North America

United States: Muslim clerics sign up for evolution

Publication Date: 
May 28, 2011

The Imam Letter, launched this week in the US, is the latest challenge to Creationists of the three Abrahamic religions who reject evolution in favour of Creationism.

Creationism is the religious belief that all species were created in exactly the form they appear today.

Biological evolution is a scientific theory which posits that modern species have undergone major changes over time and can be traced back to earlier species from which they descended.

USA: Catholic Bishops' Attack on Book Concerns Scholars

Publication Date: 
April 11, 2011
New York Times
Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson

Is God male? The Old Testament uses the masculine pronoun to describe him. Jesus refers to the divinity as Father. So does that make the creator a masculine force — and mean that men are more godlike than women?

These are questions that theologians like Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a professor, have been mulling for years. At 69, Sister Johnson is among the pioneers of a generation of feminist scholars who examine how cultural biases among biblical scribes may have led to women’s diminished roles in Western religious traditions, especially the .

Canada: Few disagree that polygamy can cause harm

Publication Date: 
March 31, 2011
Vancouver Sun
The genesis of B.C. Supreme Court case on polygamy is allegations of child brides and exploitation in Bountiful

After more than two months of hearing evidence on polygamy, there’s no one in the Vancouver courtroom who disagrees that the practice can be harmful.

The most disturbing evidence the B.C. government presented is that as many as 31 under-aged girls — the youngest only 12 and 13 — were trafficked by their fathers and brothers between the fundamentalist Mormon communities in Bountiful, B.C. and the United States.

USA: Fr. Roy Bourgeois Threatened with Dismissal From Maryknoll Community

Today, March 29th, 2011, Fr. Roy Bourgeois received a canonical warning from the leadership of his community, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Fr. Roy has been given fifteen days to recant his belief that women, along with men, are called by God to serve as Roman Catholic priests. Failure to recant during this time period will result in a second canonical warning from his superiors, whereupon, Maryknoll leadership will submit their charge for dismissal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with a request for laicization. Take action .

USA: If abortion isn't healthcare, what is it?

Publication Date: 
February 1, 2011
Religion Dispatches

Congressman Chris Smith (Republican, New Jersey) introduced his party’s third highest priority for the new congress, , or “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” with a puzzling statement: “Abortion is not health care.”(Congressional Record, Vol. 157, No. 8). Just what is it then? I guess he would call it a sin and try to outlaw it. Perhaps Mr. Smith, and his Democratic partner on this bill Congressman Dan Lipinski know something the rest of us do not. I doubt it. Resorting to their Catholic beliefs this time just doesn’t cut it.

USA: The Tea Party and the new right-wing Christian feminism

Publication Date: 
July 5, 2010

Why have American women become so active in the right wing Tea Party movement? Could it be that they are drawn to the new conservative Christian feminism publicized by Sarah Palin? Without its grassroots female supporters, the Tea Party would have far less appeal to voters who are frightened by economic insecurity, threats to moral purity and the gradual disappearance of a national white Christian culture.

Religious Divorce Dispute Leads to Secular Protest

Publication Date: 
January 3, 2011
The New York Times
Rabbi Jeremy Stern leading a protest to pressure Aharon Friedman to give his wife a religious divorce

This should have been a good New Year’s for Aharon Friedman, a 34-year-old tax counsel for the Republicans on the . He spent time with his 3-year-old daughter, and could have been thinking about the influence he will have starting Wednesday, when his boss, of Michigan, becomes chairman of the powerful tax-writing committee.

A Plea to Western Media About "Sakineh", Political Prisoners, and Human Rights (Alinejad)

Publication Date: 
December 22, 2010
Enduring America

Sakineh Ashtiani is a 43-year-old Iranian woman who has been under threat of death by stoning since 2007 on charges adultery and complicity in murder. Over the last year, her cause has been taken up in the "West" by politicians, human rights activists, film stars, and musicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy have made statements demanding her release. The European Council passed a resolution condemning the stoning sentence. Ashtiani's face adorns the front pages of newspapers across Europe, who report every twist and turn of her case.

Killing in the name of “honour”: The South Asian Community in the Canadian Context

Publication Date: 
August, 2010


“Honour Killing” is defined as the act of killing a person, usually a female relative (i.e. daughter, wife), who is taught to have brought dishonour to the family by engaging in “unacceptable” sexual behaviours. Studies have shown that those who commit this homicidal act are generally blood related to the victim (i.e. fathers, brothers, cousins, and sometimes other female relatives such as mothers have also been documented as being supporters). Most research and studies on “honour killings” have been conducted in the Middle East and South Asia and just recently in the U.K., Sweden, and Norway. However, little is known about this new social phenomenon in Canada.

Child Protection Project

Child Protection Project


 Linda Walker and Flora Jessop, the founder and Executive Director of the Child Protection Project respectively, both hail from Mormon backgrounds. Flora Jessop was raised in a fundamentalist community practicing polygamy, and forced and child marriage, and fought to escape to a life where she would be guaranteed the right to bodily integrity and self-determination. Flora’s negative experiences dealing with unsympathetic local authorities and law enforcement officials led her to commit herself to actively campaign for justice for women and children facing abuse in polygamous communities in Arizona and Utah.