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My thoughts on Bruce Mcdonald

So the memorial for him was last night (Friday). It was well attended from what I understand, and at least a couple of Bruce’s online progressive bloggers friends – Impolitical and Rick Barnes – made it to the memorial. There may have been others; I just haven’t heard from them yet. Rick wrote a blogpost about that actually, as well as some other memories he had of Bruce.

I’ll give you a brief recollection from my perspective on Bruce. I’ve already said that I’ve met him on an occasion or 2 when we’ve had our Progressive Bloggers get-togethers.. but my most recent recollection of him was a long heated argument on Facebook chat over religion. As Rick mentioned, Bruce was an atheist. As you also might know, I am not. I’m a Christian of the United Church faith. That night, I believe the issue was the Catholic Church and the coverup of sexual abuse in Ireland. Bruce was mad about that – as everyone should be.. but my issue with him that night was him painting every Christian sect as being guilty of the coverup over there as the Catholic Church apparently was. I don’t know exactly what the specifics were of the argument anymore.. other then he seemed to be condemning all of Christianity for the sins of those Catholic Priests in Ireland and of those who covered it up in the Catholic Church hierarchy, and I was arguing with him that was, bluntly, bullcrap – that the Protestant Church sects and organizations – and there are many – have nothing to do with what those priests did, or the decisions the Catholic Church hierarchy made, nor do the Protestant Churches have any influence on them, and that he was tarring us all with the same black brush with that blanket condemnation.

At the end of that heated argument, I’m not sure I changed his mind a lot, but he seemed to at least understand where I was coming from, and I think he respected my point of view, and I could certainly see where his anger came from. We left that chat still on good terms. I think that was probably the last detailed conversation I had with Bruce.. but my opinion of him actually rose a few notches that day.

In closing, I know if he were still here, Bruce would probably snort that I’m going to quote a line out of a Christmas movie to make a tribute to him, but at the closing of one such movie, there is a line that reads, “No man is a failure who has friends.” I would say to all that despite any of his personal difficulties and demons he had that may have contributed to his early passing, from the outpouring I saw online, and from the reports of all the people who came to the tribute last night to pay their respects and recall stories, Bruce was no failure.

P.S. – I sincerely hope Bruce’s blog is maintained as his online memorial/remembrance of him.. It would be nice if a friend or a family member could get onto it and post an online epilogue for him, and help keep it up.


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