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Can Atheists be Trusted With Political Power? November 12, 2007

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Political Correctness.
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Secular Humanists insist that they should be the ones to run Canada – that they are the only people who can manage a tolerant modern society. The reason for this, of course, is because they aren’t religious, or so they say.
Religion is the root of all evil. Actually it’s not. It can’t be, because Humanists don’t believe in evil – at least they say

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Should Christianity, politics mix? August 30, 2007

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Christianity, Culture War, USA Politics.
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by Tristan Emmanuel

We are engaged in a war that is not only defining our times, it is determining our destiny. I’m not talking about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even the broader war on terror – those are offshoots of the real war. I’m talking about the culture war. The culture war is a struggle between secular socialism and free market traditionalism, and the outcome of this struggle will ultimately determine whether or not the jihadists will pick up the pieces to convert America and Canada into a North American caliphate. Given what is at stake, I must say the traditionalist side has me worried. Part of the problem is that some traditionalists are so consumed with “end times” theorizing, they’ve virtually given up on politics. The sentiment is that “it is only going to get worse – so why bother.” Of course, that doesn’t stop them from investing into their retirement funds. However, there is a far more fatal reason for the failure of traditionalists to exercise cultural leadership today and win the culture war, and it has to do with the “emergent church”. It seems some pastors, in that church movement, are fed up with Christians engaging the political arena as though it were their divine right. These pastors claim it is “un-Christian to be political.” It may be a “civil right”, they say, but since when did Jesus care about “civil rights”? Rev. Greg Boyd, a pastor in Minnesota, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in the recent miniseries “God’s Warriors” that equating the kingdom of heaven with “the politics of the world” is like trying to create an “Islamic state.” He’s not the only pastor with serious reservations about Christians in politics. Rev. Mel White, the former ghostwriter of the late Jerry Falwell’s autobiography and now an ex-Evangelical, is also deeply troubled by Christians in the public square. Speaking to RollingStone Magazine, White said: When most people hear… talk about a “Christian nation” they think, “Well, that sounds like a good, moral thing.” What they don’t know… is that “Christian nation” means something else entirely to these dominionist leaders.White doesn’t reveal what the nature of the dominionist conspiracy is, so I had to do a little investigation of my own. The critics say these people want to turn America and Canada into a radicalized version of Old Testament Israel. According to the website religioustolerance.org, that would mean: A system of just restitution for victims would replace the tax payer funded prison system The death penalty would be practiced for serious capital crimes “Legal” abortions would be banished Income taxes would be eliminated Governments would have balanced budgetsThere were also references to other “nefarious” practices such as: Daily Bible reading Daily prayer for America and Canada Teaching children that morality is absoluteReligioustolerance.org drew its obligatory conclusion from all of this zealotry: If radical Christians control civil government, American and Canadian streets will literally be running with blood – just like in Islamic theocracies.Ah yes, the dreaded T-word. Theocracy. It’s the catchphrase secularists (and now some “emergent church pastors”) love to use to beat back Christian involvement in politics. After all, who wants to live in a “theocracy”? That’s just for those crazy Iranians and Afghans! But in a Judeo-Christian context, the term means something completely different, as evidenced by North America’s political foundations. Theocracy simply means: “God’s rule.” The concept clearly appears in the preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it is an integral part of virtually all of early American constitutional literature. That’s not to say either country was ever a “theocracy.” But both countries remain good examples of how a Judeo-Christian ethic could and should be applied to the underpinnings of society. Concepts such as justice, liberty and equality under the law were established in North America precisely because there were predominantly Christian communities. Only an imbecile or a blatant secularist – or both – would purposefully choose to ignore the political impact Christians have had on the creation of America and Canada. Neither Boyd nor White elaborated on their misgivings about Christian involvement in politics, but Boyd did insist that he wouldn’t want anyone to have the false impression that Christians actually “want to run a Christian society and enforce Christian law.” Heavens no. Far better to let atheists, agnostics, humanists, socialists, or Marxists rule the West, like they did in the old Soviet Union. Remember the Soviet Union? It lasted what, 70 years? And when it collapsed under the weight of its anti-religious, nihilist, man-centered worldview, it gave way to a situation where some of its tiny satellite states were ripe for Islamists to take control. That’s why I don’t hold out much hope for a victory in the culture war if the current leadership remains in place. When so-called “Christian leaders” are ready to abandon their responsibility, there’s not much hope that North America can withstand the tenacity and conviction of the jihadists waiting on the sidelines – witness what’s happening in Europe. Besides, if the “end times” are here anyway, why not just pick Hillary for president? That should really speed things up. Then again, there are those retirement funds to consider.

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Michael Moore Is a Sicko July 12, 2007

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, USA Politics.
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Biased, unfair, hateful, venomous and anti-free-market is how I would describe Michael Moore’s latest propaganda film Sicko. When I first heard about Michael Moore’s intention to make a film on health-care in America, I was expecting a sequel for Supersize Me, considering his not so healthy lifestyle…

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The Dirty Lies of Politicians November 29, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Christian Vilification.
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See below a series of emails about the Dr McVety & Garth Turner incident. Garth doesn’t care about his constituents, but rather getting the media spotlight. I’m getting rather tired of it all.

Nov27, 2006

Dr Charles McVety said Garth Turner “fabricated” the “quote” for CP story.Canada Family Action Coalition president and Senior Director of Defend Marriage Coalition, Dr. Charles McVety is calling a quote attributed to him by MP Garth Turner “a figment of his imagination.” The alleged statement, reported in a Canadian Press story November 26, was supposed to have been made during a televised debate between McVety and Turner. ( Host of the TV show Michael Coren says he has no recollection of that statement being made either.) According to the CP story, Turner related that McVety looked at him and said “You know what? I can pick up the phone and call Harper and I can get him in two minutes. It’s going to take you a month.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061126.wgarth1126/BNStory/National/home “I never made this statement” said McVety. “It’s a complete fabrication by Mr. Turner from start to finish. It’s really quite sad.”
McVety also expressed surprise that a respected journalist and news service would see fit to publish quotes attributed to him without verifying their authenticity. “I’ve been interviewed by John Ward before as well as many of his colleagues at Canadian Press so they must have my cell phone number somewhere,” said McVety. “It is unprofessional for a journalist to not have interviewed me before reporting Mr. Turner’s yarn as fact. It seems a bit incautious.”
Dr Charles McVety
—– Original Message —–
From: Michael Coren
To: Robert A. Jason
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: Garth Turner “fabricated” Quote for CP story
Dear Robert,

This alleged incident was supposed to have taken pace on my television show. I can assure you that I have no memory of it at all. The CP reporter called me today and told me that Garth is now claiming that it took place during a commercial break and is thus not on the tape of the actual show. Interesting. Again, I have no memory of this whatsoever and if it had been said I would have been all over it as soon as the show came back on air. In other words, as far as I am concerned it never happened.

Use this letter as you will and feel free to distribute it to whomever you like.


November 27, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics.
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PMO a fortress of solitude, maverick MP charges

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Rank-and-file Conservative MPs have no say in fashioning the centrepiece policies of the Harper government, says a former Tory caucus member who was booted from party ranks last month.

Garth Turner also says that, while MPs are being muzzled, he believes there is a pipeline between Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office and some activists on the religious right — or as he calls them, “the righteous right.”

The maverick Toronto-area MP, who now sits as an independent, says the Conservative environmental plan, the budget, tax cuts, the income trust decision and military policy in Afghanistan were all presented to the caucus as done deals, not as subjects for debate.

“Caucus has not been involved in substantive policy issues at all,” Mr. Turner said in an interview. “That has been, I guess, one of my greatest surprises and greatest disappointments — that we have not, as members of the caucus, been allowed to discuss any substantive policy issues.”

Mr. Turner isn’t a newcomer to politics. He was a Conservative MP under Brian Mulroney from 1988 to 1993 and was revenue minister in Kim Campbell’s short-lived government in 1993.

He says he’s never seen MPs treated this way.

“There has never been a policy debate where people have lined up at the microphone and been asked for input into a pending policy decision in the national caucus, and that has been a huge difference from my experience in the past, where that is the reason that caucus existed.”

There have been meetings where cabinet ministers presented policies and took questions about them, but there was no debate.

“Why the heck are we here?” Mr. Turner asks in frustration. “We’re supposed to be here representing people. We’re supposed to be bringing back what the grassroots and the voters are saying in the ridings, and bringing it back for a distillation here in Ottawa to help influence government policy.

“That’s what an MP does.”

Last summer, with the war in Lebanon raging, a Tory MP tried to open that subject up for debate. “She was shut down,” Mr. Turner said, adding that Harper later came out with a policy that was strongly pro-Israeli without any discussion by his MPs.

Mr. Turner portrays the government as a rigid, top-down operation, which brooks no dissent and where the Prime Minister’s Office holds a tight rein, to the point where Mr. Harper’s staff sit in on caucus meetings.

“I’ve never been in a national caucus before where there are so many PMO staffers. It’s quite extraordinary.”

He says Mr. Harper has no time for dissenters, unlike Mr. Mulroney, who stroked and cajoled cantankerous MPs and largely maintained caucus loyalty even while his public support was in fee fall.

Mr. Turner, a self-described “pain in the ass,” said there was no room for his outspoken views in this Conservative party.

While MPs may not get much say in policy, Mr. Turner suspects that some in the religious right have unusual influence in the government.

“I believe there is a pipeline from a certain constituency, whatever you want to call it, righteous right, I believe there is a pipeline into the Prime Minister’s Office and into the party.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Turner took part in a TV debate with Charles McVety, an evangelical leader who has been a driving force in the fight against same-sex marriage.

The MP says there was a telling moment in that debate when Mr. McVety looked at him and said: “You know what? I can pick up the phone and call Mr. Harper and I can get him in two minutes. It’s going to take you a month.”

Mr. Turner paused.

“I think he’s right.”

Gay Marriage Galvanizes Canada’s Religious Right November 20, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Same Sex Marriage.
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The New York Times – November 19, 2006
Gay Marriage Galvanizes Canada’s Religious Right

OTTAWA — It was a lonely time here in the capital for the Evangelical
Fellowship of Canada in the early days of the gay marriage debate in 2003.
Of the scattered conservative Christian groups opposed to extending marriage
rights to same-sex couples, it was the only one with a full-time office in
Ottawa to lobby politicians. “We were the only ones here,” said Janet Epp
Buckingham, who was the group’s public policy director then. But that was
before the legislation passed in 2005 allowing gay marriage in Canada. And
before the election early this year of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a
Conservative and an evangelical Christian who frequently caps his speeches
with “God bless Canada.”

Today across the country, the gay marriage issue and Mr. Harper’s election
have galvanized conservative Christian groups to enter politics like never
before. Before now, the Christian right was not a political force in this
mostly secular, liberal country. But it is coalescing with new clout and
credibility, similar to the evangelical Christian movement in the United
States in the 1980s, though not nearly on the same scale.

Today, half a dozen organizations like the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
work full time in Ottawa, four of which opened offices in the past year, all
seeking to reverse the law allowing gay marriage. They represent just some
of the dozens of well-organized conservative Christian groups around the
country and more than a hundred grass-roots campaigns focused on the issue.
In recent months, religious groups have held rallies, signed petitions,
drafted resolutions and stepped up their efforts to lobby politicians to
overturn the law. These Christian conservatives have been instilled with a
sense of urgency in the expectation that Mr. Harper will follow through on a
campaign promise, as early as the first week of December, to hold a vote in
Parliament on whether to revisit the gay marriage debate. “With the
legalization of gay marriage, faith has been violated and we’ve been forced
to respond,” said Charles McVety, a leader of several evangelical Christian
organizations that oppose gay marriage and president of the Canada Christian
College in Toronto. “Traditionally people of faith in Canada have not been
politically active,” he said. “But now we’re finally seeing organizations
that are professionalizing what was a very amateur political movement.”

Mr. McVety, who recites from memory the decision of an Ontario judge in 2003
that paved the way for gay marriages, has organized dozens of rallies
attracting altogether some 200,000 supporters. He asked the Rev. Jerry
Falwell and other American evangelical leaders for advice on building a
religious movement in Canada and traveled Ontario and Quebec in a
red-and-white “Defend Marriage” bus.

Though the expected vote in Parliament will not decide whether to rescind
the gay marriage legislation, but instead whether members wish to reopen the
issue for debate, it remains significant for the Christian right and the
government. For leaders of the Christian right, the vote is a chance to get
the marriage issue back on the government’s agenda and to get a better sense
of where individual politicians, especially newly elected ones, stand. They
have adopted that strategy in part because they say that the vote in
Parliament will be difficult to win. For Mr. Harper and his Conservative
Party, the vote is an attempt to appease the religious social conservatives
who form the core of the support for his minority government without losing
moderate voters who want to avoid the issue.

If Mr. Harper appears to be too aggressive in pushing to revisit gay
marriage he also risks losing votes in Quebec, where his pro-Israel stance
and an environmental plan that does not meet Canada’s Kyoto Protocol
commitments have already hurt his support in a province that is critical to
his chances of securing a majority in the next election. “Harper needs to
show he is not the right-wing evangelical’s rump if he wants to grow into a
majority government,” said Jonathan Malloy, a political science professor at
Carleton University in Ottawa who studies the politics of evangelical
Christians in Canada.

Mr. Harper’s government has not introduced an avalanche of socially
conservative measures, but has instead shifted subtly to the right, one
policy at a time. In addition to derailing Liberal measures to loosen
marijuana and prostitution laws, Mr. Harper has introduced tougher crime
legislation, bolstered the military with new money and equipment, lowered
the national sales tax and plans to raise the age of sexual consent to 16
from 14.

But the Christian right wants more and realizes a lot is at stake in the
marriage question. “Let’s say there’s a vote and the issue dissipates from
the agenda in the same way abortion has faded away,” Mr. Malloy said. “Then
they won’t have a clear-cut issue they can strongly organize on. They’re
developing a base here but they need something to organize and keep the
funds going.”

The Christian movement’s leaders are discussing how to sustain the momentum
and growth spurred in the campaign against gay marriage. They agree that one
issue is not enough to fuel a long-term movement. But they disagree on how
to carry the momentum of the marriage campaign into other socially
conservative issues like euthanasia and polygamy. Fueling their hopes for
sustaining the movement are polling figures from last winter’s election that
show an identifiable bloc of religious voters, mainly evangelicals and
Catholics, supporting the Conservative Party.

In a country where church attendance has dropped to about 20% of the
population from about 60% since the 1940s, the Christian right hopes the
polling numbers convince politicians there are still enough votes to be won
by championing socially conservative issues. But the experience of Canada’s
abortion debate in the 1980s and early 90s looms ominously over optimism
that the movement can be broadened beyond gay marriage. At the time,
evangelical leaders formed groups, raised money and drew significant support
in an effort to establish stiff laws against abortion. In 1989, Prime
Minister Brian Mulroney introduced legislation banning abortions in cases
where the health of the mother was not at risk but the bill failed in the
Senate and never became law. Soon after, the evangelical political movement
disbanded, remaining relatively dormant until the gay marriage issue arose.
“When the abortion legislation died everyone just went home and all the
momentum was lost,” said Joseph C. Ben-Ami, executive director of the
conservative Institute for Canadian Values, which opened an office in Ottawa
last year to team up with Mr. McVety’s organizations in Toronto. “I do worry
something like that could happen with what we’re seeing now.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Faith in Politics October 20, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Culture War, Same Sex Marriage.
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I like this analysis by Lorna Dueck. The video is a panel with Tristan Emmanuel, Iain Benson, and David Haskell discussing should religion and politics mix before the 2006 election. Christians have not been treated fairly in Canadian political life. We need to continue to promote the message that Christian perspectives must be heard in a country where we were founded on Judeo Christian foundations.

Unite! A Public Defense of Christian Expression September 2, 2006

Posted by Scott V in Canada Politics, Christian Persecution, Christian Vilification, Judicial Activism, Same Sex Marriage.
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Here is why we have to be concerned about the freedoms we cherish in Canada. As you will find out the message is shocking. It is a dramatic presentation of the disturbing degree of bigotry and harassment that is targeted against Christians TODAY in Canada.

I do agree that Canadians do not yet face the same severity of persecution as Christians do in some other countries but, the mentality that under girds Canadian anti-Christian bigotry is the same. Left unchallenged, it will foment. Unless Christians put a stop to it by recognizing what is taking place and get involved while they still have the freedom to do so, anti-christian bigotry and persecution will continue to increase.