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Is the Canada Culture War heating up? December 31, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Culture War.

WorldNetDaily.com – December 30, 2006
Voice of traditional Christianity By Ted Byfield

The National Post, founded eight years ago by then-newspaper mogul ConradBlack to challenge the hitherto exclusive claim of the Globe and Mail to beCanada’s “national newspaper,” signaled last week a clear intention tobecome the country’s media voice of traditional Christianity.It marked the Christmas season with a series of articles on the Christianreligion in Canada, every one of which fulfilled the promotional descriptionof the series, carried each day: “With interest in spirituality on the riseand church attendance in a freefall, a week-long National Post seriesconsiders the state of Canadian Christianity and whether the way forward mayin fact be the way backward.” The articles that followed, all of them well researched, convincinglycontended that liberal experimentation over the past half century in all thechurches, the Catholic included, had proven an almost unmitigated disaster.The churches that were distinctly not in a “freefall” were precisely theones that had refused to compromise either doctrinally or morally. Theoverall effect was a clear demonstration that “the way forward” may indeedbe “the way backward.”The series made even more obvious the growing chasm between the Post and therival Globe and Mail on the subject of religion. The Globe’s news columns,opinion pieces and editorials are consistently secular and relativist onmoral issues, theologically skeptical, fervently pro-abortion and pro-gay.The Globe is pointedly dismissive of traditional Christianity, to which itdenies any rational credibility, or any valid role whatsoever in theformation of public policy.In so doing, the Globe mirrors and is mirrored by the country’slargest-circulation newspaper, the Toronto Star. However, the Star’sinfluence is largely confined to metropolitan Toronto. It has no pretensionsto be a “national” newspaper, and it rarely seeks subscribers beyondsouthern Ontario.For years the Star has left the “national” role to the Globe and Mail, whichheld it unchallenged throughout the last half of the 20th century. But thenBlack, already the owner of the Southam chain which included many of thecountry’s major dailies, burst forth with the National Post. Under thedirection of Editor-in-Chief Ken Whyte, the Post quickly established itselfas the voice of political conservatism generally, particularly ofconservatism’s aggressive rise in the Canadian West in the form of theReform and Alliance parties.

On religious conservatism, however, the Post was at first more circumspect. Then in 2000, Black’s media empire began to come under pressure fromAmerican security regulators. He consequently sold both the Post and theSoutham chain to the Asper family of Winnipeg, who were liberal and Jewish.Since the Post was by then hemorrhaging money, the Aspers cut back the staffand editorial content. Whyte was soon gone and many columnists with him. (Whyte is now both editor and publisher of Macleans, Canada’s national newsmagazine.) Liberaldom, centered as always around the Globe, waited gleefullyfor the Aspers to close down Black’s creation and the Globe’s upstart rival.But the Aspers didn’t do it. Instead, they gradually acquired a phalanx ofconservative columnists, luring back some who had quit, and finding newones. One of these was a Catholic priest, Fr. Raymond de Souza, whoseeven-handed commentary on religio-political issues and obvious respect forbiblical Protestantism began to alert the practicing Christians in thecountry to the fact that there finally existed a national newspaper that didnot regard them as absurd.The gulf with the Globe also became blatantly obvious in the editionspublished the day before Christmas. The Globe favored a delicately”traditional” and secular Christmas with scenes of snowy landscapes orhorse-drawn sleighs. The Post unabashed ran scenes of Bethlehem and theChrist child. The difference may seem innocuous, but some could read into itthe declaration of an impending war. About the new secularist Canada, inwhich God must be confined to the realm of personal inclination and nothingmore, the Post had reservations. It wasn’t buying in.One oddity is, of course, that what is becoming Canada’s most conservativeand Christian daily newspaper is owned by Jews who used to be card-carryingliberals. In fact, the late Izzy Asper, founder of this Winnipeg dynasty,was at one time leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. But these are unusualtimes. The Aspers are keen Zionists, and Canada’s liberal left has setitself determinedly against Israel. Evangelical Protestantism, meanwhile,has taken to championing Israel, as has the Conservative Harper government.So the times, as Mr. Dylan once noticed, are definitely a’changin’.

Ted Byfield published a weekly news magazine in western Canada for 30 years and is now general editor of “The Christians,” a 12-volume history ofChristianity.



1. SUZANNE - February 8, 2007

It is heating up.

Sorry to spam you like that…just thought you might be interested…

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