Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

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Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

Postby Hermes » Dec 20th, 2017, 2:09 pm

Certainly national sovereignty and cultural integrity are political issues.

I just got an email from a friend in Thailand. Based on comparing notes, he sees a lot more Christmas decorations in that large majority Theravada Buddhist country than I do here in GVRD. I think there is something fundamentally wrong (too tolerant and ready to accommodate) with our traditionally Christian culture in Canada. It has no spine, little self-defined identity.

Note that I am not Christian and my opinions are perhaps somewhat outlier in Canada. I prefer more homogenous nations like Japan and Thailand. But I am here so I have to deal with it.
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Re: Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

Postby Jflem1983 » Dec 20th, 2017, 4:24 pm

*removed*
Last edited by ferri on Dec 20th, 2017, 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

Postby Ka-El » Dec 20th, 2017, 5:41 pm

Hermes wrote: Certainly national sovereignty and cultural integrity are political issues. <snip> I think there is something fundamentally wrong (too tolerant and ready to accommodate) with our traditionally Christian culture in Canada. It has no spine, little self-defined identity.

Can you describe our Canadian self-identity? Do you really think that Christianity is what shapes the culture or morality of the majority of our population? Most people you might ask would describe Canadian culture by describing a country of people who are tolerant, inclusive and celebrate diversity. I don’t want to make any assumptions about you, but I do know there is a growing force of intolerance and hate being promoted by people who would prefer we live in some sort of ethnostate. I am guessing these folk (mostly white) are not inherently malevolent but likely just scared that the world is changing all around them and they don’t know how to adapt - and sometimes use our Christian heritage as an example of what we are losing. Meanwhile, these same people have stopped going to church, and are not having babies and we are more dependent on immigration today than we ever have been. Our country is going to change dramatically over the next ten, twenty, fifty years. It is called evolution, and whether social, cultural or political it is inevitable.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that Christmas is Christmas and should be celebrated as such. I just think that rather than hiding one faith’s holiday (Christian Christmas), we should make a bigger deal over the other major holidays celebrated by the various faiths that make up Canadian society today - Sihk festivals and holidays, for example. I remember living in Vancouver and celebrating Vaisakhi. Vancouver’s diversity is one of the things that makes it such an amazing city.
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Ka-El wrote...

Postby Hermes » Dec 23rd, 2017, 12:13 am

"Can you describe our Canadian self-identity?"

Sure, Anglo-French plus aboriginal and Chinese minority cultures. Christian majority, Jewish and Taoist minorities. Largely Northern European especially Germanic languages and ethnicities. I remember in grade five my immigrant classmates (friends I might add) were fleeing poverty and the cultural revolution. From Sicily and Guangdong. Europe and China. They fit in, even if they didn't integrate they were not opposed to the cultural majority I just mentioned.

But you make a good point. What is our Canadian identity? And does anyone care? They do in Quebec. Although I think they have gone too far. I would not want to elect politicians to set laws under the crucifix (as they do). I would not make non-French a criminal language either.

"Do you really think that Christianity is what shapes the culture or morality of the majority of our population?"

Yes.

Even myself who was a practicing Hindu for many years and now have a great respect for some strains of Buddhism and Jainism, my formative years were being raised as a cultural Christian. What are some of those cultural values? Tolerance, variety, social good, compassion. But we don't have to go overboard. Do Shinto and Buddhist beliefs influence Japan? Do Theravada Buddhist beliefs influence Laos? Yes, those are monolithic ethnic majority countries and Canada is more diverse. But I think diversity can and has gone too far. To pretend that Canada is not historically a country of western civilization is just not factual.

"Most people you might ask would describe Canadian culture by describing a country of people who are tolerant, inclusive and celebrate diversity."

See above.

"I don’t want to make any assumptions about you, but I do know there is a growing force of intolerance and hate being promoted by people who would prefer we live in some sort of ethnostate.

I would find Canada very boring if it became too 'white' (a word I don't use. Iranians are white. Kashmiris are Caucasians. It's not about colour of skin). It is about cultural values. And where do cultural values come from? They come from our mother's knees primarily (at least traditionally). Other factors are where we were raised (up to say age 16) and how long we have been in Canada.

"I am guessing these folk (mostly white) are not inherently malevolent but likely just scared that the world is changing all around them and they don’t know how to adapt - and sometimes use our Christian heritage as an example of what we are losing."

Perhaps. Mostly I am just scared of Muslim immigration - a whole discussion in itself. I think this is a legitimate fear. I have read about the history of Islamic expansion. One of my dear friends, an author about Christian persecution in Pakistan is 'brown'. It's not about 'race'. But it would also be a lie to not recognize that national origin is a factor. There are subtleties of course. For example, I have very few concerns, if any, with Ismaili Muslims. If I was the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, all else being equal, I'd give the red carpet to a Baptist Nigerian over a Muslim Chechen.

"Meanwhile, these same people have stopped going to church, "

You make a good point.

"and are not having babies"

You make a very good point. I am guilty of this myself. If I am so concerned about being outnumbered why have I not created a family myself?

"and we are more dependent on immigration today than we ever have been."

Really? Why is that?

"Our country is going to change dramatically over the next ten, twenty, fifty years. It is called evolution, and whether social, cultural or political it is inevitable."

Change isn't necessarily positive or inevitable.

"Don’t get me wrong. I agree that Christmas is Christmas and should be celebrated as such. I just think that rather than hiding one faith’s holiday (Christian Christmas), we should make a bigger deal over the other major holidays celebrated by the various faiths that make up Canadian society today - Sihk festivals and holidays, for example."

I have very little problem with Sikhs and Sikhism. If it wasn't for Guru Gobinda Singh and later leaders and warriors India would be part of an Islamic empire. I am no stranger to Sikhs. In fact several months ago I attended a communal feed and hymn recitation at a Nanaksar temple (of a divergent Sikh sect, not Khalsa Sikhs). But I also recognize the history of Sikh violence in Canadian history: both the Lockerheed bombing and numerous honour killings. Perhaps we can pin this on South Asian culture. But Buddhists from Bihar are not doing this, so I think to claim that this has no basis in religion would be disingenuous.

"I remember living in Vancouver and celebrating Vaisakhi. Vancouver’s diversity is one of the things that makes it such an amazing city."

Look up the history and ideology of the Vancouver Khalsa Diwan Society (AKA the Ross Street temple). For years the Indian Consulate had to have a 24 hour RCMP guard.

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Re: Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

Postby Ka-El » Dec 23rd, 2017, 6:39 am

Good post. You also make some great points. However, while I will agree with you change is not always positive (that usually a function on what lengths people will go to resist it), I am still quite convinced of the fact it is most definitely inevitable. Evolution, including social, political and cultural evolution is and always has been ongoing. In fact, change is accelerating.

I say we are more dependent on immigration than ever, because we (home grown Canadians) are not reproducing at a rate to sustain our economy or our social systems (health, pensions, welfare, etc.). Sure, some of our population will work past 65, and some maybe even into their 70s, but not enough to make up for attrition. I would propose the world (especially North America) is going to look very different in 50 years. I won't be here but I hope that change is not directed by hate and fear.
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Re: Have Canada's open arms policies gone too far?

Postby Silverstarqueen » Dec 25th, 2017, 7:51 am

Canada does not discriminate against different immigrants from different cultural or religious backgrounds, that is a basic rule of our society, supported by our constitution. And that's the way it should be. There is no distinction between those Canadians who came from a Christian, Catholic or Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or any other faith, nor the nearly 1/4 of the population with no religious affiliation.. Incidentally Canada's first census records the presence of Muslims, Chinese came in the late 1770's, East Indians in 1900, so it would be a little late to close the doors now. None of those (not even the Christians) were here "first" or are "traditional" because the First Nations were here first and everyone else is either an immigrant, or descended from an immigrant.
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