Agree or Disagree: Calgary Folk Festival should ban Pseudo Indigenous Headdresses.


Last Week, The Edmonton Folk Festival announced that they would ban Pseudo Indigenous Headdresses. This was met with much support from the community of Edmonton and around the province of Alberta.

For those who wonder why they would do this, here is a good read on the topic

Meanwhile, in the fine City of Calgary, we have a Folk Festival coming up this weekend. Which incidentally, tickets are down 10 to 15 percent and is NOT sold out. They have decided to not ban Pseudo Indigenous Headdresses.

This is an article from Metro News on why the Calgary Folk Festival should do this.

Do you Agree or Disagree that the Calgary Folk Festival should ban Pseudo Indigenous Headdresses?

Agree or Disagree: This Calgary Cab Driver should be fired.


You heard about this story. A Calgary Cab Driver has been suspended because he kicked two men out of his cab for kissing.

You can read the story here.

Now for some, this is not enough. This is such an inexcusable behaviour that he should be fired.

But his perspective, which we haven’t heard until today, is interesting. This is a quote from a story in the Calgary Sun.

People try to have sex in my cab all the time. I tell anyone who is in my cab acting like that, and if they act like that I tell them to stop, and most times people co-operate and they even make fun over it,” the cabbie told the Sun.

“I’m not against people who practice gay sex or who are homosexual, because I’m not a homophobic person — I just ask them not to. There is copy of the video in my car and if you go back a week or two, you’ll come across a man and woman who I told, please don’t do it.

“Two guys come into my cab and they’re making out and so I tell them please stop until I get you to where you are going. People have started out like that, and they end up undressing themselves, until they are naked and about to have sex, and so I have to stop this kind of thing before it gets to that,” he said.

“I only told them to stop until I get them to where they are going.”

Now, I have to ask this. If you were a cab driver or in a situation like this, what would be your threshold? If you are driving over Stampede, or late at night, you may see some things you don’t want too. Yes, the person is the “customer” and some say the “customer” is always right. But, not to get too graphic here, but if A leads to B which leads to C…….there could be some cleanup needed to be done in the cab.Who pays for that? Likely the driver.

My perspective is if it was simply kicking someone out because they kissed, then yes they should be fired. However, we haven’t heard the cab drivers side of the story.And it sounds like from his perspective, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. We heard on Facebook, “I got kicked out of a cab because we kissed”. We got outraged. But did we hear the other side of the story?

But what do you think? Do you Agree or Disagree should the Cab Driver be fired? Or, should we hear from him first?

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to reopen the “Right to Die” debate.


In the midst of the other news going around the last couple of weeks, you might have missed the story of Brittany Maynard.

Brittany Maynard was a 29 year old woman who suffered from a stage 4 malignant brain cancer. She announced on YouTube that on Saturday November 1 she will end her life.

This is a really simplistic statement in of itself. So, let’s give some clarity here. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in January. She was told by doctors in April that she had six months to live.  And that six months would be very painful.

Throughout this process, Maynard became an advocate for terminally ill patients  to receive medication that will allow then to die on their own terms.You can see her video above.

Maynard’s story got lots of attention. It included a website which you can see here. And her name was mentioned over 105,000 times on Twitter according to Topsy.com

Considering Maynard’s story, and the many more that will not get this type of attention, is it time for us to consider reopening the “Right to Die” debate?  Before, you answer, I hope you have a look at this article. This is comprehensive look at the issues around the topic from USA Today.

I hope when you discuss this, you give the respect and dignity of all perspectives that will be shared.

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: Canada needs to regain it’s cultural backbone


http://bcove.me/ef3yfotj

This is an interesting commentary from Brian Lilley from Sun News.

There was a story in the Sun about a 17 year old girl named Sonja Power from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was told that her Aikido class would be divided by gender. Men on one side and women on the other.

The reason? Because there is a Muslim man that requested it.

I might have mentioned this before, but when Sun News tells a story, I feel like there is something missing. This is another example of that.

Let us look at this story from The National Post. Here is the link. http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/17/halifax-aikido-students-request-not-to-touch-women-because-of-his-religion-not-an-issue-instructors-say/

It seems that this wasn’t actually an issue. As a matter of fact, it seems like the class understood his point.

It would seem that the reason this Muslim man for religious reasons didn’t want to be in physical contact with the females in the class.

So, on one end, we have a perspective that an action like this, as well as what happened at York University with the Muslim man asking to not participate with a female group in his class, is a sign of Canada losing it’s cultural backbone.

On the other side, it would appear this might be part of Canada’s strength. Trying to respect where people are from and well, perhaps being friendly.

What do you think? Are we losing our cultural backbone? Or, are we being a respectful culture?

Agree or Disagree: This man’s religious rights were violated


Agree or Disagree: This man’s religious rights were violated

Above is a rather… bizarre story.

I have to explain this in a kind of picture this.

Male student arrives in Canada. He decides to study at York University.

Perhaps not reading the brochure, or doing any research available to him, the man makes a shocking discovery. 

There are women in his classroom.According to the man’s religious beliefs, at this point unknown, he cannot study with women

He decides to take this issue to the Dean Martin Singer of York University. After an unknown time of discussion, Dean Singer agrees that the man should not have to work with the women in his group. He should work with males.

This is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Canada.

The instructor, J. Paul Grayson is in the class everyday. He has a sense of how the entire class, men and women interact. He sees the behaviour of the man towards his female counterparts.

He decides to defy the order of the Dean. He orders the male to work with the women in a group. 

Grayson’s  reason why he made this decision? 

We have to make a value choice,” he told the Toronto Sun. “What’s more important, the rights of females who make up 54% of the population, or those of individuals with religious notions incompatible with egalitarianism?

Rightly I think, Grayson is being applauded and supported for his decision. He has received many emails supporting this decision.

The question is was York University right in granting this request first? Is this mans religious rights violated?

 

Agree or Disagree: It is possible to respect other people’s beliefs-Guest Post-Megan Biggs.


So today is the first of many of the upcoming guest posts for some Agree or Disagree topics. The reason I decided to do this is because I felt it was to give a fresh voice or voices to the discussion. Some will be actual experts in the field of topic. Some have a unique perspective

As we go forward with these, I would like to establish some ground rules.

1. The views of the person does not necessarily reflect my view. 

2. Please no attacks on the person. Focus on the topic at hand.

3. Perhaps take some time to thank the person doing this. It is really appreciated.

The first of this comes from Megan Biggs. Her story is unique. She is involved in something here in Calgary called the House of Commons. She describes herself as ” a freelance Christian librarian who lives in a commune”. Her blog is Unicornsrevenge.WordPress.com. She presents this discussion about respecting other beliefs. Read below.

 

Sometimes religious debate hurts my feelings.

 

Sometimes I wish I could be associated with a group of people who had never caused war, or hurt, or pain, but that was never possible. It wasn’t possible because we’re people. Nobody, atheist or Christian or Muslim or Buddhist, has the chance to be free from the stain of human error. 

 

This is why religious debate can sometimes be counter-productive. Because no matter if you respect other peoples’ beliefs or not, your religion’s dubious past choices will always come back to haunt you. It doesn’t matter if you were alive or even a “twinkle in your father’s eye” (gross) at the time of the Salem Witch trials. Somebody’s going to bring that up. Somebody’s going to bring up the Crusades. Somebody’s going to bring up Westboro Baptist. It can be hard to have a respectful and meaningful conversation if someone keeps rubbing your nose in past doo-doos. Come on, guys. Everybody poops.

They all say that you have to learn to separate attacking religion and attacking a person who believes in that religion, but what if you can’t completely separate them? What if that’s just not possible anymore? People are their beliefs, in a sense. There is a lot of talk about “respecting others’ beliefs” but what does that mean? What does it mean to only respect and not believe?

For example, I say I respect Led Zeppelin’s music, but I don’t like his music (with the exception of bron-y-aur stomp.) So what do I mean when I say I respect it, but I don’t like it? To be honest, I don’t know if I know what I mean.

Is respect admiring someone for their beliefs? But then, why would I admire someone else’s beliefs if I think that mine are truer than theirs? By respect, do we just mean tolerance? And if we do, why don’t we say “tolerance” instead of “respect”? Respect sounds better, that’s why. But why does it sound better? Tolerance is like saying, “You smell, but I can hold my nose.” Respect is something different, and it’s something everyone wants to have for everyone else’s beliefs. Because then that makes us good, and we so desperately want to be good. If we were good, we would be more lovable.

 

Maybe it means that you don’t think less of someone for believing a certain thing (or for listening to Led Zeppelin.) For example, when someone says they listen to Led Zeppelin and really love his music, I don’t feel disgust or repulsion. Does that mean I respect their musical choices?

Really having respect is not defining a person by what they believe. It’s about having the grace in your heart to not pass judgment. It’s about loving the person, no matter who they are or what they believe.  It’s about being uncurious about a person’s religion, because they’re a person first.

You may be aware of a little thing known as the Egyptian revolution that took place in the past few years. Amidst the unspeakable violence, chaos, and hate crimes that were taking place daily, a picture was taken of Christian protestors standing together to protect Muslims as they prayed. A group of Christians held hands and faced out surrounding hundreds of protestors to protect those who were left vulnerable as they prayed.

 

This is exactly what I mean when I say we need to have respect for other peoples’ beliefs. This is what that type of respect looks like. This is how it acts. Not out of self-interest, or self-preservation, or greed, or the thought of what others will think. It acts out of love, compassion, solidarity, and only thinks of the protection of its beloved ones, while giving no thought to itself. 

 

How it will look on a day-to-day basis for you and me, I don’t yet know. In the middle of an Egyptian revolution, it looks like Christians protecting praying muslims. Maybe in my life, it means holding my tongue and changing the tenor of my discourse to something more gentle, more compassionate, more Christ-like. Try this : swallow your harsher comments. Weigh your responses. Communicate love and acceptance. And remember – constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.