The Ontario government has gone back and forth over the changes in the sex education curriculum. In 2015 a new curriculum was introduced that upset people enough to elect Doug Ford who immediately undid it putting us back to the 1998 curriculum. So what are people upset about and why? Where should we go from here?
We live in a politically correct society where we are not allowed to say what we really feel because it would be offensive. This is one of many reasons why Trump is President today. First because he doesn’t follow the politically correct way of behaving, he says whatever he feels like and when he is challenged on it he usually doubles down and restates it! I hate Trump more than anyone, I really do, but I can appreciate this quality because at least he owns his biggoted-ness. Secondly, Trump is president because people are sick of living in the shadows. In my Black Lives Matter post I said that everyone has racist thoughts, even if we are reasonable enough to know they aren’t true we still have them, but we can’t talk about them. We have shut down conversation by being politically correct and this election has proved that people are sick of it! And post-election has proved how deep these tensions go (see the above picture).
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if you know your neighbor Jim hates Muslims? If he went on rants in public about how much he hates Muslims then you could maybe talk some sense into him. Instead what happens is that Jim hates Muslims, but he can never talk about it because if he does he will get yelled at and called names by someone more rational… or what Americans call “Liberal”. The troublesome thing is that people who berate Jim, don’t even know what they are saying. They usually don’t have an opinion based on thoughtful contemplation but just on regurgitating what someone else said. They are just as ignorant as Jim, only in the other direction. They spout their hate in the opposite direction, but in the end it is still just ignorant hate.
A person could respond with an explanation of how the Muslim religion cannot be represented by a few bad people. A dialogue could begin to try to see the world from a new viewpoint. But both sides are too ignorant and arrogant to have a reasonable disagreement. When someone says something racist, people who disagree don’t say “What makes you feel that way?” they say “Wow, you’re a racist, how can you say something so hateful…. you bigot!” Do you see the hypocrisy in that statement? How can you say something as hate-filled as calling someone a “bigot” (whether it`s true or not) for being hateful? It doesn’t make sense! But it’s politically correct to call someone a bigot.
So everyone ends up feeling this pressure to conform to political correctness. Let’s talk about the word “Nigger”. When you “ban” a word, any word, it has absolutely no effect on people’s thoughts or feelings. The people who would call a black person a nigger, still think of black people as niggers even though they can’t say the word. So by banning the word, all you have done is move their racism into a hidden realm. They are still very much racist, but now they pretend not to be. You could be friends right now with a horribly racist person but you have no way of knowing that. So let racists say “nigger” and let them deal with the consequences of their hate, which hopefully is people (especially white people) standing up, in person against racist and hate-filled people! Change isn’t easy! In the movie/book “The Help” a white girl writes a book and fixes everything… how cute… how unlike real life. We have to fight for values, we might have to actually get dirty because politics and niceties do not fix hatred.
We are seeing outbursts of violence and hatred that we haven’t seen since MLK or the Detroit riots. This is a good thing though, this racial tension has been building in the states for a long time but ignoring it will not change! Protests like Black Lives Matter make a real difference, unlike voting in a corrupt democracy. Healing cannot happen until each side has a chance to speak. The next step will be for both sides to listen, maybe that can happen once the inflammatory anger subsides. I think there has been an illusion that racism doesn’t exist in the U.S., now we are seeing what was veiled behind political correctness. We should allow people to say what they really feel while we condemn their hatred, instead we condemn things that offend us and engage in this hatred back at them!
The point is, I’m glad Donald Trump is president because I hope all the racists and bigots aren’t afraid to say what they want anymore, and it seems they are not! When people are allowed to openly say what they feel that leads to an opportunity to discussion, civil disagreement on a topic, reasonable and logical dialogue about important topics. In the Muslim example, the racist might see how he is overgeneralizing and the Liberal might see that the racism is stemming from a very real post 9/11 fear. Maybe both would end up seeing that they are not so different after all, both are afraid of terrorism and both probably overgeneralize sometimes. That is a much more enlightening conversation than the yelling match that is exemplified perfectly in the American political process.
To lazy to read? The short answer is yes. Ok, go back to Netflix.
I’m going to paraphrase a long quote from Lumen Gentium Paragraph 16.
Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God….But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. – Pope Paul VI
Now notice that Paul VI uses the word for God “the Creator”. Obviously the God that Christians worship, which is not simply God the creator, but also the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Muslims do not believe this, and some would say that the Muslim God is so different because of this that it does not count as the same God we worship. I would say that this is focusing only on the differences and not on the similarities, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
That is a valid point to bring up, but is not sufficient to say that we do not worship the same God. One of God the Father has a main quality, that he created. If I was to say “I believe in the same God as you, but he did not create the universe” then ya, that’s not the same God. For example “Pantheists” believe that nature is God and that there is no outside force holding nature in place. That has a certain amount of truth to it however I wouldn’t equate it with the Christian God. Muslims however believe in the Abrahamic God, the same God present in the earliest writings of the bible. From what I understand, Muslims followed Ishmael’s lineage and Christians follow Isaacs.
Now that is not to say that Christians can embrace the full Islamic religion. There are very important differences but at its core we do worship the same God and we have so much we could learn from Muslims. There is a problem that arises from when we only account for our differences and focus little on our similarities. It leads to a “us vs. Them” mentality and we see them as enemies rather than allies. They most certainly are our allies when we live in such a secular, dare I say, anti-theistic world!
What I think people don’t realize is that the criticisms of Muslims from non-religious people can easily be turned on Christians as well. Some say Muslims are violent or oppress women or believe in an archaic book. All these attacks can be used against Christians as well. We can respond with “not all Muslims are violent, only some” or “oppression of women is rooted in people, much deeper than simply their religion” or “just because a book is old doesn’t make it untrue”. Even if these arguments from non-religious people are somewhat true, the sweeping generalizations made are not true. Furthermore from a secular perspective those sweeping generalizations, sweep us Christians away with them.
So when we hear someone say anything negative about Muslims that is unfair, untrue or over generalizes them, we have a duty to object! Justice calls us to defend Muslims far more often than we realize! When we let a joke slide that makes fun of a religious Islamic tradition, we allow them to make fun of our Christian traditions as well.it is our obligation to defend religions of all sorts against slander. If we do not, we are really letting slide slanderous words about Christians and ultimately slanderous words about the one true God.