Last Saturday I attended the annual Jesus in the City Parade. I should admit that I was only vaguely familiar with the event – my Orthodox Church is not big on parades, except in very limited cases, and what’s most important, the mainstream media in Toronto maintain complete blackout of the event. It is not easy to do that – the parade attracts thousands of people, but when they have an agenda to impose, there is nothing that the media won’t do.
In our “multicultural” times, when reporters swarm even the most obscure ethnic festivals and demand from us to “celebrate” their diversity, the religion, which has united more ethnicities than any other movement and has become the cornerstone of our civilization, is treated with contempt and disdain. While Islam wants (and gets) protection from criticism in the West even for its most ridiculous claims (how does “Jesus is a prophet of Islam” sound?), Christianity is routinely ridiculed and its followers presented as mindless bigots.
I am not saying anything new here – everybody, who has followed the Toronto press, knows that. However, this year it was worse than usual. The city bureaucrats revoked the permit for the parade on two grounds. The first one was the road construction going on near the parliament building at Queen’s Park. They said that because of that, the usual itinerary couldn’t be secured and they were unable to offer another one. That was the final point of the parade – it wasn’t on the way and didn’t require some sophisticated and time-consuming re-routing of the participants. The funny part was that when the march reached Queen’s Park, it turned out that the construction works on the road have been completed, with only minor finishing works to be done on the sidewalks. It was a flimsy argument for cancelling the event. The other reason was that there was too much garbage left after the parade. Another lie. I saw that, other than some flyers on the ground, there wasn’t much of garbage left.
Contrast how this peaceful event is treated compared with other city events. The annual homosexual parade graces the downtown streets with naked exhibitionists and people, who simulate sex acts. It also leaves literally tons of garbage behind. In September 2012 over 2,000 Muslims gathered in front of the US Consulate, demanding the introduction of sharia blasphemy laws in Canada and the death of the maker of a movie about Islam. Such events have never been questioned, let alone banned. But when they are dealing with Christianity, anything goes.
When the decision to ban the parade leaked into the media and was made public (thanks mostly to Sun News), Mayor Rob Ford got involved. He demanded from the city staff to find a solution. Suddenly, it turned out that there were not that many obstacles and the parade could proceed according to the original plan. As a sign of gratitude, the participants in the parade carried a large banner thanking the Mayor for his help.
Unlike the perpetually offended special interest groups, the Christians didn’t allow that adversity to spoil their joyful experience. On the day of the parade thousands gathered north of Bloor/Church area singing and praying. The march started at 2 p.m. led by Christian leaders and pastors. As one may expect, the diverse crowd included people from many ethnicities living in Toronto. Floats with Caribbean and African choirs, Chinese marching band, Jewish supporters, Asian churches – all of them were there.
Thousands of people marched starting from Church St. and continuing to Bay St., then on College St. to finish at Queen’s Park, singing and dancing. The odd thing (though that’s not that odd in “progressive” Toronto) was that there were no journalists, reporters, photographers or any other representatives of the mainstream media. That didn’t affect the Christians.
An interesting part of the parade was the re-enactment of Jesus’s walk to Calvary, performed by a Korean church. It included everything – Jesus carrying His cross, surrounded by Roman soldiers; He was followed by crying disciples and even angels.
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