Assertion, unsupported by fact, is nugatory. Surmise and general abuse, in however elegant language, ought not to pass for truth. Junius

2006/10/03

Focusing on Focus on the Family

The news that a former flunky from the American-import Focus on the Family Canada has materialized as the new Chief of Staff for Rona Ambrose, Environment Minister, shouldn't surprise anyone. Really. I mean, we have a fundamentalist Prime Minister who calls himself an evangelical and a caucus who believes gay men are going straight to Satan's barbeque, and we should be shocked and appalled one of Christ's Army has been recruited into service of Canada's New and Improved ---now with Extra Godliness! --- Government TM?

A couple of observations: one has to wonder what input Darryl Reid, the erstwhile subject of this latest bullfruit explosion, has to offer Environment Canada? A fundamentalist Christian perspective on saving the planet? Remember, this is a Department which (supposedly) inherently works using science --- real science, with lab tubes, methodology and peer-reviewed journals and the rest, as opposed to the public relations "think-pieces" flogged by oil companies and right-wing institutes.

If you believe that the Universe was created 6000 years ago and Fred Flintstone really did play with the dinosaurs, I submit you have an issue with real science. And if you believe that Jesus is coming shortly with a bloody sword to slay the wicked and carry all the good Baptists and Pentacostals to their Heavenly Reward (but probably not the Catholics or Presbyterians, much less the honest members of the United Church, or God forbid, the Unitarians) you probably don't have much use for any long-term planning to deal with global warming. What's the point? Jesus will fix it, after he deals with those doubly naughty unbelievers at the Metropolitan Community Church and Osama Bin Laden.

A slight credibility gap, I think.

Second observation: One has to wonder about the connections between the Conservative Party organization and special interest groups like Focus on the Family Canada, if employees are flitting around like Bible quotes from a preacher's mouth. Darryl Reid has been no slouch in the regard, holding positions in Focus on the Family, as Preston Manning's Chief of Staff, and as federal Conservative candidate.

The problem being is according to its webpage, Focus on the Family Canada is a "charitable organization, built on Christian principles, which supports, encourages and strengthens Canadian families through education and resources." Very lovery and innocuous, but last time I looked the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency doesn't take kindly to charitable organizations fooling around with partisan politics. It's stealing from taxpayers (in the form of charitable receipts) to finance, in an underhanded way, a political programme. You can, however, advocate all you want, but it's a fine line between advocacy and acting as the Conservative Party's voter outreach program. (I was thinking of a less politic analogy --- like poodle --- but I'm not sure who's poodling who.) Especially when Focus on the Family Canada clearly advocates policies congruent with Conservative Party policies, and leaves the voter with the impression that it's Stephen Harper or Canada as the Devil's amusement park.

Anyone wanting to take odds the CCRA will conduct an investigation?

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