Friday, June 17, 2011
A Different Take on Toronto
Burning police cars, broken glass, riot garb, tear gas, people being carried away. Surreal, now repeated in Vancouver. Abuse of power, apparent in Toronto, seems to have been the focus of much of the discussion that surrounded the Toronto G8. How the Toronto fiasco and much more recently the riots that surrounded the Stanley cup loss in Vancouver, interest me is more subtle. Anarchism, radical Islam, Marxist ideologies, violence that demonstrates emerging influences on Canadian or western society. I remember the shock and awe that I felt on September 11, the day the world changed, when I lay transfixed on the sofa all day long, fortunately my day off, unable to move. I had thought my landlady was losing it, speaking in metaphors that morning when sitting eating her breakfast she said to me "America is burning." And yet I sit in a predominantly secular culture with a utopian view of human nature that scoffs at our Judeo Christian heritage. "We don't need God, we can be good all by ourselves," and I ask the question "How much have we taken for granted?" How much of the freedom that we have enjoyed as a society was made possible by a common Judeo Christian ethic? As ethics decline in a society so do standards, so does trust, and inevitably there will be a need for more security, perhaps a wake up call to a culture that has much to say about rights, and little concern for responsibilities.