Ordered populism. It sounds like a contradiction in terms for anyone affected by the sudden, disruptive decisions of Ontario Premier Doug Ford or President Donald Trump, well-known populist leaders. The language appeals to Calvinists who value “good order” in life and enshrined in the “peace, order and good government” at the heart of Canada’s constitution. The gap between language and reality, however, in my view, provides more caution than comfort for what we can expect in 2019 and how we should respond as Christians.
Eight Mennonite women in a hayloft. 48 hours to decide how they should respond to the return of men who have drugged and sexually abused them. Should they forgive the men and return to “normal,” stay and fight for justice, or leave. Based on a true story, novelist Miriam Toews sets up a prism to explore relationships in a close community and the foundations of Christian faith. Heartbreaking and humourous, the story respects tradition and resonates with current issues.
Wars and threats of war are daily news. Arms sales to dictators are justified as job creation. Agreements to destroy nuclear weapons are torn up and more destructive weapons are added to the stockpile. Opponents are demonized to justify attacking them. Add a Space Force. Humans are slow to learn that war does not solve problems. After Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen it should be clear that modern armed conflicts spawn more conflict than they end. Where are the peace-makers?
Have you been accused of virtue-signaling? Or guilty of it? Accusing someone of virtue-signaling is the latest way to dismiss calls for racial or social justice. Like the term “politically correct,” this diverts attention from the issue at hand and tries to destroy the credibility of the presenter. Virtue-signaling as a slur has a sharp bite for Christians. Talking about virtues is our language. Perhaps we have a role in preventing misuse of the language to harm others.
A flurry of articles and books these days focus on “saving democracy.” As someone who takes seriously my role as a citizen and a Christian, I am also asking new questions about wise ways to act in the rapidly shape-shifting public spaces in our lives. Last month I suggested some “don’ts”; now some positive steps.
Christians who take responsible citizenship seriously would do well to ask questions of every call to action that uses hot button words, avoid those that erode our political culture, and choose to spend energy and resources in more positive ways.
The average Canadian does more climate damage through their investments than they do with all the other actions in their daily lives combined
This book is a healthy reminder to take responsibility and shape relationships intentionally, with respect for both similarities and differences across genders and between them.
Public witness rooted in deep faith made a difference at critical junctures in Canadian history on controversial matters.
Sometimes I reflect on what Jesus would make his priority if he came to Canada today. I also look at what church leaders are saying – and when they are silent. Silence is powerful. I am reminded of that when I participate in public forums on environmental issues, poverty or human rights and the question comes: Why aren’t church leaders speaking about this?
B.C. Supreme Court upheld previous rulings protecting rights of children and women.
Public awareness that courts and the police don’t work like Law and Order shows on TV is a good thing. But loss of public confidence in our justice system is a serious issue, especially when it is deepest among groups who feel like they are on the margins.