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(Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)
(Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)

What readers think

Oct. 11: The Taliban’s target, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Shot heard …

Re Teen’s Love Of Learning Made Her A Target Of The Taliban (front page, Oct. 10):

O brave new world,

That has such people in’t!

Dan Kelley, Halifax

.......

Let Canada offer Malala Yousafzai and her family immediate refuge. Let us heal her and help this young woman continue to grow into a leader who can change the world.

Martin Birt, Markham, Ont.

.......

Just as Rosa Parks became the personification of the U.S. civil-rights movement, Malala Yousafzai should become a household name, too.

Perhaps her courage and the outrage this shooting has created can be marshalled toward promoting human (and women’s) rights worldwide.

Wayne Coghlan, Collingwood, Ont.

.......

Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl, was shot by a Taliban jihadist because she believed that girls are entitled to an education. Why aren’t there hordes of angry Muslims demonstrating around the world against this obvious insult to the precepts of Islam?

Howard Richler, Montreal

Talking turkey

It’s vital that the altercation between Turkey and Syria remains just that. So NATO needs to sit this one out (A Matter For NATO – editorial, Oct. 10). And if NATO can’t, Canada should. If Canada can’t, well, send a boat – a small one. We don’t need to be part of a regional war. After all, Syria’s allies include Russia and China.

The Turks need to be told in no uncertain terms that they’re on their own should they choose to escalate this conflict.

Ian Nunn, Ottawa

Keeping the faith

As a pediatrician who worked with the United Church of Canada in Congo and with the Anglican Church in Kenya, and as an elder, Sunday school teacher and past chair of our congregation’s church council, I take great exception to Jeffrey Simpson’s comment (Faith Finds A Home In Conservative Politics – Oct. 10) that “the Social Gospelers … are all but extinct in the modern NDP.”

Last September, I was the NDP candidate in Ontario’s provincial election for Don Valley East and, at the Labour Day Parade, I marched with the NDP float and three United Church ministers, including MPP Cheri DiNovo.

The Christian left is still very vibrant and active, and not to be confused with the U.S. Christian right.

Bob Hilliard, Toronto

.......

Yes, evangelicals tend to vote Conservative, although many vote NDP and some still vote Liberal. In fact, in Ontario, the New Democrats find greater support among evangelicals than from adherents of traditional Protestant churches.

Yes, evangelicals affirm the sanctity of human life. Yes, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada supported a private member’s motion to have a parliamentary conversation about when human life begins. This same affirmation of life compels us to engage on matters that include poverty and homelessness.

That one issue (care for the unborn) is seen to be on the political right and the other (care for the poor and homeless) on the political left simply illustrates that the political categories of left and right are too simplistic when applied to religious communities, particularly evangelical Christians.

The Evangelical Fellowship has supported private member’s bills and motions from NDP, Liberal and Conservative MPs, as well as select initiatives through successive Liberal and Conservative governments. In law and public policy, our focus as a religious community is on the principle, not the party.

Politically aggressive? Well, no different in getting out and voting than other Canadians. But we’re also socially engaged, volunteering more and giving more to charitable causes than the typical Canadian.

Bruce Clemenger, president, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Richmond Hill, Ont.

Faith behind bars

Re Prisons To Lose Non-Christian Chaplins (Oct. 6): The recognition that each of us has a spiritual core and the encouragement to see and respect it in one another is fundamental for a law-abiding and peaceful nation. For those who have offended and are in prison, that message is best enhanced by a representative of their particular faith.

The cancellation of the support of non-Christian chaplains for prisoners is a real risk to accountability and their hopeful rehabilitation. The federal government should immediately rethink Public Safety Minister Vic Toews’s decision, which is unsupportable and, quite frankly, non-Christian.

William M. Trudell, chair, Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers, Toronto

.......

The fact is that the Government of Canada strongly supports the freedom of religion of all Canadians.

The government funds full-time spiritual advisers to provide spiritual services to prisoners. These advisers can be of any faith and will make themselves available to provide spiritual advice to the general offender population. Additionally, there are more than 2,500 individuals who provide spiritual services to prisoners of many faiths on a voluntary basis.

This approach supports the freedom of religion of prisoners while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used wisely and appropriately.

Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, Ottawa

Be cool

I have a solution to Massimo Sartor’s feeling that he’s losing his cool (The Death Of Cool – Facts & Arguments, Oct. 10). As I tell my teenage daughter and many of the teenagers I teach, “I’m so uncool, I’m cool!”

Shuts them up every time.

John Fearnall, Leith, Ont.

Suffix it to say …

Roger Phillips – the writerman who opposes shortening “chairman” to “chair” and “fisherman” to “fisher” (A Matter Of Suffix – letter, Oct. 10) – argues that because “man” was gender neutral for the Anglo-Saxons in the 10th century, it remains so for English speakers in the 21st.

If that were truly so, no one would sense anything to be wrong about a sentence such as “Man has a gestation period of nine months, and breastfeeds his children.”

Don LePan and Maureen Okun, co-authors, The Broadview Guide to Writing, Nanaimo, B.C.

.......

What’s in a name (Sexism Or Tradition? The Deep Divide Over Winnipeg’s Wesman – Oct. 9)? What would happen if one of the feMALES were named Mary EastMAN? How do we deal with MANitoba or MENopause?

Give it a rest.

John Harold, Regina

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