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

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Walking billboards for what we believe

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday February 17, 2022


Editorial note: I’m feeling mentally lethargic these days, so rather than try to write about an entirely new subject, I thought it worth repeating last year’s column about “Pink Shirt Day,” which is coming up next Wednesday 

            Anti-Bullying Day started in Canada. I’m proud of that fact, as proud as an apologetic Canadian can be about anything.

            Two teenagers in Nova Scotia, David Shepherd and Travis Price, objected to another student being ridiculed for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. So they bought 50 pink shirts and handed them out to other students, to wear in solidarity with the bullying victim. 

            Because their act coincided with the school year, Nova Scotia first set Anti-Bullying Day in September. The day moved around a little, as other provinces climbed on the bandwagon. The government of Canada now defines the last Wednesday of February as Anti-Bullying Day. 

            So when I took the dog out for her morning walk yesterday, I was wearing a pink T-shirt. 

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Conversion therapy a form of bullying

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday August 26, 2021


I no longer believe in conversions. I mention this, because conversion therapy has become an election issue.

            I had a classic conversion experience, once -- down on my knees, acknowledging my sinful nature, turning my life over to Jesus, emerging wrung out and tearful.

            In truth, I’ve probably had a dozen conversion experiences. They might better be called Epiphanies -- moments when the pieces I had been shuffling suddenly snapped into place, a “Aha!” moment.

            A couple of friends have been trying to change my mind -- and I theirs -- on several topics for about 20 years. I see no sign that I have influenced them.

            And all they have done for me is push me farther along the direction I was already going.

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Walking billboards

Author: Jim Taylor

I wore a pink T-shirt yesterday, Anti-Bullying Day in Canada. But because this isn’t T-shirt weather, I wore it over the top of my other clothes, to make it more visible. 

            Anti-Bullying Day started in Canada. I’m proud of that fact, as proud as an apologetic Canadian can be about anything.

            Two teenagers in Nova Scotia, David Shepherd and Travis Price, objected to another student being ridiculed for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. So they bought 50 pink shirts and handed them out to other students, to wear in solidarity with the bullying victim. 

            So when I took the dog out for her morning walk yesterday, I was wearing a pink T-shirt. Also, red-and-white socks, a thank-you gift from the Canadian Red Cross for a donation in my wife’s memory. A blue tuque from my church’s Thrift Shop. A Rotary pin. 

            And I thought, I’m a walking billboard!

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Symbolic gestures can make a difference

Author: Jim Taylor

I wore a pink shirt last Wednesday. Pink is not my colour. It makes me look like cotton candy with a beard.

            But Wednesday was anti-bullying day, so I wore pink.

            It feels like a futile gesture. After all, what difference will it make if one old man wears a pink shirt for one day? School yard bullies won’t see it at all. Neither will patriarchal males in India and Africa who think of women as something inferior, to do with as they please. Nor will my pink shirt influence the behaviour of egocentric rulers in Riyadh or Moscow, Washington or Damascus.

            Short answer -- no difference at all.

            So why bother?

            I hear that response often, when I get into discussions about the state of the world. 

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When your child is hurting…

Author: Jim Taylor

I have a lot of sympathy for Kimberley Jones. You haven’t heard of her? Almost certainly, you have heard of her son, 11-year-old Keaton Jones.

            The Facebook post of Keaton, crying in the seat of his mother’s car as she brought him home from school has now had 20 million views, and been featured on newscasts around the world.

            A tearful Keaton asked why kids wanted to bully, why they picked on innocent kids, why they poured milk on him. “It’s not okay,” he told his mother’s cell phone. “It’s not their fault they’re different.”

            I sympathize with her, because I too had a son who suffered from teasing. And perhaps some bullying. He was born with cystic fibrosis, an incurable, hereditary, and at the time terminal illness.

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