I refer to a recent letter to the editor, written by Mr. Wayne Norman (“An appeal to reason,” Sept. 15).
The article concerned the matter of assisted suicide (elucidated earlier by columnist Pam Frampton.)
In his comments, Mr. Norman somehow managed to get around to dumping on the Roman Catholic Church on account of its opposition to assisted suicide.
Indeed, Mr. Norman took quite a detour from the suicide issue and launched a blistering attack on the Roman Catholic Church. He actually referred to the faith as “rubbish” and ridiculed the Catholic people for holding that faith.
He made specific reference to the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ (this is what he called rubbish). Since transubstantiation is the central element of the Catholic faith, I have to tell you that, being a Catholic myself, I am offended by these remarks.
I’m not especially pleased with having my religious beliefs thrashed and mocked in public as if it were a joke.
Mr. Norman has the right to believe and speak whatever he wants (just as I have the right be believe he’s wrong) and I have no quarrel with that.
What I have a problem with is this man having his hatred expressed and published in a public forum such as in The Telegram. My question to The Telegram would be: was it appropriate to print Mr. Norman’s hateful comments in letters to the editor?
Would comment of this nature be printed if they flat-out condemned, for example, gay marriage or the faith of Islam? Is the Catholic Church receiving less than fair treatment?
I have a high regard for The Telegram and its writers and it doesn’t seem characteristic of you that you would be unfair to any person or organization.
Just the same, I would still like to receive some clarification of this important issue. Perhaps the very intelligent Russell Wangersky could shed some light on this and put the whole matter into some perspective.
Questions that could be addressed, for example, would be: are there policies in the media industry to deal with the expression of opinions on matters like religious beliefs and gay marriage; are there policies to ensure fair and equal treatment for all religions and other organizations; do Mr. Norman’s remarks constitute some form of “hate” literature; and, can I be assured that the Catholic Church is not receiving “different” treatment? These are the types of questions I would like addressed.
Thank you in advance for this space, and for giving due consideration to my concerns.