An ever-changing world

Letter writer says Canada has always welcomed people from different backgrounds

We live in a rapidly changing world, and it is not all because of the advances in technology, communications or social media.  Climate change and political upheaval have for several millennia caused the populations of the continents to shift and devolve. Religious and cultural changes have always shifted with the movement of peoples.

At this moment, we are witnessing a vast shift of populations from Africa and the Middle East. In 1910, my grandfather was encouraged to move to Canada from sunny California to be a homesteader in Alberta when certain well-established Canadians worried the Prairies of Canada were being overwhelmed by non-English speaking people from eastern Europe and Asia. It was a tough prospect, but with the help of welcoming people from many backgrounds, he established himself in a country where his particular religious beliefs were not found anywhere among his neighbours.

Today, many are concerned about the large influx of Islamic people whose religious beliefs are not well understood by the current population. Some have even chosen to point out what they think are shortcomings of that religion, such as the unequal treatment of women.  I should not have to remind the good Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, etc. followers that every one of these other religious communities also held similar practices, but over time in the atmosphere of an open, growing, democratic country, and with the advance of human understanding, these religious beliefs were modified and in some cases, even eradicated.

Change in society always takes place as any community grows and evolves around the issues of economy, education, and social caring for one another. I truly believe that if Christians actually acted, as a man called Jesus once asked them to, as loving, forgiving, accepting, and generous people; or the practitioners of the other religions or those who would prefer to think of themselves as humanitarians rather than religious, would act humanely, then there could not possibly be any problem in accepting our Islamic sisters and brothers into our neighbourhoods, our communities and our Canada.

Gregory A. Milne


Vernon Morning Star