Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Ghastly Return of Jesus Harper

It was like a ghostly religious apparition. Not exactly the Blessed Virgin of Calgary  (that's Jason Kenney.)

But very definitely Stephen Harper, making a rare appearance in the House of Commons to vote on a Con motion.

Not in his capacity as a failed Great Economist Leader, or the evil puppet master who is still pulling Rona Ambrose's strings.

But as the one who liked to pose as the Con cult's Jesus Harper.

The one who created the so-called Office of Religious Freedoms.  

The Liberals all but flipped off the lights on Canada’s Office of Religious Freedoms, voting Monday against a Tory motion to keep open the controversial post and saying that its stand alone status is over.

For crass political purposes.

The office had been set up by the previous Conservative government in 2013, given its own ambassador and $5 million in funding to promote religious freedoms around the world. But it was controversial from the start. 

Concerns were raised it was going too far in combining religion and politics. Having begun as a campaign promise some saw it as a ploy to win support from ethnic voters.

Only to see his creation go up in flames, like the burning bush, for all the right reasons.

The international promotion of religious freedom by Western states risks repeating “civilizing” colonial missions, imposing fixed standards without sensitivity to cultural and historical specificities, adding to the already overburdened social salience of religious difference, and neglecting other sources of tension and conflict. 

These concerns were exacerbated by the hypocrisy of a government that expressed interest in promoting religious freedom abroad while simultaneously undermining it at home, most blatantly in the case of the niqab. Moreover, by creating an office dedicated solely to the promotion of religious freedom, the Harper government appeared to attach more importance to religious freedom than it did to other human rights.

Human rights are human rights, and religion can create its own legion of victims.

For example, women and children may be denied basic rights across an entire society, whether or not they are members of religious minorities. States may imprison individuals solely on the basis of their beliefs, religious or otherwise. Viewing complex and interwoven issues through the lens of a single human right will not produce adequate responses. 

Canada should take an expansive view and advocate for the protection of all human rights.

As our so-called Ambassador of Religious Freedom so convincingly demonstrated.

Current ambassador Andrew Bennett had already seen the writing on the wall – though he remains in his position until month’s end, last week he accepted a voluntary position at public policy think tank Cardus to lead its efforts to promote religious freedoms.

By joining the group Cardus, which among other things, is dedicated to protecting the religious from bullied gay children.

A little-known provision in Canada’s Constitution could complicate Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s effort to force the province’s Catholic schools to allow gay-straight alliance clubs.

A leading constitutional scholar hired by a conservative-minded think tank, Cardus, says a section of Canada’s Constitution not used in more than a century could be used to challenge Ontario’s new anti-bullying law, the Accepting Schools Act, on the grounds it violates Catholic education rights.

So much for "The Ambassador." 

And so much for the Con MP Garnett Genuis, who seemed to be equating the Office of Religious Freedom with those who fight for the rights of women...

Edmonton MP Garnett Genuis, who brought forward the motion, likened the need for the office with the requirement to have one focused on the status of women, calling them both required “centres of excellence” to deal with today’s challenges.

Even though Genuis gets the blessing, or the green light, from the Campaign Life Coalition.  

Which couldn't be more opposed to the rights of women, and those of gay Canadians.

You know, although I'm an atheist I share with decent religious people, those who preach love not hate, the same hopes for a better world...

That's why I fought so hard for the rights of bullied kids when I was in school, and now struggle to find better ways to care for the homeless, and poor and lonely seniors.

And one thing I can say for sure, is that the Cons were the cruelest and most satanic government this country has ever known.

And their depraved leader was no Christian and definitely no Jesus...

Just a foul bully bigot, who used religion for his own brutish political purposes.

And what I also know is that until we send him and his depraved followers to the hellish place they belong.

Or just some horrible place in rural Alberta.

We will never ever have that kinder, gentler Canada...

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  1. Anonymous7:43 AM

    So how long WAS Harper in the House of Commons? I'm guessing a vote of all MPs takes about 5 or 6 minutes.

    Does he consider it beneath him to attend Question Period?

    1. Anonymous8:07 AM

      Harper doesn't answer to anyone, or haven't you heard? that's why he has the distinction of being the only Prime Minister who was held in contempt of Parliament twice.

      Um, Parliament is us the people. He holds us all in contempt.

    2. hi anon...he's rarely there for more than a few minutes. And no he doesn't appear for Question Period. He just stays in his office all day and holds audiences like the Pope or the Queen. And of course picks up the phone all the time to tell Rona Ambrose what to do, because goodness knows she hasn't got a clue....

  2. Anonymous7:51 AM

    In the bizarro world of the Cons, women living in Canada shouldn't have the religious freedom to wear a face covering at a citizenship ceremony, even though I recall the woman who had filled out all the proper forms and had shown her face privately to a female official. She DID eventually get her citizenship.

    1. hi anon...the whole niqab story was an invention designed to create yet another wedge issue, and whip up bigotry for crass political purposes. Which is why it was so appalling....

  3. Anonymous8:09 AM

    I'm not religious either but how those evangelicals twist the message of Christ into their evil story is frightening and disgusting.

    1. hi anon...a lot of those evangelicals, especially those in the U.S. use religion to buttress their bigotry and use it as a weapon to bludgeon their enemies. They pervert the message of Christ, and should be ashamed of themselves....

  4. Office of Relgious Freedom should be taken as seriously as the Ministry of Silly Walks.

    1. Anonymous8:05 AM

      About as useless as the other notorious ministry. You know the one called the Ministry of Western Diversification.

    2. hi Steve... it does have that sound to it doesn't it? And it was an absolute farce...

  5. Percivus8:46 AM

    Makes me wonder how much clean water for aboriginal communities that five million could have bought.

    1. hi Percivus...exactly, the money could have been better spent on aboriginal communities, many of whom were victims of religion, and live in the kind of poverty that should shame us all...

  6. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Like all of the other Con double speak "Religion and Freedom are what I say it is". R.I.P. Jesus Harper!

    1. hi anon....yes indeed, religion for most of the Cons was just politics as usual. If they had acted like real Christians they might have been better than they were. But of course they couldn't, so they were ghastly hypocrites, and there was no greater hypocrite than their morally depraved leader....

  7. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Another Harperism bites the dust, yes!! Remember hearing about this when it was introduced and felt like I was in the Deep South. Even reading your blog just now gives me the willies. It's only been 5 months, we really cannot get complacent.

    Thank you for another great post.


    1. hi TS...yes, that office always had a sinister ring to it. And of course it couldn't be more Orwellian. For having Cons speak about freedom couldn't be more outrageous, when if we hadn't kicked them out they would have turned us into a police state.
      I think we can afford to relax a bit, especially now that Spring has finally arrived. But we must never be complacent. For we were complacent for too long and it almost cost us our country...

  8. We don't need freedom of religion, we need freedom from religion.

    1. hi rumleyfips....when you look at the state of the world today, and the number of people who are being killed because of religion, it's hard not to argue that we do need more freedom from religion. My feeling has always been clear. Worship who or what you want, just don't force your views on me or anybody else...

  9. Religion poisons everything.

    1. hi hinofan...I know some excellent religious people who work with the poor and the sick, and they are some of the finest people I know. They practically glow with goodness. But unfortunately when you look at the big picture religion is all too often used by bad people to inflict pain on others, and even kill them. I'm actually a pretty spiritual person, but I have no time for bigotry masquerading as religion....

  10. e.a.f.5:12 PM

    rumleyflips, said it all!

    if religion left the world, how many wars could/would be stopped. how many fewer people would be killed, sent to prison, etc.

    Interesting doc. on churches in Jamaica and the violence perpetrated on BLGT people. Wonder why steve's ambassador never talked to them or the SAaudi's. Oh, right.............

    1. hi e.a.f.... when I was a fiery teenager I used to be a bit of an atheist fundamentalist. And used to demand that religion be abolished. But I gradually came to understand that in a world racked with strife and inequality it fulfills a human need for hope in something better. So it won't disappear unless the world becomes a kinder gentler place. And I also recognize that it provides consolation to the dying and those who love them. But in places like Jamaica it has created the worst kind of violent homophobia, so it must be held accountable like everything else....

  11. Simon wrote: "And their depraved leader was no Christian and definitely no Jesus..."

    I am a Christian, and believe what it says in John, chapter 3: verses 16-21.

    I am no fan of Harper, but it Harper really believes this, then he is a Christian also.

    Keep in mind both Christians (and non-Christians) have done (and do) a lot of unChristian things. Some more than others.

    Christians are found across the political spectrum, from the far left to the far right. Some Christians look at all issues from the left, some look at all issues from the right.

    Some Christians look at the issues separately eg. one can be on the left in wanting tax dollars used to build housing for the homeless, yet be on the right in not wanting tax dollars going to hospitals to fund abortions.


    Canadian magazine

    American magazine

    1. Anonymous8:09 AM

      Harper is no Christian, even if he says he is. Don't forget, he tells everyone he is a great economist too.

    2. Anonymous8:10 AM

      If you don't want your tax dollars going to abortions, how do you feel about your same tax dollars going to bomb little children and women in Syria? How selective Christians are.

    3. hi David...I respect your views, but I don't share them. I understand what you're saying, I did go to Sunday School. But to me if you call yourself a Christian you should act like one. I also believe in the power of human redemption. But if for example you're a violent cruel person, and you don't seek redemption by changing your behaviour, then in my Gospel of Simon, you're not a real Christian....

    4. Anonymous2:11 PM

      To anon 8:10AM.........RIGHT ON...... FS

    5. In the Christian worldview, good works should be evident in the life of the believer. But it isn't a believer's good works that redeems him/her. Rather, it is by grace that one is saved/redeemed, through faith. Read: Ephesians 2:8-10.

      Grace - U2


      "But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. " -- Bono

  12. Would there be less war on earth if only women could be elected the leaders of countries?

    Swedish Minister Margot Wallström says Syria talks need more women





    You cannot create a sustainable peace unless you have women around the table or also signing a peace deal.

    AMT: As Syrian opposition leaders make it clear they are assessing whether to even continue with peace talks in Geneva, Sweden's foreign minister is convinced you can't end a war without consulting the women.

  13. Finally, Genuis the self-acclaimed smarter than everyone else theocratic nerd, shows his true colours. Failed Wildrose wingnut, you will not find a more rabid, conceited pain in the ass evven in Ottawa. Th prototype next-gen con