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Ethics

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

The 7 Deadly Sins

By Various Writers

Greed, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, pride, sloth: let our writers tempt you with their contemporary takes 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

The problem with Bountiful

By Brian Platt

A renegade Mormon sect in rural British Columbia has long flouted Canada's polygamy ban, citing religious freedom. Prosecutors have been stymied - until now

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

Feature

October 2011

Water for sale?

By Cory Ruf

Abundant fresh water is part of the Canadian identity. Prolonged drought is becoming part of the American reality. Are water exports far off?

Feature

September 2011

Pacifism in a post-9/11 world

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Does traditional pacifism still have a role in the 21st century?

Feature

September 2011

ObserverDocs: Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit’s urban agriculture movement shows that communities everywhere can reap new life when people refuse to surrender

Feature

September 2011

Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit residents are reclaiming derelict urban spaces one garden at a time

Feature

March 2011

Second-hand savvy

By Karen Stiller

Shopping for used clothing isn’t just frugal. It also keeps cast-offs out of our landfills.

Feature

February 2011

Pipe dreams

By Will Braun

Churches and Aboriginals were once allies in the fight against industrial megaprojects. These days, some First Nations are seeking economic salvation in partnerships with their former foes.

Feature

February 2011

Artificial Intelligence

By Kevin Spurgaitis

In making machines that think like humans, are we creating an ethical monster?

Feature

January 2011

Eating locally in winter

By Chantal Braganza

Tired of root veggies? You can expand your January diet without hurting the Earth.

Feature

January 2011

Genes for sale

By Lisa Van de Ven

With 20 percent of genes currently under patent, critics are turning to the courts to put the brakes on the biotech industry

Feature

December 2010

Prescription for a pandemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Scientists, activists and politicians agree that generic drugs can slow or stop the global spread of HIV-AIDS. So why haven't they been made more accessible?

Feature

November 2010

Abortion wars: the next front

By Kevin Spurgaitis

After 20 years of relative peace, activists on both sides of the abortion debate are mobilizing for a new battle that threatens to reopen bitter ethical divisions

Feature

November 2010

Losing their grid

By Vidya Kauri

Green pioneers are showing it’s possible to connect with creation by disconnecting from the grid. All it takes is a little sacrifice and savvy.

Feature

September 2010

Can big business save the planet?

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Philanthro-capitalists are putting their money where their morals are, using cash and clout to redefine the meaning of good business

Feature

July 2010

Gambling on casinos

By Richard Wright

Casinos bring much-needed jobs and revenue to First Nations communities, but can also exacerbate social problems. Do the wins outweigh the losses?

Feature

June 2010

Photo Essay: Reborn green

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Three years ago, a monster storm flattened a small town in Tornado Alley. Instead of reconstructing what was lost, townsfolk seized the opportunity to build the greenest community in North America.

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Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Outrage is the new normal

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Video

ObserverDocs: A Tale of Two Cancers

by Observer Staff

Catherine Gordon's October 2017 feature for The Observer, 'A tale of two cancers,' recently caught the eye of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his Washington, D.C.-based team, and inspired a short documentary. Gordon talks about the experience of writing the article and participating in the film.

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Profiles

October 2017

Fall from grace

by Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Faith

September 2017

Yearning

by Jane Dawson

Restless longing is at the core of the human condition, urging us onward through life. What happens when it veers off course?

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

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