Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca





If a stranger happened by

Author: Jim Taylor

Canada will be 150 years old this Saturday. I was asked by the organizers of the Canada Day celebrations to put together a historical presentation about the churches of Lake Country. Eleven, by my count, for a community of 14,000.

            So, last Tuesday morning, I drove around to all the current churches, to take pictures. I already had pictures of the earlier churches, thanks to the Lake Country Museum’s archives.

           On Tuesday mornings, I discovered, Lake Country is a religious dead zone. Locked doors. Empty parking lots. Closed gates. Silence…

Comments (0) Number of views (1128)




Retaliation ignores the Golden Rule

Author: Jim Taylor

If you want to invest in a growth industry, consider hate crimes. London police report a five-fold increase in attacks on Muslims – particularly Muslim women – since the terrorist attacks on London Bridge, the Westminster parliament, and the Manchester concert.

            But the increase is not limited to Britain, where the reaction might be understandable. Here in Canada, Statistics Canada indicates that attacks on Muslims more than tripled over three years, from 45 in 2012 to 159 in 2015. During 2015 alone, according to a CBC report, hate crimes against Muslims soared by 60 per cent.

           No doubt attacks on Muslims are a form of retaliation for acts attributed to Islamic extremists. But if so, why single out women? Not one of those acts was committed by a woman.

            Or are women simply easier to identify by their head scarves?


Comments (0) Number of views (1173)




Rules can never create fluency

Author: Jim Taylor

For a few years, I taught writing and editing courses for businesses. Some workshops flew; others foundered on the simplest points.

            Pharmaceutical companies, in particular, often hired Asian immigrants. I’ve no doubt they were well qualified, highly trained, even brilliant. They had studied English. But they came from languages that didn’t use little things like prepositions. Or articles. Or even commas.

            “Why you need ‘the’ before noun?” someone might ask. 

            Or perhaps, “Why sometimes ‘agree with,’ sometimes ‘agree to,’ sometimes ‘agree on’?”

            I offered examples. They would ask, “Where we find book that teach us these rules?”

            There isn’t one. Or more accurately, there are hundreds. 

Comments (0) Number of views (1035)




The most meaningless of crimes

Author: Jim Taylor

t’s infuriating. It’s offensive. You go to a public park, a main street, and you see artwork damaged. Seats smashed. Trees chopped down. Graffiti splattered on walls. Not even hate graffiti, which at least has some motivation -- even if I reject it -- but just graffiti for the sake of defacing a virgin wall.

            Vandalism. It’s mindless. Purposeless. Meaningless.

            In the village of Telkwa, on Highway 16 through northern British Columbia, people woke up one morning to find that during the night someone – or more likely, a small group of someones -- had trashed a garden display in Eddy Park, where the Bulkley and Telkwa rivers meet.

             Sometime during the night, vandals smashed flower pots, trampled plants, scattered debris throughout the town.

Comments (0) Number of views (1125)




Learning lessons from evolution

Author: Jim Taylor

Let’s quit calling evolution a “theory.” When Darwin first proposed the concept, evolution was a theory. It’s not any more – it’s a reality.


Gravity was a theory too, when Newton first advanced it. But no one today would step off a cliff because he believes gravity is an unproven theory. 

            Evolution is not open for debate or denial. No more than, say, the mathematical concept that one plus one equals two. Or the value of pi. 

            Darwin did not invent evolution. He recognized what had been there all along.

            Since then, not one scientific discovery has disproven evolution. 

Comments (0) Number of views (1107)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: Evolution, Darwin




Extremes come in opposite pairs -- both wrong

Author: Jim Taylor

You’d think that Londoners should be inured to terror. They lived through the WWII blitz. Through IRA bombings in the 1990s. Through coordinated attacks on subways and buses in 2005. And during the Brexit campaign, the murder of MP Jo Cox.

            But it took three attacks in three months – on parliament at Westminster in March, at the Manchester concert in May, and now on London Bridge in June – to provoke Prime Minister Teresa May into declaring that there was “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the United Kingdom.

            The mass media immediately construed her words as a slap at Islamic extremism. The Independenttrumpeted that all recent attacks were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamic extremism.”

             Elsewhere in her comments, Teresa May did identify radical Islamists. But her reference to “too much tolerance” was more general.

Comments (0) Number of views (1108)




Road building for dummies

Author: Jim Taylor

Road re-construction seems to me to bear distinct parallels to the way churches, political parties, and community organizations operate. 

            Most social reconstruction follows the “pave it over” model. The old road – the old beliefs, the old ways of doing things, the tried-and-true constitutions and policies of the past – continue to exist under the fresh new face. Or policy.

            In churches, the kind of organizations I know best, this means that a 2000-year-old pre-scientific-age text continues to underlie all major decisions. Creeds almost as old remain untouchable. 

            Similarly, political parties elect new leaders, lay out new platforms. But old prejudices and ideologies still lurk just below the surface.

            Occasionally, though, some groups try to start from zero, like building a new highway. But they first have to clear away any broken components of the former road. They have to dig deep to establish root principles. They have to expand that foundation with layers of interpretation.

Comments (0) Number of views (1811)




If I had intervened, would I be dead?

Author: Jim Taylor

What would I have done? The question haunts me.

            Last week, three men were stabbed after they intervened on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon, to stop a white supremacist from harassing two young women, one of them wearing a head covering.

            It seems the women were not doing anything objectionable, other than riding a public train. But the stabber started yelling racial insults and profanities at them. The three men tried to stop him.

            Now two of them are dead, and one still recovering in hospital.

            And so I wonder, what would I do? I like to think I would do the noble thing, the honorable thing. I like to think I would have stood up for common decency.

            If so, would I be dead now?

Comments (0) Number of views (1274)
«June 2017»



"gate of the year" #MeToo .C. Taylor 12th night 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 215 3G 4004 BC 70 years 8 billion 9/11 A A God That Could Be Real abduction aboriginal abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam Adams River addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix Advent advertising affirmative action Afghanistan agendas aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airlines airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations allies Almighty Almighty God alone ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Gorman Amanda Todd Amazon American empire Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis anarchy Andes Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anger animals anniversaries Anniversary Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac apologetics Apologies apology apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong army Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes Asian assisted death astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits Aunt Jemima Australia authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 Baal Shem Tov baby Bach bad news baggage Bagnell Bahai Baldi Bali Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas Barbados barbed wire barbers barriers Bashar al Assad Batman baton BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs bells belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bethlehem Bible biblical sex bicycle Biden Bill C-6 billboards billionaire BioScience Bird songs birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings Blockade blockades blood blood donations blood donors Bloomberg Blue Christmas boar boarding school body Boebert Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women BOMBHEAD bombing bombings bombs books border patrol borrowing both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brain development Brain fog brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken Bruce McLeod bubbles Buber Bucket list Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying burials bus driver bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras campfire Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer candidates cannibalism Canute Capitol Capp caregivers Caribbean Caribbean Conference of Churches caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cash castes cats cave caveats CBC CD Cecil the lion. Zanda cell phones Celsius CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking childbirth children Chile Chile. Allende China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christiaanity Christian Christianity Christians Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas Eve Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer Chrystia Freeland church churches circle of life citizenship Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clearwater Clichés cliffhanger climate change climate crisis clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee coincidence cold Coleman collaboration collapse collective work colonial colonial mindset colonialism colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort comic strips commercials communication Communion community compassion competition complexity composers composting computer processes Computers conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confession confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consensus consent conservative Conservative Party conservative values conspiracies conspiracy constitution construction contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy Convoy cooperation COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporate defence corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral cover-up COVID-19 Coyotes CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche credit credit cards creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing Crows crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cuba Missile Crisis Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cute cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damien Damocles Dan Rather dancing Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Scott David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death death survival deaths debt decision decisions decorations deficit Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy Democratic denial Denny's departure Depression Derek Chauvin Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass Dickie dinners dinosaurs discontinuities discussion Dishwashing dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair donor doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks duets Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day earthquake Earworms Easter Eat Pray Love Eatons Ebola echo chambers e-cigarettes eclipse
Copyright 2023 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada