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.
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
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
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.
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
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.