Cultural Identity and Weakness
Growing up in Canada, I was raised in a free country. Indeed, Canada is one such country in the world which has been fairly free and has had a good human rights track record. Up until I was a teenager, I was brought along to the Sunday services at the local Roman Catholic Church. I did participate as an Altar Boy, and looked upon the church services respectfully. To me it was a great honor to be serving as an Altar Boy.
I also went to school in the Catholic school board, and while religion class was mandatory until grade 10, religion was never really pushed on me. There was always a freedom for me to choose. That freedom exists, in part, due to the foundations and history of Canada. The democracy and Constitution of Canada help protect the freedoms of Canadian Citizens. It is our country and government which helps protect the freedoms we have. The government also has a role in protecting sovereign culture. The unique identity, and culture of a nation helps bind the citizens of that nation together, and maintains independence. For Canada, this has always been a challenge. Being neighbors to the United States of America, it is a struggle to maintain a unique culture, when a very powerful and influential culture is located on your doorstep. But, through laws and regulations regarding media, Canadian culture remains strong. Those regulations are important to maintain the unique identity of Canada.
I have been living in the United States of America for about 11 years now. The United States has its own, similar brand of Freedom and Democracy. History is just as important as culture, and needs to be remembered, in order to maintain the unique identity of any country. What I am seeing happening right now in both Canada and the United States of America, is that the culture is changing. History is being erased, and shamed. Both countries are loosing their former identities. When this happens, the protections which guard our freedoms begin to crumble.
Our borders and identities are very important. We need to stay united and proud of our country and heritage. Yes, the United States had a Civil War many many years ago, but it was settled, and changes were made over time. We erected statues to remind us of the past. "Never Forget". But apparently we have forgotten.
The constitutions of both countries protect our freedoms, and our identities. But they exist as objective, easy to understand documents, which exist only as long as the government which protects them exists. If the country grows unstable, we lose that freedom. And no, I am not speaking of a police state, but rather of external cultural influences which seek to expand and 'invade'. The world is not short of people with differing belief systems. One of the strongest, and most threatening belief systems these days is radical Islam. This religion has been sweeping across Europe for decades now, and is imposing political pressures on lawmakers. Radical Islam is a religion which opposes freedom. There are many aspects of it which are propagated today, which revert back to the medieval times. "Western" Culture, which promotes freedom of expression, and equality of sexes and races, goes against traditional Islamic views.
The issues in Europe are often not reported. Political 'correctness' opposes saying anything bad about Islamic influences in the culture. Sharia law courts are popping up in the UK, Netherlands and Germany, among other European countries. Islamic law is being seen as being as powerful as the state laws in some cases, and isn't regulated by any state democracy. This issue has grown intensely in Europe, ever since the European Union began removing sovereignty of each individual nation state which makes up the EU. Removing the unique cultures and identities of each state, created a weakness, which allowed a very influential religion to take hold, and begin to control the culture of each state.
Europe is a prime example of what we do not want to happen in North America. Allowing our culture and sovereignty to falter and crumble, will only open the door to influential, and more radical cultures to move in and take over. Which will in turn revoke many of our freedoms.
One of the signs of a failing empire, and in turn failing culture, is the removal of statues and symbols of that culture. With all the issues with statues being removed across America, and even talk of removing John A MacDonald's name (first Prime Minister of Canada) from Canadian schools, it seems like maybe the "Western" culture is under attack and beginning to fail. I feel that those who are participating in the demise of our culture, really don't understand what they are doing either. But I do not see this ending well for our freedoms, or our cultural identity in the long term.