Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faith

If we share peace and goodwill with others, we find them growing within us. If we share kindness, we become more kind

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faithThough it’s technically the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ for Christians, many traditions merge to form what we call Christmas. Some traditions are indeed Christian but others aren’t. Some date from eras before Jesus was born and some are more recent. One of the most endearing today is that of Santa Claus, the…

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…

Religious freedom benefits everyone

But hard secularism and the marginalization of some Canadians are reducing our deep pluralism and chipping away at our freedoms

Religious freedom benefits everyoneIt’s a safe bet that Asia Bibi – a Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan but still facing mob violence – would say religious freedom makes Canada a better country. Indeed, it’s because Canada enjoys religious freedom that this country may even grant her asylum. Chances are that Muslim Rohingyas fleeing Burma or…

Staying connected is essential for pastor

Lloyd Griffith strives to be involved in the community and, in particular, help those with disabilities

Staying connected is essential for pastorJoan Janzen of The Clarion When Lloyd Griffith became aware of West Central Abilities’ need for more space, he opened the doors of Clearview Community Church, where he serves as pastor. “Their office is here, clothing distribution is here, and the church board approved offering space for a community garden. It’s a mutual relationship.” said…

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

Each of us needs to be true to our mission if we’re to be effective agents of universal change

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical traditionReligion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…

A spiritual leadership grounded in reality

When your last name is Arab and you’re not a Muslim or terrorist, you defy a few Islamophobic stereotypes yourself. I’m Arab in name, but my father’s religion is Maronite Catholic – an early branch of the Roman Catholic Church. I was brought up Roman Catholic and indoctrinated in papal infallibility. So the idea of…

Make room for religious diversity in the workplace

Banning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols would show obstinate and dangerous secularism

Make room for religious diversity in the workplaceBanning Quebec frontline civil servants from wearing religious symbols, as premier-designate François Legault intends to do, would be socially regressive. Imposing this kind of flinty and obstinate secularism squashes the very diversity most politicians claim to value and support. It’s also out of step with the growing awareness among the business community that religious diversity…

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the test

But we need to avoid repeating the mistakes so common in western Europe when it comes to immigration

Canada’s multiculturalism model stands the testCanada’s multiculturalism policy came together largely in response to the strong separatist movement that took hold in Quebec during the 1970s. Those were the days of the firebrand Réne Lévesque and the extreme Rose brothers, Paul and Jacques. Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government developed its multiculturalism policy to demonstrate that all races, religions and ethnic groups…

Humans are not designed to stagnate

Standing still only causes us to move backward

Humans are not designed to stagnate“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

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…
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