Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wish list, not overly Canadian

Facebook has this "Great Canadian Wish List" thing going on right now. It's an interesting experiment by the CBC to interact with the younger generation, they plan on compiling all the data and releasing the list on July 1.

I'm interested in seeing what things people think would make our country better; which ideas they have to make our country greater.

A few examples of what has been written:
Abolish Abortion in Canada (top wish)
Spirtual revival (number two)
Pro-choice Canada (number three)
Restore the Traditional Definition of Marriage (number four)
Lower/eliminate Tuition Fees (number five)

I'm a little afraid for this future. There's also a "wish" that Canada be completely athiest. Yikes. Let it be said that I consider myself to be more "spirtual" than "religious"... mainly meaning that I don't think the problem lies in people believing in a higher power, but that the problem mainly lies in the politics and drama of organized religion itself. I believe that it is our differences and the toleration of these differences that make our country what it is. Tolerance and respect, no matter which culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, age, etc.

On Abortion: I don't support the idea of abortion. I don't think that anybody really does. But I do support the idea of trusting women enough to make these life decisions for themselves. I know that no matter how much I may disagree with any decision that somebody else makes, it is in fact their decision to make. Not mine. And the people who will have an abortion now, are the ones who will continue to resort to this end even if abortion was not legal. It is far greater to have these procedures carried out in a medically controlled, safe environment rather than in basements and back alleys. This was the whole purpose of legalizing it in the first place. Abortion should never be used as a form of birth control, and when people consent to having sex, they adopt pregnancy as a possibility. They have to be prepared for the consequences of their actions.

However, there are a plethora of situations out there which makes this whole topic a very sticky thing. It's definitely not black or white. And I am not one to determine what anybody else should do in their own, unique situation. I don't believe anyone else should make this decision for them either.

We should rather build a community of acceptance which allows women to feel safe enough to discuss their options and possibilities so that they can be sure their decision is an informed one. And no matter whether they carry through with a pregnancy and raise a child, give birth and put that child up for adoption, or terminate the pregnancy... in every situation these women need support. They don't need to be shamed.

The Spiritual Revival wish claims that "40 years ago, there was the Hippie Revolution - a turning away from the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. 40 years has our country been trapped in the ideals of free love, drug uses, practices of abusive lifestyles et cetera; we are turning too far away. Now is the time for this and our younger generation to step up, get out of our comfort zones and pray together for a spiritual revival in Canada from sea to sea to sea!"

Blech. Way to blame the hippies for all the troubles of our country. I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday and didn't give in to the free love, drugs, and abusive lifestyles. And let me tell you, those church-goers were far from perfect. Furthermore, they should know about the values that God/Jesus/InsertHigherPowerHere teaches. What's that? Tolerance, respect and love? Love thy neighbour as thyself? Treat others the way you want to be treated? No where does it say only to love the other Christians. It says everyone. Regardless of their creed. The great thing about religion is that nobody really knows what's right or wrong. And so really, people shouldn't pretend they know it all. It's not possible to know it all.

All we can do is respect each other and be kind to each other and hope that in the end it all works out. Again, the great thing about Canada is that it does have this convergence of values, cultures, beliefs. And ideally, we would be accepting of the values and views of others... celebrating our similarities as well as our differences. It definitely makes democracy a lot more powerful when ideas are discussed from different viewpoints before people are elected or decisions are made. Our differences are one of our greatest strengths.

On marriage, it's kind of like everything else that has been discussed here. You know what? Any two people getting married is none of your business. And people who use the argument that gay marriage "demeans" or "lowers" the value of their traditional marriage... they are full of crap. Any marriage is a vow between two people and two people only (and God if you so believe). The only thing that can decrease the value of that vow is those two people involved.

And for those religious people who believe that homosexuality is wrong? Even if that is your view, the Bible/various religious texts say outright that it is not your job to judge people. That if anyone makes a wrong choice or acts in any way which could possibly be considered "wrong", they are the ones who answer for it in the end. So be quiet. You don't have to agree with the decisions and beliefs of others. You do have to respect human kind and the ability of people to make decisions for themselves. Further to that end, I would suggest that the only thing that would possibly demean this sacrament in my eyes, is when people enter into it lightly.

And on tuition fees, I think I've written on this before. I have. February 7, 2007, for those who care to look back. Basically, I don't support lowering/eliminating tuition fees. I do support people learning the value of money and having to work for what they get. People who don't have things just handed to them tend to value what they get out of it and work harder. I think an increase in grants, scholarships and financial aid is a good thing. Education should be accessible for those who really want it. That doesn't mean that it should be free.

I think this is all the ranting and raving I've got for now.
What are your wishes for Canada and the future of our country? Go.

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