Monday, March 26, 2012

The Fundamentalist Dominion of Canada

Another warning that our federal government is "beholden to a religious agenda averse to science and rational debate."

This time it's Andrew Nikiforuk writing in the latest Tyee.

Any Canadian listening to the news these days might well conclude that the Republican extremists or some associated evangelical group has occupied Ottawa. 

...transparency and full disclosure has become the issue of paramount importance. To date, Harper has refused to answer media questions about his beliefs or which groups inform them. If he answered media queries about his minority creed (and fewer than 10 per cent of Canadians would call themselves evangelicals) he'd have to admit that he openly sympathizes if not endorses what's known as "evangelical climate skepticism."  

No one knows this fossil fuel friendly ideology better than Dr. David Gushee, a distinguished professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and a Holocaust scholar. The evangelical Christian is also one of the drafters of the 2006 Evangelical Climate Initiative. It declared climate change a serious threat to Creation that demands an ethical Christian response.

But that's not the wing of the evangelical movement that Harper listens to. Given his government's pointed attacks on environmentalists and science of any kind, Harper would seem to take his advice from the Cornwall Alliance, a coalition of right-wing scholars, economists and evangelicals. The Alliance questions mainstream science, doubts climate change, views environmentalist as a "native evil," champions fossil fuels and supports libertarian economics.

Nikiforuk reviews what have come to form the 7 tenets of evangelical climate skepticism described by Dr. David Gushee, professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University:

1. Disdain for the environmental movement
2. Distrust of mainstream science in general
3. Distrust of the mainstream media
4. Loyalty to the party
5. Libertarian economics as God's will (God is opposed to government regulation or taxation
6. Misunderstanding of divine sovereignty (God won't allow us to ruin creation)
7. Unreconstructed Dominion theology (God calls on humans to subdue and rule creation)

In the end of the interview, Gushee summarized the purpose of this new evangelical Republicanism: "God is sovereign over creation and therefore humans can do no permanent damage... God established government for limited purposes and government should not intervene much in the workings of a free market economy... The media is overplaying climate change worries... The environmental movement is secular/pagan and has always been a threat to American liberties...

Reading this article and other treatments of our Furious Leader's radical fundamentalist creed you have to wonder if Canada doesn't have its very own Jim Jones installed in 24 Sussex Drive.

Nikiforuk's piece is a timely and important warning to us all.  I strongly urge you to read it in its entirety.   If you missed the link about, you can access it here.


Anonymous said...

It is deeply troubling to know that the country is being destroyed because a government is imposing the beliefs of a small, radical, fringe evangelical group upon all Canadians. The media, the opposition and all Canadians must demand that Harper and his 'flock' be honest about their fringe evangelical beliefs, and how those beliefs are shaping their political agenda.

Canadians must remain ever vigilant against installing a theocratic government like the Reformers ever again.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wonder how many Conservative voters realized or cared about Harper's theocratic impulses. Political parties of all stripes today seem to be focused on gaining and holding power even at the cost of their values and nation.