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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Corporate motive

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office says it is 'extremely disappointed' federal funds went to a theater festival that will stage a play this week that features, in the words of the playwright, a 'sympathetic portrayal' of a convicted terrorist who plotted to blow up the heart of Toronto's financial district.

"Catherine Frid's one-act play 'Homegrown' opens Thursday night in Toronto as part of the Summerworks theater festival. … The prisoner in the play is modeled on Shareef Abdelhaleem, one of the so-called Toronto 18, which plotted to blow up the heart of Canada's biggest city. Abdelhaleem is in jail awaiting sentencing after being convicted in January for his role in plotting to plant the bombs. …

"But if Ottawa is nervous about the play — the festival's corporate sponsors appear not to be, even though one of those sponsors, TD Bank, would have likely had its corporate headquarters severely damaged or even destroyed if Abdelhaleem and his associates had succeeded. … The Royal Bank, whose corporate headquarters is also across the street from one of Abdelhaleem's targets, is also helping fund the festival."

David Akin, writing on "PMO frowns on terror play funding," on Aug. 3 at Canoe News

Judge's motive

"This morning I was fascinated to read Judge Walker's decision to rule California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional. From the 'Findings of Fact' section, #77: 'Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.'

"The implication is chilling. One of the jobs of government is to protect citizens from unjust harm. If, as Judge Walker seems to believe, as do many others, traditional views of sexual morality unjustly harm gays and lesbians, then the next step is clear. We've got to stop the harm, which means putting an end to the religious beliefs that homosexual sexual acts are immoral.

"Perversely, in the testimony Walker cites, one of the clear signs of harm inflicted on gays and lesbians can be found in this fact: 84% of regular church-goers voted for Prop 8. In other words, what's so bad about traditional views of sexual morality is that they are … opposed to progressive views about sexual liberation. And that's an injustice that Judge Walker simply won't allow. The opinion goes on to cite official documents from a number of different Christian churches and organizations: a hit list of sorts."

R.R. Reno, writing on "Here Come the Thought Police," on Aug. 5 at the First Things blog First Thoughts

Real motive

"Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer found [Rosie O'Donnell] declaring her 'wedding' ceremony in San Francisco to former girlfriend Kelli Carpenter was a political protest stunt: 'George Bush, in the middle of a war, had an all-station news conference to announce how horrible it was for the safety of America that gay people were getting married in San Francisco, which [hacked] me off enough to get on a plane and go get married.'

"Okay, first of all, on February 24, 2004, President Bush didn't call 'an all-station news conference.' He made a rather routine statement (not a press conference) in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. And he didn't say it was 'horribly for the safety of America' that gays would marry. He did say the people had voted to endorse the traditional definition of marriage, and some activist judges in Massachusetts and city officials in San Francisco were overturning the will of the people of California. But to Rosie, everything she hears is exaggerated into hate, even as Bush called for civility and calm."

Tim Graham, writing on "Rosie O'Donnell Admits She Got Married in S.F. Merely as Act of 'Defiance' Against Bush," on Aug. 7 at Newsbusters

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