This Week in Religion 2018-02-12

by | February 12, 2018

“The head of the regional Catholic Church is taking issue with a condition in the Canada Summer Jobs Grant (CSJG) program that requires applications to attest support for reproductive rights, which includes the right to access safe and legal abortion.

As a result, Bishop Ronald Fabbro says the diocese won’t apply for the grant money and he’s urging other religious groups to do the same. The boycott also applies to Catholic parishes that run summer camps and other programs that employ students.

“I believe that we need to take a stand against the position of the government of Canada and say that we will not be bullied into even the appearance of collusion on this issue. While others may take an alternative path, we can make a powerful statement by saying ‘no’ to the conditions as set down by the government,” Fabbro wrote Tuesday, in an open letter to 118 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.”


“The Diocese of London said it will “not be bullied” even into appearing to accept the federal government’s so-called “values clause” in applications for the Canada Summer Jobs program.

In a statement Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro said the Diocese of London needs to “take a stand” on the controversial issue.

“We will not be bullied into even the appearance of collusion on this issue,” wrote Fabbro. “We can make a powerful statement by saying ‘No’ to the conditions as set down by the government.””


“The tears started almost as Jolly Bimbachi stepped off the airport escalator and into the waiting embrace of her 18-year-old daughter.

“You smell like Syria,” said Rayenne Annous  with a laugh, burying her face into her mother’s chest. “So relieved.”

After months apart, Bimbachi, 41, is back with one of her children following an unsuccessful attempt to bring her other two back to Canada.

The Chatham, Ont., woman says she travelled to Lebanon on Nov. 18 to find Omar Ahmad, 8, and Abdal-Geniy Ahmad, 7, after her ex-husband, Ali Ahmad, failed to return the children to Canada following a 2015 visit.”


“A sea change in the religious landscape of Canada is underway. Led by millennials, Canada is increasingly moving towards a secular culture. “Spiritual but not religious” has become our new normal.

A 2015 Angus Reid poll found 39 per cent of Canadians identify as “spiritual but not religious.” Another 27 per cent identify as “neither religious nor spiritual;” 24 per cent as “religious and spiritual;” and 10 per cent as “religious but not spiritual.”

What sparked this dramatic change in beliefs and self-identification? And what does it mean for the future of Canadian society?”


Each week Dr. Yusra Ahmad, a psychiatrist and clinical lecturer at University of Toronto, meets six to eight women with a range of mental health disorders at a mosque in the city’s west end. She leads them through a program that combines mindful meditation with concrete skills to manage negative thoughts and regulate emotions.

However, this is not your typical mindfulness therapy. Each session began with prayers from the Qur’an and incorporates teachings from Islamic scholars.

She also uses imagery familiar to the women. For example, when leading a session on mindful eating, instead of using the example of a raisin, as she does with other audiences, she focuses on a date. The reason: Dates have an important role in Muslim traditions, enabling the women to relate to meditation techniques on a more personal level.”


Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

3 thoughts on “This Week in Religion 2018-02-12

  1. dusttodust

    I still don’t understand requiring this sign-off from the organizations. If it can be proven that THEY discriminate against people that might hold those views and not hire them (or have them removed) after some kind of “values” test then sure cut them off (and charge them). But if they don’t do a values test on the prospective employees (or afterwards) then no one would be the wiser.

    Also…organizations don’t hold religious beliefs…people do. Yes people run organizations. Yes organizations can be a religion with people running them to convince people to believe in said religion. But the organization does not have a brain to believe in anything.

    Maybe I’m just not grasping some kind of nuance somewhere.

    1. Shawn the Humanst

      This issue is not discrimination against employees. It’s that you don’t get the money if you are lobbying for or advocating changing the law. So the money cannot go to political groups trying to do political things.

    2. Indi

      Yes, it sounds like you’re conflating two stories. One is about the government refusing to provide funds to groups agitating against Charter values. The other is about religious organizations firing people who don’t measure up to their religious values.

      Shawn the Humanist is talking about the first story. The second story (which I think most recently came up with a person fired for possibly being in a same-sex relationship) isn’t mentioned in this update.


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