Stories by Colin Burke

Missed letters to editors


Headline in The Western Star, April 19 (Page 16): “Women help sustain vibrant economy: premier.” At last! Women have advanced from strength to strength, from being the reason men strove to thrive, as many did indeed thrive, on their own farms or in their own workshops, to being the reason men lapsed into labour for an even larger economy not yet vibrant enough then to be deemed worthy of feminine effort, and now, finally, to dedicating themselves in truly unselfish, magnificent generosity to a cause even more noble than they are: they help sustain a vibrant economy, for no lesser reason than that the superb concord of all its pure and strong vibrations is pre-eminently lovely to behold, surpassing the womanly integrity and sweetly personal seemliness of any female human a mere man ever admired. Splendid! Simply splendid! Is this the zenith for which feminism strove, or has progress further heights to gain? I’m all agog for even more!

To The Western Star, 08/04/13:

Religion might have more to do with “fracking” – the hydraulic fracturing of shale rock to extract oil; much condemned by some environmentalists – than supporters or opponents of either may suppose: Calvinism, long dominant in the West, taught that doing good deeds doesn’t gain us a good destiny; we can hope only for permanent good luck from an irrationally arbitrary God compared with whom random evolution might well make perfect sense; what happens to us matters far more than what we do. Logically, therefore, according to Calvinism, our deserving to get somewhere by walking or bicycling and our failing to deserve getting anywhere in a motor vehicle would be equally without effect in the grand scheme of things, even if ordinary human reason strongly suggested that people deserve the effects of what they do, and that we do our walking or bicycling but no one actually does the moving of motor vehicles – rather, someone by doing relatively very little only invites that moving only to occur – so no one can deserve to benefit from it; so far as men may judge, no one deserves to benefit from what merely happens. Does anyone really want our deserving what we deserve to be without effect in the grand scheme of things? As opposed to the “grant schemes” of governments?

Being glad thus to gain against our deserving, I submit, is almost pure Calvinism, which also taught that being rich largely foretells a good final outcome to life. The fracking frackers, who get rich from fuelling us, are therefore very likely crypto-Calvinists, or at least quite as thoroughly heretical with regard to natural justice. The practical way to oppose them, therefore, would be to try to support ourselves by doing deeds which actually feed and clothe us – a Pope said “agriculture is the highest art” – and by defending with our own deeds our own land as serving our own purposes, instead of trying to get the right things to happen in an economic “system” maintained mostly by and for fracking frackers, where even basic production only occurs more than people actually do it.

Fracking itself is far more something induced to happen in the ground than actually done there, and therefore is entirely consistent with “driving” – it doesn’t take much “drive” – a motor vehicle to a meeting to protest against fracking. Catholics who did the latter here April 7 might have been better employed, even for their own purpose, in praying, at a Divine Mercy service held at the same time in a neighboring parish, for profound changes of heart in the fracking frackers, and in any in our government whom the fracking frackers may control, against whom otherwise any sort of secular protest probably is utterly powerless.

Get all letters …