Now that we have been told by Paul Franck, in a June 25 letter to the Advocate, that “religion has not made things better” and that “we are still barbarians,” I am wondering what we must do to make us better, and also what prompted him to come to a country, replete with such people!
The historic events that he cites were tragic and cannot be attributed to religion in particular – they were mostly political.
The current situation is quite different or why would Canada be regarded as one of the best countries in the world?
The tragedy in North Africa is terrible and is due not to the church (Christianity) but empire-lust European countries that plundered the land of wealth and enslaved millions of people and shipped them to the Americas!
Now the West is trying to do what it can to make life better in North Africa and it is amazing the number of our young people who travel there to help make amends. Even seniors go to assist the African grannies!
When I was at St. Paul’s missionary College in England, more than half the students were planning to go to North Africa to follow the steps of David Livingstone. Western Canada was my calling due to my age!
However, I have had a close relationship with Africa since two of my cousins went to work there, and one of them was killed.
Also, I am a friend of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has visited my church and home in Edmonton when I was rector of Holy Trinity parish. He is a Christian who has done a lot for Africa and is a close associate of Nelson Mandela.
Furthermore, as well as being concerned about the churches’ efforts abroad, I am also concerned about society here in Canada.
It is a well-known fact that our world today is universally insecure, not just on account of the increase of the number of atomic bombs, but also in the general life of society.
It is so different to what I experienced when I first came to Canada.
Today the daily newspapers and the TV are continually reporting about murders, assaults, break-ins, theft, destruction of property including the burning of houses, and walking about at night is a no-no – especially for seniors!
During my long ministry of 70 years, I have served in country and city parishes, taught in schools, colleges and universities, served military units as padre and the veteran’s hospital as chaplain and gave leadership in the community.
Furthermore, in parish life, I have had hundreds of weddings and funeral, taken at least three services each Sunday, and gave leadership in the Scout movement because I was a scout leader and took many scouts to camp.
Also, I had young people’s groups for youth activities and instruction and in all of these I never met a barbarian or was ever called one!
And all of these people are Christians and cherish the church!
Rev. T. L. Leadbeater