Agree or Disagree: The British Monarchy is well respected.


This week the world paused to celebrate the arrival of the Royal Baby. The streets of London were crowded at the very sight of Will and Kate and the other Royals.

Yesterday afternoon, as Will and Kate leave the St. Mary’s Hospital, the crowd cheers the Baby. They cheer Will and Kate. They cheer Prince Charles. The crowd is pleased.

The media follows the Royal Family everywhere. We watch their personal decisions. We watch and analyze their fashion sense. We watch when they marry, or give birth. We seem enamoured with them as well as entertained.

Does that mean you respect them?

Agree or Disagree: We should examine the benefits of supervised drug injection sites


Much has been made by Licia Corbella’s column in the Calgary Herald about the death of Glee star Cory Monteith last Friday.

If you haven’t read it, here it is http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/Corbella+Vancouver+easy+drug+access+have+helped+kill/8678866/story.html 

 Corbella stated  that in her opinion if Monteith lived in a city like Halifax, Toronto and or Calgary he would still be alive. The reason she gives is because of Vancouver’s drug culture.

 

It’s unlikely that the 31-year-old would have risked bringing hard drugs across the border from his home in the United States, so it’s safe to assume he either picked some up himself or had a gofer do it for him by visiting InSite, the government-sponsored and funded safe injection site at 139 East Hastings. The next step is easy. Wait for an injection drug user to show up, ask them to score you some heroin, grab a few clean, free needles and distilled water, and you’re set.

I didn’t know Cory Monteith or his drug habits. However, I do other people that have had issue with drug addictions. Based on what I have seen, if one wanted drugs in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary or any other city in Canada, they can get it. So, to blame this specifically on Vancouver and it’s drug culture isn’t necessarily fair on a couple of different categories. One,about 47,000 deaths are linked to substance abuse in Canada each year. And according to the Saskatchewan Department of Health, street youth are 11 times more likely to die of drug overdose and suicide.

This leads to the second part of Corbella’s argument which is InSite. InSite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. They are located in East Hastings, not far from the Fairmont Hotel that Monteith was found in.

While I don’t agree with Corbella’s speculation on Monteith, I do understand the validity of asking the benefits of supervised injection sites like this. As recently as July 10, the Toronto Board of Health  has come out approving supervised injection sites. The benefits claim to be crime reduction, improvements in health care, and a reduction in health care costs. There has been discussion of Toronto having three sites and Ottawa two, However,the federal government is not supporting these at this time.Opponents, like Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair would argue that the best defence is abstinence, prevention and enforcement.

Cities like Halifax, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver have drug cultures. They may look different, but drugs are evident everywhere. Perhaps it is time to examine for all cities to have a look at this?

Agree or Disagree: God could let you down


For many people, the answer is simple. They are comforted by the reliance of who God is. They trust in the promises of the Scripture in that He will never leave you or forsake you. If things do not turn the way they should, God has a different plan. He is a good God with good gifts. His ways are better than our ways, they say. 

God will never let you down.

But there are others that have prayed and prayed. They have prayed for their children to be healed of sickness only to find that the child has died. Or, they have prayed for some important decisions regarding work or school only to find out this would not happen. There were times that they really felt they needed to feel God, but they felt absence. .

They felt God let them down.

What do you think? Can a good God, with good promises, including “never leaving or forsaking you” let you down?

Agree or Disagree: Texting has changed the way we approach dating.


Agree or Disagree: Texting has changed the way we approach dating.

This is an interesting article I found on this. 

It used to be that before there was email, text, and Facebook, we would pick up the phone and call each other for a date. Or, maybe ask face to face. In some cases, guys would ask the parents of the girl before they go on a date.

Now, it’s very different. With the advances of modern technology, it has opened different ways to date. And, quite frankly end dates. 

Is this a good thing?

 

Agree or Disagree: Without pain, we cannot fully understand joy.


Sometimes the simplest ideas like this are the ones that bring out some interesting perspectives. This statement without pain, we cannot fully understand joy.

For this, I thought I would share two different perspectives.

The first one is from a song from J. Cole called No Holding Me Back. Here are a portion of the lyrics. And no, I will not be singing this song.

What’s sunshine with nAnnotateo rain
What’s joy without the pain

And I’m still gon’ do my thing
There ain’t no holding me back
Aye I’mma get mine, believe that
And what’s sunshine with no rain
And what’s joy without the pain

Or in other words, The good things in life have much less meaning without the bad things to give.

The other perspective I will share with you is from John Green, the author of the book The Fault of Our Stars. Here is a quote from the book.

Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.

What do you think?

 

Agree or Disagree: Drug and alcohol addictions are not taken seriously


In the wake of the death of Cory Monteith, from alcohol and heroin overdose, I felt this was an important question to ask.

Just for information and to contribute to the discussion, I thought I would share this link. It’s from Statistics Canada on drug and alcohol use.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/drugs-drogues/stat/index-eng.php

Agree or Disagree: The Trayvon Martin decision is a sign that there is really “Two Americas”


Agree or Disagree: The Trayvon Martin decision is a sign that there is really “Two Americas”

Although, I have seen lots,I myself haven’t really been able to contribute to the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman discussion.

I thought I would share you this article from a guy who I happen to have a lot of respect for. He has been one of the more thoughtful contributors to US Christianity. I know that there are many that disagree with him, but I do like what Brian Mclaren says in the article attached. I submit this portion of this that I think brings something to light.

Jesus said that true justice exceeds that of “the scribes and Pharisees” – and the same could be said of the prosecution and defense. Legal justice seeks only to assign guilt or innocence. Holistic justice works for the life, liberty, and well-being of all. And it especially works for reconciliation between the two Americas that can be identified by their reaction to the case.

One America now has more reason to believe that their sons can be presumed guilty until proven innocent without a reasonable doubt when they’re walking down the street armed only with Skittles and an iced tea.

The other America now has more reason to believe that they can get away with murder, or something close to it, as long as the victim is young and black and wearing a hoodie.

I didn”t know Trayvon Martin. I also don’t know George Zimmerman. I do wonder if this trial is evidence that we are seeing two different America’s. An America that is divided by their own political ambitions.

Or, if possible we can lean towards what Mclaren calls an “Emerging America”. He describes it like this.

 

Members of both Americas are coming together to form an emerging America that wants something better for all Americans. That emerging America wants us to deal deeply and honestly with our largely untreated, unacknowledged American original sin: a cocktail of white privilege, manifest destiny, and racism – in both its personal and institutional forms.

What do you think?  Will the Trayvon Martin trial lead to more decision? Or a hope of coming together?