The Real Stigmatized Minority

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 10:38

Are you an aggrieved Christian? Convinced that you are stigmatized for your faith? Angry at the "war on Christmas"? This column is for you.

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Sartorial Apartheid

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 12:50

On Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney directed that anyone taking the citizenship oath must bare his or her face. Muslim women who wear a veil and refuse to comply will not be permitted to take the oath. And if they don't take the oath, they can't become citizens.

I'm not going to debate the wisdom of that decision. Reasonable arguments can be made for and against it, as one can make reasonable arguments for and against requiring people to bare their faces when they vote or testify in court. The same is true of banning veils in public, as France has done.

But some liberal opponents of these measures go too far when they suggest that veils are no different than turbans, hijabs, yarmulkes or Senators jerseys.

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Why Do We Have Four School Systems?

Friday, 02 December 2011 14:42

A few blocks from where I live in suburban Ottawa, there is an English Catholic elementary school that just opened.

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Praying In School? Heaven Forbid!

Friday, 22 July 2011 15:52

Well done, concerned citizens. For weeks, in vast numbers, across the nation, you expressed outrage that a public school in Toronto permits Muslim students to pray for half an hour each Friday. In the school cafeteria. A cafeteria built with tax dollars. Your tax dollars.

Clearly, this offends the great Canadian constitutional commitment to the separation of church and state, which doesn't exist, and you said so in no uncertain terms. Religion has no place in a public school! Not even the cafeteria! Stand away from the chili con carne and french fries, Imam! Get those Korans out of our proud agora!

But there were worse revelations to come.

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Rather awkwardly for the evangelist who said the world would end Saturday, it did not. But Harold Camping is an irrepressible fellow and, after further study, he announced that he was merely off on timing. The world will end Oct. 21. Really.

The purpose of this column is not to have a laugh at poor Mr. Camping, tempting as that is, or to boast that I predicted both outcomes, which I did. It's to remind people that this is much more than a silly little story about a kook and the people who believe him.

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Don't Push That Viking Mythology On Me

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 09:15

(Note: the following was originally published December, 2007, in the Ottawa Citizen. I thought I'd repeat it because, well, this stuff never goes out of fashion, does it?)


I am an atheist. I do not believe in Zeus, Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Ganesh or Allah. I do not believe Moses parted the Red Sea. I do not believe Mohammed, Joseph Smith or anyone else ever spoke with angels. And I very much do not believe that God impregnated a virgin who gave birth on Christmas Day.

Thus, while I appreciate the efforts of those sensitive souls who spot and erase references to Christmas in schools and other public settings, I must insist that the inclusion revolution go much further.

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No, religion is not all sweetness and light

Saturday, 11 September 2010 11:50

At the time of writing, it is not clear if that strange little man in Florida, or the strange little man in Kansas, or some other strange little man somewhere, will go ahead with a much-discussed plan to burn a stack of Korans. But a few things are certain.

One, this is something only a strange little man would do. Two, this is something that only a strange little man who is religious would do. Three, if a strange little man goes ahead and burns a stack of Korans, many people who share that strange little man's religiosity, but not his religion, will be angry with the strange little man and will express their anger by bellowing, rioting, smashing, burning, and generally behaving like jackasses. Four, the jackasses will shout "God is great."

I'm a believer

Saturday, 04 April 2009 14:00

I believe the earth has existed for precisely 3,213 years, five months, seven days, and four hours. Of course the reader will have to adjust these figures somewhat as I am writing this column a day before it will be published.

I further believe that scientific evidence to the contrary -- geology, biology, and a couple of other "-ogies" -- is uncertain, inconclusive, hypothetical, epistemological, scatological, or phantasmagorical. As these polysyllabic words plainly demonstrate, I am an expert. Plus, I'm a trained chiropractor. And I'm really big on natural health products. So I'm a physician, a scientist, and a guy who uses very long words. I believe I have earned your respect.

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