Tag Archives: Ontario

Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close. — Ronald Reagan

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There’s no business like show business, least of all in the United States. Americans love celebrity, flamboyance, sensationalism and showmanship whether it is in the entertainment industry, politics, business, journalism or religion. I am reminded of this in looking at the careers of  Aimee Semple McPherson and Anita Sarkeesian, two women from Canada, who found fame and fortune in the United States by means of shameless self-promotion, partnership with men endowed with shrewd business acumen, and through a masterful use of electronic media to broadcast their simplified and sensationalized messages to a wide and receptive audience. How they differ is that Aimee Semple McPherson found fame as a prominent Pentecostal evangelist in the first half of the 20th century; whereas, Anita Sarkeesian thrives in the present, promoting herself as a “pop culture critic.” Sarkeesian’s message is aimed at people who subscribe to the temporal ideologies of feminism and social justice. Despite these differences, if you look closely at the career of Aimee Semple McPherson and compare it to that of Anita Sarkeesian you will notice there are striking similarities, particularly as to the question of the character of both Aimee Semple McPherson and Anita Sarkeesian. Continue reading

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As long as teachers give tests, there will always be prayer in schools. — Unknown

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The issue of the practice of religion and religious education in Ontario schools has been a contentious issue throughout their history. The first Board of Education was established in Upper Canada (what became the Province of Ontario) in 1823. In 1824 the Board of Education was allotted funds to provide  for the “moral and religious instruction of the more indigent and remote settlements.” (The school system of Ontario) While Christianity was the dominant religion in Ontario in the 19th century there were sectarian divisions, notably those between Protestant and Roman Catholic, but there was also division between the various Protestant denominations, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, for example. These divisions created strife and hard feelings regarding the provision of moral and religious instruction in Ontario schools. By the 1840s Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882), a Methodist clergyman and champion of public education, proposed “common schools” to educate children of all faiths. This was really quite forward thinking of Ryerson, but the divisions in Christendom at the time were so pronounced this was not possible. Continue reading

Mallard hen with duckling

Sole survivor

By mid-July on the Rideau River this mallard hen has only one of her brood left. She will have started out with a brood of six to eight newly hatched ducklings in May-June, but ducklings fall prey to seagulls, snapping turtles and other predators very easily. Chances are the surviving duckling will not survive its first year of life. This is the reality in the natural world: 85% of the birds and animals born in spring do not last a year, but enough do last long enough to breed the following spring and perpetuate their species.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey

Brown-headed cowbird

Trio of male brown-headed cowbirds

Three male brown-headed cowbirds perched in the treetops next to the Rideau River, June 30, 2013. The brown-headed cowbird is unusual in that it practices nest parasitism. Cowbirds do not rear their own young. The female lays an egg in another bird’s nest and the cowbird chick hatches and is reared by the other birds. It pushes the chicks of the host birds out of the nest so it does not compete for food. Some species of songbird have adapted to this threat in building dummy nests to lure the cowbird to leave its eggs, leaving them free to rear their own broods.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey

Gray catbird

Gray catbird

Gray catbird perched in the treetops at the edge of the Rideau River, June 30, 2013. The gray catbird is so named because of its call that sounds like a cat meowing. You can usually hear the call of the gray catbird in shrubs and wooded areas near bodies of water. If you meow back at a catbird, often it will respond and show itself.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey