Thursday, May 20, 2010

Marci MacDonald: Anti-Evangelical Crusader

This is a great column in The Calgary Herald by John Carpay, "Is the Religious Right More Powerful than the Secular Left?" which puts left-wing fear-mongering in perspective. I especially like the last line because it points to the real agenda behind books like McDonald's smear job: The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada.
Theirs is a dark and dangerous vision, one that brooks no dissent and requires the dismantling of key democratic institutions."

Thus states Marci McDonald, writing in the Toronto Star about the members of a powerful and growing "religious right" in Canada. McDonald feels threatened by Stephen Harper having uttered the words "God bless Canada" at the conclusion of his 2006 election victory speech. In her new book The Armageddon Factor, McDonald describes how social conservatives are participating in the democratic process.

According to McDonald, this dangerous "religious right" was awakened into action by the same-sex marriage debate in 2004. But McDonald seems not to have noticed whose views prevailed: gay marriage is now legal. One quick look at a few of Canada's social and economic policies makes it clear that McDonald confuses political activism with actual public policy results.

If Canada's "religious right" had any real power in Ottawa, or even a lot of influence, then Canada would not have legal abortion during all nine months of pregnancy, performed for any reason or no reason, and paid for by taxpayers. Marriage would be defined exclusively as the union of one man and one woman. The freedom to preach and to practise one's religion openly and publicly would not be threatened by "human rights" commissions. The tax system would not discriminate against couples who choose to make the financial sacrifice of having one spouse stay home to look after the kids. The CRTC -- if it existed at all -- wouldn't ban or restrict religious radio and television programs. Sex offenders would stay behind bars longer than they now do, and those eventually released would hold irrevocable, lifelong memberships in a national sex offender registry. Tax dollars wouldn't pay for pornography, and would not fund art or cultural events which ridiculed or undermined public virtue and community standards.

If the "religious right" ran Canada's provincial governments, the public education system would not discriminate against religious parents and religious schools. Instead, a voucher system would provide all parents with an equal opportunity to see their kids educated in the world view chosen by parents, rather than the state's world view. The government would fully respect the rights of parents to educate their own children about sex. Social workers would have clear limits placed on their powers to violate family autonomy; the need to apprehend children in cases of clear harm would be balanced with a recognition of the harm caused to children by removing them from their parents.

Many of the "religious right" policies that McDonald abhors are supported by the majority of Canadians. Supporting Israel as it stands up to the principalities and powers that seek to destroy it is one example of a "religious right" policy that is likely supported by the majority of Canadians. Raising the age of consent for sex from 14 to 16 is another example. Legal protection for unborn children in the last trimester of pregnancy would be another example. What McDonald views as intolerance and extremism would be seen by most Canadians as common sense: free speech, tougher penalties imposed on convicted criminals, and no taxpayer funding for abortion and pornographic art.

If Marci McDonald is looking for people with "a dark and dangerous vision, one that brooks no dissent and requires the dismantling of key democratic institutions," she can find them working for Canada's "human rights" commissions. These government bodies are actively dismantling the institution of free speech, which is the cornerstone of democracy. Maclean's magazine had to defend itself before a "human rights" tribunal for having published Mark Steyn's warnings against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

A Red Deer pastor was found guilty of violating Alberta's "human rights" legislation because his letter to the editor expressed his opposition to teaching children in public schools that homosexuality is normal, natural and healthy.

A book called The Triumph of the Secular Left in Canada would be more firmly grounded in reality than McDonald's paranoid thesis about a powerful "religious right." Democracy is a messy business; nobody gets everything that they want. If you are scoring more goals than your opponents, you should be grateful that you are winning, and not complain about the very existence of the other team.

Now, I have not read this book yet and I'm not sure it is worth 8 hours of my life. But Ezra Levant has a series of posts here, here and here in which he takes it apart piece by piece. In the first link you can find a link to an interview with McDonald and then an interview with Levant and another commentator reacting to MacDonald's hysterical paranoia. In the second link there is a link to CTV's Question Period featuring MacDonald and Levant. The third is an op ed piece in the National Post entitled "A Comedy of Errors."

Just listening to McDonald is creepy. She is a conspiracy theorist reduced to pandering to one of the few remaining acceptable prejudices: Anti-Evangelicalism. She really wishes to silence us and marginalize us and strip away our democratic liberties and human rights to influence the political process. She wants Canada to be an "Evangelical Free Zone" so there won't be any opposition to Brave New World.

Note to Marci: We are here and we aren't going anywhere. And thanks to Ezra Levant for standing up to bigots. Mocking the proud is an honorable profession.

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