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Don't let Pride Month go to Waste
Effective resistance requires real understanding
This is what neo-pagans call Pride Month. Patron saint? Ernst Röhm, I should think. At least it has that sort of feel to it. A couple of news items in illustration...
This week the education ministers in B.C. and Ontario both insisted that school boards in their respective jurisdictions are not permitted to opt out. According to the National Post, "Education Minister Rachna Singh opened Pride Month with a lengthy statement detailing how a failure to affirm and recognize students’ gender identity is a violation of the B.C. Human Rights Code."
The truth of that premise I very much doubt. More posture than pith, I expect, though in B.C. codes and standards are changing faster than Röhm could crack a whip or cock a revolver. Anyway, the growing struggle over this Pride business—growing, as Rod Dreyer notices, with the Muslim population—will not be settled by ministerial diktat.
Pride Month is all about posturing. It is DIE showtime. I have written about EDI or DIE before, in its university setting. It was obvious long ago which postures were being struck, and what direction the parade was headed. It was also obvious how manipulative was the logic that governed it.
thesis: Vive la différence! [D]
antithesis: We’re all in this together. [I]
synthesis: What we celebrate you must celebrate. [E]
Simply put, DIE is the death of authentic culture. It is the transition from a deeply rooted culture or set of cultures to a culture of command, to a whipped culture. It is not the end, but the beginning, of a violent monoculture tethered to raw power.
This week there was also a story about a teacher in Edmonton's Londonderry school district, accompanied by a very entertaining recording of the tongue-lashing she gave some of her pupils. The guilty parties, apparently, had effectively repudiated the sacred dogmas of multiculturalism and the aforementioned DIE. Here's a rough transcript, but do listen for yourself:
You are out to lunch if you think it's acceptable to not show up because you think there's some Pride activities going on at school... GSA kids were here when we did Ramadan ... and they were showing respect for your religion, for your beliefs... It goes two ways. If you want to be respected for who you are, if you don't want to suffer prejudice for your religion, your colour of skin, your whatever, then you've got to give it back to people who are different from you. That's how it works. It's an exchange. And it isn't like that in all countries. In Uganda ... if they think you're gay, they will execute you... If you believe in that kind of thing, then you don't belong here. Because that is not what Canada believes. We believe in freedom. We believe that people can marry whomever they want. That is in the law. And if you don't think that should be the law, you can't be Canadian. You don't belong here, and I mean it, I really mean it… (It's not a joke, Mansour!) It just makes me angry. Sorry, I'm a little worked up...
I confess to sympathy for this teacher, and not only because I myself don't like it when students miss class. She seems to me much more genuine, much less given to posturing, than our education ministers. Her passion for justice shows, though she does indeed get a little carried away. But her logic, rather than her passion, is what I find most interesting. For it is a self-defeating logic. I expect that, at some level, she knows that. Perhaps that is the deeper source of her frustration.
Permit me a free-handed paraphrase, in my own voice rather than hers. You can fill in the gaps yourself, where my imaginary student interjects:
We'll respect your identity so long as you respect ours. At key points, of course, ours trumps yours, because we were here first… You say you're a Muslim? Fine and well, so long as you're not the kind of Muslim who thinks God made man male and female. We had a belly-full of that from the people who were here before us… Okay, okay, they were our own people, but we've disowned them. Haven't you read any of those exposés of indigenous—whoops, I mean Christian—fundamentalism that the CBC and the Toronto Star turn out? What do you think we brought you here for, in the first place, if not to undermine that kind of thing? … Look, it's not so much that we didn’t really want you here, as that we really don't want them here. Admittedly, it’s a bit disappointing to discover that you’re rather like them. I suppose we should have done a bit more homework… We believe in freedom, you see, and when we say "freedom" we mean freedom! We don't believe in any kind of created order that might inform our freedom. We believe in creating our own order. That's our religion… We believe, for example, that people can marry whomever they want. Men can marry men. Women can marry women. Men can become women and women can become men and marry and remarry to their heart's content. That's the law these days… Well, if you don't think that should be the law, you can't be Canadian. In fact, you make it difficult for us real Canadians to be Canadian. We do so like to respect everyone! But we can't respect anyone who doesn't respect what we respect and we respect our own right to respect only what and whom we choose to respect. And we certainly don't respect fundamentalists! … You fear you may qualify? Very sorry to hear that. But it's our way or the highway, Mansour.
Again, I don't mean to put words in her mouth. I do mean to say that she has been taught to think in a fashion that is incoherent. I don't blame her for getting cross, though I think that it is those who trained her (not those she is training) with whom she should be cross. She should be cross with their muddled and manipulative dogmas, which at the end of the day require a Jew not to be a Jew and a Christian not to be a Christian and a Muslim not to be a Muslim, etc., and could just as easily require anyone to be something other than what they are and have (for better or worse) chosen to be. Or, as we shall see in a moment, not to be at all.
Should our schoolteacher friend happen to read this—one supposes she will be given some time off for reflection—I will make so bold as to suggest some further reading.
First, my rejection of Pride and my account of where the Pride problem originated, which was not with so-called homosexuals but rather with so-called heterosexuals. There are a few surprises there.
Second, the concurring reasons of McLachlin C.J. and Moldaver J. in Loyola. They did a better job of navigating the multiculturalist maze, and of resisting its monocultural tendencies, than did Abella J. for the majority. Knowledge of this case might serves well in the classroom.
If that whets the appetite, then one might consult the book for which this blog is named; which, by the way, does not shy from pointing out that there does come a time to say, "Hit the road, monsieur." Or, if listening is preferred to reading, there is always this, even if my original audience did not really come to listen.
But now a third item that appeared this week, seemingly unrelated to Pride Month. It concerns Loi 11, which on Wednesday passed in Quebec's National Assembly by a margin of 103 to two, with one abstention. Among other things, this law obliges palliative care homes to call the MAID for those who may want her. That is, it demands that all palliative care services be "expanded" to include killing.
I alluded above to the late Weimar and early Nazi days in Germany, in part because I already had this in mind. And yes, I do think there is a link between command cultures and command killing. Sex, medicine, politics, and murder are not so easily disentangled as some imagine; as the last few years have shown, it's not merely race or religion on which we must keep an eye.
Augusto Del Noce's shortlist—scientism, eroticism, and secularization—delineates quite nicely, I think, the cultural axis on which we have been turning. Some might be content to say sex, death, and DNA, though secularization provides the requisite grease for our preoccupation with each. But here again I must send the reader away, to examine Del Noce's profound and profoundly disturbing book, The Crisis of Modernity.
Now, the logic of Loi 11, which reeks of the death-fetish into which we too have fallen, is not difficult to grasp. Let it not be forgotten that the pioneers and practitioners of palliative care in Canada have been firmly against euthanasia, as a matter of principle. But our political masters have determined, for reasons of state—that is, of a command economy—that euthanasia must triumph. For that, it is not enough merely to starve hospices and palliative care units of funds. It is necessary to assure that no one who stands on principle will be able to train or continue working in them.
What better way to erode the distinction between care and killing, indeed to erase it altogether, than to insist that the one is not permitted without the other? Just as we will no longer have any ethical conflict over sex, because pansexualism and the in-principle infinity of the LGBTQ+ movement leaves nothing that cannot be celebrated except a refusal to celebrate, so also we will no longer have any ethical conflict over state-sponsored dying, because in the places where death regularly occurs we will have no ethics at all.
We are, as Del Noce himself observes, witnessing the death of ethics. Do add his book to your reading list. Find a place for it between those Daniel Silva novels or whatever else it is you read in the summer. That way you won't let Pride Month go to waste. I dare say you’ll see much more deeply into it and into the deceptive monoculture it represents. Effective resistance requires real understanding.
PS: I haven’t forgotten that some of you have encouraged me to monetize and even pledged something in advance. While grateful, I do have mixed feelings about it, though I want, if nothing else, to support the Substack platform. Anyway, I’ll continue mulling it over. I’m not in a rush, or not about that!