Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Glen Argan

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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La Loche slayings call for a new covenant with First Nations

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February 8, 2016

For too long and too often, tragic events in isolated Aboriginal communities have been front page news and then faded from view. Whether it be gasoline sniffing, a lack of potable water, gang violence or epidemics of youth suicide, these situations briefly grab centre stage and then are forgotten. Now, the nation's attention has been riveted by the murders of four people and shootings of seven others in La Loche, Sask., an Aboriginal community of 3,000.

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Daily newspapers formed communities

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February 8, 2016

The latest layoffs in the newsrooms of Postmedia across Canada have spurred much criticism and reflection on the decline of daily newspaper journalism. The falling circulations of the dailies show that the majority of Canadians are not - nor have they for a long time - getting their news from newspapers. When was the heyday of daily newspapers? The 19th century? The 1950s? The 1970s? Whenever it was, it hasn't been for a long time.

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World needs to preserve its water supplies

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February 8, 2016

Lake Poopó, the second largest lake in Bolivia, was officially declared evaporated in December. The demise of Poopó has been attributed to various factors - global climate change which has accelerated glacier melting in the Andes, increasing droughts resulting from more frequent El Niños and water diversion from Poopó's tributaries for use in agriculture and especially mining.World needs to preserve its water supplies

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Religious orders add spice to life of local Church

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January 25, 2016

The Year for Consecrated Life, which ends Feb. 2, has helped to re-focus the Church's attention on the bounteous gifts and contributions consecrated women and men bring to the Church community and wider society. Too often, especially in an era of dwindling vocations, religious congregations and their members are taken for granted. Yet consecrated life adds spice to local churches.

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Gov't wants compromise of our beliefs

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January 25, 2016

More and more, relations between the sexes in Western society are being thought of as arbitrary. One's biological makeup does not matter; a person can even choose, based on their inner yearnings combined with advances in medical technology, whether to be a man or a woman. That one's biological makeup should determine whether one is a man or a woman is now thought to be archaic thinking. The forcing of people into biologically-determined social roles is considered an unwarranted form of social control.

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Rotten justification for rotten arms deal

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January 25, 2016

Canada has had a change of government, but no change of mind on selling light armoured vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia. Not only has Saudi Arabia one of the worst human rights records in the world, but Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion had the audacity to announce the $15-billion arms deal will proceed days after the Saudis' mass execution of 47 people.

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Refugee crisis requires both open doors and vigilance

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January 11, 2016

The Canadian people and government deserve congratulations for their openness to receiving large numbers of Syrian refugees. Although the new Liberal government has promised to accept 25,000 refugees, the numbers may end up being higher, a fact with which the majority of Canadians are comfortable.

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