A Place of Solace

A Place of Solace
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. f/2.8 @ 1/15 second.

It’s hard to imagine why any couple would simply sit quietly, huddled closely together upon the icy-cold granite outcrop, despite the howling gale and the tumultuous roar of the mighty Atlantic crashing against the rocky shoreline.

But that is exactly what my wife and I undertook one early evening in mid-August of 2014. It was a charming, itsy-bitsy place called Peggy’s Cove, situated along the rugged coastline of Nova Scotia. We almost had the quaint little locale all to ourselves. Only one straggler was lollygagging on the lee side of the statuesque white lighthouse. The octagonal tower, with balcony and lantern, has stood proudly upon the granite rock for over a century, guiding troubled and weary sailors through many a stormy night.

Our place of solace was almost desolate, barren of the hordes of tourists that visit during the daylight hours.

We envisaged ourselves to be ageless, timeless, listening to the rhythmic ocean waves pound upon the rock, like nature’s drum echoing in the hidden alcoves of an eternal mind. As the ethereal light began to vanish, I turned around and took a snapshot of that frigid, unbreakable place of many secrets. It was an idyllic place, a halcyon that brought us peace.

Just a stranger and a pair of prairie landlubbers, never to pass a word. There would be no salutation amongst shadows in the fading light.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advertisements

Strange Bedfellows? Muslim Immigrants United With Social Conservative Christians Against Abortion

In all of Prime Minister Trudeau’s political doublespeak concerning the partisan policies and actions of the Liberal Party of Canada, I do not think that the twirling pirouette in a pink shirt saw this one coming.

Trudeau’s policy of fast tracking Muslim immigration claimants in Canada has produced an unwanted side-effect that progressive liberals did not count on. The majority of Muslims coming into Canada hold very conservative family values and are generally opposed to abortion. And they are not afraid to go public on the issues.

When it comes to the practical application of Trudeau’s policies concerning women’s issues, diversity seems to apply only to women who subscribe to the current politically correct liberal ideology. In other words, if you are a Muslim woman in Canada that holds to socially conservative values, i.e. against abortion, especially sex-selective abortion, you essentially have no voice on women’s issues in this country.

According to 21-year-old student, Palvasha Qureshi:

As a young woman growing up in Pakistan, I saw firsthand what happens when girls are not counted as equal to, or as valuable as, men. For that reason, sex-selective abortion concerns me, and I am not alone in that worry…this government likes to claim that it values diversity, and it attempts to showcase that by accepting many immigrants and repeating the mantra that “diversity is our strength.” But does Trudeau not understand that many new Canadians, immigrants like myself, have pro-life and socially conservative convictions?

cbc.ca

Qureshi’s pro-life views mirror the current position of the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestants in Canada. This effectually aligns the ideologically different Christian groups with socially conservative Muslims on pro-life issues. United together, they may prove to be a powerful voice for the sanctity of human life and the unborn in Canada.

Strange bedfellows? I don’t think so.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thankfulness is more than an attitude…

photo
Giant pumpkins in Nova Scotia bring beautiful smiles. © 2017 Bruce Kraus. All rights reserved.

This morning I actually slept in until 8:00 AM. My wife was already up, nursing a hot cup of coffee and reading something on her iPad. The sun was literally beaming through the blinds of our living room windows, almost too bright for my preference in the morning. Fall is upon us, the morning sun is rather low on the eastern horizon, the cold air outside signalling that winter is just around the corner.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I have so much to be thankful for over the last year. As I read the posts of both family and friends on FaceBook, I was visibly reminded that life can be mixed-bag for all of us. Some were posting pictures of their new babies (such a joy), others posted pictures of their travels around the world, and some were posting their viewpoints over current political and social agendas, and so forth.

It suddenly occurred to me that much of that does not really matter in light of knowing God. Regardless of how people celebrate Thanksgiving today, I am reminded of who we are truly expressing our thankfulness towards – Jesus Christ.

If you are having considerable difficulty coming up with ANY reason to be thankful today, may I suggest the following:

  1. Take out a sheet of paper and write out who you THINK you are. It does not have be a long drawn out affair – just go with your instinct or gut-feelings on this one.
  2. On the other side of the paper write out how you THINK God sees you.
  3. Somewhere in this process, you will discover something to be thankful for – I suspect that the second half of this exercise will provide the insight you may be looking for.

Have a great day 🙂

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Problem of Presupposition: Part 2

Recently, I wrote an article on the problem of presupposition and ultimately fallacy amongst progressive liberals.  From my experience, it is very difficult to understand, let alone reason with the liberal-minded of today because of their core belief system and their fundamental commitment to that ideology.

Of course, any ideology has a core belief system upon which an individual and/or group evaluates other belief systems and commitments. In a general sense, the aversion that conservatives and liberals have towards each other is rooted in their fundamental and often opposing presuppositions and their commitment to those presuppositions.

Before I venture further into this subject matter, I would like to offer a working definition of presupposition courtesy of another blogger on WordPress.

What is a presupposition?

So what is a presupposition? A presupposition is a core belief or core commitment that we use to evaluate other beliefs or commitments. “Pre” in this sense is not “pre” as in prior in time, as if you make up your mind beforehand. Instead, it means “pre” as in basis or eminence. A presupposition is foundational to your other beliefs and provides a basis or framework for your other beliefs. Additionally, a presupposition is not a matter of the mind only – it’s not a hypothesis or a purely cognitive supposition. It is a commitment – a matter of the mind and heart.

Jed Kampen, A Day in His Court

In many ways, I wish I had referred to Kampen’s article earlier. As one can readily ascertain from the provided definition, a person’s presuppositions are NOT something he or she decides beforehand, a matter of hypothesis or mental reasoning only, but a bonafide commitment to a worldview upon which they view or filter everything else.

This alone should bring more understanding, and perhaps a little humility into our discussion of political ideology. Now, for the sake of brevity, I will not delve into what core values constitute liberalism versus conservatism. Once again, Google is your friend here. I can personally recommend the many articles on Wikipedia concerning the aforementioned as a good starting point.

I mentioned in a previous post, that as a younger person, many of the liberal issues surrounding individual rights, like freedom of religion and conscience and freedom of speech, appealed to me as a Christian or follower of Christ. Likewise, some of the community aspects of modern socialism, including caring for the poor and disenfranchised, appeared to be very similar to my own Christian belief system. Included in that were the sociocultural elements of growing up, at least in part, in a small farming community in western Canada, where faith, the Church, and socialist politics (New Democrat Party, i.e. the NDP) were an integral part of life.

It is my understanding that many of our core values, including our belief system, are instilled in us at a very early age.

Unlike more than a few of my peers in college and university, my core values and commitment to Christ was stronger than I thought. When I encountered the myriad of contrary and contradicting ideologies in a radical socialist university setting, I was not as easily swayed as some of my fellow students. I take no credit for that – I attribute that to the sovereignty and purpose of God in my life.

Many were young, their minds were ripe for the picking by less-than-scrupulous liberal and socialist ideologues who sought to remake them (us) in their image.

Truth be told, I “went to war” against more than one of my professors on matters of morality and ethics, only to suffer some ostracism from a few classmates and retaliation from professors (or TA’s) when it came to marking my essays and exams.

So much for free thinking and open debate in university. The politically correct police were alive and well on campus, even back in the early 1980’s. It might be interesting to note that both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church had colleges on campus, neither of which I chose to enrol in. Nevertheless, more than one of the aforementioned liberal-minded socialist professors were tenured at either one of those colleges. No surprise there, but bitterly disappointing to me at the time.

It did not take me long to figure out that modern socialism is rooted in secular humanism, and by definition is Godless. That small community of farmers, mentioned earlier, supported socialism and voted NDP because it benefitted them economically at that time. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, things have changed over the last 35 years or so. The socialist politics of yesterday have been swept away and replaced with conservatism almost universally in our province. The holdouts are unionists and those who depend on social services and the gravy train, especially those living in the more remote northern regions of the province.

Although modern liberalism is also rooted in secular humanism, there has been more tolerance and latitude for belief systems such as Christianity and its inherit morality and ethics. Unfortunately, what was true two or three decades ago in Canada, is no longer true today. As alluded to in an earlier post, somewhere along the line, liberalism expunged morality and ethics from its core values, at least in terms of absolute morality and ethics. Many of us who were once liberals, and Christian, have now sought shelter amongst conservatives.

Our nation has moved from legalizing abortion to euthanasia (physician assisted suicide). Politicians, lawyers, and judges have diluted the legal definition of marriage and family to something almost unrecognizable. The powers that be have chipped away, eroded, and limited freedom of speech. Political leaders are antagonizing the very principles of freedom of religion and conscience by repeatedly caving in to specific religious special interest groups. Just about anything in our culture that represents Christianity is under attack in the public realm by the aforementioned, amongst others. To disagree with an ideology, other than Christianity (apparently it is Ok to target Christians) and to question the morality and ethics of individuals or groups is to invite a barrage of vitriol and hatred, or worse.

Why do the aforementioned hate anyone or anything that would shine a light on that which is hidden in the darkness of their hearts and minds? Because they are as wholeheartedly committed to their ideology as I am to mine.

The question is “who is right?” Which ideology is vastly superior to the other? These are the questions we should be asking rather than just assuming (based on presuppositions) that all political and religious philosophies or ideologies are equal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 🙂

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.