In Times Like This.


In times like this.

Where people are bringing out the evilest of symbols, there is no statement. Only silence.

Where sexual assault and harassment are high, there is no statement. Only silence.

Where the President many of you supported and asked people to support belittles anyone that is not a rich white male, there is no statement. Only silence.

However, where many Christians have recognized the need to change and adapt. And be welcoming of the LGBT, you claim this.

You write this as if you are the only people with any knowledge of Scripture. You claim there is confusion on “sexuality and transgenderism” . Yet it seems you are confused. Or woefully ignorant. You forget that Scripture has more to say on topics like poverty, fairness, and loving your neighbour.

You write this as if you are leaders. Yet, day after day, people see your lack of leadership where it is vitally needed.

In times where your voice is actually needed, poverty, fairness, loving your neighbour, standing for the marginalized there is no statement. Only silence.

Yet you make this statement on sexuality.

They say 80% of communication is non-verbal.  It’s what you don’t say more than what you say.

Today we heard your silence.

Shame on you.

https://cbmw.org/topics/news-and-announcements/cbmw-releases-coalition-statement-on-biblical-sexuality/

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So, there is a Problem.


Yes the sun rose today. And, yes the sun will  set tonight. And yes, the sun will rise tomorrow.

But, it doesn’t take away the hurt. And the problem.

Let’s start here. 4 out of 5 Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump. I’m going to assume this has to do with the fact he’s “Pro-Life”.  I’m struggling to see the “Pro” in this. He;s restricted pretty much every other people group other than the rich and entitled. To even remotely put him in line with the idea of Scripture is complete and utter nonsense. For Christian leaders standing behind him and declaring him to be Christian is an insult to people who have been  deeply hurt and value Christianity. Trump values aren’t only not Christian, or Pro-Life, they aren’t even  pro-birth.

This man is the President Elect of the United States.

Let’s look at the idea of hard working and honest people getting what they deserve. While the FBI cleared Clinton of wrong doing, there was woman after woman after woman after woman after woman coming forward complaining on how he sexually assaulted them.  Not just 10 years ago. Not 15. Over and over again. His way of denial is saying how ugly these women are. Again, Christian leaders who talk about Biblical sexuality endorsed him.

Yet this man has the wealth and the power to continue to run a campaign.

This man is the President Elect of the United States..

While Christians and others are concerned about “Religious Freedom”, this man wants to restrict freedoms. Not just criminals. Muslims, Mexicans, Canadians, Syrians, LGBT, Homeless, and any other people group you can pick on. This is a man endorsed by the KKK. This is a man that believes so much in freedom , that he asked and encouraged people to beat up protesters.

This man is the President Elect of the United States.

You blame the media? Let’s talk about that for a minute. While many organizations and journalists and researchers did amazing work into his finances, his character,and his history, apparently that was “media bias”. Instead, influencers like Rebel Media, Breitbart, Alex Jones, who quite frankly are only interested in money and click bait were able to impact this election. Instead, people bought into a rigged election system. Trump fed them and fed them. And they got fat. Of course, they were interested in what’s best for the nation right?

This man is the President Elect of the United States.

You say thank God I’m in Canada. Really people? Remember when a guy in Edmonton yelled the N word at a black man? Or how about Abbotsford where a man, who has still not been arrested by the way, hurled racist insults at a Hindu man. You say that’s the west? Kellie Leitch, who is running for CPC leadership, is from Ontario. And let’s not forget that two women were bullied out of a PC Leadership race in Alberta. Let’s not forget the insults after insults many get for sharing their views on Twitter.

Perhaps influenced by the President Elect of the United States.

For us who have been bullied, intimidated, belittled, disqualified, condemned, and judged, last night was a problem. For those not from the USA that was afraid of breakfast as Van Jones mentioned. For those just want to be considered normal, there is a problem. For the women who in 2016, still can’t get equal pay for equal work, there is a problem.The message was man up treat people like shit, intimidate and threaten them. Laugh at them. Hurt them. Take your pound of flesh.

And you too could be The President Elect of the United States.

Yes, the sun will rise and the sun will set. And, maybe things will be ok.

But right now, we are angry, disgusted, defeated and demoralized. And no, we will not move on.We will continue to stand.And share.And talk. This isn’t a right or left issue.This is a human decency issue.

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Christ Followers, Where are you?


Last night, I stopped by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver Pride was having a candlelight vigil honouring the victims of the tragedy in Orlando. About 500 people attended

It was a very respectful event,They honoured the victims in a peaceful manner. They even mentioned the names and asked the crowd to repeat the 9 that they knew at the time.

They also spoke forgiveness towards the Muslim community. Suggesting that some Muslims were afraid to show because they may feel that some are anger. They even suggested a dialogue.

They spoke up against fundamentalism of any kind.

They reminded the crowd of the battles of before and how they prevailed.

Considering the circumstances they kept it very respectful and honouring.

However, I was struck by something.

Where was the Christian Community?

There are a few churches close to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The only one that had a representation was the United Church. He was one of the speakers.

But where was everyone else?

You can say that it wasn’t a Christian that shot them. However, there are many that have pointed of the anger and the hurt from Christians towards the LGBT community. And many of those feel that this had an impact on what happened.

It seems the first time that Christians speak out is when they remind people of the Scriptures. You know, the ones that condemn homosexuality. The ones with signs and the insults. There was even a video from a certain “pastor” praising the attack.

This was an opportunity to do what churches call each other each week. Go out and reach the community.  Be as Jesus said “Salt and Light”.

Yet last night, it seemed… nothing.

Maybe you have services. But what if you actually cancel the services and go down to the vigil?

You reflect on the love of God. And how God loves all of us.

Yet in a time to show it….silence.

Which is interesting because the time to speak out  from many preachers  like Franklin Graham, John Piper is…often.

That message speaks volumes. The fact that they couldn’t attend the vigil also speaks volumes.

You say Kevin you are making a generalization. There are many Christians that love LGBT. There are very few Christians that hate LGBT. It’s only the loudest that speak. They are the minority.

II say It’s not enough anymore.

It’s  Christsplaining. It’s as useful as “Thoughts and Prayers”.

If we truly love our neighbours, this would be the time to go out and  show it.

Not hide your head in the sand.

Agree or Disagree: Weapon Manufacturers can’t call themselves Christians.


This was a statement made by Pope Francis on Sunday.

He specific statement was anyone who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian.

You can read the article here.

“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he (The Pope) said to applause.

He goes on to speak about the “tragedy of the Shoah,” the Hebrew term for the holocaust.

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?

Imagine for a moment that you were at the Pope’s message on Sunday. Would you stand up and applaud.

Do you Agree or Disagree with the Pope’s statement?

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to remove the Catholic School System.


If you missed it Friday, Luke Fevin and I were on the Ryan Jespersen Show in Edmonton. It was Faith vs Atheism.

You can listen to it 

Now, some of you might have been expecting more of a battle…..and you would have been a bit disappointed. Because we didn’t “fight”. We had more of a discussion. Part of the reason for that is this was a unique opportunity. It’s very rare that a radio show goes into something like this. So, there was some unpacking to do. There still is.

However, there was a debate.Specifically around the issue of Catholic Schools. And the question around if there is a need for a Catholic School System. Here is where I see benefit for a Catholic School System.

-There are still over 800,000 Catholics in Alberta. There would be many families that do benefit from this. There is a sense of community and connection and shared values. It is an opportunity for families to have additional education and exposure to their religion other than the home.

That being said, there are some concerns. First, how they handled the GSA issue. Many Catholic parents and families were rightly angry on how this was handled. Which, quite frankly, was poorly. Second, the idea of a specific religious school for a religion for many seems outdated. They see religion as damaging to people.

So, while Luke and I did not unpack this as much, the topic is very important to many.  I would imagine and expect Luke and I will be involved in other dialogues like this.

But do you Agree or Disagree that it is time to remove the Catholic School System?

Please be respectful in your dialogue.

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Kent Hehr


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Kent Hehr and I discuss the recent issues around Bill 202 and Bill 10.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

If you remember, Kent brought forward a private members bill Motion 503 which would make it mandatory for school boards to support students who want to form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs)
Topics we discuss include;

-Kent motivation behind bringing Motion 503

-The process behind Bill 202 and the expectations of what would happen

-Bill 10

-The response to concerns that religious schools that this is a violation of their rights

-Gordon Dirks silence

-The hope going forward

We also spent some time discussing Provincial and Federal politics as well.

We discussed;

-the current perception of Alberta Liberal party

-his perception of the other parties

-the impact of oil prices and when Prentice could call an election.

-His nomination for Liberal MP

-Why he feels it’s important that we have a Liberal MP from Calgary.

Follow Kent on Twitter. He posts a lot of content.
@kenthehr

Check out his website
www.kenthehr.ca

Follow me on Twitter
@kevole
Agree or Disagree: The Podcast
@AorDThePodcast

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Kevin Olenick

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Before you start criticizing Islam….


The Islamic Bulletin

Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.”

Yoda.

Before you continue with this reading, I would like you to take a second to have a look at the link above. It’s from the Islamic Bulletin. It’s a list of Christians that have converted to Islam.

It’s an interesting list. There is a District Judge, Human Rights Activist, Scientist, Politicians, Theology Lecturer and a Musician. In their own way, have made a significant positive contribution to society. The list includes Cat Stevens and Malcolm X by the way.

Now, you might argue that this list is obviously bias to make Islam look good. However, we know that there have been Doctors, Scientists, Professors, Engineers, Nurses, to name a few professions, that have converted to Islam from a various of different perspectives. They have also made a positive contribution to our communities and society. Some have saved lives. Some have profound thoughts. Some make sustainable changes.

What we don’t see is the news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage discussing how these will positively impact our culture. And made a difference in our world. We also don’t see a spectacle of comments on Social Media discussing how this changes who we are as a nation.

We also know that there are Muslims that are Doctors, Scientists, Professors, Engineers, Nurses and others in a variety of professions who have made a significant difference in our world. Some in Canada. Some in America. Many all over the world.

What we don’t see is news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage discussing how these actions will positively impact our culture. And made a difference in our world.  We also don’t see a spectacle of comments on Social Media discussing how this changes who we are as a nation.

Today, we are learning of a gentleman named Michael Zihaf-Bibeau. He is a man that shot and killed a Canadian Soldier at a War Memorial in Ottawa. He then proceeded to walk into Parliament Hill and opened fire until a man named Kevin Vickers stopped him. Eventually, Zihaf-Bibeau was shot and killed.

What we have learned according to the RCMP, and other news agencies is that Zihaf-Bibeau converted to Islam. He came to Ottawa to deal with a passport issue. And despite reports to the contrary, he acted alone.

What we are seeing is news stations like CNN showing 24 hour coverage on how we need to be concerned of “Radical Islam”. And how the “radicalization” has changed our country for ever. We were also discussing the steps we need to take to stop this “radicalization”. This has created a spectacle on Social Media.

This is in spite of the RCMP making it clear that there is no indication Zihaf-Bibeau was connected in anyway with the radical group ISIS. Even though the RCMP, who are paid to investigate crimes by the way, says no, there are some “experts” that say yes.

The “experts” are trying to remind us of the very real threat “Radical Islam” is. What they forgot to tell you that, in spite of the media coverage and the questions, that Muslims ,converts or not, have made a significant positive impact on society. And the contributions, far, far outweigh the atrocities.

Let’s be clear. The actions of this man, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Atheist or any other perspective was awful. Men and women will be deeply affected by what happened. A mother and a father lost a son. Dogs lost their master. People were locked down and away from people that they hold precious. We must never lose sight of that.

But before we make assumption that this was about a conversion to a faith, let’s remember first, Michael was a human. A human that it appears mat have got caught up in fear. The fear led to some anger. The anger led to some hate. The hate led him to the actions of yesterday. That has happened to many, many humans. Not just an apparent converted Muslim.

Speaking of Muslim, before you start assuming you know something about the theology of Islam, might I suggest you do some research.

As mentioned, there are many Muslims who are devoted to their community, and embrace our culture. Remember Calgary, one is a Mayor of your city. There are many Muslims who spend more time praying for our world more than many Christians do quite frankly. They also know their Scripture far better than many Christians can claim to know theirs.

Speaking of Christians, this is where I get Jesusey on you.   Yes, Jesusey is a word.

Jesus said this. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.

Note what Jesus and even Yoda said.

Their quotes have nothing to do with being a part of a religion.  They don’t claim if you are this or that, that you will do good or evil because of your faith or religion. It speaks to the humanity of you. In other words

You can be Muslim and do good.

You can be Christian and do good.

You can be an Atheist and do good.

You can be Hindu and do good.

You can be Human and do good.

The decisions we make generally, come down to our maturity, character, perspective and outlook on life. Not necessarily because of the religion we follow.

We would do well to remember that before we start criticizing.