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?

Agree or Disagree: Christians are not called to have great sex.


Agree or Disagree: Christians are not called to have great sex.

I wish I was making this title up. But this is the title of this article today.

And although their have been steps of change, this I fear is evidence of the perception of the self-righteousness and superiority Christians have shown over sex. Take for example, this statement here from the article.

Although sex is indeed God’s gift to us, Christians are not directly commanded by God to have great sex. Couples may find themselves incompatible in the bedroom, and they should not be bombarded with pressure from the Christian community to start having good sex and lots of it. Instead, they should find support and comfort—support that sex is not the only thing that makes a good marriage, and comfort that historically all Christians have been called by God to suffer through numerous trials.

As well as here.

Sexual incompatibility, therefore, is a cross that some couples bear, and Christian communities could lighten this burden if we made an effort to put sex in its rightful place. If sex were viewed as a gift that, like everything else in this world, is marred by sin, it may be easier for couples to accept that bad sex is neither a reason for divorce nor an excuse to stop investing in a marriage. As with other trials, bad sex is an opportunity to rejoice in suffering (1 Peter 4:13) and to be further conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

Although I understand the writer’s point, there is some things that doesn’t sit right with me. 

First, I don’t know which community she is in, but I do not hear or see any pressure for Christians to have more sex. And perhaps this is because, I’m single and the community I’m with is generally single. There isn’t a lot of conversation about sex. I’ve heard conversations about marriage, but not specifically sex.

Secondly, I think as people,we desire much more then one simple thing in a relationship. However, there are two things that seem to come up in my mind when people are looking for a relationship. Simply put, they are compatibility and chemistry. Both on a number of different levels, including attraction and sexuality, but not limited to simply that.

Thirdly, and this is my continued frustration when I hear some Christians talk about this topic. It comes across that the Christians have got this all figured out. Because we read the “Word of God”, we know what is right. We do marriage and relationships correctly. The world sleeps around, gets divorced, and doesn’t value marriage. And I wish this would stop.

If you get to the heart of people, they do desire to be in a healthy holistic relationship. A relationship that values them as people and lasts forever. Just because someone doesn’t read from a Book, it doesn’t mean they have no values.

Just because you read a Book, and it gives you an idea on the “design for marriage”, it doesn’t mean you have it figured out. It also doesn’t mean that you have to live in misery because everything is a test to rejoice in

What it means is as we grow and we learn more about ourselves, we know what we value. Those values leads to better relationships. Those relationships calls all of us to be a better expression of love.

Agree or Disagree: God is on your side.


 If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31.

This is a Scripture that many have been encouraged with. The idea being that with God beside you, all things are possible. Jesus is even quoted in both Mark and Matthew saying that.”With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 and Matthew 19:26)

I’ll be honest and admit that I have felt that God was and is on my side. I can admit that  there is  comfort and assurance with that. However, I have seen the personal downside of feeling very pious and self-righteous with that. I have felt that me with God is better than you without God. I have said in blunt and subtle ways that if you were like me and had God, you would be better. And history has also shown many examples of people using God as permission to do things to those who are not with God.

So my question is do you feel God is actually on a side? Why or Why not?