Quebec and Religion: Response

In the light of Quebec’s proposal of a new “secularism” law today, I share this (entirely appropriate and relevant) statement of the Presbytery of Montreal from 2014.

Response to Bill 60 from
The Presbytery of Montreal, of
The Presbyterian Church in Canada (2014)

The Presbytery of Montreal, a body of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, hereby offers its response to Project de loi no. 60: Charte affirmant les valeurs de laïcité et de neutralité religieuse de l’État ainsi que d’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes et encadrant les demandes d’ accommodement. We offer our response in terms of the following affirmations and the following areas of disagreement.

  1. AFFIRMATIONS

1.1  We acknowledge and celebrate the unique identity of Quebec as a Francophone nation and province within Canada, and acknowledge the particular religious and cultural history that has shaped its values, laws, and social fabric. We also acknowledge and celebrate the presence of other linguistic and cultural communities within Quebec – including a large Anglophone minority – and celebrate the contributions such communities have made to the history, identity, and success of Quebec as a liberal democratic polity. We believe that Quebec has been enriched by this diversity.
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an exuberant appeal for unity

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.

Indeed, how good when sisters and brothers aren’t fighting with one another. How good when husband and wife are getting along. How good when family discord gives way to peace.

To this day my mother reminds my youngest sister and me of our road trip out to British Columbia in 1986. My family lived for 12 years in Abbotsford, British Columbia through the 60’s and 70’s – in 1986 my parents took the two youngest kids back for a visit. To this day my mother speaks of that road trip – you two kids fought like cats and dogs, all the way across the country. I guess that’s about 5000 kilometres of arguing on the way there, and about 5000 kilometres of fighting on the way back. No wonder my mother remembers it well – how good and pleasant, and rare, when Roland and Marion are getting along in the back seat. Continue reading