Monday, July 04, 2005

Buying the stairway to heaven

Surely the oddest conjuncture of people and events came together in an op-ed piece in today's Globe and Mail. From an article whose title and contents frankly gave me the willies, "Can we forgive Karla?", by that indefatigable Christian flak Lorna Dueck, a familiar name emerges--Eleanor Clitheroe. As is so often the case, the main text vanished in a puff of vaguely sulfurous smoke. Clitheroe, Rev. Eleanor. Where have I heard that name before?

Dueck didn't leave me in suspense. This "newly-ordained Anglican cleric," now insisting that "Karla could be in heaven beside us," is none other than the infamous ex-CEO of Hydro One. You remember: $2.2 million a year salary, including the obligatory memberships in exclusive clubs, $330,000 for limousine rides over a three-year period (including dropping the kids off at daycare), and $214,000 in car allowances, presumably for those occasions when she took the wheel herself.

Clitheroe was about to follow the usual CEO path, heading off with a $6 million severance package and a yearly pension of $1.1 million. She had been named businesswoman of the year by (who else?) the National Post. She was Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario and sat on a bunch of boards and commissions. But Hydro One was changing, and so was the leadership of the Ontario provincial government, and this just seemed a bit much; and so her severance was cancelled, and her annual pension was reduced to the measly sum of $150,000, and off she went.

(What do CEOs do for their wages? Leap over tall buildings? Walk on water? Raise the dead? Questions were asked at the time about Clitheroe's actual work, but the same questions, in fairness, could be directed to any of this breed. Perhaps I'll go into a little more detail on CEOs and public policy in future entries.)

After she was tossed, then,
from the top spot in Hydro One, none too roughly (although she sued), "she studied the work of the soul" at Wycliffe College, and is now the director of an outreach program called Prison Fellowship. An inspiration, one might say, to the worldly. And someone, as noted, who could wake up one day to find herself sharing her Philly dip with Canada's most celebrated serial killer.

With the acceptance of God's grace, there she'd be, Clitheroe says, "beside us." And that was the phrase that caught in my mind, the very key to the mystery. For Clitheroe never doubts that her berth on the glorious yacht in the sky is secure. It's the comfortable, nonchalant (dare I say bourgeois) assurance in her phrasing, uttered en passant as it was, that gives the whole game away. Here is a person who was born to privilege, who has a pre-ordained right to the best of all possible worlds--this one and the next.

How fortunate to be Eleanor Clitheroe. And to think that someday she might be playing shuffleboard on the divine deck with none other than Karla Homolka. God does work in mysterious ways.


Mike said...


Ad hominem attacks are unbecoming.

Karla Homolka, no matter what you think of her personally, has served her time.


That you personally don't agree with the sentence is irrelevant. That you think she is "evil" is irrelevant. She was convicted in a court of law, sentenced to a term in prison and has served that term. She is now free.

If that bothers you, call Ottawa Police Chief Vince Bevan and ask him why his task force failed to find the video tapes in the light fixture, despite having alegedly searching the hosue for a week before they were removed by Bernardo's lawyer. If she is a truly as dangerous as the media is pointing out, why wasn't she deemed to be adangerous offender. That designation would have kept her in jail indefinitely.

Paul Bernardo is in jail for the rest of his natural life. To do that we had to make a deal with Karla. Like it or not, we have to live up to that deal, or our laws mean nothing.

Besides, putting your feeling asided, there is the remote possiblity that she is telling the truth - that she is a follower, that she didn;t kill the girls. maybe she has changed while in jail.

It was a guy named Jesus that told people to forgive. He didn't say forgive when its easy, he simply said forgive.

Maybe THAT'S what the article was really about.

Dr. Dawg said...

Karla Homolka was not defined as a dangerous offender because that wasn't part of the plea bargain. Nor did I express any views on her sentence nor on the police investigation. In logic, your response is called a "straw man."

Nor were my comments ad hominem. Please look up the term. "Ad hominem" refers to attacking a person instead of the argument that person is presenting. That's not the frame in which I positioned my comments about Karla Homolka. Nor does it accurately describe my comments about Eleanor Clitheroe.

Mike said...

Dawg...Sorry, I posted to the wrong post..this should have gone to the post above.

In which case, I believe it stands

Herb Clitheroe said...

Hi Dawg

I notice that you bloggers are afraid to sign your names to the article you write?
I do not know who you are nor do I know your religion or where you were born, one thing I do know is that I regret fighting in World War II,so that people like you could take hearsay and try to make it into truth.
Your statement that"I have sworn to myself that I will avoid low level babble" is not evident as far as your disertation about Eleanor Clitheroe is concerned.In this case you not only set yourself up as Judge, but also as Judge and Jury. Part of your article leads me to believe that you are a God fearing person, regardless of what faith you belong to, but your persecution of an innocent person tells me that you are a disciple and follower of Glen Wright. Not bad for one who speaks with a forked tongue and assumes that one has all the facts.I for one resent your presumption that God made a mistake in calling Eleanor to his service. What right have you to dictate to the church what they should or should not do.Take the mote out of your own eye first.
I am sure that your concept of justice is "Guilty until proven Innocent" as this concept is revealed in your article. Have you ever asked yourself "If evil people unjustly accused me,slandering my name, preventing me from taking care of my family, what would I do?
Your distortion of what Eleanor said in a recent article is in rather poor taste even for an immigrant like you, be it a progressive one at that. How do you know what a Clitheroe doubts and does not doubt. Your bourgeous statements about the ability of Eleanor only reveals your jealousy in not making it yourself
Your statement "Here is a person who was born to privilege who has a pre-ordained right to the best of all possible worlds" shows your ignorance and prejudice of the Clitheroe family. We had to work hard for everything we have and many times it never came easy.
God does work in mysterious ways and beware to those who make a mockery of it.

Herb Clitheroe