Father’ Day: A father’s role continues to evolve

Research indicates that when fathers are actively involved with their children, the children thrive

Father’ Day: A father’s role continues to evolveThe first Father’s Day was observed in Spokane, Wash., on June 19, 1910. Since then, the role of a father has evolved to include greater participation in a child’s day-to-day life. According to the Library of Congress Wise Guide, Sonora Dodd gets the credit for the day on which we honour fathers. Dodd’s father –…

It’s time for all-out war on Islamic terrorism

All western democracies need to come to the realization that this evil presence must be removed from the face of the Earth

If the worst mass shooting in U.S. history isn’t the wake-up call that western democracies need to bring down radical Islamic terrorism once and for all, I don’t know what is. Sunday’s terrible attack at an Orlando, Fla.-based gay night club, Pulse, left 49 people dead and another 53 people injured. What was their supposed crime?…

A refugee reaches out to help Fort McMurray’s displaced

Part of Basel Abou Hamrah' desire to help is prompted by a need to give back to Canadians who helped him

A refugee reaches out to help Fort McMurray’s displacedFor Basel Abou Hamrah, the difference between an evacuee and a refugee is a simple matter of months and of who is helping whom. Four months ago, on New Year’s Eve, the 27-year-old Syrian accountant arrived in Edmonton as one of the refugees being helped to resettle here from that wartorn country. Last week, he…

The slippery slope of physician-assisted suicide

The Supreme Court Carter decision normalized suicide, turned it into a medical treatment and trivialized life

The slippery slope of physician-assisted suicideThe outrage came fast and furious. Within hours of the federal government releasing its draft legislation on assisted suicide, politicians and the public were clamouring for more permissive legislation. A majority of Canadians accept assisted suicide as a national value. This is evident in polls, in the language we use and in the national conversation…

Sowing a seed, nourishing our spirit

Gardening can be a metaphor for realizing our potential

Sowing a seed, nourishing our spirit“Look, Granny. Basil sprouting!” exclaimed my granddaughter as she took me to see the tiny seedlings on the table in her playroom. Earlier that day, we had wandered around my yard, hand in hand, looking for sprouting things. We marvelled at the tulips poking through the leaf mulch, the buds forming on the lilacs, and…

St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always as benign as it is today

Toronto’s St. Patrick’s Day riot of 1858 began when an Orangeman used his horse-drawn cab to disrupt the parade

St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t always as benign as it is todayNowadays St. Patrick’s Day is thought of as a social occasion characterised by parades, green beer, celebration and jollity. However, that wasn’t always so. Indeed, there was a time when Toronto was prone to mark the day with a violent expression of the city’s underlying sectarian divide. Nineteenth century Toronto is often described as Anglo-Saxon,…

Understanding our deep political differences

Distorting the true religious sense leaves us with sharp social divides and opens the door to politicians like Donald Trump

Understanding our deep political differencesRabbi Jonathan Sacks roots today’s religious violence in the soil of ancient heresies. By doing so, he gives us fresh understanding of the spiritual sources of our deep political divides. Sacks will deliver Cardus’s Hill Family Lecture in Toronto on Tuesday. He contends in his latest book that contemporary murder and persecution in God’s name…

Of Popes and American politics

If you’ve a long memory and a thing for American politics, the Vatican’s recent anti-Trump intervention may have rung a bell

Of Popes and American politicsIf you’ve a long memory and a thing for American politics, the Vatican’s recent anti-Trump intervention may have rung a bell. Once upon a time, the loyalties of Roman Catholics were deemed suspect, and savvy churchmen learned to be wary of overt partisan involvement lest the fire be inadvertently stoked. Pope Francis seems to have…

Pope/Trump feud comes down to what it means to be a Christian

The Christian obligation to support the underdog is a biblical imperative that goes back to the ancient Israelites

Pope/Trump feud comes down to what it means to be a ChristianThe international media was recently abuzz with a “feud” between Pope Francis and Donald Trump. The attention-grabbing headlines made for some entertainment while shining a spotlight on Christianity and politics in the United States. On the papal plane flying home from Mexico, reporters asked Francis about Trump’s plans to deport illegal immigrants and build a…

Super Bowl markets to our deepest desires

The Super Bowl experience is its own form of Roman bread and circuses, its commercials playing a part in distracting us from reality

Super Bowl markets to our deepest desiresThe Super Bowl is the biggest night in the year for advertisers, and with many companies producing teasers and releasing the commercials online before game day the commercials create a buzz that is hard to ignore. Since most Super Bowl commercials are not broadcast in Canada during the game, I watched them ahead of time…