Many Canadians still think of Canada as a “Christian country.” Unfortunately, a more descriptively accurate term nowadays would be “anti-Christian country,” since overt and aggressive hostility to Christianity has become a commonplace motif in popular culture, and lately in government as well.
Multiculturalism, pluralism, and tolerance are buzz-words of contemporary political correctness, and applied to virtually everyone except Christians who wish to be Christians in the public square. Christianity is slandered, belittled, ridiculed, and reviled with enthusiastic abandon, while the slightest negative commentary pertaining to other cultural groups is slapped down by draconian “human rights” codes.
Consider the case of Christian clergy participating in a Sept. 9 commemoration service for the 229 people killed when Swissair Flight 111 crashed off Peggy’s Cove, N.S. A United Church minister and a Roman Catholic priest were asked by the federal government’s protocol office to offer a blessing and opening prayer at the memorial service but, get this: they were instructed that no references to Christ and no New Testament readings would be permitted.
The United Church minister, Rev. Carolyn Nicholson, explained that she had either to submit to the ban or refuse to take part, and that she felt that she was choosing between her integrity as a Christian minister and her desire to offer comfort to the families who attended the service.
The federal government’s jackbooting is all the more outrageous in that while the protocol office issued an explicit ban on Christianity, an aboriginal Canadian was permitted to speak of her people’s beliefs, a Rabbi read from the Hebrew Scriptures, and a Muslim representative read from the Koran. The ban on Christianity was blatant and egregious anti-Christian discrimination that would not be tolerated against any other religious faith.
And this is no isolated incident. A public school teacher tells me how a small group of Moslem parents in her community demanded removal of the Gideon Bible people from school grounds because they might influence their children against the parents’ wishes. Their demands were granted and the Gideons were denied access to the Christian children.
Ready for the punch line? This same group of Moslem parents was then allowed to enter the school to explain their religious practices to students.
In another instance at the same school, an aboriginal spiritual leader was permitted to regale students with his version of native spirituality, which appeared to my friend to be “a mixture of the real thing from their antiquity and Hollywood.” Meanwhile, Christianity remains banned.
Why do Christian Canadians put up with this disrespect? The 1993 Angus Reid/Maclean’s religion poll found that 78 per cent of Canadians considered themselves “Christian.” Still, Christianity’s cultural purchase keeps melting away like ice cream in the July sun.
What gives? In our postmodern, deconstructionist anti-culture, real Christianity incites hostility because it contradicts the Enlightenment-derived tenets of liberal-humanism.
An article of faith among liberal humanists is that no point of view may legitimately make absolute truth claims. Christians, on the other hand, believe that all just law is based on God’s created natural law, and that moral standards defined in the Bible are universally applicable. And while humanism is the apotheosis of self, Christ demands denial of self. A coherent synergy of true Christianity and liberal humanism is therefore impossible.
The anti-Christian threat is grossly underestimated by most Christians. Increasingly derelict in their duty to defend and advocate Christian principles as the formative paradigm of Western culture, many churches have shamefully capitulated to contemporary ideological fashions, or have been routed into a humiliating retreat from the public square.
You can’t hope to build a coherent nation without a dominant culture. Presumably, one reason millions of people immigrate to this country is that they believe they will find here greater opportunity for themselves and their children. The prosperity and freedom they desire is the product of a socio-economic structure that evolved out of Judeo-Christian values. It is foolish to imagine that the advantages of Christian society can be maintained without Christianity.