A commitment to diversity must include room for faith

Religious and faith communities are among the most racially and ethnically diverse parts of Canadian society

A commitment to diversity must include room for faithDepending on political preference, most Canadians would likely agree that diversity is our strength or is a product of our strength. Regardless of the preferred permutation, those views recognize diversity as a central feature of Canadian society. That’s all well and good, but what does that commitment to diversity really mean? A quick scan of…

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic law

Religious authorities still hold on to their power, insisting that completely outdated concepts must stay

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic lawShariah law is based on the Qur’an and the Hadith, the collections of sayings attributed to Mohammed. Islamic fundamentalists believe that Shariah courts should decide virtually all disputes, based on that law. Such courts are a fixture in Islamic countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some fundamentalists even want to see them established in North…

Kids experiencing a ride of a lifetime

Vacation Bible School camping theme at the Kindersley Alliance Church offered various activities to 40 children

Kids experiencing a ride of a lifetimeJoan Janzen of The Clarion “Rolling River Rampage” was the Vacation Bible School camping theme at the Kindersley Alliance Church, where 40 children participated in various activities. The fun began on the morning of Aug. 20 until noon, and would continue until Friday, Aug. 24.

St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates 100th anniversary

Carl Miller, born on Nov. 8, 1917, was presented with a special merit award as the oldest living member of the congregation

St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates 100th anniversary    Ann Davey for The Clarion Eleven men gathered in Eatonia on Dec. 26, 1918, and formed what would become St. Paul Lutheran Church. These founders were: Simon Eberle, John Gabel, Karl Gabel, Simon Kelm, John Klettke, A. Krueger, Jacob Martin, Juilius Neuls, Gottleib Radies, Gustav Radies, and Andrew Zwick. These men will always…

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,…

Youth pull handcarts across the prairie in pioneer re-enactment

Through heat and driving winds, they slept in tents, ate biscuits and stew, and struggled to pull and push a loaded cart over the hills and mud ruts

Youth pull handcarts across the prairie in pioneer re-enactment  Contributed story For four days from July 6-9, a group of 80 Saskatchewan teenagers gave up cellphones and the comforts of home to don pioneer clothing and pull handcarts for 30 km across the open prairie. Through exhausting heat and driving winds, they slept in tents, ate biscuits and stew, and struggled to pull…

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.…

Academic results another reason to support school choice

In British Columbia, independent schools outperform public schools in academic achievement

Academic results another reason to support school choiceFor some students, the end of the school year means saying goodbye to one school and hello to another, so it’s an opportune moment for parents to reflect on school choice. In British Columbia, independent schools – operating outside the public system – provide the bulk of educational choice. There are many benefits to the…

How the philosophy of personalism brings us together

Personalism embraces the goodness in every one of us. It encourages us to become our best selves, and it requires love and respect for everyone

How the philosophy of personalism brings us togetherIt’s fascinating how certain ideas can unite all people, yet we can be so unaware of their presence. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood – human as well as (at least for most personalists) divine. It emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as…

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstances

By living lives of integrity, by doing our best despite our imperfections, we find a way to move forward

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstancesWhen saying goodbye to people, I’ll often add: “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” While I’ve always been aware this phrase was giving people something significant to ponder, I didn’t know its history. It’s actually attributed to Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher. In 1994, Jon Kabat-Zinn expanded on this idea in…

Does religion have any place in business?

Most of the world religions are based on love. What would happen if there was more love in our business relationships and functions?

Does religion have any place in business?The pastor was clear: “When you have God within you, the business you’re working with will thrive!” The words caught my wandering mind off guard and I tried to focus on what I’d just heard. I’d never heard anyone say from a pulpit that God could make a difference in business. In today’s world, the…

Call for papal apology an affront to religious liberty

MPs telling bishops what to do is a monstrous misunderstanding of the relationship between political power and civil society

Call for papal apology an affront to religious libertyParliament will set back both truth and reconciliation if it passes a motion proposed by Charlie Angus, the NDP MP from Timmins-James Bay. He wants Canada’s Catholic bishops to invite Pope Francis to visit Canada to apologize for the role of the Catholic Church in residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) included a…

In stillness, we find treasure

We should be more willing to sit with the mystery of the puzzle in order to discover the unknown

In stillness, we find treasureSpring may have sprung but most of my yard is still hidden under inches of snow. This year's Easter egg hunt will have to be indoors. For three generations, our yard has been the site of an annual hunt. One hunt, however, stands out more vividly than the rest. Our daughter was about four, the only…

Law Society of Ontario’s unprincipled “Statement of Principles”

The Law Society of Ontario is asking divisive, intrusive and shameful questions of its members. It needs to stop

Law Society of Ontario’s unprincipled “Statement of Principles”Lawyers in Ontario (of which I am one) have until March 31 to file our annual reports for 2017 with the law society. This usually routine procedure has become controversial because we’re now required to tick a box declaring whether we abide by a “Statement of Principles” (which we’re required to draft) incorporating an obligation…

Abstain to satisfy your hunger for peace and understanding

Fasting makes me feel purified in body, mind and spirit, and links me in solidarity with good people all around the world

Abstain to satisfy your hunger for peace and understandingFormer American secretary of agriculture Ezra Taft Benson said, “Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit.” Fasting is largely misunderstood. Food is so necessary to our existence. Why would we want to punish ourselves by not eating? How can abstaining in any way be beneficial? Yet fasting…
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