By Lea Z. Singh |

Canada’s commitment to free speech is about to be tested in a major new case involving Bill Whatcott, a Saskatchewan nurse and Christian activist whose leaflets were the subject of a 2013 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. This time, Whatcott has been slapped with a C$104 million lawsuit by two of Ontario’s most prominent gay heavyweights: iconic activist Christopher Hudspeth and former Liberal Deputy Premier George Smitherman.

They are suing Whatcott for mental distress on behalf of Toronto's entire gay community and for libel against various Liberal leaders including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The lawsuit stems from Whatcott’s activities at this year’s Toronto’s Pride, which Whatcott and a handful of others managed to infiltrate while dressed as “gay zombies” in green suits. They handed out leaflets which graphically warned about the health dangers of gay sex and accused the Liberal party of being in cahoots with the gay agenda.

Click here to read the rest at MercatorNet.
By Jasbir T. Singh |

Take a wild guess where I am in my grade 6 class!

Thomas Sowell's call to eliminate affirmative action made me reflect on my own experience as a visible minority (East Indian) growing up in Ottawa in the mid-1970s. I also thought about my current situation as a public servant in the Government of Canada. I strongly support Thomas Sowell's position against affirmative action, and want to explain why.

My parents are first generation immigrants from India, and I was born in Canada. All throughout elementary school, I was always one of two visible minorities in the class. The beauty of being a child is that you naturally don't think of racial issues, and while the majority of my friends were white growing up, it never occurred to me that I was different in any other way, other than my skin tone. I never felt held back in any way, and I was never discriminated against in school. I can only recall one instance when I was around 10 years old while riding my bicycle when I heard some kids yell out  "paki!" as I rode by. I didn't turn back and just ignored it, but I remember feeling hurt by it and somehow ashamed that I was different from everyone else.

Other than that instance, which made me aware that some people could be mean to visible minorities, I knew that this was an exception rather than the rule. I never once blamed white people for putting me down or holding me back. I had a wonderful childhood, and all opportunities were open to me.

Then, as a young adult, when I started filling out government forms and employment application forms, I felt strange when asked to mark the check box next to my racial ethnicity. I thought to myself, why ask this? Why do "they" want to know if I'm East Indian? I think I'll leave that question blank, thank you very much.

I instinctively thought that such questions were somehow immoral and unfair, and that they could be used against me, possibly to discriminate against me for not being white. Later on I learned that these ethnicity questions were designed to "help" visible minorities rather than to discriminate. This was my introduction to the world of affirmative action and employment equity.

To this day I detest such questions on job application forms. I never asked for special treatment just because I'm a visible minority, and I don't want special treatment just for being brown. It's an insult, and simply unfair to win a job competition on these grounds.

It reminds me of an East Indian woman I know who is approximately 5'2". Approximately 20 years ago, when she was in her 20s, she was successful at becoming an Ottawa Police Officer. It baffled me because my 6'0" 180 lb. male friend didn't make it, and to this day he knows he didn't make it because he is a white male. He explained how the year he competed for the position, several visible minority women were hired instead. I feel really sorry for my friend, and I do believe he was discriminated against for being white, reverse discrimination if you will.

What is even more upsetting to me is that the East Indian woman who somehow "passed" and was hired, barely lasted 5 years as a police officer, and eventually resigned. Meanwhile, my friend today is a struggling auto mechanic, and I'm sure still bitter about not making it. There's nothing wrong with being an auto mechanic, but the point is that his dreams of being an officer were crushed due to employment equity policies. He had everything going for him, a degree in criminology, superior athleticism and strength, conviction about justice being served, you name it. He really wanted to serve and protect.

Any time employment equity policies are applied, they tend to favour one group over another, and at the same time act as a barrier to another group. Such policies simply override merit-based hiring practices, and therefore, should be eliminated. As Thomas Sowell points out, visible minorities did not ask for employment equity. This notion is in the minds of the white people who fabricated it on their own volition to apparently "correct" the unfair discrimination of visible minorities. Affirmative action was the wrong reaction to an apparent problem. For more thorough discussion, read The Case Against Affirmative Action.

The better course of action would have been to fire any white person who perpetuated discrimination against a minority group, and to further promote a merit-based system based on education, experience, and potential for good performance.

Audio lead in music (altered), Sunset Moments, by Scott Holmes licensed 
under an Attribution-NonCommercial License at the Free Music Archive.
By Jasbir T. Singh |

In elementary school during recess, Bobby (bully) pushes and punches Greg (good guy) repeatedly and doesn't stop. A teacher has already been informed about Bobby bullying Greg, but Bobby doesn't care. No adult is present when Bobby bullies Greg repeatedly.

What do you think Greg should do?

a. He should run every time.

b. He should fight back.

c. He should block the blows defensively without fighting back.

If you selected, a, then you have failed to help Greg address his situation. Greg will learn that he has to run when faced with adversity, and his self esteem will likely plummet. He is at risk of not learning how to stand up for himself and face adversity. You have also allowed Bobby to continue with his behaviour, knowing that he won't stop. Greg could be affected for the rest of his life. By answering, a, you have failed him.

If you selected, c, then you probably think that any form of violence is wrong because it implies an "eye for an eye". You may think that only non-violent means should be used in every situation in an effort to make peace. In the adult world of course we should refrain from retaliation. After all, the following teachings are great lessons for humanity:
To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Luke 6:29

But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:39-41
However, in Greg's situation, the non-violent approach is not appropriate. It will have failed to help Greg, the victim, and Bobby will continue to bully Greg. There would also be no sense of justice.

Option, b, is the right answer. It is perfectly acceptable and legitimate for Greg to fight back in order to defend himself. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2263-2265) has an excellent explanation of legitimate defense. It teaches that:
...If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful...
In my opinion, not only is Greg justified in fighting back, he should be encouraged to do so. It will help to develop and shape his character for the better, possibly for the rest of his life. He should be taught that fighting is not the answer in most situations, and that it should be avoided when possible. However, if someone attacks you, you are perfectly in your right to defend yourself with as much force as is necessary (with moderation) to ward off the aggressor.

This reminds me of a time when I was five years old. The townhome we lived in at the time backed onto a public park with swings and play structures. I would often play there, and I was always within earshot of my mother, who I think could see me from the kitchen window. Back in the 70s parents were rarely seen in the park with their children.

I'll never forget Guy, who was probably my age. He had long hockey hair, always had his shirt off, and his body was usually covered with black grease stains. At least that's how I remember him. He was the tough guy, the king of the 5-year-olds in the park, and he was aggressive towards me, always acting as if he would hit me.

I was afraid of Guy, and he knew it. He would practically bully me out of the park whenever I was playing there. It got to the point where I refused to play at the park anymore because of Guy's threats.

One evening, my Dad asked me why I stopped going to the park. I told him that I was afraid of Guy, and that he would hurt me. I'll never forget how my Dad handled the situation...I'm forever grateful to him for it. He basically taught me how to stand up to Guy, and that I should continue to play at the park. He explained that if Guy ever approached me to punch or hit me, then I should be ready with my fists clenched. He taught me how to make a fist for the first time in my life.

He then went on to show me how to throw a sideways knuckle-punch landing right on the deltoid muscle. Of course my 12-year-old brother was there to help me practice.

The next day, I went to the park, and was confronted by Guy. Before I knew it I was trapped in a circle of boys surrounding us as they were shouting, fight! fight! fight! Of course there wasn't a parent in sight. When Guy approached me with his chest all huffed up and sticking out, I reacted out of fear and panic, and threw my knuckle punch. It landed perfectly on his left shoulder, and he went down, wincing in pain. I looked at my hands, and said, it worked! Guy ran off, and never bothered me again.

This was a defining moment in my life, and I remember it clearly almost forty years later. I know for certain that it helped to give me confidence as a boy, and probably helped to shape my character, giving me a good start in life. I learned right from wrong in those days, and about standing up for myself.

I never grew up to be a fighter, and I never had to resort to fighting since then. Nobody, except for my big brother, has had to face my side-way knuckle-punch, and even then, it was just during play fighting when trying to escape his headlocks.

Audio lead in music (altered), Sunset Moments, by Scott Holmes licensed 
under an Attribution-NonCommercial License at the Free Music Archive.
By Paul Malvern |

Some years back I attended a two-day conference on Sufi spirituality held at the University of Toronto. The keynote speaker was the late Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, who was at the time the leader of the Sufis in the Western Hemisphere. A warm and wise man, he began his speech by citing Jesus’ statement, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”, adding as an aside that, before that happens, it will first make you very unhappy.

This is a particularly apt warning for those of us committed to the democratic traditions that have made the U.S. and Canada prosperous and stable nations in which freedom and justice are the birthright of every citizen. For there is a growing sense among many that our current democratic systems of government are not all they should be. Nor does political discourse seem as vibrant and intellectually challenging as it once was – a prime example being this year’s U.S. Presidential election cycle which offers more than a few examples of this unhappy truth.

Sadly, such incidents are just the tip of the iceberg – with democratic dumbing down now taking place in virtually all Western nations. In this ‘low information’ Brave New World, election campaigns have become tasteless extravaganzas in which parties and policies are marketed very much as your might sell a box of laundry soap. Candidates are chosen and sold to the public on the basis of their appearance and demographics rather than their grasp of issues or potential for governing well and wisely. Political debate has become increasingly rancorous with charges and counter-charges hurled with little concern for the truth. And the breadth and depth of political discourse shrinks daily as politicians and the media avoid discussing issues that might offend the sensibilities of some special interest group. As a result, honest, open and intelligent discussion of issues is replaced by a stifling conformism that makes dealing with the real problems facing us virtually impossible.

Low Information Citizens

To date, much of the discussion of the ‘dumbing down’ of our political and governmental systems has focused on ‘low-information’ voters – a term which encompasses both those who do not vote and those who do vote but have inadequate information upon which to make a well-informed choice. While originally simply descriptive, this term has over time taken on a nasty, insulting and judgmental quality – being little more than a euphemism for ‘stupid’. In its new role as the ultimate political insult, use of the term seeks to shut down debate and allow those wielding it to feel morally and intellectually superior to others. Those benighted souls who embrace Christianity as a living faith or who hold socially conservative views are all too familiar with how this particular game is played – being frequently characterized as poorly educated rubes, bigots, and anti-sex, anti-science, ‘bitter clingers’ who are unable to understand the complexity of the world they live in.

Even so, there are some gentler spirits out there who are not prepared to consign the great unwashed masses to outer darkness. These enlightened souls view the low information citizen as someone to be embraced and redeemed, not scorned and rejected. For them the low information syndrome cries out for better voter education so those afflicted by it can join the rest of us in happily exercising their democratic rights and responsibilities. One such group of idealists are the officials at Elections Canada, the government body charged with ensuring the integrity of the election process, which also sees a role for itself in encouraging greater citizen participation in national elections. Apparently, this second goal is proving to be a daunting one, given the increasingly jaundiced view many have of politicians, government institutions and the value of voting generally. In an attempt to better understand why so many Canadians do not vote the organization commissioned a major study of non-voters and why citizens are choosing to opt out of the electoral process. Judging from the results, it could not have provided them with very pleasant reading since the clear message from those polled was that they have had it with politicians in particular and government in general. And they feel that elections have become meaningless exercises that have nothing to do with them. The study reported that, “There is a widespread perception that politicians are untrustworthy, selfish, unaccountable, lack credibility, are not true to their word, etc. Similarly, the government, sometimes with a capital "G" and sometimes without, betrays the people's trust, and accomplishes little.” 1

Clearly, not the sort of thing you can build on to restore trust in the country’s political and governmental systems!

Of course, leaving aside the details as of why each approach is problematic, there is a more general problem to consider – namely, that both approaches focus on the supposed failings of citizens and more or less totally ignore how our political and governmental systems may contribute to the situation. And they fail to consider the possibility that many of those who disengage from the political process may have good reasons for doing so.

Profiling the Low Information Voter

So who are these ‘no shows’? And why do they show so little interest in voting or staying abreast of current events?

Studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada show heavy concentrations of disenfranchised citizens among youth and the poor – many of whom see elections as irrelevant to their lives. Sadly, they do have a point. For governments and political parties in Canada and the U.S. often put more emphasis on issues of interest to older and affluent voters who have better access to information and political contacts, a stronger sense of entitlement, and higher voter participation rates. And the points of view of powerful and well-financed lobby groups and those special interests represented in the governing coalition are much more likely to be taken seriously than the concerns of individual citizens, no matter how well they might present them.

In such an environment, those who are the strongest and wealthiest and have the best political clout and connections almost always get the most attention – while those who are poor, powerless and lack patrons to argue their case get further marginalized. Given the seeming hopelessness of their situation, many of them concentrate on those tasks that can make a difference in their lives – such as finding a decent job, paying the bills, and getting a good education and place to live for their kids.

Fostering the Low Information Environment

So if “low-information” behaviour is not the result of some arcane form of original sin on the part of citizens, where does the blame lie? To answer this question, we need to look higher up in the food chain to identify those people who may have a vested interest in fostering the growth of a low-information polity.

As we do that, we need to constantly remind ourselves that there is a huge difference in politics and government between the truth and what is touted as the truth. This means rejecting the sunny picture of politics and government portrayed in high school civics classes in favor of a model that more accurately mirrors reality. For the harsh fact of life is that for many in government and politics, the goal is less about public service than it is about career success, getting power and keeping it. And one of the best ways to achieve these goals involves managing the flow of information to citizens, trumpeting your successes and hiding or spinning your failures. None of which bodes well for the future of our democratic system of government!

Then too, while most governments and politicians may claim to want open, transparent government and extensive public input, the reality is often quite different. For nothing is as terrifying to those in power as a well-informed, fully-engaged citizenry that knows where the bodies are buried, politically-speaking, and is mad as hell. To counter such a threat many politicians and government officials do their best to make sure the public receives as little real information as possible, especially information that might be negative or embarrassing.

Political parties may also attempt – occasionally in concert with their competitors - to keep citizens ill-informed or misinformed. Sometimes this takes the form of partisan attacks and counter-attacks that suppress some facts and distort the importance or meaning of others. At other times, this may involve tacit agreement among parties not to discuss certain issues, as happens with the abortion issue in Canada. And the growing centralization of parties hinders free-wheeling, open discussion by fostering a system in which party insiders develop policies and positions behind closed doors, using party discipline to force rank and file compliance. Teamed with this is the growing tendency to treat elections as marketing exercises rather than opportunities to meaningfully discuss issues and policy options. In this world of political gamesmanship and image polishing, building your brand is all that matters. And the frank discussion of ideas and facts is replaced by crass appeals to emotion. As a result, candidates are chosen and sold on the basis of their likeability, physical appearance and demographics. And mud-slinging and negative advertising is used extensively to damage rivals’ brands.

Many lobby and special interest groups may also seek to limit the information available to citizens. And they may attempt to prevent full-scale debate on issues impacting their area of interest – particularly when those issues involve such controversial matters as abortion, which is portrayed as the exercise of personal choice by a woman rather than the ending of the life of her unborn infant.

In recent years, some journalists have also joined the ranks of the “low-information”, either out of some strong ideological conviction, a lack of commitment or intellectual prowess, or a desire to avoid rocking the boat. Part of this may flow from the media’s increasing use of an entertainment model rather than pursue serious journalism which is invariably difficult, intellectually demanding and time-consuming. Under this new paradigm, many news and public affairs programs now entertain, tranquilize and enrage rather than inform and encourage serious consideration of issues. And some on-air personalities are little more than ‘teeth and hair’, as long-time journalists are wont to describe them. Equally deadly is the flight from objectivity in favor of advocacy journalism where truth becomes whatever your favorite political party or special interest group says it is. Coupled with this is the practice of some journalistic zealots to cherry-pick or distort facts and smear the other side in order to advance their agenda – a practice which mirrors the growing ideological and cultural divide seen in both Canada and the United States.

But while many governments, parties and journalists foster the growth of a low-information polity, they are also unwitting victims of it themselves at times. For example, many career politicians have never had a real job outside of politics, which severely limits their knowledge of ‘real life’ and their grasp of issues. Many senior bureaucrats also have limited knowledge of how the world works outside of Ottawa or Washington. And many journalists are inhabitants of the same bubble in which senior bureaucrats and politicians operate. Those inhabiting this bubble often live in the same neighborhoods, have the same friends and share a similar culture. And they frequently share a similar worldview, which causes them to view alternate opinions as ill-conceived, illegitimate and occasionally even evil. The result is an information deficit and group-think that cripples the policy making process and discourages journalists from exposing bad governmental policies, poorly thought-out political platforms and those incompetents and rogues in government who are less than a credit to their office.

Not a happy picture – to be sure! But at least now we know.

Summing Up

So coming back to our original point - is Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan correct in saying that knowing the truth will make you unhappy? Judging from the realities of our political and governmental systems, he does have a point. But Jesus is also right. For it is only by knowing the truth – not some media-generated fairy tale - that we can ever hope to fix what is broken and restore democracy and citizen participation to their former place of honor. And that’s a hope all of us should cherish and build on.

[1] Jon H. Pammett and Lawrence LeDuc. Explaining the Turnout Decline in Canadian Federal Elections: A New Survey of Non-voters. [Ottawa]: Elections Canada, 2003. Retrieved from:

My article, published by The Federalist today:

The new hiring policy at the University of Cincinnati is straight out of a George Orwell novel. Since July 1st, everyone from full professor to part-time custodian is now required to swear allegiance to the cult of Inclusion and Diversity.

If you want to apply to any hourly-wage job on the UC campus, you will need to write a paragraph explaining "how your qualifications prepare you to work with faculty, staff and students from cultures and backgrounds different from your own."

...Continue reading at The Federalist.

By Lea Z. Singh |

My latest piece, published today by Crisis Magazine:

Every year, pornography tangles up millions of people in its sticky spider webs. It rolls them up like hapless flies, and sucks out their brains until they are pretty much the walking dead. Christians are not exempt. And we are finally starting to admit it and talk about it.

But there is still something missing in the discussion. Most of the time, articles about the negative effects of pornography focus on men. Women have set up lawn chairs on the sidelines, often as despairing wives who wonder how to deal with their porn-entangled husbands.

And this seems only right, because many of us believe that pornography is mostly a male problem. Although women are increasingly consuming pornography, the majority of users of internet porn are still men. For instance, CovenantEyes reports that "68% of young adult men and 18% of women use porn at least once every week","64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month", and "Men are more than 543% more likely to look at porn than women."

But what if these statistics are not giving us the whole picture? What if they are ignoring a huge segment of the pornography industry, a segment which affects millions of women just as powerfully and negatively as internet pornography affects men?

Click here to read the rest at Crisis Magazine.

Note: this piece has been reprinted by LifeSiteNews.

A poignant passage in Immaculée Ilibagiza's book Left to Tell recounts how her father, a proud and prominent Tutsi in their village, resisted leaving Rwanda in the spring of 1994, shortly before the genocide. The signs of brewing violence were becoming increasingly obvious, but Ilibagiza's father was determined to be a sign of hope for his Tutsi community. He remained almost incomprehensibly optimistic, refusing to believe that the worst could happen. So, his family forfeited chances at making an escape, rejecting the last getaway plan the very night before their own village was attacked.

Then suddenly, it was too late. The killing sprees began like rain out of gathered clouds, and Ilibagiza's mother, father and two brothers lost their lives almost immediately. Ilibagiza herself survived only by miraculous luck, spending three terror-filled months crammed into a small hidden bathroom with several other women.

When I first read Left to Tell, the attitude of Illibigaza's father struck me as incredibly naive. Even though he paid the ultimate price for his quixotic hope in human goodness, I felt a certain anger at him for being so stubbornly blind as to throw his whole family into the path of machetes. How could he have been so foolish?

But as I continued reading about the Rwandan genocide, I discovered a rather surprising thing: the story of Ilibagiza's father was not unusual. In the face of oncoming danger, many people seem remarkably resistant to the suggestion that very terrible things can happen.

For instance, one author writes:
"One reason the death toll was so high was that many people in the villages simply refused to believe that such a thing was really happening. There had been massacres before, but never anything like this...Many people heard it on the radio and simply did not believe it.

The RPF radio station, Muhabura, was also broadcasting at this time, telling the people about the genocide. The station told them that all Tutsis were being executed, and they needed to flee for their lives. But still people stayed."
Later I discovered that during the Second World War, many Jews also resisted leaving for safety when they still had the opportunity. Very often, eyewitnesses who escaped from concentration camps were not believed, and some were even reported to German soldiers. As the Holocaust Encyclopedia states:
[T]he Nazi regime benefited from the unwillingness of the average human being to grasp the dimensions of these crimes. Leaders of Jewish resistance organizations, for example, tried to warn ghetto residents of the German intentions, but even those who heard about the killing centers did not necessary believe what they had heard. “Common sense could not understand that it was possible to exterminate tens and hundreds of thousands of Jews,” Yitzhak Zuckerman, a leader of the Jewish resistance in Warsaw, observed.
One survivor's account reminisced about how inside Auschwitz, many prisoners refused to believe that people were being incinerated in the gas ovens. Despite all of the clear signs, including the acrid smell that filled their daily air, prisoners remained convinced of alternate explanations for what was happening. Even there, on the doorstep of hell, a certain strange blindness shielded many people from understanding, or admitting, the full terrible reality.

This blindness, which seems to be a universal feature of human psychology, is helpful when it protects us from despair and insanity in the face of insurmountable odds. But it may also prevent us at times from making life-saving choices. If we refuse to recognize or acknowledge the severity of the danger before us, then we are not likely to get out of its path.

The Signs of the Times

I am not trying to suggest that our contemporary cultural revolution will open the door to a genocide or any kind of physical violence. Not at all.

But a genuine persecution of Christians does appear to be on the horizon. Anti-Christian sentiment has been growing exponentially in recent years. Losing jobs, losing standing in society, losing tax breaks for Christian businesses, fines for businesses and individuals, even some arrests...all those things are already starting to happen. Christians and conservatives of all stripes are being pushed out of the public square, silenced and openly discriminated against, as described by Princeton Professor Robert George in his famous 2014 speech:
...To be a witness to the Gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. To unashamedly proclaim the Gospel in its fullness is to place in jeopardy one’s security, one’s personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, one’s standing in polite society. One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members. Yes, there are costs of discipleship—heavy costs.
In a nutshell, Christians who reject same-sex marriage are being turned into the equivalent of Old South racists. And everyone knows that "bigots" ought to be spat upon.

So vilified by their society, Christians can expect no mercy.

And so, it should worry us that just as liberals are increasingly making use of the words "racists" and "bigots" when talking about Christians who do not accept same-sex marriage, so are conservatives increasingly making comparisons between the triumph of today's gender ideology and the rise of Nazi Germany.

Our future may not be like Nazi Germany. Or like Communism, or like Jacobin France. Our future oppressive regime will probably have a new face...but an old body. Dictatorships have come and gone throughout history, and each remake of that same old song is also a bit different from all the rest.

One thing is always sure: no dictatorship is a pleasant cup of tea for dissenters.

Girding Our Loins

However you choose to prepare, I suggest three points to remember:

1. Don't expect anyone else to have the "aha moment".

Many people will mysteriously continue to "see no evil, hear no evil" even if things get really bad. They won't lift a finger to stop a dictatorship from settling in. Ever. In fact, they will probably cheer for the dictatorship as it comes.

Even among those who recognize problems with the current culture, hope and optimism will continue to burn brightly. As long as the tornado has reached only the neighbour's house, they will cling to the belief that their own houses will be spared.

Chalk it up to human nature: a whole cocktail of psychological tendencies accounts for this behavior, including the herd instinct (urge to conformity), fear of negative consequences for rejecting the required mantras, and the unwillingness and perhaps inability to come to terms with very difficult situations which are out of our control (easier to pretend they don't exist). Many of these tendencies are unconscious instinct-based behaviors. If people are confronted about them, they may not even be aware of them!

2. If you want to leave, it's okay.
Don't feel pressured to stay in a situation that is going from bad to worse. Courage and Christianity do not require you to be a sitting duck...and history may vindicate you as one of the few who did the smart thing. Just as before World War II, there were Jews who packed their bags and got out of Germany, and even out of Europe, when things already smelled bad but before the War started. Good for them!

Should you choose to accept it, your challenge will be finding some place to flee to. There are not many safe, pleasant, civilized places left in the world that have not been affected by the cultural philosophy and obsessions of the Western world.

Reminds me a bit of the true story of the Lykov family, who were found in the Russian taiga after 40 years of wandering about in the wilderness, having originally escaped from the Bolskeviks in 1937. Living with the wolves and bears in a rough-hewn log cabin, they managed to skip right over World War II and a huge chunk of Soviet Communism.

Effective, but not a very tempting solution.

3. Connect with like-minded people.

One good strategy here is the "Benedict Option" advanced by Rod Dreher, who describes it this way:

The “Benedict Option” refers to Christians in the contemporary West who cease to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of American empire, and who therefore are keen to construct local forms of community as loci of Christian resistance against what the empire represents.

Dreher is very adamant that the "Ben Op" is not a way of isolating ourselves from the world, it's just a way of strengthening each other in the midst of the world. This makes a lot of sense. People need community, and this option provides a built-in support network. It can be carried out in the middle of a city, not just on some Amish-like compound. An intentional community can be created anywhere.

Also seek out role models from similar historical times, for encouragement and wisdom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, G.K. Chesterton, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and others.

Finally, be aware that as things get worse, you will inevitably become more isolated. Many people on your side will fall away and cave in to the pressures of society. It is already happening - think Michael Coren, David Blankenhorn, and others. Keep up your resolve and courage even as things get tougher.

And to be totally honest: be prepared to suffer for your beliefs. However, always remember why you are being targeted: it is an honor to suffer for the truth. "Be not afraid."

This is a long-haul flight.

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Yet another airplane interview, and the Pope has done it again: this time, his verbal bomb is that the Church should apologize to gays. In fact, saying 'sorry' is apparently not enough, and the Church should also ask for forgiveness. 

Most of the Pope's explanations for this were characteristically vague. But there is no doubt he agrees with Cardinal Marx about the pain that the Church has supposedly inflicted on the homosexual community, and about the need for an apology.

Well, hold on Pope Francis. Let's remember that Cardinal Marx went a lot further still. Saying 'sorry' was just the beginning. The "Marxist Cardinal" (as the Pope seems to enjoy calling him, only it doesn't seem to be just a joke) also said that the Church should take a positive view of same-sex relationships, and that the Church can't oppose civil unions.

And that, right there, is really shocking. It is nothing less than a call for change in doctrine, a revolution in the Church. And maybe, schism.

There is a lot of really good stuff in Amoris Laetitia. It's a huge document that is mostly a goldmine of solid, strong quotes expressing Church teaching on many different subjects involving the family. If the liberals were sticking their fingers in the door, hoping to make some leeway for same-sex marriage, reproductive technologies, abortion, or even contraception, they got their fingers slammed instead.

BUT. There is also a small amount of bad stuff. Namely, those references to letting priests decide to let some divorced and remarried Catholics possibly receive the Eucharist, in what looks like a violation of Church rules, because apparently conscience might make it okay.

Does that sprinkle of bad stuff, like too much salt, spoil the whole stew? Many sure think it does. Particularly if, as David Warren suggests, the stew was cooked just so that sprinkle could be added.

Others, like Fr. David Longnecker, are of the opinion that such a conclusion is uncharitable and unbecoming, akin to "picking through the Pope's exhortation like carrion crows". We should take time to digest the stew, not for a few hours or days but probably for a few months at least. Then we'll be able to speak more about it.

But here's the thing. The world is burning around us, we are now in Sodom. And our besieged leader has just issued a statement. Well, what does Fr. Longnecker (with all due respect) think we're going to do? File it away and sit on it for months? Not a chance.

We will scan each line with bated breath and eager anticipation, hoping to see, like those patriots behind the ramparts in the American anthem, whether our banner still waves over the home of the brave and the land of the free. Has the Pope given in to those liberal pressures, or is the Church still standing its ground?

For us in Sodom, that is the question. And all else is just...stew.

By Lea Z. Singh |

I know I shouldn't be blogging about Easter anymore, nearly two weeks after our speeding culture has moved 10,000 miles past that drive-by destination. Here I am doing it anyway.

This year, our Easter was not about egg hunts and fun times. Easter hit us hard this year, right over our heads, with its real message about life and death. It's a message that we are supposed to remember each year at Easter, but we are never quite ready for the full reality of it.

We spent this Easter praying intensely for the lives of two people: a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, and a close family member who spent Easter Sunday in very serious condition in a hospital bed. We are still praying for them both.

Not much of a "happy" Easter. But the essence of Easter was in a sense more present to us over Easter weekend than perhaps all of those other years when entertainments and amusements were at the forefront. Because Easter is not about bunnies, eggs, or hot cross buns. It is our annual appointment with death itself. It is supposed to make us think about where we are all headed, quite inevitably. No one is exempt from it, not even God.

Here is the billion-dollar question: why are so many people attracted to Donald Trump? Why is the Republican base of common-sense ordinary folk going gaga for a man who couldn't be further removed from their lives and concerns, a man who until five minutes ago seemed to care not a wit for America and only concerned himself with amassing wealth and growing personal fame by torturing apprentices in a reality TV show?

A lot of the blame for Trump's shocking success has been dumped at the door of the GOP leadership. Last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal warned that Donald Trump's success among Republican voters spells the death of "the GOP establishment", which must have badly neglected the concerns of its voters to make them so illogically crazed for a man who would implode their own party.

Others have blamed the electoral system itself, both the winner-takes-all nomination system of the Republican Party and also the functioning of the presidential race itself.  The Rolling Stone got it almost right last month: 
It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average. an insane twist of fate, this bloated billionaire scion has hobbies that have given him insight into the presidential electoral process. He likes women, which got him into beauty pageants. And he likes being famous, which got him into reality TV. He knows show business.

That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show
whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show...
There is a flash of insight here: yes, in this presidential race we should replace the word "polls" with "ratings". Trump is pure entertainment, and he has figured out how to get his ratings to skyrocket.

Trump is what you get when shallow entertainment and celebrity culture becomes king of your people. 

He's not 'style over substance' - he's just style with no substance. The Trump Wall of Mexico? The deportation of every single illegal immigrant? Every reasonable mind knows this is ludicrous. But today's voters love Trump's audacity. They love his insults and his crazy politically incorrect statements.

This is partly because people are sick of political correctness, and of the fake fronts of all the other candidates. The more Trump shoots off his mouth, the more honest and genuine he seems - like those reality show stars who swear, cry, and bare their bodies and souls for their audiences.

People confuse rudeness with truth, but in reality Trump has just figured out how to hook 'em. It's mind candy, and Americans are mentally obese on it.

It's such a shallow act that even toilet paper is thicker. Once the TV cameras turn off, this newfangled champion of the common man returns to his 118-room palace, where he lives the life of Sun King Louis XIV of France (his staff actually rise when he walks past). Or perhaps he hangs out in his opulent New York mansion, which might just contain more gold than the Canadian mint.

Is this the man who will give America a new start? Wait for it, and you'll see him turn the USA into a United States of China. There too, business and governance have been fused within one dictatorial ruling class that cares far more about enriching itself and its cronies than it does about freedom, human rights or the ordinary citizen. Donald Trump fits right in with those oligarchs, and so will the United States under his leadership (he might even become Putin's new best friend).

Rotten to the core

Why are those ordinary Joes, who were supposed to know better, succumbing to Trump's cheap act? Why are they flocking to a guy who treats a serious Presidential race like a WWF wrestling match?

Because those ordinary Joes...those guys are not what they used to be. Trump is a narcissist vulture feeding off the corpse of American common sense, whose demise is finally becoming noticed.

The rot has been there for decades:
  • Lack of meaningful education in the lessons of history;
  • Liberal brainwashing in schools from elementary through university, teaching that there is no objective truth but only subjective feelings;
  • The rejection of any idea of American greatness, and a national self-loathing as world-wide oppressors...
  • The mental lobotomies of so many addicts to pornography, who start to deny the importance of morality and personal integrity;
  • The giant stain of fetal blood crying out from American soil;
  • The asphyxiation of the natural nuclear family, both through divorce and through a legal re-definition in Obergefell...

Did the GOP expect the common man to stay immune to all this mental fog and flab when he came into the ballot box?

Well, yes. The rot was supposed to be confined to the Democratic base. Republican voters were supposed to know and believe all that's good and true and written in the National Review.

Only, no.

It turns out the ordinary American voter, including that Republican base, is sick n' tired of intellectuals cramming morality and rights and wrongs down his neck. He just wants a good laugh and to stick his middle finger up to the ruling class, even if nothing changes.

This virus infects across the party lines

The Democrats may think that Trump syndrome is restricted to the GOP, but they'd be wrong about that. It's a very communicable disease, and their base already has it too. They just don't have the right candidate yet.

Imagine the pandemonium that Oprah would cause among the Democratic base if she were to run for President. Millions of ordinary Americans would be crying with devotion and kneeling at her feet. With one snap of her fingers, Oprah would sweep Hillary into the dustbin of history.

Trump is just the male Oprah.

Here comes tyranny

When you think about it, the death of America's common sense was a long time in coming.

Judge Learned Hand prophesied these very developments when he said:
"I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…"
The death of America's common sense means the loss of America's final safeguard against tyranny. Much like the fall of Ancient Rome, the fall of the American empire has been due for quite some time now, and it seems to be nearing with each election.

The way things are going, the Sweet Land of Liberty may soon be but a memory.

Top photo courtesy of: Boss Tweed at Flickr Creative Commons.

As some of my past readers may know, this past September all of our children entered the public Catholic school system here in Ontario. My husband and I had been really hoping that the public system, even with its myriad of problems, would at least be bearable. 

After all, our local Catholic school had scored extremely well on academic indicators (as measured by the Fraser Institute). We were not expecting perfection. We knew there were lots of problems with the public system (to state the obvious: Wynne's outrageous new sex-ed curriculum).

But like many parents, we told ourselves that we could keep our kids on the right path through open discussions. Whenever our children came across things we disagreed with, or even in advance of certain lessons at school, we would just unteach and reteach, explaining how and why our own values were right.

So for the past several months, we tried to go along and get along. Until two weeks ago, when our mounting concerns reached a boiling point, and we made a decision. We pulled out our children and returned to homeschooling for the rest of this year.

It was a painful decision, but inevitable. Our encounter with Ontario's public Catholic school system was a huge disappointment on too many levels.

By Jasbir T. Singh |

There is no conflict between Catholicism and science. Catholics acknowledge the great contribution of science in understanding the biological nature of human beings.

Catholics can accept the fact that human beings are classified as belonging to the animal kingdom according to the following taxonomy:

SpeciesH. sapiens
However, the story doesn't stop there. Science only describes the physiology of human beings according to evidence from observation through the human senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Science does the best it can while being confined to knowledge existing within space and time.

Philosophy and religion, however, go beyond science when describing the full nature of human beings, and offers information that is beyond space and time. Faith and reason coexist within Catholicism, providing an illuminated understanding of what it means to be human.

Catholicism teaches that humans are embodied spirits. The idea of a spirit is foreign to science because it is eternal (not existing within space and time) and not observable. Animals, on the other hand, are bodies without spirits. In the order of creation, Catholicism classifies humans according to the following "taxonomy":

(uncreated eternal being outside of space and time)
(created within space and time)
living spirit onlyangels
living unity of spirit and bodyhuman beings
living body without spiritall non-human living things (bacteria, cells, plants, animals, etc.)
non-living thingsgalaxies, stars, planets, elements, rock, water, air, fire, etc.
Humans know mathematics and can compose music, animals cannot. Humans can create computers and write computer programs, animals cannot. Humans can launch rockets to the moon and observe space, animals cannot. Humans have instinct and intuition, animals only have instinct. Humans have the capacity for ethics and following a moral value system, animals do not. Humans can question what ought to be, animals cannot. Even though some humans behave like animals, that is by their own free choice. Animals do not have this free choice.
So even though our fundamental physiology is of the animals, our full human nature is rather quite different from them. Classifying humans as animals is a very simple and limited understanding of what it means to be human. I would go as far as saying that science does a very poor job at providing insight into the nature of the human being. Catholicism does a far better job, and I think the statements that follow set the right context for understanding what it means to be human:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” -- Genesis 1:26
Respect for the integrity of creation
2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

-- Catechism of the Catholic Church
Recognizing abortion as a modern genocide.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum surely qualifies as one of the world's best resources on genocide studies. The museum concerns itself not only with the Holocaust of World War II, but also with other modern genocides, such as those in Bosnia, Cambodia and elsewhere. Currently, the museum website presents a big feature on "The World's Refugee Crisis" involving Syrian refugees.  

How can it be then, that I search the museum website in vain for even a single reference to the worst mass killing of all time: the continuing loss of human life through abortion? How is it possible that the museum website provides the audio of lectures such as "How Might Another Holocaust Be Prevented?", paradoxically in complete ignorance of the holocaust of unborn children that is happening at this very moment?

This strange omission is not unique to the Holocaust Museum. Indeed, abortion is the shocking blind spot of the entire international community of justice seekers, truth defenders and human rights activists, which includes innumerable organizations including Amnesty International and other human rights groups. 

How can it be explained that this very community, filled as they are with zeal for preventing and ending genocides and mass atrocities around the world, has not noticed the ongoing murder of over 57 million unborn human beings in the United States alone (since Roe v. Wade)? 

This incredible and catastrophic ignorance surely begs for some kind of explanation. One day, answers will also be demanded by incredulous future generations.

Ontario sex education curriculum harms democracy

New immigrants to Ontario may have thought they were coming to the land of milk, honey, multiculturalism and tolerance. But they are experiencing a great disillusionment. They may have escaped tyranny in their home countries, but they have only jumped from the frying pan into a growing new fire.

Here in Ontario, we are witnessing the end of real tolerance. Earlier this month, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals made it clear that the Ontario government will allow school boards to mandate that children attend portions of the new sex-ed curriculum.

Gotta give it to Sandals, this is a smart PR decision. It makes the province look benevolent - they wash their hands of the dirty work. It will be the local school boards, not the Wynne government, who forces kids to sit through the gender ideology propaganda. Wynne can claim innocence when the election rolls around, and even blame the parents - "if you don't like what your school board is doing, take it up with your trustees".

Meanwhile, the bureaucratic juggernaut of the school boards is already rolling forward the hardline. In Mississauga, the Peel District School Board  Director of Education recently gave a speech where he put it this way:
CTV screenshot of Tony Pontes, Peel District Education Director"If they ask for an accommodation, in other words to be exempted from a discussion around same-sex families, we would not provide that accommodation."
According to CTV, Mr. Pontes also won't allow students to miss the discussion about "diverse gender identities." (But he will allow an accommodation for discussions about "masturbation").

Mr. Pontes goes on to make a truly chilling statement:
"Let's be clear, some in our community may not like this. They may actually choose to switch school systems, in fact. If so, that is the price we must be willing to pay."
Wow. How is that for a a show of force and intolerance by the new dictatorship?

But Mr. Pontes craftily softened the blow: according to the CTV, he gave parents another alternative as well: "parents could always keep their children home during the days in question." 

Lovely. So if parents do not want to subject their kids to ideological brainwashing on sexuality, then the school district will punish their kids by forcing them to miss out on a full day's instruction in all other classes as well. 

Watch Mr. Pontes and the CTV coverage here:

Photo Credit: Benson Kua via Compfight cc