TO HELL WITH SEASON'S GREETINGS
It's too soon for a full-throated defence of Christ-mass.
Let's hope it is not necessary.
It is to be hoped that all the idiots who think there is something awful about an open glorious celebration of both the day and the season will mind their mouths more this year since when they speak they betray their ignorance about the wonderful message of peace and goodwill that permeates Christmas and its important position in Canadian history.
What triggers this is a page in the National Post titled "Perils of Perception." It's based on an Ipsos Reid global survey. I am a big fan of that polling outfit since the days when John Wright, a grand Pooh-bah of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, and I used to sum up the year in long broadcasts on CFRB when it was still the giant and respected radio station.
Thanks to long conversations with Wright, Larry Zolf and Jay Del Mah of the CBC, I was remarkably accurate on predicting elections and public moods. They knew how to cut through the politically correct BS to what people really were thinking.
Wright sifted these results and said "Canadians are flying blind in a cloud of misperception."
Misperceptions? Bet you get it wrong too.
Canada was one of 14 countries where the public were asked about their neighbours in such areas as religion and age.
We were almost as bad as those in France and Belgium about estimating the percentage of Muslims in our population. Canadians said it was 20%. It's actually 2%. An over-estimate mistake of 18%.
Only Americans were worse than us when it came to estimating the numbers of Christians. Canadians said the Christian population in Canada was 48.5% It's actually 69%. A under-estimate mistake of 20.5%.
Only Italy and Poland goofed more in estimating their numbers over 65 years of age. Canadians said 39% of the country was over 65 when it's actually 14% due to all the immigration of younger people. That over-estimate mistake is 25%.
Several messages flow out of these figures for me that should influence how our politicians should start acting.
Let's start with Christmas. We have renamed the concerts in our schools, the celebration trees in our squares and banned manger depictions. We have shoved Jewish and Muslim language and customs into our celebrations and accepted Kwanzaa, a modern "black" celebration dreamed up by a minor American prof.
Yet consider the figures. On the side of an unabashed Christmas celebration, we have 69% of the country. The opposition is rooted, perhaps, in the 2% of Canadian Muslims and the 1.1% saying they are Jewish in religion or ethnicity.
The reason I added "perhaps" is because of all my Jewish friends who have adopted some of the customs of Christmas and are a little baffled and even embarrassed about the elevation of Hanukkah which they regarded as a rather minor celebration.
(Then there was my friend who burned down his mansion when he lit the candle central to the tradition. The joke is that now his friends who think about moving phone to ask if he can come over to celebrate Hanukkah with them.)
By the time we add in all the atheists, agnostics and people who really don't give a damn, and remember that Kwanzaa was supposedly an addition to the season and wasn't intended to replace it, it seems we have about 80% for Christmas, perhaps 3% against, and the rest too busy shopping and drinking to care much either way.
Oh shit, I forgot the shrivelled principals and trustees, gutless politicians and the activists who are never happier than when they are making us wear a barbed-wire shirt of their principles. There may be a thousand or so of them, but they figure they are more important than tens of millions.
Let me remind you that I have never believed in religious schools. I think our taxes should support only one school system but that Jews, Catholics, Muslims or Baal-worshippers should be given time in public facilities to give whatever religious nstruction they desire.
I have no desire to force religion on anyone but surely the major religious celebration of most of a country need not be harassed. It should be made easy for minorities to opt out but the majority, remember, have rights too.
Let's not forget that figure that too many Canadians think that 39% of the country are pensioners. Yikes! No wonder I have read and heard recently a rather militant philosophy that the elderly in this country are doing just fine, thank you very much, and there is no need to help them in taxation.
Wright may have it wrong when he says Canadians are "flying blind in a cloud of misperception." I think such groups as unionists, activists, socialists, and bankers know damn well what the real demographic figures are and choose to ignore or misrepresent them to suit their selfish purposes.
Maybe they should watch Scrooge again.
And the rest of us should stop feeling so smug about how smart and worldly we are - especially compared to the U.S. - when it comes to demographics. Turns out there is much we don't know about ourselves, even thinking, for example that 35% of us are immigrants when it's actually 21%,.
Generous compared to the world, but substantially different from our mental picture. We really a flying blind.