Canada is Diverse, Get Used to It


The following email circular was sent to me recently and requested my response. Although I can understand some of the sentiment (a very small amount) The author is promoting intolerance by using historical conservatism (but really doesn’t know his history – or even the current motto of Canada) My response in liberal red can be found bellow the offending article which is in blue for no political reason.

IMMIGRANTS, NOT Canadians MUST ADAPT.

I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Canadians. However….. the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the “politically correct! ” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Canada. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Canada being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Canadians…….
we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH/FRENCH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

“We Stand On Guard For Thee” is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan.. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women…….on Christian principles………….
founded this nation….. and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it
on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as
your new home………because
God is part of our culture.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle.
But once you are done complaining……. whining…… and griping……. about our flag…….
our pledge…… our national motto……..or our way of life….I highly encourage you to
take advantage of one other Great Canadian Freedom……. THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.
It is Time for Canada to Speak up If you agree — pass this along; if you don’t agree — delete it!

AMEN (NOT)

Sorry to have offended anyone by printing that but here is my response that might make you feel less insulted. especially if you are an immigrant.

I think that the author was likely more racist than the slightly tempered product he created. While I think that Christmas should be called Christmas and that it behoves immigrants to learn English or French, this article to me should be offensive to real modern Canadians.

His whole rant that says “We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle.” Isn’t true or multiculturalism would have died long ago. It isn’t a new Idea it’s been with us over twenty years and in my opinion is just a sign that Canada has grown up.

And the whole paragraph that implies that “We Stand On Guard For Thee” refers to God Is bunk concerning the fact that the this segment of the National anthem means we stand on guard for Canada not God.

The author would have been better served if he had used our real motto to support his case. Our Motto Canada’s motto is “A Mari usque ad Mare” (From sea to sea) and is based on the biblical scripture: “He shall have dominion from sea to sea”

To some degree a homogeniously Christian Canada is history (whether we like it or not). Personally I love the diversity that has landed on Canada’s shores, and am willing to make some concessions. I will say merry Christmas to my Christian friends happy Hanukah to my Jewish friends and happy Diwali to my Hindu friends, and those that don’t celebrate at that time get seasons greetings. Its cool to learn something about immigrants they just make Canada a more interesting place to live.

I think in a predominantly Christian area the use of Christian symbols like a Christmas tree (which is actually a pagan symbol adopted by the Christian in the 1200’s) is appropriate and a Menorah in a Jewish area like the Jewish district in Montreal, which saw Canada’s first synagogue built in 1777, is also appropriate.

Personally I think that intolerance is something we should leave behind and this guy seems to think that being tolerant means that you loose your national identity, personally I think you improve it.

Canada is great because it feels sorry that it interned the Japanese and Italians, Its great because it regrets the attempt to forcefully tried to civilize its natives through the residential school system (where they were abused). It tolerates everyone and their sexual choices as Pierre Trudeau said “the government has no right in the bedrooms of the nation.”

This country is a great place to live, and I love it, as it is now not 50 years ago when it wasn’t as tolerant.

If you are an immigrant to Canada THANK YOU for adding your culture to the greatness that is Canada !

If the author wants to go live in a country that has a stronger connection to its past may I suggest (as he did) he take advantage of one other Great Canadian Freedoms – The right to leave.

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3 thoughts on “Canada is Diverse, Get Used to It

  1. Bill,
    You commented on my blog as a result my reading your blog.
    I do not agree with all your statements, but it is your right to express them, as it is mine.

    My intent is not to start a pissing match with you. I just get frustrated when I have to as a very proud Canadian, raised in a Christian home, have to avoid saying something as simple as Merry Christmas as not to offend those who are not Christian.

    I would not be offended if someone said, happy Hanukah, or wished me the best on eid, (Sorry for what I am sure is a typo) why should I have to worry or refrain for saying Merry Christmas to a Jew or Muslim. I think that is really my point vs. the anti immigration, and tolerance message that my blog may have generated.

    Bottom line… The true meaning of what Christmas means to Christians has been forgotten and I think that is what pisses me off more then anything else.

  2. Mark I agree I would not be offended if someone said Happy Hanukkah or such to me and I hope my friends are not so anal as to be offended when I say Merry Christmas.

    I agree that being too politically correct can be annoying. I was brought up in a Plymouth Brethren (Christian Church) So I can see the reason someone might write the Rant which I criticised.

    However, some of the contents of the article expose a degree of cultural intolerance, brought on by a fear that your way of life is changing. Feeling threatened by change is natural. Society changes and new cultures are introduced and thus the job of the person of faith is to spread their faith to the newcomers not through insults and criticism but through patience love kindness and being an example to them. If they chose not to accept the faith that you preach that is their God given right. No one is going to change if they are told they must Adapt.

    The statement that “We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle.” is statistically unsupportable. In Toronto there are equal or greater numbers of people that are not of the Christian faith, so at least there the term “our” includes Islamic, Jewish and others.

    When considering this I thought of another historically multicultural society. Athens during biblical times was a cross roads of trade and humanity of all stripes passed through it daily. Although Christians were the immigrants in this case I think that how they approached it was admirable.

    When Paul the apostle Addressed the people on Mars Hill Paul said, “I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God . This one whom you ignorantly worship, Him I declare unto you”. Acts 17:23 Paul acknowledges that the people are right to worship and he offers them an alternative to the gods that they have chosen, based on their willingness to accept that there may be a god that they have not considered in their plethora of Gods. That is the Task of the Christian in a multicultural society (which statistically Canada is – the numbers don’t lie) not to stuff Christianity down peoples throats or legislate they behave as we do. The Christian God was my choice because he gave me a choice. If he wanted he could have created a being with no free will that would worship him unquestioningly but he didn’t.

    In decrying the Immigrants refusal to conform to a so called Christian way of life the Christian is decrying his own failure.

    If you want them to believe and behave as you do to adapt as you say, you don’t order them to do so, you invite them into your home, your church, your country, and show them your ways and tell them what you believe, you never request them to leave.

    Besides something they bring with them might improve your home, your church, your country, and your ways.

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