Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?

Mainstream media may have lit the fuse, but there were accomplices

Who is to blame for the church burnings across Canada?Mainstream media lit a fuse, and churches are burning. Nearly two dozen to date and a greater number have been vandalized with graffiti, paint-dipped handprints, and splatter. Some congregations have accepted acts of vandalism as a visual lesson on the road to reconciliation. Others wonder if their place of worship is safe, or a safe…

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deaths

Just like any human institution, religions are in a constant state of evolution. Just like any human, religious leaders make mistakes

It’s too easy to blame Christianity for residential school deathsArticle 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship…

Gagging social media won’t halt criticism

Donald Trump recently lashed out at Twitter, claiming the company was interfering with his freedom of speech

Gagging social media won’t halt criticismThe First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Section 2…

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effect

There’s still time to lower our voices, choose our words and stop talking long enough to listen to our neighbours

Canadians have become habituated to howling for political effectIt might be going a tad far to say overstatement is killing our democracy. Hyperbole in politics has been around since the world’s second oldest profession followed the world’s oldest profession into existence. U.S. President Donald Trump is hardly the first to have gained high office through gifted manipulation of the fibber’s foghorn. Yet we…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashes

Students of the snowflake generation feel empowered to videotape, confront and swarm professors with whom they disagree

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashesI must confess to a crime. Many years ago, when I was still in my 20s, I was enjoying a late-night non-alcoholic beverage with an old friend from my high school days. Our talk turned to the teachers in our adolescence, some of whom we revered, some of whom we despised. The memory of one…

Does white privilege debate promote racism against white people?

It’s difficult to predict where the white privilege debate will go in the coming years but it may involve a collision with our society’s most basic rules

Does white privilege debate promote racism against white people?A bold debate called white privilege is growing day by day at Canadian universities. It’s also showing up in neighbourhood schools. It’s sometimes a fierce topic and, more than occasionally, white privilege speeches have not been moderate. For example in March 2018, Trent University hosted a speech event entitled “It’s OK to be against whiteness.”…