When Friends Die
News | Social Justice

When Friends Die

Between 2016 and 2019, 15,393 people died from drug overdoses in Canada. This year, we’re breaking the records set in those years.  “Canadians should be seized with this particular crisis,” says Canada’s Chief public health officer Dr. Teresa Tam. The closed Canada-U.S. border, increased social isolation and reduced access to safe supply are all factors…

Two Montreal Statues
Art | News | Social Justice

Two Montreal Statues

When a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald was pulled down by anti-racism protestors on August 29, it wasn’t the first time Canada’s first Prime Minister lost his head. Erected in downtown Montreal in 1895, the statue has long been a target of vandalism. In 1992 it was decapitated on the anniversary of the hanging of Louis Riel. Since then it has been defaced with paint and graffiti many times.

A Lament, Plea and Hope
News | Social Justice

A Lament, Plea and Hope

Recently, Shiao Chong, Editor of The Banner, the Christian Reformed Church’s (CRC) official magazine, published two impassioned articles. In his editorial “Speak Out Against Racism” (June 29), he described a time when he was called a racist epithet on an elevator in Hamilton, Ontario. As well, he referred hopefully to the CRC’s recent statement on racism signed by many agency leaders and later endorsed by the Council of Delegates, though he noted there was “dissent.”

To Just Be Heard
News | Social Justice

To Just Be Heard

Being heard, being seen, being witnessed – these are essential to human dignity and survival. In Genesis, an African slave woman stumbles in the desert, pregnant, with nowhere to go. God comes to her. She names him “the God who sees.” In Hosea, the holy city – God’s city – is ravaged. Personified as a woman, the city cries, “Who will be a witness to my affliction?”

Virtue Signaling and The Cynic
Media & Culture | Opinion | Social Justice

Virtue Signaling and The Cynic

In the politically charged early decades of the 21st century, there is a new term to describe the public performance of righteousness. These days, it’s called “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is when you share your opinion on a social or political issue simply to get praise or acknowledgment from people who share that point of view. It’s the social media equivalent of praying in public.

The Problem with Silence
News | Politics | Social Justice

The Problem with Silence

When it comes to social and political issues, I confess that my own impulse is toward public silence. Even in the face of the ongoing, widespread protests against anti-Black racism, part of me preferred silence. Not because I am unconcerned about the reality of racism in our culture (as I have told myself). Rather, a significant part of me has felt I should just get on with faithfully relating to students and colleagues and friends who are people of colour.

Two Portraits of Power
News | Politics | Social Justice

Two Portraits of Power

By any descriptor that has been applied to the Trump presidency thus far – unorthodox, theatrical, controversial – his photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in June was particularly shocking given its physical environment of civil unrest. That Trump intended the photo-op to be a justification of his use of brute force against his own citizens, using Christian props and setting to portray himself as a “Christian” leader, seems evident.