On Trudeau’s Indian Posturing

By   /   February 26, 2018  /   8 Comments

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A brief word on this whole Trudeau thing. The recent one, I mean…

A brief word on this whole Trudeau thing. The recent one, I mean.

Now, I suppose the conventional wisdom of Western politics in this age is that to engage upon the surface in some modicum of the religious mores of another culture, another community of faith represents “tolerance”, acceptance, and understanding.

Perhaps it does. And certainly, it is a positive thing for our elected leaders and other representatives to be more broadly ‘culturally literate’ than their forebears, with an ability to engage with people of different backgrounds and theologies especially relevant considering the much less homogenous or monolithic nature of our contemporary societies.

But I must confess myself somewhat uneasy to see someone ‘going through the motions’ [literally, in terms of the hand-gestures and donning of certain garmentry, as it happens] of an expression of faith that is not their own, either as part of a general “do as those around me are doing” [and subject to changing dependent upon who’s “around” at the time], or part and parcel of a specific “outreach” programmme.

It is something oft-forgotten these days, that Religion is not simply a bunch of disparate ‘funny traditions’ of half-understood and much-misremembered vague and quasi-import attached to some Cool Stories from the relevant Mythology [Mythos, but I digress].

Instead, it represents – to both the individual and the community – some of the most deeply held and important beliefs (presuming you choose to subscribe to it, of course, rather than having some secular creed(s) in its place) about values, the world, and our place both within and in relation to both.

It is, in a word, quite literally “Sacred”.

So the idea that one can, without breaking a sweat or pausing for consideration, simply don and discard the outward forms of religious adherence in a manner akin to a corsage at a dance or something, is arguably anathema to it. In fact, at the more extreme end, the “a-word” for it would be “apostasy”. Although I’m not seeking to levie that particular charge in Trudeau’s direction, as it would require actual religious adherence in the first instance which is then abandoned to do so.

To be clear about this – there is nothing wrong with Trudeau seeking greater engagement with Canada’s various Indian communities. [Although the potential risk of providing some tacit support for Khalistan movement is something that must be taken into consideration here, given some of the vectors chosen]

But I am not so wild about religious mores being trotted out for photoshoots by those who do not earnestly believe in them; and I am still less eager when it comes to picking and choosing just *which* religious tropes one is keen to display from one corpus or another on a day-to-day basis in-line with the changing vicissitudes of the polls or whatever.

I can understand – and, indeed, in point of fact, empathize rather strongly – with the notion of taking an active interest in ‘comparative theology’, comparative mythology, and all the rest of it. It’s something I do myself, and it is a point of genuine pleasure and value to be able to discuss these things with a certain degree of aptitude and competency with, say, the Rev. Rolinson with some degree of fluency. [We’re *slowly* working on upskilling him with *our* theology, at the same time]

Yet I do not ‘trust’ a politician, or a celebrity [insofar as the two are distinguishable today] or anyone else for that matter who appears to flit between the barest reaches of ‘Traditions’, on a day to day basis.

To me, it does not seem to show someone who is “more engaged” with more people.

It simply shows someone who appears keen to display ‘quick and easy’ attempts at LOOKING “engaged” without necessarily seeking to put in the actual work to either integrate into a community or demonstrate genuine solidarity/empathy from without.

Now perhaps I have been too swift to judge in Mr Trudeau’s case, and upon further reading it shall turn out that he’s actually an avid student of the Dharmic religions who’s long had a grasp of India and Indian cultures.

If this is the case, and I have unfairly lumped him in with a number of other Anglosphere politicians who *don’t* have these sorts of things … then I truly and unreservedly apologize to him.

But even if it does not apply to Trudeau specifically, I still feel my point stands.

Religion is not a costume (although dependent upon your confessional sympathies, it may well feature one).

They are deeply held, essence-ial elements of who and what we are. Not to be taken lightly or insincerely in pursuit of temporal advantages in the psephological or corporate realms.

And from my perspective at least, it is difficult indeed to find myself more “trusting” of an individual who would appear to display otherwise via their conduct – treating those deep and oft-eternal elements as light and fleeting photographical fancies.

It is one thing to show respect.

It is quite another to pantomime.

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"Part Apache; Part Swede. Part Attack Helicopter; Part Kitset Furniture."

8 Comments

  1. Takere Takere says:

    Yep! You pakeha-tauiwi just dont know when to quit! Haha! As much as you all want to be,feel included and accepted and show youre open to other cultures …. doesnt mean you have to degrade the culture with a public display of ‘butchering’ the language or traditional dance or cultural rituals. Why cant you all just leave it the fuck alone and just accept it and if you want admire it from afar? Pleeeze! Just stick to waving a hanky around whilst dancing around a stick with bells on it.

  2. countryboy says:

    I think you’re walking around with a bell’d stick up your bum. Something I bet @ Takere would like to insert there if that’s not, in fact, the case. He/She seems in the mood for it. All religions are metaphors duh! From Cathedrals to caves, from mud huts to mansions. All that religions are trying to achieve, is, at best, to assuage fear. And I don’t blame it. Unless you’re an American Happy Clapper. Then, they just want your money.
    A prehistoric conversation:

    Drek “Hmmm? Org? Have you noticed that Grag is motionless, smells like a dead triceratops, has worms in his eyeballs and he seems to have lost his sense of humour?”
    Org. “ Yes.”
    Drek “ What could the matter be?? Grag was up and running a few days ago, and now this? I’m worried…! “
    Org. “God did that.”
    Derk. “ God? What’s a God?”
    Org. “ Good question. “

    Thus, religion was made up. And we should just stoke a doobie, have a laugh and chill the fuck out instead.
    The great thing about not adhering to any kind of dopy religion is that it makes a person very hard to offend on that level. Thus peace, and funny too.
    Tell me? Hows winston these days? Was just looking at him in that photo doing the cafe` with don brash. Great photo. Who’s that other fellow there. His back to the street?

  3. Helena says:

    Interesting. I’ve heard Trudeau is a Satanist. It is de rigeur to profess one’s choice so he probably wont or can’t deny.

    • Strypey says:

      Satanism emerged as a reaction to the hypocrisy and corruption of the church, as one expression of the theological and philosophical dissent that eventually led to the reformation, and the emergence of both protestantism and atheism. Claims about satanists practicing human sacrifice, like similar stories about wiccans and druids circulated by the church prior to the reformation (and continued in popular mythology long after it), are just like the red scare propaganda of the Cold War. No evidence has ever been produced that satanists do anything more scary than wear eyeliner and promote individualism.

  4. Spark says:

    Yeah don’t have a lot of time for this guy or his govt. His govt plans to sign the TPP11, was positive about the XL pipeline not to mention Canada’s arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

    • ropata says:

      Thank-you for the only sensible comment in this wasteland. Trudeau’s antics are just an Obama-like photoshoot and mean nothing. His real impact is from the shit he signs into law

  5. Chris says:

    Trudeau is a committed and knowledgeable Catholic so much written here is plain wrong.
    None of the above stops him being a dickhead.