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.
Categories: James Morton Campaign, Politics Tags: canada-has-israel-back, clarify, clarify-ca, infohttpclarify-ca, justin-trudeau-former-isreali-leader, justin-trudeau-has-israels-back, justin-trudeau-israel, justin-trudeau-israels-back, justin-trudeau-isral, justin-trudeau-supports-israel, justin-trudeaus-senior-advisor-to-the-middle-east, justin-trudeu-relation-with-jewish-comunity, liberal-party-of-canada-relation-with-israel, liberal-party-of-canada-supports-israel, libral-trudeau-isral, trudeau-liberal-isreal, trudeau-supports-israel, trudeaus-party-abbr, truedau-supports-israel
Since May 2nd, I have listened to many explaining how horrible the cpc government is and how vital it is to the country that the Liberal Party come back. I believe they are sincere. My feelings are a little different. To me, the Liberal party of this century has taken navel gazing to such a high art form that its most advanced political members can do accurate freehand renderings of their intestinal tracts. Frankly, the loss of the Liberal Party of 2001 – 2011 would not be terribly significant.
So, I am asked, why do I expend time, effort and lucre for a party which, at this time, I would not mourn? I do so for two reasons:
1. The party has a foundation in history.
2. It's competitors are hidebound creatures of ideology whose long term success would be unfortunate for Canada.
At the Biennial Convention in January, we have the opportunity to make changes to the party and how it works. Frankly, I am not optimistic. Like so many elections, the candidates who are yelling for change are so tied up in internal Party politics that a dictionary definition of the word "change" should show their posteriors, walking away. Still, there are exceptions. In the race for VP (English) one is James Morton.
I have known James for some years. Not the closest of friends, I have had the opportunity to see James in action over decades, rather than months. I have seen a rational person with a defined set of beliefs who will work harder that one could ever expect. As a lawyer, he practices in both Toronto and Nunavut. Between his practices he is a senior volunteer for the Liberal party, he writes, lectures, is often heard and seen in media, he blogs and tweets and, somewhere during all this he has published almost twenty books.
James is a passionate Liberal. He truly believes that the party can have something to contribute to the Canadian political landscape. I have known James long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. To that end, I have been happy to work with him, to help refine ideas which can help the Liberals regain some of their historical gravitas. James ideas and initiatives, while aimed at the Liberal Party, are those that apply to any large organization with many semi-autonomous local sub-organizations.
Of James' competitors, I am sure they are nice people. One is very new to the party. I am sure he is a good man but this is not the time to be learning the location of the washrooms. The other grew up in the party, rising from position to position as a youth. I am sure he thinks it is his turn. I think we should wait to bring the entitled types back until we want to sink the party again.
Its time to bring in people who have worked hard, are passionate but whose resume is not defined by their Ottawa work history.
Categories: Common Wisdom?, James Morton Campaign, Politics Tags: carey-miller-clarif, carey-miller-toronto, clarify, clarify-ca, clarifyca, finding-clarity, harrietha-leadership-campaign, its-not-the-destination-its-the-journey, its-not-the-destination-its-the-journey-chinese-prove, james-am-working-on, james-morton-lawyer, james-morton-lawyer-toronto, james-morton-liberal, james-morton-palestine, liberal-party-of-canada-record-on-israel, mortons-musings, why-i-am-working, why-is-james-not-working, ww-findingclarity-ca
I ran across this on YouTube and, unfortunately, did not find it hard to believe. It is labeled Arab Men Should Sexually Harass Israeli Woman As Resistance.
What struck me was not just the suggestion that sexual harassment and rape should be used as a weapon of “resistance”. Given the current activities in Africa, rape as a weapon is hardly a unique concept. The suggestion and the woman suggesting it are both vile. What struck me was the nature of the conversation. If you did not read the translation, the two could be conversing about taxes.
There is a gulf between western and Arab culture which exceeds language and religion.