From this morning's Mop and Pail,
Christian activists capturing Tory races
Christian activists have secured Conservative nominations in clusters of ridings from Vancouver to Halifax -- a political penetration that has occurred even as the party tries to distance itself from hard-line social conservatism.
And as we all know, nothing says "distancing yourself from hard-line social conservatism" like pure, unadulterated, incessant gay bashing.
At least three riding associations in Nova Scotia, four in British Columbia, and one in suburban Toronto have nominated candidates with ties to groups like Focus on the Family, a Christian organization that opposes same-sex marriage.
Lovely. So we should expect a vicious, Biblical attack on our TV cartoon characters any day now. And I had such high hopes for SpongeFarley MowatPants. Damn.
Some Conservatives argue that the selection of a large number of candidates from the religious right is an unfortunate turn for a party that was accused in last year's election campaign of harbouring a socially conservative "hidden agenda."
Well, I think we can safely say it's not all that "hidden" anymore. Splashing it across the front page of the Grope and Flail sort of has that effect.
"The difficulty, from a party perspective, is that it begins to hijack the other agendas that parties have," said Ross Haynes, who lost the Conservative nomination in the riding of Halifax to one of three "Christian, pro-family people" recommended by a minister at a religious rally this spring in Kentville, N.S.
The other "agendas" of the Conservative Party being ... um ... well, gay bashing is pretty much it, isn't it? It's not like they're going to run up an excessive printing charge publishing their platform, is it?
Mr. Emmanuel runs the Equipping Christians for the Public Square Centre, which teaches people of his faith to become political. He is reluctant to say how many adherents have obtained Conservative nominations because he is afraid the news media will portray the campaign as the infiltration of the party by "right-wing fanatics."
Yeah, and that would be, like, so totally unfair. Where do the media get such wacky ideas?
Others within the party say they are extremely concerned and wished the party leaders had been more involved in the nominations.
Well, it's not like you need to deliberately discourage or prevent the lunatic fringe from running. Just have Stephen Harper give them a good talking to; that seems to be enough to drive people screaming into the night.
Just read the whole thing.
AFTERTHOUGHT: There's a delightful hypocrisy surrounding some of these candidates, who apparently object to being tarred as "Christian" candidates, yet clearly plan to get as much mileage as they can out of that very same religious belief.
Take Cindy Silver, of whom the Globe article writes:
Ms. Silver, a lawyer in the federal Justice Department, objects to being labelled a Christian candidate. "That's a form of discrimination," she said. "That's putting them in a class of people and ascribing to them the characteristics of that class without ever giving them a chance to stand on their own merits."
Ah, so Ms. Silver thinks her religious beliefs are ... what, out of bounds? Then, one might ask why she feels it necessary to shove them front and centre here:
I’ve been listening to you as well. Some of you have spoken to me about my religious beliefs. A few have suggested that because I did legal work for a couple of Christian organizations several years ago, I may be someone on the far right, or a religious extremist.
Let me tell you the same thing I told them. I am a Christian. So is Don Bell. In fact, we go to the same North Shore church. I ask you to think about that.
Yeah, you can think about it, just don't write about it. Is that how it works?
And it's interesting that, in all of Cindy's posted speeches, we don't see any mention of this little gem:
"Many Canadians - religious and non-religious - believe that marriage is a male-female union. Their right to hold and maintain their beliefs is guaranteed twice in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and must be protected," says Cindy Silver, Focus on the Family's legal co-counsel.
Gee, Cindy, I'll bet there are at least a few Canadians who might be interested in your former association with James Dobson's hard-right group of wingnuts. Any reason that bit of info didn't come up in any of your speeches? It's not like you're trying to (God forbid) downplay that embarrassing part of your past, is it?