DOUBLE STANDARDS ARE IN

If you watch the news, read the paper, or even listen to the radio, you no doubt have noticed the double standard that Canada now is.

A few weeks ago, Canada’s leaders and ‘want to be’ leaders were shown on the news at the 306th anniversary of Waisakhi, the founding of the Sikh faith. Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, and Jack Layton all attended and proudly mingled with the guests. I think it is great that all peoples are represented by our leaders, but I am a little puzzled. A recent poll showed that over 70% of respondents wanted politicians of faith to keep their religious beliefs separate from the job that they do. I also hear constantly about the separation of church and state. (This, by the way, is an American misinterpretation of a Thomas Jefferson letter, and has nothing to do with our country.) Why is it then that it is alright for these men to publicly celebrate a Sikh religious event? Perhaps it is only Christian principles that we must shun.

For the past couple of years, we have added strength to hate crime legislation. I would like to know why this does not apply to all of us evenly. People of the Christian faith are commonly regarded in a negative light. We always hear about the ‘Christian right’ wanting to abolish our freedoms and of wanting to turn us back to the dark ages. Why is it that the left can call people all it wants to when they stand up for what they truly believe in. ‘Homophobia’ is a term put upon all who resist efforts to legitimize homosexual marriage. They are not ‘phobic’. By definition, ‘phobic’ suggests fear. They are not afraid of homosexuality, they just believe it is wrong, and that is their prerogative.

We are not allowed to suggest to someone that they murder a peace officer, nor can we use slanderous ethnic slurs, as these actions are also considered hate crimes. Why then can our youth listen to someone shouting these obscenities or suggesting such actions just because it is in something we refer to as music? Has the concept of art gone too far, or is all acceptable? The answer to that one is obvious to most. I often wonder how these artists, and I use the term loosely, can go around singing aloud to cheers what the rest of us have been taught is unacceptable.

Tolerance, another double standard. By listening to the majority of people, one would think that tolerance means that unless you believe the same as they do, you are intolerant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tolerance is defined by Merriam-Webster Online as the following: “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.” By that definition, the simple fact that some call others homophobic indicates that they themselves are intolerant.

Definitions are getting very murky. Let’s hope that the next generation of adults to come after us owns a dictionary.