Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When Religion and Politics Meet – WHAMO – Instant Controversy

Last week, the Canadian federal Liberal Party accused the ruling federal Conservative Party of distributing targeted pamphlets suggesting that the Liberal Party was anti-Semitic.

These pamphlets ask voters to choose which federal leader is “on the rig

Conservative Party of CanadaImage via Wikipedia

ht track to represent and defend the values of Canada’s Jewish community.” They were distributed in five Liberal-held ridings, with large Jewish populations, by the federal Conservative Party of Canada.

The pamphlets compare Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper against federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s support of Jewish political causes.
Naturally, these pamphlets were paid for in part by all Canadians, from taxpayer dollars – regardless of what religious beliefs you hold.

Look out – whenever politicians bring religious values to the debate, nothing good ever happens.

What the Conservative Party of Canada did wasn’t by accident, yet they have been asked to apologize by the Liberal Party of Canada.

Mailing out pamphlets specifically to Jewish-dominant areas, discussing the opposition party’s lack of Jewish-based political support didn’t just happen – it was obviously carefully planned.

One could argue that it is no different than a toy company mailing out pamp

Stephen Harper gives a victory speech to party...Image via Wikipedia

hlets to areas with lots of families with children – they are specifically targeting potential customers.

However, the difference here is, governments aren’t supposed to represent any one specific faith or religious group – they are supposed to be relatively neutral, looking out for all citizens best interests.

What’s next – will the Liberals fight back by targeting highly Muslim areas, and show how their leader was more pro-Muslim than the Conservative leader?

Canada is one of the most diverse nations on Earth – rightly or wrongly we let anyone into our country. Some known terrorists have got in, and there are always questions about how many cultures fail to accept Canadian values – which causes many problems here.

Image via WikipediaMichael Ignatieff

Still, we have many pocket communities, each dominated by one specific cultural or religious group. Some areas are Muslim, some Jewish, some Chinese, some Greek, some . . . you get the idea.

This makes it very easy for governments to send out religious or cultural-based propaganda to specific areas, and raises the question – should governments be taking religious or cultural sides?

Not being Muslim, if I receive something clearly from my federal government in a Muslim language, with images and icons from that culture, I’d be offended as I’d feel like an outside in my own land.

Being Jewish, if I received the pamphlets that the Conservatives sent out, I’d naturally be curious – but then I’d also be somewhat suspicious – why are they ignoring the over 250 other nationalities in this once great land of ours?

Once great is right – with isolationistic cultures being allowed to live, work and play in this country, without accepting basic Canadian values, this country nose dives from its once great glory. Add to this, governments that send out cultural-specific mailings, in a sense encouraging this alienation and isolationistic mentality, and one day, Canada won’t be Canada any more.

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