The notable Christian exemptions to the highly controversial and recently proposed Quebec’s secular Charter of Values, i.e. the one allowing the crucifix to remain in the National Assembly, the cross on Mount Royal, and Christmas trees in provincial government buildings, seem to be based on the hypocritical idea that some religious symbols are purely secular.
However, while making the announcement that laid out the proposal of Quebec’s secular Charter of Values, the minister responsible for the Charter, Bernard Drainville, mentioned on Tuesday that modern post-Catholic Quebec merely reflect the secular culture of holidays and gift-giving and have now become “part of Quebec culture.” He explained that “we will recognize elements of our heritage that bear witness to our history,” speaking in reference to the tree, and the cross.
However, commenting on these exceptions, the director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, Paul Bramadat, stated that these are “certainly going to strike people as hypocritical.” He elaborated that “If the leaders of Quebec society are seeking to exclude from the public and political arenas all historically deep references to religious identity, then it stands to reason that the crucifix would need to be removed, too, not to mention the cross on the top of Mt. Royal.” Moreover, the professor of philosophy at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Mark Mercer, alleged that he is “appalled” by the proposals that rather than their current significance to the people who use them.
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