Someone has graciously translated the article from Le Devoir for me. That was so nice of them. Here it is:
On Religious Fanatics in the Conservative Partytranslated from Le Devoir, April 7, 2011
Ottawa – Taiwan, January 2011. Christine Smith (fictitious name) had boarded a plane when she suddenly felt ill. The Federal Liberal MP is allergic to seafood, and earlier she ate in a restaurant where a strong smell of fish floated about. Yet it is not the anaphylactic shock suffered by their colleague that shook the other MPs present, but the reaction of the three Conservative politicians. No, Mark Warawa, Jeffrey Watson and Blaine Calkins did not provide medical care. Instead, they approached the sick woman, knelt down, placed their hands on her head and ... began incantations and prayers.
This story is not widely known on the Hill, and for good reason. Those who witnessed the scene were shocked by this counter-productive religious reflex (the crowd was keeping the MP from breathing), but they are reluctant to condemn it for fear of being accused of intolerance. The main protagonist has asked that her name not be used to protect the confidentiality of her medical records.
"To be honest, I had great difficulty keeping a straight face, one of the witnesses told Le Devoir. It was so ridiculous, intrusive and downright disrespectful. [...] We are not used to seeing that in our country. "
The fact remains that members of the Opposition are increasingly uncomfortable with the displays of religious influence on some Conservative politicians in parliamentary proceedings. Another example: Before the start of the campaign, the Human Resources Committee was conducting a study on the support Ottawa provides to adoptive parents. On February 17, four young adult adoptees appeared to speak of their experience. MP Maurice Vellacott then took the floor to reveal that he too had been adopted.
"I have a loving biological family with whom I lived all my life. When I say that Ihave been adopted, I mean that I have been adopted by a heavenly father. So even when I'm away from my parents in other parts of the world or another country, my family watches over me steadfastly."
Mr. Vellacott then referred to the "bond of faith." "There is much talk of adoption in the Bible, a book that you may have the opportunity to read one day. For that reason, I am strongly in favour of adoption and I fully support it. Our heavenly Father has been adopting human beings for thousands of years, long before "What came first, the chicken or the egg, human or divine adoption? I think it is the latter above all. For this reason, I think the committee should encourage adoption for the fundamental principles on which it rests."
At least one member of the Committee said he was "flabbergasted" and "shocked." "We do not have to mingle religion and State," he argues.
While the federal election in full swing, the question remains. For example, Nicole Charbonneau Barron, a former spokesperson for the ultraradical Catholic movement Opus Dei is running again for the Conservative Party in Saint-Hubert-Saint-Bruno.
The Twitter community went abuzz last week when users found a 2009 piece from the Globe and Mail in which the Minister of Science and Technology, Gary Goodyear, refuses to state whether or not he adheres to the theory of evolution because it is his "religion."
The Conservative candidate in Compton-Stanstead, Sandrine Bélanger Gressard, is the talk of the blogosphere because of her way of invoking the "universe" to settle her financial problems. "We made a request to the universe, we tried to be as specific as possible in our request and we give thanks to the universe as if it were done."
Recently, the Radio-Canada show Enquête revealed that religious activist Faytene Kryskow obtained from Conservative MP Rob Bruinooge a pass to the House of Commons allowing her to move about freely inside Parliament buildings. Only 25 such passes are in circulation. Ms. Kryskow is the manager of 4MyCanada, an organization advocating a return to traditional values in Canada, draped in mystical robes. She hosts public sermons in which she speaks in "tongues", a succession of unintelligible sounds through which the Holy Spirit is supposed to manifest itself. The laying of hands is common. Ms. Kryskow was present in Parliament on May 13, 2010 to film the press conference launching Bruinooge’ major pro-life annual march.
Jason Kenney, Abortion and the Ku Klux Klan
Other facts are emerging about current Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney. As presiding student judge at the University of San Francisco in 1989-1990, he was at the heart of such a huge controversy that it was mentioned in the regional press.
In the name of its Catholic principles, the Uhad tried to stop a group of Law students from distributing pamphlets on abortion. When young women threatened to sue, the University backed down and adopted a code clarifying the limits of freedom of speech on campus. Jason Kenney relentlessly attacked that decision because it undermined the principles supposed to lead the Catholic university. In opinion pieces he penned in The Foghorn, the university newspaper, the future minister explained his position.
"We must ask these brave defenders of "free speech" if they would be active if it were the Ku Klux Klan the University refused access to. If the USF were to accept or support the activities of a group whose goal is to legalize the murder of unborn children, on what basis can it refuse similar assistance to groups promoting racism? On what basis does it refuse the establishment of a local chapter of the Man-Boy Love Association, which calls for the legalization of pedophilia? On what basis can it deny access to a fascist club or a cell of the Church of Satan? Only a radical relativism that gives more importance to rules than the truth could justify accepting such cases. Such an approach has no place at a Catholic university."
Jason Kenney had launched a petition asking the Church to withdraw its Catholic status to the University. Called by the San Francisco Chronicle to explain his motivations, Mr. Kenney replied: "If the university is not prepared to offer an educational environment consistent with the Catholic faith, it should stop calling itself "Catholic.“ Mr. Kenney told CNN the group had "destroyed the university’s mission." Last year, Mr. Kenney attempted to impose Catholic prayer before each Student Senate meeting, but that initiative was defeated.
Even within the university management, the activities of young Kenney and others were criticized. The San Francisco Bay Guardian published in April 1990 an article detailing "the siege of the Right at USF." Joseph Soehee, a former teacher, described the enlightened youth: "They want to return to the 50s. And by the 50s, I do not mean the 1950s, I mean the 1550s: Obedience, obedience, obedience."