As I mentioned in my piece last week, the prolife movement North America wide is definitely become more active and is meeting more sucess. Secular-Progressives, however, seem to think that there is a Clintonian "vast right-wing conspiracy" underway in Canada, which was outlined recently in a ridiculous screed by Marci MacDonald, "The Armageddon Factor", in which she basically shrieks "The Christians are coming, wielding their family values! Hide your porn!"
While I am personally skeptical of there being any right-wing conspiracy in Canada--trust me, I would be quite pleased if I thought the Christian Right had enough clout to even mount any kind of a "conspiracy"--the fact that the right has certainly become more active recently has the secular progressives worried to the point where they are taking time to engage in actions such as lengthy denouncements of right-wing American pundit Ann Coulter on the floor of Parliament. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6HF7R0IdBE). However, this belief that the right is growing in stature is leading to a wave of vociferous anti-Christian polemics on the left; Ezra Levant detailed this phenomena in a National Post column last week that I would like to share.
Why is it OK to Pick on the Christians?
by Ezra Levant
I have never told him this, but I was tremendously disappointed when I first met Monsignor Fred Dolan, the Canadian vicar of Opus Dei.
It was about six or seven years ago, around the time The Da Vinci Code was published, and frankly I was hoping that he would be a dark and conspiratorial figure -- someone who would fit the words "ultraconservative" and "shadowy." I didn't quite want him to be an assassin, like the Opus Dei priest was in the book and film, but I surely wanted someone who was mysterious and secretive and powerful.
Like if the Pope had a CIA agent.
I admit it: I wanted an Opus Dei friend so I could shock the liberals in my life, and perhaps seem like I had a few exotic secrets of my own. And I thought it would be nice to have a friend who was more right wing than me.
To my regret, Msgr. Dolan is just a mild-mannered priest and worse, Opus Dei doesn't have any secret handshakes or midnight meetings. I don't want to sound lazy or selfish, but joining Opus Dei sure looks like a lot of do-goodery and just plain work (I asked Msgr. Dolan for a brochure and I read it carefully, even looking for hidden clues). I already had enough pro bono commitments and I didn't need any more. (As a Jew, I could join Opus Dei as an associate member).
I've stayed in touch with Msgr. Dolan since then and we're friendly. I admire his charity and his ecumenicalism. He sends me notes from time to time, about Passover or Holocaust remembrance, and he always asks when I'll be in Montreal again. In seven years, he's never tried to put the shadowy moves on me, and I'm starting to worry that he never will.
Pat Martin worries, too. Oh, does he worry.
Mr. Martin is the NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre. And his secret sources told him that Msgr. Dolan met with a dozen or so MPs in the Parliamentary dining room last week. (Actually, every MP received an invitation, and not even in invisible ink.)
Mr. Martin didn't attend. But he sought out reporters to tell them that Opus Dei members "give me the creeps."
That's fine, if rude. Though someone ought to tell Martin that The Da Vinci Code is not a documentary.
But then Mr. Martin went further: he criticized MPs for even meeting with Msgr. Dolan. "I can't imagine why a member of parliament would invite [Opus Dei] for a meeting on Parliament Hill," he said. "I certainly wouldn't attend anything associated with them."
Mr. Martin wasn't the only one worried that Msgr. Dolan might wave a wand and turn him into a newt. Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, actually asked about it in Question Period. Duceppe named two Conservative party volunteers who apparently are members of Opus Dei, noted that "a Conservative" invited Msgr. Dolan to the dining room and demanded that the Prime Minister "admit that his policy is influenced" by such people.
Neither of the women named by Mr. Duceppe works for the government in any way, and neither was known for their religious views-- until Mr. Duceppe took it upon himself to discuss their private lives in Parliament.
A reporter asked Mr. Duceppe if he wasn't being "a little Mc-Carthyite"; Mr. Duceppe brushed off the accusation and went further: Opus Dei members should not be allowed to participate in political life--even as volunteers --if they identify "as a group."
Stop for a moment and try that sentence out again, substituting the words "gay" or "Jewish" for "Opus Dei members." Jews shouldn't be allowed in politics if they "identify as a group." Sikhs shouldn't be allowed in politics "if they identify as a group." How does it feel?
Mr. Duceppe then went a little Dan Brown himself, claiming Opus Dei "have people in place ... so a lot of things prove that something's going on." He really said that.
Try our substitution experiment again. Gays "have people in place." Gays have "something going on." How does that sound?
Sounds to me like Mr. Duceppe is channelling a bit of Jacques Parizeau's "money and the ethnic vote" xenophobia again.
So what do we have here?
The obvious: Anti-Christian bigotry remains an acceptable form of intolerance in Canadian politics, and this bigotry has infected the parties of the left.
The mainstream media, and indeed the rest of the political establishment, ignores or even approves of this (CBC's Evan Solomon being a noteworthy exception).
Like Marci McDonald's book about Christians, Mr. Duceppe's comments are error-ridden and hysterical. For example, Duceppe implied that the meeting was for Conservatives only. But one of the MPs who attended is Mario Silva -- a Liberal MP who just happens to be gay. Lemme guess: That just proves how diabolical Opus Dei's master plan must be!
It's one thing for Messrs. Martin and Duceppe and Ms. Mc-Donald to dislike Christians. But what's new -- and disturbing -- is that this once-passive intolerance is becoming active: There is a concerted effort to name Christians and drive them out of office, to delegitimize the very idea of Christians participating in public life.
It's an attack on Canada's pluralism and religious freedom. It's unfair and it's un-Canadian. We'd never accept it if it were targeting any other religious group. So why is it OK to pick on Christians?
Ezra Levant offers commentary on many political issues at his blog, ezralevant.com.