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Letters

03/09/2016

Palestinians in jeopardy

The Editor: Thank you for the Feb. 24 PM article “Palestinian situation ‘inhuman’: church commission” which spells out the desperate situation facing Palestinians today.

Israel was established by forcefully appropriating Palestinian land. Since 1949 that dispossession has continued, as Israel uses its ruthless military capabilities to take more and more Palestinian land.

The “two state” solution has been advocated for years as the solution to this unequal conflict. But experienced political analysts now believe that this is no longer possible due to the reduction and fragmentation of Palestinian land. So unless some dramatic change occurs, most Palestinians will be driven out of their homeland, to be added to the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Middle East. Those who remain in Greater Israel will continue to be regarded with suspicion by Israel and will be treated as second-class citizens.

This will come to pass because of Israel’s intransigence and because of the unquestioning support provided to Israel by most western countries, including Canada. Shame on you Israel! Shame on us Canada! — Michael Murphy, Saskatoon

 

Change in tone noticed in articles by Rev. Ron Rolheiser

The Editor: I have followed Rev. Ron Rolheiser for many years. As one who presided over many prayer service and non-denominational funerals in the Prince Albert area for 20 years, until I moved from Saskatchewan, I have used his thoughts and insights to bring compassion and solace to many families.

Rolheiser has helped us go deep inside the human experience to understand the sufferings that challenge us. He has helped us be less harsh toward those who encounter all sorts of difficulties at one time or another. He has also helped us understand the love and compassion of Jesus Christ toward all.

Lately, though, I have sensed a different message coming from his pen.

First, in the April 29, 2015, PM Rolheiser refers to Galatians 5:19 — 21 and lists the vices that prevents one from entering the kingdom of heaven. He notes that the punishment due these vices are not God-inflicted but person-inflicted.

Secondly, In the June 3 PM he again refers to these vices but here he refers to them as “inordinate attachments” or “obsessions.” He says, “Obsessions generally are not freely chosen, nor are they within the power of the will to control, at least inside the emotions.” Then he says: “We are responsible for our actions, but not how we feel.”

This article appears to contradict the views of his April 29 article.

Thirdly, In the June 17 PM Rolheiser reminds us: “Each must take responsibility for his or her faith and salvation” but he does not explain how this view coincides with his June 3 issue concerning “inordinate attachments.”

Fourthly, in the May 27 PM Rolheiser mentions a number of spiritual writers who have highly influenced Christians. One he mentions is Rev. Rick Warren described as “an American evangelist.”

This choice is interesting but not surprising.

The compassion and quest to understand our human nature is no longer present in his writings. This is being replaced by the concept that we are humans who make our own decisions, apparently freely, and that punishments such as hell is self-inflicted not God-inflicted. — Brian W. Clarke, Toronto