Notre Dame inferno a towering metaphor for modern society

A building like the great cathedral casts us moderns, who think we’re so smart, in a pallid light

Notre Dame inferno a towering metaphor for modern societyFire destroyed much of Notre Dame de Paris on Monday. The loss is impossible to calculate. Whatever rebuilding efforts the French government and the Catholic church mount, the building will never be what it was. It’s almost best that they leave the ruins as they are. But rebuild they must. I visited Notre Dame once.…

We can escape the heart of darkness and violence

In Christchurch, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and elsewhere, we've seen what hate brings if we don't find common ground

We can escape the heart of darkness and violenceOne of Charles Dickens’ most beloved books is A Tale of Two Cities. The novel focuses on several characters, including Dr. Alexandre Manette, who was imprisoned in the Bastille in Paris, France, for 18 torturous years. His long-held desire was to join his daughter, Lucie, a brilliant physician who lived in London, England, and had…

Comic superheroes are the modern era’s version of Greek gods

In this new religion, heroes speak the truth and model the behaviours, values and norms of an increasingly diverse society

Comic superheroes are the modern era’s version of Greek godsThe movie Captain Marvel is a stunning box office success. Finally, it seems, an historic wrong has been arrested. Females have broken the male hegemony on physical violence and taken their rightful place in the annals of warrior gods. Females aren’t the only new members of this celebrated superhero club. There’s Black Panther, Moon Girl,…

Myron Thompson was a unique figure in Canadian politics

The late conservative MP from Alberta held strong views and wasn't afraid to voice them, but he was also willing to listen

Myron Thompson was a unique figure in Canadian politicsIf you’ve been around politics for a spell, the name Myron Thompson will be permanently etched in your memory banks. He was a unique figure in Canadian politics, the likes of which we likely won’t see grace the hallowed halls of Parliament anytime soon. Thompson, who served as a Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative…

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 week until Christmas – my thoughts turned to the legendary Star of…

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…

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in Ontario

A survey shows that independent school graduates are much more likely to work for the common good. How can that be bad?

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in OntarioBy Doug Sikkema and Dr. Beth Green Cardus More than six per cent of children in Ontario are enrolled in independent (non-public) schools. In the 1960s, such independent school enrolments made up a mere 1.8 per cent of the student population. Six per cent might not seem like much, but the long-term trend in Ontario…

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…

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,…

iKids Camp: where kids can be kids

Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, this year’s camp offers numerous activities – from art, sports, crafts, a wet and wild day, and a talent show – captured on video for the parents

iKids Camp: where kids can be kidsJoan Janzen of The Clarion Kids have been heading to iKids Camp every week day in July in the Kindersley Christian Fellowship building on Highway 7 East. The non-profit organization called iKids is directed by Chantal McDougall, who says her greatest challenge is keeping the kids from being bored, but that same challenge is what…

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.…

What fate awaits our treasured monarchy?

Prince Charles hardly seems a fitting successor to the crown. But the monarchy has faced worse over the centuries and still serves us well

What fate awaits our treasured monarchy?The recent marriage of Prince Harry to an American divorcée and the declining vigour of our sovereign majesty Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, has led some to wonder whether our ancient monarchy (in business…