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CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA
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Monday, May 03, 2004

The Christian Taliban, the CBC and the Earnscliffe Strategy Group

On Saturday, CBC Radio broadcast word of an internal Liberal Party (the Earnscliffe Strategy Group) poll which asked Canadians the following question: “Would you consider supporting a Conservative Party which is overrun by evangelical Christians?” We presume Earnscliffe officials handed the details to the CBC and, by the standards of Canadian journalism, fair enough. But it is not the cake so much as the icing which disturbs the Eye Opener. In the course of their story, CBC radio broadcast the following false assumption masquerading as a fact. “Stephen Harper, is an Evangelical Christian”.

As far as the Eye Opener knows Stephen Harper is not an Evangelical Christian. Mind you, we don’t know what, precisely, an Evangelical Christian is. We have heard by way of rumours (many of which we believe are malicious) that Evangelical Christians would require all senior civil servants to wail and roll on Temple floors all day Sunday, would burn all books of science, would force school children to believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth only a few years ago, would jail anyone who had sex on Sunday. The rumours, malicious as they might be, have the Evangelical Christians believing that the Apocalypse will destroy us all and we can’t do a thing about it, that homosexuals are possessed of the devil, that adulterers should be stoned to death, that women should always obey their men folk, that all infidels should convert to the Lord Jesus Christ or be burned at the stake. It is perhaps a malicious rumor that Evangelical Christians are fighting a dirty war in South America with that agent of Satan, Pope John Paul II. We do know this however:

1. Evangelical Christians exist.
2. Evangelical Christians believe that God has told them that their way is the only way.
3. Evangelical Christians oppose that foundation block of Western civilization, the separation of Church and State.

…Yes, Preston Manning should have kicked this Christian Taliban out of the original Reform Party. Yes, Stockwell Day is an Evangelical Christian. What about Harper? That’s not perfectly clear. What we know about Harper is the following:

  • In November 1996, Harper stated: “I think the Reform party would want to make it clear that it has no position on abortion and this is the personal view of the leader”
  • In Parliament in 2002, Harper joked about Svend Robinson’s (and Bill Graham’s) homosexuality. Svend appearing nude on a Georgia Straight Alliance Calendar occasioned the joke - Harper apologized to Robinson.
  • In the fall of 2003, the Taliban seems to have persuaded Harper to attack federal judges who had supported same-sex marriage.
  • On November 26, 2003, Jimmy Baker look-alike and rabid religious zealot MP, Larry Spencer, declared that homosexuals should be cured or jailed. Next day, Harper expelled Spencer from the Alliance Party.
  • Said journalist (a good one) and Christian Fundamentalist (a fanatic) Ted Byfield on April 12: “Harper, we should realize, has never pretended to be one of us, nor has he ever opposed us. His stance has always been implicit and has never changed.”
  • Last Saturday Harper said: “[my opinions] might not fit the stereotype of ‘social conservative’ which is why an organization like Campaign Life has never endorsed me.”

There is no clear evidence that Harper is a Taliban-like zealot of the kind implied by the CBC. We have grave suspicions that the CBC, having wandered from journalism into propaganda on the global warming and feminism files, has now become hooked on propaganda and has been corrupted by propaganda. If so, what a shame.

Why didn’t Harper deny the allegation outright? Most likely, because he feared that, by denial, he would offend the Conservative Party’s Taliban element (and it is a significant one). Harper should throw that element overboard.


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