Comments like the ones in Mr. Strohmann’s letter to the editor (Penticton Western, Aug. 13, The four way test) are precisely why the four way test was developed a century ago to promote business ethics and integrity and to shield the public against unscrupulous people.
Mr. Strohmann instead chooses to wield the test like a sword in an attempt to create bitter divisions among Rotarians by claiming if you disagree with him you are not a “true Rotarian.” I am glad Mr. Strohmann is no longer a Rotarian, and even more glad that he is no longer in a leadership role in Rotary.
The letter published by the Penticton Western News is not a good example of the way in which Rotary embraces a diversity of opinion within its ranks. Rather, Mr. Strohmann’s “true Rotarian” comment is an egregious example of the politics of division and discrimination that led us into the First World War and again two decades later. The irony is that he is attempting to use politics to create dissension and disharmony in a non-political organization; the danger is not that he will succeed in turning Rotarians against one another, but that he will succeed in creating a politicization of Rotary in the public’s mind, leading to a reduced ability of Rotarians to continue the philanthropic community-building of which he writes.
Mr. Strohmann, you have indeed fallen far from the Rotary tree.