The anti-Christian bias of the Globe and Mail, Canada’s self-proclaimed “national” newspaper, grows ever less subtle, and last week it broke all bounds when its lead story on the front page implied a Christian conspiracy to take over the Conservative Party.
“Christian activists capturing Tory races,” shouted the headline. (The “races” were Conservative nomination contests.) A sub-headline elaborated: “Some in party worry new riding nominees will reinforce notion of ‘hidden agenda.'”
This “hidden” Christian “agenda,” the chief authority for which is the Globe and Mail itself, is the ostensible conspiracy of a coterie of religious “zealots” to first gain office, then work to repeal all the “advances” made under the Liberals – such as abortion on demand, or the prohibition under the human-rights code of any public criticism of homosexual practice on medical, moral or biblical grounds.
What particularly alarmed the Globe was the emergence of this “Christian activism” outside Canada’s three prairie provinces. In the past, the Globe has portrayed it as the residual survival of an old and withering culture in the rustic region of the West. The Globe’s writers customarily assigned to it the most contemptuous descriptive term they knew. It was “rural.”
The Globe’s concept of “rural” is, of course, as ill-informed as its concept of “Christian.” The fact that a prairie farm now represents at a minimum a $2 million to $3 million investment, a working knowledge of biochemistry, crop genetics, computer-controlled mechanics, meteorology and cost accounting, plus a constant watch on the Internet for grain and livestock prices, and agricultural supply and demand all over the world, has not yet reached the Globe’s editorial office. “Rural” to the Globe still suggests people in straw hats carrying pitchforks and standing in cow manure.
Similarly, its concept of Christian implies ignorance, superstition, gullibility, illiteracy, intolerance and sexual repression. It assumes that faith (as somebody once said) consists in resolutely shutting your eyes to scientific fact. So that was the story. Ignorant bigots are trying to take over Canada.
But they are no longer “rural.” These Christians are turning up all over the place, cried the Globe. Four Conservative nominations in metro Vancouver went to avowed Christian activists last month. So did one in Halifax, and another in metro Toronto. Alarmingly, these people did not look at all rustic. So the conspiracy is no longer absurd. It has been raised to the status of sinister.
Which, unhappily for the Globe editors, could soon require them to confront the implications of their anti-Christian campaign. Retiring Conservative MP John Reynolds, who runs the party’s nomination process, raised one implication. Suppose, he told reporters, that they had written such a story with the word “Jew” in the place of the word “Christian.” Would the Globe have run it? He thought not.
There were further problems. About five years ago, a British Columbia judge, thinking like the Globe’s editors, ruled that a Vancouver suburban school board had violated the provincial School Act by hearing Christian, Jewish and Muslim arguments against some gay textbooks being proposed for the public schools. Because the board had allowed itself to be influenced by “religious” arguments, said the judge, it had violated the act, which forbad the teaching of religion in a public school.
This of course raises an interesting question. The business of elected legislative bodies is to legislate, i.e., to pass laws, and every law at some level represents the imposition of a moral principle or value. The criminal law is an anthology of “Thou shalt not’s …” The income-tax laws impose the moral principle that the rich should pay proportionately more. The building codes impose a moral duty on builders to assure public safety.
Now for Christians, Muslims and religious Jews, the source of all morality is religious. God is the only moral authority they know. Therefore, if they are prohibited from allowing their religion to influence their view of the laws they are called upon to pass, then they are – according to this judge and the Globe – unfit to hold public office. And since some 90 percent of Canadians avow belief in God, this would restrict public office to about 10 percent of the population.
In the meantime, how exactly the Globe would have the Conservative Party meet this ominous “Christian” peril, it did not say. Will candidates for nomination be formally questioned under oath: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a Christian?” Canada is not there yet, of course. But we’re progressing.