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Wednesday, 16 July 2003

Here is the letter to the editor form Henry Brunsveld to which mine was a response:

Gay equation is wrong

Besides getting his facts about the Bible wrong (the Bible does condemn sexual relations between women -- read Romans 1:26), Corey Schlueter's June 21 letter stated that homosexuality cannot be equated with, among other things, pedophilia. His reason is that homosexuality is legal, whereas pedophilia is not.

In fact, there are many similarities between the two. Like pedophilia, homosexual behaviour was once illegal. Like homosexuals, pedophiles comprise a tiny percentage of the population, and are able to live otherwise normal lives, coming from all walks of life. Most people seem to think pedophiles can't change, like homosexuals.

One of the major factors in conditioning people to accept homosexual behaviour as normal was the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic manual of mental disorders. At a symposium on May 19 in San Francisco, sponsored by the APA, some psychiatrists proposed removing pedophilia from the manual.

Our courts will have no problem in changing our laws to make pedophilia legal and grant pedophiles the same rights homosexuals have.

They won't even have to change the definition of "sexual orientation," since it is nowhere defined in our laws.

If pedophilia becomes legal, will that make it right?

Henry Brunsveld, RR 2 Puslinch

Yesterday my local newspaper, The Record, printed yet another of my letters to the editor. Perhaps I should write a book? :-) Anyways, it was once more on the topic of same sex marriages. This is a majorly hot topic, because the letters to the editor have just not stopped coming in! Ot's also a hot topic in the constituency of he mennonite Churche of Canada. Last week was MC Canada's General Meeting in St. Catharines, ON there was a resolution put forward on the same-sex marriage issue. The resulution was this:

Since we believe that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a life-long covenant of love, and

Since the Prime Minister has indicated his intention to have the Federal Government redefine marriage in future legislation,

Be it resolved that the General Board communicate to the Federal Government Mennonite Church Canada’s understanding of marriage and our encouragement that, whatever action the Government should take to redefine marriage, all religious groups be guaranteed the freedom to practice and proclaim their understanding of what marriage is.

People got up and commented from various sides of his debate — people who were "out of the closet" wanting to vote No for this resolution and people who wanted it to be strengthened from simply advocating for religious freedom for churches to having MC Canada to explicitly lobbying against same-sex marriages. One opinion expressed was that it was already over and done with because MC Canada (and it's predecessors) had already made a statement on this issue in years past.

It was asked that this resolution be voted on by secret ballot, rather than by the usual show of hands, and I think that is a good idea. To do it publicly would have made many people feel very uncomfortable about showing what their true feelings are on this cointentious subject. But when it came time for the moderator to announce the results, he merely said that the motion was carried. I know that annoyed me, and it must have bothered otehr people as well, because he eventually announced the results. When he sauid that the count had been 131 for, 130 against and 16 spoiled ballots, the audience reacte dnoticibly with "oohs" and "oh mys" all over the place. Clearly the issue is not over and done with!

Anyways, here is my letter to the editor, with typos corrected. I will try to find the original letter to which this is a response and enter it here.

Put love in same-sex case

Henry Brunsveld, in his letter to the editor on July 7, has got it all wrong when he tries to compare homosexuality with pedophilia, and I feel that it is dishonest of him to imply that homosexuals are child molesters.

When an adult attempts to entice or coerce a child into having sex, that harms the child, no two ways about it. The child suffers from the physical abuse at the time of the sexual encounter and from mental and emotional hardships as he or she deals with the ordeal.

When two consenting adult men or adult women choose to have sex with each other, they are not harming anybody. At most, they might have the same regrets that those of [us] who are heterosexual might have.

Brunsveld is right when he says that homosexuality as a mental disorder was removed from the accepted manuals in 1973, and this was done based on overwhelming empirical evidence.

For me, the underpinning of Jesus' teachings is "Love your neighbour as yourself" from the parable of the Good Samaritan. It saddens me that I see no love in all the letters to the editor written by so many professed Christians.

Cory Albrecht, Kitchener

Wednesday, 2 July 2003

If you're ever going to grow anything like spearmint or peppermint, do yourself a favour and grow it in a pot. The word "invasive" is a little bit on the light side for some mints. I have heard it said "the only two things that could survive worldwide nuclear war are cockroaches and mint".

About 6 or so years ago I got a small spearmint plant when I started container gardening, and on my Mother's suggestion in the fall I transplanted it to one of the flower beds right next to the deck. The next spring it grew well and I was delighted, since I like mint teas, except it did more than merely "grow well". It sent out roots and shoots all around itself, spreading quite fast. So I transplanted it from the flower bed to the eastern side of the house, but it had sent roots underneath the deck where we couldn't dig them up and it was 2 or 3 years until we stopped finding spearmint shoots to pull up. And on the side of the house, well, I can no longer tell where I originally transplanted it to because it has almost taken over that flower bed. Good thing the chrysanthemums and the lamb's ear (another member of the mint family) are hardy plants.

Anyways, what got me on to this was that today was harvest time for some of my herbs. I cut off large amounts of bergamot, spearmint and fennel, as well as a little bit of rosemary. The only reason I didn't harvest my peppermint, catnip and lemon balm was because I ran out of space on the dining room table for drying them out. :-) As you can tell, what I grow in my containers are mostly plants of the mint family — catnip, lemon balm, peppermint, orange mint bergamot, spearmint, pineapple mint, grapefruit mint, greek oregano, english lavender and persian catmint. But I also have cherry tomatoes, cubanelle, hungarian wax, purple bell and hot cherry peppers, ginger, chives, onion, garlic, fennel, chamomile, bloody sorrel and a licorice plant.

Some day I would love to have big garden instead of just containers out on the deck and the occasional plant in my Mother's flower beds.