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Canada verus the U.S.

photo by laughingsquid
For five years I’ve waited and asked the administration for a church planting course at Tyndale Seminary. It still hasn’t happened. Church planting courses are in our academic calendar, but they haven’t been offered supposedly due to a lack of interest. This semester I decided to enroll as a visiting student to Heritage Seminary for their church planting foundations course way out in Cambridge.

A couple thoughts from my first class specifically regarding demographics between the U.S. and Canada. (Because so often many people try to plant ‘American’ churches in a Canadian context, when in fact many of our values are diverging).

– The state of California alone has more people than all of Canada

– Statistically the values of the most liberal states (New England area) are still more conservative than Canada’s most conservative province (Alberta)

– Where postmodernism is a philosophical system embraced in the U.S., it is intrinsic to who Canadians are – we are almost exclusively postmodern

– Canada has quickly surpassed the UK in secularism

“In the U.S. it’s legal to bear arms, in Canada it’s legal to bear breasts”

– Some additional generalizations for the U.S. – Risk-taking, money is everything, winner takes all, higher standard of living, and aspiration

– As compared to in Canada – Risk-averse, money is suspect, income redistribution, best quality of life, and accommodation

Much of this and many more stats are found in Michael Adams’ books, Sex in the snow, and Fire & Ice.

For my American friends here’s one of our infamous Molson Beer “I am Canadian” commercials.

For my Canadian friends, who are oblivious to American politics for the most part, check out this awesome speech by Senator Barack Obama who’s in the running to be America’s first black president (though I’ve got my bets on Hillary).

What do you think?

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Cindy January 21, 2007, 8:09 pm

    Lon, That commercial was hilarious. My husband is Canadian, born and raised in Calgary Alberta. It seemed VERY concervative when I lived there, over 20 years ago now. But it was Alberta and I am from California. We also hung around a lot of German Baptists. 🙂

  • Donnie January 22, 2007, 3:40 am

    Lon, that is a crazy graphic. I totally agree with you. I am from the States (Florida) and I am planting a church in BC (Kamloops). I love Canada. It just fits for me… You are correct on the idea of postmodernism. It is just the culture. My favourite generalization between Canada and U.S. is the differences between the two symbols. Eagle: fierce, hunter, aggressive, etc…fill in the blanks… Beaver: hard worker, ingenious, avoids confrontations, etc…

    As the comedian said on CTV the other day (I can’t remember his name), “Welcome to BC, the land of extremes. You are either chopping a tree down or chained to one.”

  • perelandra January 22, 2007, 10:09 am

    Sup brother,

    came across this site, instantly thought of you, and thought I’d recommend in case you haven’t found it before…

    http://www.planterplanet.com/

  • Mad Max January 22, 2007, 12:22 pm

    Love that map!

  • Lon January 22, 2007, 1:37 pm

    Hey Cindy, I’ve always wondered what Americans would think of that video. it is very much Canadian…

    Donnie, yeah a lot of treehuggers here. Some say Canada is the most difficult place in the western world to plant a church…? btw, Donnie, I keep getting some weird verification email from you telling me to reply.. i haven’t because it just looks like weird spam/virus?

    perelandra, I just recently discovered planterplanet… thanks for thinking of me! it’s got a good collection of people on it.

    Mad Max… I thought the image was hilarious as well, i was just looking on flickr for something that had both the u.s. and canada flag, but this seemed so much more appropriate!

  • obahsomah January 22, 2007, 1:43 pm

    You pronounce “Z” like Zeh? I’ve never heard that! I’ve never been to Canada…but I really thought you were a fur traper Lon! ha ha ha!
    All joking aside, I really enjoyed this post, I love it when people educate others on their surroundings, it’s what breaks down ignorance and prejudices.

  • cindy January 22, 2007, 1:44 pm

    Lon, It cracked me up because it is exactly what my Canadian family comments on. I loved the bit about not knowing Susie or Bobby… that is one of thier many grievances about ignorant Americans. 🙂

  • Lon January 23, 2007, 6:25 pm

    Hey Deana, it’s more like “Zed”, but it’s fairly interchangeable in my circles at least.

    Cindy, I also find it unfortunate though that Canadians often have the need to try to distinguish themselves more by how Un-american we are, rather than by our own unique traits.

  • Mike January 24, 2007, 7:42 pm

    Hey, thanks for leaving the comment on my blog. I bookmarked you and will be reading.

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