Religious freedom equals educational freedom

The claim that merging Ontario’s government-run and Catholic school systems will save “an estimated $1.6 billion a year” is blarney

Religious freedom equals educational freedomIn terms of cultural insensitivity, the latest call for ending Ontario’s Catholic school funding wins the shamrock, coming, as it did, on St. Patrick’s Day. But if we overlook that faux pas, we still have to consider the pot of gold that would be saved by absorbing Catholic schools into the government-run system. Or do…

Religious ignorance is on the rise but we can combat it in our schools

Ignorance is the surest path to misunderstanding. And if it’s not addressed, misunderstanding quickly descends into intolerance

Religious ignorance is on the rise but we can combat it in our schools“Amen and awoman.” This was how a U.S. congressman concluded a prayer recently in the House of Representatives. No doubt he meant to be inclusive of both men and women. However, he sounded ridiculous. That’s because the word “amen” comes from Hebrew and means “so be it.” Amen has nothing to do with gender. This…

The beauty of secularism

The beauty of secularismIt’s disturbing to learn that someone in the same profession was murdered while walking home from work. Samuel Paty, who taught a curriculum similar to mine, was beheaded by an extremist outside of Paris on Oct. 16. Paty presented material in previous weeks as part of a study of freedom of speech that some found…

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?

Some historians argue that the reality is more nuanced than the legend and that he played a significant role in the creation of modern England

Was Oliver Cromwell the Great Satan?When last week’s column referred to Oliver Cromwell as the “Great Satan,” my tongue was in my cheek. But many people do think of him in those terms. So let’s take a look at the man, his works and his historical reputation. Cromwell (1599 to 1658) rose to prominence during the 1640s. Starting as a…

Religion has a positive economic impact on Canadian society

Our religious tapestry makes massive economic and social contributions to local communities and to the nation’s well-being

Religion has a positive economic impact on Canadian societyNewcomers to this country often find Canadians have a curious stance toward religion. We seldom say much negative about religion in public but we never take it too seriously either. A new study, The Hidden Economy: How Faith Helps Fuel Canada’s GDP, suggests it may be time to take a second look at the public…

Why Christmas matters in a secular society

Its message of goodwill towards all people is ultimately in the best interest of a multicultural society

Why Christmas matters in a secular societyWe go to extremes to avoid the religious aspects of Christmas in the public sphere, and we are worse for it. Christian beliefs about Christmas might offend someone in our secular and multicultural society, so we ignore its religious and historical background. The reluctance to mention the origins of this much-loved holiday permeates early childhood…

Stripping religion from the public square in the name of diversity

Canada's universities once proudly proclaimed links to faith. But their mottos and intentions have been dangerously watered down

Stripping religion from the public square in the name of diversityWhen I was a younger man, back when Lester Pearson was prime minister and Pluto was still a planet, I attended the University of Saskatchewan. It had a very simple coat of arms: three wheat sheaves and an open book whose pages displayed the motto “Deo et Patriae” – “For God and Country.” Years later,…

Why would we concern ourselves with a mix of sex, law and religion?

The Supreme Court's TWU decision shows once again that when it comes to Canadian courts, sexual rights trump religious ones

Why would we concern ourselves with a mix of sex, law and religion?Two thousand years ago, two small religious groups fought against the prevailing sexual morality of the Roman Empire. Unlike their neighbours, who were permitted to abuse their wives, have sex with their slaves, keep concubines, patronize brothels, attend orgies and leave their unwanted babies out in the open to die, Jews and Christians behaved differently.…

Denying TWU’s law school an affront to democracy

The Supreme Court decision reeks of judicial activism and defies liberty and freedom

Denying TWU’s law school an affront to democracyThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 7-2 against Trinity Western University’s proposed new law school. The majority opinion believed it was “proportionate and reasonable” for TWU to limit religious rights and values, so that potential LGBT students could have open access to study law on the campus. With all due respect to the highest…

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy society

If we’re not careful, we may recognize too late how critical they are in dealing with the ever-shifting social stresses of modern life

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy societyIf any one religious congregation disappeared from your city, would your community and city be better or worse off? There are Canadians who think it would be better if they did disappear, like old relics that have become burdensome, even embarrassing. The think-tank Cardus published the results of research that examined the question through The…
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