Cultural / Religious Tolerance and the Unknown God

Some time back I created a posting entitled Canada is Diverse, Get Used to It
which criticised a recent email circular that had overtones of intolerance.
I once again found this email circular posted on a site run by Mark entitled IMMIGRANTS, NOT CANADIANS, MUST ADAPT, so I posted a comment directing Mark to my site and the post Canada is Diverse, Get Used to It.

I have to apologize to Mark as I tend to over react when confronted with what I see as intolerance, and I do agree with Mark’s statement “I do not agree with all your statements, but it is your right to express them, as it is mine.”

The following is the dialogue between Mark and I. When I wrote the last comment I noticed that It was a pretty good rant so I am promoting it to an article of its own.


Bill said …

I disagree also wholeheartedly!

Were you sleeping while Canada became culturally diverse nation and thus a better place to live.

By the way I got this in an email post some time back and I posted a response on my Blog see the following Blog posting –

Comments on – Canada is Diverse, Get Used to It

Mark said…

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.

2:16 PM, November 16, 2005

The Rant In Reply

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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