Monday, March 7, 2011

C'mon.... Give Christians a Break!

I'm not a big fan of Saguenay mayor, Jean Tremblay, the man in the eye of the storm regarding prayers at city council meetings, but that being said, he was elected by the good townsfolk of his constituency and he seems to enjoy their support. Read the background story.

The question of prayers before council meetings seems like a cut and dried issue in our society that is moving towards secularism, though no real political debate has ever really been undertaken and no societal consensus ever reached against retaining aspects of our Quebec Christian heritage and beliefs in Judeo-Christian principles that has been and remains the basis of our society.

The principle of separation of church and state is well established and accepted by all. The days where the senior members of the Catholic church advise or influence the government in any way are long gone and even secularists would stipulate to that.
To maintain that conserving the crucifix in Parliament or placing a Christmas tree on the front lawn is an assault on that separation of powers is unsupportable.

Perhaps secularists are inspired by the American system that strictly forbids any public display of faith, but that doesn't mean that those rules are necessarily suited to us.
A free and democratic state is one where society is ordered according to the wishes of the majority, within reason, of course.
We recognize that this majority can sometimes, in a moment of excitement or delirium, make mistakes, so we voluntarily limit what we can do by way of a constitution.

And so we have a Constitution that defines what we can do, a Parliament that enacts laws within the constraints of that constitution and an independent judicial system that insures that everyone is obeying the rules. It's a pretty good system.

Human rights tribunals were established to insure that individual members of society are treated fairly under the law. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
When, for example, a group of Black people are systematically refused entrance to a night club, in an attempt by management to keep the premises 'white,' it is an appropriate job of the Human Rights commission to intervene on behalf of citizens that have been wronged.

But our Human Rights Commissions (all across Canada) have degenerated into nothing less than out of control, unsanctioned extra-Parliamentary political bodies which have usurped power to impose an ultra-liberal, ultra-feminist, secularist agenda on society.

Unlike our established court system, these tribunals are anything but impartial, believing in principle that society must change to suit the individual and that personal rights are more important than societal rights. It's a viewpoint not shared by most of us, yet because we have abdicated political power to these commissions instead of respecting our elected Parliament to decide these issues, we are now reaping the rewards of that folly.

If the majority of citizens want to have a Christmas tree on the front lawn of Parliament or a short Christian prayer before a meeting, as a people, it is our choice to decide. Society belongs to the people, not Human Rights Tribunals.

Now if as a majority we decide that everyone be obliged to convert to Christianity, our constitution and our courts will set us right. It's a fair system of checks and balances, rules that the Star Chamber Human Rights Commission completely sidestep.

The good citizens of the Lac-St-Jean region are 98% Catholic and although most don't go to church each week, almost all of them consider themselves Christians and would probably tell you that they agree with a little Christian prayer at the beginning of council meetings. If enough citizens disagree, there is always the choice of the ballot box. It's called the democratic system.

There are those, who in wishing to impose secularism on everyone, argue that favouring one religion over another, or favouring religion over the absence of religion, is necessarily unfair.

I cannot say with certainty that the mayor has done anything of the sort. He offers a Christian prayer at the beginning of the meeting, where the majority is Christian, but should a secularist demand a silent moment of reflection from the mayor, I'm sure he'd indulge. If perhaps a Jew or a Muslim or Native would on occasion ask for the opportunity to bless the works of the council, I'd hope he'd also be accommodating.

It seems to me that our Human Rights Tribunals, right across the country have placed Christians and Jews firmly in their sights, siding with the secularists, radical Muslims and ultra-left-wingers who wish to impose a different brand of society on the majority.

How is it that not one secularist complained about the Native participation at the Vancouver Olympic Games opening ceremonies? The natives presented various dances of a religious nature where their own native Gods were entreated for various supplications on behalf of all?
Could you imagine the clamour if a Christian priest recited the Lord's Prayer or a Jewish rabbi offered  a short prayer of good luck in Hebrew?
Before the ceremony would be over, I imagine there'd be a slew of Human Rights complaints filed right across the country by secularists!

Years ago a Christian wouldn't be caught dead in a mosque or synagogue. Jews, Muslims and other minority religious denominations would stick strictly to themselves.
Today there's hardly a wedding in a church, mosque or synagogue that doesn't include guests of different faiths. We as a people have progressed where we are no longer afraid to accept the faith of others.
It's a good thing.

Christmas trees in front of City Halls cause offense only to those who are radicals.
In front of some Montreal suburban town halls with significant Jewish populations, a large lighted candelabra celebrating the Jewish holiday of Channukah is offered. Who is offended? Only radicals.

When the Chinese celebrate their faith with a public parade celebrating the New Year, according to their faith, who doesn't want to participate?
The truth is that our society has progressed to where we accept and even celebrate each others culture and faith. To take that away would diminish all.

Many years ago, when my son was a toddler, he was often frightened by the 'scary' parts in some movies, even those rated PG. Sitting beside me he would take both his hands and cover his eyes for the duration of the scene. It was a good solution. I don't think it would have been reasonable for me to complain to the theatre to eliminate these scenes.
To secularists who are offended by a thirty second prayer, here's my advice- Stick your fingers in your ears!

If secularists are offended by a short prayer, too bad. It is a Human rights Commission tenet that when an individual is offended, all society must change to accommodate them. What hogwash!

Many things in society offend me as well, I learn to live with it.

It is high time that the Quebec government take the bull by the horns by declaring exactly how we define our society. We need legislation clearly stating who and what we are. These choices are up to our elected Parliament to decide, after a vigorous and open debate.

There is no shame in declaring ourselves a society that recognizes its Christian past and one that maintains its core belief in Judeo-Christian values.

That being said we must tell all our citizens clearly that religious freedom is a sacrosanct pillar of our society, but that not every archaic religious practice can be tolerated in modern society.

There are some people who do not believe in the above. Fair enough.
But they are the minority and it is incumbent on them to accept the terms of society as defined by the majority.


  1. There should definitely be a separation between "church" and state. I put "church" in quotation marks because this is the common expression in North America.

    Being one of about 400,000 Jews in Canada, it's an acceptable exression. In Israel, a democracy ruled by secular law, one can call it separation of synagogue and state, and in predominantly Muslim countries, it's mosque and state. Unfortunately, there are many Muslim countries where religion and state are not separated. Case in point: Iran.

    I would think Quebecers today would want the crucifix out of the National Assembly after the Quiet Revolution and the Roman Catholic Church's lost grip on its majority. I won't lose a wink of sleep over a crucifix in the N.A. Maybe it keeps the vampires away!

    I'm OK with religious symbols in public places where numbers warrant. In predominantly Jewish Côte-St-Luc, there are many synagogues and Jewish retirement homes to go along with the other neighbourhoods there, so a menora here or there is acceptable. Same goes for the Snowdon area that is now more mixed with new immigrants and fewer Jews who have moved westward. Crucifixes and crescent moons and other Islamic symbols reflect the makeup of the area.

    Neighbourhoods change over time, and very often there are a few symbols that remain a long time to remind us of what a neighbourhood once was. Cities are living, breathing organisms unless we choose to engineer them by some sort of political force. Case in point: English signs in Quebec, almost completely outlawed in 1978 to satisfy a collective of bigots who could not stomach a visage anglais.

    And the evolution goes on...

  2. Just to point out. I am sick and tired of hearing of Judeo-Christian basis of western civilization. Its very convenient to mention Judeo despite the fact that Judeo and Christianity never really got along in Europe. It was actually more common to see judeo-islamic socities like in moorish spain or to a lesser degree turkey.

    The seperation of Church and state actually as a result of the dark ages, when you had a kinds of nasty stuff going on. The enlightenment came with of an european realignment with more of Greco-Roman basis for society.

    So sorry to say so, most of the basis for current western society is not Judeo-Christian its Greco-Roman. Which was a much more relatively tolerant society to begin with.

  3. Anon @ 9:59AM: The Dark Ages ended in Quebec with the death of Maurice Duplessis (A.D. 1959!!)

  4. Propos about Duplessis:

    Duplessis skewers his opponents and charms his supporters effortlessly as heard in this speech on provincial autonomy.

    Leader Louis-Alexandre Taschereau was returned to power in 1935 but his term would be short-lived thanks to Duplessis's accusations of corruption.

    • Duplessis outmanoeuvred Gouin as leader of the coalition. On Nov. 7, 1935, Duplessis created the Union Nationale, of which he became chief. Campaigning on a platform of anti-corruption, Duplessis was successfully elected premier in the 1936 election.

    • Like many of his contemporaries, Duplessis found it difficult to introduce new legislation during the economic crunch of the Depression. He managed to introduce wage regulations, modest relief funds and agricultural provisions.

    •Duplessis made a pre-emptive strike against the federal government, and campaigned on an anti-conscription platform.

    • To Duplessis' surprise, Quebec Liberal Adélard Godbout campaigned on the same platform. With the support of three federal ministers — Ernest Lapointe, minister of justice, P.J.A. Cardin, the minister of public works, and postmaster general C.G. Power — Godbout convinced Quebecers that his government would be more able to negotiate with Ottawa should the conscription question ever be posed. Duplessis had proven to be a hostile and willing adversary to the federal government.

    Propos on State/Church:

    If you want to separate Power from Religion go ahead ! When people go to council, they shouldn't have to pray the Lord to discuss business and vote on political issues.

    It isn't the Catholic church who is loosing the Catholics, but rather the politics of the Church who have lost the crowds. I do not agree to the other imbecile reasons mentioned or cited above. ~ Churches in Canada are dormant in this epoch. It is an era where vulgarity and a lack of education rules along with impunity in Canada.

    Remember: the protestants are in worse "camisole de force" then the Catholics. THeir schism is not over, far from it.

  5. Hey! Whoa! I'm just stating politics and religon don't belong together, Duplessis was a bloody monster, and I'm not one iota interested in debating religious ideologies. They all have their idiosyncracies, hypocrisies and downright lies. There are as many interpretations of religion as there are people.