Uncharacteristic attacks

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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.

Clifford Goodland

St. John’s

Organizations: Roman Catholic Church, The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Charles Kennedy
    October 02, 2012 - 20:48

    Poor Poor Clifford .My heart bleeds purple piss for you.You are upset because somebody critisized the RC church and its teachings. Are you forgetting about the crimes against humanity committed by the RC church when people were burnt at the stake and other horrible things done to people because they disagreed with the RC church. Wayne has a right to say transubstantiation is rubbish if he thinks it is.We have free speech or have you forgotten.Based on all physics and chemistry laws he is right.As they say if it walks like a duck ,quakes like a duck it is probable a duck.If it looks like bread,tastes like bread,feels like bread,smells like bread,has the chemical compostion of bread,what would makes us think it was human flesh.Like Wayne said it is rubbish ;absolute nonsense.Even the Protesters don't believe in that. So the RC church can tell me I am going to hell if I don't believe their church but I can't make fun at them.They can say evil things like"You will burn forever" and I can't say "Rubbish".Get a grip Cliff.And I have not mentioned about the abuse of young boys. All religions are man made.It has nothing to do with any sacred being.It is all about power and control.Remember all the evil last week committed by those righteous followers of the Mohammer the Profit because some guy happened to make up a movie.Making a movie supposely was more sinfull in their eyes than killing a human being. We have freedom of speech.If you don't like what I say you can disaggree.But don't tell me that I have to respect what you believe.I respect your right to believe it.I respect you as a person.Nobody in this world has the right not to be offended.I am offended many times by the churches.But I don't go around crying."Oh why are they always offending me." Free speech, man free speech!Appreciate it .Enough with the poor mouth. The RC church is one of the richest and most pwerfull political organizations in the world.They don't need you to to defend them. And don't try to tell the Telegram what they can publish.

    • Eli
      October 03, 2012 - 09:08

      Now Charlie, the Mormons & Masons have more than a few bucks too, not to forget their political influences.

  • Ed Power
    October 02, 2012 - 18:40

    Mr. Goodland is either unaware of the recent diatribe by one of his co-religionists, or has chosen to ignore it, which is to be expected - religions have been doing this since men first felt the need to invent them. Telegram readers are routinely subjected to ethical and moral pronouncements from a number of religious - primarily Catholic - writers (I won't name them here, but most people would recognize their names) replete with usual threats of "Divine Judgement" and everlasting torment in "Hell's Eternal Flames" for wide variety of sins. One writer in particular is fond of quoting the writings of the current Pope, the former poster boy of the Hitler Jugend, the Nazi Party's Hitler Youth Corp. Another has a disturbing fascination with gay people. I read all of these letters, chuckle at most, and comment at the more outrageous ones. Mr Norman's "blistering attack on the Roman Catholic Church" was in response to the comments made in one such letter, and since the letter writer had "opened the door" by using religious dogma in his argument, Mr. Norman responded in his eloquent and well-argued reply. I would suggest if Mr. Goodland and his co-religionists don't want their particular beliefs criticized, they should refrain from citing their beliefs as "proof" during discussions in the public forum. The days of clerics dictating to the cowering and ignorant masses has long since passed. As a recovering Catholic- and happy and contented Athiest - I believe that I am qualified to criticize the Catholic Church. I will leave the criticism of Islam, Scientology, Mormonism or worship of other mythical deities to the those who know them better