Magazine

Salvadoran street minister says God hates religiosity

God wants "love, compassion and justice," said Baptist minister Ramon Ramirez. A native of El Salvador, Ramirez has devoted his life to ministering on the streets. He said God did not call the church to a "false religiosity" of empty liturgy, sacrifice, and ignoring the commandments, but a rich faith based on caring for the poor and fighting for social justice. Saying God hates religion, he pointed to the books of Amos, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Micah and Isaiah to stress this belief. "It is a very dangerous thing when one reaches a comfort level and strays from God's commandments," he said during an interview at church offices, speaking through Rev. Jim Patterson, a Presbyterian missionary and friend.

Arson threats to PCUSA condemned

The Presbyterian Church USA has come under fire for what some are calling "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish" attitudes. A letter addressed to PCUSA promised violence against Presbyterian churches, saying "they will go up in flames." The letter set a Nov. 15 deadline for the Church to reverse its Middle East policies. No attacks have been reported.

New clerk of finance

The finance department at 50 Wynford Drive is pleased to welcome Margaret Bucknole as the new senior clerk, accounts receivable. Born in Fraserborough, Scotland, she emigrated to Canada with her parents, Mary and Bill Noble, in the 1950's. Margaret lives in Pickering with her husband Chris and their three sons David, Andrew and Matthew. They are members at St. Andrew's, Ajax, Ont.

Child poverty truly threatens the family

A few weeks ago, a report was released suggesting more than one million children in Canada are living below the poverty line. Campaign 2000, a national watchdog organization, said more than 15 per cent of Canadian children live in low-income families who earn less than two-thirds the national median hourly wage of about $10. Moderator Rick Fee was forthright in his reaction, calling the situation “a real scandal.” It is.

The report was issued 15 years after all parties in the House of Commons vowed to fix the problem of child poverty. The rate was about the same then, although three times the rate of most northern European countries, and actually climbed to almost 22 per cent in 1996. In response to the recent news, the federal Social Development Department offered the lame defence that Statistics Canada figures from 2002 indicate the child poverty rate is closer to 10 per cent, or 700,000 children.