Hi, Ezra! You might remember me. I was one of your fellow free speech advocates, though because I publish with Americans, at home I mostly worked in the back kitchen far behind the lines.
I was one of your fellow free speech advocates, though because I publish with Americans, at home I mostly worked in the back kitchen far behind the lines.
Good work on your part, getting Section 13 (against giving “offense”) repealed. I fear that we will need to fight that battle repeatedly. The only thing worse than losing would be joining the media PR machine for progressive government, currently in high gear.
Recently, you asked, why do Christians listen to progressive media and vote for the governments they shill for when, quite apart from the heart-rending horrors progressive Middle East policy has created for Christians, this stuff is happening at home:
Just look at British Columbia’s Trinity Western University. Its proposed law school has been blacklisted by law societies across Canada, simply because they have a student conduct code that is based on Christian values.
Actually, it was the sneer on the face of a Liberal canvasser who called on me earlier this year that prompted me to organize my thoughts. It crossed his face unbidden when I said that, as a Catholic, I could not conscientiously vote for his party because the party would not sign the nomination papers of a non-abortion supporter. He made a note beside my name, of course, and left.
Putting things together, it all became so clear.
Despite nice talk, no one even wants the vote of the traditional Christian (or observant Jew or thoughtful atheist). The problem is, practising Christian and Jewish communities are declining in size and importance, as others are growing.
Why should a politician get into hot water by defending or pretending to defend the value systems of dying communities, when he could do better by promising more goodies to the growing number of practical or identified seculars? The “traditionals,” as I’ll call them for convenience, expect support for values that built our society over millennia, values that progressives are assertively casting off.
The latest euthanasia ruling is a case in point. A half millennium before Christianity was ever heard or thought of, doctors were taught:
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
Gone, and the former gone in a flash, just recently. How soon before we see people who are simply depressed euthanized, as in formerly Catholic Belgium? And one thing about depressive people, they are easy to depress, so … And each such death is a triumph for progressivism, as we shall see.
Why are traditional religious communities dying? No, it’s not about any new discovery in science! The great physicists were largely not even materialists…
Rather, in a secular society, religious traditions are usually mediated through private institutions. Each decline in the importance of such institutions shuts off a passage to the life beyond that they mediate.
A child can grow up in a religious home today and discover that there are really only two players that matter: himself and big government. The only mediator and advocate is his entitlement card.
As he loses all interest in traditional spiritual life, he discovers the true faith of the progressive society:
Government controls more and more important stuff, and free association controls less and less. Government grants “freedom” to indulge oneself, of course, but that is almost a sacrament, and one that tends to weaken the citizen.
The transformation does not happen all at once, but by degrees. Recently, I was informed by a woman who considers herself a Catholic that abortion and euthanasia are mere “boutique issues,” compared to the awful things Stephen Harper is doing.
Just take in her basic idea for a moment:
The fundamental duty of government is to protect and advance human lives, but progressives know that their real business is currying favour with the growing numbers of fashionable identity groups. Increasingly, such groups will finance their advances on the public dollar. Some of the largesse may come from stripping traditional religious people and institutions of their property (possibly also in fines for non-compliance with some secularist belief). Most people we run into in the plaza will just be “nice” about the whole thing, no matter what is happening.
How do Christians respond?
Much as I sympathize, bracing for storms to come, I think Christians are mainly victims of ourselves.
Consider the excuses I hear (I am talking about legitimate Christian ones, not fundamentally anti-Christian ones, like the “boutique issue” claim above):
* "But Harper did nothing about abortion!"
Oh, for heaven’s sakes! As someone who dealt at close quarters with the abortion lobby for decades, I know they will gladly shut down free speech and freedom of conscience altogether to gain their ends. The euthanasia people will likely do the same. Until their fangs are drawn, nothing can really be done. Harper knows that drawing their fangs will be a serious struggle. And if you are not in it for the fight of your life, don’t interfere by demanding useless demonstrations of loyalty. Other parties will advance and cement their interests more than Harper’s will.
* "A spell of persecution would do us good"
Why is it always Western Christians who think this, not the Middle Eastern Christian and Yazidi girls sold into sex slavery, partly a result of the policy choices of progressive government? Reality check: Persecution causes the worst of human nature to flourish in our own communities as well as the best. Most communities cannot handle the strain. Do any of the Seven Churches of Asia exist today? Even one? Why is that?
* "Harper is a terrible person and has done awful things!"
Really? That is your argument? He leads the only party with a chance of forming a government that does not have a vested interest in suppressing/oppressing us. Why would open season be better? For a better chance of survival, let’s get real and lower our expectations.
What should we do? It will take decades to send progressivism to its deserved reward. I will start by voting for the only party that is not actually hostile to our traditional values (like the right to live, and to speak freely).
For the long tough road ahead, here are two thoughts: Too often, we have responded to bigot attacks by organized protests, boycotts etc.
It is right to respond by action. But group action sometimes makes it sound as though we want to punish or silence the bigot.
No. It isn’t him who needs to change, it is us!
We need to grow up and stop funding, and voting for our enemies, and making excuses for anti-Christian bigots. (All the while making pathetic scolding noises.) If we need to change our bank accounts, our votes, our alumni donor policies, we do it individually because that is the responsible thing for an individual Christian adult to do.
We tell them why, individually and politely, of course. But we are not a cause. We leave that to the progressives and their street theatre and thought police. That’s all they’ve got. We are a faith, if we choose to live it. Either 100 thousand cancelled bank accounts make a difference or they doesn’t, whether we make loud noises or not.
Second, we use the Internet broadly, to find out what is happening. We neither subscribe to nor advertise in media that adopt the progressive viewpoint or target Christians. Again, we tell them why individually. But we are not trying to shut them down. They and their supporters are free, individually, en masse, or as a riot, to buy and believe that stuff if they want. We are individually free not to.
Obviously, a country eventually runs out of taxpayers (other people's) money to fund progressive projects. Progressives are not known for economic wisdom. They are, however known for abrogating liberties to advance their vision. So just what happens next I do not know.
But this I know:
Traditional community members can only remain free by reigning in progressives. We can do it now. We can do it later at much greater cost. We can give up, and lose everything except our entitlements cards. And then shut up and decline.
Go. Think. Vote.
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