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Ethics

Feature

September 2013

Government’s big gamble

By Orland French

When politicians debate casinos, money almost always trumps morals. By failing to raise ethical issues, they’re betting against our best interests.

Feature

April 2013

The ugly Internet

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Online misogyny is running rampant. Critics say that hate is hate, whether it’s expressed on the street corner or in cyberspace.

Feature

March 2013

Making amends with Malawi

By Pieta Woolley

Backpacking in southern Africa 13 years ago, the writer vowed to raise money for AIDS orphans. She never did, but she also never forgot. Haunted by guilt, she returned last fall to pay her debt.

Feature

February 2013

Something about bears

By Therese DesCamp

They’re unpredictable. They’re nuisances. And they can be deadly. But our encounters with bears can also inspire the wildest kind of love.

Feature

January 2013

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

The 9/11 generation sees danger everywhere. How do we combat the culture of fear?

Feature

November 2012

Animal rights and wrongs

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Some say wildlife exhibits promote conservation; others contend they’re a cruel form of entertainment

Feature

November 2012

Decoding our good side

By Kevin Spurgaitis

For centuries, theologians described empathy as a gift from God. Now neuroscientists suggest it's simply evolution in action.

Feature

November 2012

Have ailment, will travel

By Anne Bokma

Canadians are increasingly crossing borders to access faster and cheaper hospital care. But does medical tourism carry too much ethical baggage?

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

September 2012

Gloria's choice

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The 2012 Observer survey showed readers overwhelmingly support physician-assisted dying. Gloria Taylor's battle for the right to end her own life could provoke an unprecedented ethical debate.

Feature

July 2012

Rights and wrongs at the edges of life

By Observer Staff

The 2012 Observer survey on life and death decisions reveals startling gaps between the views of churchgoers, the general public and the law

Feature

July 2012

Unpacking compassion

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

July 2012

Choosing a better death

By Richard Wright

Feature

July 2012

Little lives, big questions

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

June 2012

Where credit’s due

By Susan Peters

How an underprivileged Winnipeg neighbourhood fought back after the big banks up and left

Feature

June 2012

To spank or not to spank?

By Sarah Boesveld

Recent abuse cases have shone a new spotlight on an old controversy. For some believers, hitting your children is a God-given right. To others, it’s an inexcusable sin.

Feature

May 2012

7 contemporary takes on the 7 deadly sins

By Various Writers

Greed, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, pride, sloth: let our writers tempt you with their meditations on the seven notorious no-nos.

Feature

May 2012

Handmaids no more

By Laurel Walton

We were young, unmarried and pregnant. They forced us to surrender our babies. Now we're older, braver and determined to change an adoption system that still favours the privileged.

Feature

May 2012

A renegade Mormon sect in rural B.C. has long flouted Canada's polygamy ban — until now

By Brian Platt

For their part, Bountiful community leaders insist there is nothing wrong with their lifestyle, and the allegations by activists, investigators and former residents are baseless.

Feature

March 2012

Seven innovations for a better world

By Karen Stiller

These clever fixes may not solve all of humanity’s problems, but they promise to improve the lives of millions

Feature

March 2012

Dementia Sidebar: A light in the fog

By Trisha Elliott

Underneath the pain of dementia, faith runs deep

Feature

March 2012

The silent epidemic

By Kylie Taggart

In Canada today, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every five minutes. In 25 years, it will be one every two minutes. Are churches ready for a full-blown pastoral crisis?

Feature

February 2012

Without fail

By Anne Bokma

Everyone wants their kids to succeed. But we’re not doing them any favours by shielding them from life’s hard knocks.

Feature

February 2012

Brave new babies

By Pieta Woolley

Is reproductive technology advancing faster than our ability to grasp the ethics of it?

Feature

December 2011

‘Church is for everybody’

By Chelsea Temple Jones

To be genuinely welcoming, congregations need to treat people with intellectual disabilities as more than guests

Feature

November 2011

Journey of discovery in the Galapagos

By Tim Johnson

One man’s personal evolution meets Darwin’s famous theory

Feature

November 2011

The ultimate outsider

By Will Braun

The Bible tells us to love our neighbour, but what if he’s a pedophile?

Debate

October 2011

Do you give the time off?

By Ken Gallinger and Ruth McQuirter Scott

You own a machine shop. A new Canadian who is clearly the top contender for an apprenticeship has made an unusual request: in return for starting work earlier, could he have Friday afternoons off to attend prayers at his mosque? You wonder how your longtime employees will react. Do you hire him?

Feature

October 2011

Interview with Linda McQuaig

By Mike Milne

Three years after the global financial meltdown, the co-author with Neil Brooks of “The Trouble with Billionaires” talks about how growing income inequality is changing Canada

Feature

October 2011

The fairest fowl

By Chantal Braganza

This Thanksgiving, breed goodwill with a pasture-raised turkey

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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