rn: death penalty follow-up: overcoming divisions that separate us


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

There has been some interesting discussion off the RN list and on, following
the posting of Carolyn Ballard's articles on the death penalty. I would
like to share it with you because I think it demonstrates very eloquently
just how the right/left, Christian/non-Christian oppositions and other
things that divide people are divisions we can and do manage to surmount.

all the best, Jan
From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: re: death penalty article
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 12:10:32 -0800

Dear Jan & Ed-

     I read with great sadness Ed's reaction to my article on the death
penalty.   What is so sad is that everything Ed says is true.  As a
"believer," (I have ceased calling myself a Christian a long time ago for
the very reason that this label turns many, such as Ed, off) it pierces my
heart to know that the message of love, hope, forgiveness and redemption
which Jesus brought to a hurting world has been so miserably twisted and
misused for the insidious ends/agendas of some.  Oddly enough, most of what
Jesus taught are the same lessons taught 2000 years later by Gandhi, yet we
have not seen this same evil manipulation of Gandhi's philosophy by his
followers to my knowledge.  I think the key is that Gandhi did not aspire to
found another "religion;"  he merely attempted to reveal the beauty of Truth
and the joys of a life lived in accordance with Truth.

     However, contrary to what most Christians believe, Jesus did not come
to found another religion either.  He, like Gandhi, came to reveal the
universal Truth of God's love for humankind and the joy of a life renewed by
that Truth.  Christians in general have failed miserably to understand that.
It was established religion which persecuted and eventually killed Jesus.
It should be remembered that the only harsh, condemning words which Jesus
had for anyone were the moneychangers in the temple and the religious
leaders, when he pronounced the "seven woes" upon them.

     Yes, I understand completely Ed's attitudes towards Christianity.  It
is abhorent to me that he and his family suffered so at the hands of those
who would purport to act "in the name of Christ."  But recalling the words
of Jesus as he hung dying on a Roman cross, "Father forgive them for they
know not what they do," I am also reminded of Desmond Tutu's exhortation to
South Africa when he said that forgiveness and reconciliation was the only
hope for healing the great wounds of its past.  These are extremely
difficult concepts to accept for those who have been so brutalized by evil
and injustice, yet I am convinced that, as Tutu said, it is the only path to
wholeness and closure for the victims.  Indeed, as Jesus said, it is easy to
love one's friends, and far more difficult to love one's enemies.  Yet, that
is the imperative of the Law of Love.

     And as far as I can see, Love is the only thing which will save
humankind from itself -- forgiving, unconditional, always hoping, ever
believing, non self-seeking Love.  Knowledge alone will not save us.
History is replete with the evil actions of intelligent men.  Everything
good, everything noble in Creation springs from the eternal truth of Love.
That was the message of both Gandhi and Jesus.

In peace,

Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000 09:28:16 -0800
To: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
From: Ed Deak <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: REform/CRAPP articles

Dear Jan,

I grew up as a fascist, some of my best friends have been fascists, nazis,
communists and now Reform. Most of them hard working, decent and well
meaning people, not the commonly believed bloodthirsty crazy types.
Something clicks in people's heads and logic stops. It has always been so
and may remain so. When I first saw my Mother after 29 years and she started
on the Jews I stopped her and told her that in my house we don't talk like
that. She was shocked and asked my wife later: "When did Ed turn into a Jew
lover?" Poor lady, she sure screwed up her life with some of her ideas, but
there was no way to explain things to her. For her the aristocracy and
royalty were ruling by God's will and so on.......

This is Reform country and most of our friends and neighbours are strong
supporters. The most reliable people we can count on for help are Reform
federally, BC Liberals, anti-environmentalists and anti any form of
government. They know who I am and what I stand for, I've been writing in
the local papers for years, the Post Office knows that I'm NPD from the mail
I receive, but it doesn't make any difference to our standing in society and
friendship with others. We just don't talk politics.

Keep on smiling, cheers, Ed.
At 12:20 PM 03/02/2000 -0400, Jan Slakov wrote:
>Dear Ed, 
>I just wanted you to know that JAnet sent me a copy of the REform/Crapp
>thing you sent and then I sent it out to one of my lists and also to some
>friends as it was so good. (Actually, I have a brother who was a member of
>REform for a long time. He is a good person basically, but wanted the
>deficit cut very badly. To my mind, cutting the deficit is a good idea, but
>there are other deficits that need cutting more urgently! (eg. our
>destruction of natural & social capital).
>Must go! 
>all the best, jan
>PS One good thing about my brother: I once sent him some stuff Richard wrote
>and he coudl give Richard some "right wing" feedback... [My brother] is
honest and well-meaning and not as dumb as one might think;)... but quite
>with his family and not an activist by a lng shot. He tries to reassure me
>by saying he is very "liberal" for an engineer! :)
 FYI: the article we mention re: Reform/CCRAP

From: "Janet M Eaton" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 07:37:24 +0000
Subject: More Right Wing Party CCRAP in Canada 

A  little spoof posted on the mai-not list  yesterday 
and a news item from CBC - janet 

1] From mai-not listserv

 ------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 31 Jan 2000 07:48:24 -0800
To:            •••@••.•••
From:          Ed Deak <•••@••.•••>
Subject:       Re: C-CRAP
Cc:            •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••

The Canadian ultra-right had a convention over the weekend under the
leadership of the Reform Party's Preston Manning, who urged them to
"Think Big" and make a united conservative front. This would eliminate
the Reform Party which is basically a Western fundamentalist movement
at a dead end and hope to attract enough from the doddering
Conservatives to start Canada on the road to unregulated capitalist
wealth and glory without unions, social services, government and
everything privatized. For these brilliant people even our Chretien
Liberals are some kind of a left wing conspiracy.

The tentative name of this new movement is the Canadian Conservative
Reform Alliance, or CCRA Party, or CCRAP.

It didn't take long for the public to catch on and here I'm enclosing
a short posting on our political future under the leadership of the
great Preston Manning from the pen of the Vancouver writer Marco
Procaccini. With his permission, of course. Marco also gave permission
to have it reposted to other lists.

Cheers, Ed (Ed Deak, Big Lake, BC, Canada)

CRAP. This new acronym for this supposed Conservative Reform Alliance
Party might actually redefine all those phrases and colloquial uses of
the word. Here are some that come to mind:

"It ain't worth Crap"
    Evaluating something in terms of Reform policy

"Dealing with Crap"
    Negotiating with the Reform caucus on a parliamentary resolution

"Piece of Crap"
    An article by Preston Manning

"Bunch of Crap"
    Several articles by Preston Manning

"Cut the Crap"
    Editing a Preston Manning speech

"Putting up with Crap"
    Listening to Preston Manning make a speech

"Buying that Crap"
    Reading Reform Party literature and actually believing it

"Don't give me that Crap"
    Reading Reform Party literature and judging it appropriately

"Pile of Crap"
    Reform Party literature that gets recycled instead of read

"Deep in Crap"
    Living in a Reform Party stronghold

"Taking Crap"
    Signing up enlightened Reformers into the NDP

"Shooting Crap"
    What we might do to Reformers when we are mad at them

"Crap game"
    Reform Party electoral campaign

"Crapped out"
    Reform going down to a thunderous electoral defeat

"No More Crap"
    What happens to Reform after the thunderous electoral defeat

"Beat the Crap out of them"
    Giving Reformers instant political education

Any other ideas out there?

 Marco Procaccini.

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2] CBC NEWS Online 

Canada's newest party  changes embarrassing name

                    WebPosted Tue Feb 1 00:39:11 2000 

                    OTTAWA - In only its second day of existence,
                    Canada's newest right-wing party came under attack
                    for its plans and policies, but the biggest fuss
                    was made over its name. 

PS I wrote to Ed to make sure I could send his message to me out to you. I
think his reply is worth sharing:

Dear Jan,

You're welcome to send out whatever I write anywhere you like. Such things
should be widely known and I stand behind it. I just read last night that a
group of Croatians are now suing the Vatican over their collaboration with
the nazis. Long overdue.

Cheers, Ed.