Monday, April 17, 2006

24 Sussex Drive Closed To Evangelicals?

Canadian society has just found a new class of scapegoats and pariahs, if this poll is anything to go by:

Canadians are becoming increasingly uneasy about mixing religion and politics and they'd be more likely to vote for a party lead by an atheist or a Muslim than an evangelical Christian, suggests a new poll.

The survey was conducted for CanWest News Service late last week, less than three months after Canadians voted for a government led by Stephen Harper, an evangelical Christian and one of the country's most openly religious leaders in decades.


Only 63 per cent of Canadians said they'd vote for a party leader and potential prime minister who is an evangelical Christian, even if they liked the party and its views. That dropped from 80 per cent a decade ago.

Canadians appear to be slightly more accepting of a potential prime minister who is a Muslim or atheist.

Sixty-eight per cent said they would vote for a candidate in either of those categories, a drop from 74 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively, in 1996.

The typically theologically illiterate Canadian could not identify the tenets of evangelical Christianity, nor properly identify evangelical denominations from a list of Protestant churches (and they'd probably wonder why the Catholic Church was left off the list). And he probably could not name any prominent evangelical Christians, except a few televangelists whose influence even within their own denominations is far less than commonly believed. This, in a country where the majority of the English-speaking population is at least nominally Protestant.

But the evangelicals have become the new class of untouchables to be excluded from public life, one far more sinister than the Catholics and Jews with their supposedly divided allegiances to foreign powers and even Muslims whose faith cannot even grasp the notion of a distinct secular sphere.

This poll apparently does not give a regional breakdown of numbers, but one suspects that the greatest hostility would have been in Toronto (whose elites would rather see their sons be pederasts than preachers) and in Quebec (where even now, Protestantism is still regarded as anglais .

And don't think that this is simply limited to politics, either. I suspect as many people would want to see evangelicals excluded from law, medicine, education, and a whole host of professions because of their beliefs.

Source: Ottawa Citizen


Danté said...

I was going to post on this today, but exams kind of got in the way. One quick thing though:

The story draw conclusions from the data that are completely unsubstantiated. The data actually shows that there is a statistical tie between Atheists, Christians, and Muslims in terms of the preference of Canadians for the religious affiliation of their leaders. The only thing the data actually shows is that Canadian support for a PM with religious affiliations has dropped since a decade ago.

So in other words: this isn't newsworthy. However, the predilections of the media have twisted the data in order to ram home a point: Christians are scary.

You'll note that in the story they quote a professor of religious studies who claims the Iraq war ("his [Bush's] war") has religious overtones - a complete and total crock.

Well, I guess the press corps has to find some way of getting their viewpoint out now that they're not being spoon-fed press releases that support their traditional biases.

You know, I try to keep an open mind and not tar all journalists with the same brush, but it's 'stories' like this that make it hard for me to view many journalists as anything but lazy ideologues.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

MSM is just hurting their own cause when they put out garbage like this and call it "news".

PGP said...

Yes another drive by op-ed from the factually challenged corporate media.
It's truly unbelievable that these mental midgets think they hold the credibility with the public that existed 30 years ago.

But on the positive side ... maybe the LIberals will buy into this "poll" and see fit to run Omar Alghabra for leader!!

Cerberus said...

Um, Dante, I wouldn't be too quick to equate "evangelicals" with "Christians" as you have. One is a minority subset of the other. If memory serves me correctly - and by all means, please correct me if I'm wrong here - but, um, 22 of the last 22 Prime Ministers have been Christian. And very few find Christians scary as over 90% of Canadians describe themselves as Christian. Just because So few Canadians would be comfortable with a Prime Minister who holds a literalist view of the Bible, holds very strong conservative Christian views and has an express desire to evangelize the rest of us, does not mean that Canadians think Christians are scary.

On Iraq: I don't think Bush or most of the warhawks are waging any kind of holy war in Iraq, but you have to realize that in fact there are lots of evangelicals and fundamentalists who do, including some in the military top brass. They have been quoted, in context, and have received no rebuke and little distancing. In fact, Bush plays to evangelicals and fundamentalists with such words as "crusade". Face it, he is a politician who panders to conservative Christians just as Democrats and Liberals do non-Christians. You should be just as insulted by his pandering as non-Christians should be with the Liberals.

And Loyalist, "whose elites would rather see their sons be pederasts than preachers"... a bit much don't you think? Count this Torontonian, who can tell the difference between a Catholic and an evangelist, who walks by the church that JJ Shields built on Jarvis Street everyday (I bet you don't even know who he was!), among those who think that that's just a tad over the top and maybe a wee bit of a reason you views get marginalized.


Cerberus said...

Apologies for my obvious typo. That should be T.T. Shields, of course.


BlueBerry Pick'n is ThisCanadian said...

Have you paid any attention to the nonsense the Evangelical Gringos are up to???

I mean, they have BOMBS classed DIVINE for chrissakes, what do you need? ONE is called DIVINE HATE. What the hell?

To paraphrase a famous comedian, 'red wine with fish'?

Damn, Hoover should have been the first tip.

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

Jonathan at Dalhousie said...

Even if they like the candidate's party and views eh? Then that just means that 20% of Canadians are religious bigots towards evangelical Christians. I wonder if those 20% are of the "diversity" and (feigned) anti-discrimination crowd.

Anonymous said...

Ironic, in that all but one prime minister between Pearson and Harper was nominally Roman Catholic, with all that might, or might not, imply, and yet it has never been an issue.

And when libs start yipping about "separation of church and state" in Canada, I can only reply (1) but what about those Consitutionally entrenched and Catholic and Protestant school boards and some provinces?, and
(2) What about the Rev. Bill Blaikie?

Anonymous said...

Bill Blaikie is a United Church minister which is hardly an evangeligical denomination.

Cerberus said...

Pastor Tommy Douglas was a Baptist. Does he count? He's not quite vilified in the "MSM".


Anonymous said...

I rather have a Hindu or Sikh Prime Minister than an Muslim one

Loyalist said...

Ah, but Tommy Douglas has been forgiven his sins because he gave us medicare. Otherwise, the CCF/NDP has had its origins in the social gospel movement neatly airbrushed out of the public consciousness.

Many of its founders would be denied membership today for holding evangelical, socially conservative opinions and convictions.

Cerberus said...

They'd also been held in contempt by most conservatives, evangelical or otherwise.