Two Canadian parades that took place this summer encapsulate the spirit of our times, and illuminate our questionable cultural zeitgeist.
First, a progressivist mother becomes upset with a school district’s lack of enthusiastic affirmation of LGBT ideology in middle school, setting the stage for a “Pride Parade” in one of Canada’s most conservative communities, Mennonite Steinbach, Manitoba.
Sexual radicals swoon at the prospect. Devotees of infallible American Psychological Association theories rally together. Proximity to metropolitan Winnipeg provides expanded demographic support and extra publicity.
Justin Trudeau congratulates the initiative, and crowds that would seldom bother to assemble suddenly wouldn’t miss the opportunity to appear progressive all while managing to affront hometown Christian traditionalists.
Predictably, when the local Mayor and Conservative MP for the region indicate their unwillingness to attend, they are publicly chided for their absence. And national mainstream media, in all its sycophantic collusion, repeatedly eats and regurgitates it all — with bloated bovine relish.
Contrast the preceding, however, with the 2016 “Community Parade” in Westlock, Alberta.
A local, likely Christian, pro-life group applies to be part of an anniversary parade commemorating a small town’s founding. It meticulously constructs a parade-float to match the birthday theme. Yet, the group is subsequently told that its float is unthematic.
After this initial rejection doesn’t exactly “float” with the group, the parade committee informs them that there will not be enough room for them in the parade— as though, somehow, Westlock suffers from the same congestion as Pasadena on New Year’s morning.
Then, after showing up in optimism for the day of the parade anyway, this conservative group is threatened by a local bylaw officer with absurdly punitive fines. What, precisely, was their entry’s misdemeanour? By all appearances, the float bore the unimaginably offensive theme: “Everybody deserves a birthday”.
Mainstream media, of course, ignores this parade.
By itself, a parade might represent the best of times— or the worst. Yet, this is not just a tale of two parades. It is a tale of two cities— and one society— with very clear antipathies and sympathies.
Both these parades manage to hold conservative values up to public contempt, while either subtly enabling or overtly flaunting the sexual revolution.
Taken in tandem and contrasted with one another, these events are not isolated anecdotes. They are symbols of a publicly diseased Canada.
These parades are easily placed alongside a number of recent “binary” events: a Dundas public square that punishes Christians for proclaiming Jesus while remaining strangely silent on the issue of Hare Krishna proselytizing; a broad educational pedagogy that rejects Gideon Bibles even while facilitating Islamic prayer-rooms; a cultural climate that doesn’t mind atheist billboards but vandalizes pro-life ones; a Medieval “faire” where it’s okay to promote the metaphysics of tarot cards and goddess worship as long as no participant publicly mentions Jesus.
Politically speaking, these incidents highlight the broader philosophical confusion found within Canadian (and Western) society. Social progressives hide behind certain assumptions of the secular-neutral state when convenient, all while being functionally pluralist in a spiritual and cultural sense.
Combining this conflicted philosophy with identity-based sexual politics and Marxist “solidarity” tactics merely completes the subjective attitude— a “fancy” that favours the fringe (or the novel) while punishing the familiar.
Unfortunately, by so doing, social progressives reflect the antithesis of principled behaviour. Combining cultural relativity with political solidarity, after all, seldom produces judicial impartiality.
When these varied philosophies impact progressive structures, in fact, they may even become havens of petty tyranny, often with administrative rulers who judge by subjective fiat— making decisions as biased as they are shamelessly “contemporary”.
Schools, for instance, that sound so profoundly secular in rejecting the Gideons, over time, host yoga in their gyms and burn sweetgrass in their staffrooms, apparently oblivious to their own hypocrisy, and the truth that cultures come complete with cults.
Should they truly be surprised, therefore, when discerning social conservatives complain about the arbitrary appearance of all this “progress”?
Yet, I’m told, one mustn’t whine. Things could always be worse.
Indeed, this is just a tale of two parades— hardly the “worst of times” for Christians in Canada. We’ll reserve such statements for radicalized contexts like Iraq and Syria.
Nevertheless, these are hardly the best of times, either— unless one manages to emotionally feed off the implications of a liberal society that increasingly lacks a moral foundation, is routinely duplicitous in its public affairs, and is slowly draining itself of all philosophical credibility.