Today's Moncton Times and Tribune can't even contrive to be its normal lying and obscuring self. It's just, plain boring. Perhaps the biggest story is p. 1 of NewsToday. "PM gets audience with Queen" It even has a photo of Harper shaking the royal hand. And, it even carries bits of the sacred conversation as he presented her with a portrait of herself.
"It's changed quite a bit since I last saw it." she said..... And there's more - even better - but I won't spoil it. Get YOUR copy of the TandT now to read it.
But - a warning, don't read it if you are easily aroused . It says the Queen was wearing a blue and white patterrned dress. She was carrying a black handbag. This is not for the faint of heart.
The Queen will not keep the painting. (Good call, Liz). It will hang in Rideau Hall - where none of us will see it, either. This is all a part of Harper's wonderful plan to cover Canada in pictures of the Queen. I wonder how much this twenty minutes of magic cost us taxpayers. Certainly, it will cost many, many times as much as the $47,000 photo of Ace MacKay sitting in the cockpit of a fake F-35.
The editorials were boring. Norbert was amusing. Alec Bruce was interesting (though, as sometimes happens, unnlikely to connect with the average reader.)
Rod Allen, bless his heart, tells us yet another pointless story from the diary of his dreadfully ordinary life.
Jody Dallaire, as always, saves the op ed page.
There is a letter to the editor to the editor which, though it reads like a cute and starving Oliver Twist going up to the cruel, workhouse master and pleading, "Plese, sir, may I have more." is actually from the President of Enbridge gas. Save this one for bathroom reading. Then use it in an environmentally responsible way.
Ther is also an excellent letter from a Stacey Hansen about Moncton High.
And that's it. This edition is bo-ring - unless you really, really care that the Queen carried a black handbag.
There's no mention of bill C-38 which is designed to make resource companies rich by destroying was is left of our environment. There was a demonstration about it last night of fifty or so of us, banging on pots and pans from Place Assomption to MP Robert Goguen's office and back. Lots of encouraging honks of horns and waves from passing drivers. (There was also one half-wit who deliberately swerved into the line of marchers, and very nearly hit the person ahead of me. I assure you, though, the half-wit was not Harper. I know that because he was presenting a protrait to the Queen at the times. Anyway, there was no statuette of the Queen stuck to the car's dashboard.
Alas, there were no reporters there. (They're not allowed out when it's cold and raining.)
Well - that didn't take long. So let's talk a little about Crandall University (the Christian one that disapproves of gays) and about Moncton church-goers in general.
I was two years at a Baptist University not far from here. It was very Baptist. One night, A student in residence got very drunk, picked up a revolver to play Russian roulette -and shot himself in the head. The university administration leaped into action. It sent janitors to search the whole building for liquor bottles, and to dispose of them, including the many that were in the garbage.
Then, with the building sanitized, they informed the police and the ambulance service. God bless them for their Christian concern.
Moncton has the reputation of being a very Christian city, indeed with, seemingly, a heavy emphasis on the most stridently righteous sects, the ones that happily spend their days pointing self-righteous fingers at "sinners" and clapping hands for Jesus.
Yet we live in a province ruled by pure greed, a province indifferent to the damage done to God's earth and God's people by reckless resource development, indifferent to the economic exploitation of hundreds of thousands of New Brunswickers, indifferent to the abuses inflicted by the very rich ...
indifferent to a government which routinely favours the rich at the expense of the poor. We live in a country which has just been named as one that cooperates with torturers, does some torturing on its own, and protects war criminals.
Forgive me if I seem uninformed on The Bible. But aren't there moral issues here? Aren't there passages about love and forgiveness and caring? Aren't there denunciations of greed and hatred, and coveting?
No,I am NOT suggesting that the church should be blended with the state. (The churches are already far too often in bed with the state. Recently, a big church sign down the street from me urged us to pray for OUR soldiers in Afghanistan. Does that church actually think God is on our side? Does it think Jesus maybe was a bit hammered when He said "Love thine enemies?")
No, I don't think that the church should be any part of the state apparatus, or should have any special power in government matters. But I do think Christians should act in such a way that we can tell they are Christians. What we do as a society should concern Christians, and should be discussed in churches in relation to their beliefs.
I have been in churches that didn't just jump for Jesus, or look for Bible passages that confirmed their prejudices. I have been in churches that actually discussed the meaning of Christianity today. All right, it's wrong to beat up and rob a Samaritan. Got the message, way back when I was seven. So, is it okay to kill over a million Iraqis and steal their oil? Was it okay for Canada to bomb Libya to get its oil? ("Duh, gee," say our churches, "the Bible doesn't mention Libyans or Iraqis. Just Samaritans.)
How can Christians sit around in a world of greed and hunger and killing and torture and exploitation, and just sit there with their faces hanging out?
I'll bet the whole staff at the Moncton Times and Tribune are regular chuch-goers.