Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Sunday, 13 November 2005

Church and State

A few weeks ago, the Globe and Mail breathlessly broke the scoop that it had uncovered irrefutable proof that men and women of religious conscience and allegiance - specifically, Christian; were active in Canadian politics - specifically, Conservative politics.

One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

One is almost tempted to laugh: if this is what passes for news in Toronto, it is yet further proof of how little credence those who live elsewhere should pay Torontonians.

But that is undoubtedly both unfair and inaccurate. Toronto is as heterogeneous a constituency as one will find, and many Torontonians undoubtedly were themselves inclined to laugh at this absurd “stop the press” by the Globe. More to the point: the Globe’s revelation was fairly obviously taken quite seriously - as proof-positive of the insidious “hidden agenda” of those “crazy prairie preachers” - in locales well outside the Canadian Gotham, not least in Ottawa.

So, one cannot really laugh. There is quite evidently a belief abroad in the land that devotion to Christianity - in any degree beyond attendance at one’s own baptism and the purchasing of gifts for distribution every 25th of December - constitutes an inexcusable and anachronistic affront to “Canadian values”.

Realizing that, one is tempted to cry, and I do. I weep tears of sadness and pity; and I weep tears of anger.

I weep tears of sadness because I know what a tragedy for Canada would be the final exclusion from political life of devoted Christians – and I express this sentiment also in respect of men and women of active allegiance to the other great religious faiths, including Judaism and Islam – although these latter are not the immediate targets of the Globe’s hysterics. All of these great religions carry at their core a creed that includes the following: devotion to the sanctification and protection of human life and its intrinsic value; promotion of a fundamentally sound and healthy organization of human society, that upholds and defends the sanctity and protection of life; devotion to charity and to the selfless service of one’s fellow man; adherence to strict principles of honourable personal conduct; devotion to a quest for continuous moral self-improvement; a belief in and devotion to the pursuit of social and absolute justice; and the inculcation of the courage and readiness for hard and resolute action in the defence of all of the preceding, that flows naturally from the serenity of soul that faith provides. If these traits are to be feared and reviled, I can only wonder at and fear what is to be revered in their place.

I weep tears of pity, because the lack of understanding that underlies the Globe’s sentiments is nothing if not pathetic. For the concept of “separation of church and state”, as it was originally, truly and historically intended; did not by any means suggest that religion, and individuals of religious devotion, were to be excluded from political participation. It required, rather, that state policy, its formulation, and participation in its crafting; were not to be strictly identified with, and were not to be restricted to or flow strictly from; any one religious faith or its adherents. The attempt to inculcate a fear of, and to promote the exclusion from politics of active Christians, comes as near to an identification of church and state as Canadian politics has ventured since the nineteenth century – taking the “church” in question as secularism/atheism. In other words, it represents a philosophy/worldview that holds that only the anti-religious - i.e., those devoted to a religion that is defined in opposition to a historical one - have a legitimate place in the Canadian body politic. This constitutes a true violation of the principle of separation of church and state.

Finally, I weep tears of anger because I am, myself, a devoted and active Christian, and I perceive the sentiments expressed by the Globe as a part of an attempt to disenfranchise me, and to ridicule and quasi-criminalize a devotion that I hold very dear. I will not accept this with equanimity. I hope that others will likewise refuse to do so.

Posted by Walsingham