Tuesday, September 15, 2015

God's Agent


Stephen Harper doesn't talk about his evangelical religion. But  its footprints are all over his policies. Andrew Nikiforuk writes in the Tyee:

Most Canadians still don't even know that Harper has been a long-time member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, an evangelical church established by a Canadian nearly 100 years ago. It has a wide following in Alberta.

Harper's church believes that Jesus Christ will return to Earth in an apocalypse that is "imminent." It does not support abortion and homosexuality and believes that those who aren't born-again are "lost."

The publication Christianity Today has called Harper "The Smartest Evangelical Politician You Never Heard Of." But take a look at his policies and his legislation and you'll see what drives him. Consider his policy on Israel:

The Israeli press understands Canada's new religious reality. During Harper's celebrated state visit to Israel in 2014 the local press published an analysis noting that views of "the devout evangelical Christian prime minister" probably played a key role in Canada's new strategic union with the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Under Netanyahu, anti-Arab harassment and hatefulness have reached dangerous heights. Even the conservative Israeli president Ruvi Rivlin has despaired about the racism, extremism and "thuggishness that has permeated the national dialogue" in Israel.

But that's not what Canadians now hear from their evangelical prime minister. His government has declared a "zero tolerance" approach towards groups that support boycotting Israel to protest its dealings with Palestinians, conflating criticism of state policies with "anti-Semitism." That meant the Canadian government has identified as enemies such boycott backers as the United Church of Canada, Canadian Quakers, labour and student groups.

It's not just Harper's policy towards Israel that shows the influence of Evangelicalism. Domestic policy is full of it:

Religion explains why Harper appointed a creationist, Gary Goodyear, as science minister in 2009; why the party employs Arthur Hamilton, as its hard-nosed lawyer (he's an evangelical too and a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance); why Conservative MP Wai Young would defend the government's highly controversial spying legislation, Bill C-51, by saying it reflects the teachings of Jesus; and why Canada's new relationship with Israel dominates what's left of the country's shredded foreign policy.

It also explains why Harper would abolish the role of science advisor in the federal government only to open an Office of Religious Freedom under the department of Foreign Affairs with an annual $5-million budget. Why? Because millions of suburban white evangelical Christians consider religious freedom a more vital issue than same-sex marriage or climate change.

Like the Puritans of Salem, Harper believes that if he can't convert you, he should destroy you. Those who see themselves as God's agents are a clear and present danger.


zombats said...

Read that this morning Owen and I must say it explains a lot. When you have God on your side you can do no wrong. I don't know what to fear more now, Armageddon, or the Zombie apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

This is no secret.

When Harper started his rise the issue was brought forward, but the corporate media hated the Liberals so much they didn't do their duty, or due diligence and failed to send even one journalist to hear the rantings of Harperman's Calgary priest.

Remember when Obama caught some flack over an off-the-wall hometown priest during his first run for power? Harperman's guy is batshitlunaticcrazyinsane by comparison.

Owen Gray said...

A lot of nastiness and injustice has been wrought in God's name, zoombats.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has been more lucky than smart, Anon. A lot of people who should have been paying attention simply weren't.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree OG: "more lucky than smart" doesn't buy you 10+ years at the top.

Having every corporate management team behind you (bought and paid for with slimy tax laws) is enough to push one of the most reviled candidates in the country's history over the top. The real reporters on the front line are getting zero support from their leadership and it shows every day in what's presented, and every quarter in their declining revenues.

John B. said...

The religious affiliations of many of these worshippers are often closely associated with the interpersonal networking involved in their personal business relationships. I've been on jobs where the atmosphere is polluted with wink-and-nod and often outright demonstrations of dominionist religiosity and tattling ring-banditry.

It's the moral clarity of the pocket book.

Dana said...

Lots of us were paying attention and we were screaming as loud as we could and no one gave a shit.

Owen Gray said...

True, Dana. There's a price that has to be paid for stupidity.

Owen Gray said...

Lots of people conflate God and Mammon, John.

Owen Gray said...

I agree with your point that corporatism rules the roost, Anon. But that's part of Harper's luck. In another time and place, he'd just be another university drop-out.

Scotian said...

Dana and I were two of those Cassandra voices, and we got the full Cassandra treatment for it, and people wonder why these days we sound either angry and/or a bit bitter.

Can't imagine why...*rolls eyes*

Mogs Moglio said...

I've seen "Product of Israel" in grocery stores I refuse to buy them. In harper's deficient mind I have just boycotted Israel and am Anti-Semite and an Enemy as well as facing punishment.

Did we move back to the middle ages definition of crime and punishment under harper? Torture was handed out in Afghanistan with harper's consent and knowledge is it coming here next?

Full Definition of SEMITE
1a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia [Modern day Middle East] including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
b : a descendant of these peoples

Harpers bombing campaign and complicity in torture of these peoples places him squarely as anti-Semitic.

"As the historian Norman G. Finkelstein wrote in 2005, “the allegation of a new anti-Semitism is neither new nor about anti-Semitism”: it is, rather, an ideology formulated in the early 1970s for the explicit purpose of deflecting pressures on the state of Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank that had been captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Days War." A propaganda war toy for Israel harper laps up.


The reason we lost our seat in the UN Security Council was because of Harper's stance on Israel victim [good] and Palestine aggressor [bad].

Christianity supposedly left the Jews in the dust because they would not accept Christ they were non-believers and hence not eligible to enter Christianities version of heaven. So why do the Evangelical Christians worship the Jews who worship the 'Golden Calf' to this day. The Jewish community dominates the worlds biggest banks. This is gods work? Financing wars and enslaving humanity through interest and taxes?

Owen Gray said...

There were those of you who had Harper pegged from the beginning, Scotian. Unfortunately, there was a huge segment of the population who refused to believe the evidence before their eyes -- evidence going back at least as far as Chuck Cadman.

Owen Gray said...

You're walking on dangerous ground when you talk about Jews and big banks, Mogs. But I do agree that what Harper calls anti-Semitic is really anti-Netanyahu.

The Mound of Sound said...

I still have Marci Mcdonald's "The Armageddon Factor" on my bookshelf, Owen, though it's been years since I read it. This might be a good time to have another go at it.

Mogs Moglio said...

Henry Makow Phd has some interesting things on that Owen. The modern day Jews are really Khazar's who converted to Judaism in the 8th century.


Scientific stuff Jewish is a religion not a people so... Okay the Khazar's who converted to Judaism control most big banks, am I forgiven?

Owen Gray said...

That's an old but sweeping generalization, Mogs. There are plenty of Jews who work for banks. But control of the banks is diversified.

Owen Gray said...

She was the first to warn us about what's bubbling underneath, Mound. It's still bubbling.

Lulymay said...

My paternal grandmother treated my mother like she was dirt under her feet and not nearly good enough for the dad. Why? because my mother was not "of the faith" - in this case Plymouth Brethren. Interestingly, my family research revealed that in my mother's background were educated people who were Anglican clerics, bankers, lawyers, and college educated teachers. On my father's side, I found mostly farmers and linen weavers who, when I examined marriage licence documents, marked an "X" where the person's signature is usually affixed. That says it all for me.

p.s. I did read an extensive article in the Vancouver Sun when Harper first came on the federal scene and it went into his Alliance Church beliefs. I knew we would be in trouble if he succeeded in achieving his goals. Now we all are aware of that. It's just that some think its okay but many thinks its not so okay.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has always relied on ignorance to succeed, Lulymay. And he has done his best to promote it.

Mogs Moglio said...

So now we are getting somewhere Owen as Lulymay brings to the discussion it is all bottom line about religious prejudice. Either you are with us as a Muslim or a Christian or a Jewish believer or a catholic or you are against us not born into our faith [insert religion of choice] or not a convert and therefore untitled to the afterlife in our heaven? Which blinkin heaven again?

Why are they so radical all of the religions and so closed minded?

So as Zoombats so aptly points out [I'm paraphrasing]you must have religion [god, I cry foul to thee against these heathens so protect my belief and smite mine ours and your enemies] on your side if not well hell boy I have a nasty place for you, and you ain't gonna like it.

Judaism is a religion like Buddhism is there a Buddhist race? No is there a christian race? No. Is there a Muslim race? Um no.

So explain to me why they all need special attention especialy the chosen people [note not race worthy] and why if you point out their fallacies of belief and reject their religion on the basis of your own spiritual truth you are labeled in the Jewish religion anti Semite, Christian religion Muslim religion apostate all religions are dogmatic and try destroy truths about their fallacies...

For another day...

Owen Gray said...

It's all about appealing to his base, Mogs. If he loses them, he'll be left with nobody -- and he knows it.