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{mosimage}Just as Canadians were waking up to discover that for the first time in history married couples were in the minority earlier this month, they were also reminded of what they had lost. The words came from Pope Benedict XVI, and they were the epitome of common sense.

Religion and Politics

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{mosimage}Clashes between religion and politics are breaking out all over these days. Those predictions a generation ago that religion would die quietly in a new enlightened secular age appear to be the only thing to have passed to the Great Beyond. Religion is hale and hearty by comparison, though it is appearing in situations that are causing people of faith to squirm.

Shopping blues

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{mosimage}Complaining about Sunday shopping might seem the epitome of flogging a dead horse. But in Nova Scotia, the horse has not been long dead and, as the good people of that fair province have discovered, the corpse is still twitching. So let’s flog away.

Turkey’s experiment

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{mosimage}A profound experiment in the relationship between religion and politics is unfolding in Turkey, an officially secular state but fundamentally Muslim society. If all goes well, as appears likely, it could teach Western societies a useful lesson about the place of faith in a pluralistic society.

A green church

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{mosimage} An old joke says that when God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, He gave him a rake. Then, He added, “I made the Garden perfect. Now take care of it.”

A brave move

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{mosimage}Judging from the torrent of abuse poured on Ontario Conservative Leader John Tory in recent weeks, it is clear that his proposal to fund religious-based education with tax dollars has touched one of those latent nerves in the provincial populace. His is a brave stand indeed, one that deserves better than the dismissal it has received in many quarters.

A creator God

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{mosimage}Occasionally, the image of Canadians — as portrayed in popular media — runs headlong into the wall of Canadian reality. It happened in early July when a new opinion poll revealed that a majority of Canadians believe that God had a hand in making human beings who they are.

Restoring integrity of RCMP is essential

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{mosimage}The debate over whether the new commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should have risen from the ranks, or even be allowed to wear the red serge, is beside the point. The real objective should be to restore integrity to the RCMP and William Elliott should be judged on his ability to do so.

Difficult dialogue

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The Anglican Church of Canada dodged a bullet last month. By the tiniest of margins, it failed to approve the blessing of same-sex couples. Yet the manner in which it did so suggests that the issue will continue to plague Anglicans worldwide, along with Roman Catholics, who are far from disinterested observers.

 

Mid-life whinging

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Canada, celebrating its 140th birthday as a nation, is no longer the rosy-cheeked debutante at the international ball, shyly stepping on to the international stage with a fetching impertinence founded on idealism and naiveté. No, in the family of nations we are now the middle-aged aunt, whinging about our bigger siblings and issuing stern lectures on matters over which we have no influence, all the while ignoring our own advice.

Signs of consolation

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We are often urged to read the “signs of the times” to discern what God is calling us to do in our lives and in our church. How we read those signs will determine not only our outlook on the future, but also influence our sense of energy and purpose.