Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ezra Levant on the Sinister "Opus Dei" Affair

Ezra Levant's op ed in the National Post is terrific: "Why is it OK to pick on Christians?"

Ihave never told him this, but I was tremendously disappointed when I first met Monsignor Fred Dolan, the Canadian vicar of Opus Dei.

It was about six or seven years ago, around the time The Da Vinci Code was published, and frankly I was hoping that he would be a dark and conspiratorial figure -- someone who would fit the words "ultraconservative" and "shadowy." I didn't quite want him to be an assassin, like the Opus Dei priest was in the book and film, but I surely wanted someone who was mysterious and secretive and powerful.

Like if the Pope had a CIA agent.

I admit it: I wanted an Opus Dei friend so I could shock the liberals in my life, and perhaps seem like I had a few exotic secrets of my own. And I thought it would be nice to have a friend who was more right wing than me.

To my regret, Msgr. Dolan is just a mild-mannered priest and worse, Opus Dei doesn't have any secret handshakes or midnight meetings. I don't want to sound lazy or selfish, but joining Opus Dei sure looks like a lot of do-goodery and just plain work (I asked Msgr. Dolan for a brochure and I read it carefully, even looking for hidden clues). I already had enough pro bono commitments and I didn't need any more. (As a Jew, I could join Opus Dei as an associate member).

I've stayed in touch with Msgr. Dolan since then and we're friendly. I admire his charity and his ecumenicalism. He sends me notes from time to time, about Passover or Holocaust remembrance, and he always asks when I'll be in Montreal again. In seven years, he's never tried to put the shadowy moves on me, and I'm starting to worry that he never will.

Pat Martin worries, too. Oh, does he worry.

Mr. Martin is the NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre. And his secret sources told him that Msgr. Dolan met with a dozen or so MPs in the Parliamentary dining room last week. (Actually, every MP received an invitation, and not even in invisible ink.)

Mr. Martin didn't attend. But he sought out reporters to tell them that Opus Dei members "give me the creeps."

That's fine, if rude. Though someone ought to tell Martin that The Da Vinci Code is not a documentary.

That last line is good, but the most unbelievable lines come from Mr. Duceppe:

Mr. Martin wasn't the only one worried that Msgr. Dolan might wave a wand and turn him into a newt. Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, actually asked about it in Question Period. Duceppe named two Conservative party volunteers who apparently are members of Opus Dei, noted that "a Conservative" invited Msgr. Dolan to the dining room and demanded that the Prime Minister "admit that his policy is influenced" by such people.

Neither of the women named by Mr. Duceppe works for the government in any way, and neither was known for their religious views-- until Mr. Duceppe took it upon himself to discuss their private lives in Parliament.

A reporter asked Mr. Duceppe if he wasn't being "a little Mc-Carthyite"; Mr. Duceppe brushed off the accusation and went further: Opus Dei members should not be allowed to participate in political life--even as volunteers --if they identify "as a group."

Stop for a moment and try that sentence out again, substituting the words "gay" or "Jewish" for "Opus Dei members." Jews shouldn't be allowed in politics if they "identify as a group." Sikhs shouldn't be allowed in politics "if they identify as a group." How does it feel?

Mr. Duceppe then went a little Dan Brown himself, claiming Opus Dei "have people in place ... so a lot of things prove that something's going on." He really said that.

Read the rest here.

Duceppe sounds like a crazed conspiracy theorist waving the Protocols of the Elders of Zion around and talking about the Illuminati/Vatican/Jewish/Communist/Capitalist plot to take over the world and invite aliens in to rule us.

If it weren't so serious, it would be hilarious!

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