QUEBEC’S CHARTER OF VALUES: THE LEGACY OF ANTI-GOD AND ANTI-RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT FROM THE ENLIGHTENMENT.
My understanding of the anti-religion issue in the Province of Québec is as follows. The secular elite in Québec, who are mostly secessionists, and heavily influenced by French from France secular Republican ideas that come from the Enlightenment, are all mostly of a mind that God and religion are instruments of the oppression of humanity, as well as Monarchy, nobility, Chivalry and so on. I am currently re-reading one of my CEGEP era textbooks from Philosophy class called The Great Political Theories Volume 2 , edited by Professor Michael Curtis, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University in the USA. I can’t vouch for Volume 1, because I was never assigned it and so never purchased it, but I assume it is something similar. If one would be able to get their hands on one or the other of these books, they are paperbacks of about 400 pages each (at least vol. 2 is), and date from the 1970s, so one might find them in a used book store. Otherwise they are likely out of print.
In any case, I originally was assigned only certain key sections of this book when I was about 19 years old, mostly dealing with Marxism and so on, but did not read the rest of the book and did not complete the course because of my Depression and had to withdraw from CEGEP soon after, only returning at age 26-27 to complete my Diploma. But I kept the book all these years and went back to it recently and rediscovered all the wealth of knowledge in it and am now going through it cover to cover.
What I discovered was that the French Enlightenment luminaries were so virulently anti-God and anti-religion, anti-Monarchy, anti-nobility, (not all but most), because these elements of French society had had so much temporal power and money and had abused it so much that during the Revolution, there had been such a bloodthirsty backlash against them that the French national anthem speaks of ‘que le sang abreuve nos sillons.’ (may our furrows run red with blood) .These sentiments eventually crossed into the province of Québec in the 1960s, when Québec re-established formal quasi-diplomatic and socio-cultural ties with France during the Quiet Revolution. During the French Revolution, every effort was made to prevent anti-Monarchical and anti-Church, anti-nobility and pro-republican and pro-liberal (IE pro separation of Church and state), ideas from spreading to French Canada, for fear of contaminating the British Crown’s grip on power and loosening her grip on Canadian trade interests. As well, during the Revolution and in the ensuing decades, as France emptied out her monasteries and had many priests and nuns either killed or exiled, many Bishops, such as Monseigneur Ignace Bourget of Montreal in the mid to late 1800s, (as well as before) invited many French religious orders to come to Canada, especially during the 1830-40 periods, because Canada was a safe pro-Monarchy place and pro-Church, albeit British, a bit of a quirky combination and wanted to keep out the influences of the Revolution.
But eventually, secular influences took hold nevertheless. One only has to research Monseigneur Bourget’s famous fight with the Institut Canadien, which was essentially a secular library which espoused freedom of thought and learning, which went against the Church’s monopoly on the dissemination of knowledge and truth, and Bourget had them shut down. Or the Guibord Affair, where a man named Joseph Guibord in Montreal, was a member of the Institut Canadien and died and was refused a Catholic burial in consecrated Catholic ground by Bourget. His body was eventually kept in a Protestant cemetery,and they tried burying him in a Catholic cemetery on September 2, 1875 but failed because of opposition from a violent mob. Eventually on November 16, 1875, it was accomplished under armed guard. Bourget deconsecrated Guibord’s grave site just to have the last word, though and the Institut Canadien eventually disbanded. It was an incredibly convoluted affair involving religion and politics.
So basically the current elite are totally against any form of religion in Québec. They see Islam as an aggressive intrusion of theocratic meddling from the middle east into a society which they have fought for centuries to establish and maintain, despite the fact that secularism in Québec has led to an almost total fragmentation and fraying and near dismemberment of the old or traditional social order of the nuclear family, marriage, patriarchy, faith and has also led to such ills as higher than ever levels of suicide, especially among young men, abortion, below-replacement rate birthrates (which necessitate bringing in ‘French’ immigrants from mostly Muslim countries!!!!),alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, cyber porn addiction, compulsive shopping. In brief, they’ve utterly de-sanctified and de-sacralized their society and wonder why Muslims are having such a field day recruiting among the Québecois population (as well the entire population of the the western hemisphere). It’s because people are still ‘spirits in the material world’ as Sting put it when he was with the Police off the ‘Ghost in the Machine’ album. Despite secularism’s relentless assault on faith and religion and holiness, people still have an innate sense of the sacred and the profane and all things eternal and want to know about who they are where they came from where they are going when they die. People are seekers, people seek the kingdom of heaven, therefore Islam puts forth a simple and straightforward solution: No Trinity, just God is God. Islam means ‘voluntary submission to God’ . I’ve read the Koran, all 758 pages of it. It’s scary in its simplicity. It has many similarities to the Bible but is essentially dumbed down so as to be chanted at the mosque to the assembly of the faithful who are assembled in prostrated submission. It advocates explicitly to beat your wife if she doesn’t obey you and to kill your enemies or to subjugate them by force if they don’t submit to Allah. Otherwise, all others will ‘suffer a painful chastisement’. This phrase is repeated literally HUNDREDS of times in the 758 pages of the Koran. You’d better believe that Pauline Marois and company are having a cow. Their own ‘religion’ of ‘secularity’ (‘laicité’ as they call it), they are still trying to define it with their famous ‘Charter of Québec values’ as to ‘what do we, the secularized, desanctified, and desacralised white, pure laine francophone people of Québec believe in as a group? What are are ‘values’?’
The problem with ‘values’ is that they are a secular and Sociological construct and are therefore inherently relativistic both ethically, which is in and of itself a relativistic pursuit, as well as morally, which ‘values’, purports to deny as being legit as a discipline, since ‘morality’, deigns to ‘impose’ such things as ‘absolutes’ and things such as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘evil’, which according to ‘values’, is all authoritarian and Christiano-centric and monotheistically-centric and oppressive and must be eliminated at all costs. If one knows ‘Functionalism’ it talks about ‘norms and values’. Values, according to Functional Sociology are what a society consider to be ‘valuable’, such as in Québec, the current elite is saying ‘we value a neutral state.’ or ‘we value ‘secularity’.’ or ‘we value tolerance or diversity’, or ‘we value the French language as the lingua franca of our nation’etc… These ‘values’ according to functional Sociology are to create ‘norms’, based on what we ‘value’, as a society. Therefore, the ‘norm’ should become that, based on these ‘values’ that ‘everybody should speak French in Québec’, or that ‘nobody should wear any religious garb or outward manifestation of any religious affiliation in public, especially in service of the state, etc..’ ‘norms’ then, according to functional Sociology, then lead to ‘status positions’ within society, such as teachers, civil servants, police officers, members of parliament, etc who are all supposed to embody these ‘norms and values’ so as to implement them through the laws and rules and regulations which the civil, secular state promulgates, enacts and implements. All very technocratic and efficient, but totally lacking any sanctity or element of the spiritual or the sacred. It attempts essentially to sanctify the civil state as its own sort of ‘God’ or ‘religion’ which is what French Republicanism has evolved into, and which Québec secessionists especially have been trying to emulate for decades now, with greater or lesser success.
The fact of the matter is that the current elite is trying to make it look like they are trying to establish a ‘neutral state’, when in fact their so-called ‘neutrality’ is a thinly-veiled cover for anti-religious and anti-God sentiment which goes back decades if not hundreds of years, and by discriminating against all religions as essentially a cover for cracking down on mostly Islam, which is the major threat here, which they will never admit publicly, they are essentially being hypocritical by passing off a blanket form of anti-religious and anti-God sentiment as an official policy of ‘state neutrality’, when in fact, a ‘neutral state’ should more likely embrace religious diversity and allow a controlled manifestation and accommodation of all faiths, within a ‘reasonable accommodations’ type-of way, to be established and maintained in society. The problem in Québec, is that the so-called ‘dominant’ religion being Québécois Roman Catholicism, is so weak presently and so under siege from lawsuits for abuse etc, that the Bishops have little energy to focus on re-establishing a vibrant presence of the faith through the Church in Québec. They are selling off assets, circling the wagons, and focusing more on quality of sheep than quantity like before. They’ve basically written off the vast majority of the Québec population as lost causes until such time as the Holy Spirit or a major catastrophe pushes them back into the arms of the Church. But right now the Church isn’t breaking it’s back to re-evangelize such people who don’t want to be open to its message of salvation.
So essentially, the default mode in Québec continues to remain division and dissent, controversy and discontent. Nobody really can agree with this Charter of Québec Values but nobody really wants to become Catholic again either in the old way or to experiment with a new way to be Catholic so as to ensure that the Muslims don’t take over. Québecers continue to be just as spiritually mixed up and irreligious and undisciplined as before but yet just as much desiring to seek out sanctification and some sort of spirituality and solace for the ills that afflict them in this world. Especially youth and those living in social and economic precariousness. This is why Islam and New Age types of ideas, cults, Paganism, Occultism, Freemasonry, Satanism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Bhuddism, Hinduism, all manner of esoteric psychology, herbal medicine, native spirituality, you name it, including Evangelical Christianity, is spreading like wildfire in the Province of Québec. Basically the word is out that this is a land which is once again fertile for evangelization. So everybody, both good and evil is recruiting there.
So this Charter will likely go through with all sorts of ad hoc amendments and exceptions and will ultimately please nobody because they will be trying to please everybody in a wishy-washy secularized pluralistic postmodern postindustrial society where nobody can agree on anything since the old ways were jettisoned and the new ways haven’t gelled into any coherent form of anything and probably won’t until the elite re-discover the faith of their ancestors and choose of their own free will to resanctify and resacralize their society with something truly ‘norm’al.