“Gemini”, organ of Greater Edmonton Mensa, boasts an exclusive audience, but not a very large one—around one hundred copies a month, depending on who has remembered to renew his or her membership. Edmonton’s “Anglican Messenger”, while increasing the readership from one hundred to around ten thousand, still is of limited interest to the general public. Yet over the past few years, the columns of these papers have been privileged to host some provocative commentaries I have made on a wide diversity of social issues.
Having won an award for the Editorship of “Gemini”, and an honourable mention in church publishing circles for the columns in the “Anglican Messenger”, I have taken it upon myself to offer these to a wider audience.
Somewhere in the middle of all these essays, there is an explanation of why the title “Fifth Column” was chosen. It hints at the subtle belief I have that life itself is subversive. Life upsets things, kills them, yet makes them new. Really to live well is to choose a meaningful form of suicide. The price of life, the pain, the uncertainty, the obligations to life’s Author, are sometimes not very much to our liking, and most of us would far rather take refuge in dead and controllable ‘systems’.
My credentials for writing what I do are a little obscure. Brought up in the heretical monetary tradition of the Social Credit movement, I have spent many years marvelling at the chaos, injustice and inefficiency that masquerade today as an economic system. Educated in the field of Constitutional Law at the feet of Sir Ivor Jennings, I squirm at the impracticalities and misunderstandings that never seem to leave the question of Canada’s constitutional process. Having absorbed religion simultaneously from the evangelicals and from Bishop John Robinson, of “Honest to God” fame, I have an eclectic theological background that somehow has brought me into the unique and surprising occupation of “priest in secular employment,” and contributor to the new Anglican Book of Alternative Services. I have climbed to the heights of Vice Chairmanship of Edmonton’s Chamber of Commerce, and served as a somewhat unwilling President of the Alberta Human Rights and Civil Liberties Association. The totally unplanned, unwanted, and painful distinction of being the father of one of Edmonton’s more notorious victims of homicide in 1988, my daughter Catherine Rose Greeve, is an experience that has coloured my theological thinking from that day to this. God plays hardball—love and forgiveness hurt.
Don’t take these little pieces too seriously. They’re one man’s commentary on the passing scene. Surprisingly often, they are prophetic—but I am past the point where I will get on my political high horse, to save a world that would rather die than think. Let’s just sow some seeds of common sense. The time may yet come when they will blossom.