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Old 05-13-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Canada
6,729 posts, read 8,054,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I figured it out later, Schmo is a yiddish term so she decided that Mouldy Old Schmo was a Jew and that's why she was going on about it. Really bad form going after the numbers though, considering why there's only about half the number of Jews in the world there ought to be.
Well, that solves that mystery.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Canada
196 posts, read 398,311 times
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My observations are that many of my immigrant friends have continued with the Christian denominations that came with whatever imperial power at one time ruled their country. For example, a number of my Nigerian friends are Anglican, and as stated above, many of my Filipino friends are Catholic. In fact, our local Catholic Church had to recruit a Minister from Africa because of a lack of seminary candidates. Wow.

My other observation is that many of my "traditionally denominated" friends have found their way into the Evangelical Christian movement. I think this move was inevitable, as the relatively wealthy and affluent lifestyle many enjoy in Canada is not really compatible with the traditional teachings of the New Testament. As someone once stated about some of this movement in the US (prosperity gospel), it was only a matter of time before Western materialism creeped into Christianity. And here it is.

In three large congregations I am aware of, prosperity gospel is preached, and parishoners are taught that by giving to the Church, they will receive an even greater reward back. Plus God wants you to have the huge house with expensive cars, because you deserve it as a Christian and give dutifully to the Church. Historically, I think this echoes the indulgences that caused that whole Protestant Reformation thing you may have heard of.

But back to the OP's question, Canadians are mostly religious, though the face of this is changing from "traditional" Christian denominations.

And on one last note, religion is not really an issue when having social or politicial discourse within Canada (mostly). Although we have right-wing Canadians, they tend to be right wing when it comes to fiscal issues, and can be anywhere from conservative to liberal when it comes to social issues. Our left-wing Canadians are typically more liberal fiscally, but could be anywhere on the spectrum socially. This is markedly different than in the US, where religion and God are used to polarize social issues, driving a hard wedge between the Right and the Left.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:32 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 3,389,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterMcTavish View Post
And on one last note, religion is not really an issue when having social or politicial discourse within Canada (mostly). Although we have right-wing Canadians, they tend to be right wing when it comes to fiscal issues, and can be anywhere from conservative to liberal when it comes to social issues. Our left-wing Canadians are typically more liberal fiscally, but could be anywhere on the spectrum socially. This is markedly different than in the US, where religion and God are used to polarize social issues, driving a hard wedge between the Right and the Left.
There just isn't as large a social conservative/evangelical constituency in Canada, so our Conservatives are less socially conservative than the GOP. Harper has the same relationship to social conservatives here that David Cameron has to social conservatives in the UK Tory party. I'd disagree though that left-wing Canadians are "all over the spectrum socially." The NDP for instance has no social conservatives in it; anti-abortion types wouldn't be allowed to get an NDP nomination and every single NDP has voted yes to every gay rights initiative since the outlier Bev Desjarlais lost her nomination. There however continue to be New Deal-type Democrats who are "pro-life" like Marcy Kaptur in Ohio.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Canada
196 posts, read 398,311 times
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Hey King,

Although you are right about elected officials, I was thinking more about everyday Canadians.

For example, my grandmother was hard NDP when it came to fiscal and social programs, but hard moral conservative when it came to social issues. And she was not alone in her cohort.

Though a generalization could be that one would find more Conservative/Conservative than Conservative/Liberal. Same with Liberal/Liberal versus Liberal/Conservative.

Fortunately, at least in the C/C grouping, religious polarization (mostly) stays out of the debates.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,856 posts, read 9,813,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterMcTavish View Post
.

For example, my grandmother was hard NDP when it came to fiscal and social programs, but hard moral conservative when it came to social issues. And she was not alone in her cohort.
I think it may be somewhat generational, since the NDP used to be a socially conservative party, or at least the CCF component was, mirroring the cultural background of its rural western base, and no one saw this as contradictory to its agenda of Democratic Socialism. In fact, if you think about it, it fits even better into the idea of collectivism then the current ideology does.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
10,062 posts, read 11,611,313 times
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Even the United Church has taken a hit in membership, even though it is practically the NDP at prayer!

Not all is lost, though, even in ultra-irreligious BC:

Willingdon
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Canada
196 posts, read 398,311 times
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BIMBAM,

I think you may be right on the money, not even CCF-wise, but even generational-wise. My grandparent's generation lived through two world wars, and a depressions, and were church-going, socially-conservative people. Compare that to the Baby Boomers, who threw off the shackles of this social conservatism, while still retaining the full gamut of opinions on fiscal issues.

But, back to the OP's question, I think we're fortunate that religion has stayed out of the public consciousness (mostly) when we debate social issues in Canada. I think it allows us as a society to have intelligent debate on any subject without any sort of religious labelling painting the debaters into corners.

I think back to a merchant I met in Nevada, who was complaining to me about Obama and gay marriage. I explained to her that even fiscal conservatives (like myself) in Canada didn't spend much time worrying about social issues such as gay marriage.

Then she asks me, "What, don't Canadians believe in the Bible?"

So I discussed how the New Testament states that while on Earth, we are under the law of Man. When we die, we are judged by the law of God. Based on this teaching, whatever laws Man passes should not bother or offend a Christian, as we understand that if God Disapproves of homosexuality, then He will make this judgement at the person's time of atonement.

She looked at me with a sort of poleaxed look, and that was the end of our conversation. But really illustrates how firmly religion is tied into US political opinion, and there is no shortage of being willing to use it in any debate.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,856 posts, read 9,813,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Even the United Church has taken a hit in membership, even though it is practically the NDP at prayer!

Not all is lost, though, even in ultra-irreligious BC:

Willingdon
I'm surprised to hear an observant Catholic give an enthusiastic endorsement to a church that's so profoundly Protestant in it's form, traditions, ceremonies, and beliefs. I mean, I get that from a Christian perspective any kind of Christian is better than irreligion, but I'd have thought you'd have picked one that was a little closer to the Catholic beliefs and approach, and am interested why you chose this church in particular.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Toronto
2,812 posts, read 3,558,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterMcTavish View Post
My observations are that many of my immigrant friends have continued with the Christian denominations that came with whatever imperial power at one time ruled their country. For example, a number of my Nigerian friends are Anglican, and as stated above, many of my Filipino friends are Catholic. In fact, our local Catholic Church had to recruit a Minister from Africa because of a lack of seminary candidates. Wow.

My other observation is that many of my "traditionally denominated" friends have found their way into the Evangelical Christian movement. I think this move was inevitable, as the relatively wealthy and affluent lifestyle many enjoy in Canada is not really compatible with the traditional teachings of the New Testament. As someone once stated about some of this movement in the US (prosperity gospel), it was only a matter of time before Western materialism creeped into Christianity. And here it is.

In three large congregations I am aware of, prosperity gospel is preached, and parishoners are taught that by giving to the Church, they will receive an even greater reward back. Plus God wants you to have the huge house with expensive cars, because you deserve it as a Christian and give dutifully to the Church. Historically, I think this echoes the indulgences that caused that whole Protestant Reformation thing you may have heard of.

But back to the OP's question, Canadians are mostly religious, though the face of this is changing from "traditional" Christian denominations.

And on one last note, religion is not really an issue when having social or politicial discourse within Canada (mostly). Although we have right-wing Canadians, they tend to be right wing when it comes to fiscal issues, and can be anywhere from conservative to liberal when it comes to social issues. Our left-wing Canadians are typically more liberal fiscally, but could be anywhere on the spectrum socially. This is markedly different than in the US, where religion and God are used to polarize social issues, driving a hard wedge between the Right and the Left.
You make some good points. Especially about the so-called "prosperity gospel." What was that that Jesus said about a camel passing through the eye of a needle? Regardless, these so called prosperity gospel churches are really only concerned with one type of prosperity - their own, financial kind. They want their congregation to be rich, and then convince them that by giving their riches to the church makes them more favourable to God. What a scam! The Mormons are also known to incorporate "prosperity gospel" type thinking into their teachings. Personally, considering all the things Jesus said about the virtues of poverty and the problems of wealth makes the whole "prosperity gospel" seem to me a typical capitalist perversion of the Gospels. I mean, how do the ministers reconcile all those passages in the Gospels with their teachings, considering that they're in complete contradictions. I guess that's where the whole evangelical ability to communicate with God comes in. "Jesus has told me that he wants you to own that car and that boat and that large house. He has told me that it doesn't matter how many forests and waterways we despoil, how much of our beautiful planet we destroy to get all these superfluous material things - he still wants you to have them because He loves you." That's typically how they spin it, without the sarcastic references to despoiling the Earth to indulge our own materialist impulses. Just another fine example of organized religion perverting the original message. Christianity is far from the only one - militant, fundamentalist Islamists are no different in this respect, except their violence is more overt (these days).
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:10 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 3,389,513 times
Reputation: 1004
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
I think it may be somewhat generational, since the NDP used to be a socially conservative party, or at least the CCF component was, mirroring the cultural background of its rural western base, and no one saw this as contradictory to its agenda of Democratic Socialism. In fact, if you think about it, it fits even better into the idea of collectivism then the current ideology does.
I don't know if I'd characterize the CCF as a "socially conservative party" - though there was a pro-temperance movement. Tommy Douglas was a more liberal Baptist (like Jimmy Carter) - I don't think he ever took a "socially conservative" position by the standards of the time (even his "homosexuality is a mental disorder" was a mainstream position at the time). There were also people like David Lewis and urban intellectuals in the League for Social Reconstruction etc.

Almost everyone of my grandparents' generation (same generation as Tommy Douglas and David Lewis) is "socially conservative" by today's standards, I'd agree.
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