Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Editorial

Trudeau ignores moral duty in proceeding with Saudi arms pact

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April 4, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tried to claim the moral high ground for his decision to proceed with a $15-billion arms deal with the government of Saudi Arabia. Speaking to the United Nations March 15, Trudeau said the government must honour all contracts signed by the previous government whether it agrees with those contracts or not. It does not seem to matter to the prime minister that there is near-moral-certainty that the light armoured vehicles (aka, tanks) will be used in suppressing dissent and the human rights of the Saudi people.

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Guilty bystanders can be saved by repentance

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April 4, 2016

St. Peter's speech on Pentecost to "men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem" is one of the most dramatic moments in the Acts of the Apostles (2.14-36). In the speech, Peter directly accuses his hearers of crucifying Jesus and then proclaims that God "raised him up." Hearing his speech, the men "were cut to the heart" and asked Peter how they could overcome their sin. "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins," Peter replied. That day, about 3,000 souls were baptized (2.37-41).

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Folly of the cross provides the hope for Church and society

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March 21, 2016

The cross is not only the toughest aspect of the Christian faith to accept, but also the most important. North American Christians, living in the most affluent time in history, may want to downplay the cross and hurry on to the resurrection. With the resurrection, those uncomfortable nails are no longer driven through the hands and feet, to say nothing of having to endure that scratchy crown of thorns. With the resurrection, one might even enjoy a margarita on the beach, if not a piece of fish.

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Limiting physicians' conscience rights would have dire implications

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March 21, 2016

Physicians have a right to refuse to participate in assisted suicide, but they should have no right to refuse to refer a patient who wants assistance in dying to another physician who will help that patient. That was one central conclusion in the report of the parliamentary committee on physician-assisted dying issued last month. In short, a physician should have a right to be true to his or her conscience on matters of life and death, but has a responsibility to help every patient who wants to exercise his or her supposed right to receive help in dying.

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Parliamentary report on euthanasia is odious, reprehensible

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March 7, 2016

The parliamentary committee on assisted suicide and euthanasia has called for the gates to those ways of being put to sleep to be opened as wide as currently possible in Canadian society. If Parliament accepts the committee recommendations, it will put Canada on a slippery slope to the day when the supposed right to assisted suicide becomes an obligation. Even without the slippery slope, the committee report is a horrible, odious, reprehensible call for slaying human dignity.

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Mental health needs greater priority

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March 7, 2016

The most important things about the Alberta government's mental health review are that it was done and that Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has said that implementing the report's 32 wide-ranging recommendations will be a government priority. Over the years, mental health services have become the poor child of the province's health care system. That reality, as the report pointed out, has major human and financial costs. One "cost" is that more than 500 Albertans a year die from suicide. Other costs are that people with mental health issues find the current system difficult to negotiate and, if they have housing problems, they have a higher risk of running afoul of the criminal justice system.

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'Social revolution' calls for concerted response

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March 7, 2016

Archbishop Richard Smith, in announcing new archdiocesan initiatives to combat the culture of death (Page 3), refers to the current process of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide as a social revolution. That is an apocalyptic outlook, and it is an accurate one. The social revolution of which we are in the midst includes a rash of initiatives in recent decades - legal abortion, no-fault divorce, widespread contraception, same-sex marriage, gender ideology and now the termination of the lives of the sick and suffering.

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Another way to sing 'Hallelujah' in church

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March 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen is, without doubt, one of Canada's greatest popular songwriters, perhaps the greatest. Almost 50 years after recording his first album, he is still a musical force. In 1984, he recorded his song Hallelujah which, like everything else Cohen recorded, had little immediate impact. Over the years, the song was recorded by numerous others, perhaps most powerfully by Alberta's k.d. lang on her 2004 album Hymns of the 49th Parallel. Hallelujah has more recently become a top request for funeral services, and was even sung at former NDP leader Jack Layton's funeral in 2011.

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Parliament committee’s look at euthanasia is odious, reprehensible

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February 25, 2016

The parliamentary committee on assisted suicide and euthanasia has called for the gates to those ways of being put to sleep to be opened as wide as currently possible in Canadian society. If Parliament accepts the committee recommendations, it will put Canada on a slippery slope to the day when the supposed right to assisted suicide becomes an obligation. Even without the slippery slope, the committee report is a horrible, odious, reprehensible call for slaying human dignity.

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School controversy is one large battle in an ongoing war

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February 22, 2016

Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry drew passionate responses last month with his references to "totalitarianism in Alberta." Many people see this description as way over the top; Alberta is not a totalitarian society in the same way as the classic Soviet model. There, the government controlled virtually every aspect of life, going so far as having ordinary people spy on neighbours and family members. However, Bishop Henry was drawing on the analysis of totalitarianism in St. John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, written in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet empire."

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