Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Marci MacDonald media update

{Originally posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, May 31, 2010]

Marci McDonald, and her book, are continuing to get a lot of media attention.

To begin, her interview on The Agenda is now online at YouTube:

Meanwhile at the Winnipeg Free Press, columnist Tom Ford suggests that "Christian nationalists" are not the only religious ones active in politics.

Bene D might need to brace himself, as the Earth starts rotating in the other direction. The National Post, which has been quite critical of The Armageddon Factor, is the home of Chris Selley, the paper's "op-eds, and editorials watch" blogger. His comment might surprise:

"Having actually read the book, we must say that while there are certainly a few eye-rolling moments, and some factual errors that have been documented, it’s far more reportorial than it is judgmental. We’ve found some of the coverage downright baffling, actually."

Perhaps he was encouraged in this opinion after talking to her and posting their conversation at the paper's Full Comment podcast page. It's "Canada's Christian Right" from May 21.

On the blogosphere, the right has moved to wondering whether Marci McDonald is channelling "Tail Gunner Joe". "McCarthyism" directed against Christians. This is tied to Gilles Duceppe's and NDP MP Pat Martin's worries that a small number of Tory staffers and such had agreed to meet for lunch with Msgr. Fred Dolan, a Canadian leader of the very conservative Catholic lay group Opus Dei.

The CBC's Evan Solomon interviewed Dolan on air, and as the controversy was brewing. blogger and journalist Deborah Gyapong, argued that the politician's comments about the lunch singled out conservative Christians for censure in a way that Sikhs and Jews, say, would not shunned be in Ottawa. She has been continuing with the story over the past few days. Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren was dismayed. Ezra Levant, in a blog post that will no doubt be appearing rewritten in the National Post, makes similar arguments and comes right out and writes "McCarthyism of the left".

How may this be relevant to a discussion of McDonald's book, given that it really doesn't mention Opus Dei in depth at all? Well, both Gyapong and Levant cite McDonald's book as an example of how the atmosphere may be posioned against conservative Christians. A "catalyst".

So, I mention it here to suggest that any mentions of Opus Dei and McDonald on the right may merely muddy the waters and be a possible distraction. It may arguably be a common symptom of a rhetorical disease, but "Nurse McDonald" didn't cause it in the patient.

As I have mentioned Opus Dei, I should also go on to say that Duceppe and Martin, both members of left-leaning parties, would naturally be worried about the group, along with other progressives north of the 49th, even if Marci McDonald had never written her book. Comments and actions by Opus Dei leaders in the United States have worried progressives down there as well, leading them to wonder whether the lay group is respectful of pluralism and democracy.

I don't know much about the group myself , but here is a place to start.

UPDATE: As Ezra Levant hinted he would yesterday, he's written an op-ed in today's National Post, which follows up on his concerns.