From The Gathering Storm Blog

At the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and the awareness of the subtle and not-so-subtle attempts by individuals, organizations, groups and institutions to impose a 7th century ideology on the world, isn’t it time we codify what we are defending and what we believe is worth protecting in our culture? We have no problem identifying and protecting culturally significant structures and communities through legislation. Why not our values, mores and history, i.e., our Judeo-Christian culture.

Now, mention Judeo-Christian anything to the politically correct crowd and multiculturalists and you will be called a racist or worse. The self-haters who see our culture as the reason for all the ills in the world are quite content to throw the baby out with the bathwater and embrace any culture, no matter how deviant, other than our own.

The multiculturalists only see our Judeo-Christian culture as a religion. But it is much more than that. It is the very root of our freedoms and democratic processes. Case in point, would you call India or Japan a Judeo-Christian culture because they are democracies? Of course not. But those country’s governments are founded upon the Judeo-Christina concepts that make their democracies work.

No other culture in the world has the strength of the Judeo-Christian culture to preserve and protect an individual’s freedom. And countries built on that culture are starting to take some steps to protect it.

Citizenship tests are currently in fashion in Europe, with Germany, the Netherlands and Britain all revising the process by which immigrants are admitted or made nationals.

More countries are introducing or refining admissions tests for immigrants. Sample questions from new tests in Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands include: Where are Geordie, Cockney and Scouse dialects spoken, what are three low mountain ranges found in Germany, and who was William of Orange? Whereas the British citizenship test introduced in November of last year is aimed at immigrants from all backgrounds and emphasizes practical issues about life in the UK, in Germany, the tests proposed by two states so far are already being called the “Muslim tests,” because of questions designed to probe an applicant’s compatibility with local values.

Australia has its own citizenship test.

Certainly the citizenship test, which was flagged last Sunday by the Immigration and Citizenship Minister, Kevin Andrews, is symbolic. But symbolism is important in democratic politics – especially when attempts are being made to unite all groups in a pluralistic, immigrant society like Australia.

Andrews has released a draft document titled Becoming an Australian Citizen that will provide the background from which the proposed citizenship test will be based. At the end of the booklet, a number of sample questions – which might be asked in the citizenship test – are provided. They include such items as in what year did federation take place? and in Australia, everyone is free to practise the religion of their choice, or practise no religion: true or false?

The point of the exercise is to make a symbolic statement that those seeking to become citizens should have some understanding of Australia’s history and values. The latter are set out in Becoming an Australian Citizen and include such basic tenets as “freedom of religion and secular government” and “support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law”. No doubt some civil libertarians will complain that values cannot be codified. However, the overwhelming majority of Australians would have no difficulty in identifying with such concepts.

Even the Isle of Man is getting into the act.

A new citizenship test is to be introduced which will quiz immigrants on their knowledge of the Isle of Man. The £50 test applies to non-EU citizens who want to settle on the island. They will be tested on their English skills and knowledge of law, government and the traditions of the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom.

A year ago, the US introduced a citizenship test and brings it closer to the notion sweeping Europe that gaining citizenship requires subscribing to a set of shared values.

To gain American citizenship, immigrants must be able to answer such questions as: What was the 49th state added to our Union? What color are the stars on our flag? And who wrote the Star Spangled Banner?

Sound trivial? The US government thinks so, and plans to roll out a new pilot test this winter. It will continue to be an oral test, conducted in English, and will have 10 questions. Six correct answers will earn a passing grade. But the content, which is tightly under wraps, is expected to shun simple historical facts about America that can be recounted in a few words for more explanation about the principles of American democracy, such as freedom.

Of course critics in all countries whine that these simple tests raise the bar too high for immigrants. But isn’t that the purpose of the test? To make them understand and sign onto the common shared value of the society they wish to live in. The very same society that offered the freedoms that they could not have in their country?

But these tests, while a good start, do not actually prevent the deterioration of the culture that the tests want to protect. For that you need legislation.

We need to codify that our culture has its roots in a Judeo-Christian foundation where the right to practice one’s religion is granted and not interfered with by government. In turn, Government will not promote or encourage any one religion or its practices over another like what is happening today in the name of multiculturalism.

I’d like to hear from my readers what elements of a Cultural Protection Act should be codified into a law for this country. Have at it.

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