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Debunking the crucifix myth


 

Here‘s L. Ian MacDonald in today’s Gazette on the Bouchard-Taylor commission’s recommendation to take the crucifix out of the National Assembly (and why Charest was right to reject it):

Their logic, with a view to advancing what they term “open secularism,” is impeccable. But it takes no account of, and is completely at variance with, more than two and a quarter centuries of constitutional tradition that is the foundation of Quebec and Canada itself.

[…]

And the goal of an egalitarian and secular state is by and large an admirable one, but needn’t be achieved at a cost to our constitutional heritage, the very foundation of that state.

Unfortunately for MacDonald, the specific crucifix he’s so eager to defend has nothing to do with either religious freedom or the province’s “constitutional heritage.” In fact, it represents pretty much the exact opposite. Here‘s University of Montreal historian Jacques Rouillard:

It was Maurice Duplessis’s Union nationale government that decided to put the crucifix above the speaker’s throne during the very first session of government after it was elected in October 1936. A crucifix was also installed in the red hall above the chair reserved for the speaker of Legislative Council. (The room is now used for National Assembly committee meetings and the crucifix has since been removed.)

Duplessis’s decision was no accident; it was carefully thought-out and meant to reflect the new government’s intention of changing the dynamic between the Church and the Quebec State. Duplessis wanted to distinguish himself from previous Liberal governments by showing he would be more receptive to Catholic principles.

[Photo taken from Denys Arcand’s Québec : Duplessis et après…]


 

Debunking the crucifix myth

  1. I did not know that. Damned interesting.

  2. Hey this is actually interesting. I did not know this either!

  3. I could only watch about half of the video, so excuse me if you covered this, but aren't 'legal' walls somewhat against the culture of spray painting? I thought part of the thrill of painting things was that it was illegal. Or maybe the 'legal' walls are for the old timers who no longer want to break the law but want to paint anyways.

    • In no way are legal walls against the culture. Painting illegally does have it's thrill, but the overall purpose is to get your art seen. Most writers who do legal walls also paint illegally. We paint to show the world… whatever it is we want to portray, by any means nessessary. It's just nice that more and more people embrace it as art, and want it on there walls. It`s not about rebelling, it`s about uncomprimised expression… but that could be just an old timers point of view.

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