Thomas Clarkson's question--and the answer that changed the world

By Jonathon Van Maren

There are moments in the lives of men and women that, in retrospect, shift the course of human history in ways too enormous and too wonderful to even imagine at the time. In those moments, often against their will, their hearts are set ablaze for something much bigger than themselves. One of those moments was in the year 1785, when a twenty-five-year old aspiring English clergyman named Thomas Clarkson decided to enter an essay competition. He chose the topic of the slave trade—not, as he said, because he had strong feelings on the matter, but for the purpose of “obtaining literary honour.”

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Uniting for life in Alberta

By Cameron Côté

How horrifying photographs forced a king to give up his colony

By Jonathon Van Maren

It was near the turn of the century, after abolitionism had swept through Europe and seemingly conquered every defender of slavery, that a young shipping clerk named Edmund Dene Morel noticed something strange while going about his business at the harbor in Antwerp, Belgium. Ships were arriving filled to the brim with rubber—that was to be expected. But they were leaving again for the colony of Belgium’s King Leopold II not with goods to be used in payment, but with guns and ammunition. This was strange, Morel thought. The profits scraped out of the so-called free state of the Congo were gargantuan, but the only investment heading back towards the African continent was soldiers, guns, shackles, and bayonets. This could only mean one thing: regardless of the Belgian king’s flowery philanthropic descriptions of his African endeavors, Leopold must actually be running a slave state in the Congo.

The off-season

By Cameron Côté

I’ve played baseball for 20 out of the 26 summers of my life, and while some of you may think of it as a stretch, I can’t help but think of some of the similarities between an average baseball season and working for CCBR in the Calgary office.

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Brimming over with pain and hurt

By Meagan Nijenhuis

A loonie and a dime

By Caroline Slingerland

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After a summer away as I helped with internship logistics, I returned to my administrator’s desk this past week to resume my tasks, one of which is handling the donations that come through our Eastern office.  

Shifting the culture on abortion, door by door

By Jonathon Van Maren

At the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, we work to confront the culture with the truth about abortion every single day. We have large banners to reach commuters, hand-held educational displays to reach high school students and pedestrians, campus displays to reach university students, and postcards to reach everyone in possession of a mailbox. But for some time, we’ve been working on a new way of reaching people that we’d never tried before: door-knocking, the pro-life fusion of conversational apologetics and political canvassing.

I’ve discussed abortion with more people than I can count, so name-calling and protests and the occasional irate abortion supporter don’t really faze me much anymore. But I’ll admit it: I was really nervous to walk up someone’s driveway, knock on their door, and ask them what their opinion of abortion was.

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Returning to real life

By Irene De Souza 

After another extremely busy, hard, yet absolutely amazing summer participating in the CCBR internship, it was a bit strange to come back to the monotony of "real life,” and to head back to school. It was time to shift from hitting the streets to hitting the books. 

The desolation of Fern Hill

By Jonathon Van Maren

I try to stay logged out of Twitter most of the time, due to my tendency to become almost immediately entangled in various unproductive debates. Last week, the abortion activist Twitter troll Fern Hill popped up almost immediately, firing off tweets with her characteristic charm and snail-paced wit.

The gift of suffering

By Kianna Owen

“Imagine, if you will, a gift … picture it in your mind. It's not too big—about the size of a golf ball.”

In three brilliant minutes in front of the TED crowd, Stacey Kramer captivated her audience with the description of a small gift. She claimed it would drastically improve lives, strengthen relationships, and make one feel loved. She continued on, revealing the many benefits of this tiny present. While I watched, I became eager to find out where I could get one. Then she revealed that underneath the packaging, the gift was not so pretty.

It was a brain tumor.

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Though Stacey didn’t wish this experience on anyone else, she shared about the profound ways in which cancer impacted and improved her life. 

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