By Derek Stoffels Over the last few weeks I have been reading a book called “Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole.” It has been a difficult read but it raises some worthwhile points. The basic thesis of the book is stated provocatively in the title. The author Benjamin Barber asserts that capitalism (read business) has been so consumed with greed that it is destroying democracy. In contrast to that Barber claims that one hundred years ago capitalism and democracy worked well together. At that time capitalism served democracy by reinforcing the values and conduct that are needed for a wise citizenry. In Barber’s words capitalism was “…a needs-serving economic machine,…” Today it is a wants-stimulating economic machine out to profit itself at any cost.
By Derek Stoffels [This article was originally published in a school newsletter but it applies just as much to our political action] In a recent article in Clarion (vol 56 # 10) I read the report of a Canadian Reformed Teachers Association-West conference which reported that the speaker Mike Goheen said that as Christian parents/educators we educate our children to form a “contrast community”. This was defined as “aim to instill a sense of hope over against despair and consumer satiation, a sense of justice over against economic and ecological injustice, awareness of truth over against pluralism and relativism, and of selfless giving over against a culture or selfishness.” As I read this I thought, “Yes, Mike Goheen is correct about the need to be a contrast community, but wrong to suggest we make that aim our goal”. Setting the contrast community as the goal or aim will, I think, lead to other than the intended results. As I thought more about this statement I recalled two other articles I read recently, one which was apparently from GQ Magazine, the other from the most recent Covenant Canadian Reformed Teacher’s College(CCRTC) Newsletter. These three articles, along with a chapter from Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost of Discipleship, all came together. Hopefully in what follows I show the intersection clearly.
By Gudrun Schultz Lifesite NewsVANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Vancouver safe-injection site for drug addicts has not reached the goals that proponents of the facility claim, according to a new study published Wednesday in the Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice. The controversial Insite facility, the first of its kind in North America, opened as a pilot project over three years ago in Vancouver‘s notorious Downtown Eastside. Heroin or cocaine addicts are provided with clean needles and allowed to inject themselves with their own heroin or cocaine under a nurse’s supervision.
by Mark Penninga (printed in Reformed Perspective, Nov 2007) In the past few years Christians have had good reason to be disappointed with our governments and the courts - Canada has condoned everything from swinger’s clubs, to homosexual marriage, to having three legal parents for one child. Our disappointments are causing many Christians to become cynical about the whole realm of politics and that is unfortunate. We aren’t allowed to just give up; the Bible tells us to be a salt and a light in this world, regardless of how dark it is.
By Jamie Hellewell (for the Surrey/Cloverdale ARPA Alert)On September 15, Vancouver became the first city in North America to open a legal ‘safe injection site’ for heroine users. The site – called "Insite" – is a small clinic located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside district near the corner of Main and Hastings. Inside there are 12 private cubicles where needle drug users can inject between the hours of 10:00am-4:00am, seven days a week. The site provides a clean environment, spoons, water and sterile needles for users to prepare and inject heroine. There are also registered nurses on staff to supervise injections in case of an overdose or medical emergency. The site does not provide any drugs and prohibits certain types of injection behaviors: Sharing of drugs is not allowed, all users must self-inject, and there is a mandatory registration for anyone wanting to use the site.
By Doug Schouten (Surrey/Cloverdale ARPA), March 2003In 2002, MP Svend Robinson of Burnaby introduced a private member’s bill, C-415, with the aim of amending Section 318 of the Criminal Code, the section that deals with the so-called hate crimes. The bill proposed to add the three simple words “or sexual orientation” to Subsection 4, the part which defines the criteria for identifying groups that are protected by the hate crime legislation: religion, gender, ethnic origin, race and colour. Since the first reading of this bill in parliament, C-415 has been renamed C-250 and is currently in committee stage in Ottawa.
By George Gunnink (Surrey/Cloverdale ARPA)The freedom to express and promote a Christian worldview is being challenged on many fronts in our nation. In particular, this freedom has been challenged by the homosexual community, which is not interested in hearing any opposition to its sinful lifestyle. A story involving the BC College of Teachers (BCCT, the regulatory body responsible for monitoring the performance and conduct of school teachers) is just one example of the homosexual agenda at work in government and regulatory bodies.
By Peter Veenendaal, May 2002Most of our parents or grandparents were immigrants from Europe. Imagine that when these people were considering moving to a new country, the immigration promoters told them that in this great new country where you are going: child pornography is promoted as acceptable, public schools encourage sodomy, abortion is the most common surgical procedure in the country anddivorce is so common that it is met with shrugs. Do you think they may have had second thoughts about bringing their families to Canada?