Last month in this space I described a phenomenon that has beset many Christian educational institutions. Despite the best efforts and intentions of the founding generation, they frequently lose their way, relinquishing their distinctiveness as succeeding generations are less committed to the original vision and seek to tone down their uniqueness.
Since the adoption of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, the accepted narrative tells us that Canadians are better protected than they were under the statutory Bill of Rights (1960) and the centuries-old Common Law tradition. But are we really? In the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in the Trinity Western case we have reason for doubt.
To this day few countries recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, maintaining their embassies in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. But wait. Doesn’t a country have the right to name its own capital city? Shouldn’t other countries with which it enjoys diplomatic relations honour this right without question?
Trump is easy to make fun of – more than virtually any of his predecessors. But does all this fun amount to mere mockery? Does it strengthen or weaken American political institutions? It’s difficult not to laugh when the jokes are made, but I must confess to wondering whether, in so doing, we are not in some fashion co-operating with forces that might erode constitutional democracy over the long term. And that’s no joke.
We should definitely work to rectify oppressive circumstances, recognizing, of course, that ending all oppression outright is as utopian as an effort to stamp out sin in a fallen world.
In the early centuries of our era, the church had to contend with several heresies, most of which concerned the person of Christ and the Trinity. But there were other heresies afoot that touched on the nature of the human person, who, as scripture affirms, is created in God’s image.
On the last day of 2017, Belgium finally ended telegraph service, which had begun more than a century and a half earlier and was a fixture of daily life for so many people around the world. In so doing, it followed the earlier moves of Great Britain (1982), the United States (2006) and India (2013).
Last month I suggested that we might give thanks to God for blessing us with the public legal community known as the state. This month I will be more specific: let us give thanks for Canada’s 150 years and pray for many more.
Nobody expected him to win. He was too boorish and crude. He couldn’t hold his own in a debate, even as, by his sheer presence, he seemed to be trying to intimidate his opponent. He thumbed his nose at people he thought weak and made fun of the handicapped. Far from being a polished orator like his predecessor, his rhetoric consisted of monosyllabic words spat out with tremendous ferocity, coupled with monotonously repetitious outbursts of braggadocio.
What does justice require in such situations? State borders are not sacrosanct, yet dismembering an existing state is a messy business fraught with great potential for injustice.
Where does the time go? Can it really be 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg? I will not say that it seems like only yesterday, but I will observe that it is an event worth celebrating and lamenting.
The impact of the missionaries was almost wholly positive, suggesting that Christian faith of a certain kind is conducive to the success of democracy.