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Religion

Letís leave Christmas to commercialism
Today marks the 20th anniversary of my first published article, which appeared in The Vancouver Sun on December 22, 1989.|
Christmas, to all intents and purposes, has become spiritually bankrupt, much to the displeasure of those for whom Christmas is a deeply religious event. The imperative of gift giving has all but obliterated Christmasís religious aspect. Notwithstanding its original intent, Santa Claus, not Jesus Christ is the de facto king of Christmas. ...read more

Svend banished to purgatory for doing his job
Vancouver Courier (June 20, 1999)
The first column upon returning from vacation is a chore. After spending three weeks relaxing and trying to purge my mind of work and its aggravations, I have to re-stress myself scouting around for a subject. This year, though, the transition is uncommonly easy. In fact, I have a passel of possibilities, so now the question becomes which one to do first. All hell breaking loose over God and Svend Robinson in the House of Commons wins out. ...read more

Falwellís organ exposes him to ridicule
Vancouver Courier (February 14, 1999)
When weíre young, we live a charmed existence where the real and the imaginary are inseparable. From imaginary friends to monsters in the closet, the mind runs free on a playground filled with wondrous fancies and terrifying spectres. Hopefully, more of the former than the latter. As we mature, the boundary between the two worlds naturally takes shape. We learn to distinguish the things we know from those we donít know. ...read more

The Vatican exorcises options
Vancouver Courier (January 31, 1999)
When faced with having to explain the inexplicable, devout Christians sometimes resort to the catchphrase ďGod works in mysterious ways.Ē It doesnít explain anything, but at least it eases the mind. Perhaps itís the best way to try to comprehend the Vaticanís pronouncements on Satan. Christians of all denominations must be thinking that God has outdone himself. ...read more

Readers tune out as journalism loses its rigour
Vancouver Courier (August 9, 1998)
One of the biggest newsmakers today is the news. In the last couple of months, a Boston Globe columnist was found to have fabricated information and CNN was forced to repudiate a major investigative story. The story of Operation Tailwind, about the use of sarin nerve gas by U.S. forces in Laos in 1970, was found to be entirely unsubstantiated. The fallout of this admission is especially embarrassing: If the great all-news network canít get it right, who can? ...read more

Vatican canít keep out reforms forever
Vancouver Courier (March 2, 1997)
When they were part of President Lyndon Johnsonís ďinĒ group, Bill Moyers and George Ball were known as the ďdomesticated dissenters.Ē They opposed the escalation of the Vietnam War but were permitted to voice criticisms under two conditions: one, they didnít discuss their views with outsiders; and two, they didnít challenge the policy itself. They had to criticize around the edges or else find themselves on the outside looking in. In 1966, they resigned. ...read more