Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Joe Gunn

Religion playing declining role in U.S. politics.

Joe Gunn
August 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton was likened to Lucifer in a speech at the Republican National Convention, and then Donald Trump referred to her as the devil. Not to be outdone, at the Democratic Convention, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Trump "a con," saying "The richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy." In a climate of highly-personal negative rhetoric, the two major U.S. political parties held their respective (if not overly respectful) conventions in July.

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Sinclair urges respect for native spiritually

Joe Gunn
July 11/25, 2016

One year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 500-page final report on Indian residential schools: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Most importantly, the TRC issued 94 calls to action. Several of these recommendations should directly impact the ways people of faith live out our covenantal relationship with the indigenous people of this land.

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Sinclair urges respect for native spiritually

Joe Gunn
July 11, 2016

One year ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 500-page final report on Indian residential schools: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Most importantly, the TRC issued 94 calls to action. Several of these recommendations should directly impact the ways people of faith live out our covenantal relationship with the indigenous people of this land.

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Climate change a revolution calling for changed lifestyles

Joe Gunn
June 13, 2016

June 18 marks the first anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical letter on the environment, Laudato Sí. Please resolve to spend some quiet time with this text, thinking about how your family and your congregation can rise to the challenge of creating the new, more environmentally-just world the pope envisions. Author and activist Naomi Klein spoke at a Vatican press conference after the release of Pope Francis' encyclical.

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Time to get on Board with pope's encyclical

Joe Gunn
May 16, 2016

Pope Francis repositioned the entire global debate around climate change when he released the first-ever encyclical on Christian responsibility to protect the environment. Laudato Sí was timely, morally incisive and prophetic. Now, almost one year later, we have an historic opportunity to direct the way Canada will address climate change. Will faith communities show up - in timely, incisive and prophetic ways - or leave the moral and ethical issues surrounding climate change up in the clouds?

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Sidelines are no place to reconcile with indigenous

Joe Gunn
April 18, 2016

Where do the churches find themselves in the journey towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples? In an Ottawa sanctuary at the end of March, Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, described our current status in vivid terms.

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Reconciliation with Aboriginal people begins in parishes

Joe Gunn
March 21, 2016

Canadian society, and Canada's historical Christian churches in particular, have been rocked by the legacy of Indian residential schools. While much of the hard work of reconciliation is left to be done - a deadline for Catholic action is looming this month. Released last June, one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) calls to action asked faith groups "to formally adopt and comply with the principles, norms and standards of the UN's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a framework for reconciliation."

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Project Ploughshares strives to build peace

Joe Gunn
February 22, 2016

Are you afraid of the terrorists? If not afraid, according to the most recent polls, most of your neighbours believe that Canada should at least be doing more to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria. In response, this month the Liberal government announced increased measures to combat Islamic State fighters: more humanitarian assistance has been promised, a larger number of Special Forces will be sent to the region on an enlarged training mission, while two reconnaissance aircraft and an aerial refueling plane will remain in theatre.

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Alta., Sask. must clean up our acts so planet can breathe

Joe Gunn
January 25, 2016

Pope Francis recently highlighted "efforts to bring world leaders together at COP21 in the search for new ways to confront climate change" as optimistic signs of a bright new future for humankind. The pope's World Day of Peace message on Jan. 1, entitled Overcome Indifference and Win Peace, cites different reasons for a hopeful future. But Canadian efforts to lower our carbon emissions are vastly more complicated depending on the province in which you live.

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Book explores interplay of faith, politics

Joe Gunn
December 21, 2015

Faith and politics matter," says John Milloy, author of a new book of this very title, released by Novalis Publishing last month. He should know. Milloy was a staffer in Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's office, later served as an Ontario provincial cabinet minister and now is professor of public ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

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