Sometimes when studying and writing seem like less than ideal activities for a day, I leave the television muted in the background, just for the movement. The channel and show are generally irrelevant because I’m really just looking for the feeling of company – another presence, however artificial, to guide my thoughts into productivity.A couple of months ago I randomly left the TV on The Learning Channel (TLC) and proceeded to become absorbed in images of a family with a seemingly bizarre number of children; women and girls modestly dressed in skirts and men and boys with polo shirts and trousers. When, out of curiosity, I finally turned on the sound, I learned I was watching the Duggar family, Jim Bob and Michelle, raise their “19 Kids and Counting”.
A new debate is emerging concerning the relation between religion and politics in Canada, brought on in part by NDP MP Pat Martin’s comments that Opus Dei gives him ‘the creeps’, and closely related to Marci MacDonald’s recent book about the Christian Right’s influence in Parliament.
I’m a Blackberry girl. My closest friends and family can attest to the fact that my BB and I are rarely apart from each other. My partner has an iPhone, and I occasionally go over to the dark side. In all honesty, it has better (cooler) applications. To date my favourite iPhone app is the Ocarina (iPhone flute), or it was, until I discovered iChristian, a free application which “contains the minimum required information to become a Christian.”
Voting for Jesus: Marci McDonald’s ‘The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada’ – Nick Dion
If we are to believe Tuesday’s Toronto Star, the release of Marci McDonald’s The Armageddon Factor this past week was a much-anticipated event. Building on an article that she wrote a few years back for The Walrus magazine, McDonald’s book charts the rise of Christian nationalism in Canada and demonstrates the extent of its political influence over the current federal government. In this respect, I was expecting something similar to Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy, which dealt with the influence of the religious right in US politics from Reagan onwards.My curiosity was sufficiently peaked to pick up a copy of the book on its release date. I was not expecting an academic text; McDonald made no pretensions of presenting one.
The triumph of Canada’s hockey gold medals now a month old and the memories of the Olympics are starting to fade. Watching the Olympics unfold in our own country is an experience in and of itself. I must admit I’m not a sports fan. Even as a child I was usually on the sidelines and unusually drawn to what was happening in the bleachers, rather than the events on field. I like to think that it was my budding anthropologist in me that drew my focus to the spectators rather than the athletes, but I suspect it had more to do with poor hand-eye coordination than it did with future career aspirations. But my interest in the activities on the sidelines remains.