Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Sunday, November 19, 2006

Crush them now, Canada

Fundies praying in Canada

Gay Marriage Galvanizes Canada’s Religious Right

OTTAWA — It was a lonely time here in the capital for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in the early days of the gay marriage debate in 2003.

Of the scattered conservative Christian groups opposed to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, it was the only one with a full-time office in Ottawa to lobby politicians. “We were the only ones here,” said Janet Epp Buckingham, who was the group’s public policy director then.

But that was before the legislation passed in 2005 allowing gay marriage in Canada. And before the election early this year of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative and an evangelical Christian who frequently caps his speeches with “God bless Canada.”

Today across the country, the gay marriage issue and Mr. Harper’s election have galvanized conservative Christian groups to enter politics like never before.

Before now, the Christian right was not a political force in this mostly secular, liberal country. But it is coalescing with new clout and credibility, similar to the evangelical Christian movement in the United States in the 1980s, though not nearly on the same scale.

Today, half a dozen organizations like the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada work full time in Ottawa, four of which opened offices in the past year, all seeking to reverse the law allowing gay marriage.


These Christian conservatives have been instilled with a sense of urgency in the expectation that Mr. Harper will follow through on a campaign promise, as early as the first week of December, to hold a vote in Parliament on whether to revisit the gay marriage debate.

“With the legalization of gay marriage, faith has been violated and we’ve been forced to respond,” said Charles McVety, a leader of several evangelical Christian organizations that oppose gay marriage and president of the Canada Christian College in Toronto.

“Traditionally people of faith in Canada have not been politically active,” he said. “But now we’re finally seeing organizations that are professionalizing what was a very amateur political movement.”

Mr. McVety, who recites from memory the decision of an Ontario judge in 2003 that paved the way for gay marriages, has organized dozens of rallies attracting altogether some 200,000 supporters.


If Mr. Harper appears to be too aggressive in pushing to revisit gay marriage he also risks losing votes in Quebec, where his pro-Israel stance and an environmental plan that does not meet Canada’s Kyoto Protocol commitments have already hurt his support in a province that is critical to his chances of securing a majority in the next election.

“Harper needs to show he is not the right-wing evangelical’s rump if he wants to grow into a majority government,” said Jonathan Malloy, a political science professor at Carleton University in Ottawa who studies the politics of evangelical Christians in Canada.

Mr. Harper’s government has not introduced an avalanche of socially conservative measures, but has instead shifted subtly to the right, one policy at a time.

In addition to derailing Liberal measures to loosen marijuana and prostitution laws, Mr. Harper has introduced tougher crime legislation, bolstered the military with new money and equipment, lowered the national sales tax and plans to raise the age of sexual consent to 16 from 14.

But the Christian right wants more and realizes a lot is at stake in the marriage question.


In a country where church attendance has dropped to about 20 percent of the population from about 60 percent since the 1940s, the Christian right hopes the polling numbers convince politicians there are still enough votes to be won by championing socially conservative issues.

Crush this man and his fundie friends before you're fighting about abstinance education. They are a danger to your civil society, crush them, send them back into the darkness. Please.

posted by Steve @ 8:35:00 AM

8:35:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans