Good for Deputy Speaker of the Nova Scotia Legislature, Brooke Taylor, one of the few elected representatives in Canada with the vision to recognize the socially destructive fatuousness of political correctness, and the guts to challenge it in public.
Commenting on a House committee’s decision to reaffirm the traditional recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of Legislature sessions, Taylor said that he thinks “some of these minority religious beliefs and religious groups have to recognize that, in Nova Scotia, the majority of people are Christians – and [saying the Lord’s Prayer] is a long-held tradition.”
“I think there’s a time for them to respect some of the beliefs that we hold in this country and in this province,” Taylor added.
I’ve had the pleasure of several conversations with Brooke Taylor over the years, and he is definitely not politically correct, even in terms of Progressive Conservative political correctness (PC PC if you will). He has raised the hackles of some members of his own party by attending Reform/Canadian Alliance functions, and even recently accepting in invitation to address one of them.
Taylor’s observations annoyed Harry Kits of the Toronto-based leftist lobby group, Citizens for Public Justice, who responded: “I’m surprised he stated it as baldly as he did. I don’t think he speaks for the majority of Christians.”
Possibly not, but more’s the pity. It’s probably fair to say that a large proportion of Canadian nominal Christians have been gulled into buying the liberal humanist notion that public affirmation of Christian belief amounts to “intolerance.” Sheva Medjuck of the Canadian Jewish Congress suggested that Taylor’s statement would alienate members of non-Christian cultures, and was contrary to what she termed “Canada’s multicultural tradition.” This is a much younger tradition then that of saying the Lord’s Prayer at Legislative Assembly sessions.
An irony that may have escaped Ms. Medjuck is that, when Jesus said the Lord’s Prayer, it was as a pious Jew. The Christian religion had not been established yet, and there is nothing in the Lord’s Prayer that should be offensive to Jews or other monotheists.
Ms. Medjuck deemed the House committee’s decision to keep the Lord’s Prayer “inappropriate,” said that using a Christian prayer exclusively ignores the makeup of Nova Scotia society. She argued that “if a prayer is going to be used, it should be used in a way that reflects the religious diversity of the province.” However, with due respect to religious minorities, and it is sincere respect, this “religious diversity” argument is misleading.
In 1993 Macleans/Angus Reid poll on religion in Canada found that 78 per cent of respondents described themselves as “Christian” in their own understanding. In a 2000 Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Globe and Mail, it was 77 per cent – while all non-Christian religions including Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, New Age, Sikh, Spiritualist, Soika Gakki, native spirituality, Theosophical, pagan, Baha’i, Humanist agnostic, Wiccan, Lemurian, and New Thought, cumulatively comprised a whopping three per cent of Canada’s population.
As Brooke Taylor said, “The problem with that is the fact that there’s so many different religious beliefs that you may spend a whole day having prayer, or different prayer.”
In 1993, 62 per cent professed the belief that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ provided a way for their salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Last year, it was 69 per cent. Sixty-two per cent of those in the 18-34 age group polled in 2000 said they believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and 66 per cent believe in salvation from sin through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Sustainable societies are only possible with common affirmation of a core of moral and social values, which raises the question of where values come from. Canada’s social, cultural and political heritage is essentially Christian, and reference to divine law in our constitution provides moral legitimacy for government. Objections to this bespeak both a philosophical and historical ignorance of what our system is founded on and sustained by.
It is no accident that modern liberal democracy was born in Christian Europe. Defense of Christianity as Canada’s “state religion” does not imply the establishment of an intolerant theocracy. Pluralism and “choice” are inadequate substitutes for a commonly-held set of objective moral principles backed by divine law. Cut loose from the dominant set of Christian values that established it, the structure and essence of Canadian culture, society and government cannot long survive in recognizable form.