Friday, July 02, 2010

Marci McDonald: "demonizing" the Christian right not her goal

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

In a brand new interview, Marci McDonald is paraphrased as saying that "demonizing" the Christian right in Canada was not her goal when writing The Armageddon Factor.

The "so-hot-off-the-presses-you need gloves" piece is written by Lloyd Mackey, the veteran Ottawa jouranalist (and former editor of the B.C. Christian News) who writes for

He begins his article on the book with this:

THE IDEAS of "Christian nationalist" leaders are presented as a "dark and dangerous vision" in Marci McDonald's new book, The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada (Random House).

But in her first post-release interviews, given after the book was launched May 11, McDonald softened her stance, pointing out that she has no intention of "demonizing" right-leaning Christians.

Pressed to say as much as she wanted about her faith, she told that she is, indeed, a Christian.

However, she emphasized, "I am not a polemicist . . . but a reporter. I am not an atheist. I believe that faith is a strong motivator for some of the finest actions in public life."

McDonald said she sees herself as a "centrist" politically, and acknowledged that there "might be some issues" espoused by the religious right, with which "I would agree."

He goes on to do a bit of a review and summary of the book, and explores, a little, McDonald's own religious background.

She does mention, deep in the book, that she is a "christian" and Mackey's probing comfirms my own guess that she attends a more centrist demonination and could perhaps be described as a "small-l liberal Christian"

I'd like to know the quotes relating to "demonizing", though. I trust Mackey's paraphrase, but I wonder what she said. Whether it was something along with lines of "I intended to be fair and not have an axe to grind." or instead. "'Demonizing' would not apply here as they *are*..."

I think, though, given the reaction of the online right to the book so far, that McDonald might be wanting to reinforce her "moderate" status through the answers she is giving. She may be moderate, but I can see her critics on the right saying "Too bad for us that it doesn't come across in your book."

Mackey's own opinions are useful too. he is the author of a 2005 book The Pilgrimmage of Stephen Harper. The book studies what I would say is --based on reading it--Harper's moderately conservative evangelical faith.

I believe that Mackey's sense of McDonald's thesis, given his own research, might have some weight.