In one, which unfortunately I can't link to, a Globe and Mail columnist disputes a colleague's claim that Canadian society is as religious as American. In "My Canada Doesn't Include Religiosity," Michael Adams, who has written extensively about Canadian social values, writes, "It is neither elitist nor 'out of touch' to state that Canada is becoming increasingly secular. It's accurate."
Adams acknowledges that "Most Canadians categorize themselves as Christian when asked to tick a box on their census form. . . . Many of us will even claim to be religious." But he reminds readers that although 61% of Canadians say they believe in god, only 28% say religion is very important to them, and just 16% attend religious services at least weekly (with another 21% attending monthly).
After analyzing an extensive Pew Center poll, Adams finds "no evidence of a religious revival in Canada of the sort we see south of the border." He says "Canadians are about half as religious as Americans, and Canadians' and Americans' divergent views of religion are one symptom of a growing disparity between the two cultures."
To which I say: yeah, baby!
Another reader from the north sent me a cool column from the conservative site I quoted a few days ago.
In this column, Fred Reed takes a look at the Bush administration's single biggest strategy and weapon: fear. After visiting Washington DC, he writes, "Fear seemed to be everywhere, or at least to be promoted everywhere, but I wasn't sure who was afraid. Nobody I met was afraid. Nobody talked about terrorism or paid the least attention to Mommy Metro. Maybe just the government is afraid. Or maybe it wants us to be afraid. Maybe it's afraid of us."
To anyone who followed the 2004 campaigns, this is nothing new. Bush's speeches basically ran along the lines of: "9/11 9/11 9/11 fear fear fear fear the gays are coming to get your children terra terra terra fear fear fear".
Reed later writes:
A burly federal cop of maybe thirty slid my passport through a scanner and examined the results on a screen carefully placed so that I couldn't see it. You are not allowed to know what the government knows about you, or thinks it knows.While this is hardly new to me, it is a new source. The libertarian right and the libertarian left do have a lot in common, as someone recently said here.
This blue-suited renta-a-bozo started with the rapid-fire questions. I figured he had watched too much television. "Where are you coming from?" Mexico. "Why were you in Mexico?" I like Mexico. "What were you doing in Mexico?" I live there. "Why are you going to Washington?" "Why, to blow it up, Charlie, with tiny little nuclear bombs concealed in my shoes. Gee, you caught me."
I didn't say this or I'd be hanging by my thumbs in Guantanamo. I pictured the Gulag fleeing Russia and oozing across the bottom of the Pacific, pseudopodia groping, to its new home in the Land of the Free. Lunch.
The new America. No checks, no balance. There's no restraint on the power of these people, and they know it. If you suggest that it is none of their business why an American citizen is going to his country's capital, at the very least you miss your flight. You could easily end up in jail, and nobody would know where you were.
I have to remember to call the loathsome people in Washington neocons - or better yet, fascists - as opposed to conservatives, since they are not interested in conserving anything.