homes are now getting washed away. And it is not fair to the first nations people that they were promised a 25 percent share in the dam and are only getting a 2.17 percent share now, especially because the dam is affecting their lives greatly.

One of the families in the article has a son that died falling through the ice, and his body has still not been found. His memorial is near the place he drowned, which has a cross where they call it “Leon’s Island.”

This memorial will have to be moved to make way for the water. This is very traumatizing for the family. To move a memorial for your dead son just because of a stupid dam for Manitoba Hydro is very offensive.

Manitoba Hydro is basically saying that their son’s death doesn’t matter and all it cares about is to make a new dam. Manitoba Hydro should think again before making a decision like this.

This article is a good example of big businesses not caring about anyone but their money and business.

Fane Smeall, Winnipeg


Be generous because this is a free country
There used to be a saying, “Money makes the world go round.” Maybe.

Paying our taxes and rent is a must. Every year we can donate to the charities of our choice. We must cherish our Mennonite institutions: Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service and missions.
Last year, the CBC reported that Steinbach, Man., residents gave the most to charity per capita: $1,830 in 2013. That was equal to 6.6 percent of the median total income in the city. (Next was Abbotsford-Mission, B.C., where the median donation was 2.7 percent of incomes.)

Somewhere in Scripture it says that God loves a cheerful giver. Let us be thankful we live in a free country: freedom of choice, freedom of expression, freedom to worship.

Jacob J. Unger, Boissevain, Man.

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