Nov 11th is a day to honour those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy in Canada. Reading a few headlines recently causes me to wonder where we find are as a nation.
1. Rex Murphy: Governor General appoints herself umpire of questions of faith and science
In the National Post headline, Rex Murphy posed an important question in response to the new Governor General’s recent speech: In this wonderfully diverse Canada that Ms. Payette now represents, was it her intent to ridicule the religious beliefs of so very many faiths?
There are many people in Canada who hold a biblical worldview and many who obviously are of a different opinion. I always understood that we have a freedom in Canada not just to hold those beliefs, but also to have leaders (particularly appointed leaders) in our country who respect those rights and freedoms, not ridicule them. It seems to me that our Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Canada, has in fact, misrepresented our Queen, who herself has referenced God many times in her speeches. I found the GG’s comments divisive while the emphasis of the Queen is unity. In 2011, our Queen said, “Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities.” The GG would benefit from reading some of the Queen’s speeches.
2. A post by CBC News in regards to Alberta’s Home Education Association who has invited Ken Ham, a top US creationist, to be the keynote speaker at their upcoming conference in April 2018. The article quoted Calgarian Paul Ens who criticized this decision and stated, “It (the invitation) signals to me that this homeschool group is not serious about following provincial curriculum or proper science education for their children.”
Based on the speech by the GG and the statement from Ens in this article, it seems that science and a biblical worldview are completely opposed to one another. However, read closer as Rex Murphy clarifies how these views are not necessarily in conflict; “… the observations on the origins of life and the religious understandings of that most profound of subjects are not in contest, as evidently she (GG) thinks they are, with scientific understandings. They can, and in fact often do, co-exist. There is physics, and there is also metaphysics; facts are indeed truth, but truth is very often more than just facts.”
Truth is meant to bring us to a higher place, where we can co-exist with others who may have different beliefs and opinions. The message from the Queen is one of reconciliation in the midst of differences. Let’s remember that in Canada we are free to co-exist. Determining if what you believe is actually truth can be a challenge.
“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you … Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.” C.S. Lewis
A common saying used in academic circles is, “The truth will set you free” and is often used to promote academic freedom and the power of learning. A recent visit to the Museum of the Bible helped me realize the impact of the Bible on education. Many universities have this statement emblazoned on a sign near the entrance of a building. But “the truth will set you free” did not originate in academia; Jesus said it first. His statement has nothing to do with classroom learning. In fact, John 8:32 speaks of a higher form of knowledge than is capable of being learned in a classroom.
It seems that the best selling book of all time (the Bible) is something that many are afraid of. Maybe it is seen as dangerous, especially when it comes to education. In his blog, Jerry Bower asked that very question: Is the Bible Dangerous?
“If the Bible is the truth, then ignoring it is ignoring the truth. Contempt for it is contempt for the truth. Hostility to it is hostility to the truth. And there is nothing more dangerous to a person than to build a life on hostility to the truth”
As a parent, I want my children to be free and live according to truth and certainly not be hostile to it. It can be a struggle to discover truth but the goal is an eventual embracing of truth which creates principles we can live by. I always felt responsible as a parent to train my children, which is a step above following any provincial curriculum.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said this of education:
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
Is Canada as free as it once was? Have you felt your freedom in Canada threatened by recent happenings?