Naomi Biesheuvel  |  December 18, 2014  |  Law, Politics, Religion

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” This cliché is often splashed across social media feeds, encouraging the faithful to take a stand for what is right. But a defensive attitude can also encourage believers to invoke religious liberty on its own merit. I spoke at a recent Cardus event with Adam J. MacLeod, Associate Professor of Law at Faulkner University, about why we should focus less on defending our rights and more on asking permission to do good. “The difficulty with … an ‘opaque’ claim to religious liberty is that it allows those who oppose the claim to paint over it their own motivations and their … MORE »

Doug Sikkema  |  December 11, 2014  |  Books, Death, Philosophy

One reason I love science fiction is because of its ability to ask “what if?” questions and propel us—at rocket speed—into projections of our unknown future. It helps us imagine life at the end of line. We might not always think about it, but the “end” of things is always looming around the corners of our thought. Even at Cardus, with all our talk of … MORE »

Rhys McKendry  |  December 9, 2014  |  Culture, Tech

December is upon us again, and with it, the holiday season. It’s a time when many gather with friends and family, when many give and receive gifts, when sales of the latest smartphone, tablet, and other personal computing devices soar. We are a society obsessed with the convenience of having access to our personal online and entertainment experience right at our fingertips. But as our … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  December 5, 2014  |  Foreign Policy, Journalism, War & Peace

A Department of National Defence briefing on Canada’s role in Iraq yesterday was almost comically short on fresh facts. Despite the reticence of military communicators to actually reveal much of anything about our participation in Operation Impact, a large truth emerged out of the flannel-mouthing and evading. Whatever else it may be, war is mystifyingly complex and paradoxically cooperative. We are accustomed to thinking of … MORE »

Janet Epp Buckingham  |  December 4, 2014  |  Education, Justice

I am a big proponent of experiential learning—I run an internship program, after all. But I do have some problems with the Dalhousie course on social activism that has organizing a protest as part of the curriculum. Experiential learning is meant to provide opportunities for students to apply theoretical learning in practical settings. Undergrads in Communications can produce a video for a charity. History students … MORE »

Naomi Biesheuvel  |  December 3, 2014  |  Education, Labour, Philosophy, Vocation

“It is a kind of progress when you no longer have to mess around with dipsticks and dirty rags,” Matthew Crawford stated at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, last month, “but I also want to just notice that there is a kind of moral education that is tacit in material culture … so I want to speak up for the skilled manual trades, … MORE »

Janet Epp Buckingham  |  November 28, 2014  |  Justice

So we are to have a new justice at the Supreme Court of Canada. Prime Minister Harper has clearly indicated that he is not happy with the choices available from Quebec courts so has named a justice directly from private legal practice. This is an unusual move and has not been done since Prime Minister Chrétien appointed Justice Binnie directly from the Toronto law firm … MORE »

James K.A. Smith  |  November 24, 2014  |  Books, Culture, Philosophy

In his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, the novelist David Foster Wallace began with a little parable: There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys. How’s the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  November 24, 2014  |  Health, Institutions

Hospitals are invariably opaque environments where mere mortals are always encouraged to sit quietly without fussing to understand what is self-evidently beyond their ken. But the president of the Canadian Medical Association broke with saw-bones tradition last week by letting us in on two words that, he said, should get the attention of everyone who uses our health care system. Those words, Dr. Christopher Simpson … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  November 21, 2014  |  Labour, Politics, Trade, Vocation

It’s an uncontroversial thing when Employment Minister Jason Kenney says he believes work is a good thing. Yet it feels like a curiously controversial thing when the minister offers his related belief that employers, trade unions and other non-government actors actually have a responsibility to open doors to work for Canadians. Perhaps its a measure of our skewed State-citizen relations. Maybe we are just a … MORE »