Condemning any sort of attack against a place of worship ought to be universally laudable. We should never use qualifying language to soften such condemnations. When someone decides to vandalize, trash or set fire to a place of worship, they are committing a hate crime. There is no excusing this conduct.
This is a simple reality that politicians, police and citizens have collectively understood, that is, until recently. When 11 churches were vandalized in one night in Calgary alone, and in the very same week we learned of arsons at a church in Calgary and at a First Nations parish only an hour away from the city, people suddenly forgot this line in the sand. Worse still, the acts of hatred in Calgary were only the latest in a string of nearly fifty acts of arson and vandalism across the country. Where was the fundamentally Canadian sympathy towards a faith community under attack? Dead and gone apparently, a casualty of progressive politics.
Harsha Walia, the now-resigned head of the BC Civil Liberties Association, in response to the mass burning of churches, tweeted “BURN IT ALL DOWN.” She has since decried those condemning her hateful words as the hateful ones themselves. Walia’s sentiment was far from unique on social media, and unbelievably, many supported her harmful mentality unabashedly.
Justin Trudeau visited Calgary following the brazen anti-Christian attacks, but he was too busy campaigning at a door company to visit or comment on the hate crimes. However, he was quick to visit a mosque in Hamilton, Ont. mere days after it was vandalized in what he and countless other officials quickly took to Twitter to decry as a hate crime with no place in Canadian society. While I could not agree more with the sentiment, why, following a dozen hate crimes in Calgary, were Christians not afforded the same compassion?
First Nations leaders have been among the most outspoken opponents of these attacks. There is an undeniable legacy of harm from the Canadian residential school system, but justifying these attacks based on the actions of the government of Canada and the actions of churches half a decade ago is ignoble. These acts of violence sow division and hinder healing. Every religion has darkness in their history, using the sins of a religion’s past to justify current hate crimes is monstrous.
Sadly, many of the churches affected serve new immigrant communities, people who had no knowledge of or connection to the residential schools. Many of these immigrants fled from countries where persecution of Christians was commonplace, only to find it once more in Canada.
Immediately following the spate of vandalisms, I spoke with Calgary Police, who insisted that they had ample physical evidence and that they should be able to create a very short list of suspects. With that good news, we hoped for an imminent arrest.
It never came.
In fact, aside from a few press releases that discussed residential schools nearly as much as the hate crimes themselves, the public has heard nothing more. Numerous people on social media have suggested that the response of Calgary Police has been inadequate, and that if crimes of the same scale were committed against any other faith group in the city, much more would have been done. I reached out to police with these concerns, but they would only state that this is a complex and ongoing case and that they were not willing to comment further for fear of impacting their investigation.
While politicians and social media pundits waver in the condemnation of the hate crimes, or outright encourage them, Rebel News is unwavering in decrying these acts of discrimination. Go to SaveOurChurches.ca to sign our petition in support of targeted Christian communities in Canada. Ezra Levant has also offered $10,000 of his own money for any information that leads to an arrest of those responsible for setting churches on fire at FindTheArsonist.com.