In the wake of the recent attacks in Montreal and Ottawa, what can we expect of God, and what should our response be as a nation and as individuals?
Canadian Schizophrenia – which God keeps our land?
The last few days have been heart-wrenching and tragic for a number of Canadian families who have lost loved ones in evil and despicable attacks by Canadian Islamic jihadists in both Montreal and Ottawa. They have likewise been sobering and disturbing days for many Canadians who have now experienced, on a much smaller scale, what London, New York and various European cities have been through in recent years (with much greater loss of life), from violent representatives of the so-called ‘religion of peace.’ This is without taking into account the cruel butchery carried on in Egypt, Syria and Iraq up to this morning, and the growing threat of Islamic states indulging in the targeted slaughter and beheading of hundreds of Christian men, women and children.
Moments such as the attack on Parliament Hill give us urgent cause to reflect on some of the reasons for these brutal developments in our culture and to assess the nature and character of the reaction from our bewildered political leaders. Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s response in a public speech to the nation on Wednesday 22nd of October was telling. As we would hope and expect, he properly expressed sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the resolve not to be cowed by terror. What was particularly noteworthy, however, was his direct appeal to God to keep our land glorious and free, memorably using the words of the Canadian national anthem.
Whilst we can be thankful that our Prime Minister regards these words as important and significant, the speech expressed well our general Canadian schizophrenia with respect to God and the Christian faith to which the anthem makes reference. If we are honest, we are well aware that in the rest of our cultural and social life we want little or nothing to do with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As a nation we openly flout His laws, reject His salvation, wilfully murder the unborn daily in our state-sponsored abortuaries, despise marriage and redefine human sexuality, celebrate and promote sexual perversion, attack the family, abuse and shun the church. We work against basic Christian freedoms in the courts and human rights tribunals, institutionalize corruption and state-sanctioned theft in our economic and tax structures, and promote humanism, both secular and pagan, in our institutions of learning while excluding Christ and His word from our classrooms. Our bar associations deny the right of Christian graduates to practice law, the police arrest and charge pastors in downtown Toronto with public order offenses for singing gospel music, and we doggedly insist that prayers in the name of Jesus or the privileging of Christianity have no place in the public institutions of our ‘multicultural’ society.
In such a context it must be asked, how dare we then call upon God to bless and keep us when some of our citizens are killed in the streets and gunmen invade Parliament Hill? If we spend our days in word and deed calling down God’s curse upon us by our total rejection of him, why should he hear us or come to our aid when our memorials and political institutions are attacked by those who believe our culture to be bankrupt and in need of replacement with Sharia law and the religion of submission – Islam. The bureaucrats and political progressives who endlessly pontificate about the sins of our Christian past and champion political polytheism (multiculturalism) are actually seeing the fruit of what they have demanded and labored for. Notwithstanding the vacuous mumbo-jumbo about so-called tolerance, which has been the mantra of sexual liberationists and polytheists, no society can be governed by more than one ultimate standard of truth and right. The myth of neutrality based on radical individualism and autonomy is in stark focus in such moments of terror.
No society can be religiously ‘neither one thing nor another,’ with each person doing what is right in their own eyes without facing inevitable decay and collapse. Our society has thus sought to establish polytheism (multiculturalism and religious pluralism) as the state religion – that is, we have established a pagan state whilst expecting to be able to maintain Christian-based institutions and forms of life. Such a syncretistic marriage has proven impossible. The old forms and institutions are collapsing as the foundation has been abandoned. The jettisoning of the Christian foundation of our culture has opened up a huge structural gap where absolute truth and deep moral convictions used to be. Such a social order is totally unstable: a radically autonomous, rather than communitarian and covenantal culture, is divided by internal fault lines that will certainly shake that society and crumble. In short, if we say that truth is relative to culture or a matter of personal taste, that the Christian faith must at best be a private matter, and we denude our educational and political institutions of the Christian moral and intellectual resources that built them, leaving only the rubble of political and philosophical pluralism, we can only expect conflict and other gods to rush in and fill the religious vacuum.
Of course, our leaders speak of these events as an attack upon ‘our values,’ but what are those values? Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal party, in his interview with the CBC tells us our values are love (i.e. enforcement of ‘tolerance’), diversity (polytheism) and democracy (social justice), but he doesn’t take the time to define love, and the democracy he speaks of is not one that would be recognised by our Western forebears. Trudeau’s democracy is merely radical equalisation, where there can be no tolerance for true Christianity – a pagan and libertine police state, where anyone who is pro-life is barred from even running as a candidate for the Liberal party. Trudeau’s values are those of multiculturalism and cultural Marxism, which involve the ideological subversion of Christianity for an egalitarian order aiming at a total equality of outcomes and where all ‘religions’ are equal or one. But reality cannot be made to fit such absurd utopian illusions. The rise of Islam and jihadist movements in the West is a disturbing aspect of the total disillusionment of many citizens with Western nihilistic and directionless egalitarian pluralism – that is, a belief in and commitment to nothing but self-indulgence. The criminals involved in these latest killings were converts to Islam, and Western states are currently exporting home-grown terrorists all over the world to fight for IS and other radical groups.
It never ceases to amaze me that political leaders and bureaucrats who know little or nothing of Islam and have never experienced living in the Islamic world can speak so enthusiastically about the real Islam and the virtues of Islamic contributions to our society. They do not seem to realise that Canada or Britain or the USA in the hands of Islam would be an Islamic state under Sharia and would soon become no different from Pakistan, Indonesia or Iraq. A tree only produces fruit after its kind. False ideologies produce bankrupt and broken societies and ruined, failed states, because ideas have consequences. The subversion of Christianity in the West by secular and pagan ‘progressives’ is clearly bearing its own fruit in our time with social, familial and economic decay and increasingly religious unrest – we can expect much more of the same from Islamic movements in the years ahead as it seeks to fill the moral vacuum with its equally destructive ideology.
Invoking the God of our English and French-Canadian forebears in a time of crisis such as ours can only be done with utmost sincerity, humility and with repentance. When we appeal to God in public life in times of national trial, we must be abundantly clear as to which God we are appealing to. So long as we remain schizophrenic in our attitude and continue to embrace many gods, the living God will not hear our leaders’ prayers and we cannot invoke his blessing on our idolatry without degenerating into blasphemy. Moreover, in our deliberately de-Christianized society we have no right to expect of Canadians virtue, courage, resolve, faith or realism in the face of brazen Islamist assaults on our institutions and social order, any more than we could expect a frightened and confused child to face down an intruder in a home invasion. As C. S. Lewis put it powerfully in The Abolition of Man, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”