Nunc Scio
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  Conservatives falling down a logic hole.
There was certainly a lot of backlash against the Globe and Mail story about evangelical Christians gaining Conservative Party riding nominations. As far as I can tell, there is one rational objection to this piece and two ridiculous ones:

1. RATIONAL: People make the entirely acceptable point that, after all, this is a democracy. If a majority of party supporters in a given riding hold evangelical beliefs, then by all means their values should be reflected in their nominated candidates. Fair play. Just don't feign confusion when the majority of Canadians don't share your theocon agenda and reject your party of choice. Its not because Ontarians are out to screw you...we just believe in civil and human rights.

2. IRRATIONAL: The Globe article was, structurally and in terms of content, a NEWS story. It outlined relevant and timely issue of concern to many Canadians. Editorialization was at a minimum, and both sides were fairly represented. Its not the journalist's fault that the evangelical Christian spokespeople said stupid and anachronistic things.

3. IRRATIONAL: The most ridiculous response was from Calgary Sun Columnist Ezra Levant who cleverly replaced every mention of "Christian" with "Jew" in order to highlight what he perceives to be a double standard. An article of this type about Jews would never be published, he claims, but it is entirely acceptable to castigate Christians in the media. As I outline above, I don't believe the article castigated Christians. But the problems with his arguments don't end there.

Basically, Levant demonstrates a total lack of understanding of bigotry and racism. These concepts move far beyond simple prejudice, but rather also involve an unequal power relationship- domination, oppression and violence against a particular group based on racial or religious differences. Levant's base comparison totally ignores the dominant political and social position Christians of all stripes hold across the western world. It also seems to ignore the very real and heartbreaking history of anti-semitism...something Christians have never experienced (outside of biblical times, of course...but it was never genocidal), will never experience and, truth be told, is something Christians have been perpetrating against other groups (including Jewish people) for HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

I'm amazed Levant missed all this, particularly in light of his own experiences with the Conservative Party and its predecessors. Levant himself vied for the Canadian Alliance riding nomination in Calgary Southwest. He was forced to abandon his bid when, according to Larry Zolf and CBC:

"Levant, in turn, was naive about the opposition facing him in the Alliance. Grassroots Alliance voters swamped Levant headquarters with cries of “In God’s name, go!” It was this grassroots opposition that key players in the Alliance jumped on to push Levant out of the Calgary Southwest seat."

I'm willing to bet those grassroots supporters were evangelical Christians, hence the "In God's name, go." The kicker? Ezra Levant is Jewish. He was victim of the same racism he flippantly disregards in his column.

Where's the double standard now?
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Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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