With the recent militarization of Canadian foreign policy, should MCC re-visit its relationship to the Canadian government? Mathies says the question is "spot on," although he's not calling for MCC to cut ties with Ottawa. Mathies and current interim MCC bi-national director Bert Lobe-both Canadians-advise caution in dealing with any government. Lobe applies the adage, "When you sup with the devil, use a long spoon," saying, "Empire is never church, no matter how hard it tries. My own sense is that Canadians especially should be more mindful of this."Mathies also sees value in MCC collaboration with the government. Sometimes MCC can make better use of the money than government because of its connections overseas. He also notes the importance of being at the table talking with government, since changes it makes can potentially have a much greater impact than MCC actions. But he also sees a "substantial change in the impression" of Canada internationally. He says the militaristic language of our government, its posture on climate change, and cases like the Maher Arar fiasco, are noticed by other countries. We are seen more and more as being in "lockstep with the U.S.," he says, and, therefore, "MCC has to be increasingly vigilant.""If there's money that's known to be coming from unethical behaviour, I don't think institutions should accept it," says AMBS president Nelson Kraybill. But he doesn't put Lilly in the bad books. "I have confidence that there is common ground between what AMBS wants to do and what the Lilly Endowment Religion Division is about," he adds.
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