Readers write: March 4, 2019 issue

February 27, 2019 | Opinion | Volume 23 Issue 5
Various Contributors |


Author Miriam Toews a ‘two-trick’ pony

Re:Modern ghosts of a horse-drawn scandal: Pt. IV,” Nov. 26, 2018, page 18.

Unfortunately, Miriam Toews has only two themes she writes about: fundamentalist Mennonites and the mental illness that runs in her family.

I read A Complicated Kindness when it was first published and presented it to my women’s book club. I am a practising Mennonite and wanted the women to know that the majority of Mennonites have little in common with the Kleine Gemeinde she grew up with.

The Bolivian Old Colony Mennonites of Women Talking are not her people. She grew up in Steinbach, Man., in a conservative church, but definitely not Old Colony.

I no longer read any of Toews’s books.

—Ruth Heinrichs, Regina


Who is the true authority over MAID?
Re:Can we talk about MAID?” Feb. 4, page 11.

As Christians, whom should we look to as the ultimate authority over issues associated with medical assistance in dying (MAID)? The government, fallible church leaders, or God our Creator?

Choosing any authority other than God turns this issue of debate into a subjective matter that easily results in indecision or wrong decisions. But in seeking God and His ways, questions regarding the morality of directly and deliberately causing another person’s death are answered simply and decisively in Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder” (NKJV).

We are living in perilous times, when good is often portrayed as evil and evil as good, as with MAID. Isaiah has some hard-hitting things to say about those who seek to override God’s values and principles: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (5:20), and, “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker” (45:9). We do well to read the passages in their entirety.

One of Satan’s ploys is to whitewash immorality with terms that make something that is evil, appear as a good and viable option, as in the case of MAID. The term “helping to ease suffering” used in the context of this article really amounts to “legalized murder.” So let’s use honest terminology and call it what it really is: murder. This helps to expose the seriousness of the consequences of MAID, because, as God’s Word so aptly warns us, the eternal destination of murderers is the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

I thank God for every pastor and Bible teacher who has the courage to stand up and teach the hard truths on such matters. This is a time when many do not endure sound doctrine, as prophesied in II Timothy 4:3.

—Elaine Fehr (online submission)


Settler. Racist. Thief.
I took the opportunity to travel to the “barn” in the village of Neubergthal, Man., to take in a multi-media presentation made by Steve Heinrichs, the director of Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program. The presentation was entitled “Non-Indigenous, Canadian or settler? Understanding ourselves, our history, in moving toward reconciliation.” 

He outlined some of the difficulties that First Nations people have experienced in a colonized landscape, in a stolen land, and he challenged us to find ways to improve and reconcile our relationship with First Nations communities. 

In general, the question raised by Heinrichs was, “Where do we situate the problem(s)?” He suggested that if we identify as non-Indigenous, or as Canadian, then we might have a tendency to see any problems as “the Indian problem,” and not take on responsibility for reconciliation. However, if we identify as “settler,” and perhaps even “Christian Mennonite settler,” then we are in better position to understand our role historically and are better situated to move towards reconciliation.  

To my mind, once we reach the critical understanding that we, as Christian Mennonite settlers, are benefitting from living on stolen land, then we are closer to achieving the most crucial one, the reconciliation form of reconciliation: between Mennonites as a wayward people and our God. It seems that there is much reconciliation work to be done: firstly, the vertical reconciliation between us and our God; and, second, a more lateral reconciliation and right relationship between Christian Mennonite settlers and First Nations people.  

Until the reconciliation happens/begins between ourselves and the requirements of a just and loving God, we must necessarily change the adjectives describing our identity to Mennonite, settler, racist, thief, and white supremacist. 

—Peter Reimer, Gretna, Man.


A beautiful way to transition
Re: “‘Passing quilt’ gives dignity in death,” Feb. 4, page 13.

What a beautiful way to ease this transition! It reclaims death as a natural part of life, removes our need to "hide" death, and comforts families by affirming that death is a transition into new life. Thank you for this!

—Sara Wahl (online comment)

Such an inspirational story of great people taking action to bring peace and joy into the lives of the grieving family, while honouring the newly deceased person. Death isn’t shameful, yet we often treat it as if it were. This is a beautiful story.

—Marla Carrico (online comment)

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