The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Christ Has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ Will Come Again!

This past Sunday was the most important holy festival in the Christian calendar.   Set by the Council of Nicaea to fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox, (1) it celebrates the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour and is variously called Pascha (the Christian Passover), Easter and Resurrection Sunday.    The previous week was Holy Week, which began with Palm Sunday, the commemoration of Jesus’ formal triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfilment of prophecy, and which ended with the Great Paschal Triduum.   On the evening of Maundy Thursday we remembered the Last Supper, in which the Lord washed His disciples’ feet, instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and was betrayed by Judas leading directly to the event remembered on Good Friday, His Crucifixion at the hands of ungodly men in which He bore the sins of the world for which offered up His own shed blood and death as Atonement.    Good Friday was followed by Holy Saturday, the day of the Easter Vigil in memory of the period of His body’s entombment and His descent as Conqueror into the underworld where He smashed the gates of Hell to smithereens.  The Vigil, the Triduum, and all of Holy Week found their culmination in Easter itself and the new dawn of the Resurrection.

 

Did your church choose to mark this Easter by meeting at midnight, with the church draped in black and its air thick with sulfurous incense, and chanting obscenities within an inverted pentagram while raping and killing a naked virgin on an altar before a statue of Baphomet?

 

I very much suspect that for most of you – I would hope for all of you – that the answer is “no”.   Nevertheless, I ask this offensive question in order to make a point.

 

If your church turned people away from the celebration of the Resurrection, limited those who it permitted to attend its Easter services, told those that did come that they had to cover their faces, that they could not sing Alleluia in praise of the Risen One, at least without wearing a mask, forbade hugs and handshakes and any other form of normal human contact, and told the majority of its parishioners that they would have to watch the few allowed to meet on the internet and  pretend that they were participating by following along at home, this was no less odious a blasphemous mockery than the kind of despicable rite described above.

 

Churches that have enacted these so-called “safety protocols” have done so at the behest of public health officials.   In other words they have deemed, contrary to the Apostles, it better to obey man than to obey God.    They have chosen to walk not by faith but by fear – fear of the very enemy that Christ taught His disciples not to fear.

 

Of the enemies that assail mankind, body and soul, the last that shall be destroyed, St. Paul tells us, is death.   While it is the last enemy to be destroyed it is the also the first to have been defeated.   The chapter in which St. Paul declares death to be the last enemy to be destroyed is the fifteenth of his first epistle to the Corinthians, a chapter devoted to the connection between Christ’s defeat of death in His Own Resurrection and the final destruction of death in the Final Resurrection.   The Christian believer is promised repeatedly throughout the Scriptures that he will share in the resurrection life of His Saviour, both in the sense of spiritual regeneration in this life and in the sense of bodily resurrection on the Last Day.   The Christian’s hope of his own future resurrection is built upon his faith in Christ and His historical Resurrection.

 

Since Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, His historical triumph over death, which we are to trust in as our own triumph over death and the foundation of our hope of future resurrection, to celebrate Easter while cowering behind a facemask is to deny by our actions the faith we profess with our lips and to make a grotesque mockery of it.    These masks are symbols of irrational fear generated by media hype over a new virus/respiratory disease and of how that fear has caused us to give medical doctors and public health officials the kind of trust and obedience which we owe to God alone.   Giving these medical doctors and public health officials our trust and obedience is tantamount to placing our faith in the spirit that motivates and energizes them.   Since they have declared commerce, including commerce in narcotics and liquor but excluding small, locally-owned, family retailers and restaurants, to be essential, while forbidding family gatherings and worship services for the larger part of a year as non-essential, and have been holding  our constitutional rights and freedoms and the resumption of normal, human, social existence hostage in order to blackmail us all into allowing them to inject us with an experimental new form of gene therapy developed from research using the cells of butchered babies, it is fairly obvious who that spirit is don’t you think?

 

The Christ Who rose from the grave on the first Easter ascended to the right hand of His Father.   One day He will return.   When He came the first time, He did so in humility, to be our Saviour.   The second time He will come in glory “to judge both the quick and the dead”.   On that day, when the blood of His enemies flows as high as the horses’ bridles, what can those who are now forbidding participation in His pubic worship, fellowship in His Church, and denying access to His Sacraments to all but those who register in advance and agree to cover their faces in fear, expect to receive from Him?    Shall they be welcomed to partake of the Wedding Supper of the Paschal Lamb?   Or shall they be forced to drink from the cup filled with the vintage of the winepress of God’s wrath?

 

Christ is Risen!

Happy Easter!

 

 (1)   The Resurrection occurred on the Sunday after the Jewish Passover.   The Jewish Passover fell on the Ides (the full moon at the middle of a lunar month) of Nisan, also called Aviv, the spring month in the Jewish calendar.   Hence the method of calculating its anniversary.

 

 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Brian Bowman's Brainless Balderdash

 

Brian Bowman, the current mayor of the city in which I reside, Winnipeg, the capital city of the Province of Manitoba in the Dominion of Canada, is not a man noted for his intelligence.   Indeed, as far as I can tell, he is noted for only two things.  The first is his close resemblance in physical appearance to Jon Cryer, the actor who before he took on the role of Alan, the anal-retentive loser brother of Charlie, the drunken letch portrayed by Charlie Sheen on Three and a Half Men was best known for playing “Duckie” in the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink.   I have long suspected that this is the real reason he was elected.   If only a Charlie Sheen look-a-like- had run against him.   Or, better yet, Charlie Sheen himself.   Yes, Sheen has been struggling with a lot of personal demons in recent years, but the late Rob Ford struggled with many of those same demons in the city formerly known as York and he was the best mayor in the whole Dominion at the time.   His brother Doug rose to the premiership of Upper Canada on his posthumous coattails although Doug has subsequently proven himself unworthy of the Rob Ford mantle.   The second thing for which Bowman is noted is his act of hysterical wailing and hand-wringing over the evils of racism.   Unlike the problems that Rob Ford and Charlie Sheen struggled with, this precludes one from being an excellent, or even a good mayor.   Bowman’s example of the performance art of racially “woke” virtue-signaling is second to none in Canada, not even that of Captain Airhead himself, although Captain Airhead, who is also the country’s foremost blackface artist, retains the championship title for hypocrisy.

 

Bowman has declared this week to be Winnipeg’s first “Anti-Racism Week”.   The official theme of the week’s events is “What would Winnipeg look like without racism?”   If the organizers of this pompous display of left-wing pseudo-piety, including our feckless, inept and dimwitted mayor, were ever to learn the answer to this question, they would be horrified.

 

A Winnipeg without racism would be a Winnipeg in which people were no longer treated differently from others because of their skin colour or the place of origin of their ancestors.    This means, among other things, that in a Winnipeg without racism, people with white skin colour, whose ancestors came from Europe and the British Isles, would no longer be treated as if they all shared a collective guilt for racism while people of all other skin colours and ancestry are treated as if they shared a collective innocent victimhood of racism.  This is pretty much the opposite of what Bowman et al. envision a “Winnipeg without racism” as looking like.   

 

While all these people who wear their “Anti-Racism” in prominent display on their sleeves like to adopt the stance of Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru towards racism that is directed against white people, such racism is not difficult to find.   Earlier this week, all sorts of left-wing personalities found themselves with egg on their faces as they rushed to delete all the tweets and other social media posts in which they had spouted off about the evil, racist, white man who had shot up a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killing ten people, before it was revealed that the shooter was a Syrian refugee who liked to rant on the internet about the evils of racism, Islamophobia, and Donald Trump.   They had, of course, assumed the shooter was a white man in the vernacular sense of the term rather than the technical sense in which physical anthropology classifies East Indians and Arabs as part of the Caucasian race.   This assumption was based upon a stereotype, the type of assumption they would have been the first to condemn had somebody mistakenly assumed the perpetrator of an inner-city mugging to be black or mistakenly assumed the culprit in some major financial swindle to be Jewish.  

 

If you think the above example to be of a relatively minor form of racism consider this next example from last week.   This too pertained to comments made about a mass murder, in this case the shooting spree that a sex addict had gone on in the massage parlours of Atlanta, Georgia on the sixteenth of this month.  Since most of the people killed in this earlier massacre had been prostitutes of various East Asian ethnicities many had speculated that the crime had a racial motivation although the evidence seems to be against this interpretation of the event.   One person who ran with this interpretation was Damon Young, co-founder of the blog Very Smart Brothas which operates under the umbrella of the older black e-zine The Root, and author of the 2019 book What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker.    In a post on the seventeenth entitled “Whiteness is a Pandemic”, Young declared “whiteness” to be a “public health crisis” and “white supremacy” to be a virus which “will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect.  Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it and kill it.”   This is eliminationist language, the language of genocide, and the argument that seeks to explain this away as talking about “white supremacy”, a system, idea, or ideology rather than people is completely invalidated by the fact that Young uses “whiteness” and “white supremacy” interchangeably throughout his rant.   Would-be defenders of Young might attempt to point to this usage as indicating that by “whiteness” Young means the system or ideology of white supremacy rather than “the condition of being white” as the term would be more naturally understood.  Nobody, however, would accept that kind of reasoning as being valid in excusing the use of this sort of language in connection with “blackness” or any other “ness” other than whiteness. 


This use of “whiteness”, a term that naturally suggests the condition of being fair skinned and of British or European descent, as if it was the designation of a system set up to limit power to white people and oppress all others, is not original with Young.  This has been standard usage on the campuses of academe for decades now where it has always been accompanied by either calls for genocide that are cleverly excused as demands for the abolition of an unjust system or demands for the redress of racial grievances, real and otherwise, that are irresponsibly worded in eliminationist rhetoric, depending upon how much grace one wishes to extend to those, such as the late Noel Ignatiev, who use this kind of language in one’s interpretation of their motives.   The University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, both located in this city, are no exceptions to this, and, indeed, some might argue that they are among the worst universities in Canada for this sort of thing.   That they are not among the first campuses that come to mind when this subject comes up is due to a dearth of high-profile incidents connected with these schools, which itself can be attributed to the national media not particularly caring about anything that goes on in Winnipeg.  

 

The closest to a high-profile incident took place two and a half years ago when somebody put up signs saying “It’s okay to be white” on walls around the University of Manitoba.   The CBC reported on this under the headline “Hate messages show up on the University of Manitoba campus”.   Immediately beneath the headline is the sentence “Many students say they feel unsafe due to threatening nature of messages, union says”.   Both the headline and this sentence were plainly nonsensical.  The words “It’s okay to be white” make a simple, positive, assertion about white people.  They do not express hatred of people who are not white or threaten people who are not white.   They don’t say anything about people who are not white at all.   To reject the statement “it’s okay to be white” is to affirm its negative counterpart “it’s not okay to be white”, and to affirm the latter is itself a racist act, because to say that it is not okay to be white is just as racist as to say that it is not okay to be black or to be any other race.   Indeed, it is not just racist but racist of the genocidal or eliminationist type.   While the left has recently decided that sex is no longer an immutable aspect of human reality, that people must choose or discover for themselves whether they are male, female or some other option, and that it is a horrible offense to reject a person’s own gender self-identification and stick to the older reality of sex, they have not yet applied the same lack of reasoning to race and so being white or black or whatever is still, for them as much as for rational people, something one does not choose, is born with, and cannot change, unless, perhaps, one is Michael Jackson, and so, the statement that it is not okay to be white is followed logically by the statement that white people must be eliminated.    All of this is very obvious and all of the people cited in the CBC article – a student, an associate professor in the department of Native Studies, the head of the same department, the Students’ Union president, and the university president avoid all discussion of the actual content of the text of the posters they were denouncing.   Their arguments – if you can call them that – were basically of either the “these posters are bad because they made me feel bad” or the “these posters are bad because bad people put them up” varieties.   The lengthy quotation from University of Manitoba president David Barnard’s diatribe denouncing the posters left a very poor impression of the man’s intelligence and integrity.   In reporting this sort of drivel, the CBC actually managed to compromise what little had remained up to that point of its journalistic standards.

 

Neither the explicitly eliminationist anti-whiteness rhetoric on campus nor the equation of even the simplest positive assertion about white people with hatred and threats towards non-white people appears to be of much concern to Brian Bowman and it is unlikely that his vision of a Winnipeg without racism would exclude these forms of racism.   The only racism that he seems to recognize is racism directed towards BIPOC groups and even then only if it is perpetrated by whites and not by other BIPOC groups.    This makes his anti-racism into something of a farce.

 

In Winnipeg, the emphasis of anti-racists like Bowman is on racism directed towards Native Indians.  Indeed, Bowman who is white as a lily, identifies as Métis, in much the same way that Elizabeth Warren identifies as an Indian (a distant ancestor on his mother’s side was Cree).   When he gave an interview about this at the beginning of his mayoral career his remarks seemed oddly racially condescending.  He mentioned his mother making bannock and his getting into a fight at school over it when he was a kid almost as if these were his credentials for his racial self-identification.  Many would consider this to be akin to pointing to one’s love of fried chicken and watermelon as proof of one’s blackness.  In January of this year, he jumped on board the bandwagon of the “Not My Siloam” movement that sought, ultimately successfully, to remove Jim Bell as CEO of Siloam Mission, on the grounds that under his leadership the Christian homeless shelter had not done enough to promote Native Spirituality, a new religion invented in the late twentieth century that bears approximately the same relationship to the religions of the pre-evangelized Native Indians as Wicca, the twentieth century religion founded by Gerald Gardner, bears to the pre-Christian paganism of Britain and Europe.   It would be interesting to know just how deeply Bowman looked into the facts of this “scandal” before getting involved.  Did he ever learn, for example, that the font of most of the accusations against Bell was a disgruntled, ex-employee of Siloam, who had earned for herself a reputation within not just Siloam but the broader community of outreach to the homeless and indigent of extreme bigotry towards those who were not Native Indians, especially fair-skinned Christians of European ancestry, people of whom she seemed unable to speak without the use of pejoratives?    I suspect the answer is no.   Bowman’s most publicized initiative with regards to Native Indians has been his Indigenous heritage initiative.   It consists of little more than looking into changing certain place names and altering the wording on certain historical markers.   David Chartrand, the leader of the Manitoba Métis Federation was quoted by the Winnipeg Sun last month as being totally unimpressed, both by Bowman’s initiative and by the Year Zero, Cultural Maoist, monument toppling that was the context in which it was announced.

 

In recent months the broader North American anti-racist movement has been emphasizing racism directed towards “Asians”, a designation that lumps together certain nationalities from Asia on purely racial grounds despite the fact that these nationalities have historically hated each other and would have found the thought of being to be lumped together in a common identity with the others as utterly repulsive.  

 

Needless to say, racism against Native Indians and racism against Asians are the types of racism that have been talked about most this week.   The most interesting detail about these types of racism, however, has been conspicuously absent from the discussion.   That detail is that explicit and outspoken racial animosity towards those of the ethnicities designated as Asian is far easier to find among Native Indians than among whites, and explicit statements of contempt for Native Indians are far easier to find among people of Asian ancestry than among whites    The reason for this omission is easy to see – it doesn’t fit well into the narrative of Anti-Racism Week about how whites and only whites are the bad guys who are guilty of racism and all others are victims who must unite in solidarity against their common oppressors.   

 

That narrative is total bunk, and therefore so is Anti-Racism Week.

 

Is it too late to draft Charlie Sheen to replace Brian Bowman as mayor of Winnipeg?

Thursday, March 18, 2021

From Bad to Worse

 

It is less than two months since I posted an essay entitled “Death and Doctors” that discussed how in the depravity of modern progressive liberalism those who are supposed to have dedicated their lives to healing disease and injury, alleviating pain and suffering, and saving lives are now expected to take the lives of the vulnerable at either end of the lifecycle through abortion or physician assisted suicide.   As I pointed out in that essay, both of these practices were against the law throughout most of Canadian history and the latter practice was only legalized quite recently.   It was in 2014 that Lower Canada – Quebec to those who are vulgarly up-to-date – became the first province to legalize physician assisted suicide and in February of 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada once again flexed the shiny new muscle that Pierre Trudeau had given them in 1982 by striking down the law against physician assisted suicide in its Carter ruling.   The Court placed a one year delay on this ruling coming into effect in order to give Parliament time to fix the issues with the law which the Court considered to be constitutionally problematic.   The Liberals, however, won a majority government in the Dominion election that year and so passed Bill C-14 instead, which completely legalized the practice and, indeed, allowed for physicians under certain circumstances, to go beyond assisting in suicide and actively terminate the lives themselves.   Note that while I would like to think that had Harper’s Conservatives remained in power the outcome would have been different, I am not so naïve as to be certain of that.   Indeed, the week after the Carter ruling, I had discussed how the Conservatives appeared to be preparing to capitulate on this issue in “Stephen Fletcher, the Byfields, and the Failure of Canada’s New Right”.

 

Now, one might be tempted to think that with regards to the issue of physician assisted suicide there is not much further in the wrong direction that our government could have gone than Bill C-14.   One would be very wrong in thinking so, however, as the government has just demonstrated.  

 

On February 24th of last year, a few weeks before the World Health Organization hit the panic button because a new virus that is significantly dangerous only to the very sorts of people most likely to be on the receiving end of euthanasia had escaped from China and was making the rounds of the world, Captain Airhead’s Liberals introduced Bill C-7 in the House of Commons.  David Lametti, who became Justice Minister and Attorney General after Jody Wilson-Raybould was removed from this position for refusing to go along with the Prime Minister’s corruption, was the sponsor.    The aim of the bill was to make it easier for those who wanted what they are now calling “Medical Assistance In Dying” or MAID – in my opinion the acronym produced by the old convention of leaving out words of three letters or less would be more apt - but were not already on death’s door to obtain it.   

 

As bad as the original draft of Bill C-7 was, it has undergone revisions over the course of the year since its first reading that make it much worse.   The most controversial revision is the one that includes a provision that is set to come into effect two years after the bill passes into law and which would allow access to the procedure to those who are neither at death’s door nor experiencing extreme physical pain and suffering but only have severe mental or psychological conditions.    Since it could be easily argued that wanting to terminate one’s own life constitutes such a condition – I suspect the vast majority of people would see it as such – the revised version of Bill C-7 looks suspiciously like it is saying that eventually everyone who wants a physician’s assistance in committing suicide for whatever reason will be entitled to that assistance.

 

Last week the revised bill passed the House of Commons after the Grits, with the support of the Bloc Quebecois, invoked closure on the debate and forced a vote.    Since the bill will eventually make euthanasia available to those with merely psychological problems, why exactly the Bloc would support a bill with the potential to drastically reduce the numbers of their voters remains a mystery.    Jimmy Dhaliwal, or rather Jagmeet Singh to call him by his post-transition name as we would hate to mis-whatever anyone, announced that the NDP would not support the bill.   This should not be mistaken for an example of principled opposition to physician assisted suicide for the mentally ill, it was rather an example of voting the right way for the wrong reason – Singh’s rabid hatred of Canada’s traditional constitution.    In my last essay I pointed out how he, in marked contrast with the more popular and sane man who led his party ten years ago, has taken aim against the office of Her Majesty the Queen and wishes to turn the country into some sort of lousy people’s republic.   Here it is his problem with the Upper Chamber of Parliament that is relevant.   He did not like that some of the revisions were introduced in the Senate rather than the House of Commons.    As for that august body, the Senate passed the bill yesterday, by a vote of 60-25 with five abstentions.   This is easily enough explained.    Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, and even though the Senate is the chamber of sober second thought, its members were probably drunk.   The only mystery here is, with apologies to the Irish Rovers, whether it was the whiskey, the gin, or the three-or-four six packs.

 

A little under a year before Bill C-7 was introduced, it was announced in the federal budget that that the Dominion government would be spending $25 million dollars over a five year period to develop a nation-wide suicide prevention service.   In the fall of last year, after the information began to come out about just how badly the insane and unsuccessful experiment in locking down society to prevent the spread of a virus had affected the mental health of Canadians driving suicide rates through the roof, the government announced that it would be investing $11.5 million towards suicide prevention for “marginalized communities” that had been disproportionately affected by this mental health crisis, which they, of course, blamed on the virus rather than on their own tyrannical suspension of everyone’s basic rights, freedoms, and social lives.   Apparently the government cannot see any contradiction between prioritizing suicide prevention and providing easily available assistance in taking one’s own life.

 

By funding suicide prevention programs the government would seem to be taking the side in the ancient ethical debate that says that suicide is a bad thing and that it is wrong to take your own life.   The strongest version of this ethical position has traditionally been that of Christian moral theology.   Suicide, in Christian ethics, is not merely a violation of the Sixth Commandment, as the Commandments are numbered by the Jews, the Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestants, but a particularly bad violation of this Commandment because it leaves no room for earthly repentance and is an expression of despair, the abandonment of faith and hope in God.   In other traditions, suicide is generally frowned upon but in a less absolute way.   In some traditions suicide brings shame upon the memory and family of the person who commits it except under a specific set of circumstances in which case it accomplishes the opposite of this by erasing shame that the individual had already brought upon himself and his family through his disgraceful actions, shame which could only be expunged in this manner.   It is easier to reconcile these traditions with each other – preserving one’s family honour is a very different motivation from despair – than it is to reconcile either with physician assisted suicide.    Physician assisted suicide in no way resembles what would have been considered an honourable suicide in any pagan tradition.  In Christian ethics, since taking your own life is so bad, getting someone else to help you do it or do it for you is downright diabolical.  

 

Perhaps the very worst thing about Bill C-7 is that gives even more power to the medical profession.   The liberalization of the Criminal Code in 1969 and the Morgentaler decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988 gave doctors the power of life and death over the unborn.    This was already too much power, but the Supreme Court’s ruling in Carter in 2015 and the passing of Bill C-14 the following year gave them similar power over the elderly and infirm.   Last year, the Dominion government and every provincial government gave their top doctors dictatorial power over all Canadians, allowing them to suspend all of the basic Common Law rights and freedoms that are the traditional property of all of Her Majesty’s subjects regardless of Charter protections, power which they proceeded to disgracefully abuse as they gleefully and sadistically traded the serpentine staff of Asclepius for the Orwellian symbol of a boot stamping on a human face forever.   Now, Bill C-7 is extending their power of life and death even further in a most irresponsible way.   Physician assisted suicide is the foot in the door for outright euthanasia or “mercy killing”, extending the availability of the former to people who are not already dying will lead inevitably to doctors being allowed to perform the latter on those who are not already dying, and since it is doctors who get to say what is and what is not illness, mental or otherwise, the ultimate effect of this bill is to give the medical profession total and unlimited power of life and death over every Canadian.    Nobody should be trusted with that kind of power, least of all the medical profession as their behaviour over the last twelve months demonstrates.  Indeed, the disgrace they have brought upon their profession by their tyranny and their callous disregard for the social, psychological, spiritual and economic harm they have done with their universal quarantines, mask mandates and social distancing is such, that even seppuku on the part of all non-dissenting physicians may prove insufficient to restore their professional honour.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Jagmeet Doesn’t Know Jack!

In the 2011 Dominion election, under the leadership of Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party which is the officially socialist party, as opposed to the unofficial socialist parties such as the Liberals and the Conservatives, won the highest percentage of the popular vote and the most number of seats it has ever received.   While the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, won the election and formed a majority government, Layton’s NDP won enough seats to become Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, a role which, during Conservative governments, had always before been held by the Liberals.     While the unpopularity of Grit leader Michael Ignatieff undoubtedly contributed to this, it was clearly a credit to the charismatic leadership of Layton himself.   Sadly, he was not able to perform the role of Official Opposition Leader for long.   Cancer forced him to step down from his duties and in August of that year took his life.

 

In the 2019 Dominion election, by contrast, the NDP’s percentage of the popular vote fell drastically, and it moved from third party to fourth party status as it lost twenty seats from the forty-four it had won four years previous.   What is very interesting about this is that this was the same election in which the Liberal government dropped from majority to minority government status.   The Liberal drop was not difficult to explain – the year had begun with the government rocked by the SNC-Lavalin scandal and during the election campaign itself another scandal, which would have utterly destroyed anyone else, broke, as multiple photographs and even a video of the Prime Minister, who had marketed himself as the “woke” Prime Minister, in blackface surfaced.   What was surprising was not that the Liberals dropped in the popular vote and lost seats, but that they managed to squeak out a plurality and cling to power.   This makes it all the more damning that the New Democrats, ordinarily the second choice for progressive Liberal voters, did so poorly in this election.

 

Just as most of the credit for the NDP’s success in 2011 belonged to its late leader Jack Layton, so most of the blame for its failure in 2019 belongs to its current leader, Jagmeet Singh.   Despite the efforts of the CBC and its echo chambers in the “private” media to promote his brand, Singh, was clearly unpalatable to the Canadian public.   Whereas a competent politician who finds himself unpopular with the electorate would ask what it is about himself that is turning off the voters and try to change it, Singh is the type who declares that the problem is with the electorate, that they are too prejudiced, and demands that they change.   That this attitude, indicative of the kind of far Left politics Singh embraces – he is the furthest to the Left any mainstream party leader has ever been in Canadian politics – is itself a large part of what turns the voters off, is a fact that eluded him, continues to elude him, and will probably elude him forever.

 

That the contrast could hardly be greater between the late Jack Layton and Jagmeet Singh received another illustration this week.

 

On Sunday, a much hyped interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was televised.   I did not watch the interview, as I make it a point of avoiding Oprah who, in my opinion, has done more than anybody else to turn people’s minds to mush, despite having a book club named after her.  The Sussexes consist of Meghan Markle, an ambitious American actress, and her husband, the younger son of the Prince of Wales.   Last year, you might recall, this couple was all over the news before they got pre-empted by the bat flu, because Markle, who obviously is the one wearing the pants between the two of them, having learned that unlike the Hollywood celebrity to which she had aspired, royalty comes with public duties as well as privilege, duties which do not include, and indeed conflict with, the favourite Hollywood celebrity pastime of shooting one’s mouth off, no matter how ill-informed one is, about every trendy, woke, cause, wanted to keep the royal privileges while giving up the royal duties, and was told, quite rightly, by the Queen, that this was not the way things were done.   The couple left the UK in a huff, stopping temporarily in Canada before they eventually relocated to the United States.    As I said, I did not watch the interview, but have caught enough of the highlights of it and the post-interview commentary to know that it was basically Markle throwing herself a “me party” and hurling mud at her inlaws and the ancient institution they represent, for not making everything all about her.  

 

Sane, rational, people surely realize that interviews of this sort speak far more about the spoiled, egotistical, narcissism of the individuals who give such interviews than they do about the people and institutions criticized in such interviews.   People like Jagmeet Singh, however, regard them as opportunities to promote their own agendas.

 

Singh, actually succeeded in making the current Prime Minister look classy by comparison, something which is exceedingly difficult to do.   The only comment the Prime Minister made following the interview was to say “I wish all members of the Royal Family the very best”.   Singh, however, ranted about how he doesn’t “see the benefit of the monarchy in Canadians’ lives”.   As with Markle’s interview this comment says far more about the person who made it than the institution he seeks to denigrate.

 

To fail to see the benefit of the monarchy in Canadians’ lives is to fail to see any benefit to Canadians in a) having their country remain true to her founding principles, b) having a non-political head of state, or c) having an institutional connection to the United Kingdom, Australia, and the other Commonwealth Realms that in no way impedes our country’s sovereignty over her own domestic affairs and international relationships.   To fail to see any benefit in any of this is to display one’s own blindness.


That Canada’s founding principles require her to retain the monarchy is an understatement.   Loyalty to the monarchy is the founding principle of Canada, at least if by Canada we mean the country that was founded in 1867.   Quebec nationalists like to point out that Canada was first used for the French society founded along the St. Lawrence long before Confederation, which is true enough, but the conclusions they draw from this are contradictory non-sequiturs.   At any rate, the original French Canada was, most certainly, a society under a monarch, the monarchy of France, and, contrary to the delusions of the Quebec nationalists who are products of the “Quiet Revolution” (against traditional, Roman Catholic, Quebecois society and culture), it was not moving in the direction of the French Revolution when the French king ceded Canada to the British king after the Seven Years War, a fact that is evinced by Quebec’s remaining ultramontane in its Catholicism and seigneurial in its society long after the Jacobins had done their worst in France.   Before Confederation began the process of uniting  all of British North America into the Dominion of Canada in 1867 – the Canada we speak of as Canada today – an English Canada, in addition to a French Canada, had come into existence, and this English Canada grew out of the United Empire Loyalists, that is to say, those among the Thirteen Colonies which revolted against Britain and become the United States who remained loyal to the Crown, and fled to Canada to escape persecution in the new republic.    They were able to flee to Canada because French Canada, although the ink was barely dry on the treaty transferring Canada from the French king to the British, did not join in the American Revolution against the Crown which had, to the upset of the American colonists, guaranteed its protection of their culture, language and religion.  During Confederation, the Fathers of Confederation, English and French, unanimously chose to retain a connection to the larger British Empire and to make the Westminster system of parliamentary monarchy our own (it was Canada’s own Fathers of Confederation, not the Imperial government in London, who brought all of this into the Confederation talks, and, indeed, when the Fathers of Confederation wished to call the country “The Kingdom of Canada”, London’s input was to suggest an alternative title, leading to the choice of “The Dominion of Canada’).    It is the Crown that is the other party to all of the treaties with the native tribes, who generally, and for good cause, respect the monarchy a lot more than they do the politicians in Parliament.   At several points in Canadian history, both on the road to Confederation, such as in the War of 1812, and after Confederation, such as in both World Wars, English Canadians, French Canadians, and native Canadians fought together for “king and country”.   The monarchy has been the uniting principle in Canada throughout our history.  To reject the monarchy is to reject Canada.

 

That anybody in March of 2021 could fail to see the benefit of having a non-political head of state demonstrates the extent to which ideology can blind a person.   Four years ago, the American republic had an extremely divisive presidential election after which the side that lost refused to acknowledge the outcome, spent much of four years accusing the winner of colluding with a foreign power – Russia – to steal the election, and giving its tacit and in some cases explicit approval to violent groups that were going around beating people up, using intimidation to shut down events, and rioting, because they considered the new American president to be a fascist.   Last year, they held another presidential election which was even more divisive, with a very high percentage of Americans believing the election was stolen through fraud, with the consequence that Congress had to order a military occupation of their own capital city in order to protect the inauguration of the new president against their own citizens.   This is precisely the sort of thing that naturally ensues from filling the office of head of state through popular election, politicizing an office that is supposed to be unifying and representative of an entire country.   This is not the first time in American history that this has happened.   Less than a century after the establishment of the American republic, the election of the first president from the new Republican Party led to all of the states south of the Mason-Dixon line seceding from the American union and forming their own federation, which the United States then invaded and razed to the ground in the bloodiest war in all of American history.   Generally, when a country replaces its hereditary monarchy it initially gets something monstrously tyrannical which may eventually evolve into something more stable and tolerable.   When the British monarchy was temporarily abolished after the English Civil War and the murder of Charles I, the tyranny of Cromwell was the result, which was fortunately followed by the Restoration of the monarchy.   In France, forcing the Bourbons off the throne resulted in the Jacobin Reign of Terror.   The forced abdication of the Hapsburg and Hohenzollern dynasties after World War I led directly to the rise of Adolf Hitler, whereas the fall of the Romanovs in Russia brought about the enslavement of that country to Bolshevism.   To wish to get rid of the hereditary monarchy in Canada is to fail to learn anything at all from history.

 

I won’t elaborate too much on the third point.   Either you see an advantage in the Commonwealth arrangement in which the Realms share a non-political, hereditary monarchy, but each Realm’s Parliament has complete control of its own affairs, or you do not.   Jagmeet Singh does not appear to care much for Canada’s relationship with other Commonwealth countries.   Take India for example.   The relationship is a bit different because India is a republic within the Commonwealth rather than a Commonwealth Realm, but it still illustrates the point.   As embarrassing as the present Prime Minister’s behaviour on his trip to India a few years ago was, the relationship between the two countries would be much worse in the unlikely event Jagmeet Singh were to become Prime Minister.   He would probably not even be allowed into India.  Eight years ago he was denied an entry visa – the first elected member of a Western legislature to be so denied – because of his connection with the movement that wishes to separate the Punjab from India and turn it into a Sikh state called Khalistan, a movement that is naturally frowned upon in India where it has been responsible for countless acts of terrorism (it has committed such acts in Canada too).   Asked about it at the time, Singh placed all the blame for any harm done to the two countries relationship on India.

 

Which leads me back to where this essay started.   Just as Singh could not see that his support for the movement that produced the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985 may possibly be a legitimate reason for India to ban him from their country and blamed any deterioration in the relationship between the two countries on India, so he cannot see that anything he has said or done could possibly be a reason why his party did so poorly in the last Dominion election and places the blame on the prejudices of Canadians.

 

If by some miracle he were to come a self-awaking and realize that instead of demanding that Canadians change in order to accommodate him that there might be something objectionable about him that he ought to be trying to fix, a logical step for him to take would be to try and emulate the last leader in his own party who truly had popular appeal.   If he were to do so, he would learn that that leader had a radically different attitude toward our country’s founding principles and fundamental institutions than his own.

 

The Honourable Jack Layton, the son of former Progressive Conservative MP Robert Layton, had this to say:

 

Some people think the NDP may want to get rid of the monarchy but I assure you that’s absolutely not the case.   My dad was a big time monarchist and so am I.

 

Jagmeet should try to be more like Jack.  He would be less of an ass if he did.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Canada and Canadians

The Pirates of Penzance was the fifth comic opera to come out of the collaboration of librettist Sir W. S. Gilbert and composer Sir Arthur Sullivan.   It premiered in New York City – the only one of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas to open first in the United States rather than London – on New Year’s Eve in 1879, a year and a half after their fourth work, the H.M.S. Pinafore, had become a huge hit, both in London and internationally.

 

The hero of The Pirates of Penzance is the character Frederic, a role performed by a tenor.   The opera begins with his having completed his twenty-first year – not his twenty-second birthday, for he was born on February 29th, a distinction, or rather, a “paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox”, that becomes essential to the plot in an amusingly absurd way – and the titular pirates throwing him a party.   He has, up to this point, served as their apprentice due to a mistake that his nurse, Ruth, made, when he was a boy (she had heard the word “pilot” as “pirate” in his father’s instructions regarding his apprenticeship).  The bass-baritone Pirate King (“it is, it is, a glorious thing to be a pirate king”), congratulates him and tells him that he now ranks as a “full blown member of our band”, producing a cheer from the crew, who are then told “My friends, I thank you all from my heart for your kindly wishes.   Would that I can repay them as they deserve.”   Asked what he means by that, Frederic explains “Today I am out of my indentures, and today I leave you forever.”   Astonished, since Frederic is the best man he has, the Pirate King asks for an explanation.   Frederic, with Ruth’s help – for she had also joined the pirate crew – explains about the error, and that while as long as the terms of his indentures lasted it was his duty to serve as part of the pirate crew, once they were over “I shall feel myself bound to devote myself heart and soul to your extermination!”

 

In the course of explaining all of this, Frederic expresses his opinion of his pirate colleagues in these words “Individually, I love you all with affection unspeakable, but, collectively, I look upon you with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation!”

 

As tempting as it is to continue this summary until we get to the “doctor of divinity who resides in this vicinity” and Major-General Stanley who, as he likes to introduce himself, is the “very model of a modern Major-General”, I have already arrived at the lines that are the entire point of my having brought all of this up.

 

I have stated many times in the past that I prefer to call myself a Canadian patriot rather than a Canadian nationalist.  There are two ways in which patriotism and nationalism are usually distinguished.  The first is a distinction of kind.   Patriotism is an affection that people come by naturally as they extend the sentiment that under ordinary circumstances they acquire for the home and neighbourhood they grew up in to include their entire country.   Nationalism is an ideology which people obtain through indoctrination.   The second is a distinction of object.   The object of nationalism is a people, the object of patriotism is a country.   I have talked about the first distinction in the past, it is the second which is relevant in this essay.   I love my country, the Dominion of Canada, and its history, institutions and traditions.   When it comes to my countrymen, however, Canadians, and to be clear, I mean only those who are living at the present moment and not past generations, I often find myself sharing Frederic’s sentiments which were again:

 

Individually, I love you all with affection unspeakable, but, collectively, I look upon you with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation!

 

The more my fellow Canadians show a lack of appreciation for and indifference towards Canada’s traditions and institutions the more inclined I am to think of them, taken collectively, in such uncharitable terms.   If opinion polls are any real indication – and to be fair, I do not think that protasis to be certain, far from it - this lack of appreciation and indifference has been very much on the rise among Canadians as of late.  

 

Take personal freedom or liberty, for example.   This is a vital Canadian tradition.   It goes back, not just the founding of the country in Confederation in 1867, but much further for the Fathers of Confederation, English and French, in adopting the Westminster constitution for our own deliberately chose to retain continuity with a tradition that safeguarded liberty.   Sir John A. Macdonald, addressing the legislature of the United Province of Canada in 1865 said:

 

We will enjoy here that which is the great test of constitutional freedom – we will have the rights of the minority respected. In all countries the rights of the majority take care of themselves, but it is only in countries like England, enjoying constitutional liberty, and safe from the tyranny of a single despot, or of an unbridled democracy, that the rights of minorities are regarded.

 

Sir Richard Cartwright made similar remarks and said “For myself, sir, I own frankly I prefer British liberty to American equality”.   This sentence encapsulated the thinking of the Fathers of Confederation – Canada was to be a British country with British freedom rather than an American country with American equality.   In the century and a half (with change) since then, this has been reversed in the thinking of a great many Canadians.  In the minds of these Canadians “equality” has become a Canadian value, although not the equality that Sir Richard Cartwright identified with the United States but a much uglier doctrine with the same name, and freedom has become an “American” value.   The Liberal Party and their allies in the media and academe are largely if not entirely to blame for this.   Indeed, this way of thinking was evident among bureaucrats and other career government officials who tend to be Liberal Party apparatchiks regardless of which party is in government long before it became evident among the general public.  

 

About fourteen years ago, in the Warman v. Lemire case before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Dean Steacy, an investigator with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, was asked “What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?”   His response was to say “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”   This despite the fact that in the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which people like this usually although contrafactually regard as the source of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms in Canada, “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” is the second of the “fundamental freedoms” enumerated in Section 2.   Perhaps Steacy did not think “speech” to be included in “expression”.

 

When Steacy’s foolish remark was publicized it did not win him much popularity among Canadians.   Quite the contrary, it strengthened the grassroots movement that was demanding the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, a movement that was ultimately successful during the premiership of Stephen Harper by means of a private member’s bill despite it lacking the support of the Prime Minister and even, as many of us thought at the time, with his tacit disapproval.   This demonstrates that as recently as a decade and a half ago, Dean Steacy’s knee-jerk rejection of Canada’s traditional British liberty as “American” did not resonate with Canadians.   Can the same be said today?

 

The last year has provided us with many reasons to doubt this.   In March of 2020, after the media irresponsibly induced a panic over the spread of the Wuhan bat flu, most provincial governments, strongly encouraged to do so by the Dominion government, followed the example of governments around the world and imposed an unprecedented universal quarantine, at the time recommended by the World Health Organization, as an experiment in slowing the spread of the virus.  This involved a radical and severe curtailing of our basic rights and freedoms.   Indeed, the freedoms described as “fundamental” in the second section of the Charter – these include, in addition to the one quoted two paragraphs ago, the freedoms of “conscience and religion”, “peaceful assembly” and “association” – were essentially suspended in their entirety as our governments forbade all in-person social interaction.   Initially, as our governments handed over dictatorial powers to the public health officers we were told that this was a short-term measure to “flatten the curve”, to prevent the hospitals from being swamped while we learned more about this new virus and prepared for it.  As several of us predicted at the time would happen, “mission creep” quickly set in and the newly empowered health officials became determined to keep these excessive rules and restrictions in place until some increasingly distant goal – the development of a vaccine, the vaccination of the population, the elimination of the virus – was achieved.   Apart from a partial relaxation of the rules over the summer months, the lockdown experiment has remained in place to this day, and indeed, when full lockdown measures were re-imposed in the fall, they were even more severe than they had been last March and April.   This despite the fact that the evidence is clearly against the lockdown experiment – the virus is less dangerous than was originally thought (and even last March we knew that it posed a serious threat mostly to those who were very old and already had other health complications), its spread rises and falls seasonally similar to the cold and flu, lockdowns and masks have minimal-to-zero effect on this because it has happened more-or-less the same in all jurisdictions regardless of whether they locked down or not or the severity of the lockdown, while lockdowns themselves inflict severe mental, physical, social, cultural and economic damage upon societies.

 

Polls last year regularly showed a majority – often a large majority – of Canadians in favour of these restrictions and lockdowns, or even wishing for them to be more severe than they actually were.   If these polls were at all accurate – again, this is a big if – then this means far fewer Canadians today respect and value their traditional freedoms than has ever been the case in the past, even as recently as a decade ago.   It means that far too many Canadians have bought the lie of the public health officers, politicians, and media commentators that valuing freedom is “selfish”, when, in reality, supporting restrictions, masks, and lockdowns means preferring that the government take away the rights and freedoms of all your neighbours over you taking responsibility for your own safety and those of your loved ones and exercising reasonable precautions.   It means that far too many Canadians now value “safety” – which from the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution to this day has ever been the excuse totalitarians of every stripe, Nazi, Communist, woke, whatever, have used to tyrannize people and take away their freedoms – over freedom.

 

Over the past week or so, the mainstream media have been reporting opinion poll results that seem to indicate that a similar lack of appreciation for an essential Canadian institution is growing.   According to the media the poll shows that support for replacing our hereditary royal monarch with an elected head of state is higher than it has ever been before, although it is not near as high as the lockdown support discussed above and is still below having majority support.   There is good reason to doubt the accuracy of such poll results in that they indicate growing support for a change the media itself seems to be trying to promote given the way it has used the scandal surrounding the recent vice-regal resignation to attack the office of the Queen’s representative, the Governor General, when the problem is obviously with the person who filled the office, and the way in which she was chosen, i.e., hand-picked by Captain Airhead in total disregard of the qualities the office calls for, selection procedures that worked well in the past such as with Payette’s immediate predecessor, or even the most basic vetting.    There is also, of course, a question over whether these poll results indicate an actual growth in small-r republican preferences or merely disapproval of the next in line of succession, His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

 

To the extent that this poll is accurate, however, it indicates that many Canadians have traded the Canadian way of thinking for the American way of thinking.   Americans think of the Westminster system as being inferior to their own republican constitution because they consider it to be less than democratic with a hereditary monarch as the head of state.   The historic and traditional Canadian perspective is that the Westminster system is superior to a republican constitution because it is more than democratic, incorporating the monarchical principle along with the democratic.   To trade the Canadian for the American perspective on this is to impoverish our thinking.   That a constitution is better for including more than just democracy is a viewpoint with an ancient pedigree that can be traced back to ancient Greece.   That democracy is the highest principle of government and that a constitution is therefore weaker for having a non-elected head of state is an entirely Modern perspective.   It cannot even be traced back to ancient Rome, for while the Roman republic was like the American republic in being kingless, it was unlike the American republic in that it was openly and unabashedly aristocratic and made not the slightest pretense of being democratic.    Some might consider an entirely Modern perspective to be superior to one with an ancient pedigree, but such are ludicrously wrong.   Novelty is not a quality of truth – the truer an idea is, the more like it is that you will be able to find it throughout history, stretching back to the most ancient times, rather than merely in the present day.

 

Indeed, to think that an elected head of state is preferable to a hereditary monarch at this point in time, that is to say after the clownish mayhem of the fiascos that were the last two American presidential elections, is to embrace the Modern perspective at the worst possible moment, the moment in which it has been utterly discredited.    It is bad enough that Canadians have lately allowed the American presidential election style to influence the way we regard our parliamentary elections so as to make the question of which personality cult leader we want as Prime Minister into the primary or even sole factor to be considered in voting for whom we want for our local constituency representative.   We do not need to Americanize the office of head of state as well.

 

We are better off for having a hereditary royal monarch as our head of state and a constitution that is therefore more than, not less than, democratic.   Historically and traditionally, the institution of the monarchy has been the symbol and safeguard of our traditional rights and freedoms.   I have long said that in Canada the monarchy and freedom stand and fall together.   Therefore, if the polls are correct about waning Canadian support for both, this speaks very poorly about the present generation of Canadians.   Which is why if these trends continue,  Canadians who still love their country with its traditional monarchy and freedoms will be increasingly tempted to individually love their countrymen with affection unspeakable, but collectively look upon them with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Faithfulness and Fortitude

The Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft, the thirteenth clergyman consecrated into the Apostolic Order to have occupied the diocesan See of Rupert’s Land and its present incumbent, was recently featured in an article by John Longhurst of the Winnipeg Free Press.   Now, one must keep in mind that when it comes to the Winnipeg Free Press, which has been an organ for Liberal Party disinformation since the days when it was edited by John Wesley Dafoe – 1901 to 1944 – it is best not to believe everything one reads or even, for that matter, to give the paper the benefit of the doubt.   If you assume that the exact opposite of what the Winnipeg Free Press says on any given subject is true, you will be right more often than not and will be far better informed than are most people in our city.   That caveat having been given, let us consider what has been reported about our diocesan shepherd. 

 

According to Longhurst, Bishop Geoff and Susan Johnson who presides over the “Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada” (see, I told you the Winnipeg Free Press could not be trusted, that is supposed to be “in Canada” not “of Canada”) have signed what Longhurst calls “an international interfaith declaration that calls for an end to violence against and criminalization of LGBTTQ+ people and a global ban on conversion therapy.”

 

Before offering any thoughts upon the act so reported, the signing of the declaration, let us hear what His Grace has to say by way of explanation of this.   He is quoted by Longhurst as having said “I signed because of the relationships I have within the church with transgender and LGBTTQ+ people, people I nurture and care for, just like everyone else in the church” and “When the world is hurting someone, I’m going to stand by that person being hurt.”

 

With regards to the first of these sentences there is not much to say.  Certainly, His Grace is to be commended for attempting to follow the example set by St. Paul of “I am become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”, although I tend to be of the opinion that it would be more advisable to do so in a way of which the Apostle would approve rather than by signing political declarations over which he would have pronounced an anathema.   The practice of providing the same nurture and care for all in the church is also commendable and a fairly basic expectation of someone in a pastoral role, perhaps especially of the one who carries the crosier (this is the fancy name for the bishop’s big stick, bishops having long followed the advice of St. Teddy of Roosevelt to “talk softly and carry a big stick”, in their case one shaped to look like a shepherd’s crook, symbolic of the office of the chief pastor of the diocesan church and very useful on occasions where he is required to emcee events, whenever a speaker drones on too long or in a boring fashion, or when an impromptu hockey or cricket game breaks out).   Why this pastoral duty would require the signing of this particular political declaration, however, remains a mystery that has not been satisfactorily explained.

 

His second sentence also expresses a most commendable sentiment.   Indeed, it is so commendable it is worth hearing again so here it is “When the world is hurting someone, I’m going to stand by that person being hurt.”   Speaking out for and standing by those whom the world is hurting is indeed a part of the prophetic vocation of Christian leadership.  Most, if not all, of the duties of Christian leaders or even the duties of Christians in general, require the exercise of a particular virtue or set of virtues and this is no exception.    The most obvious virtue called for here is the one traditionally called fortitude, which is more commonly called courage or bravery.

 

The thing about the act of standing up for the weak, the helpless, the little guy, the person who is being picked on and beaten up by the world is that the further away you are from that person in place and time, the less courage the act requires, and therefore the less virtuous the act becomes.    This is especially true if the person whom you are standing up for was picked on and beaten up by the world in another time and place but in your own time and place has become the one doing the picking on and the beating up.   Would it not be accurate to say that in such a circumstance the act has lost all of its virtue?   Indeed, might it not even be fair to say that it has been transformed into the opposite of a virtuous act and become a vicious one?

 

In Longhurst’s description of this international interfaith declaration he said that it called for two things.   The first was “an end to violence against and criminalization of LGBTTQ+ people” and the second was “a global ban on conversion therapy”.   With regards to the second of these items, apart from the fact that it would be a major departure from the older, better, kind of liberalism ala J. S. Mill with its central tenet of freedom of religion, I will note that it is rather inconsistent with the spirit of openness, inclusivity and acceptance that those who drafted this declaration presumably wished to be perceived as their motivation.   After all, our governments now, for better or worse, allow doctors to perform what until very recently would have been regarded as genital mutilations in order to accommodate those who were born of one sex physically, but who self-identify as members of the other.    What about people who were born gay, as we have been repeatedly told by such authorities as Stefani Germanotta is the source of this orientation, but who self-identify as straight?   Or for that matter people who were born transgender who self-identify as cis-gender?   Would not conversion therapy be to such people the equivalent of gender reassignment surgery to those who regard their anatomy as inconsistent with their self-chosen sexual or gender identity?   Where is the openness, acceptance, and tolerance of such people?   This is not being very inclusive in my opinion.

 

Now, with regards to the first item, are “violence against” and “criminalization of” LGBTTQAEIOUandsometimesY people, hereafter to be referred to as the alphabet soup crowd, serious problems in the Dominion of Canada in the Year 2021 AD?

 

The “criminalization of” part of it certainly is not.   Homosexuality was legalized in Canada in 1969, when the first Trudeau declared that “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”, a remark which has since been re-interpreted ex post facto to include the exception “unless a new virus is going around in which case the state is required to enter every room of the house and force you to wear a mask and keep apart from others.”   There has been no serious attempt to re-criminalize it since.   This sort of liberalization of the Criminal Code was occurring throughout the entire Commonwealth at the time and it is worth noting that the laws which were being removed had not had much bite to them.   This is because the principle that a “man’s home is his castle”, which in effect keeps the state not just out of the bedroom but out of the house entirely, had been a part of the Common Law tradition longer than these laws had been on the books.   Thus, apart from police harassment of gay bars and other establishments, (1) the only real way to run afoul of such laws had been to do something incredibly stupid, such as when Anglo-Irish wit and literary giant, Oscar Wilde, filed a libel suit against the notoriously pugnacious Marquess of Queensberry, otherwise famous for drawing up the rules of pugilism, for calling him a sodomite, thus allowing the latter to raise, in his own defence, the truth of the accusation (Wilde was buggering the Marquess’ son, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, at the time).    At any rate, such laws have been off the books for decades throughout the Commonwealth and, indeed, Western Civilization as a whole.   The countries which have laws against homosexuality today, with far more serious enforcement and severer consequences than was true of the former laws here, are countries in the Third World.    I wonder how many of the clergymen who have signed this declaration are, unlike myself, in sympathy with the sort of crackpot radical politics that otherwise objects to Western Civilization assuming its ways are preferable to those of Third World countries and peoples?

 

Moreover, not only are the alphabet soup crowd not targeted by the law in Canada, it is the other way around, they now benefit from bad laws which beat up on other people for their sake.   Ever since Bill C-16, amending the Canadian Human Rights Act and Section 318 of the Criminal Code to include “gender identity or expression” among prohibited grounds of private discrimination, passed Parliament and became law four years ago, people have been in danger of punitive legal consequences for “misgendering” someone, i.e., calling that person “him” or “her” according to what had been universal usage everywhere in the English-speaking world up unto that point.   This is, as Professor Jordan Peterson pointed out, “compelled speech”, the next stage of Orwellian thought control via language control beyond prohibited speech, taking it from the level of “you can’t say that” to that of “you must say this.”   Among those most in danger of falling prey to this insanely twisted new law are those who accept such Scriptural words as “so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” by faith, in the way in which those words have been understood throughout the catholic church “everywhere, at all times, and by all”, and who even prior to Bill C-16 had been subject to legal harassment for expressing views consistent with Scripture and tradition on matters affecting the alphabet soup crowd (look up Hugh Owens and Bill Whatcott).   One would think that a successor to the Apostolic office of oversight in a branch of that church, a branch that asserts the high Protestant view of Scriptural authority in the sixth of its Articles of Religion, and which likes to define its catholicity by the Vincentian canon quoted in my last sentence, would regard standing up for such believers, who are targeted by laws in his own country, as a more important and necessary way of standing by the person the world is hurting, than signing political declarations on behalf of people who may be the subjects of unjust persecution elsewhere in the world, but in whose name the persecution of believers is now taking place in this country.  

If I, a mere parishioner and lay theologian, might make a humble suggestion, it would be that if the Right Reverend Woodcroft truly wishes to cultivate the virtue of fortitude by standing by those whom the world is hurting, a most admirable goal indeed, that there are examples closer to home and better suited to the purpose in that they require going against the tide of popular opinion, well-funded and well-organized mass movements, and the power exercised by the corporate media or even, if necessary, the state.   One such example would be to stand up for the unborn, who have had no protection under law in the Dominion since 1988, no party in Parliament seeking to redress this, and who are slaughtered by the thousands in this country in the name of “reproductive rights” each year.   Or, if the bishop really wants to put his fortitude to the test, he might try standing up for those poor students in Strathcona High School in Edmonton, Alberta, who have recently been demonized by their school, the chair of the board of which, a publicity-hound named Trisha Estabrooks got herself into stories on the CBC, CTV, and Global, which are constantly trying to outdo the Winnipeg Free Press as organs of left-wing disinformation, by complaining about how horribly racist and hateful these students apparently are, because they put up an Instagram page quoting Martin Luther King Jr., calling for racial equality, and criticizing their school for having become “increasingly anti-white rather than pro-black”, criticism which has been abundantly justified and proven by the school board’s actions, which included asking the Edmonton Police to investigate.    This would be a particularly appropriate example because in the last couple of years our ecclesiastical leadership has expressed much concern about racism and it would be much better for them to do so by standing against real racism, such as the BIPOC supremacism these kids have been subjected to, rather than the “systemic racism” that they apparently do not realize is merely Marxist coded language for “being white” and thus a racist expression in itself.

 

Might I also recommend that His Grace add to his Lenten reading list this year, the recent book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity (Bloomsbury, 2019) by Douglas Murray?   The author, who is Associate Editor of The Spectator and, a detail I would not mention other than in the context of a discussion such as this one, a gay man, has many excellent insights into the nature of the “woke” mob that has sprung up out of what until quite recently was considered the lunatic fringe of the academic left and which threatens freedom, traditional justice, order, and civilization itself in the name of a false and obscure “social justice” for various groups identified by their sexual orientation, race, sex, and gender identity, an ideal that has been made deliberately unattainable so that the destructive civil unrest and agitation it towards it might be kept going in perpetuity.

 

(1)   Even this had more to do with the tendency of police to periodically harass establishments that are in technical violation of some minor law so that they will give them a payoff to be left alone than with general societal prejudice.   Even the 1995 film Stonewall, a kind of combination of musical comedy and historical drama loosely based upon the riots in response to such harassment at the Inn of that name in Greenwich Village that launched the American gay rights movement in 1969, testifies despite itself to the general toothlessness of the laws regarding homosexuality in that day and the  indifference with which they were regarded.   I refer to the scene involving the “sip-in” in which the gay liberation activists went from establishment to establishment, ordering drinks and informing the servers of their orientation – it was against the law to serve alcoholic drinks to homosexuals – but never being met with a refusal until they ended up staging one of their own at the gay bar.    The more general problem of police harassment arises out of the nature of the police.   The state consists of many elements, the best of which is the entirely respectable royal monarchy at the head of the state in Commonwealth realms like Canada, an important but much less respectable and rather sleazy element being the legislative assembly of elected politicians which in Canada we call the House of Commons, and an even more disreputable element being the civil service, consisting mostly of the same kind of arrogant, rent-seeking, pencil-pushing, bossy, technocrats who make up corporate management.   At the very bottom rung of the state in terms of respectability are the police, who are basically low-life thugs, drafted from the criminal element of society, in order that their violence might be turned to the service of law and order rather than against it (see Anthony Burgess’ brilliant illustration of this in A Clockwork Orange).   This is clearly demonstrated in the phenomenon under discussion here, which mimics the “protection racket” activity of the mob.