Denmark Bans Ritual Animal Slaughter | TIME

“Animal rights come before religion”

As the world’s anger rages in response to the senseless (and illegal) killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by American dentist Walter James Palmer, an avid trophy hunter, Denmark takes a provocative step toward limiting religious freedoms and preventing what it terms animal cruelty.

Jewish and Muslim leaders have responded swiftly to the prohibition of the practice of ritual slaughter in the manner in which it is required under religious laws…. Continue Reading…

A Progressive Path

I was delighted to see that Clair Woodbury referred to the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity’s points in his article in the Edmonton Journal today, Christianity for the Questioning Generation.

Clair undertook to write a response to his granddaughter’s request for a brief outline of Christianity that she could share in her pluralistic school. It took him two years to write it. And he was already well down the road in his understanding of contemporary, critical scholarship before he even started.

My description of… Continue Reading…

When Girls Are Finally Seen

Often statistics and media coverage of current events continue to mirror the decades-old assumption that “men” means everybody. Rather than exploring the distinctions between how a system responds to women and girls and how it responds to men and boys, the reflections and projections are simply presented and the lack of clarity continues without anyone even recognizing that the information is incomplete. And that, because it is incomplete, the information is actually unhelpful. We just keep it out there as… Continue Reading…

What God is Supposed to be Saying

This and That

It’s a confusing world out there if you’re attempting to discern what a supernatural, divine being is trying to do and say in this world. Between, on the one hand, the millions of Seventh Day Adventists meeting to argue over whether the Bible permits or disallows the ordination of women, and, on the other, the Archbishop of Canterbury trying to placate his riven bishops after a vote to allow priests to perform same-sex marriages was passed at the Episcopal General Convention… Continue Reading…

Witchcraft and Sorcery

pentagram on my kitchen windowsill

pentagram on my kitchen windowsill

We thought it would be hard not to become immobilized by fear as the acts of terror associated with religious extremism spurred on by anti-imperialist sentiment began to scroll through our Twitter and Facebook feeds and captivate our shuddering attention with alarming regularity. And yet, for many of us, as the news of beheadings slips closer and closer to becoming routine, we, too, slip right along with it toward a… Continue Reading…

American Atheist: An Oxymoron?

Before you get all excited about the Pew Research results and begin thinking that the rising number of those who report no religious affiliation means a more rational approach to all things religious, think again. Yesterday’s release of research by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that fifty-two percent of the American population (52%) believe that to be “truly American” it was very important that you believe in God. A further seventeen percent (17%) thought it was important. That is… Continue Reading…

Meditation

I spent the better part of today working on Sunday’s service. After sending all the elements off to our amazing administrator, annie, I turned to the excel sheet, upon which I have listed all my favourite old hymns, looking for one that might be right for my mood.

Brighton with Claudia

Brighton with Claudia

I landed on “Evening“, alternatively known as “Merrial”, a tune written by Joseph Barnby expressly for the hymn “Now the Day is Over“. The… Continue Reading…

When Integrity Comes Calling

I have long argued that my evangelical colleagues often appear to have more integrity than colleagues within my own liberal tradition. Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, (mentioned in With or Without God) have been hanging out since forever on the wrong side of the fence, in my opinion, but they have done it because the things they believe are on that same side of the fence. They haven’t talked as though they believe one thing – the Bible is The Authoritative Word… Continue Reading…

Out of One Sea We Came

This past week, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recognized the end of its work with a ceremony in Ottawa. For six years, its commissioners, the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild, met with, listened, and recorded the narratives of those who had been affected by Canada’s Residential Schools. The recorded narrative accounts, ranging in length from ten minutes to five hours and which, together, would take over two years to watch or listen to, will… Continue Reading…

The Complexities of Language: Atheist

On Sunday, I shared the following with my congregation. You’ll get the point as you read it. It has to do with the pastoral care of the congregation, as you’ll see, but it may also be a helpful piece for you to share with others as you have the conversation about beliefs, perspectives, and the conclusions we come to.

Interview an Atheist at Church DayFor some months, West Hill has been looking… Continue Reading…