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Cut the dime-store theology

Re: Faiths take positions (Letters, March 25). I hope the constant barrage of letters from every dime-store theologian arguing the pros and cons of Bill 18 comes to an end soon.

These so-called experts on the Bible seem bent on taking certain passages from the Scriptures and interpreting them to justify their bias and prejudicial ideas about homosexuality, abortion and everything in between.

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The bill is simply about bullying and nothing more, so please cease trying to make it out as an affront to your beliefs, which belong in your church of choice.




I agree with letter writer Janice Martens (Lipstick in kindergarten, March 23) in that Bill 18 is simply more social engineering to follow up on past social engineering failures.

We are supposed to have a limited government to protect us from force or fraud. Today an all-powerful state goes beyond all limits and foolishly tries to protect some of us from hurtful words.

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are being sacrificed at the altar of political correctness, and it seems very few people care.

Where does it all end? How about we let the Sex by Eight or It's Too Late Club set up chapters in our elementary schools, and soon enough there won't be any sexual inhibitions in society at all.

Public schools should be used to teach the three Rs rather than be abused to promote politically correct agendas.




John Long defeats his own argument in his March 25 letter. He is absolutely correct: There is a difference between public schools and independent religious schools. Unfortunately, as long as you are taking my tax dollars, your religious school is not independent.

Stop taking my tax dollars, fully fund the school with tuition and I'll agree that you can opt out of some government-based educational programs.

His second error is the belief that "guaranteed freedom of religion" is absolute. As soon as his freedom of religion impinges upon other basic freedoms -- e.g. the freedom from discrimination or the freedom of association -- then the religion's freedoms will be curtailed.

His third error is his assumption that a bill can be created that protects children from bullying while respecting freedom of religion. Since by their very nature, religions are divisive, judgmental and have no tolerance for thought not in line with their own, I suggest that it is impossible to contain both facets in the same legislation.




Sport risks serious injury

Dale Spencer's March 27 column, Grappling with ultimate 'sport,' in defence of Ultimate Fighting competitions and mixed martial arts, clearly demonstrates his passion for and knowledge of the activity. One may accept that, in the broad definition, MMA qualifies as sport. But it is one that comes with multiple risks and the potential for serious and life-long injury.

The mounting evidence from brain autopsies on a number of NFL and NHL players indicates the negative outcomes of repeated head trauma during sport. At this time, one cannot say for sure that research will also confirm similar results in MMA competitors.


Faculty of Kinesiology

University of Winnipeg


MPI on wrong road

Concerning your March 21 editorial, MPI's folly, it is indeed MPI's folly to be steamrolling ahead with efforts to spend ratepayers' money on road infrastructure, and I hope this is not ignored by the public.

You have argued correctly that there are many factors involved in accidents and related claims. So why select infrastructure? It is my view that because MPI has been running huge surpluses and must return some of this to ratepayers, it is looking for ways to spend surplus revenue.

In the recent federal budget, there is money for infrastructure, and both the province and the city have levies ostensibly for infrastructure. Consequently, why is MPI so insistent on using our premiums for this endeavour instead of giving us better service?

I do not think PUB should be ruling on where MPI can spend ratepayers' money, as MPI is not strictly a utility. Moreover, PUB is in conflict if it is ruling on where money can be spent and also approving rate increases. My advice to MPI is to seek ratepayers' approval for this expenditure.




Believing the dark side

Lindor Reynolds writes a provocative story on Mark Stobbe (Getting on with his life, March 25), in which he pleads his innocence, but even more, pleads for people to believe him.

It is all too common for people to only believe the dark side of any story. How many false convictions for murder have been found? Victimization is all too common.

Will Stobbe ever shake the stigma that haunts him? I think not. We need a murderer in this case. Lacking one so far, Stobbe will be convicted in people's mind until the real murderer is found.

It seems some 2,000 years ago something like this also happened. This man was not found guilty by the Roman governor and the law of the day, but the populace persisted and finally the judge caved in to political pressure and crucified Jesus. God forgive us all from our murderous intents.




We dig words, metaphorically

On the March 26 Sports front, the teaser headline reads, Tiger's on top of the world -- literally -- after win at Bay Hill. Strange, I thought. Wouldn't he be a little too busy at the start of this golf season to take an eco-tourism trip to the North Pole?

Imagine my surprise when I turned to page D4 and found Tiger with Arnold Palmer in Orlando.

Come on, you guys. "Literally" means "actually," not "figuratively." You're journalists, for goodness sake. Aren't words supposed to be your thing?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2013 A14

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