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To strive for life

March 23, 2018 Celeste Kennel-Shank Living Simply

It grieves me when I read or hear about my Christian brothers and sisters for whom abortion is the highest priority in their participation in political life. We slap labels on each other with so little nuance that the distinctions become meaningless. My views on abortion have been shaped by being a chaplain caring for women in many different circumstances related to pregnancy and childbirth. What if Anabaptists and other discipleship-oriented Christians were known as fully apart from any political bloc or party? What if no one issue made politicians think they could count on our vote? What if our […]

To help or not to help: Eritrean refugees in Israel

March 23, 2018 Celeste Kennel-Shank Wider View

To help or not to help: Eritrean refugees in Israel By Nicholas Pope, Advocacy Research Intern in MCC’s Ottawa Office. Nicholas has a law degree from the University of Calgary. He has served with MCC in Palestine and also Alberta, where he has been the MCC Alberta Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator.  He continues in that role part-time, while serving in the Ottawa Office. On January 1, Israel announced an ultimatum for the thousands of East African asylum seekers within its borders: take $3,500 USD and a one-way ticket to Africa or face indefinite imprisonment. There are around 34,700 East African asylum seekers in Israel. 27,000 […]


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March 23, 2018 Michelle D. Sinclair Media Matters

When filmmaker and amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel sets out to make his documentary Icarus, his premise is clear: If professionals like Lance Armstrong and other top racers can dope and get away with it (at least for awhile), can an avid yet average cyclist do the same thing? What kind of change will he see in his race times? How much difference does doping really have on an athlete’s performance? It is a whistleblower story, peeling away the grandiose rhetoric of the International Olympic Committee to reveal its rotten underbelly. The trouble is, Fogel needs an expert to teach him […]


March 16, 2018 Vic Thiessen Media Matters

The trailers for Annihilation featured vicious mutated animals attacking people in an otherworldly setting in an obvious attempt to entice the large audiences who seem to revel in violent action. For me, the trailers did not make the film look original or exciting, with the action scenes suggesting Annihilation would not be my kind of science fiction film. I had been transported so completely to a different world that it took me hours to find my way back to earth. But Annihilation was written and directed by Alex Garland, whose last film, Ex Machina, is one of the best and […]

A temporary fix for enduring issues

March 16, 2018 Vic Thiessen Wider View

A temporary fix for enduring issues Erin Beidler, Domestic Policy Intern, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office In recent months the immigration conversation has been largely focused on the fate of nearly 700,000 Dreamers protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. However, another 300,000 people are now living in uncertainty under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is granted to immigrants in the U.S. when it is determined that it would be difficult for them to return home due to ongoing armed conflicts, natural disasters or other extenuating circumstances. In January of this year the Trump administration announced that […]

The Shape of Water

March 9, 2018 Jerry L. Holsopple Media Matters

What do you get when you take Beauty and the Beast, take the old artist neighbor from Amelie, bring in a villain worthy of a Bond film, add some Soviet spies, and set it all during the race to space? As the tale unfolds, it begins to question who really is the monster. The Shape of Water. But The Shape of Water, while totally predictable, borrows these cultural references to make a magical fairy tale. What sets apart director Guillermo del Toro’s tale is the way these mutually lonely and misunderstood characters find each other. This is a love story, […]

Preview of Oscars 2018

March 2, 2018 Matthew Kauffman Smith Media Matters

My expectations for the Academy Awards this year are low. I always expect—and even enjoy—the campiness. I know I’m going to hear songs that make me cringe. I know there is going to be stilted dialogue. I know host Jimmy Kimmel will make President Trump jokes. I also know that last year is impossible to beat. Last year I predicted Moonlight would win, and after La La Land accidentally won the award, I was ready to retire from predictions forever. I watched last year’s ceremony, but I do not remember anything but the last five minutes. To close out the […]

Is prison reform criminal justice reform?

March 2, 2018 Cherelle M. Dessus Wider View

Is prison reform criminal justice reform? Cherelle M. Dessus In President Trump’s first State of the Union address, many priorities and goals were mentioned. Advocates for criminal justice reform were not left out of this conversation. Trump stated that his administration would focus on reforming prisons to ensure that returning citizens have access to second chances. For several years, presidential administrations and Congress have mentioned the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform to end the cycle of over-incarceration. Many understand criminal justice reform to be a combination of reforms to how sentencing happens and to prison conditions. Separately, both reforms […]