Thursday, December 15, 2005

Respect Beliefs or Believers?

I was pondering things while drifting off to sleep and the question occurred to me:

Ought we to show respect for beliefs or for the people who hold them?

Having thought this through only a bit, I expect some will see great gaps in the following logic. If so, feel free to point them out.

I tend to see respect as something you give to something or someone you esteem. I esteem people, regardless of who they are or what they think. I do this simply because of the fundamental equality of people. All are created by God in His image. Christ died to assume the sin of all people without exception.

Ideas though are not all fundamentally equal. Some are good. Some are excellent. Some are just dumb. You cannot give respect to all ideas equally. The same I think can be said for beliefs. While I can therefore see fit to respect all persons, I cannot respect all beliefs.

I think the rest of the world can understand and agree with this; there is by and large no problem with dismissing the belief that the Holocaust never happened, for example. That however is because the general consensus (in the global context) holds that such a belief is irrational and unfounded. Were I to use as an example something with no such consensus though, what might happen?

If I were to argue say that Christianity is the only ultimately true religion, I would be well received in my faith community, because that proposition is part of my faith community's consensus. I would be affirmed.

In the rest of the world though, which does not share my faith community's consensus, I would be told I am disrespectful of believers in other religions. I might be called archaic, a bigot or have my intellectual capacity dismissed, and by the same people who would be hailing me for comments I might make against the notion that the Holocaust is a myth.

This leads me to think that in some ways respect really means to fall into line with the governing consensus on an issue.

But if I voice my dissent in a way that speaks unequivocally to my belief while nevertheless affirming the worth of the person holding the opposing belief, am I really being disrespectful? I don't think so.

Perhaps then we should look at respect for what it is: code for "agree" or at least "don't disagree".

One wonders what kind of respect that shows for people...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Patronage and Patronising

We are all well aware of the problems withthe governing Liberal Pary when it comes to political patronage. They took what is a well established practice and made it into an art form with the whole AdScam affair.

What folks may not recognise is that the Liberals are also developing the art of being patronising.

The Liberals scream that a Conservative Government would be a disaster for National Unity, claiming that the Conservatives, unlikely as they are to win even a single seat in Quebec, cannot hope to be a truly national governing party. The Liberals insist that this is an ideal condition for a Quebec Sovereignty Referendum. Yet it is arguable that no one has done more to support the recent surge in Quebec Sovereignty support than the Liberals.

The AdScam affair has come to be seen as a blatant attempt to bribe Quebecers into staying in Canada. The result is that the people of Quebec are feeling justifiable rage at being so patronised. Quebecers are rpepared to all but eliminate the Liberals from the federal political landscape for that reason, replacing them withthe Bloc Quebecois. Surely such a large presence of the BQ is more of a ideal condition than a Conservative Government.

Whiel that is somethign we can quibble over, here is somethign I don't think is: AdScam is aresult of incompetence and corruption at the highest levels. AdScam was only made possible because of a program that was initiated because of the result of the last referendum which Canada almost lost because of incompetence at the highest level of the Liberal Government's campaign.

In other words, Liberal incompetence in the Referendum begat incompetence and corruption in AdScam. Yet the Liberals claim that they can make it all better.

Forgive me, but I just don't see how the Liberal track record leads to that conclusion. The fact that they obviosuly think they can convince us it does is just more Liberal patronising.

Speaking of which, I have rarely felt so patronised as this week with Liberal comments about the Conservative child care strategy. It began with Ken Dryden's assertion that staying home to care for your child is not in fact providing child care. The worst however was the complaint of a top Liberal that Canadians would spend any money we receive on popcorn and beer.

I see. The Liberals, who completely mismanaged AdScam, think they know how to spend money better than we do. Not only that, they seem to think we are unfit parents, preferring popcorn and beer over adequate childcare.

If that's what they think they better call the Children's Aid Society on us all.

Monday, December 12, 2005

'Tis the Season to Bash Christians

An intersting column on hw bashing Christians is a seasonal affiar, this year with the added bonus of the first of the Narnia series can be found here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Inversion of Tyrannies

An intersting article that mixes politics and religion an be found here.

There are a couple of comments I can make on this:

1) Our so-called Christian Prime Minister is really more f a political pragmatist. Rather than be what he is supposed to be, a Christian buying something for his family's Christmas clebrations, he did a wild jig. Did he really think that peple wuld be offended if he persnally celebrated Christmas?

2) The notion of the inversion of tyrannies is quite something. At frst blush, I agree with it. It deserves more thought though.

Friday, December 09, 2005

CANOE -- JAM! Movies - The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe Review - 'Narnia' movie is pure 'childlike' magic

CANOE -- JAM! Movies - The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe Review - 'Narnia' movie is pure 'childlike' magic: "Through her, we accept that Narnia has been caught in the icy grip of
the villainous White Queen (Tilda Swinton unleashed and loving the
evil) and that it is populated by giants and dwarfs, by elfs and fauns
and by centaurs, satyrs, minotaurs, minoboars and a woodland of talking

Does God have a Party?

Well sure, Heaven is going to be the most wonderful party imaginable and then some!

But does God have a particular political party?


God has priorities, and principles, and these are refelcted in varying degrees in each political party. For example the Green Party certainly has the idea of stewarship of the environment ( a Christian principle). The NDP are concerned about social justice. The Conservative major on moral issues. The Liberals have a bit of all of these.

But these parties also fail to reflect God's priorities to varying degrees as well. The NDP fail on moral issues, as do the Liberals. The Green Party simply has little to say about God's other priorities. The Conservatives are not known for compassion, and IMO fail to take into account the fallen nature of humanity in certain social areas.

You will also find that Christians can be found in all the parties. Contrary to what some columnists might say, Conservative Christians have about the same level of particpation in the LIberal and Conservative parties.

So God may have politics, and He may love a good party, but He does not have a particular political party.

Happy voting (in about 7 weeks)!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

All I want for Christmas is a new Government

Here in Canada we are in the midst of an election campaign that will not end until January 23rd. I of course have my convictions about who the governing party should be. I am a Conservative to the bone, and will almost certainly vote for them in any election.

Once in my life I voted NDP. That time around Bob Rae became Premier of Ontario, and it may be that we are still dealing withthe imapct of that. Never agani will I vote NDP.

Once I voted Liberal. I really didn't want NAFTA. That didn't accomplish anything. Mulroney still won and as it turns out NAFTA has been good for the country on balance.

This time around, with AdScam, the same-sex marriage issue, and the fact that the Conservatives have managed to put out policies which are easy for average canadians to relate to, I fully expect a Conservative government.

But for the moment I want to turn my attention to the local riding. The incumbent is a Conservative, the first federal conservative in a very long time for this area. The Liberal challenger is the guy who was the MP for many years. Clearly he is counting on the riding going back to its traditional colors.

But there are good reasons to keep Diane Finley as our MP.

I think we all know that the real power in government is in the Cabinet. Being out of the cabinet, even if in government, doesn't count for much. Whoever your MP is, you want that person to be in the Cabinet. That being the case, we can see that Diane Finley is the person to elect over Liberal Bob Speller. Why?

The Liberals are not a slam dunk to form the next government. Even if they do, Speller is not liekly to be in cabinet. Yes, he was a cabinet minister the last time he was an MP, but that had little to do with Speller's ability. PM Martin chose Speller because he needed to create a cabinet that was not a Chretien cabinet. Speller had been an MP for many years under Chretien, but never considered for a cabinet post. Speller then was chosen less for what he is than for what he never was.

Finley on the other hand in her first term as an MP has been a member of the shadow cabinet as the Agriculture critic. It is not uncommon for MPs to assume a cabinet post in the same area in which they were the critic while in Opposition. Unlike Martin, who had relatively few chices from which to make his "not-Chretien Cabinet", Conservative Leader Stephen Harper had many choices. He could have overlooked Finley altogether but did not do so.

In short then, Finley is more likely cabinet material than Speller, meaning she is more likely to be able to represent this riding at the highest level.

In terms of voting strategically, and in the interest of this riding, that should speak volumes.

Friday, December 02, 2005

So Today I got "The Question"

It is now the advent season, and we have a pair of advent calendars hanging in the hallway. They are made by a friend of ours, entirely of flannel, with little pockets for each day below a flannel nativity scene. (Incidentally I am putting the kids halloween candy in the pockets- an easy and organised way to ge them to consume it.)

We play up Jesus for the holiday saeson, and take somethign of a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to Santa Claus. The boys will at times speak their minds about Santa, but we don't make much of it. My oldest has decided that he doesn't beleive in Santa, while my youngest is pretty sure he doesn't exist, but is willing to "believe in him" anyway. Being quite the pragmatists, he is just covering his bases, in case not believing means no presents.

But siblings being what they are the two are arguing about whether Santa Claus is real. I decided to stick my nose in between them (lest someone else's nose get too far out of joint). I thought to make peace, but instead got myself "the question: Daddy, do YOU believe in Santa Claus?"

I hate it when I have to answer a direct question that I am unprepared for. I told them it was a personal question (yes I know, bad cop out). But I said I would get back to them.

Since them I have been researching the actual Saint Nicholas. I intend to expalin to them the "hisotircal Saint Nicholas" and the development of the Santa Claus story (in an age appropriate manner of course).

My point? Well actually I just wanted to pass along a link that I am finding useful for information. I went here.