human rights

2017 May

Saving mothers, one modest step at a time

2017-07-24T22:00:36+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

In sub-Saharan Africa they call childbirth “war.” If you’re a woman about to deliver a child in that part of the world, this is your fate. Imagine it. You’re young. (Younger than most Canadians can imagine.) You're poor. You're alone.

2016 February

How a world with assisted suicide would look

2017-07-18T01:22:39+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Monday, February 1, 2016) It's 2049 and I'm an old man. I've made my decision. (At least I thought I made it.) It's for release. I've been given a choice in a pleasant manner for an injection or capsules. Soon this will all be over, another release into elsewhere, into eternity. They're out there, opinion polls on this procedure, on "release," what in your day was called "doctor-assisted suicide." Apparently most people are in favour. You have to wonder, though, about the questions.

2014 November

25 years after The Wall fell

2014-12-15T07:22:00+00:00 November 19th, 2014|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 15, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA -- It was still morning in Berlin on this Sunday when candles at the Church of Reconciliation were lit to honour yesteryear’s dead, the brave souls who ran from the uniforms and helmets and strong-armed authorities, who ran for freedom that was torn away, even as their flesh would be torn by barbed-wire and vicious dogs and bullets at that wall.

2014 March

Uganda is Gay Ground Zero thanks to fear, politics and misguided religiosity

2014-03-18T05:18:45+00:00 March 15th, 2014|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, March 15, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦Fear is a strange thing, which is why it’s so hard to look into the eyes of another human being that you’re about to gas or bomb or, in the case of Uganda’s gays, throw to the lions. This is also why President Yoweri Museveni recently refused to meet with Uganda’s gay community – there were repeated requests – before signing Uganda’s infamous anti-gay law. The new law means even touching with the intent of a homosexual act – try to prove or disprove this one – will get you seven years. Short of jail, a life-sentence for a single homosexual act, there’s obviously also a new chill on the street here.

2014 March

Love is our highest calling

2014-03-21T12:03:06+00:00 March 12th, 2014|Categories: Christian Week, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(Christian Week - March 12, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ By now you’ve heard plenty about Uganda’s new toughened laws on homosexuality, the news that spread to the West with the fanfare of a dark sporting event. Even short of jail—terms range from seven years to life—it’s a new day of survival in a horrible state-sanctioned chill. Several weeks in, like so many things in developing nations, it’s hard to know all that’s happening. Was that murder really a robbery gone bad? And that street beating? Why did she really lose her job? Many things simply don’t make the news here in Uganda.

2014 March

After Women’s Day, men … wake up!

2014-03-10T19:18:35+00:00 March 8th, 2014|Categories: New Vision, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , |2 Comments

(The New Vision - Saturday, March 8, 2014) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s International Women’s Day and we’re all happy to celebrate women in Uganda and around the world, but the truth of the matter is that it’s the men who need to come to terms with who they are and why they’re around, or it’s all for nothing. This is the strangeness of this big yearly celebration. Women’s Day largely revolves around the hard times women face because their men are so hopeless. Plenty of husbands and fathers don’t pull their weight and don’t understand or care how desperately their families need them. Now I am not about to beat-up myself or my brothers everywhere because I have nothing better to do. The Daughters of Eve are just as fallen as the Sons of Adam. But have an honest look into the homes of Uganda. I’m imagining you see what I see. It’s a bloody mess.

2013 June

A place called ‘Baby Cottage’

2014-02-19T09:51:10+00:00 June 14th, 2013|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday May 31, 2013) JINJA, UGANDA ✦ It’s Monday and we’re on the road early, dressed up, driving the 90 minutes down a dangerous road, the road that we won’t drive at night anymore because we fear it may kill us. We arrive at the court in Jinja, a relaxed beach-town on Lake Victoria, to finally be told ‘Yes. Yes, everything is in order and the court is satisfied, and Hannah will never have any family outside of yours, the family she clearly belongs in.’ Hannah is the Ugandan girl who’s been in our home for almost four years now. We just need the final stamp of court approval to make her adoption official.

2013 February

Will Barack Obama come to Africa?

2014-02-19T09:15:31+00:00 February 16th, 2013|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, February 16, 2013) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ It was YouTube and it was Barack Obama talking to the neighbours in Kenya. You may have heard that they’re about to vote. The last time the Kenyans did this, six years ago, 1,000 lay dead on the bloody streets. Another 600,000 were displaced, including here to Uganda where UN shelters near the airport are still up.