The relevance of Easter in light of the global pandemic

Uncertainty, constant change, anxiety, isolation and loss have become our universal companions. But this too will pass

The relevance of Easter in light of the global pandemicOver the next days and weeks, people of faith will have to be flexible and creative because COVID-19 has upended religious celebrations. Passover, Easter and Ramadan will have to be observed virtually in the home, making use of online streaming of religious services. FaceTime, Skype or Zoom will be useful in exchanging greetings in lieu…

Push back against China’s pro-communist Bible

Chinese President Xi Jinping has concocted a devious plan to revise the Bible to make it more in line with his country’s totalitarian ideology

Push back against China’s pro-communist BibleImagine this hypothetical scenario: A world leader decides they’re going to arbitrarily change the text of an historically important religious document to suit their needs. Some people might complain about this decision in private, but the world leader is far too powerful to either publicly criticize or condemn. So these changes are made in short order…

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…

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…

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

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and love

As religions evolve, they take on social aspects, developing rules and regulations. At their worst, they become a means of social control

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and loveIt seems that nothing in the world has caused more war and destruction than religion, yet many of the greatest leaders embraced spirituality as a central source of their strength. How do we come to understand this apparent dichotomy? Perhaps the issue is that people have created religion to understand the deeper spiritual nature of…

If we’re laughing together, perhaps we can bridge the gap

I have to do all I can for peace and truth, even posting my Middle-Aged Middle Eastern Guy rap on YouTube

If we’re laughing together, perhaps we can bridge the gapSometimes you need to risk appearing foolish to speak a very deep truth. As a person of Middle Eastern ethnicity, I’ve long felt a tie to all peoples of that area of the world. As I watch the news, I see a horrible conflict between the Christians, Muslims and Jews of this region. Perhaps it’s…

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

If 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…

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…

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…
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