He might as well be. It's pretty clear that the radical Evangelicals have been given more of a voice in this country than we have. I say radical Evangelists, because men like Charles McVety don't represent the majority of Christians in this country, and not even the majority of Evangelicals.
Some people assume that Stephen Harper is actually a moderate who works to try to silence what has been referred to as the 'dark element'. However, that is absolutely not true. In fact he set up a separate office in his government for the Religious Right, with Jason Kenney as the "go to' guy, and Charles McVety is always welcome.
Stephen Harper has connections to the Council for National Policy, an extreme Religious Right organization with a pro-military, pro-war agenda. And these nuts have drafted a foreign policy that involves the complete destruction of the Muslim world, to fulfill an end of day prophesy.
One of McVety's teachers at his Canadian Christian College, outlines this scenario, which involves putting all the Jews in boats, then shipping them to Israel where they will embrace Christianity or be slaughtered. Reverend Dean Bye, states: "It is estimated that upwards of six million Jewish people are still dwelling in North America ... North American Jews must recognize they must all “return” to Israel and he warns: “the time of the U.S.A. being a safe haven for the Jews has ended!” . He adds that “we don’t throw them overboard [like Jonah] but lovingly assist them home to Israel. "
But as Dr. Stephen Scheinberg, a man who has written extensively on the subject points out "... most of the Jewish community has not responded to his generous proposal that they leave their homes for aliyah to Israel," even if they are being 'lovingly assisted'.
But the fact that these people are allowed input into our foreign policy platform, should be of concern. As journalist Marci McDonald points out in the Walrus "Harper’s stand has also raised more unsettling questions. What does it mean if and when a believer in the infallibility of Biblical prophecy comes to power and backs a damn-the-torpedoes course in the Middle East? Does it end up fuelling overenthusiastic end-timers who feel they have nothing to lose in some future conflagration, helping speed the world on Hagee’s fast track to Armageddon?
In the above video, Charles McVety is trying to defend his position on the censorship law being hidden in the Income Tax Act. The Globe and Mail discovered that he was actually behind this motion, that received no public debate.
We might argue that the films he's referring to could offend some people, but they don't have to watch. It's art. But once we open that door and give a single person to put their stamp of approval on what's offensive and what isn't, that my friend is censorship of the worst kind.
I find war movies terribly offensive when they glorify killing. I find John Hagee terribly offensive when he said that Hitler was doing God's work by forcing Jews to Israel (not to mention the six million he killed)
I also agree with George Stroumboulopoulos, that if the only issue is our taxes, then maybe we should rethink tax breaks for churches, especially when they become political. He stated he was a Conservative. That's a partisan message. Cut off his tax breaks, because I'm offended.
However, I'm going to share more of the article that appeared in the Walrus; Stephen Harper and the Theo-Cons, that reveals how deep Harper plans to take his social conservative policies, despite the fact that he keeps telling us he doesn't have any.
For Harper, the courtship of the Christian right is unlikely to prove an electoral one-night stand. Three years ago, in a speech to the annual Conservative think-fest, Civitas, he outlined plans for a broad new party coalition that would ensure a lasting hold on power. The only route, he argued, was to focus not on the tired wish list of economic conservatives or “neo-cons,” as they’d become known, but on what he called “theo-cons”—those social conservatives who care passionately about hot-button issues that turn on family, crime, and defence.
Even foreign policy had become a theo-con issue, he pointed out, driven by moral and religious convictions. “The truth of the matter is that the real agenda and the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values,” he said, “so conservatives must do the same.”Arguing that the party had to come up with tough, principled stands on everything from parents’ right to spank their children to putting “hard power” behind the country’s foreign-policy commitments, he cautioned that it also had to choose its battlefronts with care.
“The social-conservative issues we choose should not be denominational,” he said, “but should unite social conservatives of different denominations and even different faiths.”
These days, though Harper seems firmly set on that theo-con path, he has every reason to see a minefield ahead. In 1989, when Preston Manning convinced him to set aside his MA studies and shepherd Deborah Grey through the Byzantine byways of Parliament, Harper and Grey sailed smack into the maelstrom of the abortion debate.
Former Evangelical Fellowship president Brian Stiller calls it “the most galvanizing issue in the last twenty years”—one that makes today’s inflamed passions over same-sex marriage pale in comparison. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision striking down the law banning abortion, Stiller and Brian Mulroney’s government tried to cobble together an uneasy compromise: a bill that would have sentenced doctors to two years in prison for performing abortions when a woman’s life was not at risk, but that was not an outright ban.
Grey never made a secret of either her pro-life views or her evangelical faith—at her election-night victory party, she sang “What a day that will be/When my Jesus we shall see” with a gospel choir before network cameras—but the abortion vote posed a conundrum for her.
Privately, Preston Manning shared her views, but he also made clear that her job as the solitary torchbearer of his new populist party was to represent her riding. Harper set about polling Beaver River, Alberta, and to Grey’s relief a majority of voters opposed the bill. She might have been more elated if she hadn’t been so appalled by the vitriol that was unleashed before the results were in, when she’d made clear that she might have to follow her constituents’ wishes, not her conscience.
“I got more hate mail from Christians than from anybody else,” she marvels still. “I had believers come to my office and say, ‘You’re no Christian. May you rot and burn in hell.’”As Manning watched last winter’s election from the sidelines, he fumed at what he likes to call the “sham tolerance” of the national media. “There was considerable receptivity to the argument that Mr. Harper comes from the wrong part of the country,” he says, “and holds these religious convictions which are dangerous.” For Manning, it brought a sense of déjà vu.
In Reform’s earliest days, he’d dodged sly digs about his religious “wing nuts” and later watched as Stockwell Day, the outspoken Pentecostal who had snatched the Canadian Alliance from him, was caught in a creationist quagmire. After the cbc resurrected footage of Day opining that Adam and Eve once walked with dinosaurs, Warren Kinsella, then a Liberal operative, promptly went on TV with a purple Barney doll to crack, “I just want to say to Mr. Day that The Flintstones was not a documentary.”
Day’s leadership was swamped in a gusher of guffaws. “There’s a taboo in the House of Commons that you do not talk about your deepest spiritual convictions,” Manning says in exasperation. “Part of the reason is that people who open themselves up just get hammered.”
Now Manning is doing his part to ensure that his spiritual protege and the estimated seventy evangelicals in the Conservative caucus—however well muzzled—don’t suffer the same fate. Last year, he set up the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a $10-million Calgary-based non-profit aimed at training Conservatives how to run ridings and campaigns, then staff MPs’ offices.
He calls it “a school of practical politics,” but one of the centre’s main preoccupations is tutoring the Christian evangelicals now flooding into Ottawa on how to survive the perilous waters of public life.
In February, less than a month after Harper’s victory, Manning took over Ottawa’s Holiday Inn to kick off his centre with a three-day seminar called Navigating the Faith/Political Interface.
A sold-out group of more than one hundred MPs, aides, and public-policy researchers turned up to take notes at what the Ottawa Citizen dubbed “Mr. Manning’s Charm School for Unruly Christians—or What Not to Say.”While Manning blames media hostility and intolerance for much of the fix in which evangelicals find themselves today, he also concedes that some Christians bring on their own image woes. “Some of these faith-oriented people conduct themselves in such a way that they scare the hide off the secular,” he confided later. (They don't scare off the secular, they scare off those who aren't nuts)
He counselled newly elected MPs to curb their zeal. “The preference is to ride into Parliament with a speech that will peel the paint off the ceiling,” he told them, “but you’ll set your cause back fifty years.” Much of his advice amounted to spin control: ditch the God talk and avoid the temptation to play holier-than-thou. “You have to advocate righteousness,” he said, “without appearing self-righteous.”
For the seminar’s theme, Manning chose Matthew 10:16, in which Jesus is about to send his disciples out into the world “like sheep among wolves” to carry on his work. “He said, ‘I’m going to give you a few guidelines first,’‘’ Manning explains. “And one of the major ones was, ‘Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’ In other words, be shrewd—be as smart as the other guy—but be gracious. Be non-threatening.” Manning promptly illustrated the difficulty of following his own advice. “In a moment of spontaneity, Mr. Manning went off his notes,” the Ottawa Citizen reported, “and said many people become gay after ‘horrific’ experience with heterosexual relationships.”
Now I find this whole idea very disturbing. Do we not have a right to know that Stephen Harper has a strong social conservative agenda and is only waiting for a majority to implement it? Should we not know that more than half his caucus feel that they're 'holier-than-thou.
These are very important issues, and if he really believes that this is what's best for Canada, why not make that public, instead of 'muzzling' your caucus and 'controlling' the dark elements. If there are dark elements that need controlling, that's a very serious issue.
For instance David Sweet started the Canadian chapter of the Promise Keepers, that promotes male dominance in the home. Why did he remove that from his website? If our science minister doesn't believe in science, don't we have a right to know that?
When everything is so secretive, how can we trust them with anything?