The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hic et Ille VI

A Correction

In my essay of March 30th, on the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada I declared that anything less than wholehearted support for the institution of royal monarchy ought to disqualify anyone from running as a candidate for the Conservative Party, much less for the party’s leadership. On those grounds I said that Erin O’Toole ought to be ruled out. This was based upon a survey of the prospective Conservative leaders done by the blogger A Kisagari Colour of the blog Maple Monarchists who had reported, on March 3rd, that O’Toole “has refused to answer my question regarding the monarchy.” On the ninth of this month, Maple Monarchists posted a second entry on O’Toole. It turns out that he had been given several policy questions at once and that his collective response was one of “While I don't have these detailed policy positions right now, I am working on it... I intend to release my policy proposals in the near future.” Commenting on this, A Kisagari Colour says “in hindsight 'refusal' was too strong of a word to have used” and quotes a statement Mr. O’Toole has given to the Monarchist League of Canada, expressing his “steadfast support for the monarchy as a foundational element of our parliamentary democracy and a positive force in our society” and outlining his past track record of support for the institution. Welcome back to the race, Mr. O’Toole!

Common Sense from Kellie Leitch

Kellie Leitch, one of the other candidates for the Conservative leadership, sent out an e-mail on April 22nd with the subject line “a common sense approach to immigration” and the content of the message lives up to this. She talks about a visit she made to Emerson, the border town in my home province of Manitoba that has been deluged with illegal aliens crossing over from the United States since the Trump administration introduced its highly sensible immigration/refugee policies a couple of months ago. While the pinheaded dolt who to the great misfortune of our Dominion has been put in charge of Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa has refused to talk to the people of Emerson whose lives he is ruining with his bloody “compassion” and his damned obnoxious and obscene “welcoming” attitude towards anyone and everyone who self-identifies as an “asylum seeker”, Leitch did so talk to them and stated the following:

Throughout this campaign I have been clear:
• I will ensure that every immigrant, refugee, and visitor to Canada receives an interview with a trained immigration officer

• I will ensure they are screened for their agreement for Canadian values before they are admitted to the country

• I will ensure that illegal border crossers are detained, questioned, and returned to the United States

• I will ensure that any city that declares itself a sanctuary does not receive federal funding for transportation

While this still leaves much to be desired it is by far the most sensible position on these matters that a major Canadian political leader has taken in the last twenty years.

Common Sense From Andrew Scheer

Andrew Scheer, as noted in my essay on the Conservative leadership race, has taken a particularly strong stand for the monarchy for which he ought to be commended. Now, in his bid for the Conservative leadership, he has also proposed measures to combat the Social Justice Warriors who harass, bully, and intimidate officials on the campuses of our universities into cancelling events and banning speakers with whom they disagree. Pointing to incidents such as the harassment of the University of Toronto’s Professor Jordan Peterson and the cancelling of pro-life meetings at Wilfred Laurier, Scheer has called on the government to withhold federal funding from any university that gives in to this kind of bullying and refuses to protect freedom of speech. This proposal is long overdue and it is greatly to the credit of Scheer that he has put it forward, just as it is to his credit that he has fought for freedom of speech in Parliament against the draconian thought control bills of the present Liberal government.

If there are any who question why it is laudable in a prospective Conservative leader that he be a strong and consistent advocate of a liberal doctrine like freedom of speech the answer is that while classical liberals may have been the first to formulate the idea of free speech it is an idea to which all people who genuinely believe the creeds they profess can subscribe. The person who believes his creed is the person who believes it to be true and truth is what it is independently of whether a single soul believes it. While there is danger in error to the minds, hearts and souls of those it misleads error can pose no threat of harm to truth itself. Truth, therefore, rather than suppression, is the answer to error. Whether you are a Tory like myself, who believes in Christian orthodoxy, in time-tested ways, in ancient institutions like royal monarchy, and in his country or some left-wing radical who believes in socialism, feminism, egalitarianism, anthropogenic global warming and other such asinine drivel you testify best to your confidence in the truth of your creed by responding to those who disagree with you with persuasion rather than suppression. Those who seek to suppress views they do not like testify only to their own lack of faith in their supposed convictions.

Liberals may have been the first to formulate this idea, but today they are the ones who seek to abridge the freedom of speech of others. Eleven years ago Sir Peregrine Worsthorne memorably noted that “with remarkable rapidity, from a doctrine designed to take government off the backs of the people, liberalism has become a doctrine designed to put it back again.” Nowhere is this more evident that when it comes to freedom of speech and what this tells us is that liberalism is a creed that has run its course, which everybody is now required to pay lip service to, although no one really believes it anymore.

SJWs Lampooned by The Simpsons

In a recent episode of the long-running television cartoon The Simpsons the kind of campus bullies referred to in the previous segment were brilliantly and hilariously lampooned. At one time, successful satire required quite a bit of exaggeration. Those days are behind us now for there is very little exaggeration in this.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Easter, Christian Liberty, and Religious Nuts

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.
– George Herbert

If you open your Bible to the Gospel according to St. John and turn to chapter ten verses twenty-two and twenty-three you will read the following:

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

The feast of the dedication, which had drawn our Lord to the temple in Jerusalem, is an annual Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights or, more commonly, Hanukkah. Hanukkah is an eight day celebration that takes place roughly around the time that we celebrate Christmas. It begins on Kislev the 25th in the Hebrew calendar and since that calendar is a lunar calendar there is no corresponding fixed date in our calendar which is a solar calendar. It can begin in late November – sometimes, although very rarely, as early as American Thanksgiving – and as late as Christmas, most often falling in early to mid-December.

What is most interesting about our Lord’s observance of this feast is that it is not a feast commanded in the Torah. In the covenant God made with Israel at Mt. Sinai following His deliverance of them from their bondage in Egypt He instituted several holy days and festivals to be observed including the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Exodus 20:8-12), Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16, 23:26-32), Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles ( Leviticus 23:33-36), and, of course, the Passover, the annual commemoration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Hanukkah is not one of these feasts, nor does the Old Testament record it being commanded or established by God at any later point. In the Bibles that most evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants read, the record of the events which Hanukkah commemorates cannot be found for the festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, following its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt. These events are recorded in First and Second Maccabees, books which were part of every Christian Bible for the first millennium and a half of Christian history, but which have been expunged from the Bibles of evangelicals and fundamentalists, determined to out-Protestant the Protestant Reformers who themselves kept these books in their Bibles, albeit removing them from the Old Testament and assigning them a secondary, less authoritative, place.

I mention all of this because Holy Week is fast approaching and once again I find myself plagued and pestered by a nuisance of an acquaintance with questions about why we have replaced the holy days God has commanded, i.e., in the Old Testament, with “man-made” and “pagan” holidays like Easter. It is not because I think this man deserves an answer that I am writing this. He most certainly does not. The individual in question is a boorish lout who glories in his own ignorance like a sow wallowing in its mire, a legalist and a Judaizer who calls himself a “Spirit-filled Christian” but by this really means nothing more than a religious nut. I am writing this for the sake of those who might be led astray by him or others who think like him.

The holiday which we call Easter in the English-speaking world, and which Germans call das Ostern, is called Pâques in French, Pascua in Spanish, Pasqua in Italian, and Páscoa in Portuguese. All of these are derived from Pascha, the Latin name for the holiday, itself a transliteration of the Greek name, which is the earliest, Greek having been the language spoken by the Christian church in its infancy. While English may be the most widely spoken of these languages today, in the vast majority of languages spoken by Christians, both now and throughout history, Easter is known by some variation of the original Greek Pascha.

This, in itself, is sufficient to do away with the claim that Easter is “pagan” for that claim rests almost entirely on the English/German name of the holiday. It is claimed that the name is derived from that of a pagan goddess once worshipped by the Germanic speaking peoples who was honoured in the month that corresponds to our April, the month in which Easter usually falls. Whatever truth there may be to this – the etymology has not been established beyond dispute – the holiday that is celebrated under this name by English and German speaking Christians, is the holiday that other Christians call Pascha. Even in English we use an adjective derived from the holiday’s original name when we speak of things pertaining to Easter – “paschal candle”, “paschal bread”, etc. There is nothing pagan about the name Pascha which is a Hellenized spelling of Pesach, the Hebrew name of the Old Testament holiday that in English is known as the Passover.

Although in most languages and parts of the world, the Christian holiday shares the same name as the Jewish holiday that occurs each year at approximately the same time, it is not the same holiday. It commemorates different events than those which the Jewish holiday commemorates although, since the events the Christian holiday commemorates occurred during the Passover season, and the events the Jewish holiday commemorates have been understood by Christians since the days of the Apostles to prefigure or typify the events the Christian holiday commemorates, Christian lectionaries traditionally assign the Exodus to the Old Testament readings in the season leading up to Easter.

In the case of both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Pascha/Easter the holiday commemorates an act of salvation or deliverance through which God established a Covenant. The Jewish Passover commemorates the deliverance of a particular people, the Hebrews or Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. As part of the Covenant that God established with the Israelites after leading them out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai He commanded that the Passover be observed every year. It was only this one particular people that a) God delivered in the events commemorated by the Passover, b) that God made this Covenant with at Mt. Sinai, and c) that were commanded to keep the Passover. It was never intended to be a universal holiday, celebrated by everywhere in the world, and indeed, one of God’s very first instructions in establishing it was to forbid foreigners from partaking in it. (Ex. 12:43-45). To be allowed to partake of the Passover, a foreigner had to be formally adopted into the Israelite nation by undergoing circumcision (Ex. 12:48).

The Christian Pascha/Easter, by contrast, commemorates the salvation of the entire world from bondage to sin, death, Satan and hell that God accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Through these events God established a New Covenant, made not with a particular nation but one in which the entire world was invited to participate through faith. The invitation to partake of this covenant of grace is called the Gospel – the Good News about God’s gift of His Son and the salvation He accomplished through His death and resurrection. The Gospel was to be preached to the people with whom the Old Covenant had been made first but then to the other nations as well because the invitation to partake of the covenant of grace was to be extended to everybody.

The New Testament makes it quite clear how Christians are to view the Exodus and the Old Covenant with all of its sacrifices and ceremonies. The deliverance of the Jews from bondage in Egypt prefigures Christ’s salvation of the world from sin. Jesus Christ Himself is our Passover sacrifice (1 Cor. 5:7). The blood of the lamb, on the lintel and side-posts of the Hebrew houses, which caused the Angel of Death to pass over them is, like all of the sacrifices of the Old Testament, a type, a picture, of the blood of the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8) Whose death is the one final sacrifice that effectually takes away the sins of the world (Heb. 10:1-14).

Those, like my obnoxious acquaintance, who mock the majority of Christians for celebrating a holiday that commemorates the greater salvation of which the Old Testament Exodus was a mere type, point to the fact that the Old Testament holidays were commanded by God Himself whereas Easter was instituted by the church and is therefore “man made.” By this language they are obviously trying to evoke Matthew 15 and Mark 7 in which Jesus rebukes the Pharisees because “laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men.” We shall now see why this reasoning is erroneous and why those who take this position are closer in spirit to the Pharisees than those they mock.

In the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter was sent to preach the Gospel to the household of a Gentile centurion named Cornelius. They believed, received the Holy Spirit, and were baptized. From this time forward, the Gospel was preached to Gentiles as well as Jews. Soon thereafter, St. Paul and Barnabas made a large number of Gentile converts in several cities in Asia Minor and when they returned to the church in Antioch to report on the results of their evangelistic mission a controversy arose, with some insisting that the Gentile converts had to become Jews in order to become Christians – that they would have to be circumcised and keep all the laws of the Old Testament. An appeal was made to the Apostles in Jerusalem to settle this issue, and the first general council of the Christian church was called there, recorded in Acts 15. St. James presided, St. Peter testified to the vision he had received from God commanding him to take the Gospel to Cornelius (the vision involved a sheet coming down from heaven filled with non-kosher animals, him being ordered to eat, refusing, and then being told “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”) and the council ruled that a letter would be sent to the Gentile converts giving their judgement:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. (Acts. 15:28-29)

St. Paul wrote an entire book of the New Testament, the epistle to the Galatian church, against Judaizers who claimed that Christians, after being justified by grace, needed to follow the Old Testament Law. Christian liberty is also a major theme of his largest epistle, that to the Roman Church, which argues that men are justified before God by grace received through faith, rather than by the works of the law. This Christian liberty is a recurring theme throughout his other epistles as well (see Col. 2:16-17 and Eph. 2:12-16, for example). The law from which St. Paul wrote that Christians are free is not some body of man-made regulations – note that the same epistle to the Romans which stresses Christian liberty requires Christians to obey the civil authorities (chapter 13) - but the body of ordinances handed down to Israel by God Himself at Mt. Sinai.

This liberty does not mean that the Christian has permission to freely go out and sin, to do that which is wrong in itself (Rom. 6:1-2, 11-15). Some acts are right in themselves and others wrong in themselves, universally, and with regards to matters such as these God will hold all men accountable at the Final Judgement whether they have received His Law or not (Rom 2.12-16). Only a very small portion of the commandments in the Old Testament Law are of this type, however. The vast majority of the Law’s commandments pertained to matters of what food to eat, what clothing to wear, what holy days to remember, what sacrifices to make, how to build and furnish the tabernacle, and how to maintain ceremonial purity. It is stated repeatedly throughout the Torah that a principal reason for these detailed instructions was that these things were to keep the Israelites distinct and separate from the other tribes of Canaan and the surrounding lands, because God did not want them to become polluted by their wicked ways, to worship their idols, sacrifice their children, and the like. The law was not successful in this, nor was it ever intended to be, but rather to illustrate by its failure the superiority of the new covenant of grace that would replace it, which covenant would not erect a barrier between God’s people and the nations of the world, but would be universal and open to all.

Of all the New Testament verses on Christian liberty the ones most directly relevant to the subject at hand are the following, written by St. Paul to the church at Colosse:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ (Col. 2:16-17)

There are two aspects to this Christian liberty. First, the Christian church was not required to keep the holy days ordained in the Old Testament. Second, it was free to establish its own feasts and holy days. Those soi-dissent “spirit-filled Christians” who sneer at the church for doing just that are completely out of touch with the spirit of the New Testament.

By the end of the Book of Acts, Christians had already started to assemble together and break bread on “the first day of the week”, i.e., Sunday, (Acts 20:7) The reason Christians honoured the first day of the week in this way is because it was the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For the same reason, the earliest Christian holy day, dating back to the first century, is Pascha/Easter, the Christian Passover which annually looks back to the events to which the Jewish Passover looked forward.

Pascha/Easter is the culmination of a week (1) in which the events from the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), through the Last Supper on the night of His betrayal (Maundy Thursday) and the Crucifixion itself (Good Friday) to the Harrowing of Hell (Holy Saturday) are remembered, itself marking the anniversary of the Resurrection. (2) The bulk of the narrative of each of the New Testament Gospels is comprised of the events of this week. They are the events which are at the heart of the Christian evangel:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4)

Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter, is all about the Gospel. In the annual re-enactment of these events the church brings the Gospel to life to people in a far more powerful way than any sermon ever could.

Indeed, I suspect that this is what those who sneer at Easter as a “man-made” holiday and would seek to shackle Christians with chains forged on Mt. Sinai really object to the most in Easter. Having given their hearts to the Law, they have left no room for the Gospel.

(1) Note the interesting reverse parallelism with the Jewish Passover – which begins a week of celebration.

(2) There was much discussion and debate in the early church over when to celebrate Easter. The biggest disagreement was over whether it ought to coincide with the beginning of the Jewish Passover or with the day of the Resurrection. The latter viewpoint, obviously, won out, leaving the question of what day should be remembered as the day of the Resurrection (should it be held on the same day of the week as the Resurrection, i.e., Sunday every year, or the same day of the month, which would mean it moves throughout the week). The Council of Nicaea (325 AD) set it for the Sunday after the first full moon on/after the spring equinox. Contrary to much of the anti-ecclesiastical conspiracy mongering on the part of so-called “spirit-filled” religious nuts, this had nothing to do with paganism infiltrating the church but was an approximation based upon Scriptural evidence as when the Resurrection occurred. The Resurrection took place on the Sunday after the Passover began. The Passover begins on the evening of the fourteenth of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This, like the Ides of a Roman month, always fell on the full moon (the months of the Hebrew calendar are lunar months, beginning on the new moon). Nisan, as its original, pre-Babylonian captivity, name of Aviv indicates, was the first month in spring.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Conservative Leadership Race

As one whose lifelong Toryism is a matter of principle and conviction rather than partisan allegiance the present contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada has been of only tertiary interest, if that, to me. The party has compromised, sold-out, and otherwise betrayed the principles and ideals to which its name alludes time and time again.

Unfortunately, while the Conservatives cannot be trusted to live up to their own principles you can always count on the Grits to live down to our worst expectations of them as they do everything in their power to impose the latest version of their ever-changing insane ideology upon our country while feathering their nests, enhancing their power, and displaying the utmost arrogance and contempt for ordinary Canadians. The Liberal Party of Canada began its sordid existence as the party advocating selling out the heritage of honour and loyalty upon which our country was built for filthy American lucre and has spent a century and a half trying to undo Confederation, strip us of our traditions and legacy, rob us of our rights and freedoms and turn Canada into a pathetic, third-world, police state that hides the sheer nastiness of its politically correct oppressiveness behind a thin outward veneer of toxic niceness. Now, under the leadership of an intolerably arrogant, empty-headed and black-hearted coxcomb, the Grits have placed an onerous debt burden upon the backs of future generations of Canadians for centuries to come with their present extravagance, taken a gigantic first step towards the subjection of Christians, Jews, and all other non-Muslim Canadians to dhimmitude by passing, against widespread objection, a motion condemning Islamophobia, while seeking to shove the most recent gender insanity down all of our throats and, in complete disregard for the safety, well-being, and wishes of Canadians, thrown out the welcome mat to all those who pose enough of a security risk to be rejected as immigrants and asylum-seekers by our southern neighbour.

Therefore, while it is too much to hope that the Conservatives, returned to power, would actually put Tory principles into practice in their governance, such a return is to be wished if for no other reason than to rid the country of the disastrous misrule of the vile and loathsome gang of miscreants presently holding office. For a number of reasons – several decades worth of neglect in the teaching of Canadian civics in our schools and our having been swamped by Yankee pop culture in the same period being the chief two – the Canadian electorate treats our general elections as if they were the equivalent of American presidential contests and votes according to who the party leader is. Who the leader is, therefore, matters and so this race demands our attention.

Sadly, the quantity of the candidates seeking the leadership is far more impressive than the quality. Indeed, it is much easier to decide which candidates ought not to be allowed anywhere near the leadership than to pick one who stands out as deserving to win. Foremost among these is Kevin O’Leary. The Dragon’s Den star has been compared to American President Donald Trump but the comparison is cosmetic and superficial and has nothing to do with policy matters. O’Leary is a free trader and an immigration enthusiast, as well as being the most socially liberal candidate to ever seek the Tory leadership. He is most like Donald Trump in his personality – in his policies he is much closer to Justin Trudeau. It is hard to imagine a worse combination in a prospective Conservative leader.

The other Irishman, Erin O’Toole is also disqualified in my books. A Kisaragi Colour, the founder of the blog The Maple Monarchists, has surveyed the leadership candidates on their views of Canada’s constitutional monarchy. All who replied, either personally or through their staff, indicated their support of the institution to some degree or another, except O’Toole and Lisa Raitt, both of whom declined to indicate their position. This is a disqualifier. Royalism is a sine qua non of Canadian conservatism and someone who refuses to commit publicly to support of the monarchy has no business even running as a Conservative candidate much less for the leadership.

If the leadership were to be decided on that sole issue alone, Andrew Scheer would clearly be the best candidate as he indicated the most enthusiastic support for the royal institution by far of all the candidates in his response.

There are other issues to be considered, however, and here things become complicated because different candidates stand out as being the strongest on different sets of issues.

Take “social conservatism” for example. This commonly denotes the sort of moral and social positions that evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants, traditionalist Catholic and Orthodox, and other religious conservatives would support. This would include being pro-life, i.e., opposed to abortion and euthanasia, a supporter of traditional one man/one woman marriage, and an opponent of the alphabet soup gang agenda, of feminism, and often of the legalization of recreational drugs such as marijuana. For a couple of decades the conventional wisdom has been that no party running on a socially conservative platform stood a chance of winning because Canadians are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. In fact the opposite is the case. Opposition to moral and social breakdown will always be more popular than tightening the purse strings and anybody with an ounce of sense knows that. The conventional wisdom exists to browbeat the major parties into not putting it to the test by running a socially conservative campaign. On social conservatism, the strongest of the candidates would be Brad Trost, MP for Saskatoon-University. Trost is an evangelical Christian, who has been outspoken on socially conservative issues throughout his political career, and who has opposed the shift towards social liberalism taken by the party under the interim leadership of Rona Ambrose.

On culture and immigration there is no good candidate. A good candidate would be one who takes the position that immigration, legal and illegal, should not be allowed to change the character of the country, that our government and not the immigrants themselves will select who is allowed in and that it will place the needs of our country first in doing so rather than those of the prospective immigrants, that we will not admit large numbers of either immigrants or refugees in periods of high unemployment and economic recession, that illegal immigration will not be tolerated and will result in the permanent disqualification of the queue-jumper for even legal immigration, and that our refugee admission policies need to be reformed to recognize the reality that the vast majority of asylum seekers are frauds. A good candidate would denounce the toxic cultural atmosphere of ethnomasochism and oikophobia that liberalism spent much of the last fifty years creating. No candidate dares to take this position, of course. The closest thing to it is Kellie Leitch, who is not close at all but who merely wants prospective immigrants to be screened for values that conflict with Canadian values, by which she means the values of the multicultural, feminist, progressive, liberal, left that has been denouncing her as a bigot for wanting newcomers to hold to their values. On this, as with social conservatism, a platform much further to the right that provided Canadians with a real alternative to liberalism for a change would garner much more support than the conventional wisdom would acknowledge.

On fiscal and economic policy if any of the candidates stands out it is probably Maxime Bernier.

Ideally, the next Conservative leader would be strong on all of these issues, but such a person does not appear to be present among the current candidates. Practically, the next leader will also have to be someone around whom the party can unite and who can generate enough popular support to oust the Liberals. Although this quality is harder to gauge, here too there is no name jumping off of the candidates list as the obvious choice.

Perhaps the best we can hope for is that whoever the Conservatives choose as their leader will win by default simply because everyone will finally be sick to death of Justin Trudeau.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Even More Brief Thoughts on Assorted Matters

- We live in an age of idolatry, in which false gods have been substituted for the true God, and counterfeit goods for true goods. Our age has substituted human rights for natural law, equality for justice, and democracy for constitutional government, and we are the worse for each of these substitutions.

- True constitutional government requires the reign of a royal monarch.

- Friends don’t let friends eat vegetarian.

- As crude in their manner of expression, one-tracked in their thinking, and blasphemously anti-Christian in their idolatrous worship of their own race as white racial nationalists often can be, they are absolutely correct when they say that anti-racist is merely a code word for being anti-white. Anti-racism is the worst form of racism that can exist – racism against one’s own race.

- Only a complete horse’s ass would be a republican, democrat, liberal, progressive, socialist, pacifist, vegetarian, feminist, atheist, tree-hugging eco-nut, anti-racist, admirer of Justin Trudeau, pro-choice activist, government social worker or any sort of social justice warrior.

- Political correctness has so rotted the minds of our politicians that Parliament is seriously considering condemning as an irrational fear and prejudice the concerns of those who consider it imprudent to admit large numbers of immigrants or asylum-seekers who adhere to the religion that converted the Arabic peoples at sword point during the life of its founder, conquered the rest of the Middle East within twenty-five years of his death, was invading Christian Europe from both sides by the end of its first century, and has behaved in the exact same way towards Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and anyone else who had the misfortune to live in proximity to it ever since.

- There is nothing morally wrong with smoking tobacco. It takes a special kind of stupid to think otherwise.

- Isn’t it interesting how those who decry the mixing of religion and politics whenever a conservative evangelical, fundamentalist or traditionalist Catholic or Orthodox leader calls for pornography to be restricted, abortion to be banned, and public morality to be restored to what it was sixty years ago or otherwise expresses a right-of-centre view of public policy seem to have no objections to those wolves in shepherds’ clothing who devote all of their pulpit time to preaching the gospel of environmentalism, denouncing the evils of various sorts of prejudice and discrimination, and calling for more immigration and diversity.

- Liberals, socialists, and neoconservatives are all in favour of high levels of immigration and a lackadaisical approach to border security and the enforcement of immigration law. This is because each sees the immigrants as the means to some selfish end of their own. The Grits see a voting base that will keep them in power perpetually, the NDP sees a pathway to power in potential voters they can lure away from the Grits by offering more government benefits, and the neoconservatives see a supply of cheap labour. All three condemn as “racist” those who want lower levels of immigration, stricter enforcement of border security and immigration laws, and an immigration policy that is based upon our own country’s needs and interests and does not seek to radically transform our country. Yet it is only these “racists” who see immigrants as rational human beings who would not chose to come to our country if they did not see it as being attractive as it is, and that it is therefore as much in the interest of the immigrants we let in as it is of us who are already here that immigration not be the instrument of fast and radical transformation.

- All of the “values” that the Liberal Party identifies as Canadian come with a “Made in the USA” stamp. They are merely the values of the Hollywood left.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Yes Antonia, There is a Threat to Canadian Freedom of Speech

Antonia Blumberg, the Associate Religion Editor for the progressive liberal disinformation site that some consider to be the online equivalent of a newspaper, the Huffington Post, has come to the defence of the anti-Islamophobia motion that Iqra Khalid, the Liberal MP representing Mississauga-Erin Mills has introduced into the Canadian Parliament. In doing so she has lived down to the stereotype, popular here in the Dominion of Canada, of the Yankee who spouts off about things of which she knows nothing.

Regardless of whether it is a non-binding motion or a bill, there is a very real threat to freedom of speech here, of which anyone familiar with the Liberal Party’s long war on the traditional rights and freedoms of Canadians would be well aware. There are many parallels between what the Liberal Party is doing now and what it did in the 1970s under the leadership of the father of the present federal premier. Then, as now, it decided that it was the government’s place to combat ideas and attitudes that the Liberals considered to be unacceptable. At the time it was racial and religious prejudice in general, and anti-Semitism in particular that the Liberals were going after. Warning Canadians that the threat of a potential Canadian Fourth Reich existed if these attitudes were not drummed out, stomped down, and extirpated with extreme prejudice, the Liberals, bereft of any sense of irony, established a Canadian equivalent of the Gestapo and the NKVD/NKGB/MGB/KGB in the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Although progressives will undoubtedly sputter with offense and rage at the comparison in the last sentence it is entirely apt and valid. The difference between the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the secret police of the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is one of degree not of kind. If the Canadian Human Rights Commission brought you before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal you would not end up facing a firing squad or being shipped away to a forced labour camp. At most you would be fined an exorbitant and crippling amount of money, slapped with a lifetime gag order, and have your career and reputation completely and utterly destroyed. Nevertheless, the Canadian Human Rights Commission exists for the same reason its Nazi and Soviet equivalents existed – to track down and punish those considered guilty of what, in Orwellian Newspeak would be called crimethink. It was negative thoughts about those designated as “vulnerable minorities” that the Trudeau Liberals considered to be crimethink, rather than negative thoughts about the regime itself, as was the case in the Third Reich, Soviet Union, and Orwell’s 1984, but it was crimethink all the same, and those charged with crimethink found that there was very little in the way of defence available to them. More perhaps, than was available to the unfortunate victims of the totalitarian regimes, but much less than has been traditionally available to the free subject-citizens of one of Her Majesty’s realms. The Liberals were able to get away with this by classifying the legislation – the Canadian Human Rights Act – which the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal enforced as civil rather than criminal law. Civil law does not come with the same legal protections of the rights of the defendant that exist under criminal law. The progressive supporters of the Canadian Human Rights Act and its enforcing bodies deceive themselves, however, if they think this legislation exists to help people settle disputes among themselves, and not to punish people whose thoughts are considered criminal by the “Natural Ruling Party of Canada” as the Grits so arrogantly designate themselves.

Blumberg, citing the CBC, quotes Justin Trudeau as saying, in defence of Khalid’s motion “You’re not allowed to call ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater and call that free speech.” This is not a valid comparison however, no matter how many times freedom-hating, totalitarian dolts make it. When you yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre, you can create a panic in which people hurt or even kill people in their rush to get out. It is the act of mischief that is proscribed by law, not the idea expressed (“there is a fire in this theatre”). Indeed, if that idea were true, if there actually was a fire in the theatre, we would want that information to be conveyed, albeit in a more orderly fashion.

A law prohibiting so-called “hate speech” is not like this. If the Liberal Party passes a motion condemning Islamophobia and saying that the government must do everything in its power to combat Islamophobia, a hate speech law will be the next step they take. There is abundant evidence in their past track record to show this to be the case. It is the way they think. Such laws exist for one purpose, and one purpose only, to say “you are not allowed to think this or that.” The argument that says that “hate speech” also hurts people like yelling “fire” in a theatre because it can inspire someone to commit acts of violence is spurious, specious and downright mendacious. If one person expresses a negative view of a race, religion, sex or whatever, and another person who has heard this commits a violent act against a member of the group in question, it will not be an immediate, automatic, response like the panic in the theatre. It will involve someone thinking about the negative view expressed, deliberating on it, and concluding that violence is the right way to act on this information. Such a conclusion suggests that there was something wrong in this person’s head already, long before he heard the “hate speech”. Which is why “hate speech” is much less likely to produce a violent crime than calling “fire” in a theatre is likely to produce a panic. It would be more defensible, perhaps, to argue that speech that explicitly calls for a violent response, of the general “kill the -------s” type, ought to be proscribed, but the “hate speech” that is prohibited by such laws is never limited to just this, and at any rate, this sort of thing was already covered by the laws against incitement that have been around since long before someone dreamed up the idea of laws against hate and which are far better laws being designed to protect everyone and not some designated group.

What the Liberal Party has done in the past in the name of combatting racism and protecting “vulnerable minorities”, however worthy we may or may not consider these goals to be in themselves, is completely unacceptable in a country like Canada. It is now 150 years since men like Sir John A. MacDonald established Canada as a self-governing Dominion under the British Crown, with legislative and judicial institutions grounded in the tradition attached to the Crown, including all the rights and freedoms of the Common Law. The right way to protect “vulnerable minorities” in our country, would have been to do a better job of making sure that the full protection of these rights and freedoms was enjoyed by all of Her Majesty’s citizen-subjects in our free Dominion, whatever their race, ethnic origin, etc. might happen to be. Instead, the Liberal Party opted to give special protection to “vulnerable minorities” and to abridge the traditional rights and freedoms of all Canadians to do so, while doing everything in their power to undermine our British heritage and the tradition from which those rights and freedoms sprang.

It is evident to every patriotic Canadian who loves his country, its true heritage, and its traditional freedoms, and is aware of what is going on that the Liberal Party is preparing to do more of the same, even if an ignorant Yank writing for a silly left-wing trash site is completely clueless as to what is going on.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Justin Trudeau Expands His Vocabulary

So it turns out the t word is part of Justin Trudeau’s vocabulary after all.

You would never have known it from his verbal responses to the countless acts of jihad that have been waged against Western countries since that ill-fated day when he became the Prime Minister of our country. We have heard him condemn the violence of these acts and use such banal adjectives as “senseless” to describe it, but we were stuck listening to the crickets chirp and counting the tumbleweeds rolling by as we sat around waiting for him to use the obvious word – “terrorism.” That he seemed to be allergic to this term was something that had been observed and commented on even before he won the right to lead Her Majesty’s Canadian government by winning the 2015 general election. In the fall of the year prior, two young Canadians who had become alienated from their own country, traditions and people and converted to Islam and pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State, launched their own personal jihads in our Dominion’s capital of Ottawa and in the Quebec city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Trudeau eventually conceded that these were acts of terrorism when they were labelled as such by the RCMP investigators but why was a statement of what was obvious treated as a concession?

Well that certainly changed this weekend when someone shot up a mosque in Quebec City. As the Prime Minister’s butt-kissing sycophants and toadies in the press set about scrubbing the early reports of the incident to eliminate details out of sync with the official narrative that somebody has obviously ordered them to push, Trudeau set a record in the speed with which he denounced the shooting as an act of terrorism, almost as if he had a speech prepared and ready for the occasion.

What is objectionable in this is not that the Prime Minister was quick to denounce the mosque shooting as an act of terrorism. Shooting up a place of worship and murdering the worshippers obviously falls into this category. The problem is all those other occasions when he dithered and dawdled and danced around the obvious. Trudeau was quick to call a spade a spade where terrorism is concerned when Muslims were the victims, but avoided doing so like the plague when Muslims were the perpetrators. Is the one kind of terrorism worse than the other in Trudeau’s eyes?

The official narrative being pushed by the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, aka the Canadian media is that the shooting was the work of a lone gunman, a French Canadian named Alexandre Bissonnette. Details that came out in the first reports while the story was fresh but which do not support the official narrative have been either scrubbed or, when this was not possible, reinterpreted. Initially, eye-witnesses within the mosque testified to multiple shooters who shouted “Allahu Akbar.” This detail, which contradicts the Prime Minister’s narrative, was quickly scrubbed. That a second suspect, a Moroccan Muslim named Mohamed Belkhadir had been taken into custody by the police, was reinterpreted to fit the narrative. He is now identified as a “witness”, despite having been identified as a “suspect” in the initial police press conference. In the absence of any official confession or statement of motive on the part of Bissonnette the media has been cherry picking details from his Facebook page to support its narrative of his being motivated by what they call “far right”, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, nativism. Their evidence for this is that he “liked” Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen on Facebook. He also “liked” Jack Layton and the NDP. It would no doubt come as a great surprise to the late Jack Layton to learn that he and the socialist party he led have undergone a dramatic shift to the far right of the political spectrum six years after his death.

I suspect it will be decades, if ever, before we learn the full truth of what happened that night. The Prime Minister’s office has been leaning heavily on the media, Canadian and otherwise, to make sure that only their approved version of the incident gets reported. You can be sure that when the PMO gets this involved in the reporting of a news story it is not to ensure that the truth comes out. Trudeau is determined to exploit the deaths of these Quebec Muslims for the gratification of his own ego and the furtherance of his personal political agenda. If that strikes you as being a little harsh then you are clearly unfamiliar with the ice-cold, calculating, love and worship of power in the dead, soulless, vacuum that lies behind the pretty boy exterior of Justin Trudeau and the grating, superficial, personality that he seemingly plagiarized from Barney the purple dinosaur. Indeed, the incident could hardly have served his purposes better if he had planned and arranged it himself.

It came after several weeks of humiliation for the federal premier in which he toured Canada in a failed attempt to restore the lustre of his image after it had taken several devastating hits over his Clintonesque cash-for-access behaviour such as the scandal over the family vacation he had accepted on an island owned by the Aga Khan. In city after city, in townhall style meetings, he was subjected to difficult questions about matters such as why he was trying to make things even harder for people already struggling to make ends meet by jacking up the cost of living with a carbon tax. It did not help that he was caught speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the question of the oil sands. To an audience in Peterborough, Ontario, presumably one sympathetic to such tree hugging drivel, he said that the oil sands needed to be phased out. This left him trying to explain to an audience in Calgary that he did not really mean to drive even more Albertans out of work and inflict further damage on their province’s already struggling economy. He was in need of a sleight-of-hand to distract the public from their growing awareness of just how pathetic a disgrace to the office of Her Majesty’s first minister he is.

This shooting incident not only provided him with that distraction it came at just the appropriate time to allow him to grandstand and show off his supposed moral superiority over American President Donald Trump. Two days before the shooting Trump had enraged liberals around the world by daring to put the security and wellbeing of his country ahead of political correctness by issuing a four month halt to the admission of refugees and a three month temporary ban on entrance to the United States from seven countries that are significant sources of jihadi terrorism. The day after this and the day before the shooting Trudeau sent out a tweet that, while worded as a statement of non-discriminatory policy in the admission of refugees, was clearly intended to mean that those who were excluded from the United States by the Trump ban would be welcome in Canada. To deliberately throw out the welcome mat to those excluded from another country on the basis of the high level of security risk they present is to say that you place diversity, tolerance, and non-discrimination ahead of the security and wellbeing of your country and its citizens. To Trudeau and his international admirers this may be an indication of virtue but to any sensible person it is an indication of gross stupidity and utter villainy.

Then along comes the shooting, and an airbrushed media narrative which seems to be designed to justify forcing ordinary Canadians yet again to pay the price for Trudeau’s peacocking his “tolerance”, “understanding” and “compassion” to his global audience. The Liberal Party has a history of infringing upon the traditional rights of Canadians to think and speak freely, whenever they want to shove acceptance of their values down our throats and to chastise Canadians for this-or-that thought crime. The father of the present Prime Minister was notoriously bad for this and a Liberal MP has already placed a bill that would condemn Islamophobia before the House. The bill was introduced long before the shooting. You would almost think they knew in advance it was coming.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Worse than Infidels

“Take heed”, the Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples “and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matt. 16:6) It was not, as His disciples initially supposed, literal bread against which He was warning them, but the teachings of these first century Jewish sects. The frequency with which He told His disciples not to follow the example of the Pharisees suggests that He recognized in this a temptation to which His followers would be particularly prone.

When, therefore, we consider the Christian duty enjoined upon us by the Great Commission, whether we interpret that commission in a high church sense as speaking of the ministry of Word and Sacrament of the organized Church or in the evangelical sense of the duty of all believers to tell others about the Gospel (1) we ought always to keep in mind as a warning Christ’s declaration:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matt. 23:16)

Clearly there is a right and wrong way to evangelize and we ought to be wary of the kind of theology that subordinates all other concerns to the very real need to bring the Gospel to those who have not yet heard it.

Consider a popular evangelical response to the present migration situation. For some time now a massive wave of migration has been going on as thousands of people from what used to be called the Third World but which the politically correct word police now insist we call the Global South have been moving into the countries of what used to be Christendom but is now known as Western Civilization. Some are coming claiming to be refugees or asylum seekers, legitimately and illegitimately, some are going through the proper channels to immigrate legally, whereas many others are just swarming in, but refugee or immigrant, legal or illegal, they are coming. A standard evangelical response is to say that we should look upon this as an opportunity and welcome them, because they here are the unevangelized arriving on our doorstep.

There is truth in this response. Yes, these people need the Gospel, yes, most of them have not heard the Gospel, yes, we have a Christian duty to share the Gospel with them, and yes, their having come to where we are certainly makes evangelizing them more convenient for us. This is not the whole side of the story however, and it is going too far to say that because of the evangelism opportunities it creates we ought therefore to welcome this wave of migration as a blessing.

When a country experiences immigration on a large enough scale to noticeably alter the ethnic and cultural composition of the country’s population this will have a number of negative effects on the country. Some of these negative effects will be economical and these will be felt the most by the poorest people in the country as the influx of newcomers increases the labour supply, driving down wages, and increases competition for jobs. This will especially be a problem if the country already has a high rate of unemployment. There are other ways, however, in which large scale, demographic-transforming, immigration negatively affects a country. The trust in one’s neighbours and countrymen, the social capital so essential to a sense of community – a sense of who “we” are – has been demonstrated to be seriously compromised by the diversity that this kind of immigration brings. (2) Furthermore, a country’s most basic rights, freedoms, and legal protections of the same, can be placed in jeopardy by this kind of immigration if the cultural tradition in which these things are rooted is seriously threatened.

These are exactly the negative effects this kind of immigration has been having in my country, the Dominion of Canada. When Canada was founded in Confederation 150 years ago as a self-governing Dominion within the British family of nations, it already was culturally plural with three basic ethnic communities – English-speaking Protestant Loyalists, French-speaking Roman Catholics whose religion, language, and culture had been protected by the British Crown after the Seven Years War and the Indian tribes of various religious persuasions, Christian and otherwise, who had signed treaties with the British Crown. A common allegiance to the British Crown, albeit for different reasons with each group, was the sole factor uniting these different communities – which is the reason why immigrants ever since have had to swear allegiance to the Crown to obtain citizenship. Our parliamentary form of government and our Common Law rights and freedoms are rooted in the cultural tradition attached to the Crown. The Liberal Party of Canada has, since the premierships of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, waged an assault on that cultural tradition using mass immigration of the type we have been discussing as one of its chief weapons. With the weakening of the British tradition in Canada has come a weakening of our basic rights and freedoms, one which was not successfully repaired by the Liberal Party’s attempts in 1982 to shift these onto the new basis of a written Charter. (3) Since the Liberal Party regained control of Parliament in 2015, it has set immigration targets at a record high, despite Canada’s having an unemployment rate of just under 7% which the Party seems determined to drive even higher with its ill-conceived, economy-killing, environmentalist schemes, such as the carbon tax.

For an evangelical Christian to endorse this sort of thing, just because it makes evangelism more convenient is an act of impiety in the extreme.

Impiety is the name of the sin with which Christ charged the Pharisees when He accused them of getting around the commandment to honour their fathers and mothers by declaring the portion of their wealth that could otherwise have been used to support their parents to be corban, i.e., dedicated to the temple treasury. (Mark 7:1-13) It is, as its name suggests, the opposite of piety, the ancient virtue which consisted of showing proper and dutiful respect and devotion to God and to one’s parents and ancestors. That devotion to God and to one’s parents/ancestors were so closely connected as to be a single virtue is recognized in virtually every ancient tradition – Plato made this the focus of his Euthyphro, the Romans regarded pietas as one of the chief virtues, and C. S. Lewis provided several examples of the same thought recurring in other traditions in the appendix to his The Abolition of Man. (4) In the Hebrew Scriptures, the commandment to “honour thy father and mother”, in addition to being the first commandment with a promise, as St. Paul notes, is placed immediately after the commandments outlining duties to God and before the commandments outlining duties to one’s fellow men, making it possible to link the commandment with the first set. The ancients understood that duty to one’s parents and ancestors involved looking out for the good of their descendants as well and so piety by extension includes devotion to one’s entire family and household. Devotion to the spiritual household – the family of God, the church – and patriotism, devotion to the national family, are further extensions of this duty.

St. Paul, in his first epistle to Timothy, pronounced the judgement of Christianity upon impiety. Having instructed Timothy to regard elder men in the church as fathers, younger men as brothers, elder women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, he tells him to honour widows, saying that if a widow has children or nephews they should “learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” (5:4). Of those in the church who refuse to do this, he writes “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (5:8)

The same judgement applies to those who sanctimoniously cite evangelistic opportunity, as a reason for supporting and welcoming immigration and refugee policies that have harmed and are harming – perhaps irreparably – their countries.

(1) The Great Commission is worded differently in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, St. Matthew’s wording lending itself to the high church or catholic interpretation, St. Mark’s to the low church or evangelical interpretation.
(2) Dr. Robert D. Putnam, Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, and author of the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, conducted an extensive study on the effects of diversity on social capital. He published his findings in 2007, writing that “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’-that is, to pull in like a turtle” which means that they “tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.” Robert D. Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century”, Scandinavian Political Studies, 30:2 (June, 2007), pp. 137-174.
(3) See my “Civil Libertarians of Canada: The Charter is Not Your Friend”:
(4) C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1943), in which the first example under “Duties to Parents, Elders, Ancestors” is “Your father is an image of the Lord of Creation, your mother an image of the Earth. For him who fails to honour them, every work of piety is in vain. This is the first duty.” Hindu. Janet, i. 9 is cited as the source. In this appendix, Lewis is providing examples of what he, borrowing the term from Chinese philosophy, calls the Tao, i.e., universal natural laws underlying traditional moralities.