Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My parents had a terrible time with me because of my stubbornness. I feel sad for what they suffered because of me. But, truth be told, that same stubbornness is probably the reason I have survived everything I have lived through and, with time and experience, that same stubbornness has proved to be one of the very best qualities that make me who I am.
Decades ago, a letter writer to the editor of The Gazette or The Montreal Star - where hundreds of my own letters were published over the years - referred to me as "an iconoclast." I rushed to the dictionary because I didn't know if I had been insulted. I was really pleased to learn this word. It helped me to define my identity, to understand who I was.
Iconoclasm, Greek for "image-breaking", is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any person who breaks or disdains established dogmata or conventions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
    I met a traveler from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.
In 1992, after my beloved husband had died and I became another victim of breast cancer, a friend led me to a healing service at St,. Barnabas Anglican Church in Pierrefonds, Quebec. The concept of a loving God who is present and wants to heal you helped me hang on to life.
But one day, Father Bob Smith made a mistake:
He ordered me to "CONFORM !"
Boy ! Did he have the wrong customer !
Michael Steeler Took On The Vatican
Years later, I saw Michael Steeler on The Fifth Estate on CBC Television. Michael took on the Vatican single-handedly. After many letters and phone calls I finally had a chance to go to Toronto to meet him. Just that once, because he was dying of AIDS.
Before I left his apartment that day, Michael gave me a book on heraldry and he signed it "To Scrapper". With that, he encouraged me to "stand on his shoulders" and continue fighting for justice. I took Mike Steeler's charge to heart. 
So, you can call me "Scrapper". It is truly who I am. I knock down false idols with the most powerful weapon on earth. The truth. No matter what anyone else thinks or says.
Phyllis Carter

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