Saturday, May 24, 2014

The canonical phrase “a woman’s right to choose”

Rex Murphy gets it in today's National Post with his insightful How Trudeau’s trendy ‘pro-choice’ secularism became the left’s new religion.

Murphy talks about the values of old, most often based on religious values:
" people have turned away from the religious framework, they have not jettisoned that interior certitude, that feeling of absolute confidence that used to be associated only with religious doctrine and belief. When people stop believing in God, they quickly find surrogate beliefs, construct surrogate values, and embrace a conviction that, in its force and depth, is no different, from that which had previously been supplied by religion. 
Does anyone doubt that the intensity with which people speak of and support “diversity” signals a sort of ersatz religious fervour? Does not the environmentalist’s regard for “the planet,” and her mystical view of every blade of glass, not have the same character as a nun lost in her devotions? 
When I hear Justin Trudeau defending unfettered access to abortion — he uses, of course, the canonical phrase “a woman’s right to choose” — he speaks in those perfect accents of assurance and certitude that used to belong only to religion. He speaks of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with something that sounds very much like Godly reverence. 
Other parties, including the NDP and Conservatives, hold certain of their core ideas with the same absoluteness. We “appoint” certain ideas as having an unchallengable place in our politics and discussions. Secularism, in fact, may place a stronger silent pressure to conform to accepted values than even religion could in its heyday. 
However, nothing is as plain to someone else as it may be plain to us. To try to place some matters out of the range of discussion — because they are so obviously “right” or so obviously in tune with the times — is hardly a form of coherent argument. 
It is very curious to see and hear the accents of the absolute spoken by the secular left with the same fervour we once heard in the chapels and cathedrals of the 1950s. There are as many ostensibly “sacred” topics today as there ever have been — even if the very concept of sacredness seems alien to Mr. Trudeau and his ilk."
I've just returned from a pilgrimage to Poland. While many may feel the notion of "pilgrimage" quaint in the 21st century, I suggest that rather, it is an antidote for the rampant secularism Murphy so aptly describes. It was a breath of fresh air to witness the humble devotion displayed by the people of Poland, as well as the pilgrims with whom I traveled.

I hope to be writing more about this pilgrimage on my faith blog in the upcoming days.

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