Wednesday, September 11, 2013
How the Quebec Charter of Values Ruined My Perfect Day
It was a wonderfully warm sunny day in Toronto today.
A great day off to relax and pretend that summer is still here.
I went to the beach, I spotted my second Monarch butterfly of the season in some flowers near the Island Club House, and I got to pet the baby alpaca at Far Enough Farm.
In short, it was almost the perfect day eh? Until I got home, a friend from Montreal called me and said: "I suppose you're going to write something about the Quebec Charter of Values."
And I felt like collapsing and screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Because why should I ruin a perfect day by writing about a bullshit bill that won't survive the first court challenge, or the verdict of most reasonable Quebecers? When I'm an atheist for Chrissakes !@#!!!!
But alas, I suppose I have to say something, because this really is PATHETIC...
It's grotesquely discriminatory, incredibly divisive, and even if you favour a secular state like I do, totally unnecessary.
It's the product of the narrow thinking of the PQ petit bourgeois intellectuals who are presently in control of the party. A crass attempt to create a wedge issue in the desperate hope it might pump some gas into their deflated sovereignty option.
And it won't work...
However having said that, I also have to say that the reaction in English Canada has been ridiculously excessive.
Stuff like this is absurd. It's not a war on religion. Most Quebecers are not racists. Religion is not race based so how could they be?
And as Colby Cosh points out, if you're going to bash a whole province, you really need to understand its different history and traditions.
It may be that the Globe and other newspapers simply can’t ﬁnd an anglophone opinionator to defend Premier Pauline Marois’s gesture in defence of laïcité. And it probably doesn’t help that the French term laïcité has no exact English equivalent, since it swims in an imprecise area between “church and state separation” (of the American type) and “anticlericalism” (of the European type). Quebecers are arguing over a concept we Anglo-Saxons don’t even have.
That particular idea has a poor track record, and there is no harm in ridiculing laïcité on the sufficient grounds of mere hopelessness. But the commentators now attacking Quebec’s government as “subtly racist” (it was mighty big of the National Post’s John Ivison to include the “subtly”) imply that the legitimacy of that government depends on allowing its employees to wear a particular sort of hat while on duty. On a purely tactical level, that seems like a tough sell.
And those who overreact will only fall into the PQ's trap.
To which I would only add this, now that my day is completely ruined eh? By all means fight this ugly clumsy attempt to divide Quebecers.
But never forget why we need a secular state. Never forget that religion is the curse of humanity. Never forget how it puts down women, or goes after gays with genocidal fury. Never forget that it's a murderous force that is killing people from Jamaica, to Syria, to Iraq.
For look what it has contributed to the world in just the last month...
Oh yeah, one more thing...
If anything comes out of the PQ's idiot plan let's make sure it's this one eh?
Let's make it a priority to remove this morbid symbol from the National Assembly...
For I think we can all agree about something. I hope.
Religion and politics is a REALLY bad mix...
Click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.