Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Canada Needs a Coalition of the Left to Avoid Fascism

I've been avoiding to a certain extent the topic of the coalition that is being discussed between the NDP and Liberal parties, mainly because I'm afraid of getting my hopes up. With only one right wing option in Canada, they have no competition for support, while the other four parties are scrambling for funds. We NEED this.

With revelations this week about how Stephen Harper has controlled the public service, after hearing for four years that he's controlled the media and the message, we have to take this seriously. I'm frightened that another election will just give him more power, not that he can really achieve any less, given what he has been able to accomplish with just a minority.

I read a piece today from Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning American journalist and war correspondent, entitled: The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger. We thought with George Bush out of office, the movement might slow down a bit, but it would appear to actually be picking up steam. And Harper has given them a four year head start in this country, so we're not far behind.

Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.* (1)
The alarms have been screaming from this country, but with less than 1% of our media independent, those alarms are being silenced.

Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote “The Red Network” and was a Nazi sympathizer, is touted as required reading by trash-talk television hosts like Glenn Beck. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored in Christian schools and soon will be ignored in Texas public school textbooks. The Christian right hails the “significant contributions” of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, has been rehabilitated, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is defined as part of the worldwide battle against Islamic terror. Legislation like the new Jim Crow laws of Arizona is being considered by 17 other states. The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril.

Those who remain in a reality-based world often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons and simpletons. They do not take seriously those, like Beck, who pander to the primitive yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. Critics of the movement continue to employ the tools of reason, research and fact to challenge the absurdities propagated by creationists who think they will float naked into the heavens when Jesus returns to Earth. The magical thinking, the flagrant distortion in interpreting the Bible, the contradictions that abound within the movement’s belief system and the laughable pseudoscience, however, are impervious to reason. We cannot convince those in the movement to wake up. It is we who are asleep. (1)

If Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff care at all they will do something. This isn't the time for vanity or one-up-manship. When the Harper government was first elected in 2006, it was determined that about half of his MPs were Christian fundamentalists. It's probably closer to 80% now, including many key cabinet ministers like Stockwell Day, Jason Kenney and Jim Flaherty. As Hedges says, "it is us who are asleep".

Steve Paikin from TVOntario's The Agenda, had Marci McDonald, author of the Armageddon Factor, on his program not long ago, and I thought he was a pretty smart guy. Indeed he is. But his final question floored me. In deciding that it took 30 years for the American Religious Right to destroy the Republicans and possibly America, he suggested that the worst that could happen in Canada is 30 years from now abortions in the final three months might be illegal.

When you have one of the brightest, or I always believed so, downplaying this and dismissing it so handily, what are you going to do?

I watched a documentary this afternoon, on Youtube called Blood in the face. It was produced by Kevin Rafferty in 1991, and was filmed inside the KKK. I think the title was actually taken from a book written by a Canadian, but I'm not sure. The idea for the title is that only white people blush, so anyone who can't blush has no conscience. Very clever (geeesh!).

But listening to the rhetoric from these guys, it's not unlike what we hear from many of these so-called Christians. Horrific things about homosexuals and feminists. And they keep quoting scriptures and suggest that they are doing God's work. Fortunately, the Religious Right don't really represent the majority of Christians, but unfortunately, they are dragging them all down with them. What a shame.

There is some encouragement from a poll suggesting that half of Canadians now support a coalition. Even Warren Kinsella, a longtime Liberal insider, knows that this is a must. An absolute must. Vote-splitting is no longer an option.


*I don't think he means concentration camps or anything like, just purged from academia, schools, government jobs, etc.


1. The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger, by Chris Hedges, June 7, 2010

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