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  • COVID and the Fearful State

    In her review of a 2021 book by British journalist Laura Dodsworth, Anna Farrow highlights disturbing evidence of governments using our primal panic response to push pandemic policies.

    Long before David Attenborough brought his soothing voice to the explication of animal behaviour for the BBC Life series, the North American television public had been introduced to the majesty and oddities of the natural world through Mutual of Om...

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  • Unmasking the Match Lighting Mob

    Don Hutchinson asks who has fuelled church burnings across Canada, and notes Indigenous leaders from coast to coast have been most stalwart in condemning the two dozen arson attacks.

    Mainstream media lit a fuse, and churches are burning. Nearly two dozen to date and a greater number have been vandalized with graffiti, paint-dipped handprints, and splatter.

    Some congregations have accepted acts of vandalism as a visual lesson on t...

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  • Cancelling Wisdom’s Colour

    Daniel Dorman argues that the phenomenon of cancel culture emerges from a black and white vision of the world that forgets the vivid hues moral struggle brings to life.

    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscilla...

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  • Standing Up for Vaccine Skeptics

    Though a vaccination supporter himself, Peter Stockland cautions against the campaign to denigrate those honestly questioning it in a world of abounding COVID absurdities.

    In a recently re-opened Ottawa restaurant this week, a member of our party of five was forbidden from using a chair.

    He wasn’t sitting in it standing on his head showing off some exotic yoga pose or, more pedestrianly, engaged in man-spreading to a d...

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  • Putting Aside Pandemic Mistrust

    We must not let the stresses and fear of the COVID crisis seep into suspicion and crowd out mercy, Father Tim McCauley writes.

    Recently, I was participating in an online training course to volunteer with Ottawa Inner-City Ministries. The facilitator asked us to begin by sharing something for which we are grateful during this pandemic. People responded with various answers such as r...

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  • A Rabbi for the Long Way Home

    Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, program director for Religious Freedom at Cardus, and Hannah Marazzi, former Cardus staff member, celebrate and mourn their dear friend, Rabbi Reuven Bulka.

    The just man will never waver: he will be remembered forever. He has no fear of evil news; with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.

    During these past 15 months many of us have longed for community, those places, times, and even spaces in whi...

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  • Yes, We Can Understand Each Other

    Restoring trust in language goes beyond improving the sad state of our political debates. It’s vital to our common humanity, Daniel Dorman writes.

    Our political discourse is a demoralizing spectacle. In most public forums, and particularly in the House of Commons, we generally listen to what can’t (in any serious sense) be called ‘debate.’ Most of it is mere partisan verbiage.

    Character assault...

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  • The Moving Goalposts of COVID Response

    Faced with pandemic “certainties” that quickly turn out to be up, down, and all around, Don Hutchinson cautions that science can provide estimates but not ultimate truth.

    A friend recently joined the growing group of Canadians who take issue with the moving goalposts of the declared as life-or-death (not-really-a) game of pandemic response. Another compared the relationship between science advisors and politicians t...

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  • When Calls to Service Call Us Back

    The Cardus Religious Freedom Institute’s Diakonia Project moved its two researchers to faith-based service themselves, Peter Stockland reports.

    When Father Deacon Andrew Bennett and researcher Johanna Lewis began planning the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute’s Diakonia project last year, their aim was to tell the stories of Canadi...

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  • When A Pope Comes Home

    The welcome for Pope Francis on his visit to Iraq was a memorable first step. Now hope must become reality, Susan Korah reports.

    A calculated risk in the face of pandemic fears and potential security threats, the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq brought incalculable benefits, say members of the country’s indigenous Christian community. 

    Traumatized by years of violence and hate w...

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  • Readers Respond to Sean Murphy

    We asked our readers to let us know what they think about Sean Murphy’s initiative to amend the Criminal Code and make it an offence to compel anyone to participate in the act of non-culpable homicide that is currently called medical aid in dying. Here are some responses.

    In February, Convivium ran a report on Sean Murphy, a former veteran Mountie and local ...

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  • It’s How The Light Gets In

    As our pandemic winter shadows withdraw like halting springtime snow, Alisha Ruiss reminds us that even the tiniest crack in the darkness can begin to illuminate God’s promise anew.

    I was born with my eyes wide open, my parents tell me, unblinking at the bright world I had entered, several days later than anticipated, in midwinter. And so it seems I have continued to live: curious, hungry for clarity, attempting to fit the fullness of ...

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  • Pandemic Pancake Tuesday

    On this day before Lent, Don Hutchinson counsels Convivium readers to prepare for the 40 days before Easter as a mix of self-denial and doing unto others as we would have them do for us.

    It’s Pancake Tuesday! My first memory of Pancake Tuesday is from my elementary school years. My working single mom had arranged on school days for a neighbour to feed me breakfast – cereal I carried each morning in a baggie – and lunch. On that particular T...

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  • We Better Hear the Hoi Polloi

    Politicians and bureaucrats caught flouting COVID restrictions should get over their embarrassment and heed the pandemic suffering of working people, Peter Menzies writes.

    As Grandpa used to say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    That’s probably as good a premise to begin with as any as we enter Phase Three and close in on month 11 of “We’re Not All In This Together.” For those of you who missed it, Phas...

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  • A Christmas of Spiritual Longing

    An Angus-Reid/Cardus poll shows 85 per cent of Canadians abiding by COVID lockdown rules. But human need for family and friends means government can’t take compliance for granted, Ray Pennings warns.

    If mommy kisses Santa Claus this Christmas, hopefully they’ll be in the same household bubble.

    After all, COVID means this is going to be a holiday like no other we’ve experienced before.

    Canadians’ plans for the holiday season are a reminder ...

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  • Great Reset? Or Grand Unravelling?

    Prime Minister Trudeau has mused that COVID-19 will allow for Canadian society to “re-set” on a number of fronts. Peter Menzies says we’ll have to avoid coming apart at the seams first.

    Last week’s unravelling of the so-called Atlantic bubble should erase any lingering romantic thoughts that Canadians are united in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Since July 3, the nation’s four Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Br...

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  • COVID Hope From Healthy Families

    Winnie Lui reports on research by Trinity Western sociologist Todd Martin revealing that around the world even the hardships of the pandemic have become sources of family strength.

    "Life markers give us an indication that we have moved from one configuration or stage in our family lives to another," says Todd Martin, a family researcher and Dean and Associate Professor of Sociology at Trinity Western University.

    Weddings, birth...

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  • Masks Speak to Common Humanity

    Peter Menzies encounters fellow citizens who insist that refusing to mask up against COVID strikes a blow for liberty. No, he writes, it’s lone wolf rejection of the Golden Rule.

    The go-to car radio station for people of my demographic profile in the Queen City, Regina, is Rawlco Radio, home of the John Gormley Show, The Hour of Rage and, on Sundays, replays of Montreal’s popular Roy Green Show.

    This is red meat programming f...

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  • ABCs of Amy Coney Barrett’s Faith

    Failure to understand deeply religious people will underlie a lot of words thrown at the U.S. Supreme Court nominee this week, Father Raymond de Souza writes.

    Hearings that begin today on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the American Supreme Court will bring out abundant words beginning with C. Conservative. Constitutionalist. Catholic – or “devout Catholic” in this case. Charismatic Christian. And Cult. 

    ...

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  • Debunking the Myth of Meritocracy

    Agree or disagree with Michael Sandel’s new book, reviewer Robert Joustra writes, it makes an eloquent case that Western society is in desperate need for grace.

    Among my faults that my wife has brought to my attention over the years are that I really – really – love it when “people get theirs.” What can I say? I have a passion for justice. But truth be told it is a petty justice. And I am hardly alone. Most of our ...

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  • Steady As She Goes

    What Canadians heard in Wednesday’s throne speech might not be exactly what the government intended or even exactly what they said. Communication is difficult, especially when swimming in COVID-infested political waters, Ray Pennings writes.

    Maybe Prime Minister Trudeau was smiling under his mask as the governor general delivered the throne speech on Wednesday. But if he was smiling, it would suggest he didn’t realize he was swimming into turbulent waters, the din of which could easily drown ou...

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  • The Tent of Abraham

    Catholic Priest Father Noel Farman brings his “universal heart” to Calgary from his native Nineveh, Amanda Achtman reports.

    Each year on Yom Kippur, Jews read the Book of Jonah during the afternoon services. The story recalls the initially reluctant prophet’s eventual exhortation to the Ninevites to repent.

    I recently met a modern-day Ninevite whose own life is filled wit...

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  • Regaining Lost Educational Ground

    In part two of his essay on the damage done by a century of “revolutionary” pedagogy, Joe Woodard foresees the power of independent schools and parental choice for returning education to its natural purpose.

    University arts students of the 1970s all saw Marxism dominating the world of academic respectability among ambitious young scholars – the Herd of Independent Thinkers – despite Communism’s repeated seven-and eight-figure slaughters (such as Stalin’s four t...

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  • Dignity That Illuminates Community

    Convivium Editor Peter Stockland talks with Rev. Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, about regaining the light of shared humanity in this time of pandemic and racial protest.

    Peter Stockland: You talk about human dignity being something that radiates from inside us. What do you mean by that?

    Andrew Bennett: Christians and other tra...

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