Re: Christians more than accepting, April 20 letters.
I read Patricia Kroeker’s letter to the editor, then reread it. Then I read it to my husband. Then I let it stew on my countertop, where I imagined it might burst into flames.
When I had cooled down, I reread Taslim Jaffer’s article, for which this letter was written (Tolerance is beneath us, April 1 column), and I sighed a deep sigh of relief, knowing that all was well with the world.
Ms. Kroeker, I don’t know you, but I’m sorry you are so very angry. You see, Jaffer’s article brought something out in you that just won’t be tolerated – a very unCanadian attitude. We are all immigrants to this country, unless you are of First Nations heritage.
Some people’s families have been Canadian longer than others, but there is no sliding scale of Canadian-ness – once you are Canadian, you are Canadian. Period.
As Canada grows and develops, the faces of whom we are as a country also grows, and develops. Our mosaic gets more beautiful by the day, different cultures, ethnicities, religions, experiences and histories, creating the definition of what it means to be Canadian today.
But with growth comes change. Change can be beautiful, fluid and harmonious. But it can also be ugly, difficult and unpleasant, if you let it be.
Jaffer’s article addressed exactly this. We can simply tolerate the changes that come with growth, or we can be accepting and encompassing.
What is dangerous about a kind of intolerance is that those who have it appear to not know that they do. Their aversion, distaste and uneasiness with change is likely worn on their sleeves, and that kind of negativity is like a disease that can infect all the people around them. It’s how hatred and bigotry are spread.
Instead of being a harbinger of light, love, positivity and acceptance – which are very Christian ideals, I might add – such a person brings the opposite to the table.
So, Ms. Kroeker, maybe stop being angry for a minute, and reread Jaffer’s article. It’s about today’s Canada, which you, like it or not, are going to have to accept. For it is your type of outlook that will not be tolerated.
And, Ms. Jaffer, thank you for sharing your voice. Please keep encouraging us to continue defining, creating and accepting the beautiful Canadian mosaic that our children will inherit from us.
Sandhya Wagner, Surrey
• • •
The understanding of acceptance.
Letter-writer Patricia Kroeker’s reference to Canada being a Christian country is in itself misleading.
Christianity was brought to North America by immigrants in the 17th and 18th century; prior to that, it was certainly not a Christian country.
The celebration of Jesus’s birth has not been changed from Christmas to season. I refer to the government of Canada’s website where Christmas Day is still recognized as a statutory holiday.
The Lord’s Prayer should not be permitted in our schools. Schools are there to broadly educate children, not have one religion promoted above all others.
Our politicians want us to accept people of all religions. Kroeker should consider acceptance rather than tolerance. Then her life would be more fulfilling.
I immigrated to Canada in 1965 and was afforded financial assistance to pay for my flight. On landing in Canada, I had $90 in my pocket and owed the government $110. I paid back the money in three months. I then went on to a successful life. I apologize to Kroeker for wasting so much of the taxpayers’ money.
Canada and the majority of Canadians have accepted immigrants of different religions from all over the world, but sadly some of us continue to just tolerate new people and new ways of life.
Ian Routledge, White Rock