Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.
Alberta is known for being Canada’s greatest hotbed of religious fundamentalism and conservative attitudes. So when some proposed legislation aimed to make high school a little safer for queer teenagers, things get a little bit messy. The legislation in question is Bill 202, the Safe and Inclusive Schools Act. It’s a private members’ bill aimed at decreasing anti-LGBTQ bullying by requiring all schools to permit the formation of gay-straight alliances (GSAs). If the bill passes, it means school administrators won’t be allowed to stand in the way of students who wish to form a GSA. Read more
Beginning in the last week of November, a series of ads focused on public funding for Catholic religious schools showed up in Winnipeg bus shelters. The ad campaign, deliberately distributed mainly in the vicinity of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to target its visitors with food for thought, has been financed and assembled by OneSchoolSystem.org, an Ottawa-based advocacy group. The four ads appearing in Winnipeg are as follows: Read more
If your local government is considering some changes to its traditions regarding public prayer, it might be worth your time to consider what’s happening in New Zealand’s national Parliament (below) right now. Speaker David Carter has proposed a change to the prayer being used to open each working day and hopes to bring it before his fellows for a vote. The current prayer, adopted as part of the daily routine in 1962, references “Almighty God” and “Jesus Christ our Lord.” The prayer goes on to ask the aforementioned deity to grant “that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name,” and it calls for “the maintenance of true religion and justice.” It ends with an old-fashioned Biblical “Amen.” Read more
During a deposition in April 2014, Archbishop John Nienstedt (below) of Saint Paul and Minneapolis testified to his lack of knowledge concerning a priest’s prior conviction of child abuse, saying he had only discovered that sordid history “during the last six months” and that he had never known much about the abuser’s past. The evidence suggests otherwise. Read more
Maybe you remember our previous coverage of the Saguenay prayer case. To recap quickly: Alain Simoneau, citizen of Saguenay (Quebec), raised a challenge against his municipal government’s practice of opening public meetings with a prayer (containing references to Almighty God and bracketed on both ends by the Sign of the Cross, a particularly Catholic prayer gesture). Quebec’s human rights tribunal ruled that the rights of non-believers were being violated, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision (because tradition!), and now the case is being decided at the level of the national Supreme Court. But not just yet. Read more