Christ-Haunted Quebec

Here’s a curious article about how the rabid secularization of once-Catholic Quebec is endangering the local forms of blasphemy that are based on Catholic images and ideas.

It’s as clear a demonstration as you could ask for that blasphemy is always parasitic on the sacred. Find the Word You Must Not Say and you have found the thing a culture holds sacred. When the blasphemies no longer offend, the thing blasphemed is no longer sacred. Thus, both the F word and the N word speak volumes about what is sacred in our sex and race obsessed culture, while the fading of Catholic-based blasphemy in Quebec tracks with the fading of Catholicism.

Chesterton said, “Blasphemy depends upon belief and is fading with it. If any one doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.” This is why the New Atheists spend so very little time sneering at Quetzlcoatl or Zeus and so very much time sneering at the God of Israel and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. It is the living God, not the dead ones, who still poses a threat to the prideful.

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  • I drove through southern Quebec this summer on a motorcycle trip. My little act of spiritual subversion was, every time I saw the name of a saint on a sign, to pray for that saint’s intercession for the restoration of the Catholic culture of the province. It’s staggering to see how thoroughly soaked in the Faith that province once was, and to see how far it’s fallen. It’s now the most secularised place in Canada, probably in North America.

  • whimsy

    Our family was babysitting a preschool boy. At bedtime, he joined us for prayers, and we recited the Divine Mercy chaplet. Whenever we said, “Our Lord Jesus Christ” he would say, “That’s a naughty word.”

    He was taught that by his mother scolding his father.

  • Manwe

    Well that’s…just sad…? Wha?

    It’s sad either way, that Quebec is secularized to the point of insanity, and that the people of Quebec felt such a need to rebel against the Church and religion that they invented new swear words (that is just sad and stupid).

    And as for what Mark said, while the N word is only a recent thing in terms of it being bad, the F word has been scorned since it’s inception, centuries ago. And for that matter, our culture is obsessed with the F word not because it sees sex as something, but because it takes its chops from the counter culture in the 60s, which declared all things bad, good. They used profanity as one form of their rebellion against their parents and the culture. Funny how obsessed with profanity the modern world still is, just watch any movie, read any book, listen to any cd, or play any game, It’s expetive expletive expletive. Then just go and talk to a young person (young adult/teenager) its like they can’t fathom cursing not being a part of regular speech.

  • Heather Price

    “Who’s that guy on the cross?” reminded me of the show Malcolm in the Middle. There was an episode where the family joined a church to get the charity or handouts (they may have needed them and not just looking to mooch, but still) and had to attend various classes or activities as members. Dewey, the youngest son, asked his dad, “Why do they have a ‘t’ on the wall?”
    Wait long enough and satire becomes reality. Sad.

  • chloesmom

    I’ve lived in Quebec since 1974, but am still regularly (and unpleasantly) surprised by the depths of people’s ignorance here, not only with regard to the Faith, but of general knowledge. Once, for instance, I actually heard someone claim that Pontius Pilate was a Jew (PP would’ve crucified them for saying that!). This in spite of the clear statement in the Gospels that Pilate was, like, you know, the ROMAN governor of Judaea… Most Quebecers are au courant with the latest pop cultural phenomena (Kardashians, anyone?), but know diddly about the liturgy or anything else faith-related. Mark, you are right in saying that we are “a Paris Hilton people (or more current, a Kardashian people) in an apocalyptic world”. Just the same our pastor continually reminds the congregation that “God loves you”, while simultaneously ignoring anything coming from Rome. (For instance, we’ve heard nothing about the new English translation starting on Advent I). But that’s another typical thing here in La Belle Province – the English language is treated as if it were leprous, to be diminished or hidden altogether. It’s hard to be a faithful Catholic (or even attempt to be one!) here, when a benign attitude of “it’s all good” covers a multitude of sins. Please pray for the Church here, because it’s in pretty sad shape.

  • stevo

    I live in Quebec and have found it a culture in serious decline in every way. 50% high school grad rate, almost universal drug use among teens, organized and disorganised crime skyrocketing. And a complete dedication to a hyper-liberal worldview in spite of the destruction it is causing.
    I love french canadians though, they are welcoming and people oriented and still less materialistic than english canadians…
    Please forgive the blatant generalisations, these are anecdotal observations.
    Pray for Quebec…