In 2010, Innen was invited to provide the Buddhist perspective on weekly questions for the Ask The Religion Experts feature in the Sunday Ottawa Citizen. The questions which range from ethical dilemmas, matters of faith and details of our practice are answered by a panel of national commentators from each of the major religions in Canada.

Copies of Innen's columns for the past 12 months are available here in our Archives. Use the links below to acces the current column, a selected date or browse the TopicLisiting to identify the publication date.Older issues are posted on the Citizen site or by request from Innen.

As of August 18, Innen is creating a longer version of his answer to the ARE questions. It will be edited down for the print version. The versions available here are the longer ones.

View This Week's ARE

Find date from Topic Listing
View selected weeks by month

All contributors' answers for given questions can be viewed at the Ottawa Cirtizen's website page.


Monthly Religion Experts Questions

Click on the Question to view the Article


Sept. 8: Should students be allowed to proclaim their religion on a T-shirt at school?

Sept. 1: Should religion play a role in the labour movement?

Aug. 25: In the dog days of summer, can faith take a holiday?

Aug. 18 : Are monotheistic religions more prone to religious violence?

Aug. 11: How can the Olympic motto — Faster, Higher, Stronger — apply to faith?

Aug. 5: What are we to think of the destruction of historic shrines in Mali in the name of religion?

July 29: Does your faith community have any specific approaches to the drought situation?

July 22: Does the renewed debate on Doctor Assisted Suicide say anything about the sanctity of life in modern times?

July 15 – What would your faith say about ‘bullying' in today's society?

July 8 – Is there a heaven for animals?

July 1 No paper - :(

June 24 - Is one ever really capable of knowing God?

June 17 Does your faith support conscientious objectors to war?

June 10 Does prayer change God's mind?

June 3 How does your faith regard inter-religious dialogue?

May 27 How do you account for hypocrites in your faith. Do they discount your beliefs?

May 20 How do you handle cases of domestic abuse that come to your attention?

May 13 Does it bother you more when it is a 'religious' person who behaves improperly?

Apr. 29: What does your faith say about atheists and what do you as a religious leader believe about atheists?

Apr. 22: How important is the actual brick-and-mortar place of worship, be it a church, mosque, synagogue or other structure?

Apr. 15: How do you tell what parts of your religion should be taken literally and which parts are metaphorical?

Apr 08: Is it appropriate that statutory holidays like Easter and Christmas celebrate events in the Christian calendar?

Apr 01: Should children be left to make up their own minds about religion

Mar 25: What is your faith's view on suicide?

Mar. 18 Can one be good without God?

Mar. 11 What role should government play in regards to religion?

Mar. 4 Which is more important in your religion: faith or works?

Feb. 26 Is tolerance a virtue?

Feb. 19: Are people inherently sinful?

Feb. 13: What is the relationship between spiritual and earthly love?

Feb. 6: What is your faith's position on the environment?

Jan. 30: To what extent are events predestined?

Jan. 23: Does technology diminish or enhance our humanity?

Jan. 15: How should we deal with spiritual doubts?

Jan. 8: What is your faith's view on euthanasia?



NOTE: We used a different format in 2011. You will need to find the title then skip to the date to link to the page.

Here are the weekly questions for the Ask The Religion Experts feature, since January 1, 2011. The main theme of each question is highlighted. New questions are added weekly.

Identify the question to view, and Skip to the Sunday Publication Date

1. Have social networks like Twitter and Facebook changed things for religious adherents? (Jan. 9)
2. Is there intelligent, ethical life on other planets? (Jan. 16)
3. How does accelerating change impact fundamental values? (Jan. 23)
4. Are state-run lotteries a good or a bad thing? (Jan. 30)

Monthly listing

5. What are the limits to ‘free will?' (Feb. 6)
6. Do others have the right to define what's ethical for me? (Feb. 13)
7. What should we tell our children about people who don't believe in God? (Feb. 20)
8. Do we pay enough attention in the workplace to ethics? (Feb. 27)

Monthly listing

9. Why is it taught not to speak badly about the dead (even if they were scoundrels)? (March 6).
10. What role does faith play in health and/or healing? (March 13).
11. What does your faith say about couples living together outside of marriage? (March 20).
12. How can one overcome the anxieties of this world? (March 27).

Monthly listing

13. Is there such a thing as a collective conscience? (April 3).
14. If it's my life, why shouldn't I end it when I want? (April 10).
15. How important is it that people marry within their own faith? (April

Monthly listing

16. Does your faith impact your voting preference? ( May 1)
17. What are parents' roles in passing on values? ( May 8)
18. How does your faith celebrate the changing seasons? (May 15)
19. Are our family pets "spiritual beings?" (May 22). 20. How can people of faith be good examples for peace? (May 29).

Monthly listing

21. Does life have a meaning and if so, what purpose do humans serve? (June 5)
22. Is worshipping together better than praying by yourself? (June 12)
23. Is lying sometimes justified? (June 19)
24. What is Canada's ethical role in the world? (June 26)

Monthly listing

25. What is heaven? (July 3)
26. What is hell? (July 10)
27. Is it wrong to be angry with God? (July 17)
28. Does imagination play a role in faith? (July 24)
29. Does religion divide or unite people? (July 31)

Monthly listing

30. What role does humour play in faith? (August 7)
31. Do we have a moral duty to bring others to the faith? (August 14)
32. How should people prepare to die? (August 21)
33. Are lascivious thoughts immoral if not acted on? (August 28)
34. What is the nature of the soul? (Sept. 04)
35. Is it a virtue not to eat meat? (Sept 11)
36. Can a person be a realist and religious? (Sept 18)
37. How important is meditation as a spiritual path in your tradition? (Sept 25)
38. Does your deity punish and reward in this life? (Oct 2)
39. How does your faith express thanks? (Oct 09)

Monthly listing
40. Does desire for prosperity conflict with religious values (Oct 16)
41. Is religious persecution declining or growing?(OctT 23)
42. What role does music play in your faith? (Oct. 30)
43. Is killing to defend your country justified? (Nov 06)
44. How can you distinguish real holy men from charlatans? (Nov 13)
45. Is religion alive and well or struggling to survive in Canada?(Nov 20)
46. How can we improvve interfaith dialogue?Nov 26)
47. Do you believe we're in the ‘last days?' (Dec04)
48. Can ordinary folks be in a state of grace? (Dec 11)
49. Why do so many people get depressed around Christmas time? (Dec 18)
50. How can we foster peace on Earth?(Dec 24)
51.Are personal resolutions morally binding? (Dec 31)

Monthly listing

Sunday Published by Month

JAN :: FEB :: MAR :: APR :: MAY :: JUN ::
JUL :: AUG :: SEP :: OCT :: NOV :: DEC


Sunday, January 2 2011
Sunday, January 9,2011
Sunday, January 16,2011
Sunday, January 23,2011

February 2011

Sunday, February 6 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011

March 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011

April 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011

May 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011

June 2011
Sunday June 5, 2011
Sunday June 12, 2011
Sunday June 19, 2011
Sunday June 26, 2011


July 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011
Sunday July 10, 2011
Sunday July 17, 2011
Sunday July 24, 2011
Sunday July 31, 2011

August 2011

Sunday August 7, 2011
Sunday August 14, 2011
Sunday August 21, 2011
Sunday August 28, 2011

September 2011

Sunday September 04, 2011

Sunday September 11, 2011
Sunday September 18, 2011
Sunday September 25, 2011


October 2011

Sunday October 02, 2011
Sunday October 09,2011
Sunday October 16, 2011
Sunday October 23, 2011
Sunday October 30, 2011

Novemeber 2011

Sunday November 06, 2011
Sunday November 13, 2011
Sunday November 20, 2011
Sunday November 27, 2011

December 2011

Sunday December 04,2011
Sunday December 11, 2011
Sunday December 18, 2011
Saturday December 24, 2011
Saturay December 31, 2011


~ om namu amida butsu