For as long as I have been able to vote, I have heard warnings about “the extremists.” You know, those backwards people who want to undo our country and make it the way they want it. The fanatics. The more that I listen to those on the left side of the political spectrum talk about these bogeymen, I realize that they apply the term extremist to anyone who has a value system and isn’t willing to leave it at the door. It turns out, after careful consideration, that I am one of those extremists.
While I was in high school, my teachers tried to talk me out of thinking in stereotypical terms. Not all muslims are suicide bombers, not all catholics have large families, and not every woman wants to work in the home. For the most part, I will concede that stereotypes are usually inaccurate. Why is it then that the left continually receives a free pass on their never ending assault on Christianity and the people who practice the faith? Why can they stereotype all Christians as book burners and get away with it?
For the most part, Christians built this nation. They worked hard, built cities, our system of government, and most of our civil and criminal justice system. (The current one, before it was ruined.) They value family, neighbours, honesty, integrity, virtues, and a long list of other traits. It seems that the rub comes because they also have values.
The leader of the Liberal Party talks about values. Canadian values, Liberal values, and now, his new puppy, Progressive values. Stephen Harper talks about values too, but his values are mocked by the left. Not because they are extreme, and not because they are different. He is mocked because they are values that he believes in, not values of convenience.
Mr. Martin, for example, claims to be an outstanding Catholic. He attends mass and claims to adhere to the faith. All through the Bible, which he claims to believe in by the very statement that he is a practicing Catholic, there are records of rulers throughout the earliest times of human civilization. The kings of old are placed by scripture into two groups. They are described as either good or evil, based on their reign and on the truths that they used to govern.
Today’s leaders feel no qualm about stating their ‘faith’, (their words, not mine), and then quickly add a disclaimer that it will not impact their decisions as leader of their nation. Talk about having a leg on both sides of the fence. It’s a wonder they can even walk.
To their credit, the last few leaders that we have had in Ottawa have kept their word. Their leadership left no trace of any kind of value system whatsoever. Today’s leaders have perfected the art of having absolutely no values and then passing that off as a value system.
As someone who holds their values to be dear, and who takes them seriously, I find it very troubling to hear my prime minister use lovely words such as tolerance and unity, and to hear him preach about acceptance of others regardless of their lifestyle choices or religious beliefs. In the same breath, he turns around, points at Stephen Harper, and accuses people like me of being extremist. I suppose if being out of the ‘mainstream’ is extreme, then the label is correct. However, greatness and uniqueness are not curses. Excellence comes from those outside of the mainstream. They are beyond the norm. That is what makes them great.
Canada was built on a culture of acceptance of all, and by a nation of people who embraced values. Not Mr. Martin’s disposable brand of feel-good mainstream, non-denominational values, but real values. Values that they did not simply drop off at the door on the way to work. Their values weren’t cuddly words to make them feel better about themselves. Their values actually defined who they were and how they behaved.
I say to you, and all of the politicians and people like you, Mr. Martin, that I am sick and tired of being labeled because of your intolerance. Your brand of values is of no effect. It is hollow, changes with the winds of political expediency, and does not guide you through one moment of your day.
If the fact that I embrace my values makes me extreme, then so be it. There was a time when that was the norm.