Agree or Disagree: Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted.


Going to Christian churches, there are certain things that you hear that makes you shake your head.  As an example,from time to time, you might hear comments about the coming “End Times.”

One of the things I heard some Pastors say was in regards to the legalizing same-sex marriages. There was concern that if they as a Pastor refused to perform a same-sex marriage, they could be prosecuted. Personally, I didn’t see that coming. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember this concern was addressed.

However, apparently in Idaho, something has changed.

If this story is true, there appears to be a movement to prosecute Pastors who refuse to perform same sex marriages.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp are Ministers in Coeur d’Alene.  They were told to perform a same sex marriage or face jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Too be clear, the above story has had several clarifications and disputes.

This is just one example. This is a response from the New Civil Rights Movement to the story which you can read here.

I’m going to let you read the story. Then, I simply am going to ask this question.  I’m curious where this goes.

Do you think Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted under the law? Should the face jail time? Should they be fined?

Do you think that the Pastors that are concerned about being forced to marry same-sex couples have something too be concerned about?

Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: It is time to eliminate the Separate School System.


As usual, there was lots of interesting conversation on Facebook.

Today, the topic was education. And the discussion of the need of the Catholic School System.

There was a comment on Facebook that made the rounds. I thought we can use this as our framework tonight.

It is from a contributor named Luke Fevin. Or, for now Duke Luke Fevin. Here it is.

PM Wilfred Laurier did a deal in 1905 just prior to Alberta coming into Confederation to secure the Catholic vote in the upcoming election. His end of the deal was to promise the option of “Separate” schools for the Catholics in Alberta, in areas where they were the minority and there was an existing Public (Protestant) school.

These schools were intended to be “secular” (yes, that’s the word they used to describe them) during the day with the exception of the option of opening the school day with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and RESTRICTS the option of 30 minutes of religious instruction to the end of the day.

The fact that there was so little difference (they were identical in every way during the day) meant that Separate schools weren’t generally expected to survive. That given the only difference between Public & Separate school was the last 30 minutes of the day, it was expected that the taxpayers would say it wasn’t worth the expense.

From 1905, we have in my opinion gone backward. The Catholic system has completely ignored, flouted and abused laws & the Rights of others.

Although to be fair, it’s not just the Catholic system that has ignored these laws. We have a number of Evangelical Christian Public schools, as well Christian programs such as LOGOS, as well as a couple of other Public Faith schools that all demand and enjoy the privileges and protections of law, but completely ignore it when it suits them.

It is time to dis-establish the Separate school system.

It is it blatantly unfair for the government to favor one religion with infrastructure and tax dollars and the “constitutional” argument is redundant. Firstly, other provinces have done it already. No biggie.

And let me ask you. If women not having the vote was constitutionally protected, would anyone care? No. It’s a bad idea, irrelevant to today and so we’d change it. The Separate school system is no different.

In fact, t is so unfair, that the United Nations Human Rights Committee actually cited Canada for religious discrimination!

A family with 3 kids in another denominational Private school is worse off by $150,000 tax dollars than the same Catholic family in a Catholic school . How is that fair?

And for those that say their property taxes get directed to their local Catholic board. No it doesn’t. The money goes in a big pot and then follows the child. On top of which, if you’re paying $3,000 a year in property taxes and have 3 kids in school – even if 50% of your taxes go to education you are still only contributing $500 of a $10,000 tab. The Province is picking up the other 95%.

And as for what we get in return for the approx. $200 MILLION we waste EVERY year in the operating inefficiences of running two competing duplicate systems? What is the educational advantage?

Nothing. We get a cross over the door of one in 5 of our schools and get to act like a farm team for the Catholic church. In the meantime (many of) the Catholic schools and boards get / choose to;

#1 Deny Canadian families their Charter Rights.
#2 Turn away non-Catholic families (including forcing them on lengthy bus rides).
#3 Discriminate in hiring non-Catholics teachers.
#4 Coerce young graduating teachers to become Catholic.
#5 Deny students the ability to form GSA’s.
#6 Force teachers / students to sign Christian lifestyle pledges.
#7 Teach abstinence focused sex ed.
#8 Fire gender-reassigning teachers.
#9 Coerce gay teachers in / remain in closet.
#10 Choose to deny schoolchildren the choice of easy access to medicine / vaccinations based on inaccurate religious beliefs.

Madness. You have to have grown up here to think that this is OK or normal. We actually operate a school system where we bus kids past schools they could walk to! For why?

Personally I’d rather spend the $200 MILLION dollars EVERY year from the EDUCATION budget on more teachers & schools – and I think it’s time we let our elected officials know that.

What do you think of this statement? Do you Agree or Disagree with it?

Question: What is a Christian?


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A while ago, I was part of a panel discussion with about the topic of Worldviews.

There was an Atheist,  a Baha’i, more of a conservative Christian, and me a “Progressive” Christian.

On Saturday, I’m going to be part of a panel discussing the future of Christianity. There will be a “Progressive” Christian, an ex-Christian, a new Christian, and a Conservative/Traditional Christian. This should be an interesting conversation.

One of the first questions we are going to discuss is this one. And, I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

If you were asked what a Christian is, how would you respond? You don’t have to be a Christian to answer this question. As a matter of  fact, I welcome those who aren’t.

Agree or Disagree: The Religious Right is fading away.


There is a new book out.

I’m not sure many of you will read it. Well, you might.

The book is called Distortion. It’s basically a book taking shots on how the Progressive Christians are destroying the message of the Gospel. People like Rachel Held Evans,Sarah Bessey, Shane Claiborne, and Benjamin Corey.

Speaking of Covey….

He  notes that the Religious Right is facing a demise. Actually, I apologize, that is somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a portion of his post on this in Patheos.

“They know it, and we know it: the movement of the “Religious Right” has failed. What we’re seeing out of the Religious Right is similar to when a star dies– after the death of a star there’s still some fusion activity going on, the core begins to collapse under the forces of gravity, and the outer layers temporarily heat up as the star undergoes a prolonged death experience. The star is dead– out of fuel– but the actual death process can take a few billion years.”

You can read the rest here.

We can sit and talk about  an endless list of things the Religious Right has been responsible for. For example, speaking out against homosexuality and ignoring the bullying of them.  Or, subtly, or actually not so subtly, telling people to stop supporting Third World children because of “traditional values”.

These things have caused anger to non-Christians and Christians. Particularly from Christians who have a far different view of Scripture than the angry, authoritative and uninformed views some of the Right have represented.

So, two questions

But, is the Religious Right done? Are we watching the slow death or demise of this movement? Or, does it still have the strength to move forward?

The other question is this. Corey thinks there are things we can learn from the apparent demise of the Religious Right.  Things like “taking back the country from the left”. Do you think there are things we can learn from this?

Agree or Disagree: The Mainstream Media does not fully understand Islam


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I’d like to start this conversation by showing this picture.  This was a picture of a rally in Toronto over the summer.

On one side there were Muslims supporting Palestine. The other were Jewish people supporting Israel.

The general feedback of this specific rally was it was peaceful. However, I saw some on the Pro-Israel side call out some insults to Muslim woman. Too rough to mention here.

Now, if I was too make a blanket statement about Jewish people and what their religion promotes, there would be offence taken. And that would be fair. The Jewish faith is generally a beautiful faith.

Often, there are statements about Christians being homophobic, racist etc.. Westboro Baptist Church does not represent Christianity. Other “extreme” actions are often distanced by Christians. And Christians will often state these actions are not fully  what Christianity is. People generally agree with that.

However, what I’m noticing a trend when it comes to the current perception of Islam. There seems too be, and maybe it’s only me noticing this, that we have made some blanket statements about Islam. It seems many try to connect actions from groups like ISIS and Al-Queda to what the Muslim faith teaches.

Reza Aslan has a response to that.

In this  interview with CNN, Aslan argues that the current issues going on in what we have generally called Muslim countries, is not a Muslim problem, but a people problem.

He also states that while people argue that Islam is a religion of violence, he argues that Islam is neither a religion of violence or peace. I’ll let you listen to his explanation on that. You will also notice his anger towards the interviewers at CNN.

Which leads to this question.

Do you think that The Mainstream Media have given a fair representation of what Islam is? Or, are we dealing with some blanket statements about Islam?

Normally I post an Agree or Disagree at this point….But this is a must read.


I typically post a an Agree or Disagree at this point.
However, we have debated and discussed forever about the relationship between Christians and LGBT. We have criticized many Christians behaviour and actions.
However, this is some kudos. Read this response from a Christian Pastor if he found out his kids were gay.

And of course, discuss.

Read here.

Agree or Disagree: You would sign a permission slip so your kid can bring home a Gideon Bible


This is a long title.

However, when you read the story, you will understand.

This is a blog from Susan Goldberg. She is excited about the new school year. New routines.New activities. And a very interesting permission slip.

This one.image

A permission slip from The Gideons! They would like to send Susan’s kid and perhaps your kid with a nice new Gideon Bible.

You can read her concerns in her blog. One of her concerns is that her kids are in a public school. The idea of public school for many is to not have religion in the classroom. This…well…contradicts that.

So, if you were the parent and your kid brought home this permission slip, would you sign it?

Why or why not?