06 August 2009

August snippets

  • Fr. Raymond J. De Souza fears for the future of religious liberty in Canada, and with some justification: The unnecessary defeat of the Hutterites. Fr. De Souza:

    My late mentor, Father Richard John Neuhaus, used to argue that if the state is secular and small, the danger to religious liberty can be contained. But if the state is large, and everywhere the state goes religion must retreat, then religious liberty is imperilled.

  • Two more posts have gone up on my Genevan Psalter blog: Song of Hannah and Singing the Psalms: Presbyterian Church in Canada.

  • The Hungarian media have picked up on a recent article I published in Comment: Demokrácia vallás nélkül? I can make out my name and the links to my book and blog, but that's about it. Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language distantly related to Estonian, Sami and the Finnish language spoken by my maternal forebears. I'd love to know what the article says, as well as more about the periodical Népszabadság that carries the article. Any Hungarian speakers out there who might lend a hand?

  • Nearly fifty years after the old Co-operative Commonwealth Federation struck an alliance with the labour unions and rechristened itself the New Democratic Party, some members of the latter are toying with the possibility of another name change: What's in a name? The NDP mulls a change in moniker, and Putting 'new' back in the NDP. My suggestion? The Social Democratic Party of Canada, thus emphasizing its connection with similar, more successful parties elsewhere, e.g., the British Labour Party, the Australian Labor Party and Germany's Social Democratic Party. Might as well give it a try. After all, given that its federal record rivals that of the Chicago Cubs, it's not as though it has anything more to lose.

  • I have recently come across a marvellous book, A Progressive Traditionalist: John M. Lyle, Architect. Lyle designed the building that houses our family's congregation, Central Presbyterian Church, here in Hamilton, as well as Toronto's Union Station and many more structures. Given my longstanding interest in architecture and urban planning, I will be posting more on this book in the near future.

  • Did you know that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Napoleon III's Prefect of the Seine and designer of the new Paris, influenced Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago? This year marks the 200th anniversary of Haussmann's birth and the 100th anniversary of Burnham's Plan. And did you know further that Abraham Kuyper was an outspoken critic of Haussmann's efforts? This is the subject of another forthcoming post. Stay tuned.

  • Life on Mars unlikely, methane mystery suggests. The phenomenon described sounds vaguely familiar to this earthling. Indeed is it possible that the red planet itself might occasionally "break wind"?

  • I have just received word that my book, Political Visions and Illusions, has gone into a third printing almost two years to the day after it went into a second. I am, of course, grateful that it continues to be read and valued.
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