Bah, humbug to the war on Christmas

In the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas

Bah, humbug to the war on ChristmasIn the interests of diversity and inclusion, society shies away from Christian manifestations of Christmas. Battles loom over nativity displays, the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting and Christmas trees. Public schools banned carols from school concerts years ago. There is, some argue, a war on Christmas. While some seek to eliminate anything that remotely resembles religious…

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lights

Across traditions and time, there has been a longing for light to brighten the darkness of winter

Enjoying the beauty of Christmas lightsI had a striking visual of light in darkness early one morning this week. A bright light, probably the planet Venus, shone with extraordinary clarity and pierced an otherwise black sky. Given my Christian faith and the time of year – less than a month until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…

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,…

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…

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?

Amazing people are all around us. In fact, they live within each of us. We simply need to pay attention to them

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?Not long ago in my Social Justice 12 class, we were discussing a particular genocide when one of my students drew our attention to the Cherokee legend of The Tale of the Two Wolves. In this story, a child who was wronged comes to his grandfather for advice. The elder tells him that in every…

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and love

As religions evolve, they take on social aspects, developing rules and regulations. At their worst, they become a means of social control

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and loveIt seems that nothing in the world has caused more war and destruction than religion, yet many of the greatest leaders embraced spirituality as a central source of their strength. How do we come to understand this apparent dichotomy? Perhaps the issue is that people have created religion to understand the deeper spiritual nature of…

How we can change the world and ourselves

Lloyd Cenaiko talks about the work his organization HART does in Eastern Europe and why each small act makes a difference

How we can change the world and ourselvesLloyd Cenaiko is president of HART. What is HART and what does it do? Cenaiko: HART is a relief, aid and missions agency, dedicated to alleviating poverty and injustice in Eastern Europe. For the past 20 years, HART has been on the cutting edge of a movement focused on empowering and equipping local leaders, agencies…

Halloween rekindles the child in all of us

There’s nothing inherently evil about the celebration of Halloween in our time

Halloween rekindles the child in all of usIs there any harm in participating in the annual celebration of Halloween? Some think so. I first encountered the opinion that Halloween may be spiritually dangerous when my children were young. I was surprised when a friend announced that her children would not be dressing up and trick-or-treating. She objected to the pagan roots of…

Rituals around death may help us live better

From creepy Halloween graveyard scenes to praying for the dead, our subconscious is trying to gain mastery over our fears about dying

Rituals around death may help us live betterEach year from Halloween on Oct. 31 to All Soul’s Day on Nov. 2, we give death a cultural nod. Does this fulfil some deep-seated need? We don’t have to be historians to recognize that Halloween is connected with death and dying. Just walk around any neighbourhood in the days preceding Halloween and you'll notice…

Calgary’s Fire Exit Theatre a place to explore art and faith

Val Lieske talks about how Fire Exit Theatre seeks to entertain people in order to challenge and change them

Calgary’s Fire Exit Theatre a place to explore art and faithVal Lieske is artistic director at Fire Exit Theatre in Calgary. What's the history behind Fire Exit Theatre and how it started? Lieske: Fire Exit began out of an interest to tell stories that matter; stories of faith that couldn’t or wouldn’t be told in either the church or the theatre. I had a bunch…
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