George Orwell once wrote: “he who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” In the West today, there can be no clear hallmark of the control that grips parties across the political spectrum and governments across the world than the history which recedes further, every day, into the category of the unmentionable—and, therefore, the forgotten.
At the time of writing, the un-remembering mob has come for John A. MacDonald, but he is neither the first nor the last figure who will be scrubbed from the pages of Canada’s history. If this process continues, the only men and women who will remain are those who reflect the values of the ruling class.
Canada still possesses the paraphernalia of a modern liberal democracy; leaders must still face elections, from time to time, and the press go through the motions of holding public figures accountable. But the habits of a democracy can survive long after its spirit has vanished. The momentum behind a complete and total cultural revolution increases; wittingly or not, politicians and journalist carry out the work of radical activists and agitators. We are being deprived, piecemeal, of our memory, our language, and our vision: our ability to think about the past, talk about the present, or to see into any kind of future apart from what the crazed architects of a preposterous utopia allow us to envision.
In a scandalized, demoralized moment such as ours, we make so bold as to celebrate the past, to say so in the present, and to lift up our eyes trustingly to a future which continues our country’s proudest legacies. Because Canada is, after all, fundamentally good. Committed pro-lifers, of course, have the most reason to be cynical about our country, and despair of its moral status in the great scales of history. For a half century, we have regressed into the ancient evil of infanticide; and we have done so in the name of liberation and equality, besmirching those high ideals in the process. But even with a keen sense of the ongoing murderous iniquity of our country, we celebrate it precisely because its faults are not all-defining. We more than our moral failings.
Great nations lose their way from time to time: they lapse from their highest aspirations, relinquish their deepest convictions, and stray from success into decadence and decline. But such failings show us the frailty of human nature, our constant need to repent and improve. In other words, they offer no pretext for cultural destruction; the anarchist looks for any reason to lob his incendiary, the iconoclast for any opening to swing his hammer. Those actions can only lead to chapters of history darker than any ones which we have ever known.
And so, this Canada Day, we celebrate our country and its history. We are grateful for all of the gifts that God has given us through it, and we implore him for more: especially that the heart of our country will be touched with a moral awakening, that we will discover the truth of the difference between evil and good before that realization comes too late. For we lose what we do not love—and if we do not love our country, more than its past will disappear.