Here is an excerpt of Barry’s recent National Post Op-Ed:
Three young prisoners of war stood defiantly in the desert. They knew the consequences: they could literally feel the heat already. But when the music played, they refused to kneel. Their faith was even more precious than the golden statue in front of them.
Stories such as this one define cultures. As Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote, “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize.” Those who tell the stories, and the stories they tell, are deeply influential. They become internalized, imbedded in our sense of self. Our very identities are products and producers of the tales we hear and recount. They establish (and perpetuate) the values and expectations of succeeding generations.
The current attitude toward religion in political circles reveals a failure to fully understand the power of stories. Take, for example, the federal government’s inability to satisfy the concerns of religious charities over the government’s attestation requirement to receive funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program.