It is fun to watch the pundits sweat. We had the pleasure of watching them carom from one instance of “this will kill the Trump campaign” to another. Who didn’t have fun watching them try to justify including Trump in every question, article and discussion, on the basis of showing that he was not really fit to be President. It is even more fun to watch them squirm when people suggest that the billions in earned media they provided had anything to do with Trump’s victory. The excuses they come up with make many of them look more mentally damaged than a Trump supporter.
My friend David Law, write a blog called Think Anew, Act Anew. I suggest you follow it. David is an intelligent person and his posts are both well written and insightful. I often publicly agree with David. When I don’t, our disagreements are about ideas, not personal bashing. All that said, I think that David got it wrong in his recent post, Cruzifixion, regarding the burgeoning Ted Cruz sex scandal. Not all wrong, of course. But he missed the bigger picture.
Listening to the Sunday shows again as the “experts” expound on Donald Trump. This time, they are horrified that Donnie did not self-flagellate because of some violence at his rallies. This, they hope, will be the reason people run away from the Donald.
Two thoughts come to mind.
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If you are a regular watcher of cable news and reader of the major papers, by now you will know that Trump is the newest incarnation of Adolf Hitler and that Bernie Sanders is a nice old man who plans to plunge the US into debt and force every capitalist out of the country. Trump’s supporters are racist redneck hillbillies and Sanders are pie in the sky people who can’t get laid. Anyone even semi-literate can see that, to mainstream media, both of these aging men are THE WRONG CHOICE!!!!!
I know, as a liberal, that I am supposed to be infuriated by the Quebec Values charter. I am supposed to be incensed that people’s religious rights are being impinged upon. I should worried that Quebec is a the top of a slippery slope which leads to attacks against religious rights.
I should be feeling that way but, in truth, I am not that revved up about it.
In the last months, I have read stories about:
- people of, to me, unknown religions asking to be separated from the female students in their courses
- gays being arrested in Nigeria
- people protesting to move the upcoming Olympic games from Sochi due to Russian laws about gays
- laws making gay activity illegal in parts of Africa and Asia
- honor killings of women
These are just the tip of the iceberg and does not even begin to address legislative and social discrimination against sexual orientation and religion which seem to be expanding across a large part of the world. This discrimination seem to emerge in countries that are easily identified as religious (primarily Islamic and Christian).
I understand that I am supposed to respect the religious and cultural tenets of my fellow human beings. But I don’t. I don’t respect cultural mores which consider women chattel. I don’t respect religious ideas that do not allow disagreement. I do not respect any call for tolerance which includes the requirement to not disrespect the religion’s originator.
Even as I do not respect these ideas and beliefs, I would fight for the right of anyone to believe as they would, in the privacy of their home or place or worship. That said, in the general population, I am coming to believe that we need to consider that the freedom of religious practice is much less important than the promotion of our social rights (i.e. the equality of women).
I don’t begrudge women from wearing wigs or headscarves or even full body coverings. I don’t begrudge men from wearing hats or turbans. Far be it from me to tell anyone what to wear. I don’t begrudge people from practicing their religions. I don’t begrudge people from believing what they want. I believe this should be a right.
What I begin to believe is that their may be a place for a hierarchy of rights, with religious ones being on a lower rung than others. While the Quebec charter may be a clumsy start, there may be something to it.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was at a great program on Thursday, November 29th at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto. Visions for Canada is billed as an opportunity to engage with senior politicians on issues of interest to the Jewish Community. The first program was that night, featuring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. With almost 500 in attendance, I think we can call it a rousing success.
When asked about Canada’s relationship with Israel, Justin came out with a straightforward and direct answer.
The Liberal Party has Israel’s back.
Check out the video below for this great answer (sorry about the shaky hands).
I am glad that in Canada, the Liberal Party and the government fully support Israel, our only democratic partner in the Middle East.
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