Bring Back the Tsar

Throne, Altar, Liberty

The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, June 21, 2024

Bring Back the Tsar!

Thanks to the actions of J. Brandon Magoo, the bumbling nincompoop who is the nominal head of the American republic, and, with apologies to Ann Coulter, B. Hussein Obama, who almost certainly is the puppet master pulling Magoo’s strings, the world is the closest to nuclear Armageddon that it has ever been.  To be more precise, these are the two latest in a string of American presidents including the younger Bush and whichever Clinton was really calling the shots between 1993 to 2001 (most likely Hillary as Bill seemed to be caught with his pants down too often to be the one actually wearing them) who for whatever unfathomable reason, possibly having something to do with Russiophobic ethnics having too much influence in their administrations, made a point of poking the Russian bear with a stick by encouraging anti-Russian hostility on the part of her closest neighbours.  In the cases of Bush and Obama, they went so far as to overthrow Russia-friendly governments in Ukraine and replace them with anti-Russian ones by sponsoring colour revolutions in 2004-2005 and 2014 respectively.  Donald the Orange is the exception among the American presidents of the last quarter century which is one of the reasons the Bushes and Clintons and Obamas and Magoos all hate him so much.  Instead of the business as usual of enriching themselves by minding the rest of the world’s business, promoting instability in one region and war in another, he took the position that the United States should mind her own business.

Vladimir Putin is the excuse that these bellicose warmongering rejects from both the Peace Academy and the School of Just War have pointed to in order to justify their ramping up anti-Russian rhetoric to levels that were not seen even in the Cold War in which that country was run by a regime committed to a cold-blooded, murderous, atheistic, totalitarian ideology.  A former agent of the legendary secret police of that regime, Putin has led Russia in either the office of prime minister or president – he has alternated between the two – since 1999.  If one were to take seriously what the Clinton/Bush/Obama/Magoo crowd say about him, one would think that he was the corpse of Adolf Hitler, re-animated and zombified by voodoo magic, and hell bent on the quest to conquer the world, seize its lebensraum, and eat its brains.  But then if one were to take that crowd’s opinion seriously, one would have to think that the other Vlad, Zelenskyy that is, the president of Ukraine who jumped into that role after starring in a cheap Ukrainian comic television series in which he played a high school teacher who, well, jumped into the role of president of Ukraine, is a champion of freedom and Western values.  Considering that most countries in Western civilization are currently celebrating every form of sexual perversion imaginable in the name of the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins it is possible that Zelensky actually is a champion of “Western values.”  He is certainly not a champion of freedom but rather the same sort of autocrat that they, rightly or wrongly, have accused Putin of being ever since he first took office.

There would neither be a president of Russia nor a president of Ukraine had an earlier revolution not driven the legitimate claimant to the allegiance of both Russia and Ukraine from his throne then brutally murdered him and his family.  I recently reminded a friend that contrary to all the false ideas of the Zeitgeist of the Modern Age government legitimacy does not come from elections, from the “consent of the governed.”  Quite the contrary.  People, not having legitimate governing authority over each other, cannot delegate such to their representatives. All a government can obtain from the support of its people is power, the ability to compel through the force of numbers.  Authority, the legitimate right to lead, can only be passed on from those who had it before.  Moreover, legitimate governing authority on earth should be representative in form of the government of the universe in heaven. (1)  God is the King of His Creation.  Legitimate earthly government is the government of kings, who receive their authority by inheritance from those who went before them and pass it on to those who come after them.  The opposite of the Modern “consent of the governed” theory of legitimacy is actually the case.  Take my country, for example, the Dominion of Canada.  We are a Commonwealth Realm, over which King Charles III reigns, Parliament in Ottawa legislates, and a cabinet of ministers of the Crown chosen by Parliament governs.  Parliament is a democratic institution, obviously, but democracy is not the source of its legitimate authority.  It is the other way around.  Democracy derives whatever legitimacy it has, in our Parliament, the other Commonwealth Parliaments, and the Mother Parliament in the UK, from the king who authorizes Parliament.  Yes, most people don’t think about it this way, but most people are wrong.  Parliament’s value consists not in the fact that it is democratic, but in the fact that its worth has been proven over a very long period of time, and that worth consists of this, that it takes the power represented by popular support, the potentially dangerous and destructive power that in the wrong hands is what we call “mob rule” and enlists it in the service of law and order by tying it institutionally to legitimate authority. (2)

The last legitimate king to reign over Russia which at the time included, as it historically had, Ukraine, was Tsar Nicholas II of the House of Romanov.  He abdicated early in 1917 when the first wave of revolution broke out in Russia but the incompetence of the government that was set up in his place meant that the problems, other than World War I, that had produced the discontent exploited by the first wave of revolutionaries persisted and in the follow up revolution of October 1917 the Bolsheviks, an evil gang of terrorists that was committed to the atheist, socialist, ideology of Karl Marx, and which consisted mostly of members of minority groups that had ethnic and religious grudges against the Russians, the Russian Orthodox Church, and their emperor seized power. The largest such minority group represented was Jews, a fact that people who have more zeal against anti-Semitism than brains don’t like being pointed out because they think that nobody is capable of recognizing that neither “all Jews are Bolsheviks” nor “all Bolsheviks are Jews” logically follows from it (unfortunately, since all the schools seem to be teaching people today is gender confusion, sexual perversion, and racism against white people, rather than the old trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, they may have a point).  They then fought a five and a half year civil war to keep and consolidate that power after which they transformed the Russian Empire into the Soviet Union.  Early in the civil war, in the summer of 1918, agents of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, murdered Tsar Nicholas, his wife Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna and their five children, and their attendants in the basement of Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg where they had been held captive.  Their bodies were taken to the nearby Koptyaki forest and disposed of in such a way that the burial site was not discovered for decades.

In 1981, a few years after the discovery of the burial site, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia recognized the murdered Imperial Family as martyrs and in 2000 they were formally canonized as passion bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church.  This was most appropriate.  Ivan III Vasilyevich took the throne as Grand Prince or Duke of Moscow in1462 and ten years later married Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of Constantine III Palaiologos, the last Byzantine Emperor who died defending his capital Constantinople against the forces of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1453.  Upon this marriage Ivan took the title Tsar, a Russianized form of “Caesar” the title of the Roman Emperor (the Byzantine Empire was the eastern Roman Empire), and while it would be nonsense to claim that he was Constantine’s heir through marriage as there were others in line before Sophia the Tsars did indeed take over from the Byzantine Emperors the role of royal protector of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Tsar Nicholas II, therefore, was in the same position of royal protector with regards to the Russian Orthodox Church when murdered by her enemies that King Charles I had been in with regards to the Church of England when murdered by her enemies in 1649.  King Charles I was canonized by the Anglican Church when the provinces of York and Canterbury met in Convocation for the first time after his death when King Charles II was enthroned in the Restoration of 1660. (3) 

The Romanov heir, who for obvious reasons would not be a descendent of Nicholas II but the closest other kin, has not yet been restored to the empty throne of the Tsar.  Almost a quarter of a century after the canonization of Nicholas II and family it is about time that this be done.  Then the illegitimate offices of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could be done away with as both countries swear allegiance to their legitimate ruler bringing the conflict to an end.  Putin could be given a minister’s office in the legitimate government of Russia.  Zelensky could go back to his true calling as a television clown.   Then Magoo, Obama, and our idiot prime minister Captain Airhead would have to either mind their own business or find somebody else’s business to mind that is less likely to result in mushroom clouds appearing everywhere.

(1)   This is extraneous to the subject of this essay, which is why I am putting it here in a note, but the Church’s worship on earth is supposed to be patterned on worship in heaven too.  See Fr. Paul A. F. Castellano’s As It is In Heaven: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Introduction to the Traditional Church and Her Worship (Tucson: Wheatmark, 2021) for the case for this and an account of what that looks like.

(2)   Stephen Leacock put it this way “This is a problem that we have solved, joining the dignity of Kingship with the power of democracy; this, too, by the simplest of political necromancy, the trick of which we now ex­ pound in our schools, as the very alphabet of political wisdom.” – “Greater Canada: An Appeal” which can be found in The Social Criticism Of Stephen Leacock: The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice and Other Essays edited by Alan Bowker (Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1973).

(3)  There is a direct connection between these martyrdoms in that the Puritan revolution and murder of King Charles I in the seventeenth century was the inspiration of the Jacobin revolution and murder of King Louis XVI in France in the eighteenth century which in turn inspired the Bolshevik revolution and the murder of Nicholas II in the twentieth century.  King Louis XVI would be another royal martyr although it would have been the Hapsburg Emperor in Vienna at the time whose role in relation to the Roman Catholic Church would have more closely approximated that of Charles I to the Anglican Church and Nicholas II to the Orthodox Church. — Gerry T. Neal

Posted by Gerry T. Neal at 8:21 AM

Christians Defending Bat Flu Tyranny and Oppression are Deluded and Deceived

Throne, Altar, Liberty

The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, June 4, 2021

Christians Defending Bat Flu Tyranny and Oppression are Deluded and Deceived

The last Anglican priests that I spoke to in person were those of my own parish in March of last year, the day before the bishop’s order shutting down the diocese went into effect.   Since then, I have spoken to one of the priests by phone once, and communicated with the others through e-mail.   Oh, I could have seen them in person again, had I started attending services when the parish partially re-opened last summer.   That would have meant a compromise of conviction however.   I will not darken my parish door again as long as I am told to register in advance to do so, to impede my breathing in that hot, stuffy, building for the hour and a half that I am there by covering my nose and mouth with a stupid diaper that has reminded me of nothing so much as a the Mark of the Beast since it was first introduced, and to “socially distance” while there.   As far as I am concerned telling people to pre-register to book a place in Church because only a limited few will be admitted constitutes turning people away from the Ministry of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament and is an act of blasphemy crying out to heaven for vengeance.   To be fair to my parish – and the entire Anglican Church of Canada – I did not include the practice of Communion in one kind in the above list of deal-breakers, since I think they are using pre-intinction as a means of distributing the Sacrament in both kinds and thus are not in technical violation of the Thirtieth Article of Religion (and the basic principles of the English Reformation).   I watch their services on Youtube but I refuse to regard this as “participating in an online service” or anything more than watching a broadcast of somebody else performing a service.   This is because I have taken to heart Aleksandr Soltzhenitsyn’s instructions on the day of his arrest in 1974 to those oppressed by Communist tyranny.   Those instructions were to “live not by lies”.   When the government refuses to respect the constitution’s limits on its powers and claims for itself the right to completely suspend our basic freedoms of assembly, association, religion, and, increasingly, speech, in its self-delusion that a respiratory virus can be stopped by government action, subjects the entire population to the absolute rule of medical technocrats, and goes out of its way to demonstrate its contempt for religion, classifying Churches and synagogues and mosques as “non-essential” while liquor and cannabis stores and abortion clinics are classified as “essential”, it comes disgustingly close to the Soviet-style Communist tyranny that Soltzhenitsyn suffered under and about which he warned the West.   While it is true that rights and freedoms are not absolute, as our governments have been saying in response to challenges to their actions, this is not at all at issue.   It deflects from the fact that they have been acting like their authority to limit our rights and freedoms is absolute – this is what “nothing is off the table” means – and this is the essence of totalitarian tyranny.

My purpose here is not to knock the clergy of my parish.   I have explained why I haven’t seen any of them in person since last March to lead in to the fact that apart from them, the last Anglican clergyman that I had spoken to in person, earlier the same month, was the Right Reverend Donald Phillips.    Donald Phillips was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land in 2000, the year after I had left what is now Providence University College in Otterburne and moved to Winnipeg.   He served the diocese in this capacity until his retirement upon the consecration of his successor, the current incumbent, the Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft, in November 2018.   When I was confirmed in the Anglican Church as an adult, he was the bishop to do it.

It was at the Centennial Concert Hall that I ran into him and his wife Nancy about a week or so prior to the lockdown.  2020 was the 250th year since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven.   As part of its celebration of this anniversary, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performed all five of his Piano Concertos and his Choral Fantasy over the course of the two evenings of the 6th and 7th of March.   The performances, conducted by WSO Music Director Daniel Raiskin, featured Russian pianist Alexei Volodin.   The vocals were provided by the University of Manitoba Singers and the Canadian Mennonite University Chorus.    The 2019/2020 season was the first time in several years where I had opted to buy tickets for only a handful of concerts rather than the “Ultimate Classics” package that comes with one performance each for all the shows in both of the Masterworks series.   I lost my usual seat doing it this way, but was able to take in both of evenings of “Back to Beethoven” as the Piano Concerto marathon was called.    These were the last WSO performances that I attended.   They are likely to be the last WSO performances that I shall ever hear because the lake of fire will freeze into a solid block of ice before I ever pay concert admission to watch a livestreamed performance and am certainly not going to be bullied into taking an experimental new kind of vaccine that took less than a year to develop about which the long term side effects cannot possibly be known just to regain as “privileges” the rights that were stolen from me by power-mad paranoid hypochondriacs shortly after the concerts I have just described.

I have seldom attended a symphony, opera, or anything else at the Centennial Concert Hall without encountering at least one, and usually several, people whom I know, and this was no exception.   Indeed, I was seated right next to one old acquaintance for the Friday evening performance.   It was also in the Friday evening performance – some people went to both concerts, others showed up only for the one or the other – that I ran into Don and Nancy.  They were seated in the row behind me, a few seats down – very close to where my subscription seat had been, actually.  I chatted with them briefly in the intermission and after the concert.   Did any of us suspect at the time that shortly thereafter the diocese would be essentially closed and everyone forced into social isolation for over a year by public health orders?

All of the above is a very long introduction to the real purpose of this essay.   On the 9th of last month the diocesan newspaper, the Rupert’s Land News, posted an article to its website by the bishop emeritus, entitled “Christians Protesting COVID-19 Health Orders are Misguided and Missing the Greater Call”.     This article also appeared on the website of the Winnipeg Free Press on May 12th.   If it was not already obvious that I am of a very different opinion, the fact that the Winnipeg Free Press carried the article should confirm it.    It is almost a matter of principle for me to disagree with whatever they publish, especially on matters of religion.   I read it, nevertheless, for while I have disagreed with our previous bishop on other issues in the past, I have always found what he has to say, whether as a homilist or in the Rupert’s Land News, very interesting.   

Towards the end of his article, he raised the following hypothetical objections to his article:

Some might call into question the whole nature of what I am saying.  Should a Christian publicly challenge the actions of other Christians?   Is that not being judgmental?

His answer was “Not when the integrity of the proclamation of the Gospel is at stake”.  

Very well then.   Since nothing in recent memory has threatened the integrity of the proclamation of the Gospel more than the quisling behaviour of the Church leaders who collaborated with totalitarianism in the Third Reich and behind the Iron Curtain,  I claim our retired bishop’s justification for his remarks as my own for my rebuttal.

He begins by saying that one of the pastors with whom he disagrees – he does not mention any names but it was Tobias Tissen of the Church of God Restoration, just outside Steinbach – had been quoted as having said “We have no authority, scripturally-based and based on Christian convictions, to limit anyone from coming to hear the word of God.   We have no authority to tell people you can’t come to church.  That’s in God’s jurisdiction.”

Retired Bishop Don answers this by saying “the New Testament presents quite a different picture of the responsibility of the Church for itself”.

He proceeds to justify this statement by making reference, first to the bestowing of the “keys of the kingdom” in St. Matthew’s Gospel, and second to the Pauline epistles in which the Apostle “constantly confronts and admonishes churches to teach, direct, and sometimes even discipline their members so as not to hinder or distort the mission of the Gospel in the world and Christ’s command to his Church”.

This is an interestingly novel way of interpreting these passages.   Yes, the “keys of the kingdom”, regardless of whether they are understood as having been given to St. Peter and his successors alone, all of the Apostles and their successors collectively, or the entire assembly of Christian disciples (the Church) collectively, have traditionally been understood to include the authority  to exclude from the fellowship of the Church.   In most Christian communions the technical term for the exercise of this authority is excommunication.    Some more radical sects use the word “shunning” with the same basic meaning but often with additional connotations of a more complete social ostracism.     This is not where the novelty lies.   What is novel in this interpretation is the suggestion that this authority can be legitimately exercised other than as corrective discipline in cases where someone refuses to repent of open sin or is found to be teaching serious doctrinal error.   Had our retired bishop not intended to suggest this it would have made no sense to bring the keys up in this context.   It is rather surprising, therefore, that he tries to bolster the suggestion with an appeal to St. Paul.   In his first epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul instructs them to excommunicate a man who has been committing “such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles”, meaning a type that was condemned and considered extremely shameful by the rather tolerant pagan culture of the time, an assessment to which  all the extent classical literature pertaining to the myth of Oedipus indeed, bears testimony.   In his second epistle to the Corinthians, however, he told them that the punishment had been sufficient and to forgive and comfort the man, who presumably had since repented.    The picture this paints of excommunicative authority is of a means of corrective discipline, to be applied as a last resort in extreme circumstances, and lifted as soon as repentance makes possible.   This hardly supports the idea that the keys can or should be used to bar people from the Ministries of Word and Sacrament, not as an act of corrective discipline, but as an instrument of public health policy.

Novelty is not a quality that is valued very highly when it comes to the interpretation of Scripture and doctrine in the Anglican tradition which has long appealed to the Vincentian canon as the gold standard litmus test of catholicity and orthodoxy.    In addition to the novelty of the Right Reverend Phillips’ interpretation of the keys, however, there is another problem in its conflict with Scriptural teaching on a multitude of other issues.

One example of this is the Scriptures’ teachings with regards to civil obedience.   If the pastors protesting the bat flu restrictions are at fault their error is in practicing Thoreau/Gandhi/King style civil disobedience, for which there is no Scriptural justification.   Civil obedience is commanded of Christians by St. Paul in the thirteenth chapter of his epistle to the Romans.   There are, however, clear exceptions.   The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament illustrates these.   If the civil authorities require the worship of a false god, believers in the True and Living God are not to obey, as the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into the fiery furnace demonstrates.   If the civil authorities forbid the worship of the True God, believers are not to obey, as the example of Daniel himself in the incident that led to his being cast to the lions shows.   While the latter is the most obviously relevant of the two, I would argue that the first also applies here, in that the kind of trust and obedience the public health orders have been asking of us is the kind that properly belongs to God alone, making an idol out of medical science (George Bernard Shaw said, almost a hundred years ago, that we have not lost faith, we have merely transferred it from God to the General Medical Council, and never has the truth of this been more apparent than at present).   The Lord Himself summed it all up in the twelfth chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel when He said “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”.  While a general civil obedience is rendering unto Caesar (the civil authority) that which is Caesar’s, obeying when they forbid the worship of the True God or require the worship of a false one, is to render unto Caesar that which is God’s, and that is forbidden of Christians by the Highest Authority.

Another example is the Scriptures’ teachings with regards to sickness.     In the Old Testament, the Israelites were told to separate those with leprosy, a far worse disease than the one that is frightening so many today, from the general community, to which they would not be readmitted until such a time as a priest had examined them and found them to have recovered.     There is not a hint anywhere in the Old Testament, that banning all healthy Israelites from the Tabernacle or Temple, let alone confining them to their own dwellings and forbidding them any social interaction with their extended kin, friends, and neighbours, would be an appropriate or acceptable manner of preventing the spread of contagious disease.   This is not surprising as it is an experimental new form of hyper-quarantine, first implemented in totalitarian countries like Red China, which the epidemiologists of what used to be the free world initially, although sadly mistakenly, thought they would never be able to get away with here.   The Old Testament isolation requirements for lepers, of course, had the effect of heaping further suffering upon those already inflicted.   Thus, when Jesus Christ arrived to fulfil the Messianic promise of a New and better Covenant, one of the most prominent signs announcing His identity as the Promised Redeemer was that He allowed the lepers to come near Him and healed them, even, in one notable instance, using tactile contact as the means of healing.   He healed all who came to Him with any affliction and instructed His Apostles to do the same.   The book of Acts records them doing precisely this.   The Jacobean instructions in what is widely believed to be the first book of the New Testament to have been written are “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.”   Rather a far cry from “Is there a nasty cough going around?  Let everyone stay away from the church, lock themselves in their houses, and never see anyone else without wearing a mask”.

Given what we have seen in the previous paragraph, is it surprising that in the two millennia of Christian history, which have seen plagues far worse than the bat flu ravage Christian countries and at times all of Christendom, never did the leaders of the Church see their duty, mission, and call in terms of shutting all the local churches down and denying the faithful access to the Word and Sacrament.   Rather they saw it as their duty to keep the churches open, so that in times of great physical peril – much greater than today – access to the source of spiritual health, more important than physical health, was not cut off and hope, therefore, was kept alive, as well as to minister to the physical needs of the sick and dying, even at the risk of their own health and lives.   When cholera hit Canada in 1832 and 1834, for example, John Strachan, who would become the first Bishop of Toronto in 1839 but was at the time the rector of the parish of St. James, refused to flee the city but remained to fulfil his priestly duties, visit the hospitals, minister to the sick and dying, and bury the dead.

Previous generations of Church leaders did not see keeping the churches open in times of far worse plagues than this comparatively moderate one as hindering or distorting “the mission of the Gospel in the world, and Christ’s command to the church.”

Our former diocesan chief shepherd asks the question “And what is that Gospel?” to which he provides an answer “It is the supreme command of Jesus Christ ‘to love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you’”.

This is a very enlightening answer.   Not enlightening in terms of the question asked.   In that regards it is just plain wrong.   It is enlightening in that it reveals much about the source of confusion here.

The Gospel is not the command to love one another.   The Gospel is not a commandment of any sort.   It is a message.   As its very name tells us, whether euangelion in Greek, or Gospel – contracted from the Old English “godspel” (“god” = “good” + “spel = “news”) it is Good News.   It is spoken in the indicative mood, not the imperative.   In the ministry of John the Baptist and in Jesus’ own early preaching ministry, when the Gospel was preached only to national Israel and the events around which the Gospel narratives of SS Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are centred had not yet taken place, that Good News was that the “Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, i.e., the Messianic promises are being fulfilled before your very eyes.   After the Great Commission to take the Gospel to all the nations of the world, the Ascension, the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost to empower the Church, and the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, the Gospel in its mature and universal form was concisely stated by St. Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians.   It is that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and was seen by witnesses.

That this, and not the New Commandment, is the Gospel cannot be stressed enough.   The New Commandment is not “News” of any sort, Good or otherwise.   That we are commanded to love one another was hardly something unheard of prior to the Incarnation.   When Jesus said the Greatest Commandment was to love God and the second was to “love thy neighbour as thyself” He was quoting commandments already familiar from the Old Testament.   Nor was His statement that the whole of the Law was summed up in these a new revelation.   Indeed, while most often the Gospels place the two greatest commandments in His own mouth, in one notable instance He turned the question back on a lawyer who had been interrogating Him and got the answer He wanted (Luke 10:25-28) demonstrating that the idea was nor original with Him.   The similar “Golden Rule”, which appears in His Sermon on the Mount, is common to the ethical systems of almost all religions, and was notably stated, albeit in its negative “do not” form rather than the positive form Jesus used, by Rabbi Hillel, who died when Jesus was about twelve or thirteen (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat a, passage 6), and who said of it “that is the entire Torah, and the rest is interpretation”.     There is a kind of theology that sees in the command to love one another the essence of the Christian kerygma and treats everything asserted about Jesus Christ in the ancient Creeds as accidental trappings that can be discarded.  This theology, and note that I am not suggesting that the Right Reverend Phillips holds this theology, merely that his unfortunate wording here expresses a thought that belongs to this theology rather than orthodox Christianity, is nonsense.   If that were true there would have been no need for Christianity.   While there is a difference between the New Commandment and all these earlier commandments to love each other, that difference depends entirely upon the facts of the Gospel as stated by St. Paul.  Apart from that Gospel, the message of Christ’s death and Resurrection, the New Commandment is meaningless.   It is the Gospel that tells us what “as I have loved you” means.   Christ gave the New Commandment on the evening of His betrayal, to His disciples whom He had already told of His upcoming death and Resurrection, but like so many other things He said in St. John’s Gospel, it was these events themselves that made it comprehensible.

Isn’t it interesting that the example the New Commandment tells us to follow is that of One Who gave up His life for others?   Isn’t it also interesting that the New Testament repeatedly describes this act as one of “redemption”.   Today, the verb “redeem” and the noun “redemption” are often used in a sense that retains some of their connotations from New Testament usage but omits their original basic meaning.   To redeem meant to purchase someone out of slavery and set him free.   The New Testament writers use these words of the death of Christ to depict that act as one of purchasing freedom for mankind from slavery to sin.   Therefore, the New Commandment tells us that we are to love one another in the same way as He Who gave up His life to restore us to freedom.

This is interesting because the Right Reverend Phillips’ interpretation of the New Commandment which he confused with the Gospel itself is that we are to love others by doing the reverse of what Christ did – giving up our freedom for them.

Now he does go on to support his argument with evidence from St. Paul:

In 1 Corinthians chapter 9, Paul outlines the many ways in which he sacrifices his own self, his rights and privileges, his freedom in Christ, in order to effectively witness to the love of Christ.  “I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some,” he said (1 Corinthians 9.22)

For the Christian disciple, the effective demonstration and proclamation of the love of God for all people must take precedence over any personal demand or freedom.

St. Paul wrote his epistles to the Corinthian Church at a time when some had cast aspersions on his authority as an Apostle.   A principle theme of both letters was to answer his detractors and establish confidence in this authority.   This is what the Apostle is obviously concerned with through most of the ninth chapter of 1 Corinthians.   In the first verse he gives his Apostolic credentials, in the second he declares that if he is not an Apostle to others he certainly is to the Corinthians for they are the seal of his Apostleship.   He then goes on to talk about all the privileges and freedoms which he has as much as any of the other Apostles but which he refrains from for the sake of the work.   The main point in all of this is that he, as a spiritual minister, is entitled to pecuniary support from them, but has refrained from claiming his right to the same.   This is spelled out quite plainly in verses seven to fifteen

I wonder what St. Paul himself would have thought if someone from the Corinthian Church had written back to him and said that two thousand years in the future, someone would take his words about giving up the financial support to which he was entitled, so as to more effectively carry out the ministry of preaching the Gospel to which he was called and which he is bound by necessity to preach, as evidence that the entire Church should shut down, close its doors, and bar people from coming to hear said Gospel preached.   I suspect he would be livid.   I doubt very much that he would be any more impressed by the same application being made of his words later in the chapter, about meeting every type of person to whom he is sent in their own walk of life so as to more effectively share the Gospel with them.

His Retired Grace then refers to another quotation from a different pastor – again unnamed, but this time it was Heinrich Hildebrand of the Church of God in Aylmer, Upper Canada.  Hildebrand had said “We are here to fight for God, we are here to defend the vulnerable.”

I could have told you what the bishop’s response to this would have been without having read it myself.  However, here he is in his own words:

Surely the vulnerable we need to be worried about are those being exposed to the COVID-19 virus by persons not following the public health orders.   Surely it is those languishing on ventilators in ICUs in hospitals across our country who are the most vulnerable!

I guess it all depends upon how we answer the question “vulnerable to what?”   Even if, however, the answer is “the bat flu”, the Right Reverend Phillips’ thinking appears to be rather muddled on the subject.   Those most vulnerable to the virus are not those who are exposed to it but those with complicating factors such as age, obesity, a compromised immune system, and other chronic conditions that make this virus more than just the non-lethal respiratory annoyance it is to the vast majority who contract it.   When such people, the actual most vulnerable, have come into contact with the virus it has seldom been because of “persons not following the public health orders”.   That is a lie, invented by arrogant politicians and public health officials such as those of our own province, in order to create a scapegoat for the failure of their own policies.  The fact of the matter is that the worst and most lethal outbreaks have taken place in nursing homes where the virus spread got in and spread without any health order violations in spite of such places have been locked down quicker and stricter than anywhere else.

The bat flu, however, is not the only answer to the question “vulnerable to what?”    Suppose that we supply “the public health orders themselves” as the answer to that question.   We then get a very different picture of who the most vulnerable are.

Yes, public health orders hurt people.   The kind of public health orders that have been enacted to slow or prevent the spread of the bat flu are especially harmful.   This has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization, and even by our provincial chief public health officer.   Take the mental health crisis for example.   The Canadian Mental Health Association reported last December about how the “second wave of the pandemic has intensified feelings of stress and anxiety, causing alarming levels of despair, suicidal thoughts and hopelessness in the Canadian population.”   It would have been more accurate for them to attribute this to the “second wave of lockdowns”.    Viruses don’t have this effect.   Mendacious media scaremongering might contribute to it, but overall this is exactly the sort of thing one would expect to see among people who have had all their social and community events cancelled for a year, have been forbidden any social interaction with their friends, and have been told their businesses or jobs are non-essential and must shut down.   Public health orders are the primary cause of this problem.   People are not meant to live this way, it goes against the social nature that God gave us, and when you force people to live in these conditions there will be disastrous consequences.

Since our bishop emeritus made use of the superlative degree of comparison in his own remarks about those vulnerable to the bat flu, I think it is fair game for me to do the same in my remarks about those vulnerable to the public health orders.   Yes, some people are more vulnerable to the ill-effects of public health orders than others.   Somebody who is single and lives alone will be more adversely affected by an order forbidding get-togethers with all except his own household than somebody who has a happy domestic life.   Somebody who is in an abusive and unhappy relationship will be worse off because of a stay-at-home order than somebody who is happily married.   Those who are independently wealthy, whose jobs can be done from home, and whose businesses are in no danger of being declared “non-essential” will not have the kind of hardships that lockdowns impose on those about whom none of these things can be said.    Since the beginning of the bat flu scare the people who have been most likely to shoot their mouths off about how this never-before-tried experimental universal quarantine is “necessary” to fight a virus milder than most of those that caused pandemics in the last century, to lecture the rest of us about how unquestioning obedience to these orders is the loving thing to do and how expressing concern about economic devastation and the rapid evaporation of civil rights and liberties and their constitutional protections is somehow “selfish”, have been the people on the “least affected” side of each of these spectrums for whom the lockdowns have been mostly an inconvenience.

I will close with an observation that is related to the previous paragraph but is not specifically in response to our former bishop’s article.  I note the irony that the clergymen who have been the most vocal in support of the public health orders have been the ones who preach the most about “social justice”.  Indeed, I cannot think of a single dissenter from among their ranks.   The dark irony of this is not just found in the fact that the public health orders, shutting down restaurant dining rooms and indoor public places like libraries and limiting homeless shelter capacities were put into effect before winter ended last year and again just before winter started having absolutely brutal consequences for the very poorest members of our society, while everyone who keeps droning on about “social justice” was glad to be ordered to stay home in their own warm bed.   It can also be found in the fact that the economic result of the public health orders and the lockdown experiment has been to greatly enrich the multi-billionaires of the social media tech companies, internet delivery services, and the hopelessly corrupt pharmaceutical industry while bankrupting and driving out of business all the little guys, whose entire life’s work, and often the life’s work of their parents and grandparents before them has been wiped out through no fault of their own, but by the arrogance of some health bureaucrat who arbitrarily ruled their livelihood to be “non-essential”.   This is accomplishing an economic transition to societies in which small, individually or family owned farms and businesses are unfeasible, and everyone must either sell their labour to some giant, multinational, corporation to survive, or live off of a government allowance.   This is what Hilaire Belloc called “the Servile State” 109 years ago.   At the time, the expression “social justice” was still in its infancy and to those who believed in it in its original sense, the Servile State depicted by Belloc was pretty much the opposite of what they called and strove for, the worst possible of worlds.   Today’s “social justice” clergy have been calling for “universal basic income”, citing the pandemic and the “necessary” public health response to it as demonstrating the need for this measure, the most immediate effect of which would be to greatly accelerate the transition to the Servile State.    Of course what they mean by “social justice” includes such things as Critical Race Theory, the inalienable right of biological males to participate in female sports, and every other notion of this type that left-wing academics have dreamed up and their students have uncritically accepted and regurgitated under the delusion that by doing so they are thinking for themselves, but precious little to do with anything that the expression meant a century ago.   Should any of them be interested in the original version, I recommend to them the essay by that grand old Canadian economist, political scientist, wit, and Anglican layman, Stephen Leacock entitled “The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice”.   I wonder what Leacock would have had to say about people who consider it to be an expression of Christian love to wish government control, greater and more intrusive than any extended or even dreamed of by the totalitarian regimes of his own day – he died in 1944 when Stalin and Hitler were both still in power – on their neighbours?   Gerry T. Neal

Labels: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, COVID-19, Daniel Raiskin, Donald Phillips, Geoffrey Woodcroft, George Bernard Shaw, Hienrich Hildebrand, Hilaire Belloc, Hillel the Elder, John Strachan, Stephen Leacock, Tobias Tissen



The Canadian Red Ensign

SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2018

State of the Dominion – 2018

Today, on the 151st anniversary of the founding of the Dominion of Canada, let us take a look at the state of the Dominion. We will start on a positive note – contrary to what liberals would like us to believe Canada still is the Dominion of Canada. This is because the Fathers of Confederation gave our country the title of Dominion – as a substitute for their original choice of Kingdom – and the name Canada. This happened decades before the word Dominion became a more general description of self-governing bodies within the Empire as it evolved into the Commonwealth. When the Liberals repatriated the British North America Act in 1982 and renamed it the Constitution Act they did not excise the section and article that titles our country Dominion (II.1) and so we remain the Dominion of Canada. The late, great, Canadian constitutional expert, the Honourable Eugene A. Forsey, was fond of pointing this out as one of the inadvertently positive results of the repatriation process of which he was overall, and quite rightly, critical. Another observation of Forsey’s is worth mentioning at this point – that the BNAA, albeit under a new name and with some bells and whistles added –remains our constitution. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is not itself our constitution but a set of amendments to it. The common liberal notion that Pierre Trudeau gave us a “new constitution” in 1982 is a myth. Last, but not least, among the positives, Queen Elizabeth II does indeed still reign over our country as Head of State. It speaks very poorly of the intelligence of Justin Trudeau’s supporters that one of them chose to deride me for saying this in a recent essay even though it is an easily demonstrated statement of fact. Perhaps this liberal does not understand the difference between “reign” and “rule.”

Now we must turn to the negative side of the leger. Sadly, there is much more to be found here than on the positive side. There has been a growing tendency among true Canadian conservatives, i.e., those who wish to conserve the legacy of Confederation and the Loyalist tradition behind it, since the end of the Second World War to focus on the negative. This tendency stands in marked contrast to the more optimistic tone in the writings of the leading such Canadian conservative man of letters from the era that ended with the War, economist, political scientist, and humourist, Stephen Leacock. This is because the post-War conservatives have had much that is negative to focus on due to the success of a series of “revolutions within the form” that have been perpetrated by the Liberal Party. The first such revolution took place in the 1920s during the premiership of William Lyon Mackenzie King. John Farthing, in his posthumously published (1957) Freedom Wears a Crown, noted how this revolution seriously undermined Parliament’s ability to hold the government accountable leaving the Prime Minister and Cabinet with the near-dictatorial powers with which they have plagued Canada ever since. The book for which George Grant will forever be remembered, his Lament for a Nation, was published in 1965, two-years in to the second “revolution within the form” (1) that took place during the premierships of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. Lament was a jeremiad based upon the author’s conviction that the fall of the Diefenbaker premiership two years previously, due to its insistence on not allowing Canadian policy to be dictated by Washington D.C., spelled the failure of the Confederation Project of building a conservative country that could withstand the continental gravity pulling it towards the orbit of American liberalism. Diefenbaker himself sounded the alarm about the radical changes being introduced in the early years of the Pierre Trudeau premiership in his Those Things We Treasure: A Selection of Speeches on Freedom and Defence of Our Parliamentary Heritagepublished in 1972. The same year, historian Donald Creighton’s collection of essays – in many cases originally lectures – Towards the Discovery of Canada, was, if anything, more pessimistic in tone than Lament. Creighton, although the son of a Methodist minister, did not allow Christianity’s optimistic view of history as ultimately culminating in the Kingdom of God to moderate his nationalist pessimism in the way Grant did. Towards the end of the Trudeau premiership and the completion of the second revolution, Winnett Boyd, Kenneth McDonald, and Orville Gaines published a series of books under their BMG label demonstrating how Trudeau’s policies were further subverting Canada’s parliamentary form of government and Common Law rights and freedoms, moving us closer to Soviet Communism, and, in the final book in the series, Doug Collins’ Immigration: The Destruction of English Canada, deliberately engineering radical changes to the demographic makeup of English Canada and in the process unnecessarily importing racial strife that would make it impossible to maintain order without a more authoritarian, if not totalitarian, style of governing.

The fact that all of the above books, with the exception of Grant’s, have been allowed to go out of print and that the leadership of the present Conservative Party shows little to no interest in their contents is itself a good reason for negativity and pessimism among traditional Canadian conservatives.

Today, we are in the midst of the third “revolution within the form”, being carried out under the leadership of the son of the architect of the second, a man operating without the benefit of either brains or a brain trust, even as we continue to be hit with the repercussions of the second revolution. As an example of the latter, consider the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling in the Trinity Western University case. Trinity Western University is a conservative, evangelical, Christian university in British Columbia. It requires, as schools of this nature generally do, that its students agree to a Christian lifestyle covenant for the duration of their study. For some time now TWU has been working towards establishing a law school. While the law societies of most provinces have agreed to accredit the school and admit its graduates to the bar, the law societies of Ontario and BC have refused to do so. They consider TWU’s covenant to be discriminatory towards the alphabet soup gang, apparently holding the position that members of that group are incapable, unlike heterosexual singles who are also required to practice chastity by the same covenant, of refraining from acting upon their desires for the number of years it takes to get a law degree. The law societies’ decision has nothing to do with the quality of the legal education that would be available at the proposed school. What the law societies are doing is, ironically, exactly what they are complaining that TWU is doing – making their religious ethical convictions, in this case “thou shalt not discriminate”, into a standard that excludes others from membership in their community. There is a huge difference, however, in that the law societies are not the same kind of organization as TWU. TWU is a self-confessed, faith-based institution and the right of such institutions to require their members to adhere to the standards of their faith is well-established and time-honoured. The law societies are not institutions of that kind and have no such well-established and time-honoured right. The Supreme Court ought to have ruled in favour of TWU and prior to 1982 would have done so. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, however, transformed the Court into an agent of moral, social, and cultural revolution, which agrees with the law societies’ efforts to force TWU to abandon either its Christian principles or its efforts to establish a nationally-accredited law school, because it ultimately shares their Cultural Marxist agenda of replacing the Christian principles of the old Canada with the modern, secular, pluralistic ideals of the new.

To many liberals today it would come as news that Canada ever had Christian principles to begin with. Former Liberal Party strategist Warren Kinsella and Mike Harris – the journalist not the 22nd premier of Ontario – are among the liberals that I have seen claim that Canada is a secular country that believes in separation of church and state. This absurd claim confuses the Canadian political tradition with its American counterpart but Kinsella and Harris are hardly the first liberals to be so confused. The Liberal Interpretation of Canadian History – what Donald Creighton mockingly called “the Authorized Version” – has always been based upon the false notion that Canada’s story is a repeat of America’s story – a former colony struggling to gain independence from the British Empire – rather than the truth that the those who built our country deliberately chose not to go down that path but to build our country within the evolving Commonwealth on a foundation of loyalty and continuity. This truth does not sit well with liberals – but then no truth ever has.

It is not just the Supreme Court. Justin Trudeau, who duped the Canadian electorate into voting his party a majority government in 2015, has been another aggressive promoter of the Cultural Marxist agenda. Not that he possesses the intelligence to actually understand the theories of Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukács, Theodore Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Jacques Derrida or Michel Foucault. Cultural Marxism seems to be instinctual with him. He has made it a policy, starting this year, that employers receiving grants to hire student workers under the government’s Summer Jobs program must attest to their agreement with Liberal Party ideals including his crackpot notion that women have a right to murder their unborn babies. In other words “orthodox Christians need not apply.” The best that can be said about this is that it is merely an attempt to use the taxpayers’ money to bribe the faithful into giving up their convictions rather than dragging them before Human Rights tribunals and fining them or forcing them to attend the re-education camps euphemistically known as “sensitivity training classes” if they refuse to do so. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this means that Trudeau is less of a soft-totalitarian than his father. It just means that these other methods of cramming far-left views down Canadians throats are being reserved for new battles, like his war against “transphobia” and “Islamophobia”, rather than ones seen by the Liberals as having been won long ago.

It is, of course, only orthodox believers in the religion of the old Canada that the Liberals intend to press to give up their traditional beliefs. Neo-conservatives have recently called attention to the fact that the Islamic Humanitarian Service of Kitchener, Ontario, whose Sheikh Shafiq Huda was recorded calling for violent action against Israel at a recent al-Quds day march in Toronto, has been approved for a grant under the Summer Jobs program despite its leader’s conduct being as out of sync with the ideals employers are expected to sign on to as the pro-life views of Christians. When the neo-conservatives accuse the Liberal government of hypocrisy, however, they miss the point altogether. The Liberal Party’s Cultural Marxist agenda is one of replacing the old Canada with the new. Christianity, the faith of the old Canada, has to be forced to bow the knee to the idols of the new. Practitioners of other religions do not have to because they are part of the “diversity” that is one of the chief of those idols. In the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau campaigned against the previous neo-conservative government’s use of the expression “barbaric cultural practices.” The practices in question – forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and the like – are in fundamental conflict with the feminism that Trudeau espouses but to call anything that people from other cultures do “barbaric” is to sin against diversity. While Trudeau wastes millions of our tax-dollars on schemes for promoting “gender equality” around the world, at home the only throats he will shove it down are those of orthodox Protestants and Catholics and traditional English and French Canadians. The neo-conservatives, since they share most of the same ideals as the liberals – their objection to “barbaric cultural practices” was based upon the inconsistency of those practices with egalitarian liberalism – are reduced to pointing out the inconsistencies in Liberal practice, having no resources with which to resist and combat the Liberals’ increasingly radical left-wing agenda.

A large part of Canada’s trade has always been with the United States. For decades, however, the old Canada resisted the Liberal Party’s call for free trade with the United States. There were several reasons for that. Confederation took place only a few years after the Republican Party had come to power in the United States and put into place Alexander Hamilton’s “American system” of growing a strong manufacturing base through tariff protectionism and internal infrastructure improvements. Sir John A. MacDonald’s Conservatives knew better than to waste their time trying to negotiate reciprocity with a country that was not interested in it and furthermore recognized that due to the larger population and economy of the United States a free trade arrangement would lead to the subjugation of Canada – economically, culturally, and perhaps eventually politically. Goldwin Smith, the nineteenth century Manchester School free-trader and Liberal intellectual, made no effort to hide the fact that this was exactly what he desired for Canada in his Canada and the Canadian Question(1891). Confederation, Smith maintained, was a mistake – the formation of an unnatural country against the natural north-south trade flow of the continent, an argument which was amply refuted by Harold Innis in The Fur Trade in Canada: An Introduction to Canadian Economic History (1930) and Donald Creighton in The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence 1760-1850 (1937). Canada, Smith argued, should apply for entry into the United States. To allow this to happen would go against the very purpose of Confederation – uniting the provinces of British North America into a single country that could resist the expansionism of a United States that was preaching its “Manifest Destiny” to rule all of North America and which had threatened Canada with annexation more than once. The Tories introduced, therefore, their National Policy, which was a similar sort of protectionist nation-building to what the Republicans were engaged in south of the border at the time. In 1891 and again in 1911 Sir Wilfred Laurier sought election with promises of free trade – and both times he was soundly defeated. Sir John A. MacDonald, denouncing the “veiled treason” of reciprocity, defeated him in 1891 despite the collapse of his health that led to his death shortly after the election. In 1911 the poet Rudyard Kipling, in a front page editorial against reciprocity for the Montreal Daily Star that was reprinted across the Dominion wrote: “It is her own soul that Canada risks today. Once that soul is pawned for any consideration, Canada must inevitably conform to the commercial, legal, financial, social, and ethical standards which will be imposed on her by the sheer admitted weight of the United States” and the Canadian voting public evidently agreed. By 1988, however, Canada had already undergone the first two “revolutions within the form” and the objections to free trade were largely forgotten or regarded as having no abiding relevance in the late twentieth century. When the Free Trade Agreement was negotiated between Canada and the United States it was Brian Mulroney, the leader of what had been Sir John A. MacDonald’s party, that did the negotiating and signed the treaty into law. The Liberals were forced into temporarily disavowing their historic pro-free trade position in 1988, but they quickly resumed it when they returned to power led by Jean Chretien in time to oversee the evolution of the Free Trade Agreement into NAFTA. In the decades that followed, as free-trade opponents predicted, Canadian businesses were bought up by American ones and Canadians increasingly came to resemble Americans in the places they worked, shopped, and ate at. Many Canadians, however, seemed to think this was a small price to pay for cheap consumer goods and economic growth – a further indication of the Americanization of our culture feared by the Fathers of Confederation. Twenty-five years after the initial Free Trade Agreement, American-born Diane Francis of the Financial Post revived Goldwin Smith’s arguments with her Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, demonstrating that the kind of annexionist thinking that had led the old Canada to fear free trade was not quite dead after all. For the history of the resistance against just such an outcome see David Orchard, The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. (1993, 1998)

We have just been reminded of another reason why free trade was considered unwise – that we would be that much worse off if free trade were entered into and then rescinded than if we never agreed to it and became dependent upon it to begin with. In 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on a populist platform that included, among other things, a revival of the Republican Party’s old economic nationalism. Trump vowed to put the interests of his own country ahead of international and global concerns, promising that if he could not renegotiate NAFTA to his liking he would “scrap it.” The attitude Trudeau and his Trade Minister took, in entering into the renegotiation talks, was clearly not that of leaders who cared a fig about the interests and well-being of their country. They insisted on bringing into the talks all sorts of trendy, left-wing, nonsense that had no relevance to trade whatsoever but appealed to Trudeau’s international liberal fan base. Trump, evidently sick of having to put up with this, has begun slapping tariffs on Canada. Things were made much worse when, after the G7 Summit in which the leaders, including Trump, had agreed to a united communication, Trudeau seized the opportunity to gloat, provoking a barrage of insults from the American President and a hardening of his trade policies. In response, the Liberal government has declared that it will impose retaliatory tariffs against the United States, but this is not the same thing as protective tariffs incorporated into a larger National Policy as MacDonald had put in place. It amounts to a trade war being fought against a country with a much larger economy than ours by people who are fundamentally emotionally and intellectually incapable of placing what is best or even good for their own country ahead of their global, international, popularity. That is a recipe for disaster.

The Laurentian political class behind Trudeau has, behind its mask of indignation, been rejoicing over Trump’s verbal assaults on Trudeau because they have been bolstering up his support which had been declining drastically due to his own incompetence and egotism. The greatest fear of said political class, however, is of a populist revolt similar to the one that put Trump in power. That such is possible in Canada was demonstrated at the provincial level in Ontario with the election of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives and the decimation of Wynne’s Grits. The political class has every reason to fear because the arrogance and contempt they have displayed to ordinary Canadians has long exceeded even that with which Hillary Clinton dismissed ordinary Americans as a “basketful of deplorables.” In Canada, as in the United States, the most important issue over which the political class and the average citizen are at odds is immigration. In the 1960s the political classes of every nation within Western civilization adopted liberal views of immigration – that border laws should be lightly enforced, if at all, that immigrants should be accepted in larger numbers than ever before, and that restrictions based on race, religion, and ethnicity were not acceptable. Dissent from these views was condescendingly taken as evidence of irrational racial and cultural prejudices that would have to be eliminated through education. In Canada, the Diefenbaker Conservatives had removed racial and cultural restrictions on admission in the early 1960s, but the Liberals in the late 1960s gave the immigration system a complete overhaul. They introduced the points system of evaluating individual immigrant applications, a fair and ethnically neutral system, that nevertheless contained a large backdoor in the “family reunification” policy that allowed them to operate an ethnically biased policy under the guise of an ethnically neutral one. This policy, which Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau seemed to believe to be the solution to the existing tension between English and French Canada, was to make the country as diverse as possible as fast as possible. This was never a popular policy, as polling has always shown, and they took a particularly heavy-handed approach to dealing with dissent. (2) Laws which severely limited what could be said publicly in criticism of this were added to both the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. Twice, to my knowledge, government agents actually helped found and lead neo-Nazi groups (the Canadian Nazi Party of the 1970s and the Heritage Front of the 1980s and 1990s) for the purpose of creating a public fear of resurgent Nazism that could be used to tar all criticism of unpopular liberal immigration with the Nazi brush. Under Brian Mulroney’s leadership the Conservatives refused to criticize any of this and indeed embraced it all. The result was that by the end of the 1980s anyone who expressed the same restrictionist views of immigration that Conservative Stephen Leacock had expressed in his final book While There is Time (1945), that Liberal leader William Lyon McKenzie King, who led the Dominion in World War II, had held, and that the Rev. J. S. Woodsworth, first leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation had defended in the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of his Strangers Within Our Gates (1909) was suspected of Hitlerist sympathies. Even Preston Manning’s neo-conservative/right-populist Reform Party refused to challenge the Laurentian class’s manufactured and imposed consensus.

Skip ahead to the present day. In the United States, Donald Trump, fighting against the political establishments of both American parties, has been trying to stop the flood of illegal immigrants into the United States across the Rio Grande. Justin Trudeau, however, last year tweeted an open invitation to all those rejected by the United States. Surely it does not require more than a modicum of intelligence to see that those rejected by another country are not the ideal pool from which to draw your own country’s immigrants? That thought appears never to have crossed Trudeau’s mind, however, obsessed as he is with his image as the “compassionate” anti-Trump. This is an image he has been cultivating since the election that brought him to power which happened to coincide with the year in which the plot of Jean Raspail’s 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints came true and Europe was swamped with an invasion of those whose most effective weapon was Europe’s own liberal humanitarianism. Trudeau promised to bring thousands of these over here, which he did upon winning the election, after which he had his picture taken with them, and then promptly forgot about them as they were now the problem of ordinary tax-paying Canadians. After Trudeau’s ill-conceived open invitation tweet Canada suddenly found herself with her own brand new border crisis just like the American one. Trudeau and his Laurentian backers are deceiving themselves if they think the average Canadian is any more pleased with this than the average American.

Our political, academic, and media elite classes, fearing that they have built up a massive reservoir of resentment against their arrogantly imposed consensus which a populist reformer could easily tap into if he were willing to defy all their rules, have been going bananas with a Trump Derangement Syndrome that exceeds that of the American Left. Luckily for them no such reformer has yet appeared on the federal horizon. Unluckily for Canada, even if one were to appear, the best we could hope for would be that he would stop the third revolution dead in its tracks. What we really need is for the previous two revolutions to be rolled back and our country put back on the course set for it by the Fathers of Confederation.

Much as I would like it to, I am not going to be holding my breath waiting for that to happen. So, to avoid ending on a negative note, I will quote the thought with which George Grant ended his Lament fifty three years ago:

Beyond courage, it is also possible to live in the ancient faith, which asserts that changes in the world, even if they be recognized more as a loss than a gain, take place within an eternal order that is not affected by their taking place. Whatever the difficulty of philosophy, the religious man has been told that process is not all. “Tendabantque manus ripae ulterioris amore.” (3)

Happy Dominion Day,
God Save the Queen

(1) I have borrowed this expression from Garet Garrett’s essay “The Revolution Was.” Garrett used it to describe the American New Deal in the 1930s.

(2) Not coincidentally, the men who dreamed up this draconian scheme of silencing their opponents were admirers of the totalitarian police state of the Soviet Union. According to Elizabeth Bentley’s testimony to an American Congressional Subcommittee about the Soviet spy ring she had operated in the United States during the Second World War, Lester Pearson, who was attached to the Canadian embassy in Washington at the time, was one of her informers. This part of his ignoble career is often overlooked because of his toadyish attitude towards the Soviets’ rivals, the Americans, as when he engineered Diefenbaker’s downfall to please Kennedy, but when the man won his Nobel Peace Prize in the 1950s for selling out Britain, whose side Canada had traditionally always taken as a family matter, along with France and Israel, it was to both the United States and the Soviet Union that he had prostituted himself. Pierre Trudeau’s sympathies with Communism were well known. He led the Canadian delegation to a Communist conference in Moscow back during Stalin’s dictatorship, prior to his disastrous entry into Canadian federal politics as editor of the far left Cité Libre he engineered the Marxist revolt against the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec known as the Quiet Revolution for which, for some reason, he was never excommunicated, and while in power federally made no attempt to hide his admiration for Mao and Castro. Since Pearson and Trudeau’s leadership of the Liberal Party took place smack in the middle of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union both men were able to fend off criticism over all of this by writing off anti-Communism as a kind of “American paranoia” as if the old Canada had not been solidly anti-Bolshevik long before the Cold War, and indeed, before the period just prior to the Cold War, when the American President whose policies ensured that the Second World War would end with the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe, was kissing Stalin’s backside.

(3) The Latin quotation is from the sixth book of Virgil’s Aeneid. The English translation given by Grant in a footnote is “They were holding their arms outstretched in love toward the further shore.”