Can we have openness to diversity, or not?
This week, the Centre for Inquiry – Okanagan had their recent bus campaign ‘stopped’ by a vandal who removed the signs from buses parked in a lot.
It seems clear to me that this area – the Okanagan, but Kelowna more specifically – has been largely populated by white, Christian, rich people, and the idea of a community that may hold different views is a challenge to those who have been here and claim certain rights of entitlement. …including entitlement to a specific world-view.
The federal election took place this week, too – and I see it as another reflection of people wanting to maintain the status quo of a certain kind of people with a certain kind of lifestyle. Apparently voter turnout was 60.1% in the Kelowna – Lake Country riding, here, and the Conservative candidate won by a landslide (again) with 57.4% of the vote.
The CFI bus campaign, in a suggestive way – though not an offensive way – questions the existence of God. “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life.”
Why is such a message taken in such a way that someone feels the need to remove it? Whether one’s set of beliefs includes an understanding of God or not, how does another’s set of beliefs matter one way or the other?
The removal of signs was not an overt act, it was done under the cover of night. It was a cowardly act. It seems to me that, to make a statement in this way of stealing signs that were legitimately posted, some fear the scrutiny of others – that their shaky faith may be challenged and found out to be that: without substance.
Regardless of how one takes the atheist movement of today, I think that it has invited conversation about what people believe and how we live that out. It also invites conversation about whether there is an ultimate truth or not, and whether all ought to subscribe to only one view or if there’s space for many, reflecting the many cultures and expressions of life that populate this world.