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Sarah & Steve: The Tammy-Faye & Jim Baker of Politics

Well, Sarah Palin wants the U.S. to go back to rules based on the 10 commandments. No surprise there. But I have a question: for her group, the bible is considered to be too liberal; to the point of Conservapedia founder, Andy Schlafly has taken it upon himself to rewrite it, to take out all that Liberal nonsense of love thy neighbour, heal the sick and condemning greed and selfishness, you know, real Christian values of social justice.

Have a listen to Sawah for yourself:

Well, no, actually, the American constitution was not influenced by the bible nor the ten commandments.  There are no references to Jesus or Christianity in the consitution, only mention of “nature’s god” .  Not surprisingly, see Sawah run is  her usual confusing self.

The principle misunderstanding of Mrs. Palin’s, is that her interpretation of “our rights to have freedom of religion” translates in her mind to ‘ the right of Christians to impose their beliefs and practices on American law, politics, society and education.’

Sound familiar? It should. It’s exactly how Steve, McVety and all their pals and supporters on the religious right think as well.

In fact, the religious right in the U.S. seem to exist solely to provide paranoid Americans comfort; to lift a sense of helplessness; a misguided notion that if they follow the bible and the rules of extreme Christianity, they would be able to fight off the evil boogie men; communists in the 1950s; Muslim Soshalists in the present .

It was not until the 1950’s, almost 200 years after the founding of the country, and during the frenetic ‘Red Scare’ days of McCarthyism, that Christian Fundamentalists were able to infuse their doctrine into the politics of a frightened and bewildered nation. It was during this time of fear-mongering about communist insurgents (like the fear-mongering about terrorists, socialists, communists etc. today), and of ideological purity tests (like the litmus tests we see among the Tea Party and conservatives today), that the people of the country were coerced into proving their anti-communist and pro-American fidelity by accepting these seemingly benign and ostensibly unifying proclamations.

There are many who ask  if there are any true fiscal conservatives or the so-called Libertarians left? It is indeed a good question. The American Tea-party movement certainly started out that way, but the religius wingnutz are taking it over.  Many now seem to look more to Sarah Palin than to the more Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).  Why would that be?

As for Canada, it’s not much different.  Brother Steve admitted in 2003 that he pretty much doesn’t have the time of day for any of those economic conservatives or “neo-cons,” but would rather follow the agenda of that theo-con base; social conservatives who care passionately about hot-button issues that turn on family, crime, and defence. Even foreign policy had become a theo-con issue, he pointed out, driven by moral and religious convictions .

“The truth of the matter is that the real agenda and the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values,” he said, “so conservatives must do the same.”

Are they they the noisy minority? Or is that wishful thinking on our part?  In the United States, that would be debatable, but then their religious right movement is older than that of Canada’s.

Marci McDonald talks about her new book, The Armageddon Factor, The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada ,  released today talks about the growing Evangelical Christian right sub-culture in Canada.  She says that while Canada’s Evangelical sub-culture  is a mere fraction of  the American Evangelical Christian movement, they are so well organized that they can And yes, and  whatever this book says about Brother Steve and his friends  should be confirm whatever uncertainty or doubts we may have had about Brother Steve and his friends.  Here is another preview of the book For those who wish to continue to look the other way, it will become increasingly difficult to do so.  Bene D seems to think that this is important reading. I would have to agree; it is must reading; particularly those who are skeptical about this theocratic totalitarian regime taking over.

Unlike Sawah who wears her evangelical wingnuttery on her sleeve ever so prominently,  Brother Steve does everything he could to keep his evangelical Christianity as well as his governing intentions a deep dark secret. Although,  it is becoming a secret that comes out more and more everyday. Steve and his Harpercons are also deliberately revealing the Christian Evangelical Agenda for Canada more and more.

Brother Steve did get ‘chatty’ about his  new found Christianity with Drew Marshall, a radio show host with 1250 Joy in 2003.

“Let’s jump into the Jesus stuff here,” Marshall said. “Rumour has it that you actually are a genuine follower of Christ.”

To which he responds with what  we do know but  brings up that obvious lie.

“Yes, I became a Christian in my twenties,” he replied, before acknowledging, “I don’t talk a lot about it.” Still, he attempted to reassure secular listeners who might have tuned in. “I won’t say I always keep my faith and my politics separate,” he said, “but I don’t mix my advocacy of a political position with my advocacy of faith.”

Yes, he began his conversion while hammering out the credo for the newly formed Reform Party with his mentor, Preston Manning . Read more, Preston Manning was more than just his boss, he was his spiritual advisor.  This is that same mentor and spirtitual advisor’s name that is among the top of the short list for Governor General.  Oh, imagine the horrors!

Here is more about Brother Steve’s Alliance Church here .  It is described as looking more like something we would catch on TV with those flashy evangelists  than an actual church.  Below is pretty much their mantra:

The Alliance Church, to which Harper has belonged for decades, believes Jesus Christ will return to Earth in an apocalypse, won’t ordain women, strongly opposes abortion and divorce, condemns homosexuality as th e most base of sins and believes those who aren’t born-again are “lost.”

Pretty much every evangelical from either Canada or the U.S. or anywhere  would say that if one wasn’t ‘born-again’, they’re lost.  Well, that’s where that cult type of recruitment comes in to play. Don’t cults generally succeed in recruiting members who are ‘lost’? The majority of those ‘centrists’ who find nothing inspiring about Canadian politics could get inspired by this growing movement to propell Canada back to the dark ages.

It’s also how Sawah maintains such popularity; it is why she could well end up  President of the U.S.  in 2012.   She is giving something back to Americans; something to believe in again; that religious movement that got all but lost since Barak Obama took office.

Obama won with promises to be different. After GW Bush destroyed the country and was the straw on the camel’s back that caused the global recession with all that financial deregulation in 2003.  Health care costs were rising and accessibility to it was getting more and more prohibitive for most. Blood was being shed in two modern day ‘Vietnam’ wars Georgie started, with no end in sight.  Obama pretty much promised to rectify all of those things. He gave Americans something to believe in again.

Well, Obama has failed miserably. His health care bill is soooo watered down to be taken too seriously.  He became the war president. And he seems to be in over his head when it comes to the economic crisis.  He had a wonderful opportunity to get all those things he wanted to do accomplished he will never see again: Democrat majority in both the house and senate. No, he had to pander to the GOP as well as the Rush Limbaugh and Fox News crowd; not to mention, heavy corporate influence that seems to plague U.S. congress.  Given mid-term elections coming up this November,  I would expect a gain for GOP , thus Obama really won’t be able to get anything done. He becomes a lame duck.

Enter Sawah asking Americans  “How’s that hopey-changey thing working for you?” With that, she has disillusioned American voters in lockstep with her.

Canadian voters of today aren’t much different; they too are not inspired by the politics in their own country. They too need something to believe in.

For the time being, the Canadian religious right is only a fraction of their American counterparts. However, as Ottawa communications consultant Dennis Gruending points out,

“Groups that are well organized can punch above their weight — particularly in an era of fractured parliaments and minority governments.” A former New Democratic Party MP, Gruending laments that “there is little in progressive Ottawa to rival the networks that have been created by the religious and political right.”

Jack, Iggy (Donolo) take notes here!   Jack, I realize you may think you can get better deals with Steve, that may prefer to align yourself  with a ‘winner’ to live vicariously through, but  does the rest of your party want to go that Evangelical Christian route of no return?  Wouldn’t you rather keep some semblence of what your party stands for and perhaps align with the Liberals? And Donolo, maybe it is best cut Iggy off now; look at it this way, your numbers can’t really suffer that much more for cutting loose yet another leader, especially if you nominate one  everybody can get behind; to give voters an alternative to believe in.

As for Canada, well, it has always been a more liberal, tolerant and compassionate country, that is, until Brother Steve and his cronies came on the scene and took ownership of most of the Corporate media outlets. Steve wants his majority so bad he can taste it.  In 2006, his membership to the Evangelical far right sub-culture would never have gotten elected.  Given the recent survey out of the Manning Center,  and the way the right slanted media is more and more successful at getting those election weary Timmy’s Centrists searching for anything to believe in these days,  it would seem,  like Marci McDonald,  I have to say that wishful thinking on our parts just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Remember,  cults, as I’ve mentioned above, recruit those who are ‘lost’; folks who seem to no longer believe in anything.  Consider the Religious political right to be a large cult,  gaining votes from a large group who were given something to believe in again. Remember how most politicians don’t keep their campaign promises? Well, one thing to say about Steve, think back to his days of Reform and the National Citizens Coalition. Remember everything he’d like to accomplish. Betchur bottom dollar he will do everything he said way back when and then some.  It’s not for nothing he is no longer taking painstaking care to keep his evangelical intentions secret. All one has to remember Senator Nancy Ruth losing it, all those  groups that don’t support his evangelical ideologies getting their funding cut, the abortion debate back on the front burner, not to mention, that wingnut Chuckles McVety nearly single-handedly got Premier McGinty to scrap a sex education program. Antonia Z. goes more into detail here .

Antonia points out another scary thing about our Evangelical Religious right movement that gets even more terrifying.

According to The Armageddon Factor , evangelicals believe Canada has to clean up its act on abortion, feminism, and homosexuality because it has a special role to play in the “end times.”

The reason they believe this is even more ridiculous .

Steve and ol’ Vic Toews tough on crime bills are also part of that religious agenda. Like the religious right convincing paranoid Americans that only they can keep them safe from Communist Muslim boogiemen, Steve and Vic will convince Canadians that only they can keep them safe if they can ‘purify’ Canada.

As McDonald says, we have to be vigilante now.  If we don’t want an Evangelical Christian Fascist Canada, the time to act is now before it’s too late.

I sincerely hope that Americans too will wake up, but I’m not finding that likely unless, perhaps,  Obama develops some balls.

If this all weren’t so damned scary and a potential reality; I would be entertained by all of this as I’m sure many would. Watching Steve go in Canada and See Sawah Run state side; put them in the same picture and name them the Tammy-Faye and Jim Baker of Politics.

Sidenote : It seems that Marci McDonald is striking a chord. Ol’ Ezzy IrreLevant is having yet another hissy fit. Thanks Dawg for making my day. I like to think of this: whenever Ezzy or his friends turn purple due to their blood pressures hitting the bell, an angel gets her wings.

Question: If those who haven’t found Christ or those not born again are considered to be ‘lost’; aren’t Jewish people considered to be lost given that they don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah?

2 comments to Sarah & Steve: The Tammy-Faye & Jim Baker of Politics

  • CanNurse

    FANTASTIC blog today. Thanks so much!

  • Scotian

    About Harper’s true agenda and his fidelity to it I am in absolute agreement with you and have been saying so for many years now. I first noticed him during the rise of Reform when he was helping Manning create the policy platform, and I kept an eye on him ever since. One of the early red flags for me was when he left Reform over a disagreement with Manning about the importance of democratic say over policy issues via referendums and how he felt that there needed to be less input/consideration from the masses/electorate not more. Throughout his adult life from his first days in Reform through his days at the NCC until after the 2004 election where he lost to Martin he was open about and consistent about his agenda. It was only after that loss that he finally seemed to understand he could not win government with being open about his true agenda.

    As we know after that loss he and his people did all they could to scrub from the internet all his controversial views, statements and appearances and suddenly transformed himself into the mold of a centrist conservative. This has always been a mask, it never represented his true political philosophy which is the Calgary School, and its roots in Straussian beliefs, the same political philosopher whose thinking dominates the American neoconservative movement and people like Dick Cheney, Bill Krystal, Scooter Libby, and so on (calling Harper a neocon is not empty partisan rhetoric it is disturbingly accurate for that reason no matter how much CPC/Harper defenders like to say otherwise and claim it is unfair and American bashing, the truth is what it is). What we have seen since he took power underscores just how much my fears about his belief in two of the most dangerous IMHO elements of Straussian thinking were not only not misplaced by may actually have been understated.

    Those two elements being the inherently undemocratic notions that the electorate at large should not be considered and/or listened to when it came to the formation of public/political policy, that only the elite in society have the right, and worse that the “noble lie” is to be embraced. The “noble lie” states that it is noble to lie to the voters to gain and hold power so that the elite can then do what really needs to be done. Sound like any PM you know? While yes we all expect politicians to be less than fully honest, to exaggerate their positives and their opponents negatives (that is the nature of political rhetoric after all) there is a major difference between that and complete and utter dishonesty without any connection at all to a core element of truth/reality.

    As to Marci’s book, on Monday I put a hold on it at my local library and was the first to do so (it is listed as on order at the moment), and as of today there are now 13 holds on it. The overt religiousity we see from Harper’s CPC in their policy aims and actions was always my other major fear about Harper and the social conservative element in the Reform/CA/CPC. America has been lost to their grips, but we still have a chance to prevent ourselves from going into that darkness, but only if we act now.

    It is at the core of why I have always maintained that the Harper CPC is fundamentally different than any prior political party, that Harper was at first as dangerous as a Separatist government to the health and future of this country (I have since come to the terrifying conclusion that they are actually even more dangerous, something I NEVER thought I’d say in my life) and why I have been pleading with Dippers since before Martin was brought down in the unholy alliance not to do so, that if they really were still the party that placed defending their principles first that a Harper government (especially a majority but even a minority) would be far more dangerous to those principles and how they are practiced in our country than any corrupt tired Liberal government under Martin. Sadly, the last four years have proven that I was exactly correct, yet the NDP still seems to be more concerned with trying to supplant the Libs than stop Harper, which given the damage he has already done is incomprehensible to me. Party of principle first…hah!

    I have been playing the role of Cassandra now for many years about Harper, and it is frustrating and wearisome. It got so bad that two years ago the stress of it all got to my health and forced me to walk away from political blogging and commenting, indeed following it in any real detail. Even so, I came back to it because it is too important not to because I actually do believe in the Canada I was raised in, that members of my family fought in the two world wars for, that they worked in developing in political life (my family has political roots on both sides, one traditionally Liberal the other PCPC with both sides having the tradition of service back to the founding of this nation) and in economic and social ways is too important to be allowed to be destroyed by these fundamentalists and the American right wing rooted thinking that we know Harper represents and is turning us into.

    It is so nice to read another who gets just how bad things truly are, I have despaired many times with my fellow political bloggers being too caught up in their own partisanship for their own party/side/leader first. I have no such affiliation, my sole concern has always been the stopping of Harper from power and now since that failed the removal of him as soon as it can actually be done (which is not to say I want an election before I think there is a good chance to defeat him, every time he wins an election even with minority he and his beliefs gain further political legitimacy which is something we cannot afford in this country IMHO). I have always advocated uniting behind the Libs to do so because the election results consistently show that the NDP is still not positioned to do so by a wide margin, they have yet to equal Broadbent’s ’88 level of seats, vote percentage and raw votes cast to this day, and if they haven’t been able to manage to do that given the climate against the Libs after Martin fell they aren’t going to now.

    I deal in reality not fantasy when it comes to politics, and the reality is the Libs are the only alternative to Harper and to not see/act on that fundamental truth is to aid Harper, pure and simple no matter how ugly a truth it may be and distasteful for many to swallow. I don’t really like it myself, and never like Ignatief whatsoever and have said so many times, but he is by far less destructive to the vision of a progressive socially just society than what we have as PM right now. To argue otherwise, to argue Lib Tory same old story is to not see reality and is to be giving Harper exactly what he wants and relies upon to keep power and worse maybe get to the majority he has been dreaming about all these many years now.