All posts tagged: Freedom

Our other COVID fear: Do we still have rights?

You have probably heard the news about people in Australia who are demonstrating in the streets. Their concern is something about COVID restrictions, and the way their government treats them. I am not Australian, and I’m not a medical specialist, but there seems to be a growing fear around the world. People are concerned about the loss of their rights, with restrictions for safety, in a health emergency. A few days ago, I was driving in a town close to where I live, and I saw some people holding signs. I saw only three people holding signs, near the courthouse. They were friendly, and they waved at the cars driving by. Probably they were demonstrating about civil rights and COVID restrictions. We all hope that COVID will dry up and go away soon. Eventually it will. Where I live, due to health-care restrictions, there is a debate about our rights. That includes the three friendly demonstrators that I saw, and the crowds can be much larger, and less friendly. We also get advertising from the …

Get Out of Jail Free!

Some of us are put in prison, others make our prisons. It’s no fun being in prison. I spent time working in one of Canada’s penitentiaries and there is a real sense of the walls closing in. Hopelessness and tension are everywhere. Wherever I went, I had an armed guard escorting me. To get to my area, I had to go through a metal detector, put my belongings through an x-ray machine, and go through five security gates. At every point, I had to wait for the go ahead before I could proceed.    Sharp shooters were stationed at four sentry towers to shoot any prisoner who dared to escape into the brutal no man’s land. It is a side of the justice that few of us see or want to see. This is a secure prison. And inside is a man. He is a regretful man who did very bad things. His cell has cement block walls and an open toilet. He is locked in by an electronically controlled steel door with a small …

Credit: arbyreed/Flickr/Creative Commons

Just Don’t Drink the Poison

“We teach people how to treat us.” (Dr Phil) Toxic people are everywhere, and one of them will find you if you give them a chance. They range from overbearing parents or others in the family who know how we should live our lives, to addicts and alcoholics, and sometimes to violent abusers. You might have heard words like this “You make me like this, it’s your fault.” or “I drink because of you.” or “I only lose my temper when you …” RELATED: Cut toxic people out of your life says Christian psychiatrist: Christian Today In my extended family, I have a cousin who came under the control of an abusive man. She tells this story in churches, and this is my summary. As a young woman, I think a teenager, she met an older man and then moved in with him. They never did marry and she was a Christian. After some time, she realized that the man was controlling and abusive, and she needed to get out. One day they had a …

Mormons, Toyota, and God

Mormons: Mormons, in the heartland in Utah have an interesting problem. Young men are leaving the church in large numbers, but many young women are staying. Traditionally, Mormons marry young, and have large families. They have a belief that childbirth brings a soul from the realm of the unborn into salvation; so being born is like being born again. You can see how young and unmarried men cause a problem when they leave. Why is this happening? My best guess is the leavers follow the reasoning of all young men; they do it because they can. When I was young, Christians in my church were often called fundamentalists, and they liked the name. I once passed a line outside a movie theater, and I’m sure I saw my aunt. We did not make eye contact and I have kept her secret all these years. Christians were not supposed to go to movies, in those days. Another time, in a church library, I found a book with a chapter “Should Christians go Bowling?” I forget the …

The cost of freedom. Photo: Mark Sardella/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes you just have to pay the bribe

I was reading a story that brought back some old memories. Rev. Canon Andrew White, otherwise known as the Vicar of Baghdad, was at one point the only Anglican Priest willing to live in Baghdad, Iraq. Because of his prominence, there were fears he would be assassinated by Islamic terrorist and last year the Anglican church transferred him to a church in Jordan. Reports are circulating that he was recently suspended by an organization he works for — the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRM). FRRM has launched an inquiry over allegations the Vicar used the organization’s funds to free Christian women being sold in a sex slave market by the Islamic terrorist organization — ISIS. White has since denied using FRRM funds for this. But the incident reminded me of something my wife and I went through over 20 years ago. We were unable to have children and this led us to adopt overseas. We adopted our daughter from Peru. As we entered the adoption process, we had to pay …