While lapsed or reluctant Christians have abandoned the Church in droves, they remain unwilling to part with the symbols and trappings of their Christian heritage.
There's no doubt that the position is a bit ambiguous, but interestingly most of those who have become 'non-practising' or lapsed, remain firmly attached to the philosophy and teachings of the the Church, nonetheless.
Like it or not, those advocating secularism in public must accept that the fundamental tenets of our society are based on the Judeo-Christian values described in the Ten Commandments and that those values remain as legitimate to the non-practicing as to the orthodox.
And so, most Christians, practicing or not, believe that traditional Christian symbols, the crucifix included, remain a symbol of these societal values that all can share.
Removing Christian symbols from the public, is not as easy a question to decide as those in the secular movement would have us believe and the question is certainly not exclusive to Quebec.
Europe has been grappling with this very same question for quite a while now and recently an interesting court decision came down.
"The European Court for Human Rights has ruled Italy has the right to have crucifixes in the country's schools. The sentence passed by the Grande Chambre overturns the sentence dated November 3rd 2009, which had found Italy guilty of violating religious freedom, following an appeal..... The judges established that there is nothing to prove that students are allegedly influenced by the presence of the crucifix in classrooms." Link
"In fact, the Court recognized that in countries with a Christian tradition, Christianity has a specific social legitimacy which is distinct from other philosophical and religious beliefs and justifies the adoption of a differential approach where necessary. It is because Italy is a country of Christian tradition that the Christian symbol can legitimately have a specific visible presence in society" Read the Court DecisionRemoving all vestiges of Christian tradition in public is no easy task. The secularists demand that crucifixes should be taken down from public buildings and that the state must remain firmly neutral vis-a-vis religion in public.
But taking that argument to its logical conclusion, it would mean the elimination of Christmas and Easter as public holidays and would require the removal of the Christian names from our towns and streets.
Interestingly the pressure to remove Christian symbols from public display hasn't come from the minority religions who seem to have no dog in the fight. As long as they are free to practice their own religion in public, they seem at ease with public displays of Christianity.
And that may be the rub.
Many of those asking to remove public Christian symbols, are in fact promoting a hidden agenda that has nothing to do with secularism.
The rise of Islam in Quebec and the perceived attendant threat to society is driving many to embrace public secularism in an effort to thwart Muslims from publicly advancing orthodox Islamism on society in general.
The veil, Sharia law, the inequality of the sexes and other religious fundamentalist beliefs are an anathema to mainstream Quebeckers and restricting the proliferation of these ideas is of no small import to most Quebeckers.
Many of those pushing for secularism are actually pursuing a strategy whereby they are ready to sacrifice their Christian symbols in order to make sure that Muslims and the trappings of orthodox Islamism can't make inroads.
It may be a question of deliberately throwing out the baby with the bath water and it's a part of the secular vs. religion debate that nobody is willing to speak about.
When the trade unions and womens groups speak out against public displays of Christianity and when politicians rail in favour of strict neutrality, their passion and zeal is mostly based on an anti-Islam agenda.
The spectre of loudspeakers blasting from minarets in local neighbourhoods, calling Muslims to prayer many times a day is frightening. The idea of veils and Sharia law becoming part of our life is so unnerving that desperate measures seem to be called for.
Many won't like what I'm saying, but the question remains;
Is not Quebec's panicked rush to secularism, simply a reaction to the infiltration of Islam in public life?