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This page last updated 30 November 2004
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.

We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to English orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 22 November 2004 to 28 November 2004

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the letter writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Anti-American rants from the pulpit?

NOT AT ST THOMAS, but in many other Anglican churches in Toronto (and one United Church), including St. James downtown, I have run into a tendency to substitute for a homily with an Anti-American Political Rant. I am an American living and working in Canada, and I have actually gotten up and left a service because of this kind of noise. In fact, my cousin came to visit me and we went to Evensong at St. James and this very thing broke out. She nudged me and said "I've had enough of this [vulgarity]" and we both got up and exited. We mentioned to the verger that we were Americans and that we did not come to church to hear the priest vilifying our country. That is why we have the CBC, Carolyn Parrish, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

I would like to know what the general practice of the Anglican Church in Canada is regarding this practice. A rant against Islamofascists, Palestinian terrorism or Al-Qaeda would be met with outrage; but rip into America and we get silence.

Should not the church stick to preaching the Good News and try to heal division, not promote it? Is there nothing in Canada that needs repair or alteration (if you think that, I can give you a list) before your priests and pastors start hammering on a country many of them have never lived in and do not know?

Kate Shaw
St. Thomas
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
22 November 2004

I am shocked that you published a letter ...

I AM A WEEKLY READER OF AO. I look forward to AO every Monday. More times than not I disagree with concensus opinions on AO. I have not written before - even though I have been really tempted on several ocassions. I must now break my silence.

I am shocked that you published a letter ("Political puzzlement") simply to belittle our President. You publish this letter, which certainly is not of interest to the church as a whole (or even in part), yet AO neglects to even mention that ECUSA priests have been found to be Wiccans. It seems to me that the ECUSA overlooking the fact that it has pagans in its priesthood would be newsworthy.

Or maybe this is not news to many...

Greg Smith
Church of the Apostles
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
22 November 2004

(Ed: We tend to be more inclusive here in the Letters section than in the News Centre. The decision as to what is news, what is Anglican news, and what is Anglican news of international import is always a judgment call. That priests around the world are criminals, pedophiles, pagans, axe murderers, embezzlers, or bad poets is not news. The systematic mishandling of clergy discipline might be news of international import, but a single incident rarely is. In our opinion the diocese you refer is handling this appropriately, and it is certainly not over. If a reader sees it otherwise, there is always this forum.)

Jerusalem, Jerusalem


Our Church has become so divided, so issue-driven, that we would do well to find an issue important enough and large enough to supersede the lesser issues. It is reasonable for Anglicans to focus on the central problem facing the world today... the Arab-Israeli crisis... and work for a solution there.

There is no way to separate politics from religion in the Middle East. We couldn't if we tried; we couldn't if we wanted to. Therefore, ways must be found to make religion part of the solution instead of part of the problem in resolving the conflict. Let us proceed to focus our peacemaking efforts on the future status of Jerusalem. Jerusalem must be shared in accordance with International Law. West Jerusalem must become the future capital of Israel. East Jerusalem must become the future capital of the future state of Palestine. The Old City of Jerusalem must be shared by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Administered by whom? The United Nations? Details can be worked out after we get our courage and hearts in the right place.

The peace process would be furthered immeasurably if Christians and Jews would make the effort to understand why Muslims call Jerusalem a "holy" city. Mohammed never claimed he was founding a new religion. The Prophet pointed to Jerusalem, to the monotheism in the Jewish and Christian traditions and taught: "Behold.... God has ALWAYS been One."

As we Christians make our rightful claim to Jerusalem, we must acknowledge that Muslims and Jews also have rightful claims to Jerusalem from their perspectives. It is useless to argue about sovereignty in the Holy City. Sovereignty in Jerusalem belongs to God alone, and God is ONE.

Roy Hayes
St. George's Cathedral
San Diego, California, USA
27 November 2004

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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