Friday, July 02, 2010

Doesn't mean *all* Christians, I hope

[Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, May 13, 2010]

Two quick items that I spotted on blogs today, for what they are worth, as they say.

Brian Lilley, a radio reporter back east who also writes for the conservative internet site in the U.S., may have seen something interesting in Marci McDonald's book.

On his radio station's blog he writes that a passerby in Ottawa asked "Is that the book?" which means that it big big news there.

He's following the right's early meme that the book seems paranoid. (Me? Not finished the book yet.). But he does make one point that all might want to consider when reading the book.

I quote his blog:

On page 352 of her book the author chastises the Liberals and NDP for reaching out to religious voters who tilt the left politically. Specifically McDonald takes issue with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff tapping long time MP and Evangelical, John McKay, to reach out to faith groups that used to vote for the Liberals but have left the party. The NDP's decision to bring about a faith and justice caucus is wrong in McDonald's eyes.

"Rather that creating a riposte to the religious right, they may simply have pre-empted their parties' ability to critique the increasing Christianization of the public square. If so, they are helping to ensure that religion remains an irrevocable force in Canadian politics, regardless of whether Stephen Harper is tossed out of office."

I don't think that people who fear the Christian right mean this. Surely, those who conduct politics in a Christlike and non-extremist way would be welcome.

He goes on to note the "social gospel" tinged history of the NDP--which has had several ministers and lay church members active in their politics. Lots of change for the good.

McDonald can't mean that any Christian wanting to be active in politics should be discouraged, can she? Surely she means only the extremist right? And they wouldn't join the NDP or Liberals.

I sincerely hope I find some quotes in the book that that is not what she means. If it is, the right will pick up on this, surely.

The blogger at BigCityLib, who also has yet to read the book, thinks that Lilley may have a point. The blogger says they have often written critically about the Christian right, but suspects, offering evidence, that they might be less powerful in Ottawa than McDonald suspects. All that has been done so far can be fixed by a new Liberal government.