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O Canada

Just a reaction to Rev. Bob De Moor’s comments about “Language Matters” in the May editorial.

As an American who served in Canada when the national anthem was introduced, I think I can be objective about what was happening.

I write in defense of immigrants.

In the hectic and tumultuous 1950s and 1960s, when immigrants had been pouring into Canada by the tens of thousands, these folks, because of language problems, had almost no means to give input into the composition of a national anthem.

If that anthem were written today, surely the outcome would be dramatically different.

—Winston C. BoelkinsByron Center, Mich.


In the May article “Young and Undocumented,” “Juan” asks rhetorically, “Just because [illegal immigrants] cross the border to find a better life, we’re criminals?”

Yes, they are criminals. This interview provides a collection of paraphrased and cherry-picked Scriptures to justify the situation of undocumented immigrants, but fails to recognize the wonderful fact of how America is a nation that lives under the rule of law—a factor my legally immigrated family cherishes far greater than the means for monetary gains our country may offer to its citizens.

—Bob ReehoornColorado Springs

I found the two articles about immigration in the May Banner incredibly encouraging. Both the interview with the undocumented immigrant and the article on the CRC’s stance supporting immigration reform (“CRC Urged to Seek Better Treatment for Undocumented Immigrants”) express the love and justice of Jesus.

The new bill in Arizona concerning immigrants has weighed pretty heavily on me. I know one youth pastor in Arizona at a church that is opening its doors to any immigrants in need of a place to stay. He’s prepared to face jail time if necessary, and that scares me. I keep praying more churches will stand up and be the light to immigrants that God wishes us to be. In this issue of The Banner, I read the beginning of an answer to that prayer.

—Jake CrammerLa Habre, Calif.

Climate Change

I don’t resent other church members having political and economic opinions that I strongly disagree with. There should not be a “political correctness” test for our faith. But when leaders of the Christian Reformed Church presume to speak for the whole denomination—including me—on political issues, as in the Office of Social Justice’s advocacy of ending the embargo on Cuba and the CRC Board of Trustees blaming climate change on human activity (“Ending the U.S. Embargo on Cuba” and “CRC Signs Climate Change Declaration,” April 2010), they are aligning me with political movements I do not support. I would not do this to them; why do they do it to me?

—Raymond Paul OpekaGrand Rapids, Mich.

“CRC Signs Climate Change Declaration” agreeing that “humans have something to do with it.” What foolishness. According to these people, climate change will melt the ice caps, which will raise the sea levels, which will change the face of the Earth by putting large sections of land underwater. That is not what the Bible proclaims. Read Psalm 104:6-9; Jeremiah 5:22; Proverbs 8:29; and Job 38:8-11. God has set up boundaries/limits that the seas can’t cross. In Revelation you don’t read of the earth losing any of its land mass to the oceans.

Fact: 10,000 years ago we had an ice age that covered a lot of the earth.

Fiction: Emissions from cars and industries raised the Earth’s temperature to make the ice age history.

—Ronald Dean RutgersLynden, Wash.

A Little Soul-Searching, Please

We were dismayed by the FAQ of March 2010 from someone seeking to rid his church of their pastor.

Perhaps a better answer would have included an admonition for some sincere soul-searching.

Unfortunately, the church is sometimes even more demanding of our pastors than the world is of their CEOs. We expect the pastor to immediately respond to all our likes and dislikes, never considering that there are other members expressing entirely opposite views. Quite frankly, we find it disgraceful and a discredit to the gospel of Jesus Christ the way our congregation treats its pastors. These men and women are servants of God and should be treated as such.

If each of us treated our pastor the way we would want our loved ones treated, we would likely have fewer battle-scarred pastors.

—Name Withheld

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

As a pediatrician, I have the opportunity to help many children who suffer from prenatal exposure to alcohol (“An Invisible Disability,” February 2010). Schools and social service agencies are ill-prepared for the severity of impairment and the numbers of children affected. A recent article states that 2 to 5 percent of 8-year-old schoolchildren have alcohol-induced brain damage. Eighty percent of U.S. children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are in our foster care system.

The tragedy of FAS is entirely preventable. We simply do not know how much alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy (there is great variability in how women metabolize alcohol), yet 12 percent of American women drink after they know they are pregnant.

—Dr. Todd OchsChicago

Thank You, News Writers

Thank you for the news articles on page 15 of the January 2010 Banner. What a great story about Elise Van Pelt and her generous heart to share with others (“Colorado Girl Helps Put Missionaries on Wheels”).

The story about the young prisoners who, because of their faith in Jesus, gave from their own resources to help men without homes was also inspiring

(“Making Restitution in Oregon”). And I saw in “Seattle Coffeehouse Reopens After Fire” a spirit of forgiveness for the arsonist that’s a living out of the gospel.

Finally, the story regarding the 125th anniversary celebration of New Era CRC (“Michigan Church Celebrates 125 Years”) shows God’s faithfulness to this congregation throughout all those years.

My thanks to the Banner’s news correspondents for sharing these inspiring, real-life stories with Banner readers.

—Trena LieuwenCincinnati, Ohio

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