Sunday, December 21, 2008

No More Political Correctness

Even if Canada was built by immigrants - it doesn't mean that Canadians should bend backwards to accommodate newcomers that are unwilling to accept Canada's founding languages, values and culture.
So many letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants. May be we should turn to our history books and point out to people why today’s Canadian is not willing to accept the new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Canada, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Halifax and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new Canadian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
And there was no political correctness. No desire to overcompensate for the "tyranny of the majority" by instituting a nasty tyranny of the minorities.
If you are a Christian, you cannot say the same things about other groups that so-called minority groups can say about Christians or about other protected groups. According to human rights commissions, an Imam who writes a hateful book about gays, Jews and Christians is a-okay, but a Christian pastor who writes a passionate letter to the editor condemning the tactics of gay activists must endure a lifetime speech ban even in private emails, make a public "confession" and "apology" and pay a crippling fine.

This is what I believe is the rationale. Christians are seen to be the majority religion and therefore the ones who have the levers of power. Thus, by definition, they are oppressors, and what they say is uniquely dangerous. I suppose the same thinking goes concerning the white race, and a lot of stupid people conflate the white race with the Christian faith and western civilization.
The least we can do is simply refuse to cooperate with those who force political correctness on us. Don't buy "happy holidays" cards. Try not to shop at the stores that exclude Christians in their attempts to accommodate everyone else. And of course - reject their "newspeak"; keep using words they're telling you to avoid. When they tell you to say "seasons greetings" instead of "merry Christmas" or when they suggest that instead of asking "are you married" you should say "are you in relationship" - tell them to go... um... in a direction that is not marked on any compass.


Pamplemousse said...

Interesting post.

Here is the problem though; it is a simple matter of etiquette to wish someone happy holidays. There is nothing wrong with it and Christianity does not have a monopoly on celebration during the month of December.

This time of year has been celebrated in northern climates as a festival time long before Christ showed up. I'm not suggesting you should feel guilty about your faith. Far from it. You should merely remember that not everyone is a christian in this country.

People will take offense to the letter to the editor you quoted simply because it is inaccurate and suggests that immigrants today have less value than immigrants of yore. Those first immigrants were treated with the exact same contempt that the letter suggests we have towards modern immigrants to Canada.

But that said, I do hope you had a very fine christmas.

Leonard said...

Do you know many people that would go on a shopping spree to celebrate the old Soviet Constitution Day (December 5)? Or how about the anniversary of the Soviet Union (December 30)? And do you know many people who still celebrate those pre-Christian winter festivals?

You said that Christianity does not have a monopoly on celebration during the month of December. Maybe. But would there be any noticeable celebrations in December if it hadn't been for Christmas? Even when it comes to Hanuka - would the merchants even bother if it didn't coincide with Christmas season? (It may surprise you, but there's a different meaning to Hanuka, rather than mere Jewish winter festival.)

And another thing - did you notice that Christmas is the only holiday that businesses and government offices try not to mention? They don't have a problem mentioning any other holiday (including wishing their Jewish or Muslim colleagues happy Passover or Ramadan) but they'll do their best to avoid saying "Merry Christmas". Even when the CBC advertises Christmas movies they call it "holiday magic". No wonder, many people (not necessarily church-going Christians) feel excluded.

P.S. Here's a Life Site News article which talks about this exclusion of Christmas. They too find that it has nothing to do with etiquette, but it has a lot to do with the left-wing secularist ideology.

Pamplemousse said...

No, I don't know the precise number of people who celebrate the winter solstice, but I know that they do in significant numbers.

I am aware that Hanukkah is actually a lesser jewish festival which gained prominence here in North America due to the jewish children feeling terribly left out as christian kids, secular and otherwise, get visits from Santa, while their faith only offered an insignificant celebration.

My point is that the jewish people of North America found a festival worthy of celebrating at the same general time as christians. You can argue that it shouldn't be celebrated, but we celebrate thanksgiving which is considered the beginning of cultural genocide of the native people of north america.

While at a christmas party, thrown by a jewish friend, people used happy holidays and merry christmas and happy Hanukkah interchangeably. No one was offended.

I believe the CBC refers to christmas movies as holiday magic due to marketing and the very obvious fact that frosty the snowman has nothing to do with Christ. This is more in line with reality than a war on christmas. I think/know you are digging too deeply here.

Let's be clear that those wishing to bane christmas trees are misguided. No argument. Firstly, it is not a christian symbol. It is a pagan symbol. Secondly, the wire service will tend to take notice of extremes. Someone wishing to bane a christian celebration will get more air time simply because it is an extreme position, as is the one muslim cleric claiming christmas is evil, as noted in your link.

I happen to think, not having seen the actual sermon from the cleric, that he may be referring to the orgy of consumption. This, I'm sure you will agree, is not in keeping with any of Jesus' teachings.

There is nothing wrong with wishing anyone a merry christmas, but it is poor etiquette to wish a muslim a merry christmas when it isn't within her/his belief system.

That is the difference. Etiquette is merely good manners. It may save face to say happy holidays for both parties. Why should christians feel so insulted? Did you wish a muslim a happy Ramadan?

I have talked with muslims regarding christmas, and it doesn't normally bother them. It doesn't seem to bother hindus either. They may not celebrate it, but in the case of jews and muslims, we are all worshiping the very same God. It is only in the details that you find a real difference.

Is it so contrary to your faith to welcome other people and wish them well on their religious holiday? Muslims have wished me both a happy holiday and merry christmas.

We do live in a country where christianity has been around since we white folk walked in and stole land from the first nations.

Which brings me to my main concern, which is the letter to the editor which you quoted in your post. We are all, to some degree, immigrants from somewhere, and the letter denotes a kind of xenophobia that I will not stand for. Nor was it ever the message of Jesus.

I do agree that those that would bane christmas are ridiculous, but in the face of such stupidity, the right action is to ignore such mandates and not give them any more air time than they deserve, which is to say a short blimp in the news.

I think Christians tend to be just as sensitive as muslims are to religious humour and that is a shame. There is much to laugh at and much to debate in every religion.

Believe me, there is no all out war on christianity from the mainstream. Possibly it amounts to some atheists feeling that belief in God is assumed for everyone, and I can understand why they might feel defensive themselves.

Leonard said...

Here's a picture that is worth a thousand words. Somehow the organizers believed it's ok to say "Happy Hannukah" or even "Joyeux Noël" in French, but not Merry Christmas in English. That says something, doesn't it?

What happens to the etiquette in this case? Why is it ok to exclude a holiday celebrated by the majority (here in NB it's a 99% majority) just to avoid accidentally hurting feelings of a small part of a minority? Since when multi-culturalism means excluding the country's founding culture?

That's what frustrates me. Being a part of the majority, I don't want my culture, let alone - my faith to be excluded to accommodate a radical minority. I don't find this to be a reasonable accommodation.

P.S. "Did you wish a muslim a happy Ramadan?" If I lived in a Muslim country - I would have to. My other choice would be to pack my suitcases and go someplace else where Ramadan isn't a public holiday.

That - if Muslims even allowed someone who don't accept their holidays to settle in their country. But unlike the countries that were founded on Christian values, Muslim countries are by no means eager to experiment with multi-cult.

Pamplemousse said...

I'm not sure which muslim country you are referring to, but I'm quite sure there is no requirement to wish anyone a happy holiday anywhere. In most muslim countries you are free to practice your faith. Christians are allowed to travel to many of these countries with no more restrictions than heathens are given. There are christians all over the world. Jesus did a good job.

But Christianity is not being excluded.

I also live in Canada, but when you speak about being a part of the majority, I get a little nervous. I live next to jewish folk, there's a mosque down the street, several temples, a zen buddhist retreat and several churches. No one stops anyone from putting up a torah, cross, jack o 'lantern or nothing at all.

Some muslim countries do have issues with multiculturalism and tolerance. This is not an excuse for increased intolerance here.

I'm sure in rare cases you are right and people are being ridiculous, but honestly, do you believe this is the norm?

And come on! That photo is your evidence that the 'liberal minority' are out to stop Jesus' message from getting out?
Merry Christmas was well represented by what is from the look of things, a bilingual french school IN FRENCH! How oddly appropriate.

Shouldn't Easter be the first christian holiday to defend? Personally I would find the whole affair with a bunny delivering chocolate eggs rather insulting considering that holiday represents the crux on which christianity is founded.

This is simply foolish.

Agree not to agree, I suppose.

Leonard said...

"I'm sure in rare cases you are right and people are being ridiculous, but honestly, do you believe this is the norm?" The problem is - this is being the trend. The problem is - those people, who want to exclude Christmas - they want it to be the norm. And, to make things worse, many of those hold positions of authority - encouraging (if not forcing) others to follow their example.

You believe such cases are rare - if you followed the issue as closely as some Conservative bloggers and websites do - you'd see that those cases unfortunately aren't that rare. And it gets nastier every year. So what you may regard as "increased intolerance" - in my view it's a baby step in the right direction.

Pamplemousse said...

You are being far too sensitive and somewhat paranoid. No one is forcing anyone to accept or deny christmas. The words of the far left are as insane and irrelevant as the far right.

The example photo you attached in no way disrespects christians. It clearly says "Joyeux Noel" meaning exactly 'merry christmas'.

Somehow, and I'm not sure on the logic here, you decided that this bilingual kindergarden was infringing on your rights as a christian.

[what you may regard as "increased intolerance" - in my view it's a baby step in the right direction.]

I can't quite believe that I read that properly. I wasn't planning on continuing this dialog until I read that statement.

Intolerance is not something you want to be proud of. It means that you cannot tolerate, that you cannot live with whatever it is that you are being intolerant of. Intolerance is one 'baby step' away from actual violence.

Are you sure that your version of Jesus would ever suggest that you should be intolerant?

It's been a while since I sat in a pew, but the most important message Jesus ever gave the world was love your neighbour as yourself. It is a shame that so few can be bothered to accept this.

This has been in interesting debate, but I question your sources and I'm not sure we can come to any resolution as we seem to have the exact opposite opinion on so much.

Good luck with your blog, it is an interesting one.

trebert said...

A friend recently sent me an e-mail which I was able to trace back to your blog ‘No More Political Correctness’ dated December 21, 2008.

Just one question:

What should be my response to this essay if I were an Indigenous or Native Canadian whose forebears occupied this land centuries before the Europeans arrived?

You might be interested to know that a revised version of your blog recently came to my attention.

Leonard said...

Obviously I can't tell you what your response should be. But if you argued on their behalf, I would suggest that you learn history. It's time to let go of this myth about "evil" Europeans taking away Native Americans' land.

>You might be interested to know that
>a revised version of your blog
>recently came to my attention.
Ok, so you read my blog and you didn't like it. Why should this be of an interest to me?

Tom Weston said...

Are you seriously using an article from the Sun as evidence of your point of view that the first several europeans that came to America didn't actively participate in cultural genocide?

Come on.... there is a lot of nasty that needs to be accepted from each side, but the europeans of old have a lot to answer for.

Leonard said...

See above:
If Europeans were lacking in sympathy for Native culture, they have certainly made up for it since. It’s time to mature, time to evolve.

And don't tell me that Europeans of old were the only ones involved in what you call "cultural genocide". However Europeans of today (or to be more precise - nations founded on European heritage, including Canada, US and Australia) are the only ones that look back and express concerns about the plight of other peoples and cultures. You won't find that phenomenon anywhere else.

Tom Weston said...

I never did suggest that they were the only ones.

Please do learn to read. This is tedious.

Leonard said...

How else shall I interpret your assertion that "the europeans of old have a lot to answer for"? Even if you didn't say they were the only ones, you keep highlighting that fact as if it was so.

And please learn to behave on others' blogs.

Tom Weston said...


No I didn't insinuate that at all. I just said that europeans that came colonized North America do have a lot to answer for. I don't believe we should feel guilty about that. Those responsible are long gone.

But you seem to think that they really didn't do all that much wrong according to one non-academic opinion piece in the Sun.

So you should take my statement at face value and not be so obtuse about it.

I am behaving on your blog. You have no idea of the restraint I'm showing here. There is no protocol for how to behave on a comment section of a blog. I haven't sworn, said anything I don't stand behind, or threatened you in any way.

Please re-read what I wrote and don't think you can interpret what isn't plainly there. Do I need to provide you with a list of what I didn't mean or insinuate?

I do find your lack of open mindedness and respect for others highly offensive though. By all means speak your mind, but don't be surprised if people get far ruder than I am comment on it. You seem to be calling for it.

trebert said...

Perhaps you are not aware of the history behind the residential schools for Aboriginal people in Canada. This sorry chapter in Canadian history goes back to the 1870’s. These schools were administered by both Catholic and Protestant churches. These government-funded, church-run schools were set up to eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual development of Aboriginal children.
During this era, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools often against their parents' wishes. Many were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture. While there is an estimated 80,000 former students living today, the ongoing impact of residential schools has been felt throughout generations and has contributed to social problems that continue to exist.
Please not that the following remarks in parenthesis paraphrases your original blog on this subject
“Against their will these Aboriginal children too had waved good bye to their birth place and parents and their particular culture.
Everything was taken from them laws were there to protect them. All they had were clothes on their backs and even this was taken from them once they arrived at the schools. Their native skills, craftsmanship and desire they been taught by their elders was denied and also taken from them. In the end it left with a very dismal future.”
Do you consider this a form of political correctness?

Leonard said...

That opinion piece from the Sun that I quoted provides an excellent summary of what's wrong with the official version of our history, especially the "the europeans of old have a lot to answer for" myth.
It's a great collection of historically sound facts and self-evident truths, that's why I keep quoting it. And obviously I agree with the conclusion that our society has done more than enough to make up for any wrongdoings against the Natives and their culture.

Even if we take the residential schools as an example. Yes, forcing children into schools against their parents' wishes can hardly be justified. But since then - the government has issued numerous apologies, providing monetary compensations to the victims, not to mention billions of dollars in subsidies for aboriginal education and for the promotion of their culture.

Same can be said about practically everything else for which the Europeans of old are being blamed - there have been more than enough apologies made, reparations paid and land claims settled. So, again, if the Europeans of old had something to account for - these account have been long settled.

Leonard said...

>Do you consider this a form of political correctness?
If you're talking about residential schools - that was an attempt of forced assimilation.
Yes, 140 years ago the government went overboard with its policy of assimilation, just the way some 100 years later it went overboard with bending backwards trying to accommodate any special interest group at the expense of the rest of the society.

trebert said...

Residential schools for Aboriginal people in Canada date back to the 1870s. Over 130 residential schools were located across the country, and the last school closed in 1996. That is why today the Government and church leaders are involved in a long overdue ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ talks with our native people. And this is without question the politically correct and PRO-LIFE thing to do. It is always a difficult thing for most to admit when a wrong has been committed, but to deny it happened or to suggest that ‘we should simply get over it’ doesn’t bring the healing that is required for both parties.
Like it or not, Canada has become a multi-cultural nation where we now have to learn to share our values without prejudice and free of bias because the alternative is simply unthinkable.