Put on Your Seatbelts

For those of you who think I hate all Christians, you better strap on the seatbelts, because you are bound to get some sort of whiplash from my reaction to this:

Conservative Christian groups have grabbed control of nearly a dozen Conservative Party ridings across Canada and vow they will ensure the party adheres to a strict right wing agenda including an end to same-sex marriage.

Candidates with close ties the Canadian branches of groups including Focus on the Family and other American evangelical groups have won party nominations in three provinces: Four in British Columbia, three in Nova Scotia, and one in Ontario. The groups also have succeeded in having their members win votes to become riding association presidents elsewhere in the country.

And they say that it is only the beginning.

The Globe and Mail reports that the groups are preparing to put up candidates for Conservative Party nominations in other regions as the country prepares for an election late this year or early in 2006.

Horror of horrors. Christian Conservatives are, *GASP*, nominating candidates for the GENERAL CANADIAN PUBLIC to vote on?

How awful!

Wait a minute… Isn’t this how a democracy is supposed to work? You nominate candidates who articulate a clear position, and then people vote on whether on not they accept the candidate and his/her positions?

This is bad, how?

All this sort of hysteria does (“and they say that is only the beginning”- why, if elected, they may actually follow through on their campaign platforms!) is give people the opportunity to hide behind the ‘persecuted Christian’ nonsense which resonates in far too many people’s minds already.

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15 replies
  1. 1
    cminus says:

    Actually, I think this is a potential scandal.

    Not because they’re Christian conservatives. That’s fine. No, it’s because they’re Christian conservatives with close ties to American evangelical groups. Canadians hate it, insofar as they’re not too polite to hate anything at all, when they think that Americans are interfering in their national politics. After all, they have their own government and laws.

  2. 2
    Mark says:

    I hope you enjoyed your “break.”

    Although it was short, wasn’t it? :-)

  3. 3
    Rick says:

    Eight out of 308 ridings. Gas chambers and crematoria are sure to follow. That “extreme right wing agenda” bit lured me to follow the link.

    If the evangelists win more than four races, I’ll be surprised. Begin to worry at seven.

    Hoo-boy.

    Cordially…

  4. 4
    shark says:

    All this sort of hysteria does (“and they say that is only the beginning”- why, if elected, they may actually follow through on their campaign platforms!) is give people the opportunity to hide behind the ‘persecuted Christian’ nonsense which resonates in far too many people’s minds already

    Right….you see shit like this, but then describe the persecuted Christian claims as “nonsense”

    Seems like a bit of disconnect there?

    I’m a Republican Jew, and I’m no great fan of Christianity. But man, even I can see what’s going on here, and I don’t blame the Christian right for fighting back.

    And all people like you will do is ensure they pushback that much harder

  5. 5
    carpeicthus says:

    I hate it when overwhelming majorities like gay people persecute the Christian minority.

  6. 6
    Jane Finch says:

    Yes they have…but I predict they won’t be elected. Canadians by and large have little appetite for American-style social conservativism.

  7. 7
    ppgaz says:

    The christian right is “fighing back?” From what?

    I grew up in a very tolerant environment. We didn’t care what people believed, as long as they were respectful of others’ rights.

    But “others’ rights” do not include the right to force someone’s religious beliefs down my throat, or my kid’s throat at school, or to wage war on science, or to try to govern in some self-righteous frenzy of superstitious claptrap that is completely intolerant of those who think they are full of shit.

    The country is self-proclaimed 80 to 90 percent Christian, depending on which poll flavor you like. How are Christians being persecuted in this country?

    That is just pure, unadulterated bullshit not matter how you slice it. They play the victim card to the hilt.

    Freedom of faith is fine. Freedom to impose faith on others, not fine, and not American. Use of “faith” as a tube of lipstick to smear on any policy pig you trot out, not fine.

    Cut the crap, please. Christians are no more persecuted in this country than are right-handed people, or people with brown hair.

  8. 8
    AWJ says:

    An article attacking Christian social conservatives in a somewhat hysterical tone appeared on a news website called “www.365gay.com”. In other breaking news, water is wet and fire is hot.

    Seriously, though, this is a silly thing to get hysterical about. As similar as we Canucks are to you in so many ways, one truly striking difference between our cultures is our reaction to politicians who try to play the God card. Something like 60% of Canadians in a recent poll expressed opposition to the statement that elected representatives should apply their religious values to government; the remaining 40% were evenly split between neutral and positive responses.

    I know polls like this aren’t gospel (aha), but 60% to 20% is a pretty damn big split to explain away. Religious rightery just Does. Not. Fly. north of the border. All these Focus on the Family folks are going to accomplish is to give more safe seats to the Liberals in the next election. Which is decidedly not a Good Thing.

    It’s funny how Canadian politics and American politics have been like funhouse mirror images of each other lately. Despite the fact that Bush was the incumbent, somehow the last U.S. election turned into a referendum on Kerry, one which Kerry lost (“Kerry is skerry”) Likewise, our last election campaign changed at some point from a referendum on the incumbent Liberal government to one on Stephen Harper, who was perceived by too many voters as an untrustworthy politician who would say anything to get elected (or “flip-flop” as you might put it), and then proceed to enact an unwelcome radical agenda once ensconced in power. In both countries the opposition ultimately snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing the majority party to grow ever more arrogant in power.

  9. 9
    AlanDownunder says:

    The issue is neither the appropriateness of conservatism nor the appropriateness of Christianity.

    Neither is it the appropriateness of Christian belief informing political stances.

    The issue is that the religious right are not conservative in matters temporal and wildly wacky in matters spiritual.

  10. 10
    Wrye says:

    The real problem for Canadian Conservatives is that the Religious right represents only a smallish part of their coalition–but it’s too important for them to disavow, muzzle, or dismiss. However, that small fraction makes Urban Canada (for more important, electorally, than its American counterpart) very nervous.

    Let alone any substantial connection with American evangelical groups, which is likely to be pure political poison…

  11. 11
    Jon H says:

    I doubt this is about conservative Christians, so much as it is about American-style conservative Christians.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Canadian conservatives tend to be more moderate than Americans, and especially more moderate than America’s Sensenbrenners and Santorums and Dobsons.

    Unless you think Canada’s conservative politicians have *not* been Christian until now? They almost certainly are Christian, though they probably aren’t as inclined to public religiosity, and Christian territory marking, as our conservative Christian politicians have been of late.

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable for the Canadian left to send out a warning that these aren’t the usual Canadian conservatives, these are rabid Dobsonites and thus additional resources should be mobilized by the left in opposition during the elections.

  12. 12
    AWJ says:

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable for the Canadian left to send out a warning that these aren’t the usual Canadian conservatives, these are rabid Dobsonites and thus additional resources should be mobilized by the left in opposition during the elections.

    We’re very aware of the difference between conservatives (and Conservatives) who are Christian and “Christian conservatives”. We do get American TV.

  13. 13
    Wrye says:

    I enjoyed CalgaryGrit’s take:

    …The big news over the past week is that several high profile Christian advocates are winning Conservative nominations across the country. The Globe & Mail had a rational analysis of the situation in an editorial today, commenting that:

    “It is difficult to understand the fuss about Christian activists helping to
    secure the nominations of at least eight federal Conservative candidates in the
    next election.”

    .Yes, it is difficult to understand why some newspapers would splash a headline on the topic across their front page, thereby starting the entire insanity in the first place. Obviously the Globe & Mail editorial board needs to have a little chat withuhhthe Globe & Mail.

  14. 14

    I agree, John, this is cannon fodder for the wingnuts who act as if (right-wing?) Christians are a persecuted minority.

  15. 15

    I agree, John, that this is cannon fodder for the wingnuts who act as if (right-wing?) Christians are a persecuted minority.

    On the other hands, consider how the right would react if there was a powerful group of Saudi Muslims or French Catholics trying to influence US elections. To say that there would be eyebrows raised (like this story) is an understatement.

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