I'm about as un-Catholic as they come. I grew up in Massachusetts, where the Roman clergy formed a reactionary vanguard scorned by my family and friends. The magical beliefs at the core of Christian dogma strike me as risible, and I've been known to bedevil Catholic friends by making sport of them. Not much fun in that these days, so palpable is the pain and frustration among Catholic laity over Pope Benedict XVI's Nixonian defense of the sex abuse cover-up scandal enveloping his papacy and the church. No one can take pleasure in their present grief.  Like other non-Catholics I suspect,...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's insistence that the torture of prisoners Canada hands over to Afghan authorities is a problem for Afghanistan, not Canada, calls to mind Tom Leher's lyric about rocket scientist Wernher von Braun's apparent indifference to the consequences of his work on Germany's World War II V2 rocket: Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? 'That's not my department', says Wernher von Braun. In fact, as Bob Rae points out in the same Globe and Mail article, transferring prisoners with the expectation they may be tortured is a violation of the Geneva Conventions - a war crime,...