No survival without shared values
There is much talk about the values that bind Canadians together. The 12 commissioners of the Spicer Committee claimed “to be amazed” by the similarity of values and ideals shared by Canadians.
According to Toronto Star editor John Honderich, they include a widespread acceptance of diversity; the need to accommodate minorities and linguistic groups; a commitment to democratic freedoms and non-violence; a general sense of shame towards intolerance and bigotry; a commitment to the environment and an acceptance to give up some material well-being to help preserve it; and a commitment to fairness made possible by our social programs. (Star, July 13, 1991)
Now every one of the above values has its origin and guarantee in the great Christian spiritual principles which began to reform society 2000 years ago and which have con-tinued to do so; the command to love, forgive and to seek the glory of God above one’s own interest; the equality of all people before God (rich or poor, black or white, learned or ignorant); and the inherent dignity of every human being (Greek or Jew, free or slave, male or female, born or pre-born, healthy or ill).
The “amazing” similarity of values means that Christianity has done a far better job than her vocal detractors would like Canadians to believe.
To be sure, there is much talk about living in a “post-Christian” society. And certainly, as one observer puts it, “secular culture is rapidly proving itself to be an irredeemable fiasco; estranged from God as the source of truth and beauty, art rots to triviality and evil.” For proof, see the frontpage article “Formula for tragedy,”
It is also true that at this moment in history Canada seems to have no cultural or political leaders who consciously think and act out of religious conviction. Canada’s Prime Ministers of the last 25 years for example, Catholics Trudeau, Turner, Clarke and Mulroney, not only don’t represent the Christian community even if they personally probably still belong to it, but have made extraordinary efforts to conform to secular prin-ciples such as the so-called right to kill the unborn, even if these are diametrically opposed to their own private convictions.
This is not the time or place to explain why, but rather to note that it is so and it should be changed.
In this respect it is most important to note that our so-called post-Christian society is still full of Christian ideas and ideals. But in order and to be strengthened, these need to be re-grafted onto the central Christian concepts which used to give culture, law, politics and government their cutting edge in the betterment of human relations.
None of this will guarantee that Quebec will “stay in Canada.” But it will halt the slide into moral chaos and cultural anarchy which threatens to alienate more and more from one another.
It also gives hope that the victories during the last two decades of the “might is right” philosophy over the principle that all human life is sacred, including the unborn and the ill, may not be as secure and as firm as they currently appear.