Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 29, 2009
Today's Canada needs a Christian vision
Samuel de Champlain
As hard as it is to change the political system, changing the cultural system - a society's basic belief system and the institutions that uphold it - is immensely more difficult.
To create a counter-culture, we need to look to priests, journalists, artists and teachers more than to politicians. Of course, the priests have been marginalized and the journalists, artists and teachers have for the most part bought into the prevailing mentality.
Nevertheless, we must proclaim that the name of God is Love. Not syrupy, emotion-laden love, but self-sacrificing Love, a love that reaches beyond I to we and beyond we to the One who is far greater than anything our minds can fathom.
A society that worships this God will be an ordered community, not a mob of self-fulfilling egomaniacs.
Order, truth, reason and respect are not popularly proclaimed virtues in the Canada of 2009. But they are essential pieces in any culture that hopes to survive beyond the next bend in the road.
Such virtues will only thrive in a culture where faith in the living God is the cornerstone.
Canada as a whole does not care about that anymore, Canada whose first prophet was Samuel de Champlain who nurtured a new land free from religious wars, but without the relativism that laughs at truth and has no comprehension of what respect might look like.
We lack the vision of Champlain. An adventurer, he relished adventure not for its own sake but as a means to create a new society that brought people together in harmony. A man of tolerance, he was above all a man of deep, uncompromising Catholic faith.
Canada today largely fails to see that faith and tolerance are not contradictory, but rather complementary. Each requires the other.
Our failure on this point is the result of collective amnesia - an ignorance of our history.
Canada has had its share of religious bigotry - our Catholic ancestors could testify abundantly to that. But it also has a fine tradition - rooted again in its Christian faith - of welcoming the stranger on his or her own terms and not forcing the stranger into a preconceived mould.
In all likelihood, our Canada Day celebrations will not make much mention of this Christian heritage. That has long ago been ruled out as a politically incorrect embarrassment.
But if Canada is to have a hopeful future, it will be as a Christian nation. Our best future lies in worshipping the God who is Love.
It lies in reason and respect and dialogue.
It lies in protecting the Church, the family and human life.
It lies in elevating the common good above the desires of the isolated ego.
For if we don't do those things, we will have no future at all.
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