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.

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.

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: How should men speak about feminism?


Emma Watson’s speech to the UN.

This video has gone viral on social media.

It’s Emma Watson speech to the U.N. about women’s rights. To sum her speech, she has invited, and encouraged, men to be a part of the conversation. She encouraged men to express their sensivity and be themselves.

Now as a man I have a bit of a …..reputation….in coming across sensitive. I’m ok with that because it is true. I also have spoke for equality. As one simple example, I find it ridiculous that in 2014, there are still issues and a debate about equal work and equal pay.

However, also as a man, one of the points that Emma made is there have been times our participation hasn’t been welcome by some. It might be because we men have made many, many inappropriate comments. Fair enough. However, I know that there are men that want to speak properly into this.

My question, or questions if you will,to you is this. How should men speak into this conversation? How do we make valuable conversation into the legitimate concerns women have expressed over the years? How do we help move the conversation forward?

Any feedback is welcome?

Agree or Disagree: Cameras on Police Officers


Agree or Disagree: Cameras on Police Officers

I sense that there will be an instant reaction to this one.

The idea of installing Cameras on Police Officers is becoming a more common thought and discussion as time goes on. Some have suggested that it would help in what is going on in Ferguson right now. As well, some have already started.

The reason? The early study’s are suggesting it is preventing crime. I’ll let you read the link above as an example.

What do you think of this idea!

Agree or Disagree: The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness for ALS


The History of the Ice Bucket Challenge

 

It has gone viral.

It has involved athletes, celebrities, and others.

This summer, people all over North America have had ice buckets of cold water poured over them

It is the Ice Bucket Challenge. The intent is to raise funds for ALS.

Above, is a link giving the history of the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was started by Pat Quinn, an ALS survivor. At first, this was not successful. Then his friends got involved, and well, everybody is doing it.

However, the question is if this has actually been effective in raising awareness for ALS? Before you say the answer is obvious, let’s look at a couple of things.

I’m not sure how you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, but I tell you how I did. I saw it on a sports highlight show. It was Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll getting dunked. Then others had it happen. And others. However, it took me several dunks before I was aware this was for ALS. I wonder how you heard about it.

However……

It had raised an incredible amount of funds. Particularly where they were last year. In the same space of July 29-August 16 2013,there were ALS fundraisers that were reporting between $20,000-$30,000. Now, many are reporting over $1, million dollars.

If you think about it, the concept is a good idea. Especially in the athletic world. Many organizations celebrate major wins or championships by dumping Gatorade on the winning coach. Plus, professional sports teams have been very conscious about their involvement in their local community. Let’s also not forget that ALS has also been called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig is a legendary baseball player that died of ALS

That still leaves the question on the fundraiser’s impact.

Has this helped you be aware of ALS? Do you identify with it? If you, or your family have ALS, has this opened the conversation about it?