A recently introduced manual by the Government of Canada intended to teach newcomers about Canadian values and Canadian society has been met with ongoing hostility from left-wing Canadians and politicians over the choice of words in describing female genital mutilation and honor killings. Jinny Sims, the immigration critic of the opposition New Democratic Party of Canada, suggested the word “barbaric” might “stigmatize some cultures.”
Aside from official protestations, everyone can imagine the type of cultural relativist rhetoric that has been used to attack the Conservative government for releasing this guide. The blogosphere has been filled with “liberal-minded” Canadians continuing in the same vein as Ms. Sims, suggesting the term “barbaric” is somehow discriminatory or offensive to a particular group. However, reasoned thought on the matter should conclude on the exact opposite; that it is offensive to those forced to endure such ordeals to call them anything but barbaric. Unfortunately, sensitivity towards this group (as per usual) is ignored.
Taking up the relativist banner was also none other than Justin Trudeau, front-runner for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, and son of the infamous Canadian Prime Minister who brought multiculturalist policy to Canada. He attacked the Conservatives for using the term “barbaric,” and suggested that the term was a “pejorative” and that “there needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality.”
Of course the term is a pejorative, as it should be. Have we gone so mad with political correctness that we can’t even call cold-blooded murder of a family member “barbaric” in case it might “stigmatize” or offend? Rightfully, Mr. Trudeau was forced to step back from his comments as even members of his own party realized he had gone too far. This was done in the usual callous fashion people expect these days from politicians: Trudeau claimed that his words were somehow taken out of context and that they may have “misled” people.
He certainly didn’t mislead Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who shot back at Trudeau saying that the Liberals are, “so wrapped up in political correctness, they can’t call things for what they are anymore…They’re afraid of offending someone or appearing to be insensitive by actually making a judgement about culturally barbaric practices.”
Here we have a blatant example of the folly of cultural relativism. Had Trudeau’s comments not been so utterly contemptible that they were questioned by his own colleagues, it is safe to assume he would have continued his attack on what he would call “conservative values.” While Mr. Trudeau attacked these values for political reasons, what is always more shocking is when regular, intelligent people actually believe that using the term “barbaric” to describe heinous practices is somehow unjustified or discriminatory. This is not a “conservative” value judgment. It is an affirmation of Canadian values, Western values, and unequivocally morally justified values.
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