The Rev Dr Paschal Corby ("Mandatory vaccination is an indignity we shouldn't force on people", canberratimes.com.au, September 13) fails to make the case for Catholics to conscientiously object to vaccination.
Back in the day when National Service was compulsory, aged 18, I went to court to prove I had a conscientious objection to being trained (if ordered to do so) to kill. Because I agreed I was a "pacifist", a magistrate took this to mean my claim was purely political, not a matter of conscience.
I had to appeal to a higher court, where a judge, quite reasonably, ordered that I must serve, but only in a medical corps where I would be saving lives, not taking lives. My conscientious objection was on moral grounds, and remains so.
Vaccination is designed to save lives. There can be no conscientious objection on moral grounds. Only if medical advice tells you that you have a serious personal risk of death from the vaccine can you consider not being vaccinated.
If, as Dr Corby writes, "For Catholics, and indeed many people of good will, conscience is not simply a deeply held opinion, but a sanctuary, a place of encounter, where God's voice echoes within one's depths" then surely God would say "get vaccinated to help save lives". Now, please.
Frank McKone, Holt
Lodge is safe
While I share your correspondent Rod Matthews' concern (Letters, September 13) on the needless demolition of Robert Menzies's Melbourne house, it is actually true that his most important house has been preserved. It is called The Lodge. All of Australia's important prime ministers have chosen to live there.
Robert Niven, Aranda
No embassy bunker
I note once again media references to the then prime minister John Howard being "bundled into a bunker beneath the Australian embassy in Washington".
I worked at the embassy for three years. There was no bunker. Beneath the embassy we had storage areas, a bar, and car parking. I expect the PM was taken to the bar, a far less dramatic destination.
The bar, by the way, was where we had happy hour - called "prayers" - at 5pm on Friday afternoons.
Our American interlocutors, being religious souls, were always grateful to be invited to "prayers" at the embassy.
It also went down well with their bosses, who were only too happy to give them an early mark to attend such an important and solemn activity.
C. Williams, Forrest
Viability not vital
Re: Denise Bird's and Caroline Turner's letters (September 13) lamenting the closure of the AIS fitness centre.
As a public servant I had the privilege to work in the Sport and Recreation Branch at the time the Bruce Stadium was built, followed by the athletics track and at the time the Australian Institute of Sport was established.
At no time did I hear anyone, anywhere, anytime mention the need for any of the facilities to be "commercially viable".
Frank Cassidy, Kambah
N. Ellis (Letters, September 9) is concerned about the output of carbon dioxide used in the PM's recent flight to Sydney. At least the PM had the reason to visit his family.
If we are to be serious about climate change, how can the atmospheric pollution to be caused by 19 Qantas flights to Antarctica (one from Canberra) be justified when their primary purpose is sightseeing?
Eric French, Holt
Who runs Defence?
There are Defence bases in all states and territories. Defence staff regularly move between bases in different states and territories for training, meetings and so on.
Defence staff are often deployed overseas to work with allies and in other roles.
Does Peter Dutton have to get approval from all premiers and chief ministers before deploying defence personnel who would eventually return to their home base in Australia interstate or overseas?
If that is the case, does it mean Peter Dutton no longer controls the Defence Department?
John Burns, Hall
All for one or one for all?
It is the convention in Australia that whenever a federal government is elected, the incoming prime minister commits to governing for all of the electorate, not just those who supported his party.
Either the current Prime Minister did not make that pledge or he has broken it on many occasions.
The sports grants, the car park grants and now the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines demonstrate just how blatant this favouritism has become.
A further demonstration of his arrogance was the trip to Sydney on the Father's Day weekend for "essential business", while millions of people were denied access to their loved ones by the lockdowns and border closures.
It would seem that rules can be flaunted by the Prime Minister with impunity. Hopefully the electorate will remember this come the next election.
Tony Pelling, Nicholls
Politics of COVID-19
The Labor premiers appear too politically embittered to handle the COVID-19 crisis impartially and respectfully.
NSW received their new consignment of vaccinations before the others, triggering gross pettiness and juvenile response from ALP premiers and commentators.
The politicised bias was obvious to all. Their extra doses will arrive when they have been sorted and safely packaged. Is it too much for them to comprehend that it takes a little time to process, despatch and deliver?
G. J. May, Forestdale, Qld
Reasons to vaccinate
Why should you bother with getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you do, the chance of getting seriously ill is vanishingly small. It is unfortunate no government has yet been willing to offer incentives for people to get jabbed.
If you are fully vaccinated you may soon be able to do everything you did pre-COVID-19. And what's wrong with a "vaccination passport"? I don't hear the civil rights advocates complaining about having to carry a driving licence.
If there is a genuine medical reason for not being vaccinated, of course you would be entitled to the access passport - but if your objection is idleness or sheer bloody-mindedness then don't expect the rest of us to humour you.
Roger Dace, Reid
PM's double standard
How good was it for Mr Morrison to be able to fly from Canberra to Sydney for Father's Day because he missed his children?
If only we could all have been so lucky. We became grandparents for the first time on Father's Day. Our son and his partner live in Victoria. We are devastated that we can't travel to Victoria to see our new granddaughter. We don't know when we will be able to.
Unfortunately there are many, many Australians in exactly the same situation who were not able to see their children or grandchildren and, like us, don't know when they will.
What gives Mr Morrison the right to bend the rules when the rest of us are having to adhere to strict lockdown restrictions and border restrictions? Oh, that's right, he's the Prime Minister and was allowed to obtain an exemption apparently.
K. and J. Twohill, Duffy
Move to Canberra
Why aren't the Prime Minister and his family occupying The Lodge? It was good enough for all our PMs up to, and including, Paul Keating, who proclaimed his address as "5 Adelaide Avenue, Deakin".
The current imbroglio underscores the logic of having an official residence so the PM can accomplish public and private duties; especially in times of crisis.
Kathryn Robinson, Aranda
The website for the CBR Covid app states: "The app records a date and time stamp, and [sends] the location you checked into with your name and contact information to ACT Health, where it is stored and then deleted after 28 days. The contact tracing team can access this information if a confirmed case of COVID-19 is found in the community".
It's no wonder we have spread when people who have been to a hotspot are not notified promptly. Why is this not happening?
Dr Stewart May, Reid
The first state?
It would appear NSW has been secretly given a higher percentage of Pfizer vaccines than their per capita allowance.
NSW now boasts of a higher vaccination rate without acknowledging that they had more Pfizer than they were entitled to on a per capita basis.
Should NSW, in a spirit of national unity, now postpone second doses of the vaccine to enable other states and territories to catch up and get their young people vaccinated?
Colin Handley, Lyneham
TO THE POINT
If, as has been reported, the US killed several children during a drone attack in Afghanistan on August 27, it wouldn't be the first time. If true, this is a very sad, and symbolic, end to the failed 20-year US campaign in Afghanistan.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
HEALTH COMES FIRST
So Gladys and the PM want all the states to have COVID-19. How irresponsible. Health should always trump the economy. Learning to "live" with the Delta strain by spreading it around demeans the value of human life.
Laurelle Atkinson, St Helens, Tasmania
WHO'S THE NUTTER?
I. C. Dillon (Letters, September 11) claims Jack Waterford said the letters page should include letters from one or two nutters. I had always assumed my letters were published because they were variously wise, witty, informative, or insightful. I am now to forced to consider a less flattering alternative.
Gordon Fyfe, Kambah
HELD IN THRALL
Misanthropic Western leaders are being held captive by the military industrial complex. They can't escape its belief sophisticated weaponry, drone "strikes" and invasions are more important than respecting human rights and nation building ("How can Australia be of service?", September 11, p22).
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
THE OTHER SEPTEMBER 11
Why don't the Americans commemorate "My Lai Day" or the coup in Chile on September 11, 1973, which they backed and which resulted in thousands of deaths and approximately 130,000 incarcerations?
Gary Frances, Bexley, NSW
ALL THE FACTS
Kym MacMillan asks whether I told "the whole story" when I presented on the Tampa at an Oxford conference (Letters, September 8). The answer is yes. To quote from my Oxford paper I specifically said "Under duress, the Captain changed his course to the Australian Territory of Christmas Island."
Ernst Willheim, Campbell
Anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, pro-lifers, Scotty and Zed; I liked Ian Warden's devastating quote ("I've decided my mind is becoming more nimble with age", canberratimes.com.au, September 12) from Pessoa: "Only superficial people have deep convictions."
Richard Johnston, Kingston
STAY AWAY SANTA
For fear of Santa Claus catching the coronavirus, maybe the coming Christmas celebration will be cancelled.
John Milne, Chapman
DAZED AND CONFUSED
The latest U-turn on how to deal with the pandemic will soon have us going around in circles. It also suggests nobody knows the way forward.
M. F. Horton, Adelaide, SA
GOOD ONE ZED
It's nice to see that once again the selectively silent Senator Seselja's vote was the only one that counted, even before Senator McMahon's VAD bill for the Northern Territory goes before the Senate.
Graeme Rankin, Holder
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