Yesterday I found an Editorial — Doing good the best response to the presence of evil — by Reverend David Shearman in the Owen Sound Sun Times, in which he slandered the Doukhobors with an allegation that the Canadian Doukhobors over the years were 'terrorists'.
Below is my brief initial letter to the editor followed by longer responses from Jonathan Kalmakoff and Andrei Conovaloff.
In his letter below, David Shearman immediately fully apologized for his media mishap. As writer and researcher on the Doukhobors for over a half a century, it is a encouraging to see an author take full responsibility for his actions.
This is a good example for others in the public media who need to be careful in separating facts from fiction. When dealing with the Doukhobors, it is important to distinguish between Doukhobors as a legitimate social movement and actions of violence (such as bombings and burnings) which are not connected to the group.
In our real world, no one group is immune to violence. This applies locally, nationally and internationally. When violence occurs, we need to be careful in separating this abnormal behaviour from the group — otherwise we are liable to condemn the whole group for the actions of the few (which would then be discrimination, hijacking and fiction).
Owen Sound Sun News,
RE: Doing good the best response to the presence of evil, Editorial by Reverend David Shearman, Sept 12, 2011.
I would like to take issue with you over your allegation and suggestion that the Canadian Doukhobors over the years have been 'terrorists'. If you do your homework well, you will see that the burnings and bombings that took place in the interior of British Columbia was the work of individual zealots who are not Doukhobors in spirit. According to the Doukhobor movement, the moment one participates in an act of violence, he or she ceases to be a Doukhobor.
Doukhobor values are based on the philosophy of love and nonkilling. Please have a look at my book Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living (2002) for details.You can also go to my website for many articles on the subject: www.spirit-wrestlers.com