Les « Woke » ne sont pas de gauche

2020-09-18
2020-09-24 : Quelques corrections de syntaxe, etc.

La soi-disant « gauche » régressive, connue couramment comme les « woke », ne fait pas partie de la gauche politique. Elle a quitté la gauche au moment où elle a renoncé aux valeurs des Lumières.

English This blog has already been published in English, in two parts: The “Woke” are Not the Political Left, Part I and Part II.

L’expression « woke » relève de l’argot des Afro-Américains et veut dire politiquement éveillé, politiquement conscient, surtout en matière de justice sociale. Mais, depuis un certain temps, ce terme a acquis une signification bien plus large et fait désormais référence au courant de pensée qui prédomine dans la politique ostensiblement de gauche aux États-Unis, au Canada et dans plusieurs autres pays. (En français, quand on parle de la « gauche bien-pensante », « diversitaire » ou « intersectionnelle », il s’agit de ce mouvement qui s’appellerait « woke » en anglais.) Pourtant, cette école de pensée n’est en réalité pas de la gauche politique car elle a abandonné les valeurs des Lumières.

Ces idéaux des Lumières comprennent la raison, la tolérance, la liberté, le progrès, l’universalisme, les droits humains et la laïcité. Pris collectivement, on les appelle couramment le modernisme. Les Lumières nous ont donné une grande partie de ce que nous tenons pour acquis aujourd’hui. Ses produits sont nombreux et comprennent le concept des droits de la personne, l’abolition de l’esclavage, le libéralisme, le marxisme, la science et la technologie modernes, la Constitution américaine, la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen (France, 1789) et la loi sur la laïcité (France, 1905), la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies et bien plus encore.

Les origines de la gauche et de la droite politiques

Rappelons que les termes « gauche » et « droite » au sens politique trouvent leur origine dans la disposition des sièges à l’Assemblée nationale constituante pendant la Révolution française à partir de 1789. Les députés assis du côté gauche de la chambre étaient en général des sympathisants de la révolution, du républicanisme et de la laïcité, tandis que ceux du côté droit restaient plutôt fidèles à la monarchie, au clergé et aux institutions traditionnelles de l’Ancien régime. Ces deux pôles correspondent grosso modo soit à un appui pour les valeurs des Lumières, soit à une opposition à celles-ci, les Lumières étant un mouvement intellectuel et philosophique qui s’était répandu dans toute l’Europe durant environ un siècle. En effet, la Révolution française était elle-même un produit de ce mouvement, tout comme les révolutions américaine, haïtienne et russe.

Ainsi, la gauche politique fait référence à ceux qui appuyaient les valeurs des Lumières tandis que la droite politique englobait ceux qui s’y opposaient. Le même schéma général s’applique aujourd’hui. La gauche et la droite politiques sont définies respectivement par le soutien et l’opposition aux idéaux des Lumières. Si un courant de gauche abandonne ces idéaux, alors il n’est plus de gauche. Telle est la situation du « wokisme », si je peux l’appeler ainsi, également connu par plusieurs autres surnoms tels que « la (pseudo)gauche régressive » et, mon terme préféré, la « pseudogauche anti-Lumières ». Il ne reste plus grand-chose de gauche chez les « woke » sauf leur prétention. Leur mentalité est devenue dominante parmi ceux qui se disent de la gauche et même du centre. Il ne reste (presque) plus de (réelle) gauche.

Les racines politiques et philosophiques du « wokisme »

La mentalité « woke » s’appuie sur un certain nombre de sources politiques et philosophiques :

  • L’Intersectionnalité, une obsession pour les identités personnelles, en particulier les identités minoritaires, et qui revient à un système de points simpliste pour déterminer qui a la chance d’avoir le plus de points d’oppression.
  • Le Multiculturalisme, ou le relativisme culturel, une idéologie politique anti-universaliste qui accorde davantage d’importance à l’appartenance ethnique ou religieuse de l’individu qu’à ses droits universels ou sa citoyenneté.
  • Le Postmodernisme, une philosophie associée au relativisme culturel et inspirée par un scepticisme à l’égard des idées modernistes d’objectivité, de rationalisme et de savoir.
  • Le Défaitisme post-marxiste, une dégénérescence du marxisme, résultant de l’incapacité du marxisme à tenir sa promesse d’un avenir plus lumineux basé sur les idéaux des Lumières. Cela a conduit à blâmer et à rejeter les Lumières elles-mêmes. Aussi connu sous le nom de néo-marxisme, de marxisme culturel ou de post-marxisme culturel.
  • L’Islamogauchisme, une extension du point précédent, une dégénérescence supplémentaire du post-marxisme, dans laquelle la priorité traditionnellement accordée à la classe et à l’économie est désormais remplacée par la défense des minorités, en particulier des musulmans.

Ainsi, la mentalité « woke » dérive, en partie du moins, de la pensée gauchiste, mais elle en est une perversion et une dégénérescence. En particulier, le « wokisme » n’est pas marxiste. Le bilan du marxisme regorge de conséquences négatives et douteuses, mais vous ne pouvez pas tenir le marxisme responsable des folies des « woke ». Pour le dire succinctement, la mentalité « woke » est une sorte de « post-gauchisme » qui se résume approximativement à un mélange de post-marxisme et de postmodernisme.

L’auteur américain James Lindsay, qui a étudié en profondeur ces questions, résume ainsi la situation :

Le marxisme est une théorie sociale basée sur l’économie, et la théorie de la « Critical Social Justice » usurpe en fait l’analyse économique et l’obscurcit pour l’utiliser au service de son approche particulière de la politique identitaire. Pour être plus précis à ce sujet, par exemple, il est extrêmement évident que les causes économiques sont à l’origine de nombreux phénomènes que les théoriciens critiques de la race appellent le « racisme systémique », mais ils utilisent le fait qu’il existe des différences statistiques économiques selon la race pour affirmer que le racisme (et non l’exploitation capitaliste) seraient les causes ultimes de ces différences. Ainsi, ils instrumentalisent la classe pour y substituer le site d’oppression sur lequel ils sont en fait obsessionnellement focalisés, c’est-à-dire la race, et effacent ainsi toute possibilité d’analyse libérale, rationnelle, voire matérialiste ou marxiste des problèmes sous-jacents. (Trad. D.R.)

The Complex Relationship Between Marxism and Wokeness (La relation complexe entre marxisme et wokisme)

Parareligion

Le « wokisme » à son pire peut être qualifié de parareligion moderne. Selon ma définition, une parareligion est une idéologie qui n’est pas une religion au strict sens du terme, car l’aspect surnaturel y est absent, mais qui néanmoins se comporte quelque peu comme une religion en manifestant quelques-unes des caractéristiques suivantes, typiques des religions :

  • Le dogmatisme, un rejet de la raison.
  • Une tendance à faire des assertions non falsifiables, c’est-à-dire des hypothèses qui ne peuvent jamais être réfutées et sont donc dénuées de sens. Exemple : « Dieu » est responsable de tout : si de bonnes choses arrivent, alors remercions « Dieu » — cependant dans le cas d’un événement malheureux, on dit que les voies du « Seigneur » sont mystérieuses.
  • Le manichéisme, une vision du monde divisée en bien et mal absolus, niant les nuances morales et les ambiguïtés.
  • Le moralisme ou la moraline, une obsession pour la moralité personnelle, niant encore une fois les complexités morales.
  • Des privilèges accordés aux adhérents, s’opposant ainsi à l’universalisme.
  • Le culte de la personnalité, soit le culte des dieux ou des déesses, soit la déification des dirigeants humains.
  • Etc.

Voici un exemple de parareligion : le communisme autoritaire du genre stalinien, maoïste ou nord-coréen, où le dogmatisme et le culte de la personnalité sont particulièrement en évidence. Diverses pseudosciences comme l’homépathie, l’astrologie, etc. et plusieurs théories complotistes peuvent aussi être qualifiées de parareligions.

La Parareligion des « woke »

La parareligion des « woke » affiche la plupart des caractéristiques énumérées ci-dessus (mais sans le culte de la personnalité). Elle est extrêmement dogmatique, manichéenne et moraliste. Bien qu’elle prétende valoriser la « diversité », elle s’oppose fanatiquement à toute diversité intellectuelle et tout débat d’idées. Ce fanatisme se manifeste dans la soi-disant « cancel culture » qui se résume à la censure sociale de toute personne qui ne soit pas d’accord avec les dogmes « woke » ou dont le comportement aurait été jugé moralement douteux (sommairement, sans traitement équitable). Les « woke » affichent une hostilité obsessionnelle aux gens qu’ils considèrent privilégiés (les Blancs, les hommes, etc.) et ont comme programme de privilégier en revanche l’autre pôle. Ainsi, ils accordent aux minorités raciales et autres, voire aux minorités religieuses comme les musulmans, des prévenances particulières, tout comme le judaïsme prenait les Hébreux pour peuple élu de dieu. Cette manie implique l’abandon de l’universalisme qui prône l’égalité de tous et de toutes, sans égard à la race, le sexe, etc.

Le mouvement « antiraciste » « woke » est anti-universaliste et raciste

Les « woke » ont une obsession pour les minorités et pour l’identité personnelle, au détriment de notre humanité commune. L’intersectionnalité combinée au multiculturalisme et aux autres ingrédients de la mentalité woke créent un mélange toxique qui accorde une trop grande importance aux minorités et amène au mépris des majorités et de l’universel. Certaines minorités sont favorisées obsessivement et jouissent d’une quasi impunité, tandis que les majorités correspondantes sont dénigrées. Ainsi, le mouvement antiraciste actuel est lui-même devenu raciste. En outre, de manière véritablement parareligieuse, les soi-disant antiracistes les plus extrêmes prônent l’hypothèse non-falsifiable que le racisme serait littéralement omniprésent. Au lieu de se demander si le racisme serait présent dans une situation donnée, ils demandent plutôt « Où est le racisme ici ? » en supposant qu’il n’est jamais absent. Le résultat est une politique de culpabilité et de paranoïa. Cette approche est absurde, car si le racisme est toujours présent, alors ce mot perd tout sens objectif.

Remontons un demi-siècle ou plus dans le temps, à l’époque du mouvement des droits civils, si essentiel pour la lutte contre le racisme anti-Noirs aux États-Unis, en particulier dans les États du sud. Les opposants de droite accusaient parfois les militants antiracistes de « racisme inversé » contre les non-Noirs. De même, à l’apogée du féminisme de deuxième vague, ceux qui s’opposaient à l’égalité des sexes accusaient parfois les féministes de haïr les hommes. Dans les deux cas, il s’agissait de tentatives évidentes de dénigrer la lutte antiraciste et le féminisme. Personne n’a été dupe d’une telle tromperie évidente. Les deux mouvements étaient universalistes, promouvant l’égalité des droits pour les Noirs et pour les femmes sans s’attaquer aux non-Noirs ou aux hommes. Cependant, la situation est aujourd’hui bien différente. Compte tenu de l’obsession identitaire, en particulier de l’identité minoritaire qui caractérise la mentalité « woke », le dénigrement des Blancs, des hommes et des autres groupes non minoritaires est devenu la norme.

Les « woke » s’attaquent aux privilèges au lieu de lutter contre la discrimination

L’une des maximes de la mentalité « woke » est le concept de « privilège blanc ». C’est comme faire de l’antiracisme à reculons. Si les soi-disant Blancs ont l’avantage de ne pas être cibles de discrimination, ce n’est pas un privilège ; c’est plutôt un droit, un droit humain fondamental. Si les Noirs sont discriminés, ce n’est pas un manque de privilège, mais plutôt un déni de droits. L’approche correcte à l’antiracisme est de promouvoir l’égalité des droits pour tous, universellement, quel que soit le groupe racial, et de s’opposer à la discrimination contre tout groupe. Mettre l’accent sur le privilège blanc mène à une politique de culpabilité et de ressentiment, renforçant indirectement la droite politique.

Au lieu de l’égalité, c’est-à-dire l’égalité des chances, les « woke » prônent l’équité, ce qui implique l’égalité des résultats. De plus, si l’égalité des résultats n’est pas atteinte, et ce n’est pratiquement jamais le cas, les « woke » supposent généralement que la cause de cette situation doit forcément être un préjugé comme le racisme ou le sexisme. Ainsi, si une profession ne présente pas la même diversité démographique que la population générale, on suppose que les préjugés en sont la cause. C’est irrationnel car, comme l’explique James Lindsay :

cela est littéralement impossible sans une ingénierie sociale à grande échelle comprenant des quotas forcés. (La variation stochastique, c’est-à-dire le bruit aléatoire dans le système, devrait rendre un alignement parfait avec les pourcentages démographiques dominants extrêmement improbable, après tout, même si le système était parfaitement exempt de différence et de discrimination de toutes sortes.) Cela signifie que « l’équité » implique l’utilisation des quotas fondés sur l’identité et une ingénierie sociale vigoureuse pour les atteindre. (Trad. D.R.)

The Diversity Delusion (L’illusion de la diversité)

C’est à cause de cette imposture que James Damore a été renvoyé par Google. Il a rédigé un document plutôt inoffensif dans lequel il suggérait qu’une partie de l’explication du faible nombre de femmes dans les postes de développement de logiciels pourrait être les préférences des femmes. En d’autres termes, le sexisme n’est peut-être pas la seule explication. Mais de telles idées sont un blasphème pour les « woke », alors Damore a été congédié.

Les « woke » s’opposent à la laïcité

Cet abandon des idéaux des Lumières et ce rejet des valeurs de gauche par les « woke » arrivent à leur apogée avec l’opposition des « woke » à la laïcité. Leur obsession pour les minorités s’étend même aux minorités religieuses. Les « woke » ont tendance à confondre race et religion, ce qui revient à jeter par-dessus bord la liberté de conscience et à condamner chaque individu à la religion dans laquelle il a eu la malchance de naître. Cette racialisation de l’appartenance religieuse fait le jeu des fondamentalistes, en particulier des islamistes.

Avec l’ajout de l’islamogauchisme au mélange « woke », les musulmans, surtout les plus pieux et même les fondamentalistes, se voient accorder une priorité spéciale et une impunité. Cela conduit à une complaisance extrême à l’égard de l’islam et de l’islamisme. La soi-disant « islamophobie » est condamnée. L’ensemble du processus est rendu encore plus toxique par la non-reconnaissance de certaines minorités. Par exemple, les musulmans laïques sont ignorés, car ils ne correspondent pas au stéréotype musulman véhiculé par les « woke », où les femmes sont toutes voilées et où les hommes présentent aussi une allure stéréotypée, etc. Les ex-musulmans sont encore plus dénigrés.

Que ferait une véritable gauche ?

Une approche véritablement de gauche en matière de religion consisterait à défendre la liberté de conscience, qui comprend à la fois la liberté de religion et la liberté de s’affranchir de la religion, tout en critiquant toute religion, franchement et résolument. Cela signifie, par exemple, que les trois monothéismes abrahamiques — le judaïsme, le christianisme et l’islam, pour les nommer par ordre historique — devraient être régulièrement la cible de critiques de gauche car, pris ensemble, ils représentent le bloc religieux le plus important sur le planète. L’idée même que l’islam devrait jouir d’une sorte d’immunité contre la critique, ou que le christianisme devrait être ciblé beaucoup plus souvent, est totalement incompatible avec la laïcité qui est une valeur fondamentale issue des Lumières. Et pourtant, c’est précisément l’approche « woke » : soustraire l’islam à la critique parce qu’il est considéré comme la religion des opprimés. La diffusion du terme absurde « islamophobie » est une manifestation flagrante des privilèges que les « woke » accordent à l’islam.

Un mariage de déraison

L’histoire d’amour entre les « woke » et l’islam n’est pas la seule illustration de l’abandon de la gauche par les « woke », mais c’est une comédie particulièrement flagrante et éhontée. Les « woke » facilitent et soutiennent l’islam fondamentaliste, une idéologie politico-religieuse d’extrême droite qui se trouve politiquement à la droite du nazisme, et ils le font au moins indirectement et parfois même directement. Un exemple de ceci est l’acceptation de Linda Sarsour en tant que leader de la « gauche » anti-Trump.

L’antilaïcité des « woke » est particulièrement évidente dans leur opposition fanatique à la Loi 21 au Québec, une législation que les « woke » vilipendent sans même essayer d’en comprendre les enjeux pertinents. Les soutiens à la laïcité dans le monde anglophone ont toujours été faibles, mais maintenant, avec l’avènement de la mentalité « woke » qui confond race et religion, la situation est encore pire. Certains antisécularistes vont même jusqu’à accuser la laïcité d’être « raciste ». Au Canada hors Québec, plusieurs organisations prétendument laïques sont victimes de cette arnaque et ont abandonné la laïcité.

Les « woke » font le jeu de la droite politique

La vision du monde manichéenne des « woke », où tout se divise entre le bien et le mal absolus, les conduit à calomnier quiconque serait en désaccord avec eux, les accusant d’être « xénophobes », « racistes » ou « fascistes ». C’est une attitude très infantile. Leurs accusations contre leurs critiques perdent toute crédibilité. Les gens raisonnables qui voient bien ce qui se passe peuvent être intimidés, au point de se taire, mais ils se rendent tout de même compte que beaucoup de ceux qui se disent actuellement de gauche sont destructeurs et insensés. Cela conduit beaucoup qui seraient normalement des sympathisants de gauche à considérer le centre politique ou la droite. C’est l’une des raisons qui expliquent l’élection de Donald Trump en 2016.

La droite politique confond souvent les « woke » et la gauche politique. Il n’y a rien de surprenant en cela, car cette confusion sert leurs intérêts. Étant donné que les « woke », ou du moins les plus pieux des « woke », sont évidemment des fanatiques irrationnels, leur coller une étiquette « gauchiste » discrédite la gauche et fait mieux paraître la droite politique en comparaison.

Je suis convaincu que Martin Luther King Jr. et Karl Marx seraient tous les deux outrés par l’irrationalité de le fanatisme des « woke ».

Les « woke » ont trahi la gauche

La mentalité « woke » est réactionnaire et rétrograde, une dégénérescence de la gauche politique en un culte qui s’apparente parfois davantage à la droite politique, parfois allié à l’extrême droite religieuse, et généralement perdu dans un territoire bizarre et mal cartographié. Les « woke » ont trahi la gauche. Ils ont abandonné l’universalisme, l’objectivité, la laïcité et la liberté d’expression. Tout en prétendant promouvoir la diversité et l’inclusion, en réalité les « woke » sont puritains, dogmatiques, fermés d’esprit et extrêmement intolérants, constamment chasseurs de sorcières. Ils ont en grande partie laissé tomber les questions d’économie et de classe. Ayant remplacé les problèmes économiques par une racialisation obsessionnelle de tout, ils voient du racisme partout, mais seulement les formes de racisme qu’ils reconnaissent dans l’histoire des États-Unis, car ils sont très bornés, voyant tout à travers une lentille américaine. Les « woke » répondent à presque tout désaccord par des accusations ridicules. Ils ne tolèrent aucune dissidence. La diversité intellectuelle leur est étrangère. Leur obsession pour les minorités et leur anti-universalisme conduisent inévitablement à la fragmentation et à la division.

Le « wokisme » est un désastre pour la gauche, conduisant à sa quasi destruction. Nous avons maintenant devant nous la tâche de reconstruire la gauche sur les valeurs universalistes des Lumières.

Wokisme ≈ Post-gauchisme ≈ Post-Marxisme + Postmodernisme

Prochain billet de blogue : À annoncer

The “Woke” are Not the Political Left, Part II

2020-08-16

The “woke”—that is, the regressive pseudo-left—are not part of the political left. They left the left when they abandoned Enlightenment values.

This blog is the second of two parts.

Sommaire en français

La soi-disant « gauche » régressive, connue couramment comme les « woke », ne font pas partie de la gauche politique. Ils ont quitté la gauche au moment où ils ont renoncé aux valeurs des Lumières.

Le présent blogue est la deuxième de deux parties.

…continued from Part I.

The Woke Antiracist Movement is Anti-Universalist and Racist

The woke are obsessed with minorities and with personal identity, to the detriment of our common humanity. Intersectionality combined with multiculturalism and the other ingredients of the woke mentality create a toxic mixture which leads to an overemphasis on minorities and contempt for majorities and the universal. Some minorities are favoured obsessively, granting them near impunity, while the corresponding majorities are denigrated. Thus, the current antiracist movement has itself become racist. Furthermore, in true parareligious fashion, the most extreme so-called antiracists make the non-falsifiable claim that racism is literally ubiquitous. Instead of asking if racism is present in a given situation, they ask “Where is the racism here?” and assume that it is never absent. The result is a politics of guilt and paranoia. This approach is nonsensical, for if racism is always present, then the word loses all objective meaning.

A half-century or more ago, during the civil rights movement which was so important in the fight against anti-black racism in the U.S.A., especially in the southern states, right-wing opponents would sometimes accuse civil rights activists of “reverse racism” against non-blacks. Similarly, in the heyday of second-wave feminism, those who opposed sexual equality would sometimes accuse feminists of hating men. These were both obvious attempts to denigrate the civil rights and feminist movements. No one was fooled by such self-evident deception. Both movements were universalist, promoting equal rights for blacks and women without attacking non-blacks and men in general. However, the situation today is much different. Given the obsession with identity, especially minority identity, which is a hallmark of the woke mentality, denigration of whites, men and other non-minority groups has become the norm.

The Woke Oppose Privilege Rather Than Fight Discrimination

One of the maxims of the woke mentality is the concept of “white privilege” which is a backwards approach to antiracism. If so-called white people have the advantage of not being discriminated against, that is not a privilege; rather it is a right, a basic human right. If blacks are discriminated against, that is not a lack of privilege, rather it is a denial of rights. The proper approach to antiracism is to promote equal rights for all, universally, regardless of racial group, and to oppose discrimination against any group. To emphasize white privilege leads to a politics of guilt and resentment, indirectly strengthening the political right.

Instead of equality, i.e. equality of opportunity, the woke promote equity which implies equality of outcomes. Furthermore, if equality of outcomes is not achieved, and it practically never is, then the woke generally assume that the situation is caused by some kind of prejudice such as racism or sexism. Thus, if a profession does not display the same demographic diversity as the general population, then prejudice is assumed to be the cause. This is irrational because, as James Lindsay observes:

this is literally impossible without large-scale social engineering including forced quotas. (Random stochasticity, that is, noise in the system, should make perfect alignment with prevailing demographic percentages extremely improbable, after all, even if the system were perfectly free of difference and discrimination of every sort.) That means that “Equity” implies using identity-based quotas and vigorous social engineering to achieve them.

The Diversity Delusion

This is what got James Damore fired by Google, because he wrote a rather innocuous document in which he suggested that maybe part of the explanation for lower numbers of women in software jobs could be the preferences of women. In other words, sexism may not be the only reason. But such ideas are blasphemy for the woke, so he was fired.

The Woke Oppose Secularism

The woke abandonment of Enlightenment values and its rejection of left-wing values are most blatant in woke opposition to secularism. Their obsession with minorities extends to even religious minorities. The woke tend to conflate race and religion, which amounts to jettisoning freedom of conscience and condemning individuals to the religion into which they had the bad luck to be born. This racialisation of religious affiliation plays right into the hands of fundamentalists, especially Islamists.

With Islamoleftism added into the wokeness mixture, Muslims are given special priority and impunity, especially the most pious and even fundamentalist. This leads to extreme complacency with respect to Islam and Islamism. So-called “Islamophobia” is condemned. The whole process is rendered even more toxic by the non-recognition of some minorities. For example, secular Muslims are ignored, as they do not fit the Muslim stereotype which the woke insist upon, where women are veiled and men are groomed stereotypically, etc. Ex-Muslims are denigrated even further.

WWLD: What Would the Left Do?

A truly left-wing approach to religion would be to defend freedom of conscience, which includes both freedom of and freedom from religion, while criticizing religion, all religion, frankly and unabashedly. This means, for example, that the three Abrahamic monotheisms—Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to name them in historical order—should be regular targets of left-wing criticism because, taken together, they represent the most important religious block on the planet. The very idea that Islam should enjoy some sort of immunity from criticism, or that Christianity should be targeted far more often, are utterly incompatible with secularism which is a core value of the Enlightenment. And yet, that is precisely the woke approach: give Islam a free ride because it is considered to be the religion of the oppressed. The spread of the nonsense term “Islamophobia” is a prime manifestation of the privileges which the woke grant to Islam.

A Marriage Made in Hell

The woke love affair with Islam is not the only illustration of how the woke are not leftists, but it is a particularly glaring and shameless one. The woke facilitate and support fundamentalist Islam, an extreme right-wing politico-religious ideology which is to the right of Naziism, and they so do at least indirectly and sometimes even directly. One example of this is the acceptance of Linda Sarsour as a leader of the “left.”

The antisecularism of the woke is particularly evident in the fanatical opposition to Quebec Bill 21 which the woke vilify without even attempting to understand the relevant issue. Support for secularism in the English-speaking world has always been weak, but now, with the advent of the woke mentality which conflates race and religion, the situation is even worse. Some antisecularists even go so far as to denounce secularism as “racist.” In Canada outside Quebec, several ostensibly secular organizations have fallen victim to this scam and have abandoned secularism.

The Woke Strengthen the Political Right

The Manichean worldview of the woke, seeing everything as either good or evil, lead them to slander anyone who disagrees with them as “xenophobic” or “racist” or “fascist.” This is a very infantile attitude. Accusations of being far-right have begun to lose all credibility. Reasonable people who see what is happening may be cowed into silence, but they recognize that many of those who currently call themselves leftist are destructive and foolish. This leads many with normally leftist sympathies to consider the political centre or right. This is one of the reasons Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

The political right will often conflate the woke with the political left. This is not surprising, as it is in their interest to do so. As the woke, or at least those who are the most woke, are clearly irrational fanatics, labelling them as leftists discredits the left and makes the political right look better in comparison.

Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Karl Marx would undoubtedly be outraged by the irrationality and fanaticism of the woke.

The Woke Have Betrayed the Left

The woke mentality is reactionary and retrograde, a degeneration of left-wing politics into a cult which is sometimes more akin to the political right, sometimes allied with the religious far-right, and generally just lost in some ill-defined neverneverland. The woke have betrayed the left. They have abandoned universalism, objectivity, secularism and free speech. While claiming to promote diversity and inclusion, in reality the woke are puritanical, dogmatic, closed-minded and extremely intolerant, constantly witch-hunting. They have largely abandoned economic and class issues. Having replaced economic issues with an obsessive racialization of everything, they see racism everywhere, but only those forms of racism which they recognize from the USA, because they are very parochial, seeing everything through an American lens. The woke respond to almost any disagreement with ridiculous accusations. They tolerate no dissent. Intellectual diversity is foreign to them. Their obsession with minorities and their anti-universalism lead to inevitable fragmentation and division.

Wokism is a disaster for the left, leading to its near destruction. The task now is to rebuild the left on universalist, Enlightenment values.

Wokism ≈ Post-leftism ≈ Post-Marxism + Postmodernism

Next blog: Les « Woke » ne sont pas de gauche

The “Woke” are Not the Political Left, Part I

2020-08-14

The “woke”—that is, the regressive pseudo-left—are not part of the political left. They left the left when they abandoned Enlightenment values.

This blog is the first of two parts.

Sommaire en français

La soi-disant « gauche » régressive, connue couramment comme les « woke », ne font pas partie de la gauche politique. Ils ont quitté la gauche au moment où ils ont renoncé aux valeurs des Lumières.

Le présent blogue est la première de deux parties.

The term “woke” is an Afro-American slang expression meaning politically awake, politically aware, especially about social justice issues. However, the word has come to acquire a much wider meaning and now refers to the dominant current of thought in ostensibly left-wing politics in the USA, Canada and several other countries. And yet, this school of thought is in reality not on the political left because it has abandoned Enlightenment values.

Those Enlightenment ideals include reason, tolerance, freedom, progress, universalism, human rights and secularism. Taken collectively, they are often referred to as modernism. The Enlightenment has given us much of what we take for granted today. Its products are many and include: the concept of human rights, the abolition of slavery, liberalism, Marxism, modern science and technology, the U.S. Constitution, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789) and secularism law (1905), the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and much more.

The Origin of the Political Left and Right

As many readers will recall, the terms “left” and “right” when used in the political sense originated from the seating arrangements in the National Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante) during the French Revolution starting in 1789. Those seated on the left side of the chamber were generally supportive of the revolution, republicanism and secularism whereas those seated on the right remained loyal to the monarchy, the clergy and traditional institutions of the Ancien régime. These two poles corresponded roughly to support for or opposition to the values of the Enlightenment, an intellectual and philosophical movement which had been spreading throughout Europe for about a century. Indeed, the French Revolution was itself a product of the Enlightenment, as were the American, Haitian and Russian Revolutions.

Thus, the political left referred to those who supported such Enlightenment values whereas the political right encompassed those who opposed them. The same general pattern applies today. The political left and right are defined by support for and opposition to Enlightenment ideals. If a left-wing current abandons them, then it is no longer on the political left. This is the situation with “wokism,” if I may call it that, which is also known by several other monikers such as the “regressive (pseudo)left” and, my preferred term, the “anti-Enlightenment pseudoleft.” The woke are left mostly in name only. Their mentality has become dominant among those who claim to be leftists and even centrists. There is (almost) no (real) left left.

Political & Philosophical Roots of the Woke

The woke mentality is based on a number of political and philosophical sources:

  • Intersectionality, an obsession with personal identities, especially minority identities, which amounts to a simplistic point-system for determining who is lucky enough to have the most oppression points.
  • Multiculturalism, or cultural relativism, an anti-universalist political ideology which attaches greater importance to ethnic or religious affiliation than it does to either universal rights or to citizenship.
  • Postmodernism, a philosophy associated with cultural relativism and inspired by a scepticism about modernist ideas of objectivity, rationalism and knowledge.
  • Post-Marxist defeatism, a degeneration of Marxism, resulting from Marxism’s failure to deliver on its promise of a brighter future based on Enlightenment ideals. This has led to blaming the Enlightenment itself. Also known as neo-Marxism, or cultural Marxism, or cultural post-Marxism
  • Islamoleftism, an extension of the previous point, a further degeneration of post-Marxism, in which the priority traditionally accorded to class and economics is now replaced by the defence of minorities, especially Muslims.

Thus the woke mentality is derived, partially at least, from left-wing thought, but it is a perversion and degeneration of it. In particular, Wokism is not Marxist. Marxism has a lot of negative and dubious things to answer for, but you cannot blame Marxism for woke insanity. To put it succinctly, the woke mentality is a form of “post-leftism” which is approximately a combination of post-Marxism and postmodernism.

James Lindsay, who has studied these issues extensively, sums up the situation thus:

Marxism is an economics-based social theory, and Critical Social Justice actually usurps economic analysis and obscures it to use it as a proxy for its peculiar approach to identity politics. To be more specific on that, for example, it’s overwhelmingly obvious that economic causes are the sources of many of the phenomena Critical Race Theorists name as “systemic racism,” but they use the fact that there are statistical economic differences by race to claim that racism (not capitalistic exploitation) are the ultimate causes of those differences. Thus, they make class a proxy for the site of oppression that they’re actually obsessively focused upon, race, and thereby obliterate any possibility for liberal, rational, or even materialist or Marxist analysis of the underlying issues.

The Complex Relationship Between Marxism and Wokeness

Parareligion

Wokism at its worst is a modern parareligion. I define a parareligion as an ideology which is not a religion in the strict sense of the word because there is no obvious supernatural element, but which nevertheless behaves somewhat like one because it displays some of the following characteristics which are typical of religion:

  • Dogmatism, a rejection of reason.
  • A penchant for non-falsifiable assertions, i.e. hypotheses which can never be disproven and are thus meaningless. Example: “God” is responsible for everything: if good things happen, then praise “God” — however if bad things happen, “God” works in mysterious ways.
  • Manichaeism, a worldview divided into absolute good and evil, denying moral nuances and ambiguities.
  • Moralism, an obsession with personal morality, again neglecting moral complexities.
  • Privileges for the faithful, thus opposing universalism.
  • Cult of personality, i.e. worship of gods or goddesses, or deification of human leaders.
  • Etc.…

One example of a parareligion is authoritarian communism of the Stalinist, Maoist or North Korean variety, where dogmatism and the cult of personality are particularly obvious. Various pseudosciences (homeopathy, astrology, etc.) and some conspiracy theories can also be viewed as parareligions.

The Woke Parareligion

The woke parareligion displays most of the above characteristics (although not the cult of personality). It is extremely dogmatic, Manichaean and moralistic, and while it pretends to value “diversity” it is zealously opposed to intellectual debate and diversity. This is manifested by so-called cancel culture, basically social censorship of anyone who disagrees with the woke mentality or who is judged (summarily, without due process) to be morally dubious. The woke are obsessively hostile to those whom they consider to be privileged (whites, men, etc.) and the woke program is to privilege the other pole. Thus, racial and other minorities, even religious ones such as Muslims, are given special consideration, just as Judaism considered the Hebrews to be the chosen people. This implies the abandonment of universalism which values equality for all, regardless of race, sex, etc.

To be continued in Part II.


Next blog: The “Woke” are Not the Political Left, Part II

Lettre aux médias pour dénoncer le Conseil québécois LGBT

2020-08-10

Notre lettre aux médias pour dénoncer l’antilaïcité et le comportement antidémocratique du Conseil québécois LGBT. Le principal auteur est André Gagnon, auquel s’ajoutent de nombreux cosignataires. Voir à ce sujet mon blogue précédent Le Conseil québécois LGBT refuse mon adhésion.

Summary in English Our letter to the media to denonce the antisecular position and antidemocratic behaviour of the Conseil québécois LGBT. The main author is André Gagnon, joined by numerous co-signers. For further information, see my previous blog Le Conseil québécois LGBT refuse mon adhésion.


Le Conseil québécois LGBT est-il devenu une chapelle ?
QUAND ON PRATIQUE L’EXCLUSION AU NOM DES ‘VALEURS D’INCLUSION’

Les 13 et 14 mars derniers, se tenait à Montréal le premier congrès du Conseil québécois LGBT, un regroupement LGBT qui se présente comme la voix des communautés LGBT au Québec. Issu de la Table de concertation des lesbiennes et gais du Québec, c’était la première consultation qui se voulait ouverte à la communauté en 15 ans de ce Conseil depuis qu’il a mis fin à sa pratique initiale de tenir aux 3 ou 4 ans des États-généraux des communautés LGBT pour établir ses priorités d’action, le dernier exercice du genre s’étant tenu à Québec en 2004. Depuis sa reconnaissance et son financement par le Secrétariat à l’action communautaire autonome, cette pratique démocratique avait été abandonnée.

Lors de l’annonce de ce congrès, plusieurs militants et militantes LGBT se sont dit que ce serait l’occasion de s’exprimer sur la prise de position contre le projet de loi 21 sur la laïcité de ce Conseil adoptée en catimini en mai 2019, prise de position qu’elles avaient vivement dénoncée. Une prise de position contraire aux positions d’une très nette majorité des membres des communautés LGBT et d’autant plus étonnante qu’en 2013-2014 le même Conseil s’était abstenu de prendre position sur le projet de Charte de la laïcité présenté par le gouvernement Marois en invoquant l’absence de consensus en son sein. C’est ce silence qui avait amené plusieurs membres de nos communautés à créer le collectif LGBT pour la laïcité pour porter les préoccupations LGBT dans ce débat. Est-il nécessaire de rappeler que les LGBT ont été parmi les groupes sociaux à le plus bénéficier de la séparation progressive des Églises et de l’État, l’homophobie et la transphobie étant d’abord et avant tout religieuse à l’origine dans l’histoire du Québec ? Et qu’encore aujourd’hui les attaques contre nos droits se font largement en Amérique du nord au nom de la primauté de la liberté religieuse sur la non-discrimination ?

Dans la convocation de ce congrès, les organismes et les personnes LGBT étaient toutes invitées à adhérer au Conseil et on leur disait qu’elles pourraient ainsi faire entendre leur voix dans l’établissement des priorités d’action. Le collectif LGBT pour la laïcité et plusieurs personnes ont donc décidé de s’inscrire pour participer à ce congrès. Quelle ne fut pas leur surprise de se faire répondre dans un premier temps que les demandes d’adhésion seraient étudiées par le Conseil d’administration après le Congrès ce qui contredisait les termes mêmes de sa convocation. Quand le porte-parole du collectif LGBT pour la laïcité, André Gagnon, lui-même un ancien co-président de l’organisme et l’un des principaux organisateurs et hôte des derniers États-généraux tenus en 2004, s’est présenté pour participer au Congrès, le conseil d’administration a refusé de le laisser y participer même comme observateur. Quand il a invoqué qu’il était éditeur de médias LGBT depuis plus de 20 ans et a demandé d’y participer pour couvrir l’événement, on lui a même refusé en arguant que les médias n’étaient pas admis même si on a reconnu qu’aucune directive n’avait été explicitement émise à cet égard, une première dans la communauté LGBT. Les membres du Conseil d’administration dudit Conseil dont le président Thierry Arnaud et la trésorière Mona Greenbaum lui ont même demandé de quitter les lieux et mis la sécurité à ses trousses même dans le lobby de l’hôtel, menaçant de faire intervenir la police s’il ne partait pas.

Le chat est sorti clairement du sac quand trois mois plus tard on a reçu la réponse aux demandes d’adhésion individuelles faites avant le Congrès. Le militant pour la laïcité bien connu David Rand qui a piloté jusqu’à la Chambre des communes une pétition pour obtenir l’abrogation de l’article 319.3.b du Code criminel (article qui permet de se réfugier derrière ses textes et opinions religieuses pour tenir des propos haineux, une exception élargie en 2004 à la demande des Conservateurs pour protéger l’homophobie religieuse lorsqu’on a rajouté l’orientation sexuelle à la définition de groupe identifiable) s’est ainsi vu refuser l’adhésion en raison de son appui à la loi 21 sous prétexte que ses positions sont contraires ‘aux valeurs d’inclusion’ de l’organisme. Ce qui revient à dire que le conseil d’administration de ce Conseil sans jamais en avoir discuté largement avec la communauté qu’il prétend représenter, ni même lors d’un débat ouvert à son congrès, se permet d’exclure de ses rangs toute personne LGBT favorable à la laïcité, c’est-à-dire la très nette majorité des membres de cette communauté au Québec. Voilà qui en dit long sur les ‘valeurs d’inclusion’ et les pratiques ‘démocratiques’ du Conseil d’administration de cet organisme qui se comporte comme une chapelle politique ou idéologique et non comme un mouvement démocratique ayant le souci de défendre les droits et intérêts et de représenter les communautés LGBT.

Ces pratiques sont d’autant plus condamnables que ce ‘conseil’ est essentiellement financé par des deniers publics à travers différents programmes des gouvernements du Québec et du Canada. De plus, elles constituent un dangereux précédent. Jamais dans l’histoire de ces communautés on a exclu d’un organisme LGBT des personnes membres de ces communautés sans que leurs convictions ou agissements portent directement atteinte aux droits des personnes LGBT ou aient porté gravement atteinte à l’organisme.

Aussi, nous croyons que ce Conseil doit revenir sur sa décision, admettre en ses rangs les militantes et militants LGBT pour la laïcité et tenir un débat vraiment démocratique sur les enjeux de laïcité eu égard aux droits LGBT et sur comment contrer l’homophobie religieuse qui demeure le seul rempart légal de l’homophobie au Québec et au Canada. À défaut de quoi, nous croyons que les gouvernements devraient reconsidérer le financement de ce Conseil qui agit comme une chapelle idéologique en violation de tous les droits et libertés démocratiques garanties aux citoyennes et citoyens. À défaut, nous croyons aussi qu’il faudrait après quinze ans de fonctionnement en vase clos penser sérieusement à mettre en place un organisme vraiment démocratique et représentatif des communautés LGBT de toutes les régions du Québec.

Signataires :

  • André Gagnon
  • David Rand
  • Jean-Yves Ahern
  • Maxime Archambault-Chapleau
  • Steve Audy
  • Claude Barabé
  • Robert Beauchamp, libraire
  • Maude Beaulac
  • Martin Bédard
  • Thomas Bélanger
  • Mario Bérubé
  • Michelle Blanc
  • Claude Blouin
  • Jacques Brosseau
  • Gilles Brouillet
  • Daniel Campeau
  • Alain Canty
  • Louis Cardin
  • Perri Casagrande
  • Stéphane Casselot
  • Sébastien Charbonneau
  • Claude Daigle
  • Fernand Delorme
  • Nicole Demers, humaniste
  • Richard F Desrosiers
  • Jean-François Dion
  • Nathalie Di Palma
  • François Doyon, philosophe
  • Jacques Dupuis
  • Jean-Yves Duthel
  • René Gagné
  • Ghislain Garneau
  • Johanne H Gaudreault
  • Christian Généreux
  • Pierre Girard
  • Yvon Goulet
  • Maggye A. Gravel
  • Marie-Andrée Guilbault
  • Louis Guillemette
  • Alexandre Guilmette
  • Danielle Haché
  • Paul Haince
  • Louis Labrecque, gay agnostique et humaniste
  • Éric Lacoursière
  • Michel Lapointe
  • Patrick Larochelle, gay et athée
  • Dominique Larocque
  • Brian LeCompte
  • Serge Lemay
  • Luc Lemoine
  • Christine LeSeigle
  • Émilien Létourneau
  • Éric Malouin
  • Pierre Paquette
  • Gilles E Pelletier
  • Guy Perkins
  • Danièle Perreault
  • Richard Plamondon
  • Ulysse Plourde
  • Daphné Poirier
  • Guy Prémont
  • Samuel Pierre-Alexandre Rasmussen, libre-penseur.
  • Élaine Riel
  • Sylvain Riendeau
  • Jérémie Patrick Sammon
  • Stéphanie Maude Savard
  • Michel Soulard
  • Éric Tremblay
  • Mario Venditti

Next blog: The “Woke” are Not the Political Left, Part I

Le Conseil québécois LGBT refuse mon adhésion

Pourquoi ? Parce que j’appuie la laïcité

2020-06-09

Un autre example de l’hypocrisie abjecte de la pseudo-gauche dite régressive. Cette fois-ci, il s’agit d’une association LGBT qui capitule devant l’obscurantisme religieux.

Summary in English Another example of the abject hypocrisy of the regressive pseudo-left. This time, it’s an LGBT organization capitulating to religious obscurantism.

La « gauche » régressive phagocyte et détruit tout mouvement anciennement progressiste qu’elle infecte. En voilà un autre exemple.

Récemment j’ai faite une demande d’adhésion au Conseil québécois LGBT. Ils ont exigé que j’explique les raisons de mon désir d’adhérer. Alors, le 9 avril dernier, j’ai écrit ceci :

« Je désire adhérer au Conseil québécois LGBT afin de faire valoir l’importance d’appuyer la laïcité. J’ai été très déçu de voir que le CA du Conseil a pris position contre le Loi 21. Cette prise de position contre la laïcité est incohérente et va à l’encontre de droits des gais, des lesbiennes et des autres minorités sexuelles. La Loi 21 aide à renforcer les droits de tous les citoyens et de toutes les citoyennes en exigeant la neutralité religieuse des fonctionnaires en position d’autorité. Les religions sont la principale cause d’homophobie et de transphobie dans le monde. L’affichage de signes religieux par les fonctionnaires au travail constitue de la publicité religieuse pour ces idéologies rétrogrades.

Je voudrais donc devenir membre afin de faire valoir, au sein du Conseil, l’importance de la laïcité pour les gais, les lesbiennes et les autres minorités sexuelles. »

Je viens de recevoir la réponse aujourd’hui, le 8 juin 2020 :

« D’abord, je tiens à vous remercier pour votre intérêt envers le Conseil québécois LGBT. Toutes les nouvelles candidatures passent par un processus d’évaluation et la décision est ensuite prise par le conseil d’administration du CQ LGBT. C’est suite à ce processus que nous sommes dans l’obligation de vous informer que votre candidature n’a pas été acceptée.

Vous devez savoir que le conseil d’administration est mandaté par les membres du CQ-LGBT afin d’assurer une gouvernance inclusive de l’ensemble des réalités LGBTQ+. Par ailleurs, les positions endossées par le CQ-LGBT sont prises en consultation avec nos membres. D’ailleurs, ces dernier.es sont impliqué.es dans la construction collective du plan de revendications qui sera porté par le Conseil par la suite.

En raison de vos positions sur la laïcité, comme expliquées dans votre formulaire de candidature, nous ne sommes pas en mesure d’accepter votre candidature. Malheureusement, vos positions vont à l’encontre des valeurs d’inclusion et d’ouverture portées par le Conseil québécois LGBT.

Malgré les divergences de valeurs entre vous et notre organisation, nous tenons tout de même à vous remercier de votre intérêt pour l’avancement des droits pour nos communautés. »

Alors, la phrase fatidique : « valeurs d’inclusion et d’ouverture » !!!!

Évidemment, la position du Conseil québécois LGBT est d’une hypocrisie et d’une incohérence abjectes.

Mais pire encore, c’est le fait que cet organisme reçoit des subventions importantes des fonds publics. Voici une citation d’un communiqué de presse du gouvernement fédéral, le 6 septembre 2019 :

Aujourd’hui, l’honorable Maryam Monsef, ministre du Développement international et ministre des Femmes et de l’Égalité des genres, ainsi que Randy Boissonnault, conseiller spécial du premier ministre sur les questions LGBTQ2, ont annoncé l’octroi d’un montant de près de 670 000 $ à deux projets menés par le Conseil québécois LGBT, un organisme-cadre LGBTQ2 à Montréal.

Ce sont nos impôts qui paient pour imposer la politique anti-laïque de cet organisme.


Prochain blogue : L’ineptie d’Émile Bilodeau

How the Woke Broke Secularism

2020-05-28

A discussion of how the “woke” mentality of the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left has converged with pro-religious prejudice and ignorance of secularism to create a fanatical opposition to Quebec’s Bill 21, a progressive and landmark piece of legislation which partially implements secularism in that province.

A slightly modified version of this article appears on the British website SP!KED under the title “Now even secularism is ‘Islamophobic’”.

Sommaire en français Une discussion de l’influence, sur le débat autour de la Loi 21 au Québec, de la mentalité dite « woke » (réveillée), soit celle de la pseudo-gauche anti-Lumières. Cette mentalité, en convergence avec des préjugés pro-religieux et une ignorance de la laïcité, a créé une opposition féroce à la Loi 21, une législation progressiste et historique qui réalise partiellement la laïcisation de l’État québécois.

Une version quelque peu modifiée du présent texte paraît sur le site britannique SP!KED sous le titre « Now even secularism is ‘Islamophobic’ ».

The Canadian province of Quebec recently adopted a new secularism law, Bill 21, which bans civil servants in position of authority, including schoolteachers, from wearing religious symbols. It also bans face-coverings for both employees and users. Yet, this progressive legislation has been met with extravagant denunciations from uncomprehending media and politicians outside Quebec, accusing the population of that province of a plethora of dastardly sins: xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, etc.

These accusations sound familiar. They belong to the vocabulary of the woke. I am of course referring to those ostensible leftists sometimes called regressive leftists, although the term anti-Enlightenment pseudo-leftists is more appropriate, militants who adhere to an admixture of dubious ideologies including intersectionality, multiculturalism, postmodernism and various degenerated forms of Marxism.

Two aspects of “wokism” are especially problematic: (1) privileging religious identity; and (2) conflating race and religion, i.e. confusing a person’s innate, intrinsic attributes (such as race) with acquired, extrinsic attributes (such as religion or opinion).

Bill 21’s definition of secularism includes the crucial principle of separation between State and religions, a principle which is poorly understood in the English-speaking world, although many pay lip service to it. For example, if a police officer is allowed to wear a visible crucifix, a kippa or a hijab while on duty, then obviously there is a lack of separation.

Quebec, on the other hand, has chosen the French model of secularism, a model which, unlike the English, includes the separation principle explicitly. The Anglo-Canadian elite is not amused. Nevertheless, polls show that many Canadians outside Quebec support the law, whereas inside Quebec the law enjoys massive support.

By European standards, Bill 21 is moderate, even timid. Religious symbols are banned in public services and/or schools in France and parts of Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. Face-coverings, including the full veil, are banned in many European and African countries, including some Muslim-majority countries. Quebec’s legislation is neither exceptional nor unreasonable.

By requiring that teachers and civil servants in positions of authority remove religious symbols while on the job, Bill 21 protects pupils and users from the passive proselytizing which such symbols operate. It is a matter of professional ethics. Thus, Bill 21 extends and protects rights, i.e. the freedom of conscience of users and students.

The reaction of the woke “left” has been especially, well, reactionary. As Muslims constitute a minority in the countries where intersectional theory originated, they are considered an oppressed group. Intersectionality is notorious for its simplistic concentration on between-group oppression while ignoring within-group oppression. Few reasonable people would disagree with the famous Ernest Renan quote “Muslims are the first victims of Islam.” Yet intersectionalists would have to reject such an idea. If a Muslim is a target of oppression, the cause must inevitably be located outside their religious group. To fit the theory, any problems caused by a person’s Muslim identity must necessarily be caused by anti-Muslim animus and not by other Muslims or by Islam itself.

The wokish habit of conflating race and religion, especially if that religion is Islam, amounts to the negation of freedom of conscience and, with it, secularism. If being Muslim is a “race” then it is innate and immutable. Apostasy is a major sin in Islam and a crime—with severe consequences—in many Muslim-majority countries. The person born into a Muslim family is thus a prisoner of Islam, deprived of freedom of conscience, denied any possibility of apostasy, i.e. freedom to leave the faith to adopt another religion or none. This is precisely what Islamists aim for, and the woke hand it to them on a silver platter. The multiculturalist attitude that a hijabi “must” wear her hijab at all times is the soft version of that taboo against apostasy.

Secularism, on the hand, sends the opposite message: You are not defined by the religion forced upon you as a child.

Several well-funded organizations are challenging the law before the courts, claiming that it discriminates against Muslim women. But many Muslim women do not wear the hijab. To say that a ban on religious symbols discriminates against hijabis is like saying that speed limits discriminate against owners of high-performance vehicles. Those who defy the law are self-selecting, targets by their own design. These laws do not target anyone; rather, they target certain behaviours. If a woman wears the hijab not by choice but because she is pressured to do so by husband, family or community, then a ban in certain contexts will help her to resist that pressure.

Fortunately, the anti-Enlightenment pseudo-left failed to stop Bill 21 from being passed into law. But it has done enormous damage, eroding support for secularism, even among many who hypocritically claim to be secularists. We will have to work very hard to repair that damage. In particular, we must assert the importance of freedom of conscience (which includes both freedom of and from religion) for all citizens; reject the conflation of race and religion; and insist that professional ethics take precedence over religious privilege.


Next blog: Le Conseil québécois LGBT refuse mon adhésion

Ontario NDP: Still Crazy After All These Years

Follies of the Religious “Left”

2019-11-28, minor corrections 2019-11-29

A quick look at how the Ontario NDP has pandered to various religions over the years.

Sommaire en français Un bref aperçu de la pratique du clientélisme religieux par le NPD ontarien au fil des ans.

The Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP), just like other branches of the ostensibly left-of-centre NDP, has always had a pro-religious bias. Back in 1985 under the Conservative government of Bill Davis, and well before the ONDP came to power in that province in 1990, the ONDP fully supported the extension of public funding to the parallel Catholic school system to 100%.

Some two decades later, it was NDPer and former attorney-general Marion Boyd who in December 2004 proposed including Muslim sharia law in arbitration of family law and inheritance. Fortunately, a widely based opposition, including even the French FNLP (Fédération nationale de la libre pensée), succeeded in convincing the Ontario government to reject this idea and, further, to remove recognition of other religious traditions. This prompted the Quebec National Assembly to adopt unanimously, on 26th May 2005, a motion opposing the implementation of Islamic courts in Quebec and in Canada:

« Que l’Assemblée nationale du Québec s’oppose à l’implantation des tribunaux dits islamiques au Québec et au Canada. »

Source

The motion, put forward by then-MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin, only one short sentence in length, does not mention any other province explicitly nor target any specific legislation.

Fast-forward to 2019. English Canada, or what is commonly referred to as RoC (outside Quebec) is rocked by an hysterical and irrational wave of anti-Quebec sentiment, motivated by a wanton misreading of Quebec’s new Bill 21 which (partially) implements secularism in that province. Unsurprisingly, the Ontario NDP has jumped on the bandwagon, even driving it. On 25th November, Andrea Horwath, ONDP MPP and Leader of the Official Opposition, proposed the following rather verbose motion, which was adopted unanimously by the legislature:

Whereas all people who wear religious symbols, including turbans, hijabs, kippahs, crucifixes and other articles of clothing that represent expressions of their faith, are welcome to serve the Ontario public; and

Whereas discrimination based on religion is prohibited by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and

Whereas Quebec passed legislation, Bill 21, that prohibits the wearing of religious symbols and violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and

Whereas national civil rights groups including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, B’nai Brith Canada, the World Sikh Organization, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs have all opposed Bill 21; and

Whereas municipalities across Ontario including Mississauga, Brampton, the Peel regional council and Toronto have already passed motions condemning the legislation;

Therefore the Legislative Assembly calls on the government of Ontario to communicate its opposition to Bill 21 by formally requesting the Quebec government immediately repeal Bill 21 and by intervening in any Supreme Court challenge of Bill 21 that may be heard by the courts.

Source

The organization Atheist Freethinkers has already responded to the above motion with a press release entitled “LPA-AFT denounces the hypocrisy and inconsistency of the Ontario legislature’s motion against Quebec Bill 21”. Suffice it to say here that Ms. Horwath’s motion indulges in gross exaggeration and misrepresentation of both the intent and scope of Bill 21, making assertions that have been refuted countless times already, both on this blog and elsewhere. Furthermore, it specifically targets legislation in another province and declares an intention to interfere with that province’s laws by means of a legal challenge. In addition, the motion expresses solidarity with some rather dubious organizations, in particular the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

But it gets worse. In her remarks made before the Ontario legislature in support of her motion, Ms. Horwath made a number of outrageous allegations. For example:

I believe that we in Ontario have to continue to stand up and speak out as Canadians against any form of discrimination, prejudice, racism and intolerance.…

No one should have to choose between their faith and their career. We all need to work together to fight Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia wherever it happens and whenever and wherever we see it.

Affirming that Ontario values diversity…

…stand up and call out these kinds of discriminatory pieces of legislation and other acts of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-Black racism.…

Source

Ms. Horwath’s exaggerated statements vilify Quebec Bill 21, and indirectly the majority of Quebecers who support that very reasonable legislation, by associating it with discrimination and intolerance (Bill 21 is not discriminatory), by repeatedly evoking racism (Bill 21 has nothing to do with race), by using the nonsense term “Islamophobia” (which implies that criticizing a religion must be the result of a phobia, i.e. a mental illness). She and other participants in the debate on the motion also make liberal use of the fashionable buzzword “diversity” which is a form of virtue-signalling, so overused that it has lost much of its meaning. To use that word correctly, Bill 21 is secular legislation, and secularism is, among other things, a method of managing religious diversity, something of which the Ontario MPPs clearly have no understanding, or which they refuse to understand.

It does not stop there. You can, if you can stomach them, read the remarks of another ONDP MPP, Kevin Yarde, which are even more outrageous than those of Horwath. They basically amount to paranoia garnished with industrial quantities of whining about those poor religious victims “subjugate[d]” by “very barbaric” Bill 21.

The reality is that Bill 21 simply insists that State employees in position of authority be religiously neutral — in appearance, not just in their behaviour — while on the job. Why? In order to respect the freedom of conscience (which includes freedom of religion) of users of public services and students in public schools. This is eminently reasonable and helps protect freedoms, not threaten them. As I said in a talk at the Rationalist International conference in Cambridge, UK, last July:

For the State to be independent of religion and to show itself to be free of religious influence, both its physical installations and its human agents must be free of religious symbolism. Displaying a religious symbol on the wall of a State building or allowing a State employee to wear a visible religious symbol while on the job are both clear and obvious violations of religion-State separation. In either case, the religious symbol constitutes at the very least passive endorsement by the State of the religion being symbolized. An anti-religious or atheist symbol would also be unacceptable in both situations and for similar reasons.

Religion is, or should be, a private matter. When a religion practices exhibitionism, there is an obvious political purpose, a purpose which has no place in civic institutions.

When a public servant wears a religious symbol while on the job, they are saying that their religious affiliation is more important than their role as a representative of the State whose mandate is to serve the public. They are saying that their individual freedom of expression takes precedence over the freedom of conscience of the users and students whom they serve. This is backwards.

When the State bans the wearing of religious (or anti-religious) symbols by public servants while on the job, it is saying that it is committed to treating all citizens, all members of the public, equally and fairly, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. The State thus undertakes to respect the freedom of conscience of the users of public services and students in schools.

When a public servant refuses to comply with a ban on the wearing of religious symbols while on the job, they are saying that their religious practice is so fanatical, so fundamentalist, that they cannot even present a neutral facade when it is their duty to do so.

Source

As for the Ontario NDP, they are guilty of abject clientelism. They have completely prostituted themselves to religious apologists, especially the most pious and fundamentalist, whose goal is to maintain and extend the considerable religious privileges which they already enjoy.


Abbreviations used in the above article:

  • MPP = Member of Provincial Parliament
  • NDP = New Democratic Party
    NPD = Nouveau parti démocratique
  • ONDP = Ontario New Democratic Party
  • RoC = Rest of Canada

Next blog: Three Examples of Cultural (Mis)Appropriation

Sometimes Makeup Is Just Makeup

By apologizing, Trudeau merely confirms his fatuousness.

2019-09-20

My observations about the recent controversy surrounding Justin Trudeau’s use of makeup.

Sommaire en français Quelques remarques au sujet de la récente controverse à propos du maquillage utilisé par Justin Trudeau.

Canada’s national bimbo and Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been in hot water recently because of several photos which came to light showing him wearing black or brown makeup. One of the photos shows a young Trudeau as Aladdin, wearing a turban and heavy, dark makeup; another shows him made up to imitate Harry Belafonte for a performance of one of Belafonte’s hit songs. There are a number of observations that can be made about the controversy which has ensued:

  • The intensity of the controversy is outrageous, totally out of proportion to the triviality of the incidents in question.
  • It is nevertheless poetic justice that Trudeau—a darling of the identitarian left—should now be a target of that movement’s ire and condemnation.
  • The controversy is an example of imposing American (i.e. USA) standards outside the USA, showing just how Canada is so overwhelmingly colonized culturally by our neighbours to the south.
  • The whole hullabaloo illustrates, yet again, the damage done by the identitarian, intersectional, regressive pseudo-left—that pretentious and retrograde movement which has almost destroyed progressive politics in several countries and in particular here in Canada—and the necessity of doing what we can to reverse that damage.

Given the history of slavery and extreme anti-black racism in the USA, it is no surprise that blackface is now considered unacceptable in that country.

First of all, it is important to understand what blackface is all about. According to the Wikipedia article on blackface, it is an old theatrical tradition in the USA, involving a non-black person wearing black makeup in order to represent a caricature of a black person. The article goes on to explain that today blackface is “generally considered offensive and disrespectful” in the USA—a fair description, although perhaps understated. Given the history of slavery and extreme anti-black racism in the USA, it is no surprise that blackface is now considered unacceptable in that country.

Dany Laferrière is a Québécois writer, born in Haiti, and member of the Académie française. In a recent comment on the Trudeau photos, he comments that true blackface does indeed involve ridiculing and dehumanising people of black-African origin, a tradition from an era when Afro-Americans were considered to be little more than chattel. Often, the makeup was applied leaving some pale skin around the eyes, making them look menacing, while the lips were often exaggerated, to augment the caricatural effect.

However, that is not the case with the Trudeau photos. The first involved Aladdin, a fictional character from a dream-filled tale taken from Arab literature, nothing to do with Afro-Americans. The second was an imitation of a singer who happened to be black: there is nothing wrong or offensive about such role-playing. To imitate Harry Belafonte, Trudeau donned costume and makeup. Such impersonation might even be considered positive, displaying a desire to be the person one is trying to depict. According to Laferrière—and I agree completely—Trudeau’s behaviour was not racist and there was no need for him to apologize.

It is foolish to interpret every action involving blacks through the distorted lens of the traumatisms of American history.

But Trudeau did apologize, saying that he now sees that what he did was racist. He thus validates the indentitarian left’s toxic obsession with race, seeing racism everywhere (except where it really exists, such as the anti-Québécois ethnic bigotry so blatant among anti-secularists). I don’t know where the Trudeau photos were taken, but it was not in Alabama or Mississippi. It is foolish to interpret every action involving blacks through the distorted lens of the traumatisms of American history. As Laferrière points out, Trudeau’s apology is a matter of partisan politics, an affair of white politicians who have to keep up appearances for electoral and popularity purposes.

Trudeau himself is one of the most avid practitioners of the highly dubious politics of those who are now criticizing his so-called “racism” (or excusing him for behaviour they would condemn mercilessly in any politician they do not like). Trudeau has not been at all shy about using such gratuitious accusations against Quebeckers who disagree with his opposition to secularism, even though that issue has nothing to do with “race.” At least makeup has the possibility of being relevant to the issue of racism, but in this case it is not.

Alas, poor Justin, stung by his own stinger, target of the disapproval of his erstwhile adoring allies. Trudeau is not a racist; he is an airhead. He gets no sympathy from me.


Next blog: Two Questions About Bill 21

There is Nothing Friendly About Hemant Mehta’s Gross Ignorance

2019-08-31 — Updated 2019-09-03

My response to a particularly inept, obnoxious and anti-secular blog by a well known American atheist blogger who opposes Quebec Bill 21.

Sommaire en français Ma réponse à un billet de blogue particulièrement inepte, infect et anti-laïque publié sur le site d’un blogueur américain athée bien connu qui s’oppose à la Loi 21 au Québec.

Hemant Mehta is an American blogger who uses the nickname Friendly Atheist and who claims to support secularism. And yet, in a blog entitled Quebec’s Bill 21, Now a Law, Foolishly Bans Religious Symbols for State Workers, published the day after the adoption of the bill which institutes State secularism in the Canadian province of Quebec, Mehta attacks the legislation for its removal of some religious privileges (which Mehta, like religious bigots who oppose secularism, mislabels as “rights”).

We all know, or should know, that human rights cannot, in general, be absolute. There are always reasonable limits. The rights of one person may conflict with the rights of another. Freedom of expression cannot be infinite because, for example, defamation is unacceptable. Most reasonable people would agree that the rights of a pregnant women—i.e. to health, well-being and survival—have priority over any supposed “right to life” of the foetus she is carrying. The rights of children are limited because they lack the maturity to exercise those rights fully. Furthermore, one right of a person may even conflict with another right of the same person. If a child refuses a life-saving blood transfusion for religious reasons, then the child’s life must take precedence over the child’s freedom of religion, because a dead child has no freedom. Freedom of religion must not be absolute for adults either. If an airline pilot were to leave his or her post during take-off or landing, claiming that it was time for prayer, he or she would be guilty of criminal negligence.

Now consider the case of a classroom in an elementary or secondary school, with one teacher and, say, twenty pupils. Suppose that the teacher wants to wear an ostentatious religious symbol, even while teaching. Here we have yet another case of a conflict between rights, between the freedom of religious expression of the teacher and the freedom of conscience of the pupils, i.e. their right to an educational environment free from religious proselytism, including passive proselytizing using symbols. Which should take precedence? The answer is obvious:

  1. Schools exist in order to educate students, not to employ teachers. Students are the reasons schools exist, so their rights should have precedence.
  2. The students are for more numerous than the teacher. Thus, again, their rights should have precedence.
  3. The students are children or adolescents and are thus highly susceptible to influence. They should not be subjected to unnecessary advertising (which is what religious symbols are).
  4. The teacher’s duty is to impart knowledge, teach skills and serve as a role model. The teacher should remain neutral when dealing with sensitive subjects such as religion.

The obvious solution to the conflict between the teacher’s desire to express their religion even while teaching and the student’s right to a quality educational environment free from propaganda is for the teacher to maintain religious neutrality, including visual neutrality by refraining from wearing obvious religious symbols on the job. To do otherwise would be to grant the teacher a religious privilege incompatible with the rights of students. The teacher regains full rights when off the job.

Quebec’s Bill 21 wisely takes this approach by banning teachers from wearing religious symbols. Unfortunately there are exceptions: there is a grandfather clause for teachers already employed before the Draft Bill was first published. Also, it does not apply to private schools, which nevertheless receive considerable public funding in Quebec. Nevertheless, Bill 21 is a very good step in the right direction. The law also bans religious symbols worn by police, prison guards, prosecutors and judges, and this is also a progressive measure because all of these positions exercise coercive authority, and hence their neutrality, both in deed and in appearance, is very important.

So what does Hemant Mehta have to say about Bill 21 in his June 17th blog?

  • In the very title, Mehta says that the ban is “Foolish” when in fact it is eminently reasonable as explained above.
  • Mehta writes that religious symbols are banned for some users of public services too. This is patently false. For users, only face-coverings are banned.
  • Mehta writes that some religious believers are “required by their faith to wear certain symbols.” This is nonsense. Unless the individual is forced by their family or community to wear such a symbol (in which case banning symbols will help that person to resist unacceptable coercion), then they are not obligated by anything other than their personal choice. Even religious activists who vehemently oppose Bill 21 claim that they wear their symbol by choice. Well then, they can choose to remove it if required to do so for their job.
  • Mehta complains about the law’s invocation of the so-called “notwithstanding clause” to make the legislation less vulnerable to court challenges. That clause is part of the Canadian constitution. It is perfectly legitimate to use it, especially when, despite strong popular support for the legislation, a small but extremely noisy and irrational opposition (whose ideas Mehta himself echoes) threatens to delay or disrupt adoption of the law.
  • Mehta wants to have his cake and eat it too, to call himself secular while allowing religious interference in the State.

  • Mehta hypocritically claims that he “actively supports the separation of religion and politics.” That is false. Mehta wants to have his cake and eat it too, to call himself secular while allowing religious interference in the State. If he would allow a policeman or policewoman, for example, to wear an obvious crucifix or hijab or other religious symbol while on duty, then he is not separating religion from the State. On the contrary, he is allowing the State to endorse the religion being displayed.
  • […]advertising, whether commercial or religious, is not benign, especially where children are targetted.

  • Mehta claims that the wearing of religious symbols in this context is “harmless.” Bullshit. Apparently he has never heard of advertising. Companies spend millions of dollars on it—because it works. Whether to sell a product or simply to normalize a brand (such as the Islamist veil) so that everyone gets lulled into thinking it is perfectly normal, advertising, whether commercial or religious, is not benign, especially where children are targetted.
  • Mehta uses the familiar “religious minorities [are] persecuted” excuse in order to grant impunity to minority religions. This is a standard strategy of the regressive pseudo-left. By doing so, he stigmatizes criticism of these religions and he lumps all adherents of a religion into the same category, which invariably benefits the most pious, fundamentalist and even radical coreligionists. For example, failure to criticize the Islamist program of imposing the veil anywhere and everywhere empowers Islamists, while betraying more moderate, secular Muslims and ex-Muslims. Allowing the hijab to proliferate unabated—or worse, to celebrate it!—sends the message that women who do not wear it, especially Muslim women, are impure and unworthy of respect.
  • Mehta complains that Bill 21 contains provisions which monitor its application, for enforcement purposes. Well of course it does! What good is a law which is left unenforced? What good is a law which may be violated with total impunity?

Basically, what Mehta is saying is that the freedom of religious expression of public servants and teachers is absolute and that the freedom of conscience of users and students is worth shit. He would allow unrestricted religious advertising by public servants and teachers while on the job. He gives total priority to those religious believers who are so fanatical that they insist on wearing their symbol absolutely everywhere, as if it were as essential to them as an internal organ. By doing so, he betrays the vast majority of citizens who have a right to public services and schools without religious interference.

Mehta displays gross ignorance of secularism and a total disregard for the importance of secularism in the French-speaking world. In comparison, the English-speaking world displays a disturbing ineptness with regard to the key concept of separation between religion and State, without which secularism degenerates into a pale caricature of itself.

Mehta is apparently completely oblivious to the role played by the regressive or identitarian pseudo-left in opposing secularism[…]

But perhaps most disturbing at all, Mehta is apparently completely oblivious to the role played by the regressive or identitarian pseudo-left in opposing secularism and in poisoning debates about religion and secularism. That toxic movement affects many countries but is particularly strong in the U.S.A. and Canada. It has been weaponized by political Islam in order to demonize secularism with the goal of destroying it. France is currently a major target. Hemant Mehta falls right into step by repeating that movement’s propaganda against Quebec Bill 21. Mehta’s blog is a typical example of regressive pseudo-leftist discourse.

In conclusion, I have this to say to Hemant Mehta:

My name is David Rand. I am president of an organization named Atheist Freethinkers (AFT) based in Montreal and spokesperson for the Rassemblement pour la laïcité (RPL) which is a coalition of several groups (including feminists, North Africans, AFT and other secularists) working for secularism in Quebec. We supported and continue to support Bill 21, while criticizing its weaknesses (for example, it should apply to the entire public service, not just parts.) I am proud to be part of that coalition. The Québécois people are in the vanguard on the issue of secularism, just as they have been trailblazers for several other social issues.

As for you, Mr. Mehta, you have no excuse for your ignorance. An ordinary person with no particular involvement with these issues may be easily confused by biased media reports. But you are a well known blogger in the atheist and freethinking communities of your country. You have a duty to be better informed. You claim to be a secularist. Yet you throw Quebec secularists, such as us, under the bus. Indeed you throw the Québécois in general under that bus. You also abandon secular Muslims to the Islamist wolves. You side with the fundamentalists and obscurantists who cling to their religious privileges, some of which you are all too happy to let them keep. You have no excuse for your unscrupulous betrayal of secularism in the one place in North America—Quebec—where it has made the most significant progress in recent decades.

At least we know who are friends are not.


Next blog: Sometimes Makeup Is Just Makeup

CFI Canada Rejects Secularism—Again

…and lends its support to religious fanatics

2019-05-07 Last modified: 2019-05-13

Once again, by opposing Quebec’s Draft Bill 21, CFI Canada rejects the very secularism which it claims to espouse. But this time it’s worse: CFIC is now indulging in odious slander copied from secularism’s worst ennemies.

Sommaire en français Sans suprise, CFI Canada exprime son rejet de la laïcité telle que formulée dans le projet de loi 21 au Québec. Mais cette fois, c’est pire, car cette organisation reprend le langage diffamatoire utilisé par les pires ennemis du la laïcité.

The Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI Canada or CFIC) is an organization which pretends to support secularism, which it even claims as one of its “core areas of focus.” And yet, CFIC opposes secularism in the very place—Quebec—where the most significant progress toward that goal is being made.

We saw this behaviour of CFIC back in 2013 when that organization threw Quebec secularists under the bus by taking a position against the Charter of Secularism proposed by the government of the time. CFIC’s betrayal then was bad enough. But now, in 2019, it has repeated this shameful act in an even worse way.

In an article which was sent out by email and which appears on CFIC’s website, the organization not only fails to support Quebec Draft Bill 21, “An Act respecting the laicity of the State,” it denigrates that proposed legislation using language which is copied directly from anti-secular dogma and inspired by far-right Islamist propaganda.

Although the article never mentions Draft Bill 21 explicitly, it is clearly the target of disapproval. Also, the language of the article suggests the initiation of a debate, but it is obvious that rejection of Bill 21 is the foregone conclusion.

The CFIC article opposes secularism with a combination of misunderstanding, misinformation, and dishonesty. For example:

  • The article’s definition of “secularism” is limited to mere religious neutrality, thus failing to include religion-state separation. In other words, it is not full secularism.
  • The article fails to distinguish between public and civic spaces, falsely claiming that the Quebec law suppresses religious expression in the public space.
  • The article suggests that the legislation is “racist (or at least xenophobic).” Thus the article conflates race and religion, just like regressive pseudo-leftists, parliamentary motion M-103 and Islamists.
  • The article even suggests that Bill 21 is “just an implementation of ‘cultural Christianity’” which is a completely nonsensical assertion.

As a friend of mine expressed it on Facebook, “In an unsigned diatribe, CFI Canada, again, uses the standard arguments and half-truths of the regressive left to spew the usual vacuous accusations of xenophobia and racism against Quebec’s laicity. Lame, dishonest and disheartening.”

So what exactly does this horrible Bill 21 propose?

  1. It includes a comprehensive definition of secularism, including the all-important principle of separation between religion and State (the principle which is missing from CFIC’s article). Excellent!
  2. It stipulates that an official declaration of State secularism be inscribed in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Excellent!
  3. It bans public servants on duty in positions of authority, including schoolteachers, from wearing obvious religious symbols while on the job. This is incomplete—the ban should apply to the all civil servants—but a very good start.
  4. It restricts the wearing of face-coverings by public servants on duty and by users of public services. Again, very good!

Rejecting the first two points means rejecting secularism. Rejecting the third point means giving higher priority to religious exhibitionism than to the freedom of conscience of users and students. Rejecting the fourth point means compromising security and communication. Rejecting the third and fourth points means allowing religious fanatics free reign in civic institutions.

Any person who always, without exception, wears an obvious symbol of religious affiliation when leaving home is probably a religious fanatic. If that person refuses to remove the symbol even while working as a public servant, then he or she is certainly a religious fanatic and fundamentalist. Quebec’s Bill 21 would put a small but important brake on religious fanaticism in public services, just as existing Quebec law already bans public servants from partisan political displays. Bill 21 does not discriminate against any religion nor against any group of persons: the only requirement is to remove obvious religious symbols when on the job.

CFIC claims to value critical thinking in addition to secularism. What a bad joke. By rejecting Bill 21, the CFIC article manifests a total lack of critical acumen while offering its support to religious fanatics. We all know that religious fundamentalists, and Islamists in particular, have targeted secularism, especially republican secularism, in their campaign to impose their ideology, and that many so-called leftists have been duped by this strategy. The CFIC article capitulates to the anti-secular propaganda of many media, most mainstream politicians and regressive pseudo-leftists who in turn just regurgitate the Islamist propaganda against republican secularism.

What arguments does CFIC offer to justify the unjustifiable? None. Nothing whatsoever. Other than empty clichés such as “diversity,” their only response is slander, spewing gratuitous accusations of “racism” and such. They have nothing more than that to rationalize their irrationality.

The implications are very serious. CFIC’s current attitude is unsurprising given its past behaviour, but it still constitutes a disgusting betrayal of Quebecers in particular and of secularism in general. CFIC’s behaviour in 2013 could perhaps be explained as simple ignorance of the principles of republican secularism (i.e. CFIC’s failure to go beyond mere religious neutrality to include religion-state separation as well), but its current position is far worse than that. CFIC has gone beyond failing to support secularists and is now transmitting slanderous anti-secular propaganda. The conflation of race and religion is particularly inexcusable.

The current CAQ government of Quebec (unlike the PQ government in 2013-2014) is in a sufficiently strong position that it will in all probability succeed in passing Draft Bill 21 into law. But history will recall the odious betrayal by Canadian organizations outside Quebec, such as CFIC, who reviled the very cause they claimed to espouse.


Correction 2019-05-13: “public institutions” replaced by “civic institutions” for clarity


Next blog: Six Pseudo-Arguments of Antisecularists