The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Captain Airhead Strikes Again!

It has been almost two years since a gullible Canadian electorate was duped into giving the Liberal Party a majority government in the last Dominion election. This means that that government, headed by Captain Airhead, is approaching the half-way point in its four year mandate. It has recently been reported that the Grits have passed less than half the legislation in that time than the previous Conservative government had. This is not surprising. The Prime Minister has been far too busy flying around the world, handing out money, and looking for photo-ops, all at the taxpayers’ expense, to actually do the job of governing the country. John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mail, made the observation that “the amount of legislation a Parliament creates matters less than the quality of that legislation.” As true as that is, the quality of the bills the Trudeau Grits have passed is enough to make one wish that they had, the moment they were sworn in, called a term-length recess of Parliament and sent every member on a four-year paid Caribbean vacation.

One example of this is Bill C-16, which passed its third-reading in the Senate on Thursday, June 15th and which was signed into law by the Governor-General on Monday, June 19th. Bill C-16 is a bill which amends both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. To the former it adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of grounds of discrimination prohibited by the Act. To the latter it adds the same to Section 318, the “hate propaganda” clause of the Code. The Canadian Human Rights Act and Section 318 of the Criminal Code were both inflicted upon us by the present premier’s father in his long reign of terror and it would have been better had the present Parliament passed legislation striking both out of existence rather than amending them to increase the number of ways in which they can be used to persecute Canadians. When, a century and a half ago, the Fathers of Confederation put together the British North America Act which, coming into effect on July 1, 1867, established the Dominion of Canada as a new nation within what would soon develop into the British Commonwealth of Nations, their intention was to create a free country, whose citizens, English and French, as subjects of the Crown, would possess all the freedoms and the protection of all the rights that had accumulated to such in over a thousand years of legal evolution. The CHRA and Section 318 do not belong in such a country – they are more appropriate to totalitarian regimes like the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, and the Third Reich.

The CHRA, which Parliament passed in 1977 during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau, prohibits discrimination on a variety of grounds including race, religion, sex, and country of origin. It applies in a number of different areas with the provision of goods and services, facilities and accommodations, and employment being chief among them. Those charged with enforcing this legislation have generally operated according to an unwritten rule that it is only discrimination when whites, Christians, and males are the perpetrators rather than the victims, but even if that were not the case, the very idea of a law of this sort runs contrary to the basic principles of our traditional freedoms and system of justice. It dictates to employers, landlords, and several other people, what they can and cannot be thinking when conducting the everyday affairs of their business. It establishes a special police force and court – the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal respectively – to investigate and sit in judgement upon those private thoughts and prejudices. Those charged do not have the protection of the presumption of innocence because the CHRA is classified as civil rather than criminal law.

There are more protections for defendants under Section 318 because it is part of the Criminal Code but it is still a bad law. Incitement of criminal violence was already against the law long before Section 318 was added. It is not, therefore, the incitement of criminal violence per se that Section 318 was introduced to combat, for the existing laws were sufficient, but the thinking and verbal expression of thoughts that the Liberal Party has decided Canadians ought not to think and speak.

Bill C-16 takes these bad laws and makes them even worse. By adding “gender identity and expression” to the prohibited grounds of discrimination the Liberals are adding people who think and say that they belong to a gender that does not match up with their biological birth sex to the groups protected from discrimination. Now, ordinarily when people think they are something they are not, like, for example, the man who thinks he is Julius Caesar, we, if we are decent people, would say that this is grounds for pity and compassion, but we would not think of compelling others to go along with the delusion. Imagine a law that says that we have to regard a man who thinks he is Julius Caesar as actually being the Roman general! Such a law would be crazier than the man himself!

Bill C-16 is exactly that kind of law. Don’t be fooled by those who claim otherwise. The discrimination that trans activists, the Trudeau Liberals and their noise machine, i.e., the Canadian media, and everyone else who supports this bill, all want to see banned, is not just the refusing of jobs or apartments to transgender people but the refusal to accept as real a “gender identity” that does not match up with biological sex. Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto who has been fighting this sort of nonsense at the provincial level for years, and who testified against the Bill before the Senate committee that reviewed it, has warned that it could lead to someone being charged with a “hate crime” for using the pronoun – “he” or “she” – that lines up with a person's birth sex, rather than some alternative pronoun made-up to designate that person’s “gender identity.” Supporters of the bill have mocked this assertion but we have seen this sort of thing before – progressives propose some sort of measure, someone points out that the measure will have this or that negative consequence, the progressives ridicule that person, and then, when the measure is passed and has precisely the negative consequences predicted, say that those negatively affected deserved it in the first place.

Indeed, progressive assurances that Peterson’s fears are unwarranted ring incredibly hollow when we consider that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has said that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity” would be considered discrimination under a similar clause in Ontario’s provincial Human Rights Code, if it were to take place in a context where discrimination in general is prohibited, such as the workplace. Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, writing in the National Post, explains that this new expansion of human rights legislation goes way beyond previous “hate speech” laws in its infringement upon freedom of speech. “When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself,” Pardy writes, but “Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.”

It is too much, perhaps, to expect Captain Airhead to understand or care about this. Like his father before him – and indeed, every Liberal Prime Minister going back to and including Mackenzie King – he has little to no appreciation of either the traditional freedoms that are part of Canada’s British heritage or the safeguards of those freedoms bequeathed us by the Fathers of Confederation in our parliamentary government under the Crown. For a century, Liberal governments have whittled away at every parliamentary obstacle to the absolute power of a Prime Minister backed by a House majority. The powers of the Crown, Senate, and the Opposition in the House to hold the Prime Minister and his Cabinet accountable have all been dangerously eroded in this manner. Last year the present government attempted to strip Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of what few means it has left of delaying government legislation. The motion in question was withdrawn after the Prime Minister came under strong criticism for behaving like a spoiled, bullying, petty thug in the House but it revealed his character. These Opposition powers are a necessary safeguard against Prime Ministerial dictatorship but Captain Airhead, the son of an admirer of Stalin and Mao, regards them, like the freedoms they protect, as an unacceptable hindrance to his getting his way as fast as he possibly can. Years ago, George Grant wrote that the justices of the American Supreme Court in Roe v Wade had “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought - the triumph of the will.” This is also the modus operandi of Captain Airhead and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Subversive Film

Wonder Woman

Produced by Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Tencent Pictures, Wanda Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Screenplay by Allan Heinberg
Story by Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs
Distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures

A presumably biologically male individual – for reasons that shall become apparent I cannot call him a man – named Steve Rose, was not impressed with the new Wonder Woman film, and while some of his criticisms – “bludgeoning special effects”, “a messy, often wildly implausible plot” are technical, his primary objections are political. Writing for the left-liberal Guardian newspaper, Rose blasts the movie for failing to be the “glass-ceiling-smashing blockbuster” that he had been anticipating. Later in his review he laments the fact that it left its potential for “patriarchy upending subversion” as an unexplored avenue.

Anyone paying attention to the silly controversies that surrounded the release of this film, from the jeremiads over the heroine’s shaved armpits to the demands for women-only showings, will know that feminist ideologues had high hopes for this film. Not only is its protagonist a female superhero – the female superhero, for that matter, as no other has come remotely close to the same stature as William Moulton Marston’s legendary creation – its director was a woman as well, Patty Jenkins. Surely such a film would not only be a step towards redressing the gender imbalance in the superhero genre but would also be a vehicle for proclaiming the feminist gospel of strong, independent, women who do not need men?

Perhaps the production team had such thoughts in mind as well – finding somebody in today’s Hollywood who is not heavily programmed with left-liberal ideology including feminism is like finding a needle in a haystack – but they had other priorities. They were, after all, making the fourth in a series of films leading up to this fall’s Justice League in which DC hopes to achieve the same kind of success that their rival Marvel has had by tying in movie versions of all their main characters to the Avengers franchise. Apart from the character’s cameo in last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, this was to be the big screen debut of the character who comprises, together with the title characters of the aforementioned film, the triumvirate of DC heroes that have dominated the world of comic book superheroes since the Second World War – a full two decades before Stan Lee became the Edward Stratemeyer of cartoons and ushered in the Marvel Age of Comics with the Fantastic Four, Spider-man, the Incredible Hulk, etc. Clearly a lot more was riding on the success of this film than satisfying the demands of feminists.

It is possible, however, that what really has Mr. Rose’s panties all tied up in a twist, is that the film is subversive after all – subversive of his own beloved, if entirely unrealistic, beliefs. Although this is purely unintentional on the part of the film’s producers it is nevertheless the effect of the story’s plot. Note that to explain how I will have to give away that plot in its entirety so if you have not seen the film and wish to do so without knowing how it ends, go and do so now before reading any further.

The film begins and ends, shortly after the events depicted in Dawn of Justice, with the title character, portrayed by Israeli model and actress Gal Gadot, reflecting on her personal history in response to a message from Bruce Wayne. She was raised on the island of Themyscira – a tropical paradise where nobody grows old, hidden from the rest of the world by a magical barrier, and populated entirely by women – the man-hating Amazon warriors. Diana, the future Wonder Woman, is the princess of the Amazons, being daughter of their legendary Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Her father, as she discovers at the end of the movie, was Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Her mother keeps her paternal heritage hidden from her, telling her that she had sculpted her from clay and begged Zeus to bring her to life.

Note that if you are looking for “patriarchy upending subversion” in a strong, female, warrior character, it rather defeats this purpose if the character is both an Amazon and a goddess. From Homer’s Iliad onwards, these have always been exceptions to the patriarchal rule that only men are warriors.

So why did Hippolyta deceive her daughter about her origins? Well, it turns out that Zeus had a particular purpose in mind in siring Diana. In the backstory to the movie, an interesting synthesis of Greek mythology and the Biblical account of the creation and fall of man, Zeus had created man as a just and kind being, but man was corrupted by the god of war, Ares. Zeus then created the Amazons as a positive influence but they were enslaved. Hippolyta led them in revolt, but Ares killed off the gods when they came to the Amazons' defence until Zeus, himself fatally wounded, forced Ares into retreat and then created Themyscira for the Amazons and sired Diana so that there would be someone powerful enough to finish off Ares should he return. Hippolyta gives her daughter an abridged version of this story, leaving out the information that Zeus was her father and that she herself was the weapon intended to be used against Ares.

Hippolyta clearly does not relish the thought of her daughter performing the task for which she was sired. She is reluctant to allow Diana to be trained as a warrior at all, relenting only when it becomes evident that she cannot prevent it. While this is partly maternal concern for the safety of her daughter, she also does not believe the world to be worth saving. When Diana leaves the island during World War I with the intention of hunting down Ares Hippolyta tells her daughter “be careful in the world of men – they do not deserve you.”

The reason Diana left the island is because she had learned of the “war to end all wars” from American Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) whom she had rescued from the ocean after his plane crashed just off the coast of Themyscira. Having become convinced that Ares is behind the war, she arms herself with the Amazonian body armour that would become her Wonder Woman costume, a golden lasso that compels people to tell the truth, and a sword she has been deceived into thinking is the god-killer. She makes a deal with Trevor – she will help him get off the island and back to the war, and he will take her to the front where she can confront Ares. Convinced that a particular German warmonger is Ares in disguise she slays him – but the war still rages on. Trevor explains that people are not always good and share in the responsibility for the evils of war – there isn’t just one bad guy to blame. When she repeats her mother’s words he admits that it may be true, but tells her that it isn’t a matter of deserving, that if she truly believes the war should end and that lives should be saved, she should keep on fighting but she turns from him in disillusionment.

At this point the real Ares (David Thewlis) reveals himself to her. She attacks him with the sword she thinks is the god-killer, but he easily destroys it. He then reveals to her everything that Hippolyta had kept secret – and tries to persuade her to join him in his hatred of mankind. When she hears her mother’s sentiments again, this time from the mouth of her archenemy, she repeats the arguments of Steve Trevor, whom she has just seen sacrifice himself to save thousands of innocent lives, and blasts Ares to smithereens with lightning. Lightning was, not insignificantly, the weapon of her father.

So how best do we encapsulate all of this? To become Wonder Woman and defeat her archenemy, Diana had to leave her women-only island, reject the philosophy shared by both her mother and the villain, and discover the father her mother had hidden from her and choose the path he had set for her. To do all of this she had to meet, fall in love with, and draw inspiration from the man whose judgement she ultimately accepts over that of her man-hating mother.

Yes, this film is subversive all right – subversive of its own feminist message. For that it deserves an award.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hic et Ille VII

An Apology to My Readers

My posting has been light all year and it has now been over a month since my last post. I apologize for this. It is due to my writing time being tied up with projects external to this blog. One of these is quite a large project and is still not finished so posting may continue to be light for a few months to come – perhaps the remainder of this year.

So We Have a New Conservative Leader

In the Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership convention last month, Maxime Bernier the most libertarian of the candidates was leading up until the thirteenth ballot, which gave the leadership to Andrew Scheer. This outcome has its positives and its negatives, as of course would have been the case with any of the alternatives as well. Among the positives, Scheer is a strong royalist – an absolute essential for a Tory leader – and has the reputation of being a social conservative if not as staunch a one as Brad Trost or Pierre Lemieux. Also impressive is Scheer’s promise that as Prime Minister he would withdraw federal funds from universities that allow Social Justice Warriors to get away with bullying, harassing, and silencing those who hold opinions contrary to theirs.

The down-side to Scheer is that he is very much a Stephen Harper man. Apart from the fact that this taints him by association with the man who made himself so unliked during his time as Prime Minister that the country was willing to hand the reins of power over to a shallow little empty-headed egomaniac, there is something in the Harper brand of neo-conservatism that puts a damper on the enthusiasm that would otherwise be inspired by each of the listed positive points.

Harper-style neo-conservatism blends elements from the traditions of both the old Conservative Party and the Reform Party/Canadian Alliance. The latter was a very pro-American tradition that believed in closer economic partnership with the United States – free trade, traditionally a plank of the Liberal Party platform – and in introducing democratic reforms to the upper house of Parliament to make it more like the American Senate. These aspects of the Reform tradition have survived into the neo-conservatism of the present Conservative Party even though they are the most difficult to harmonize with the elements, such as royalism, taken from the tradition of the old Conservative Party. Scheer himself is on the record as saying “I support an elected Senate with meaningful term limits.” Many royalists such as myself would say that to insist upon elections and term limits for the Senate weakens the foundation upon which you will need to stand in fighting for our hereditary monarchy should it come under republican attack. (1)

Neo-conservatives are convinced that fiscal conservatism wins elections but social conservatism loses elections. This is what the media, the academics, and the other parties tell them, but what it boils down to is the idea that people want balanced budgets, spending cuts, and tax breaks more than they want secure homes and communities, strong marriages and families, and a stable moral environment in which to raise their children. This is nonsense – but try convincing a neoconservative of that. This is why social conservatives know that while neo-conservatives will court their votes and tolerate them within the “big tent” – which is more than can be expected from the leadership of the other parties – they will do nothing to advance the causes dear to their hearts.

Finally, as welcome as are Scheer’s proposals for cutting off funds to schools that allow politically incorrect viewpoints to be silenced by the tyranny of well-organized cultural Marxist bullies, civil libertarians will remember that the Harper administration was no friend to freedom of speech. The private members bill that finally brought about the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act – the “hate speech” clause – during the Harper years had the support of the governing party, but not of the government itself. Worse, while it is the Trudeau wing of the Liberal Party that has demonstrated a propensity for passing absurd laws that punish people for saying things about women and racial, religious, and sexual minorities that egalitarians consider offensive, the Harper neo-conservatives have shown themselves to be fond of enhancing the government’s powers to monitor our private conversations in the name of national security. This is what Bill C-51, which made Harper so unpopular towards the end of his premiership, was all about. The response of both the American and Canadian versions of neo-conservatism to the increasing threat of Islamic terrorism has not been the sensible policy of keeping potential jihadists out of our countries while letting Muslims live in peace if they can in their own. Rather it is the exact opposite of this – allowing mass Islamic immigration into our countries while bombing the hell out of them in their own. When, as any thinking person could have predicted, this produces an increase in incidents of Islamic terrorism, they then introduce intrusive domestic surveillance and other police state measures to deal with it.

If there is an unmixed positive about Scheer, something that does not have a corresponding negative to diminish it, it is that he has said that he would scrap the carbon tax which, like so many other of the schemes of the Liberals/NDP/Greens is an evil wearing the mask of a good. The carbon tax raises the cost of living for all Canadians while reducing the funds they have available to meet their expenses, hurting the poor and the working class the most. The villains who have imposed it, however, like that soulless monster Justin Trudeau, go around bragging about how caring and compassionate they are, because they are doing something for the environment. In reality the environment is not helped in the least by this shameless money grab. Let us hope that if Scheer gets the opportunity to put this promise into practice that he will follow through.

Kudos to America’s Caesar

Liberals have, for decades, denied the obvious fact that the news media, in its editorializing and increasingly in its reporting, is heavily biased in their favour. How much longer, one wonders, can they maintain this façade? It is difficult to know which is more sickening – the way the Canadian media fawns over our grossly incompetent, arrogant, and idiotic Prime Minister or the way the American media pounces on the smallest flaws they can find in their President as grounds for terminating his term in office. “He starts on the wrong side of his mouth when brushing his teeth – impeach him!”

While there is much that President Trump deserves criticism for – among other things, the way he has moved away from the Buchananite rhetoric of his campaign towards a more typical neo-conservatism with regards to the Middle East – he deserves praise for the move for which the international media has sought to crucify him over the last two weeks. On June 1st he announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change a year and a half ago. This agreement was a fraud of the same type as the Trudeau Liberal carbon tax, just on a larger scale.

Let me explain it to you. The climate on this planet of ours has never been constant. It has been changing for as long as there has been an earth and will continue to change for as long as earth exists. The amount of that change which can be attributed to human activity, past, present, or future, is a fraction of a fraction of a percentage point. Even if the theory of anthropogenic climate change were true – and it is not – and the earth’s climate was changing in the way the theory says it is, for the reasons it says it is, and with the results the theory predicts, the actions that the governments of the world agreed to take in the Paris Accord would not have the slightest effect on it.

The Paris Accord is about one thing and one thing only - allowing the political leaders of the world to show off, pose as saviours of the world, and otherwise virtue signal for a scheme that does nothing – absolutely nothing – except take wealth from poor and middle class taxpayers in rich white countries and give it to wealthy kleptocrats in poor non-white countries.

Kudos to Donald Trump for pulling his country out of this farce.

Ontario To Rename Itself New Sodom?


If, unlike the residents of George Orwell’s Oceania that we are all starting to resemble, you can think back a couple of decades and remember the past as it actually happened, you will recall that at the time one of the hot issues on the agenda of what was then called the gay-rights movement was the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children or not. Those who supported the status quo, which prevented them from adopting, did so on the basis of a child’s need for both a father and a mother. That their reasoning was perfectly sound and legitimate did not prevent the other side from getting into a tizzy, shrieking hysterically and calling it bigotry and discrimination and all sorts of other nasty and unpleasant sounding things. That was basically all that their own argument amounted to and eventually some judge got so sick and tired of their whining that they won.

Now, in the current year, the Liberal government of the Province of Ontario, headed by a hatchet-faced lesbian with an axe to grind, has just passed a law, Bill 89, which allows – or, perhaps, requires – foster and adoption agencies to turn down couples who oppose the agenda of the alphabet soup gang. In practice, this means “Evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants, traditional Roman Catholics, and orthodox Christians in general, need not apply.” Worse, it gives Children’s Aid the right to take natural children away from such parents.

It is remarkable, is it not, how quickly those who start out by saying “we just want our rights” can move to taking away rights from other people once they attain power.

Christians, of course, are not the only ones who hold quaint, old-fashioned, antiquated ideas like that if you are born with a penis you are male, if you are born with a vagina you are female, that males should pair with females and vice-versa, and that male-female couples should raise their children together. All of these Muslims that Kathleen Wynne, like Justin Trudeau, is so enthusiastic about bringing into the country, think the same way. Do you think that now that under the provisions of Bill 89 the Children’s Aid of Ontario is going to start taking their children away?

Yeah right.

(1) For a Senate Reform proposal that addresses the problems with the Senate as it stands, while remaining true to the principles the Fathers of Confederation had in mind when they made the upper chamber of our Parliament an appointed Senate, see my essay "Senate Reform": http://thronealtarliberty.blogspot.com/2012/08/senate-reform.html

Monday, May 1, 2017

Scriptural Truth, The Equality of the Sexes, and “History’s Greatest Monster”

Suppose someone were to tell you that the idea that men ought to love their wives is archaic, out-of-date, and offensive and that moreover it was invented by women in a bygone age in order to make their men into slaves and that it needs to be done away with in our more highly enlightened era. Would you not think this person to be stark, raving, mad and furthermore be justified in so thinking?

Let us suppose that the person making this novel argument against the uxorial right to husbandly affection professes to be a Christian. You make the observation that “husbands, love your wives” is backed by divine authority, being an injunction written to the church of Ephesus by the Apostle Paul in inspired writ. Would you consider his exegesis to be sound if he replied that this verse was the product of the selfsame gynocratic culture that he has been decrying and that it is in no way binding on Christians today?

You, dear reader, knowing the Scriptures would undoubtedly raise in objection to this singular interpretation the fact that the Apostolic injunction is grounded in a metaphorical application of the relationship between a husband and wife to that of Christ and His church and therefore cannot be simply dismissed by an appeal to the so-called cultural argument. The New Testament commandment to husbands together with accompanying reasoned explanation reads in whole as follows:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; (Eph. 5:25-33a)

The chances are, of course, quite slim, that you will ever find yourself in discussion with anyone who maintains that the Apostle’s commandment to husbands to love their wives is cultural and non-binding. I suspect, however, that you have probably encountered more than one person who insists that the parallel instructions to wives from the same passage be interpreted this way. The final verse of the passage quoted above, concludes with “and the wife see that she reverence her husband” and immediately prior to that passage we find the following addressed to wives:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Eph. 5:22-24)

As you can see, the Apostle grounds his instructions to wives in the same metaphorical likening of the relationship between a husband and wife to that between Christ and his church that his commandment to husbands is based upon. There is no honest, consistent, and logical way to say that the one commandment (to husbands) is an enduring and binding edict that stands for all time whereas the other (to wives) is a product of first century culture that can be set aside for our own day. Yet this is precisely what many do with these texts.

The reason for this is because the instructions to wives contain an element that clashes with an idea that is considered very important in the culture of the present day. It declares the role of husband to be an office of authority and the relationship of marriage to be a hierarchical relationship. The culture of the Western world in the present day has been permeated by the modern ideology of liberalism to the point that its ideals are widely regarded as so self-evidently true as to be beyond reasonable question. One such ideal is that of the equality of the sexes. This is an ideal that does not harmonize well with Ephesians 5:22-24 or, for that matter, the similar instructions given in Col. 3:18 and 1 Peter 3:1-7 or the instructions to Timothy, Titus, and the Corinthian church that restrict women from certain authoritative teaching offices.

The question, therefore, for those of us who claim Christianity as our faith and therefore profess to regard the Holy Scriptures as authoritative sacred writ, inspired by God Himself, is do we subject the ideals of the present day to the judgement of the Scriptures or do we do it the other way around.

One person who has chosen the latter path is James Earl Carter Jr., who served as 39th President of the United States of America from 1977 to 1981, and who was amusingly described by a member of an angry mob in an episode of the Simpsons as “history’s greatest monster”. Seventeen years ago, Carter decided to secede from the Southern Baptist Convention, the denomination in which he had been raised, in which he had served as a Sunday School teacher, and which had provided him with the “born again Christian” credentials he used to his advantage in his gubernatorial and presidential election campaigns. He objected to the SBC’s decision to take a step away from sliding into the abyss of the unbelief of liberalism by affirming a conservative view of Scriptural authority. He especially objected to their affirmation of the abiding authority of the above discussed verses. Nine years later he wrote an article explaining his decision, entitled “Losing My Religion for Equality” that was published in the Australian newspaper The Age in July of 2009 but which has recently resurfaced from the obscurity it deserves to once again poison the minds of gullible people.

The article is neither inspired nor insightful, consisting mostly of a psittacine recital of tired out liberal and feminist talking points, each of which has been soundly rebutted a thousand times over. Even the title is, except for the last two words, second-hand, having been borrowed from that of the song that had become R.E.M.’s biggest hit – eighteen years previously. Carter writes:

During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

This view of church history sounds like it was lifted from the rants of a Dan Brown villain – presumably from Sir Ian McKellen’s portrayal of such in the film version of The Da Vinci Code that was released three years prior to the article as it is highly dubious that Carter possesses the literacy necessary to have made it through the novel. At any rate it is pure nonsense. The fourth is the century in which Emperor Constantine, inspired by a dream, won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge under a standard bearing the symbol ☧ (Chi Rho – the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek), converted to Christianity, legalized the faith, and called the patriarchs and other bishops of the church to the first post-New Testament general council (the First Council of Nicaea of 325 AD). Towards the end of the century the Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the official religion of Rome. This century has long been pointed to by those who wish to resurrect the heresies that plagued the church in the early centuries as the point when the church abandoned a supposedly pristine and pure primitive Christianity for an adulterated pagan version. It is particularly reviled by those who reject the Trinity and the hypostatic union of perfect deity and perfect humanity in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is only by pointing to the Gnostics and other heretical sects who denied these doctrines, the rebuttal of whose false teachings occupies much of the writings of the second and third century Fathers, and who were formally condemned by the church in the Nicene and subsequent councils, and by regarding these rather than the orthodox as the “real Christians” that this myth of an early church full of female priests and bishops can be maintained. To hold to this perspective consistently, one also has to reject the authority of the Apostolic writings traditionally considered to be Holy Scripture by orthodox Christianity, i.e., the New Testament, for it is the earliest manifestation of these heresies combatted by the early church fathers and condemned in the early church councils that was the doctrine held by those that St. John called “antichrists” in his epistles.

Such a rejection of the authority of the New Testament can, in fact, be found in Jimmy Carter’s screed. He makes it absolutely clear that when Scriptural authority and truth come into conflict with the liberal spirit of the age, he sides with the latter over the former.

Carter says, for example:

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths.

By saying that these verses – rather than an interpretation of them with which he disagrees – are the product of the time and place in which they were written and that they are an expression of the selfish wish of male leaders to “hold on to their influence” rather than eternal truth – he is denying their divine inspiration. He thus testifies to his holding to the view that the Scriptures contain the Word of God – or that they “become” the Word of God when we experience God through them – but that they are not themselves the Word of God. This is called the “neo-orthodox” view of the Scriptures, but the term is a misnomer for this is not a form of orthodoxy. The orthodox doctrine of Christianity is that the Holy Scriptures are the written Word of God which bears authoritative witness to the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

Carter rejects the orthodox view of the Scriptures because he has weighed them in the balance of the modern liberal idea of the equality of the sexes found them to be wanting. By doing so, however, he has been applying an unjust measure.

Equality means sameness. It is used in political philosophy to refer to the idea that people are all basically the same and that they ought to be the same in terms of status, power, and wealth. Egalitarianism is immature to the point of being infantile – an unworthy elevation of the toddler’s cry “Johnny’s piece of pie is bigger than mine!” into something that passes for an intellectually respectable political position. Its appeal is to human vice – specifically to the vice of envy, of looking to others and hating them for what they have that one does not have oneself. It is the wellspring of the evil of violent revolution.

The egalitarianism of our age is a form of idolatry – not in the literal sense, of awarding a wood or stone representation of a pagan deity the honour and worship due to the true and living God but in the extended, philosophical sense of the substitution of a counterfeit or lesser good for a true or higher good. In this case equality has been swapped for the good that has been recognized since ancient times under the name justice. Justice is the state of being and acting rightly in accordance with divine, natural, and civil law. Unlike equality, justice recognizes the legitimacy of hierarchy, of differences between people, and of differences both in degree and kind between our relationships with other people, and the obligations it places upon us differ accordingly. Justice is a far more difficult and exacting standard than equality, which is perhaps why our lazy and decadent age, has turned to the latter.

Men and women, as everyone who is not a total moron knows, are not the same. They both belong to the species Homo sapiens to be sure, and there are many ways of the ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, one nose variety, in which they are alike. Traditionally, orthodox Christianity has acknowledged other, less trivial, ways in which they are the same. Men and women are alike created in the image of God, alike fallen into sin and exiled from Paradise, alike loved by God and through faith share alike in the redemption provided by God through Jesus Christ. In these senses men and women could be said to be equal and it is in the last mentioned of these senses that Galatians 3:28 – written by the same man who wrote most of the verses that Jimmy Carter objects to - declares there to be “neither male nor female” in Christ. In other ways, men and women are very different, and until very recently, our societies and traditional religions, took those differences into consideration in the roles assigned to the two sexes. We never came close to achieving actual justice, of course, but the rise of sexual egalitarianism was not a step towards this ideal but rather away from it.

One of the biggest differences between the sexes is natural and biological – women conceive, carry developing foeti in their wombs for nine months, give birth, and then nourish young infants with their milk. Nature has placed no similar burden upon men. The traditional way in which human societies dealt with this was to acknowledge the difference and to compel men to protect and provide for the women they impregnate and the children they sire. Indeed, human societies traditionally inspired men to do all sorts of unpleasant things, from working at backbreaking labour from sunup to sundown to going into battle to fight and die, with the motivation that they were doing all this as a duty owed to their wives and children. Need we look further for evidence of the insanity of liberal egalitarianism than to the fact that it seriously maintains that such societies were organized for the oppression of women and preservation of a male monopoly on power? Those who make the equality of the sexes their goal, have a very different approach to this natural difference between men and women. It is to assert the right of women to terminate their pregnancies.

This is a matter on which Jimmy Carter has long sat on the fence. Having courted the evangelical vote throughout his political career, he never endorsed the “abortion on demand” pro-choice position of the typical liberal Democrat and has at times criticized his own party for its position, seemingly trying to move it closer towards the pro-life position. In the article we are discussing, however, he used language that sounds very much like that of the pro-choice movement. More recently he told the Huffington Post that Jesus would approve of abortion in cases of rape or incest. It was inevitable that someone who has worshipped at the shrine of the equality of the sexes would eventually come around to endorsing abortion to some degree for that idol is the equivalent in our day of the Moloch of the Old Testament.

In the same interview Carter said that Jesus would approve of same-sex marriage, providing further testimony that when he speaks of “Jesus” he is not talking about the Jesus of orthodox Christianity. In this we can see the idea of the equality of the sexes taken to its logical conclusion. If the sexes are equal they are the same and interchangeable, and if that is the case, there can be no reasonable objection to a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman. If there are to be no distinct roles for men and women, there is no barrier to a man being another man’s wife, or a woman being another woman’s husband. For that matter, if the sexes truly are equal and therefore interchangeable, there is no barrier to a man being a woman or a woman being a man. Those who still believe in traditional, man-woman, marriage, and can see the gender insanity that has swept North America in the last couple of years for the madness it is, should think twice about jumping aboard Jimmy Carter’s “equality of the sexes” train for that is the vehicle that has led us to this terminus.

Climbing aboard that train is not an option for orthodox Christians of any denomination. We are to evaluate the ideals of our culture by the truths of the Holy Scriptures and not the other way around. We are not to be like King Jehoiakim of Judah, cutting out parts of the Scriptures we don’t like and burning them. We cannot have Galatians 3:28 without 1 Timothy 2:9-15. If husbands are to love their wives, wives must submit to their husbands. If in our doctrine we reject the authority of fathers/husbands for the sake of equality, we will find that authority not so easy to undermine. Children will continue to look to their fathers for the leadership and direction that God has appointed them to provide, and if men are driven from the pews by these feminist attacks on the role of father and husband from the pulpit, the children will follow them out, a fact to which the rapidly shrinking and aging congregations of the churches that have gone this route bears testimony. Look to their example and be warned.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hic et Ille VI

A Correction

In my essay of March 30th, on the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada I declared that anything less than wholehearted support for the institution of royal monarchy ought to disqualify anyone from running as a candidate for the Conservative Party, much less for the party’s leadership. On those grounds I said that Erin O’Toole ought to be ruled out. This was based upon a survey of the prospective Conservative leaders done by the blogger A Kisagari Colour of the blog Maple Monarchists who had reported, on March 3rd, that O’Toole “has refused to answer my question regarding the monarchy.” On the ninth of this month, Maple Monarchists posted a second entry on O’Toole. It turns out that he had been given several policy questions at once and that his collective response was one of “While I don't have these detailed policy positions right now, I am working on it... I intend to release my policy proposals in the near future.” Commenting on this, A Kisagari Colour says “in hindsight 'refusal' was too strong of a word to have used” and quotes a statement Mr. O’Toole has given to the Monarchist League of Canada, expressing his “steadfast support for the monarchy as a foundational element of our parliamentary democracy and a positive force in our society” and outlining his past track record of support for the institution. Welcome back to the race, Mr. O’Toole!


Common Sense from Kellie Leitch


Kellie Leitch, one of the other candidates for the Conservative leadership, sent out an e-mail on April 22nd with the subject line “a common sense approach to immigration” and the content of the message lives up to this. She talks about a visit she made to Emerson, the border town in my home province of Manitoba that has been deluged with illegal aliens crossing over from the United States since the Trump administration introduced its highly sensible immigration/refugee policies a couple of months ago. While the pinheaded dolt who to the great misfortune of our Dominion has been put in charge of Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa has refused to talk to the people of Emerson whose lives he is ruining with his bloody “compassion” and his damned obnoxious and obscene “welcoming” attitude towards anyone and everyone who self-identifies as an “asylum seeker”, Leitch did so talk to them and stated the following:

Throughout this campaign I have been clear:
• I will ensure that every immigrant, refugee, and visitor to Canada receives an interview with a trained immigration officer

• I will ensure they are screened for their agreement for Canadian values before they are admitted to the country

• I will ensure that illegal border crossers are detained, questioned, and returned to the United States

• I will ensure that any city that declares itself a sanctuary does not receive federal funding for transportation

While this still leaves much to be desired it is by far the most sensible position on these matters that a major Canadian political leader has taken in the last twenty years.

Common Sense From Andrew Scheer

Andrew Scheer, as noted in my essay on the Conservative leadership race, has taken a particularly strong stand for the monarchy for which he ought to be commended. Now, in his bid for the Conservative leadership, he has also proposed measures to combat the Social Justice Warriors who harass, bully, and intimidate officials on the campuses of our universities into cancelling events and banning speakers with whom they disagree. Pointing to incidents such as the harassment of the University of Toronto’s Professor Jordan Peterson and the cancelling of pro-life meetings at Wilfred Laurier, Scheer has called on the government to withhold federal funding from any university that gives in to this kind of bullying and refuses to protect freedom of speech. This proposal is long overdue and it is greatly to the credit of Scheer that he has put it forward, just as it is to his credit that he has fought for freedom of speech in Parliament against the draconian thought control bills of the present Liberal government.

If there are any who question why it is laudable in a prospective Conservative leader that he be a strong and consistent advocate of a liberal doctrine like freedom of speech the answer is that while classical liberals may have been the first to formulate the idea of free speech it is an idea to which all people who genuinely believe the creeds they profess can subscribe. The person who believes his creed is the person who believes it to be true and truth is what it is independently of whether a single soul believes it. While there is danger in error to the minds, hearts and souls of those it misleads error can pose no threat of harm to truth itself. Truth, therefore, rather than suppression, is the answer to error. Whether you are a Tory like myself, who believes in Christian orthodoxy, in time-tested ways, in ancient institutions like royal monarchy, and in his country or some left-wing radical who believes in socialism, feminism, egalitarianism, anthropogenic global warming and other such asinine drivel you testify best to your confidence in the truth of your creed by responding to those who disagree with you with persuasion rather than suppression. Those who seek to suppress views they do not like testify only to their own lack of faith in their supposed convictions.

Liberals may have been the first to formulate this idea, but today they are the ones who seek to abridge the freedom of speech of others. Eleven years ago Sir Peregrine Worsthorne memorably noted that “with remarkable rapidity, from a doctrine designed to take government off the backs of the people, liberalism has become a doctrine designed to put it back again.” Nowhere is this more evident that when it comes to freedom of speech and what this tells us is that liberalism is a creed that has run its course, which everybody is now required to pay lip service to, although no one really believes it anymore.

SJWs Lampooned by The Simpsons

In a recent episode of the long-running television cartoon The Simpsons the kind of campus bullies referred to in the previous segment were brilliantly and hilariously lampooned. At one time, successful satire required quite a bit of exaggeration. Those days are behind us now for there is very little exaggeration in this.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Easter, Christian Liberty, and Religious Nuts

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.
– George Herbert


If you open your Bible to the Gospel according to St. John and turn to chapter ten verses twenty-two and twenty-three you will read the following:

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

The feast of the dedication, which had drawn our Lord to the temple in Jerusalem, is an annual Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights or, more commonly, Hanukkah. Hanukkah is an eight day celebration that takes place roughly around the time that we celebrate Christmas. It begins on Kislev the 25th in the Hebrew calendar and since that calendar is a lunar calendar there is no corresponding fixed date in our calendar which is a solar calendar. It can begin in late November – sometimes, although very rarely, as early as American Thanksgiving – and as late as Christmas, most often falling in early to mid-December.

What is most interesting about our Lord’s observance of this feast is that it is not a feast commanded in the Torah. In the covenant God made with Israel at Mt. Sinai following His deliverance of them from their bondage in Egypt He instituted several holy days and festivals to be observed including the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Exodus 20:8-12), Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16, 23:26-32), Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles ( Leviticus 23:33-36), and, of course, the Passover, the annual commemoration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Hanukkah is not one of these feasts, nor does the Old Testament record it being commanded or established by God at any later point. In the Bibles that most evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants read, the record of the events which Hanukkah commemorates cannot be found for the festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, following its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt. These events are recorded in First and Second Maccabees, books which were part of every Christian Bible for the first millennium and a half of Christian history, but which have been expunged from the Bibles of evangelicals and fundamentalists, determined to out-Protestant the Protestant Reformers who themselves kept these books in their Bibles, albeit removing them from the Old Testament and assigning them a secondary, less authoritative, place.

I mention all of this because Holy Week is fast approaching and once again I find myself plagued and pestered by a nuisance of an acquaintance with questions about why we have replaced the holy days God has commanded, i.e., in the Old Testament, with “man-made” and “pagan” holidays like Easter. It is not because I think this man deserves an answer that I am writing this. He most certainly does not. The individual in question is a boorish lout who glories in his own ignorance like a sow wallowing in its mire, a legalist and a Judaizer who calls himself a “Spirit-filled Christian” but by this really means nothing more than a religious nut. I am writing this for the sake of those who might be led astray by him or others who think like him.

The holiday which we call Easter in the English-speaking world, and which Germans call das Ostern, is called Pâques in French, Pascua in Spanish, Pasqua in Italian, and Páscoa in Portuguese. All of these are derived from Pascha, the Latin name for the holiday, itself a transliteration of the Greek name, which is the earliest, Greek having been the language spoken by the Christian church in its infancy. While English may be the most widely spoken of these languages today, in the vast majority of languages spoken by Christians, both now and throughout history, Easter is known by some variation of the original Greek Pascha.

This, in itself, is sufficient to do away with the claim that Easter is “pagan” for that claim rests almost entirely on the English/German name of the holiday. It is claimed that the name is derived from that of a pagan goddess once worshipped by the Germanic speaking peoples who was honoured in the month that corresponds to our April, the month in which Easter usually falls. Whatever truth there may be to this – the etymology has not been established beyond dispute – the holiday that is celebrated under this name by English and German speaking Christians, is the holiday that other Christians call Pascha. Even in English we use an adjective derived from the holiday’s original name when we speak of things pertaining to Easter – “paschal candle”, “paschal bread”, etc. There is nothing pagan about the name Pascha which is a Hellenized spelling of Pesach, the Hebrew name of the Old Testament holiday that in English is known as the Passover.

Although in most languages and parts of the world, the Christian holiday shares the same name as the Jewish holiday that occurs each year at approximately the same time, it is not the same holiday. It commemorates different events than those which the Jewish holiday commemorates although, since the events the Christian holiday commemorates occurred during the Passover season, and the events the Jewish holiday commemorates have been understood by Christians since the days of the Apostles to prefigure or typify the events the Christian holiday commemorates, Christian lectionaries traditionally assign the Exodus to the Old Testament readings in the season leading up to Easter.

In the case of both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Pascha/Easter the holiday commemorates an act of salvation or deliverance through which God established a Covenant. The Jewish Passover commemorates the deliverance of a particular people, the Hebrews or Israelites, from slavery in Egypt. As part of the Covenant that God established with the Israelites after leading them out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai He commanded that the Passover be observed every year. It was only this one particular people that a) God delivered in the events commemorated by the Passover, b) that God made this Covenant with at Mt. Sinai, and c) that were commanded to keep the Passover. It was never intended to be a universal holiday, celebrated by everywhere in the world, and indeed, one of God’s very first instructions in establishing it was to forbid foreigners from partaking in it. (Ex. 12:43-45). To be allowed to partake of the Passover, a foreigner had to be formally adopted into the Israelite nation by undergoing circumcision (Ex. 12:48).

The Christian Pascha/Easter, by contrast, commemorates the salvation of the entire world from bondage to sin, death, Satan and hell that God accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Through these events God established a New Covenant, made not with a particular nation but one in which the entire world was invited to participate through faith. The invitation to partake of this covenant of grace is called the Gospel – the Good News about God’s gift of His Son and the salvation He accomplished through His death and resurrection. The Gospel was to be preached to the people with whom the Old Covenant had been made first but then to the other nations as well because the invitation to partake of the covenant of grace was to be extended to everybody.

The New Testament makes it quite clear how Christians are to view the Exodus and the Old Covenant with all of its sacrifices and ceremonies. The deliverance of the Jews from bondage in Egypt prefigures Christ’s salvation of the world from sin. Jesus Christ Himself is our Passover sacrifice (1 Cor. 5:7). The blood of the lamb, on the lintel and side-posts of the Hebrew houses, which caused the Angel of Death to pass over them is, like all of the sacrifices of the Old Testament, a type, a picture, of the blood of the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8) Whose death is the one final sacrifice that effectually takes away the sins of the world (Heb. 10:1-14).

Those, like my obnoxious acquaintance, who mock the majority of Christians for celebrating a holiday that commemorates the greater salvation of which the Old Testament Exodus was a mere type, point to the fact that the Old Testament holidays were commanded by God Himself whereas Easter was instituted by the church and is therefore “man made.” By this language they are obviously trying to evoke Matthew 15 and Mark 7 in which Jesus rebukes the Pharisees because “laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men.” We shall now see why this reasoning is erroneous and why those who take this position are closer in spirit to the Pharisees than those they mock.

In the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter was sent to preach the Gospel to the household of a Gentile centurion named Cornelius. They believed, received the Holy Spirit, and were baptized. From this time forward, the Gospel was preached to Gentiles as well as Jews. Soon thereafter, St. Paul and Barnabas made a large number of Gentile converts in several cities in Asia Minor and when they returned to the church in Antioch to report on the results of their evangelistic mission a controversy arose, with some insisting that the Gentile converts had to become Jews in order to become Christians – that they would have to be circumcised and keep all the laws of the Old Testament. An appeal was made to the Apostles in Jerusalem to settle this issue, and the first general council of the Christian church was called there, recorded in Acts 15. St. James presided, St. Peter testified to the vision he had received from God commanding him to take the Gospel to Cornelius (the vision involved a sheet coming down from heaven filled with non-kosher animals, him being ordered to eat, refusing, and then being told “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”) and the council ruled that a letter would be sent to the Gentile converts giving their judgement:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. (Acts. 15:28-29)

St. Paul wrote an entire book of the New Testament, the epistle to the Galatian church, against Judaizers who claimed that Christians, after being justified by grace, needed to follow the Old Testament Law. Christian liberty is also a major theme of his largest epistle, that to the Roman Church, which argues that men are justified before God by grace received through faith, rather than by the works of the law. This Christian liberty is a recurring theme throughout his other epistles as well (see Col. 2:16-17 and Eph. 2:12-16, for example). The law from which St. Paul wrote that Christians are free is not some body of man-made regulations – note that the same epistle to the Romans which stresses Christian liberty requires Christians to obey the civil authorities (chapter 13) - but the body of ordinances handed down to Israel by God Himself at Mt. Sinai.

This liberty does not mean that the Christian has permission to freely go out and sin, to do that which is wrong in itself (Rom. 6:1-2, 11-15). Some acts are right in themselves and others wrong in themselves, universally, and with regards to matters such as these God will hold all men accountable at the Final Judgement whether they have received His Law or not (Rom 2.12-16). Only a very small portion of the commandments in the Old Testament Law are of this type, however. The vast majority of the Law’s commandments pertained to matters of what food to eat, what clothing to wear, what holy days to remember, what sacrifices to make, how to build and furnish the tabernacle, and how to maintain ceremonial purity. It is stated repeatedly throughout the Torah that a principal reason for these detailed instructions was that these things were to keep the Israelites distinct and separate from the other tribes of Canaan and the surrounding lands, because God did not want them to become polluted by their wicked ways, to worship their idols, sacrifice their children, and the like. The law was not successful in this, nor was it ever intended to be, but rather to illustrate by its failure the superiority of the new covenant of grace that would replace it, which covenant would not erect a barrier between God’s people and the nations of the world, but would be universal and open to all.

Of all the New Testament verses on Christian liberty the ones most directly relevant to the subject at hand are the following, written by St. Paul to the church at Colosse:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ (Col. 2:16-17)

There are two aspects to this Christian liberty. First, the Christian church was not required to keep the holy days ordained in the Old Testament. Second, it was free to establish its own feasts and holy days. Those soi-dissent “spirit-filled Christians” who sneer at the church for doing just that are completely out of touch with the spirit of the New Testament.

By the end of the Book of Acts, Christians had already started to assemble together and break bread on “the first day of the week”, i.e., Sunday, (Acts 20:7) The reason Christians honoured the first day of the week in this way is because it was the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For the same reason, the earliest Christian holy day, dating back to the first century, is Pascha/Easter, the Christian Passover which annually looks back to the events to which the Jewish Passover looked forward.

Pascha/Easter is the culmination of a week (1) in which the events from the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), through the Last Supper on the night of His betrayal (Maundy Thursday) and the Crucifixion itself (Good Friday) to the Harrowing of Hell (Holy Saturday) are remembered, itself marking the anniversary of the Resurrection. (2) The bulk of the narrative of each of the New Testament Gospels is comprised of the events of this week. They are the events which are at the heart of the Christian evangel:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4)

Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter, is all about the Gospel. In the annual re-enactment of these events the church brings the Gospel to life to people in a far more powerful way than any sermon ever could.

Indeed, I suspect that this is what those who sneer at Easter as a “man-made” holiday and would seek to shackle Christians with chains forged on Mt. Sinai really object to the most in Easter. Having given their hearts to the Law, they have left no room for the Gospel.

(1) Note the interesting reverse parallelism with the Jewish Passover – which begins a week of celebration.

(2) There was much discussion and debate in the early church over when to celebrate Easter. The biggest disagreement was over whether it ought to coincide with the beginning of the Jewish Passover or with the day of the Resurrection. The latter viewpoint, obviously, won out, leaving the question of what day should be remembered as the day of the Resurrection (should it be held on the same day of the week as the Resurrection, i.e., Sunday every year, or the same day of the month, which would mean it moves throughout the week). The Council of Nicaea (325 AD) set it for the Sunday after the first full moon on/after the spring equinox. Contrary to much of the anti-ecclesiastical conspiracy mongering on the part of so-called “spirit-filled” religious nuts, this had nothing to do with paganism infiltrating the church but was an approximation based upon Scriptural evidence as when the Resurrection occurred. The Resurrection took place on the Sunday after the Passover began. The Passover begins on the evening of the fourteenth of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This, like the Ides of a Roman month, always fell on the full moon (the months of the Hebrew calendar are lunar months, beginning on the new moon). Nisan, as its original, pre-Babylonian captivity, name of Aviv indicates, was the first month in spring.






Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Conservative Leadership Race

As one whose lifelong Toryism is a matter of principle and conviction rather than partisan allegiance the present contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada has been of only tertiary interest, if that, to me. The party has compromised, sold-out, and otherwise betrayed the principles and ideals to which its name alludes time and time again.

Unfortunately, while the Conservatives cannot be trusted to live up to their own principles you can always count on the Grits to live down to our worst expectations of them as they do everything in their power to impose the latest version of their ever-changing insane ideology upon our country while feathering their nests, enhancing their power, and displaying the utmost arrogance and contempt for ordinary Canadians. The Liberal Party of Canada began its sordid existence as the party advocating selling out the heritage of honour and loyalty upon which our country was built for filthy American lucre and has spent a century and a half trying to undo Confederation, strip us of our traditions and legacy, rob us of our rights and freedoms and turn Canada into a pathetic, third-world, police state that hides the sheer nastiness of its politically correct oppressiveness behind a thin outward veneer of toxic niceness. Now, under the leadership of an intolerably arrogant, empty-headed and black-hearted coxcomb, the Grits have placed an onerous debt burden upon the backs of future generations of Canadians for centuries to come with their present extravagance, taken a gigantic first step towards the subjection of Christians, Jews, and all other non-Muslim Canadians to dhimmitude by passing, against widespread objection, a motion condemning Islamophobia, while seeking to shove the most recent gender insanity down all of our throats and, in complete disregard for the safety, well-being, and wishes of Canadians, thrown out the welcome mat to all those who pose enough of a security risk to be rejected as immigrants and asylum-seekers by our southern neighbour.

Therefore, while it is too much to hope that the Conservatives, returned to power, would actually put Tory principles into practice in their governance, such a return is to be wished if for no other reason than to rid the country of the disastrous misrule of the vile and loathsome gang of miscreants presently holding office. For a number of reasons – several decades worth of neglect in the teaching of Canadian civics in our schools and our having been swamped by Yankee pop culture in the same period being the chief two – the Canadian electorate treats our general elections as if they were the equivalent of American presidential contests and votes according to who the party leader is. Who the leader is, therefore, matters and so this race demands our attention.

Sadly, the quantity of the candidates seeking the leadership is far more impressive than the quality. Indeed, it is much easier to decide which candidates ought not to be allowed anywhere near the leadership than to pick one who stands out as deserving to win. Foremost among these is Kevin O’Leary. The Dragon’s Den star has been compared to American President Donald Trump but the comparison is cosmetic and superficial and has nothing to do with policy matters. O’Leary is a free trader and an immigration enthusiast, as well as being the most socially liberal candidate to ever seek the Tory leadership. He is most like Donald Trump in his personality – in his policies he is much closer to Justin Trudeau. It is hard to imagine a worse combination in a prospective Conservative leader.

The other Irishman, Erin O’Toole is also disqualified in my books. A Kisaragi Colour, the founder of the blog The Maple Monarchists, has surveyed the leadership candidates on their views of Canada’s constitutional monarchy. All who replied, either personally or through their staff, indicated their support of the institution to some degree or another, except O’Toole and Lisa Raitt, both of whom declined to indicate their position. This is a disqualifier. Royalism is a sine qua non of Canadian conservatism and someone who refuses to commit publicly to support of the monarchy has no business even running as a Conservative candidate much less for the leadership.

If the leadership were to be decided on that sole issue alone, Andrew Scheer would clearly be the best candidate as he indicated the most enthusiastic support for the royal institution by far of all the candidates in his response.

There are other issues to be considered, however, and here things become complicated because different candidates stand out as being the strongest on different sets of issues.

Take “social conservatism” for example. This commonly denotes the sort of moral and social positions that evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants, traditionalist Catholic and Orthodox, and other religious conservatives would support. This would include being pro-life, i.e., opposed to abortion and euthanasia, a supporter of traditional one man/one woman marriage, and an opponent of the alphabet soup gang agenda, of feminism, and often of the legalization of recreational drugs such as marijuana. For a couple of decades the conventional wisdom has been that no party running on a socially conservative platform stood a chance of winning because Canadians are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. In fact the opposite is the case. Opposition to moral and social breakdown will always be more popular than tightening the purse strings and anybody with an ounce of sense knows that. The conventional wisdom exists to browbeat the major parties into not putting it to the test by running a socially conservative campaign. On social conservatism, the strongest of the candidates would be Brad Trost, MP for Saskatoon-University. Trost is an evangelical Christian, who has been outspoken on socially conservative issues throughout his political career, and who has opposed the shift towards social liberalism taken by the party under the interim leadership of Rona Ambrose.

On culture and immigration there is no good candidate. A good candidate would be one who takes the position that immigration, legal and illegal, should not be allowed to change the character of the country, that our government and not the immigrants themselves will select who is allowed in and that it will place the needs of our country first in doing so rather than those of the prospective immigrants, that we will not admit large numbers of either immigrants or refugees in periods of high unemployment and economic recession, that illegal immigration will not be tolerated and will result in the permanent disqualification of the queue-jumper for even legal immigration, and that our refugee admission policies need to be reformed to recognize the reality that the vast majority of asylum seekers are frauds. A good candidate would denounce the toxic cultural atmosphere of ethnomasochism and oikophobia that liberalism spent much of the last fifty years creating. No candidate dares to take this position, of course. The closest thing to it is Kellie Leitch, who is not close at all but who merely wants prospective immigrants to be screened for values that conflict with Canadian values, by which she means the values of the multicultural, feminist, progressive, liberal, left that has been denouncing her as a bigot for wanting newcomers to hold to their values. On this, as with social conservatism, a platform much further to the right that provided Canadians with a real alternative to liberalism for a change would garner much more support than the conventional wisdom would acknowledge.

On fiscal and economic policy if any of the candidates stands out it is probably Maxime Bernier.

Ideally, the next Conservative leader would be strong on all of these issues, but such a person does not appear to be present among the current candidates. Practically, the next leader will also have to be someone around whom the party can unite and who can generate enough popular support to oust the Liberals. Although this quality is harder to gauge, here too there is no name jumping off of the candidates list as the obvious choice.

Perhaps the best we can hope for is that whoever the Conservatives choose as their leader will win by default simply because everyone will finally be sick to death of Justin Trudeau.