Our Poisonous Purity

The big news this week here in Canada is that a nearly-two-decades old photo has surfaced of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—heroic champion of diversity and inclusion and tolerance and fierce critic of their opposites—in brownface at a costume party. For scandal-hungry media covering an election campaign grinding along in a rather pedestrian and uninspiring fashion, […]

Oh, Canada

The last few days have been full of expressions of patriotism and anti-patriotism. Canada’s 150th birthday was on Saturday. Today, obviously, is the big day for our American neighbours. The internet is, predictably, aflame with either nationalistic chest-thumping or withering criticisms thereof. There is, of course, plenty to be critical of. Canada continues to come […]

This is How We Make Our Way

All across the nation today, there will be ceremonies commemorating National Aboriginal Day (or what will soon be National Indigenous People’s Day, according to Justin Trudeau). There will be dancing and singing and regalia and official speeches by important people in city centers from sea to sea to sea. There will be earnest expressions of […]

What We’re Trying to Say

The shooting at a Quebec City mosque that killed six people has been on many of our minds over the last few days. There has been the predictable outpouring of support and outrage on social media. There have been vigils and prayers and marches organized in response. There have been expressions of love and care for […]

Marking Identity

A bit of controversy around the celebrated author Joseph Boyden has been dominating headlines up here in Canada over the last little while. Boyden, whose books include Through Black Spruce, Three Day Road, and the Orenda, has become something of an indigenous celebrity in recent years. His novels draw from indigenous history (The Orenda, for […]

Canadian Values

A funny thing happened after church on Sunday. One of our church members politely pulled me away from another conversation with the news that, “There are some visitors that want to talk to you.” I’m a little weary after the service at the best of times, but this past Sunday was even worse. I was […]

Wednesday Miscellany

I’m sitting here on a grey, rainy Wednesday morning thinking that it’s high time I wrote something here.  It’s been over five days of silence on this blog, which, if the social media experts are to be believed, is a virtual eternity fraught with all kinds of weighty perils.  I am surely running the risk […]

Overcome Evil with Good

One last post about my experience at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Quebec National Event this past week. As I’ve reflected on the flight home yesterday and throughout today, few questions/topics of a bit more philosophical nature keep recurring. I don’t necessarily claim to have the answers to these questions, but I would […]

“We’re Not Strangers Anymore”

I’ve spent the last two days in Montreal attending the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Québec National Event.  This is one of seven national events held across Canada to provide a space for listening and truth-telling about the history of residential schools in our country.  Events have already been held in Halifax, Winnipeg, Inuvik, and […]

Wednesday Miscellany: The Freedom, Scope, and Abuses of Religion

A bit of a mixed bag this morning, but here are a few things that have caught my eye over the last few days and have me thinking (and avoiding sermon-writing!) on this crisp September morning. These are mostly unrelated themes, but if pressed for a connection, I suppose I would say that they deal […]

“And No Religion Too…”

Like most of the rest of the world, I spent part of yesterday watching the closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics (yes, I realize that I was critical of these kinds of spectacles in a post I wrote a few weeks ago. I also admitted that I was a hypocrite, right?). Last night’s ceremony […]

The Challenge of Pluralism (Gil Dueck)

Over the last few months, one of our adult classes at church has been reading through Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christianity. We’ve had some very interesting conversations, a few of which have revolved around the issue of what the Christian approach to pluralism ought to be. Is McLaren endorsing universalism? Relativism? Do all paths […]

The Lust for Uncertainty

A very interesting article from Julian Baggini in The Guardian came through the reader this morning (h/t: Jesus Creed). Baggini talks about our tortuous relationship with “certainty” in the postmodern west, and questions the notion (set forth by fellow Guardian columnist Mark Vernon) that uncertainty is a virtue. Baggini’s article is worth quoting at length:

Tolerance vs. The Demands of Love (Gil Dueck)

One of the unfortunate features of the blogging world is that many interesting posts/discussions disappear into cyber-oblivion as soon as new content replaces them on the front page.  To address this lamentable reality, I have thus decided that from time to time I will drag out the odd blog post from the basement (my own, […]