Church Burnings

I don’t know what’s happening in Canada, honestly. Every day I read about the burnings of churches. Here’s today’s news, a Catholic church in Edmonton. Yesterday I read about an Anglican church burned in BC. I went to read comments about the burnings on Twitter and they are almost without exception justifying the vandalism.

24 thoughts on “Church Burnings

  1. It all started going downhill with the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I wonder why. But then I feel that Canada plays the role in North America that Sweden does in Europe, the capital of virtue signalling. They are in love with the idea of being “nice people”.
    As Flannery O’Connor wrote, “we govern by tenderness. […] When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror.”

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  2. As far as I understand, in this case it is not about virtue signaling or vandalism or freedom of religion, it is revenge, related to Church running residential schools. Recently large number of unmarked graves of indigenous children who died while at residential schools have been discovered here and there..

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    1. ” revenge, related to Church running residential schools”

      I was wondering about that, residential schools (in both the US and Canada) were truly horrible under the best of circumstances but the large numbers of unmarked graves of children is far worse than anything I’d imagined.

      Not a justification for burning down churches now but I’m assuming that’s the connection – oddly missing from most stories.

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  3. Not just Canada, Europe has seen a absolute plague of church burning over the last few decades. I remember a few years ago reading about churches being burned in France on what seemed like a weekly basis. In China the church has fled underground, Africa has stories of christian towns being raided and wiped out that were almost monthly, well till the virus took over the news.

    It shouldn’t really be surprising though that people were justifying the vandalism. We are told in John 15:18-19 “If the wold hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

    I feel that as we get closer and closer to being raptured out of here, we will continue to see such things as the world grows worse and worse. Heck we were actually told it in biblical prophecy. Matthew 24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” To sum of the days of Noah, they were so wicked and so evil that a grand total of 8 humans were spared the Lord’s wrath.

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  4. Read about the recent history of violent First Nations activists in Canada, then look at recent news reports about unmarked graves at Residential Schools in British Columbia, many of which were operated by Catholic and Anglican charities. A volatile mix for what is called “mostly-peaceful protest” in the USA.

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  5. My comment would actually make more sense if read in the context of recent “aggressive” behaviour against Christian assemblies in several Canadian provinces, under the guise of anti-Covid measures, obstructing, preventing and making it virtually impossible for Christians to conduct worship, in terms of legislative, police and social backlash. This is indeed Orwellian, it’s the Ministry of Love all over again: “it’s for your own good!”. And I would still link it to that burning desire, so widespread among Canadians, to be considered “nice”. It would be pathetic if it weren’t horrific, but so far no one is shouting that the emperor has no clothes.
    As for Native peoples / First Nations [a preposterous concept: try using that very same idea in Europe and see where it leads you] expressing their resentment for the actions of the churches in the past with regard to residential schools, the general atmosphere of contempt for organised religion seems to be conducive to that sort of reaction, with the accompanying feeling of impunity when not of justification.
    Looking at it from Europe, it seems to me that the writing is on the wall for the transplanted European civilization that gave rise to that of the New World, and things do not look so much better this side of the Atlantic: civilizations are fragile ecosystems. I still think it was a good one, the best the world has seen in fact, with all its warts and flaws and I am saddened that it should expire under the attacks of people who have, on the whole, vastly benefited from it.

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  6. “I don’t know what’s happening in Canada, honestly.”

    The wokesters have taken charge of Canada’s elites and they have snuffed out any organized resistance. It’s that simple. It hasn’t happened (at least yet) in the USA because your elites are traditionally a fractious bunch unwilling to march together in a single column.

    “It all started going downhill with the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I wonder why.”

    Astute observation. Short answer – Canada’s elites wanted to move jurisdiction over adjudicating the boundaries of traditional common law rights of individuals from the legislature, where their control could not be guaranteed, to the more elite-friendly confines of the legal profession. It worked a charm.

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  7. I have wondered a lot about the unmarked graves at the residential schools. From the beginning, in Canadian media and discussions, I saw people clearly implying that this was evil or the product of malice or foul play, but no actual discussion of what happened, e.g. what the causes of death were.

    At a conservative blog I read, I finally asked a Canadian commentator who brought it up, wasn’t this death from disease rather than a massacre?; and he said yes, but the church was still at fault, because disease had previously killed so many natives, “what were they thinking” (but he didn’t say what they should have done differently). And then he added that “some people” think it was planned.

    So I’m still unsure what to make of this combination: public guilt over deaths at the residential schools, combined with no coherent discussion of what actually happened. Until my exchange at the blog, I had no idea that the hidden subtext might truly be, suspicion that natives were allowed to die or encouraged to die. I thought it might just be contemporary naivete about child mortality in the past.

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    1. It reminds me of the recent Canadian drama about rapes on reservations. Everybody has been apologizing and chest-thumping over the extreme racism of it without bothering to mention that the violence against First Nations women is done by First Nations men. It’s some sort of collective insanity. Now they are in a fresh round over these graves. Nobody can explain what the drama is but they all bulge their eyes and hiss at you. “Don’t you get it??? Graaaaaves!!!”

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    2. Canada, like other western countries, is facing a full on attack on its history by the wokesters in a cynical campaign to delegitimize its liberal democratic norms and institutions.

      As you correctly point out, here we have “public guilt over deaths at the residential schools, combined with no coherent discussion of what actually happened.”

      As always in politics, the real question is cui bono from orchestrating this sort of cheap theatre.

      The list is actually quite long and includes federal and provincial politicians, native leaders, civil service administrators, academics, journalists and so on. When these folks have finished feeding at the trough, it’s a safe bet that there won’t be much left over for any currently alive and actually downtrodden native civilians.

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      1. I recently attended a Zoom presentation at a Canadian university. My blood ran cold when the presenter opened with a chirpily delivered statement to the effect that “we recognize that we are on stolen lands.” I felt deeply embarrassed to be among people given to such outbursts. Any discussion of “stolen lands” is so ignorant, so anti-scholarly and so dumb that I felt insulted to be in the audience.

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        1. Oh, from my (thankfully scarce) dealings with Canadian academia, I understand the mention to “stolen lands” is now de rigueur.
          What is slightly new, though, is that they’re doing it now that no one is physically on campus. I mean, who could the presenter know whether each and every delegate is Zooming in from “stolen lands”?

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          1. It was bizarre, indeed. An unthinking, rote recitation, completely Soviet in nature. And what is it supposed to do? What should reciting this empty formula accomplish? I’m repelled by the religious nature of these incantations.

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            1. “My blood ran cold when the presenter opened with a chirpily delivered statement to the effect that ‘we recognize that we are on stolen lands.'”

              Yes, that’s what’s being claimed although it’s never stated so baldly.

              To illustrate here are two “acknowledgment” statements used to open formal meetings at the two universities in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa.

              “We [University of Ottawa] pay respect to the Algonquin people, who are the traditional guardians of this land. We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded.”

              “Carleton University acknowledges the location of its campus on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. In doing so, Carleton acknowledges it has a responsibility to the Algonquin people and a responsibility to adhere to Algonquin cultural protocols.”

              First generated by wokesters in Canadian universities, such “acknowledgments” have spread into the wider Canadian community. For example the Winnipeg Jets hockey team now makes the following announcement at all its home games apparently after being lobbied to do so in 2016 by an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba.

              “Bell MTS Iceplex is located on Treaty One lands, the original territories of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. True North Sports + Entertainment proudly acknowledges our role in the many relationships that make up our home and commit to a spirit of reconciliation for the future.”

              “What should reciting this empty formula accomplish?”

              Very briefly, these “land acknowledgements” are meant to challenge directly liberal democracy’s norms and institutions founded as they are on the Lockean liberal natural rights of individual citizens to life, liberty and property. They point towards a new regime with several significant neo-feudal characteristics.

              Implicit in all this is the claim that land is no longer a commodity that individuals can acquire full title to as private property but is instead related to the legitimacy of blood lineage. Further, the rulers of this new regime will not be accountable to individual citizens with individual liberal rights but, like medieval kings, will exercise power through claiming the fealty of groups/identities after coming to mutually advantageous arrangements with their leaders.

              It must also be noted that these “land acknowledgements” serve the immediate purpose of blame-shifting by the responsible elites – several layers of state functionaries and native leadership – for the social, political and economic dysfunction so unfortunately characteristic of the lives of too many native Canadians – to historical villains and ordinary taxpaying citizens.

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              1. Even a hockey team?? This is worse than I thought.

                What bothers me the most is the religious aspect of these incantations. The practice of religious rituals without a transcendent object leads to great ugliness. It’s been tried before, and it’s always bad.

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  8. “Even a hockey team??”

    This is not a singular phenomena peculiar to the Winnipeg Jets. As far as I am aware nearly all professional sports teams in Canada regularly deliver “land acknowledgment” statements before games. And, casting the net more widely, most official public meetings in Canada now begin with solemnly delivered “we stole the land” confessions.

    “The practice of religious rituals without a transcendent object leads to great ugliness.”

    Yes, but this is a feature, not a bug. Rather than invoking the blessings of a good and merciful God (who they mostly despise) at the beginning of public events, with quasi-religious fervour the wokesters substitute ancestor worship of the enlightenment noble savage trope as a means to throw shade on the western civilization they seek to overthrow.

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    1. I can’t tell you how confused my students look every year when I tell them what the ‘indigenous’ cultures were really like. They start googling ferociously because they just can’t believe that the human sacrifices, slavery, rape, and viciousness among “noble savages” aren’t my invention but fact.

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      1. “confused my students look every year when I tell them what the ‘indigenous’ cultures were really like”

        I have a great respect for and affinity for lots of aspects of Native American cultures (esp SEast US), but the cartoon vision of indigenous peoples as pacifistic and pure-hearted ecologists is just so hilariously wrong in so many ways….

        They’re human beings and have the same tendencies toward hypocrisy and violence as all people. The cultures have lots of interesting aspects and sometimes valuable features but they’re as complex and contradictory and maddening as other human cultures.

        One of the things I loved about Black Robe (1991 Canadian movie) was that it didn’t glamorize or try to wish away inter-tribal violence.

        And the wiki page seems wrong, when I saw it the French characters spoke French, not English.

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        1. I talk about the great achievements, too. And I tell students that the ferocious Aztec warriors who fought valiantly wouldn’t be grateful to us if they heard us portray them as primitive, fluffy and smiley eunuchs.

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    2. ” “we stole the land” confessions.”

      Isn’t it also preparation for dispossession? It’s easier to kick people out of homes they don’t own…. it’s a end run around the law to turn people into propertyless peasants.

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      1. “Isn’t it also preparation for dispossession? It’s easier to kick people out of homes they don’t own…. it’s a end run around the law to turn people into propertyless peasants.”

        Yes, my thoughts turn in this direction too. Lockean natural rights – as in life, liberty and estate – have become “fetters” in the Marxian sense to our emerging regime.

        “At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.”

        “Peasants” can no longer feel that they have secure title to land that all solemnly and publicly agree was stolen. Similar to feudalism, its birth and lineage that determines property rights here, not the market.

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