Saturday, 8 August 2015

Charter of Rights & Freedoms; Credit or Blame?

As I just said in my previous post, I'm in a writing mood today.

A friend on Facebook, who I care for and respect as a brother, even if some of our views may be polar opposite, posted this on Facebook:
Think about this for a minute folks. It is my contention that if Steven Harper were the PM in 1980, 81 and 82, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms would never have come into existence. What do you think?
My comment, upon which I will then expand, was this:
Frankly I think we'd have been better off without it. We already had a bill of rights. Question is have certain "rights" we acknowledge now come as a result of the charter, changing public attitudes or has it been a symbiotic action? Frankly I think more the second. The right to freedom of religion and conscience IS guaranteed in the charter, but seems to take a back seat to certain sexual "rights."
What I mean is this: Society has changed. Attitudes of morality have changed; I and others might use the word, deteriorated." Now, has that been a function of having the Charter, or has the Charter just been used to codify this deterioration? I think the latter, although is it the Charter's fault? The Charter may have been used to write many of these new so-called rights into law, but I think the same might have happened anyway.

It all goes back to the post-war generation, whose behaviour and attitudes have been responsible. This generation was responsible for removing many of the previous generations' stigmas in matters of sexuality and personal entitlement. Therefore, when this generation came to a position of power, sexual licence, for example, became a "right," and I believe we will see more and more areas of what used to be considered sexual abnormality or deviance, be reclassified as mere preferences, and therefore rights and entitlements. These will include polygamy, bestiality and yes, eventually, even pedophilia. Just this morning I saw in the paper where a prisoner has the, "right" to have access to pornography in his jail cell.

The same is happening, or will soon happen completely in the area of mind-altering drugs. I remember hearing, years ago, before it even seemed a real possibility, the prediction that marijuana would some day become legal because the generation now (then) using it would be the generation some day in power, and all the pot-smoking law students would some day be the politicians and the judges. They would be the lawmakers and the law-enforcers, and their attitudes would be reflected in the laws they both made and enforced.

So do we blame the Charter exclusively, or do we place the blame for our current society's deterioration at the feet of those who have merely utilized it as a tool to enforce their agenda as the new norm?

Take Care


Warren said...

Your post is based on an assumption that Canadian society has deteriorated in the past 50-100 years. While I may agree that this is so in some very specific areas, I do not agree overall. I also think that the generation that produced (and raised) yours is too often given a free pass.

As for your Facebook friend, perhaps he will have the "pleasure", in the future, of having to live in a country where he is a minority and the values he holds near and dear have no protection in law. Our system may not be perfect, but I feel blessed to be a Canadian in 2015.

John K said...

Hi Warren. I must admit your comments always get me thinking, often thinking, "O, I never thought of it that way."
I suppose every generation can take some credit, or must accept some blame, for how the succeeding one turns out. One particular generation, I'm not sure if was ours or the following one, has been dubbed, "the me generation," and I think that sums up what one might see as a societal deterioration. In fact, perhaps each generation may just be more, "me" than the previous one. Maybe that's unavoidable. I know a number of teachers and professors who say, almost without exception, this generation of students is less disciplined but with more of a sense of entitlement than ever before in their memories. Would we categorize that as a deterioration?
You are right though. I can't think of a better country in which to be living.

Warren said...

I was partially influenced by my father; a man who was raised in large family that had next to nothing in northern Saskatchewan. He would avoid going into museums because he found reminders of the "good old days" very depressing. Up until his death, he remained convinced that society around him was getting steadily better instead of worse. I don't pine for the "good old days" either.

Young people of today doubtlessly live in a much different society today than the one we grew up in, and, doubtlessly, those who are lazy can get away with it more than ever. That said, most of the young people I'm acquainted with (through my children and through friends) don't seem to fit this stereotype. Our daughter has taught in a large high school in Oakville for the past seven years, and the stories she tells also give me hope that our society is not swirling down the drain.

A new heaven and a new earth are coming, but, in the meantime, I remain thankful for the many blessings I experience and do not fear greatly for what the future holds for my new grandchildren.