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Ethics

Special Feature

June 2016

Meet the five United Church people who helped shape Canada’s groundbreaking laws about options at the end of life

By Various Writers

The debate is heating up on how much control Canadians have over their own deaths. Here are some of the conversation's influencers.

Feature

June 2016

Remembering Gloria Taylor

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Feature

June 2016

Death of a king

By Tim Johnson

The writer journeyed to Zimbabwe to inquire about the shooting of a celebrated lion. But he discovered that you can’t separate the scourge of poaching from the desperation of poverty.

Feature

May 2016

Married to mental illness

By Denise Davy

Caring for a spouse with serious psychological issues can test even the strongest relationship

Feature

May 2016

Spare the rod, protect the child

By John Barber

With the Trudeau government on the verge of banning spanking, critics ask: why has it taken Canada so long?

Feature

May 2016

Are vegans right?

By David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.

Special Feature

May 2016

No wombs for rent

By Tony Fong

Feature

January 2016

Should you give a panhandler money?

By Anne Bokma

The answer isn’t always obvious.

Feature

January 2016

There but for the grace of God

By Anne Bokma

Six stories my Facebook friends shared about their encounters with the homeless

Feature

January 2016

Advice from a homeless person

By Anne Bokma

Feature

January 2016

This is the world our children will inherit, and it's not looking good

By Sanjay Khanna

Climate chaos. Economic upheaval. Psychological stress. A futurist looks for hope amid the coming turmoil.

Feature

November 2015

Sidebar: 'The pornography filled a void'

By Trisha Elliott

A United Church minister describes how a pornography dependency hurt his first marriage and how he recovered a healthy sex life. The 50-something church leader spoke to The Observer on condition of anonymity.

Special Feature

November 2015

Who says religion and pornography don't mix?

By Erica Lenti

Online erotica is booming, and so are porn addictions. But mainline churches seem all too content to look away.

Feature

November 2015

Art restoration

By Krystina Mierins

Paintings stolen by Nazis still hang in Canadian galleries. Paltry government funding is hampering efforts to identify and return them

Feature

November 2015

Life with robots

By Patricia Clarke

They can do our chores, drive our cars and fight our wars. Whether they can act ethically is another question.

Feature

November 2015

Too much information?

By Kylie Taggart

Genetic testing can warn you about serious illnesses lurking in your DNA. The downside is chronic worry — and snooping insurance companies.

Feature

July 2015

Final decisions

By Various Writers

Dying used to be so simple. New laws and changing customs make for a more complicated exit.

Feature

July 2015

Baby(sitting) boomers

By Pieta Woolley

How much parenting should today’s grandmas and grandpas do?

Feature

May 2015

How one group of women stood up to Bill Cosby by disrupting him on stage

By Anne Bokma

I wasn't amused when comedian Bill Cosby came to town amid fresh allegations of sexual assault. So I and 30 others planned our own stand-up moment.

Feature

May 2015

Forever young

By Larry Krotz

Researchers are using cutting-edge science in a quest to defy mortality. How far should they go?

Feature

March 2015

Extreme downsizing

By Anne Bokma

For tiny house enthusiasts, sometimes less is more

Feature

February 2015

Fair trade coffee might not be as beneficial as you think

By Pieta Woolley

Buying fair trade coffee doesn’t hurt. But it doesn’t help as much as we might imagine.

Feature

February 2015

Little bundles of good

By Drew Halfnight

New research suggests that infants are ethical right from the cradle

Feature

January 2015

A family like any other

By Sonya Corbin Dwyer

Author Sonya Corbin Dwyer is as much a mother to her daughters as any biological parent. So why do people keep asking, ‘Where are they from?’

Feature

September 2014

Sore point

By Alison Shouldice

Despite doctors’ urgings, growing numbers of Canadian parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Who should be calling the shots?

Feature

June 2014

Playing God?

By John Barber

A little-known Ontario panel routinely makes live-or-die decisions for gravely ill patients. As the population ages, other jurisdictions would do well to study how the panel navigates end-of-life ethics.

Feature

April 2014

Destination: dilemma

By Tim Johnson

Travelling to countries that flout human rights is ethically precarious. But it doesn't mean we should simply stay home.

Feature

April 2014

Dwindling donors, deeper pockets

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Canadians do care. But fewer are putting their money where their hearts are.

Feature

March 2014

Communes get a modern makeover

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets an update for grownups — cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters.

Feature

January 2014

Four years, 9 months

By Jocelyn Bell

A journey through infertility

Faith

Chris Pratt's church, while claiming to accept everyone, states in its doctrine of faith that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. (Photo: Chris Pratt/Instagram)

Celebrity megachurches need to clarify LGBTQ acceptance: pastor

by Emma Prestwich

Zoe Church, where actor Chris Pratt worships, may not truly "open their doors" to everyone, like he claims.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

'The Observer' will soon relaunch with a new name and design

by Jocelyn Bell

Our magazine will be going through some changes, but we see blue skies ahead

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Video

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

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Society

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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