Ever since he became the leader of the Cons, Andrew Scheer has been very careful to conceal his extreme religious views.
He won the leadership with the support of social conservatives, but deleted his platform minutes after he was elected.
And although did send out one dog whistle after the other to his rabid religious base, he kept his own fanaticism in the shadows, most of the time.
At least until yesterday, when with an election now less than six months away, he sent out this weird message to the faithful.
Canadians should always be free to worship without fear, and I will always fight to defend this right. pic.twitter.com/As4bVNn0QC— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) April 23, 2019
And after I stopped wondering what on earth I had just watched? Did he really use the Virgin Mary for crass political purposes? And what did the bird mean?
I thought that Scheer really has a nerve.
Suggesting that the freedom to worship is under assault in Canada, but that the faithful should not be afraid, because he's there to protect them.
Without ever telling us who he's protecting them from, and somehow managing to leave Muslims out of that video, even though they are the most violently persecuted faith in Canada...
Just like he somehow managed to leave Muslims out of his first statement on the monstrous massacre in New Zealand.
But what also angers me is something else that creepy religious fanatic doesn't want Canadians to know. And I mean REALLY doesn't want them to know.
And that's how he chose to begin his political career working for one of the ugliest religious bigots this country has ever known...
A Missouri-born Baptist preacher and Canadian Alliance MP named Larry Spencer, who believed that homosexuality should be outlawed.
In late November 2003, Spencer caused controversy in Canada by Vancouver Sun reporter Peter O'Neil when he said that he would support any initiative to outlaw homosexuality. He stated that in the 1960s, a "well-orchestrated" conspiracy began and led to recent successes in the gay rights movement.
This conspiracy, he further said, included seducing and recruiting young boys in playgrounds and locker rooms, and deliberately infiltrating North America's schools, judiciaries, entertainment industries, and religious communities. According to him, this conspiracy started with a speech given by a U.S. gay rights activist in the 1960s whose name he could not remember.
Spencer was fired as Canadian Alliance Family Issues critic by Stephen Harper, who also forced him to write a grovelling apology.
I retract the statement I made indicating I would support a bill to criminalize homosexuality. I do not believe that homosexual behaviour should be criminalized or that homosexuals should be persecuted.
I apologize for linking the homosexual community with pedophilia. I was wrong to draw such an inference.
Spencer eventually left politics and went back to preaching, forgot that apology, and started portraying himself as a victim of religious persecution.
In the manner LGBT people know only too well...
But as for Andrew Scheer, he never apologized for having worked so eagerly for such a ghastly bigot.
On the contrary, as Neil Macdonald points out, not only is his anti-gay record abominable.
He voted against a law normalizing same-sex marriage, arguing in the Commons that "homosexual unions" are antithetical to raising families.
Not only he did he refuse to extend hate crime protection for transgender Canadians, one of the country's most brutalized minorities.
He even defended another religious bigot who called for outlawing, and presumably jailing LGBT Canadians.
He also defended Alberta Bishop Fred Henry, who told parishioners in a 2005 letter that gay sex is "an evil act, whether it is performed in public or private" adding that: "Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the state must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good."
Henry faced complaints to the province's human rights commission. That angered Scheer, who maintained Henry was merely instructing the faithful. "To think that a Catholic bishop must answer to a civil authority over matters of faith is abominable. It is abhorrent to me, to other Catholics and to every member of every faith community," he said.
A person who has met Scheer many times, tells me that his hatred for gays is palpable, and horrifying to behold.
And for those who think that there is nothing Scheer can do to hurt gay Canadians, they obviously haven't been watching what has been happening in Trump's America.
Social conservatives in the United States have used all sorts of creative schemes to impose their views on populations in states where they hold sway. You often don't need legislation to get your way.
A little de-funding here, a little creative regulatory tweaking there, and you can accomplish what you want without big, loud, bothersome House of Commons debates.
So here's my question:
When Scheer tells his religious base that they should not be afraid, because he will protect them.
What I want to know is who will protect women, gay people, Muslims and others from those religious fanatics? Who should be afraid of whom?
When will Scheer apologize for attacking and trying to debase the lives of so many Canadians?
And when will Canadians finally realize who Scheer really is?
And what he might do to this country and its values, if he ever becomes Prime Minister.
All of this should have been known long ago, but the Con media preferred to focus on things like the fake scandal, rather than the growing threat of the religious right.
So now with less than six months before the next election, it's up to us to warn Canadians before it's too late...