Tag Archives: united church of canada

Bill McKibben inspires

A highlight of the week was watching Bill McKibben of 350.org give a speech at Klimaforum, the alternative “people’s summit” happening here in Copenhagen. He was speaking in advance of Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, and had to keep extending his remarks 10 or 20 minutes at a time as the president was stuck in traffic. In the end, McKibben spoke off-the-cuff for an hour without losing our attention while making the images and people of the 350 movement come to life.

Out of the full hour, here’s five minutes I put together for the United Church of Canada’s YouTube channel.

Claire Hoy: Still making stuff up

The last time Claire Hoy managed to attract my attention was during that thing we loosely refer to as a referendum on voting reform in Ontario. At that time, he was playing a bit fast and loose with the truth. Now he pops up on my radar again, this time writing about the United Church of Canada and its new Moderator, Mardi Tindal, who also happens to be my mom. And again, he’s sayin’ stuff that simply aint true.

For example, regarding the United Church and Israel, Hoy writes:

But as we saw in the publicity leading up to the recent United Church gabfest, once again a host of seriously anti-Israel and yes, anti- Semitic resolutions were being pushed by church activists. To be sure, they didn’t get the church body as a whole to approve them, but then again, the church did the old typical United Church cop-out, and rather than denouncing some rather hateful resolutions, simply set them aside for further study.

Wrong, Hoy. The meeting didn’t receive the offensive material for study, it repudiated all of that background material in almost no time. Further, the way the church’s General Council handled the whole of the resolutions was “met with cheers by the Canadian Jewish Congress and its chief executive officer, Bernie Farber.”

Then, Hoy criticizes the Moderator claiming that she “dismisses the word ‘faith’ as ‘too static….'” Since Hoy did not actually interview the Moderator for his rant disguised as a column, one assumes he was attempting to quote a profile that appeared in the National Post. Problem is, the quote that he uses is almost the complete opposite of what Tindal actually said in the Post, which quoted her correctly:

“For me the word ‘faith’ is part of a new paradigm … the word belief sounds too static, where in fact in faith we are invited to participate relationally.”

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the required background knowledge to figure out which things Hoy makes up and which things are real. When someone’s writing is contaminated to such a degree, I think it’s probably best to just avoid it altogether.