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

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

 

28

Sep

2016

Another way of knowing God

Author: Jim Taylor
Maybe we’ve gotten it backwards.
When Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the year 313 of our calendar, he inherited a religious landscape that looked rather like a dysfunctional school playground. The children were all playing different games, in the same space. Chaos resulted.
Comments (0) Number of views (482)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: knowing God, God

25

Sep

2016

Close votes reveal division, not decision

Author: Jim Taylor
A mere 27 votes defeated West Kelowna’s plan to build a new city hall. A three per cent shortfall squashed B.C.’s 1995 referendum on electoral reform. Last June, fewer than two per cent of British voters pulled the plug on the European Union. Do these kinds of figures reflect a clear mandate for action? If just 14 people had voted differently in the West Kelowna referendum, the city council would now be negotiating $15 million in funding, instead of licking its wounds. That’s democracy, some will say. If you give the people a vote, you have to accept their decision. But do a few votes either way genuinely reflect the will of the people? The 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty failed by less than one per cent. The margin was tiny; the consequences massive. A figurative handful of voters could have broken up a country of 30 million people.
Comments (0) Number of views (464)

21

Sep

2016

The unwritten rules of hospitality

Author: Jim Taylor
Two springs ago, I took my daughter with me on a trip back to India. I wanted her to see the world in which I had spent my first ten years, the world that has influenced me ever since.
In the city where my parents had served as missionaries, we looked for the house where I had once lived.
Comments (0) Number of views (621)

20

Sep

2016

Letters re Gretta Vosper

Author: Jim Taylor
I’ve been overwhelmed by both the quantity and the quality of the letters I have received over the last few days, about my column comparing the United Church’s examination of Gretta Vosper’s ministry to the Inquisition. Forty letters is a new record! The quantity -- 40 letters, covering 18 pages when print out! -- makes it impossible for me to simply append them to this coming Sunday’s Sharp Edges column. The quality of the letters’ reasoning also makes it difficult for me to reduce them to Twitter-length excerpts. Even so, I have done some editing -- mostly for length, but I hope without distorting anyone’s intent. Warning: even with some editing, this is a very long mailing. So instead of the usual “Your Turn” section in the regular Sunday mailing, I’ve set up this special mailing entirely of your letters.
Comments (0) Number of views (716)
Read more

Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Gretta Vosper

18

Sep

2016

When beliefs matter more than behaviour

Author: Jim Taylor
If there is a life after death, Torquemada must be clapping his hands in glee. My church, The United Church of Canada, has re-instituted the Inquisition. Torquemada, you may recall, headed the Inquisition, the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to stamp out heresy. A week ago, a 23-member committee appointed by the United Church’s Toronto Conference recommended revoking the Rev. Gretta Vosper’s ordination. Her non-standard theology offended too many traditionalists. The mandate of the Inquisition -- sorry, the committee -- was to examine Vosper’s fitness for ministry. They did not do that. In their own words, “This interview did not assess whether Ms. Vosper meets the Standards of Practice with respect to administration, community outreach and social justice, continuing education, denomination and communities, leadership, pastoral care and self-care. The question that Toronto Conference asked this Committee to address was limited to her beliefs and her theology…
Comments (0) Number of views (544)

14

Sep

2016

Breathe first, then swallow

Author: Jim Taylor
I was tired and thirsty, so I pulled into our favourite American-owned Canadian fast food chain. I got a coffee. I took my double-double -- two cream, two sugar -- outside to the car. I took the first sip. And choked, spraying the inside of the windshield with streaks of beverage.
Comments (0) Number of views (602)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: swallow, breathe

11

Sep

2016

Defenders of the status quo are always wrong

Author: Jim Taylor
Phyllis Schlafly died on Monday September 5. Phyllis who? Exactly. Unless you’re over 70 -- or you’re Sarah Palin -- the name Phyllis Schlafly probably draws a mental blank. Newspaper obituaries in the U.S described Schlafly as an icon of the right-wing, the woman who re-shaped American politics. Her influence continues in the Eagle Foundation based in St. Louis, Missouri. She was anti-communist. Anti-abortion. Anti-immigration. Anti- legalized same sex marriage. But above all, anti-ERA. She saw the Equal Rights Amendment as taking away women’s privileges.
Comments (0) Number of views (475)
Read more

Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: status quo

7

Sep

2016

I am the splash in the pond

Author: Jim Taylor
“I just don’t get it,” a friend told me recently. “You talk about us being stardust, about being made of the same stuff as the whole of the universe, about worshipping a cosmic God. I don’t feel connected to a galaxy out there in space somewhere.”
Comments (0) Number of views (494)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: splash, pond

4

Sep

2016

Terrified rider on a runaway planet

Author: Jim Taylor
There’s a tasteless joke about an old man who died peacefully in his sleep. He just closed his eyes, took a final breath, and was gone. “That’s how I want to die,” said his son. “Not terrified and screaming, like the passengers in his car.” I’m one of those passengers, and I’m riding in a car called Earth. And I’m terrified that a bunch of drivers may be taking the planet we’re all riding on off a cliff. The driver may be Donald Trump, if he gets to be president of the most powerful nation on earth. Or it may be Bashar al Assad, who is not president of a powerful nation, but whose regime has been catalyst to a civil war that has generated the greatest flood of refugees since World War II. Or it may be the faceless CEOs of massive corporations like Exxon and Goldman Sachs, who are quite content to let the planet crash as long as they get their bonuses.
Comments (0) Number of views (458)
RSS

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo 150th birthday 1954 1972 3G 9/11 A God That Could Be Real abduction abortion Abrams abuse addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix affirmative action aging Ahriman Ahura Mazda airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations Almighty Almighty God ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Todd Amazon Amherst analysis Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anniversaries antidote Ants aphrodisiac apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern armistice Armstrong Art artifacts astronomy atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits authorities autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 baby Bach bad news baggage Bahai Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas barbed wire barbers Bashar al Assad BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs benefits Bernardo berries Bible biblical sex birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Blackmore blood blood donors boar body Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women bombing bombings bombs books border patrol both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken bubbles Buber Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats Canute caregivers caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cats cave CBC Cecil the lion. Zanda CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christian Christianity Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas trees church churches circle of life Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clichés cliffhanger climate change clocks close votes coastal tribes coffee collaboration collective work colonial mindset colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty communication Communion community complexity composers conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues Confirmation confusion Congo Conrad Black consciousness consensual consent conservative Conservative Party contraception Conversations conversion therapy coral Cornwallis corporations corruption Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents courtesy courts Coventry Cathedral CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes creation creche crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing crucifixion crypto-currencies Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damocles Dan Rather Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death deaths decision Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy denial Denny's departure Depression Descartes despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass dinosaurs dissent diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Donald Trump Donna Sinclair doorways Doug Martindale Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day Easter Eat Pray Love Ebola eclipse economics Eden editing editing by committee Edwards-Sawatzky Egypt eight-track tapes Einstein either/or Elizabeth Gilbert Ellithorpe email embassy emergent emotions encryption English Entropy epiphany epitaph Erika van Oyen erosion Esteban Santiago eternal life eternity ethics Ethiopia Eucharist eulogy evacuation evacuation orders Eve Evelyn Glennie Every Note Played everything evil Evolution expectations experiment extinctions extremes extremism eye for an eye Eyes Facebook faith False Creek fascist fate fear Fedex feel feminine hygiene Fentanyl Fibonacci Field figure skating Fire fireball fires First Nations Fitbit flirting flooding floods floppy disks flow chart flow charts flowers fluency flying Flying objects fog Folk sayings Food Bank forensic Forest fires forests forgiving Four Pests campaign fracking franchises free free speech free will freedom friend Friendship friendships fruit fundamentalism future Gaia games Gandhi Garbage Garrison Keillor Geese genes genocide Gerald Stanley Gerard Manley Hopkins Ghomeshi girls glaciers global economy global warming go north God gods Golden Golden Rule Goldilocks good Good Friday good intentions goodness Google Google Play government Governor General grammar gravity Great Barrier Reef greatest story green Green Eggs Green Party Gretta Vosper grief Grinch Grounded Group of seven groups growth Guiado guilt guns Habits hackers Haidt haircuts Haiti Hal Niedzviecki handshake Harari harassment Harjit Sajjan harmony Haskins hate Hawaii health health plans hearing hearts heat heaven Heisenberg Hell helping herd instinct heroes heroin Higher Porpoise highway hijacking Hillary Clinton Hinduism history Homulka Honduras honesty Hong Kong hope Horgan Horton hospitality houseflies houses Huawei human rights Humboldt hummingbirds humour Hunsberger hurricane ICBMs ice dance Icefields Parkway identity IMF
Copyright 2019 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada