I posted an item yesterday about the Evangelical Fellowship, and received an email from Timothy Bloedow, legislative assistant to Reform-Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, correcting an error I had made regarding affiliation. I have temporarily taken the posting down, but will repost once I have corrected the error, because I still believe that the message is an important one.
However, Mr. Bloedow accused me of hating Christians, and nothing could be further from the truth. What I pointed out to him is that since the Religious Right movement has decided to enter the "public square", as they like to describe their political activism, they can no longer declare religious immunity.
They are helping to determine how our tax dollars are being spent, so we have a right to question their motives. And we also have a right to expose groups that claim to be non-profit, enjoying all of the tax breaks that go along with that, when they are clearly simply another voice for the Harper government.
Stephen Harper himself once complained about Stockwell Day exploiting religious groups for political gain, when it was discovered during their leadership race in 2002, that The Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion lobby group backing Day, had sent out 130,000 letters asking its supporters to donate money so the organization could buy memberships in bulk to help their chosen candidate. (1)
I visited Bloedow's website ChritianGovernment.ca, and he has an item where he is attacking Marci McDonald's book, The Armageddon Factor. Or actually he is attacking Prof. John Stackhouse's critique of the book, when he concurs with her that "there are Christians about whom even other Christians should be wary, especially those who talk about things like theocracy and Christian government (Reconstructionism). For some reason, almost everyone who thinks Christian theocracy also thinks stoning of homosexuals as though the two are synonymous." (2)
Bloedow suggests, and rightfully so, that murder is a criminal offense, so the actual physical act of stoning someone to death would be against the law. Fair enough.
However, there is more than one way to 'stone a homosexual'. Or a woman. Or Muslims. Or any other identifiable group being marginalized in the name of Christianity. You do it by cutting their funding. By erasing them from a guide on Canadian identity and by viscerally attacking them on what are supposed to be "faith based" websites.
In his defense, Bloedow's site is mild compared with many others I've visited, but in at least one headline he refers to 'Equal' or 'Same-Sex' marriage as "Homo-sexual marriage", as if a person's identity is based solely on their sexuality.
We don't call it "hetero-sexual marriage" or "people who like threesomes marriage". It is simply "marriage". It is two people committing to one another, who want to share that commitment with family and friends, and who want to be recognized as equal citizens.
So when I posted the following 1987 quote from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, it was with the utmost respect:
On Bloedow's suggestion, I am going to write to them to apologize for aligning them with the new branch of political evangelism that does not seek "to affirm justice and equality to all people."
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada affirms the rights of all Canadians, including homosexuals, to share in the privileges of a free and democratic society. We uphold the view that the Scriptures teach that homosexual practice is unacceptable. At the same time, we call on all Christians to affirm justice and equality to all people. (3)
And as I told him, Marci McDonald has opened a debate that was long overdue, and may have actually done them a favour. She has brought what they call 'Christian Conservatives' into the "public square." We just want to know who they are and what they want from us. And if they are indeed being partially funded by their American counterparts, that speaks to our sovereignty, since it means that a foreign country is meddling in Canadian democracy.
And we also want to know why all the secrets. Secrets only lead to speculation, so if your intentions are not as being warned, you tell us what they really are.
I quoted from the Evangelical Fellowship because I've always been drawn to religious organizations with messages of tolerance. That's what I grew up believing Christianity to be.
And maybe that's why so many of us are speaking out against this movement, because it is not about instilling "Christian values", but destroying them.
1. Day slips into Bible college for Rally, By S. Alberts, National Post, February 13, 2002
2. What does theocracy REALLY mean? By Tim Bloedow, Christian Government, May 23, 2010
3. Fragmented Gods: The Poverty and Potential of Religion in Canada, By Reginald W. Bibby, Stoddard Publishing Company, 1987, Pg. 160