Closed secularism breeds intolerance

Divorcing a spiritual practice from its religious meaning is problematic and a forcible whitewashing of something deeply and fundamentally complex

Closed secularism breeds intoleranceBy David Hunt and Brian Dijkema Cardus Most court decisions are a zero-sum game. One side’s win is the other’s loss. But this was not the result recently at the B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. Both sides, and the public, lost in Servatius versus Alberni School District No. 70. One side wanted smudging ceremonies and…

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litter

The movie offers a fun-house-mirror examination of our souls and why we've allowed this kind of cultural plundering to go on for years

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litterCats the movie is worse than bad. It is offal. Its director, Tom Hooper, utterly guts the gentle soul of T.S. Eliot’s classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, from which the film is drawn. What’s been dropped at the paying public’s shoes is a cinematic blood sample so horrifying it could make Old Possum’s…

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean it

Contrition that’s merely on the lips changes nothing in the heart or, for that matter, around the waistline, within the workplace, inside troubled relationships

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean itIt’s traditional to head into a new year full of resolve fuelled by last year’s regret. Our commitment to renewed discipline, diets and dream-achieving over the coming 12 months is all too often driven by short-term overindulgence during Christmas festivities. More importantly, there’s a lingering sense of another year lost by not doing what we…

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushed

Neither the Conservatives nor Scheer displayed the remotest capacity to fight back by hammering home the counter message about a Liberal Party in disarray

Scheer’s departure shows political dissent has been crushedIn the end, it’s probably just as well for both the Conservative Party and Canadians that leader Andrew Scheer resigned. Drawing, quartering and hanging might have been all the rage in the Elizabethan era. But it is, to paraphrase a certain prime minister, 2019, and no one gains today by having public political execution preceded…

A respectful Canada has room for disagreement

Closing politics and public life to those who are religious leaves us with a less tolerant society that brings fundamental freedoms into question

A respectful Canada has room for disagreementDisagreement is normal, if not necessary, in a healthy democracy. Being intolerant and disrespectful toward those with whom we disagree, however, is fatal to that democracy. Historically, Canadians have had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and the Bill of Rights before it) for protection. That’s especially important for racial, religious, political or sexual minorities,…

The invaluable power of healthy skepticism

Usain Bolt became the fastest human being ever by eating – wait for it – Chicken McNuggets, not following the latest health care fad

The invaluable power of healthy skepticismKicking off her wonderful book from earlier this year, Christie Aschwanden asks a seven-word question that might help us recover some sanity for our hyper-affluent, marketing-mad society. “Do any of these products actually work?” Aschwanden asks in the introduction of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange…

Religion should have a place in the political realm

It would be a gross violation of religious freedom if we allowed beliefs to become a test for fitness for office. Yet Andrew Scheer faced a barrage of criticism

Religion should have a place in the political realmCanada’s public square is an increasingly closed space, at least for voices of faith. This is dangerous – and not just for the faithful. The 2019 federal election campaign and its aftermath make clear that there are new boundaries to what can and can’t be said publicly. Moreover, the boundaries now cover what can and…

An election result that reflects the country and its mood

An election result that reflects the country and its moodFittingly, it fell to one of Canada’s finest expatriate essayists to succinctly describe with characteristic understatement the 2019 federal election. “There is no place in a democracy for gangster government,” Adam Gopnik wrote in The New Yorker the morning after Canadians went to the polls. “That reminder made Monday night a truly worthwhile Canadian initiative.”…

Canadians among the few privileged to vote

Be grateful you live in a nation in which you are free to raise your voice without fear of retribution or persecution

Canadians among the few privileged to voteWhen an election rolls around, I get emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, and the occasional text message or two. Questions range from a forthright “Who should I vote for?” to “Where can I even go to get information?” My personal favourite communiques are ones like a four-letter, “HELP!” We live in an age of information…

Which unprincipled party will you be voting for?

Even overlooking the personal smears, record fudging, or repressing the truth, the parties are filled with contradictions of the things they stand for

Which unprincipled party will you be voting for?If there were any idealism left regarding the virtues of Canadian politics, the current federal election campaign is almost certain to have smashed it. Good governance and the common good were not the winners in last week’s English language debate. Thursday's French language debate was a slight improvement, but a one-off exception hardly undoes the…
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