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Yearly Archives: 2011
Peter Menzies  |  December 23, 2011  |  Culture, Religion

I have been thinking a lot lately about the “war on Christmas” narrative that stems from the changes taking place in our culture. I’m moving towards the conclusion that the controversy is less illustrative of a declaration against something than it is a surrender to emptiness. And it’s not the Christians I’m worried about. Each year I, like you, get a plethora of commercial greetings … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  December 22, 2011  |  Death, Justice, Legacy, Religion

This week saw the demise of thousands of people around the world. The rough statistics, as I understand them, are that there are approximately 8.37 deaths per thousand people per year. That means that taking a very conservative world population of 6 billion, there are about 138,000 deaths per day. And while each of those deaths mean that scores of people around the world are … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  December 21, 2011  |  Culture, Religion

He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not his face from shame and spitting. My wife and I recently attended the Calgary Philharmonic’s presentation of Handel’s Messiah. It was probably the twentieth or so time that we have … MORE »

John G. Stackhouse, Jr.  |  December 20, 2011  |  Culture, Elites, Justice, Leadership, Politics

Seeing the incoherence of the Occupy movement, some recommended that the Occupiers each pick a particular, pointed concern (banking reform, sexual trafficking, environmental protection, native land rights) and join, or start, a focused organization that might actually make a difference. But the Occupiers wouldn’t seem to settle for such incremental particular changes. Now, as the chaotic movement begins to hibernate or fade away, perhaps it’s … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  December 19, 2011  |  Civic Core, Loves

The fourth candle in the Advent wreath stands for love. I’ve thought a lot about love this past year (sometimes here on the blog). Just last week, I was talking with coworkers about a piece that appeared in the New York Times: The Generous Marriage. You’ve probably read it by now, but if not, the idea is simple: researchers find that generosity (“the virtue of … MORE »

Kyle Bennett  |  December 16, 2011  |  Culture, Education, Philosophy

When asked what he thought about current philosophy curricula in higher education, the late Richard Rorty once said he would much rather have his students learn a new language than take symbolic logic. That has always struck a chord with me. I dropped out of symbolic logic after only the second class. I’ve thought a lot about language this year. I heard Marilyn McIntyre speak … MORE »

Brian Lee Crowley’s piece in yesterday’s Financial Post is the most provocative piece I have read in some time. It not only contains one of the most open challenges to Canadian sovereignty I’ve read, but it is written at a time when Europe—a continent which reflects most closely the policy proposal he offers in the article—is in the midst of a 26-alarm economic and political … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  December 14, 2011  |  Culture, Institutions, Justice, Politics, Religion

For the record, I think Minister Jason Kenney is right in insisting that when taking the oath of citizenship, new Canadians are required to show their faces. He is quoted as saying, “The citizenship oath is a quintessentially public act. It is a public declaration that you are joining the Canadian family and it must be taken freely and openly.” The issue is controversial, of … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  December 13, 2011  |  Culture, Justice, Politics, Religion

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s edict ordering Muslim women to remove their veils while taking Canada’s citizenship oath seems eminently reasonable. The problem is, the response from Muslim women outraged by the edict seems just as reasonable. Kenney went public Monday with an order that during the few minutes at ceremonies where new Canadians become citizens of Canada, veils are verboten (as is, presumably, any facial … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  December 12, 2011  |  Discipline, Loves, Religion

I discovered, as I was making sure I had my facts straight about the third Sunday of Advent, that it’s known as the “joyful Sunday.” Not only that: tradition dictates that the candle itself is pink, in contrast to the others, which are usually purple. (Now you know!) What’s up with that? Why a pink candle? Here’s the beautiful reason. The Advent season is a … MORE »