We are constantly being reminded that Canadians need to embrace inclusivity so that all citizens are valued and respected. Who could disagree with that? But what does it mean to be inclusive?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines inclusive as “open to everyone: not limited to certain people.”
So what if someone has values that differ with those advocated by the progressive left? Can such a person be allowed to express and live by those values without being labelled as intolerant, bigoted or hateful?
We have seen many examples in Chilliwack of prejudice against such people as expressed in op-eds and letters to the editor and on social media.
In the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadians are assured of the fundamental freedoms of religion, conscience and expression (speech). Oh no doubt, there are those on the left who will pay lip service to these freedoms.
However, what they want is to limit such freedoms to the private realm. That is, it’s fine to believe what you wish within the confines of your own private life, but you’re not allowed to bring your convictions into the public square.
The progressive left want us all to “live and let live.” Fine. But will they allow people who have religious or conservative values to “live and let live”? Or will they try to silence such views and marginalize them?
Is it true that Christians are hateful and intolerant towards those who aren’t like themselves? Let me say it clearly. The Bible affirms that everyone is made in the image of God, therefore of great intrinsic value and worthy of respect and dignity. So speaking as a Christian, if we are to live in obedience to our Lord, we must show kindness to all, regardless of how others choose to conduct or represent themselves. Even though we may disagree about moral issues, can’t we learn to respect one another?
I believe it’s imperative to find ways to de-escalate the culture wars that threaten to tear our beautiful nation apart. We need to recover the lost art of being able to discuss issues in a civil manner without tearing down others whose viewpoint is different than our own.