Updates from April, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:39 on 2017/04/16 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a discussion going on about whether Easter is a religious holiday, and I mention this mostly because this debate is chronic and will be back during the next provincial election and later. Jean-François Lisée has staked out the position that neither Christmas nor Easter is a religious holiday. They are cultural, and while “la religion divise, la culture unit.”

    Lisée is not a stupid man, and clearly he must know it’s an easy trap to assume that what we feel to be culturally neutral is objectively neutral, whereas it’s always totally based on our own biases. But he knows that taking this position is politically canny, following the PQ line that none of Quebec’s Catholic baggage is religious, while anyone else’s religious symbolism is religious and should be banned from the public sphere.

    Even Richard Martineau disagrees with him.

    • jeather 14:14 on 2017/04/16 Permalink

      Oh come the fuck on. There are some reasonable arguments about Christmas having enough secular aspects to count (which I disagree with, but they’re not clearly wrong), but no one, not even Lisee, truly thinks Easter is cultural.

    • joe 19:47 on 2017/04/16 Permalink

      Today, my family met up for Easter brunch. We didn’t observe lent before, we didn’t go to church once, there wasn’t one mention of Jesus or anything religious (unless the Easter bunny counts), and we ate chocolate. My Christmas was also very secular and I suspect it was for many others as well. These holidays may have religious origins (although, ironically, their pagan aspects remain more than anything else), but I’d venture that for most, both Christmas and Easter are now cultural and not religious in Quebec.

    • Kevin 22:05 on 2017/04/16 Permalink

      We don’t ban people from working on cultural holidays

    • Ephraim 23:36 on 2017/04/16 Permalink

      Joe, most is not all. I normally work on both and don’t care because they aren’t my holidays at all.

    • rue david 02:06 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      it’s hard to say. i think hunting for those eggs and eating candies is a pretty standard part of quebec life, but i doubt that even 1% of quebeckers go to church or pray or do whatever it is that people do for easter. so it’s a formerly religious day that changed into a secular day, a bit like how we use the christian calendar even though most of the “christian” world is now secular and even that is a small minority of the world population.

      if you live in quebec, it’s just a normal thing. it would be neater if quebec and canada had more original and interesting holidays and traditions, especially quebec, which has been a real going concern for quite a bit longer than canada. but it’s what’s there.

      in short, it’s hard not to agree with lisée.

    • Hamza 02:23 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      ‘Holiday’ – ‘holy day’

    • jeather 10:45 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      Any person can celebrate a holiday because it is their culture, but Easter is itself not secular.

    • Kate 11:04 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      Hamza, that’s the origin of the word but it’s lost the religious meaning long since. Victoria Day and Labour Day are legal holidays. They’re not holy days.

      rue david, Lisée is playing tribal politics here. It’s a game of saying “my holy days are secular and belong to everybody, but Passover and Ramadan only belong to those weirdos.”

    • jeather 14:32 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      Of course we ban people from working on cultural holidays — Labour Day, Thanksgiving, New Years Day, Victoria Day, Canada Day.

      I always liked how no one pretended that Easter was secular, guess that’s gone now.

    • Daisy 15:30 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      Not a religious holiday? Guess I spent the last six weeks in spiritual preparation for a secular celebration then.

    • ant6n 20:37 on 2017/04/17 Permalink

      The celebration may be religious, but the holiday isn’t necessarily.

      (This has been discussed a bunch of times here, but I’ll mention it again — how come the anti-religious, secularized former socialist countries in Europe still had Easter and Christmas holidays, if they are necessarily religious and never just part of the cultural heritage?)

    • Ian 07:15 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      My family were never religious at all, even funerals were held at a funeral home, not a church, and none of us have been church married for a generation. We still do easter and christmas, though. Granted it’s mostly chocolates, dyeing eggs, and feasting on easter so more in common with Ostara/ Beltane than any of these new religions.

  • Kate 09:41 on 2017/04/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Somebody’s dogged research has proven where and when the first NHL game was played.

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