Religion And Politics Makes A Lethal Cocktail

Alright, alright, before you start formulating your counter argument or begin constructing your mail bombs for my house (quick reminder, I live in the Yukon wilderness -- amazing the wifi you get here), let me explain exactly what I mean and who I am specifically targeting. But first, let me draw your attention to this video clip from an episode of CBC's 'The National'.

I watched this clip several weeks ago, and I've seen it commented on by numerous blogs, forums and sites. I've been meaning to throw out my own views and thoughts, but never felt I had the right amount of time to properly compose them. Then I remembered that is just a really poor excuse for procrastinating, and deemed today the best time to do it before I forget what it was that inspired the 'rant-a-mania' in me in the first place.

First things first, despite my intentionally 'inciting the masses' like title, I don't necessarily have a problem with religious people being involved in politics. Actually, I think Jesus would probably have put in place some pretty great programs and do a lot of good for this country. But I also don't think he would have agreed with some of the political folks mentioned in this video. It is this particular brand of conservative Christianity that I believe would be damaging to this nation and force us to erase many years of progress.

It is interesting because I've read several Christian blogs that remarked how they think it is funny how certain groups are scared of the 'harmless Christians'. The blogs give the idea that Christians should be more vocal, and having them in power would do the country good. As I stated, I am in agreement the values that were preached by Jesus Christ would be very valuable and good for this nation, but I didn't really see a lot of those in the video. Jesus' teachings always seemed to lean towards the feeding of the poor or the not judging of others or the spreading of unconditional love, but again, I didn't really see those type of politics being talked about in that video.

There is a reason there has been a long held rule that church should be separated from state. It isn't because politicians or even the general public are a horde of heathens and god haters. The issue is politics is already a very complicated and mixed up business, and it really doesn't need to be blended with something that is even more complicated and mixed up. I know, that neither need to be this way, but the reality is that they are. The reality is that both also tend to have hidden agendas and ulterior motives (or at least in the case of religion, the institutions tend to). While I do agree that certain values (especially those constantly preached by religious icons like Jesus and Gandhi) should be implemented into politics, which would be a positive progression for how this country runs, I do not think all doctrines and teachings (more so, the interpretation of them) that come from certain religious texts have any place in government policy or laws.

The reality is, Canada is a 'tossed salad' of various religions, cultures and ethnicities. It is a place that is accepting to people from around the world. It is a place that at least provides the opportunity for harmony and unity among various groups. Canada's promotion of diversity has often been heralded and commended by many major global figures. It is one of the reasons it has often been declared one of the best countries to live in. The fact is, if you have a government run by one strong, conservative, fundamentalist religious group (no matter the religion or denomination) then you are putting a great risk on that diversity. If this groups believes their views and religion is correct, and that it has a place in governing policies, then your destined to destroy all the work done to create and promote diversity. When one sits back and thinks about this, I am pretty sure almost no one will say this is a good thing.

You can already see the threats against progress and liberty that is being imposed by a few of these figures. If these type of people continue to get power then you can bet your right thumb (or left if you already wagered the other in a failed bet) they will fight to have certain current rights be completely eliminated.

In the 60s, it was Pierre Trudeau who mentioned how the 'state had no place in the bedroom' thus leading to bills that decriminalized homosexuality and abortion, and allow things like divorce to be much easier. I realize each of these topics could be their entirely own blog posts, and today are still very controversial and debated subjects. The issue was that the government should not be invoking laws that infringe on people's rights, especially when those people are not doing something that is harming anyone else.

I've been married for almost 2 years, and my parents have been married for over 30 years. From my own personal observation, when gay marriage was allowed in Ontario, my parents' marriage was not affected or harmed in anyway. They weren't suddenly unmarried because another group was allowed to marry. I know from my own experience, that Emily and I did not burst into flames because we tried to get married in a province that allows gay marriage. Again, speaking personally, I absolutely love being married, and being able to make this commitment to my wife. So, why would I want to prevent anyone from that same joy and right?

I know abortion is probably an even messier topic than gay marriage. I know there are probably some who are fine (or even will promote) the right for homosexuals to marry but are fervently opposed to abortion. Even if you don't agree with abortion, I don't think it is right to have it outlawed. First of all, considering the fetus is occupying the woman's own body, she should be able to have some say in what to do with it. I think, there is an even bigger issue than that, which is the fact there is a lot less fatalities or severe injuries to women now that abortion has been legalized. Women are no longer going to seedy, unsanitary back alleys to have abortions or even worse, attempting to perform it themselves. This sort of reminds me of when the Catholic church was so opposed to sex education in high schools that taught more than just abstinence. Or the religious parent watch dog groups that tried to keep condoms or birth control out of schools. There seemed to be this magical belief that if they kept those horny kids from condoms or birth control, then they would have no choice but to refuse sex. It didn't really work out that way, and instead, we had a mass of teen pregnancies (which lead to lots of poor girls being kicked out of schools or being forced to have abortions to conceal their 'sin'). I am not saying we don't still have teen pregnancies, but I think, most would at least agree that only teaching abstinence is the epitome of ass-hat logic (as in, I am so dumb I wear an ass on my head). I think there is an obvious parallel between the two, and clear evidence that the strategy of elimination leads to worse consequences.

Among some of these conservative religious groups, there seems to be the mentality that 'we believe in freedom, as long as you do exactly what we believe.' The thing is, the world doesn't work that way. If you want to be heterosexual, 'pro-life, and remain married your entire life then that is totally awesome. I actually want to only have one marriage, which is with my wife (who is a lady), and stay committed to her my entire life, too. She is awesome and I don't plan on doing anything to wreck the sweet deal I have. But believing and following those things are completely different than imposing those beliefs on others. These groups that want the enforcement of anti-abortion or the delegalization of gay marriage, are being narrow-minded and selfish. It lacks empathy, and a complete unwillingness to see that people come from different backgrounds and situations. It may go against one's religious beliefs, but other than that, it isn't doing any harm to them -- but the laws they want to enforce would cause harm to specific people.

There was one other major piece from the video that is disturbing, and actually, way more scary than anything I addressed above. This is about the men in power who not only believe in the end times, but also feel that Canada must play a part in making it come together. This is also known as 'being batshit insane.' If you want to believe in Armageddon or the apocalypse or the rapture then go right ahead, that is totally fine with me. The problem is when you start making that part of your foreign policy or start dictating your political decisions by it. This would then start falling under the whole idea of self fulfilling prophecy. "I told you this was the end times, and this here nuclear bomb that I launched, which wiped out half the world proved me right. Now where is my flying chariot to get me out of here?" I know people personally who like reading about the end time prophecies and are very devout believers that it is about to happen, and this is fine as long as you keep those beliefs in places of worship or behind the closed doors of your home. It is eye poppingly scary when one starts dictating policies that will effect an entire nation or globe around this belief. I am personally just fine and dandy with my current living situation, and not in any rush for Earth destroying wars being waged due to some mislead belief of what it takes to make Jesus return.

I want to clarify, I have nothing wrong with Christians or any other religious people in government. But I want them to remember not all aspects of their faith and belief properly coincide with running a country. Especially a diverse and multicultural country that claims to be progressive and democratic. As I stated, I am all for the caring for the poor, demonstrating unconditional love, promoting peace, and not judging other people parts of Christianity that was preached by the founder. It is when religious agendas and fundamentalists beliefs start creeping in that I get a little more fearful of the possible future. Though in the end, I am an optimist, and I've got faith that the majority of this nation isn't quite ready for this lethal cocktail to be administered.


  1. Anonymous11:41 am

    Adam Malliet via Facebook:

    that's why jesus asked his followers to be anarchists and pacifists

  2. Just a thought...this isn't anything new. Check out this list of Canadian Prime Ministers.

  3. The list further demonstrates that the current brand of religion being peddled by the Conservatives was not held dearly by most past PMs. Definitely an interesting list to get insight in who ran our 'Christian' nation in the past.


Post a Comment