Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!?!"

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On December 22, 2012 "Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about..."

Twitter's testimony about Todd

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On December 15, 2013

Todd Bentley's infamous remarks saying that the death of British MP Malcolm Wicks was "the Lord's justice" were, as noted in Bene D's transcript here, were reportedly inspired by a dream that he had regarding the date Sept. 29th.

Bentley allegedly was told by God that the day would be very significant for some reason. I thought to myself--well maybe, given that, he would want to get the word out on that very day and afterwards, so that his friends could be watchful.

So, I had a look on his Twitter feed and found that on September 30, right after this crucially important dream, he was tweeting messages like this:

Todd Bentley ?@IamToddBentley

Down 60 pounds since this pic at 270

Collapse Reply Retweet Favorite 12:25 PM - 30 Sep 12 · Details

Well, that's nice, but what about your dream?

I've had a look at all his "tweets" from Sept. 29 onwards to when I am posting and I haven't spotted any mention of his dream, or of the passing of Malcolm Wicks and how sorry he may be about that.

There are tweets about what he eats, where he is going on his travels, his new digital book and such. He tweets about other dreams that he has had, so it can't be that he doesn't mention such things on his Twitter feed. He even tweets that his second wife Jessa went to a "salon for celebrities" and now looks like "Jessica the rabbit" (sic).

These various things are more significant than the particular dream and why Malcolm Wicks may have died. That was saved for a meeting that would later be saved in video form on Bentley's website. So that we could be made well aware that he evidently aspires to inspire fear of crossing him--the possible Shaft of evangelists. Shut yo mouth, anyone inclined to restrain him.

Why wouldn't Bentley have tweeted about that as well as Jessa's new hairdo and his workout regimens?

Surely it is not because he is making up the dream after the fact?

Post 2,000!

This is the 2,000th post that I have ever pit up at the varios places that I have blogged--at my own personal blog here, The Shotgun, and Bene Diction. I`ve only realized this after the fact, but you could technically count the next post--Twitter`s Testimony About Todd, which I posted at Bene Diction Blogs On on December 15, 2012, as that milestone post. Cool...well I think so.

Todd Bentley--MP died because he worked to have me banned from Britain

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Dec 13, 2012

Don't mess with Todd Bentley. He'll have you "whacked" by the Lord.

One of the local papers in Croydon, England--where Todd Bentley was to evanglize earlier this year before he was banned from entering by immigration authorities--is rightly appalled by Bentley's latest action.

Local MP Malcolm Wicks, who had lobbied to have Bentley restricted passed away of cancer on September 29. The Croydon Guardian, noting that Bentley has recently released a video touching on this, is aghast after what Bentley says on the subject:

Footage has now emerged of Mr Bentley telling followers that 65-year-old Mr Wicks's death on September 29, after a battle with the disease, was "the Lord's justice" for his opposition.

In the video, Mr Bentley says God had told him in a dream after the ban that "something very significant" would happen on September 29.

He says: "One thing that is significant about the whole thing is the Lord's justice.

"On September 29 I was preaching in Ohio when I got a report that the man who lead the campaign against us in England had died suddenly of cancer.

"This was a clear release of God's presence and power. The fear of the Lord is going to come."

The leader of Croydon's munincipal Labour politicians sees this as "sick and abhorrent."

[UPDATE Big huge elephant-sized thanks to Bene D for transcribing the relevant quotes here in the comments. I'm sure he has it bang on. The Croydon Guardian pulled them from the video which is on the front page of Bentley's website as I update this here until Bentley thinks to pull or edit it.

Thanks, thanks thanks. My six day 50 hours a week job does interfere with my blogging. ;) Thanks to Bene D for stepping in, and back to what I had previously observed.]

I heartily agree, but I'd like to add a few things.

How does Bentley expect to ever be let into Britain again if immigration authorities realize that he's basically said. "The Lord killed the man who had me banned. Good." How stupid is he?

Why didn't the Lord kill me after my Report newsmagazine stories on Bentley, which Bentley saw as so damaging that he has to slam them in his autobiography?

It's ironic that only recently Bentley was talking about the Lord restoring and being merciful. But only for him, I guess. God has no mercy for Labour MPs? No restoration for them?

"As ye sow, so shall ye reap,", Mr. Bentley.

"We have the right to be stupid [about Todd Bentley]"

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On December 8 2012

Why does evangelist Todd Bentley, after the disgrace at Lakeland and being banned from entering Britain earlier this year, feel the need to keep going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny?

An e-mail of his from a few days ago shows that if God is trying to show Bentley that he needs to stop what he is doing through painful circumstance—in the same way that you learn not to hit your head with a hammer because it smarts a bit—He is not listening at all.

Todd Bentley seems to be incredibly stubborn. I’ll explain…

On November 30 [2012], Bentley sent out the e-mail Restoration Is Like A Two Edged Sword. Part of his e-mail reads like this: …. But we need to remember that in the process of restoration there is always a divine test. Before Joseph's freedom was restored, and he took the throne in Egypt (second only to Pharaoh), he was taken into a great God-ordained time of testing (Gen: 37-50). Psalms 105:19 says: "Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him." Joseph had the prophetic word of the Lord but until it actually came to pass, this word tested him.

Likewise, many of you have the prophetic word of the Lord concerning areas of restoration coming upon your lives; however, today, the fulfillment has not manifested it's still on its way. Stand your ground in the time of testing, the time of waiting. God will surely come and bring restoration exactly at the perfect moment…..

Yes, Joseph was severely tested, and we may be tested as well. But the danger in looking at the Bible’s history is to assume that anything that happened back then should and will happen to us in the same way.

Joseph had a special role and destiny. How accurate would it be to assume that his example applies to everyone? Would it perhaps be hubris for Bentley to assume that Joseph’s example applies to himself?

Ah, but it has to apply. If it doesn’t apply yo Bentley he either goes back to be the low profile itinerant teacher that he was before Lakeland, or starts asking people if they want fries with their meal.

Bentley should, of course, be free to pursue whatever he wants to do. But if he is being pigheaded in wrongly continuing, there would be collateral damage. Bentley would not be the only person affected.

This brings to mind a couple items from earlier this year—when Bentley was banned from Britain’s immigration authorities from entering their country. Bentley’s latest musings are merely the latest example of his thinking “I *will* be a famous evangelist and no one will stand in my way of doing whatever I want to do when and where I care to do it.”

Back on September 21 [2012}, Bentley sent an e-mail to to his e-list. Intended to connect with Bentley’s supporters, it contains an interview with a lady who went to Lakeland and felt blessed by her experience there. (Her daughter, Sophia, after being “healed” of an incurable disease is now being “mentored” by Bentley and his second wife.).

Her question to Todd Bentley, and his response, is interesting:

... What was it inside of Todd that gave him the drive to overcome the adversity that he went though after Lakeland, because a lot of people would just have given up. There had to be something inside of him that gave him the courage to say, "I am not done" and stand up even after all the controversies. What was the one thing that really drew him to say, "I am not going to give up and I am not going to quit and I will continue to serve God"?

Todd's Response: "A lot of people ask me this question. People always want to know how I kept myself strong, loving the Lord, and continued to pursue my purpose. During the first 6 months after Lakeland, which was a challenging time for me was a battle of depression and discouragement. I felt like Elijah the Prophet, I wanted to give up. It was the constant encouragement of Fathers and a few true friends that kept speaking life into me that kept me going. One blessing in this hardship that I endured, was that in the midst of it all, I fell back in love with Jesus for Jesus again and not for ministry."...

Most people would be reluctantly willing to consider that God has another “purpose” in mind for them after the sorts of things that happened to Todd Bentley. Had Bentley been willing to pursue a regular job for a few years, we could place more credence in his saying that he loves Jesus before ministry.

No one else can possibly do what Todd Bentley does, I guess.

The fact that Todd Bentley is now mostly under the radar and not drawing huge crowds or the sort of attention that he did at Lakeland would imply that many christians are looking at Todd Bentley and saying “I’ll pass”.

But not all. And one response--which threw me for a bit of a loop—to Bentley being banned from entering Britain may show my Bentley will never deliver pizzas for a ,living, as long as he wants to keep evangelizing.

You have to credit blogger The Ugley Vicar for getting right to the nub of the matter. His August 23, 2012 post is entitled “We Have The Right To Be Stupid”.

Britain’s Home Office, as they write, has just decided that Bentley may not enter Britain for a series of evangelistic meetings. This, the blogger decides, is a use of “dictatorial powers” :

"...And what, exactly, have we been saved from? The answer is a tattooed former drug addict who claims God heals via him giving them a punch or a kick."

"Now I am quite happy to say this is bonkers (although I do remember reading about a bloke who was healed after somebody rubbed spit on his eyes - but then the government didn't like that healer either, because he was a threat to the establishment too).

When it came to these shores, I similarly said the Toronto Blessing was bonkers, and I continue to maintain that to this day. (Indeed, I would go further and say it was spiritually damaging in a way far beyond anything likely to be achieved by Mr Bentley.)

But I also think the government is talking rubbish when it gives as a further justification for this ban, "Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society."...

I follow the point they are making. The fact that, knowing all that I do about Bentley, I still watch what he is doing implies that I think that most Christians are grownups and can take care of themselves.

“We have a right to be stupid.” Indeed, you do.

I did ask myself, however, is this person being serious? Is this a “reducto ad absurdum” argument where they are going way over the top to really argue that the British government is really being reasonable?

(And would it be odd for a "Brit" to use a Canadian blogging server?)

But whatever the merits of what the blogger has to argue, they allow me to make a small point. Todd Bentley will always have someone willing to take his side and support him, no matter how unreasonable people, and the powers that may be, are.

With such a base of support, Todd Bentley will be able to keep evangelizing to the end of his days. He should be able to make a living of some sort.

Fumbling this political football?

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On December 5, 2012

Damian Goddard, the sportscaster who was dismissed from SportsNet for sharing his views on gay marriage, knows exactly why the Argos won the Grey Cup this year.

It's due to Argo team discipline and taking few penalties, he says in this video. And, you can extrapolate that, he goes on to argue, to support various so-con views.

Two questions.

Had the Stamps won, would Goddard say that that proves the inherent moral superiority of ordaining gays and lesbians in the Anglican church? Jon Cornish's mom is a lesbian Anglican minister, and he is very supportive. Had he starred in the game, would that prove that Cornish's position on the gay ministers question was right? Goddard would fall all over himself to not say so--so why use *that* sort of logic here? Follows here, follows if the other gay-positive star's team wins, right?

What if--in a hypothetical different matchup--the Argos had also been disciplined in regards to penalties, but had been playing my beloved B.C. Lions instead? Had the Lions won in that example, as I would say would have been likely...would Goddard have made a "The Argos lost in a way that supports my own personal values..." video? Doubtful.

In contrast, I appreciate Cornish's own view, as cited in my previous post. Whether he is a star or a third-stringer, he loves his Mom and believes as he does because he holds those to be the best views. Full stop.

I wonder--was Goddard sacked because his former bosses saw that he had a general propensity for logical own goals when straying away from straight factual reporting?

His Mom has extra reasons to cheer?

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On November 23, 2012

Fans of the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday's Grey Cup may be interested to know that one of their players takes a position on the long running Anglican debate over whether gays should be ministers in that church.

Jon Cornish has good reason to do so, reports Cam Cole in today's Vancouver Sun. His mom, Margaret is an Anglican minister, with a female partner, and his repect for the both of them has led him to become involved in You Can Play movement.

Says Cornish:

"I'm actually pretty outspoken. I don't like certain slurs being used, and any time I hear them, I speak up," he said. "I think for the most part, my team's pretty respectful. We have a lot of smart people on this team.

"People are always surprised when I tell them about my mom's situation, but for me, it's something I'm proud of. Because she'd been through a lot, and she finally found someone who she loved, and for me, there's nothing more positive in the world."

Stamps coach John Hufnagel, quoted in the same story, is concerned that any gay player can throw, run fast, and catch, but adds "It's a free country."

Please sign here

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On November 19, 2012

Canadian Press is reporting that pro-life MPs have discovered another tactic that they can use in the House of Commons.

Following the failure of Motion M-312, what pro-life MPs have started to do is to present pro-life themed petitions to the House. Petitions from the public are almost always heard after Question Period, and this allows the presenter of the motion to address the subject briefly.

However, the story adds, "The House of Commons manual of procedure and practice states that MPs are not bound to present any petition, nor does presenting a petition signify an endorsement." This would allow Tory MPs to tell Harper, "I'm just presenting the petition. You don't want me to tell my constituents to get lost, do you?"

CP adds that of the more than 20 such petitions so far, all save one by Lawrence MacAulay of the Liberals have been presented by Tories.

Obama's possible failings our fault, says the Lord

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On November 15, 2012

If you are not a supporter of Barack Obama, you could be making the President fail. Thus saith the Lord. Per Wendy Alec, at any rate.

As you no doubt know, conservatives in the United States can be very critical of Obama. And Wendy Alec, in an e-mail and prophetic word she just sent out this morning, says that she has been worried about this since the President was first elected in 2008.

In her cover e-mail accompanying the link to her word, Alec writes this:

....I sense that the Lord has been very grieved by the flow of criticism by the Church concerning Barack Obama these past four years. Instead of fervent prayers for the President of the United States, many times it has been criticism instead that has risen to His throne.

In fact beloved, I sensed that the Father said that our words as Christians have in fact somewhat imprisoned President Obama, which has enabled a Jezebelic spirit to intensify over certain aspects of the Whitehouse..

I'd agree with Alec that we should be prayerful first, but to never critique while trying to have a Christlike attitude is wrong. We need to speak truth to power, as it were.

If Alec, in the summer of 2008, had told progressive Christians that their critiques of President Bush had caused the ongoing issues in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the banking crisis, it would be just as wrongheaded, I believe.

There is a balance to be struck in such things, but to say: "the Lord says don't do this at all..."? Well I don't know about that.

I also don't think our words have that sort of voodoo power over people, but that is a subject for another post, perhaps.

What do you think?

Will Hugh Hefner outlive his magazines?

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on October 31 2012]

Another of the spinoff "Special Editions" of Playboy has announced that it is shutting down.

I was at my corner store last night when I noticed that "Playboy's Lingerie" also was wrapped with plastic wrapping, this time stating "FINAL LINGERIE Issue". The front cover had a "Farewell" on it, so you didn't have to buy the magazine to realize what was happening.

As I wrote in a post on the folding of Playboy's special College edition, a few days ago, this may not be wholly good news for those averse to the "Playboy philosophy". Probably the exact same reasons that played into the death of that magazine--explored in that post--are at play here so I won't repeat myself.

One quick note though. An insert card for a subscription offer had come out of a Lingerie magazine and was visible through the plastic.

It advertised an introductory offer of 12 issues of Playboy magazine itself--the main, famous, magazine which these edition closures and probable layoffs of staff is designed to save--for only $12.

Desperation time?

Even Hugh Hefner can't make a go of it...

[Potsed at Bene Diction Blogs On October 27 2012]

It's not like Hugh Hefner will have to stand in line at a food bank any time soon, but something that I thought would never happen is happening--one of his magazines is ceasing publication.

Playboy is still ticking,, but as I walked into my local corner store, I noticed the words COLLECTOR"S ISSUE and FINAL EDITION emblazoned on the plastic wrap cover of Playboy's College Girls magazine.

I was immediately curious as to why. Was Hefner feeling guilty? Had pressure from campus feminists finally done the magazine in? Not that I was expecting them to admit to something like that, but Larry Flynt professed being a Christian for an incredibly brief period, so who knows?

So I bought a copy for blogging purposes--in case it was amazing news--and yes, the issue on the newsstands now is the final one that will be printed on paper anyways. There is a brief note that accompanies a "looking back series" of pictures. The note states that College Girls, first published in 1983, was the "most popular" of what Playboy calls its Special Editions. No reason was given for ceasing publication of its print edition.

Before people who are concerned about the influence of Playboy celebrate, however, I'd caution that the devil is in the details, as it were.

I've noticed something else too. Stores selling adult materials are closing and up for rent. Since I was young, they had been noticeable and had even made news. In Vancouver and other B.C. cities and towns during the early 80s, adult video stores like the Red Hot Video chain had led both feminists and Christians to protest against what they were offering. A group of radicals called the Sqwamish Five were infamous for their involvement with firebomb attacks on some Red Hot Video outlets.

You'f figure that anyone who could survive that would have the staying power to last forever. Well, one Red Hot Video outlet stood in Vancouver for years. It was renamed, due, perhaps, to new ownership. I rode past there on the bus the other day. Shuttered. Vacant. Up for sale.

How could you not make money doing this? Well, a 2009 New York Times piece on Playboy has what I think is the answer.

That fall, Playboy was announcing to its advertising clients that they were only going to guarantee that the magazine had 1.5 million readers, down from a figure of 2.6 million, a 38 per cent decrease.

Why the slump? "Playboy is battling declining ad revenue, a problem faced by almost every magazine. But it is also losing readers to online pornography. And mass magazines in general are having a tough time..." The story portrays Hefner as being sentimentaL, and wanting to keep Playboy the magazine, itself, as the center of what he is doing.

So, I would say that the fate of College Girls is not due to some reformist zeal. When in trouble, consolidate what you are doing to save what is essential. (Journalists--one of whom I know saw a similar drop in editions in their case to one and then zero--will tell you that is not fun to go through.) This issue of College Girls appears to have no ads too, so if newsstand sales slump...

But this points to another issue, online porn. It may even be "free", but there are other costs.

Interestingly, the syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage talks about online porn in his column this week. Even though his beliefs are more easygoing on sexual matters than many hold--he starts his answer to the online porn question doubting that pre-teen children have ready access to it on a widespread basis and seems to approve adults using it, he sees problems with online porn.

Savage's worldview results in his seeing different problems with online porn than some of us might see. He sees issues with underage portrayals. It paints a completely unrealistic view of sex. Online porn is often made by "angry and resentful" men whose attitude "seeps into a lot of porn." [However, he goes on to argue, users of online porn can realize this and guard against it.]

So, although I am not a fan of College Girls and its own mindsets, replacing it with something ubiquitous and free poses problems of its own. And as "free" and "plentiful" drives out something like a magazine that can at least be placed under some controls, it creates different problems.

Mr. Bentley strikes Norse letter writer as not unlike last month's lutefisk

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Oct 27, 2012]

I found something of interest in a Norwegian paper, thanks to the Google Translate verion of a letter in a newspaper there.

Letter writer Martin Hjellvik of Bergen wrote in the oped section of what I am guessing is a local paper, on Sept. 28, that he went to one of Todd Bentley's meetings in that city and found lots of reasons to find him controversial in his Sept. 28 letter to the paper.

He writes, as translated by Google:

...So I went with a reasoned skepticism Bentley meetings in Bergen. There were a lot of small Bible and Bentley. He even said we had exalted preaching and teaching too much in church. He himself would obviously overcome it by letting the Bible be virtually unused. And when he had opened the book, it was in the name of miracles.

He also spoke of the dead saints and relics may contain anointing. So he would really like to take on Peters dead legs, if he got the chance, to see if there was anything anointing to get there. Moreover he talked about spiritual portals that goes into the sky from the places where before there has been a revival. These portals could get anointing. With this teaching, it is understandable that he would not use the Bible as much. Instead of preaching the Word, we hear a lot about Bentleys experiences. Among the many bizarre claims, he said that 33 people had been resurrected from the dead. Salen devoured everything indiscriminately and rejoiced over what they believed was God's wonders. But where are the 33 who have been dead? Common to all of them that Bentley claims have risen from the dead is that they are nameless, their testimonies we hear, and news reports, we do not.

If Mr. Hjellvik is accurate in his reporting, it would seem that Mr. Bentley is carrying on several of the bad habits of the Lakeland revival to this day.

Original page is here, if your Norwegian is up to snuff. :)

Nicolas Cage to star in Left Behind reboot film?

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On October 24, 2012]

Canadian Christian filmmaker Paul Lalonde has big news that has just moved on Charisma News.

He's planning a remake of his company's first Left Behind film, made a few years ago, and says that Nicolas Cage is set to star.

I'd like a confirmation from, say Variety, but what Lalonde shared is at the link if you are curious.

If at first you don' MP division

[posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Sept 29 2012]

A story just posted on the Vancouver Sun website, may make pro-choice supporters think that stopping motions by pro-life MPs in the House of Commons is not unlike getting Rasputin to die.

The Vancouver Sun's news story, in which pro-lifers explain that they feel emboldened after getting over 90 MPs to vote for motion M-312, starts like this:

"A second Conservative MP plans to introduce a motion related to abortion, despite this week’s defeat of an attempt by one of his colleagues to prod Parliament into examining when human life begins.

[B.C.] Conservative MP Mark Warawa’s motion would ask Parliament to condemn the practice of sex-selective abortion.

Anti-abortion MPs immediately claimed the proposal as a sign they are not going away, though Warawa said his motion was in no way related to a vote earlier this week on when life begins, a motion brought by fellow Tory Stephen Woodworth and defeated late Wednesday....."

A wild thought...are pro-life MPs hoping to get other MPs on the record with their votes in case there is someday an explicitly pro-life Reform Party 2.0? Will they cross the floor to run against pro-choice Tory MPs?

One thing I think I can guess... motion M-312 was set up to allow pro-lifers to get a Parliamentary committee to talk about what, if any- abortion laws Canada may need. They sought to argue, in part, "Canada needs to at least have a discussion about the issue."

Now, with the issue of abortions which are [allegedly] designed to ensure that a child of the "wrong" sex is not born, the rhetoric will be kicked up a notch.

We'll hear "How, for goodness sake, can you not condemn these types of abortions?" in the House of Commons.

Or "How, for goodness sake, Mr. Harper, can you not let us go on the record as opposing this?"

Mr. Harper, if he is as tired of abortion as pundits think he is, might have to start kicking pro-life MPs out of his caucus...

The Gangnam Style Priest

These days, the kids are all a-flutter about a music video performed by a South Korean singer named Psy.

"Gangnam Style" is celebrated for its catchy beat and wacky dancing. No doubt you have been e-mailed it dozens of times already, but when I was first learning of the meme a couple of days ago, I was amazed to see that it seemed to be getting a million hits an hour on YouTube.

So, when checking that out, I discovered that a priest at a Roman Catholic church in South Korea has done his own version of the video. Well, the description says he is a priest, but you may find it oddly fun too.

It would be hilarious if he really was a priest, eh? :)

The M-312 failure and the start of the "Stephen Harper ignored you, but I..." meme

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On spet 26, 2012]

As noted by Bene D in his quick update--thanks!--the pro-life motion, M-312 was defeated in the House earlier today.

John Ivison of the National Post has what I think is a very good observation in his report on the vote.

Of the Tories who defied Stephen Harper and voted for the motion, there were eight cabinet ministers, one of them Jason Kenney, he noted.

Harper cannot be leader forever, Ivison adds. Anyone bidding to be leader after him may want pro-life or so-con support.

I would myself add that something like "Harper gave you the back of his hand, but I..." might be a seductive thing to say to certain delegates at a future leadership convention.

Perhaps the ponies are already straining in the starting gate?

[My first guess that M-312 was doomed proved right, but please treat my evident disposition to be the H.V. Kaltenborn of BDBO kindly. I am reminded of Monty Python's Election Night sketch in which a pundit says something to the effect of "Well, the results are largely as I predicted, except that the Silly Party won." ;) ]

nies are already straining in the starting gate? [My first guess that M-312 was doomed proved right, but please treat my evident disposition to be the H.V. Kaltenborn of BDBO kindly. I am reminded of Monty Python's Election Night sketch in which a pundit says something to the effect of "Well, the results are largely as I predicted, except that the Silly Party won." ;) ]

Motion M-312 will be... *shakes Magic 8-Ball*

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Sept 25 2012]

September 26 brings us the second reading vote for Motion M-312 in the House of Commons. And all I know for certain is that I don't know for certain how it is going to go.

Some oddities over the past day or so.

Reports from Ottawa have said that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been trying to get his cabinet united against M-312. But Immigration minister Jason Kenney has told the Calgary Herald that he will vote for the motion on second reading.

Government Whip Gordon O'Connor spoke against M-312, according to a CBC live blogger. He refuted both the need for the legilation and its premise.

Okay, you'd reason, the Tories are about to tell their MPs how to vote. The Whip has just given them their rationale and thus their marching orders.

But no. Representatives of the whips office are now telling the CBC that the second reading will have a "free vote" allowing MPs to vote as they choose. Ths clears the way for Kenney to go to the press with his voting plans.

And in the background, we have a wild card with evangelist Faytene Grasseschi's account of a Tory caucus meeting in which the caucus rebelled and forced Harper into a Damascus Road experience in which he decided that he needed to run in the other direction to get in front to lead his wandering army.

How accurate was the account? I'm not sure. But, she has been travelling around the country with this story, encouraging "the troops" to hope and work for more of the same.

If it happened once. can it happen again?

Is Harper and his brains trust fed up? Are they confident that the pro=choice side will handily win, therefore those pro-life MPs who feel an urgent need to can safely vote yes? Does the motion look like a sop to pro-lifers? Passing second and event third reading would merely result in talking about abortion. As drafted, the motion does not oblige the goverment to do anything with what the Parliamentfary committee finds. A report can be left to gather dust on a shelf. But going through the motions would allow pro-lifers to say "We made the government do this...which resulted in nothing...but we made them do this because we are mighty!"

But, we need to take a breath. The Tories may be able to let people play to the grandstands in this vote because every motion, even a private members one, must pass the House of Commons three times and then the Senate 'before obliging the government to act.

M-312 lives on, but nothing happens yet if the second reading vote goes the way its proponent's want it to. Nothing more at this time except gearing up for the third reading vote. And there is always the Senate afterwards.

But what will happen in *this* vote, you ask?

There are arguments for several possible outcomes, some of which I've outlined.

But, let's go to the definitive oracle:

Reply hazy. Try Again

;) Update: (BD butting in on Rick's post) Stephen Woodworth's motion was voted down 203-91. (Canadian Press) Order Paper - copy of M -312

Government whip who tore into Motion M-312 will allow free vote

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Sept 25, 2012]

A CBC reporter is tweeting that the Harper government, which had been trying to get cabinet ministers to hold steady against the pro-life motion M-312, will now formally allow every Tory MP to vote as they like, acording to this Lifesite story.

This news would explain why Jason Kenney, Immigration minister, said he would vote for M-312 yesterday.

This is odd, given that Government Whip Gordon O'Connor tore into the motion during debate a few days ago, giving reason after reason not to vote for it. Perhaps the Tory brains trust is giving the message "You can vote as you like, but we really really really want you to vote this way", which is dangerous if they want the motion to fail. Hints, even strongly worded ones, may be ignored if the Government Whip stays his hand.

My educated guess is that pro-life MPs are threatening the sort of revolt that Faytene Grasseschi documented for us in my recent post on M-312, or it has already started? Do the Tories fear such a revolt?

Maybe Faytene Grasseschi could sneak onto Parliament Hill for us to get another leak, as I am still guessing the motion will fail, and I'd like to know if another revolt is brewing. ;)

If Motion M-312 survives, does this point to why?

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Sept 22, 2012]

Motion M-312 is doomed. “Done like Dinner” in Dave “Tiger” Williams’ famous phrase.

The effort by pro-life MPs to set up a House of Commons committee to discuss issues on abortion is set to be formally voted on again on Sept. 26th. A CBC live blogger on politics even paraphrases the private motion’s sponsor, Tory MP Stephen Woodworth , as thinking that the motion will fail. This is especially the case given that Stephen Harper plans to vote against the motion, has told his cabinet members to vote that way, and Government Whip Gordon O’Connor tore into the motion during debate on the motion September 21.

But there is a way that M 312 could rise from the dead, if what happened during an alleged giant leak from a usually secret Tory caucus meeting repeats itself.

A reported mass caucus revolt by pro-life MPs—assuming that the speaker at a Saskatchewan church wasn’t blowing what happened out of proportion--could happen again.

Bet the kid’s milk money that Motion M-312 will fail. But if it rises up from life support, something like what is documented below will probably have happened. It may be starting to happen right now.

We will need to remember that back in April 2010, in advance of a G-8 meeting, Tory cabinet minister Bev Oda announced that Canada would be changing its international funding priorities in regards to abortion.

As was reported back then:
The Conservative government will not fund abortion as part of its G8 child- and maternal-health plan for poor countries, setting up a potential conflict with the U.S. and other G8 partners.

The Harper government until today had refused to say whether abortion would be covered under their plan.

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda confirmed the move Monday on the eve of a meeting of G8 development ministers in Halifax Tuesday.

She said Canada could include family planning and contraception could be included in the plan, but abortion has been ruled out.

"The details remain to be determined," she told reporters Monday. "However, Canada's contribution will not include funding of abortions."

We’ll come back to that.

Pro-lifers in politics are nothing if not persistent. After the defeat of “Roxanne’s Law” in December 2010, that very afternoon activists were saying that “This is not a defeat as much as is it a step on the road to victory.”

Fast forward to the spring 2011 election. Brad Trost, Saskatchewan Tory MP is at a meeting of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association. He tells them that the government has decided, after pro-life lobbying, to cut funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

The resulting media attention to Trost’s remarks caused Stephen Harper to adamantly state that despite efferts of MPs such as Trost, voters vcopuld trust that the abortion issue was closed as far as he was concerned. My local tabloid headlined the bstory on the PM’s explanation “No No, Never says Harper.”

After the election, Oda modified her stance, deciding that it would be giving the IPPF $6 million to fund “sex education and contraception” with the explicit caveat that abortion nservices could not be funded.

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. The next pro-life idea, which I spotted in a post last November, was that pro-lifers would be forcing a “debate” in a few months on the issue of abortion. BC pro-lifer John Hof was planning for a debate that “can’t be ignored…like Occupy Vancouver”. Brad Trost stepped forward, on an Internet radio program, that such a debate was badly needed.

The pro-life brains trust in Ottawa likely had an idea. How about Parliamentary hearings on abortion? And Motion M 312. which had been slowly moving through the House since the spring, was perhaps a result.

The Criminal Code has a definition, based on old English common law.which stated that murders and homicide can, legally, only involve a baby that if fully born. MP Stephen Woodworth seeks to have this clarified by a parliamentary committee and then brought back to the full house for discussion. {On the other hand, noted pro-choice activist Joyce Arthur argues that legally there is no confusion and that any action based on hearings held after a passed motion would create legal restrictions on abortion.]

The strongly pro-choice bloggers at Dammit Janet have been trying to cover Motion m-312 like a blanket, so that might be a good place to start. I’ve only been following it casually.

But, I have found something of perhaps historical interest, a past strategy that could be used again even as I am typing this sentence.

It relates to a past caucus meeting of Tory MPs that leaked like a sieve onto the laps of an unsuspecting church audience.

I thought that Parliamentary practice meant that caucus meetings were secret. Well, the speaker here relates so much that she was told that the Conservative whips might want to have a word with some pro-life Tory MPs.

Our indirect source? Evangelist Faytene Grasseschi. the former Faytene Kryskow. Well known to us at BDBO.

I recently came across a sermon of hers from when she was speaking at Harvest City Church in Regina Saskatchewan. You may download or listen to it here: “The Power Of Your Voice” from the evening of Nov 20, 2011. They appear to have come online only recently.

Faytene refers to a meeting that she had with Stephen Harper and then, a couple months later, a rebellious caucus meeting. I had thought that she had referred to both those events occurring earlier in 2011, but the way she describes the events in makes more sense that she was referring to the caucus revolts that caused Bev Oda to make the temporary funding changes in 2010 as reported above. I apologize for being imprecise, but I think I can make my point if the events happened in either year. I’d say she’s referring to 2010, though.

About 37 minutes into her message, Faytene starts to talk about how she was given an award to pass onto Stephen Harper by some friends of hers in Israel. Get this to the PM for us. Thank him for being pro-Israel.

Through some providential circumstances, Faytene gets a ten minute meeting with Stephen Harper. After praying about she should say to him, she is ushered into the PM’s office.

At 39:30, Faytene told her audience that she said this to Stephen Harper.

“’One of the reasons that Canadians love your leadership is that you always allow a free vote on issues of moral conscience. Please would you continue to allow a free vote on issues of moral conscience.’”

“What I am about to share with you is nothing short of a national sign and wonder. He [Stephen Harper] looked back at me—I mean the rest of this story-and said ‘Well, haven’t I always done that? And I said back “Well, we were a little confused when you said you were going to whip the cabinet on that unborn victims of violence bill [Roxanne’s Law?] right before the election and so we wert a little bit, you know, wondering if you were moving off on that a little bit’, and [I] kept honour and kept gentleness and he kinda crinkled his forehead a little bit, and you could tell that he was thinking.”

I’m just going to let Faytene speak for herself at length. At $0:17 she says this;

“I had no idea that when God asked me to use that little voice [of mine] that two days later we would be facing what arguably was one of, I believe, was one of the most watershed moments for our nation for at least that year, if not in the last couple of years. On March 18th, March 19th, excuse me, a national newspaper reported that a motion was going to be tabled in the House of Commons that, if it was passed, would armtwist the Parliament of Canada into platforming the funding of abortion internationally at the G-* summit….You know one of the destiny points of our nation, Canada-the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations…”

Being pro-life, Faytene was naturally interested in seeing what she could do to fight this.At 45:03 of her sermon, she relates that pro-life MPs started leaking like a styrofoam umbrella about internal Tory doings.

“We began to get e-mails from MPS that the Prime Minister’s Office had actually done the math and they understood was most likely going to pass in the House of Commons because Canada—the Conservative Party of Canada was still a minority government, and within the Conservative Party itself, there was mixture in the topic. And so the Prime Minister’s Office had done the math and he [Stehen Harper?] had done the math and he had said basically, I’m not going to put my neck out on this, and so, we are going to go the Parliament of Canada, we’re going to go into the House of Commons and vote with this motion. We’re going to agree with this motion, and we are going to agree with the G-8, and we are going to platform this initiative and be a part of promoting this thing on the international stage because it’s not worth taking a political hit on it.”

What happened then? Faytene at 45:51 continues:

So, Faytene came to the podium to address a recurring theme of hers, that Christians have the authority to “conquer something in the Spirit”. A we-are-mighty and you-in-particular-sitting-right-there-are mighty sort of message of the kind she often delivers.

I don’t want to delve into the theology of that, but we do need to keep in mind her purpose in leaking. That said, I don’t think she is brazen enough to create something from nothing. So, if this winds up giving us some insights into Ottawa pro-life politics, so much the better.

“Different members of Parliament, probably like your very own [MP] began to give a little bit of pushback and they said ‘Prime minister, with all due respect, I’ll think about it’, you know. The Prime Minister’s Office was saying ‘If you can’t vote for the motion, then we’re asking that you actually be absent from the House of Commons that say’ and they [the pro-life MPs] said ‘okay, we’ll think about it, we’ll pray about it.’”

At 46:13, Faytene continues: ”The Prime Minister’s Office began to get a little shaken up and so they called an emergency caucus meeting. We had a Member of Parliament contact us and say ‘Faytene, will you get your guy’s network praying, will you get them lifting their voices in the Spirit in prayer top create life.’ I don’t know about you guys, but I actually believe this is revival. I believe loosing the light of God….You know this is a revival issue, all of this stuff is so synch’ed.”

Came the emergency caucus meeting. Faytene at 46:55:

“And go I was you to picture this—9 AM that morning, a church, raising its voice….”

Deep Throat, er, Faytene ;), at 48:08: “The Prime Minister went into that meeting and for the first ten minutes he explained all the reasons why the needed to support this motion and be part of promoting a death decree on the international stage, funded by our taxpayer money and he said, you know, listen, it’s not the right time, blah blah blah, blah” and I’m sure he had lots of great intelligent –he’s a really brilliant brilliant man—I’m sure he had lots of really great intelligent things that he said, that made a lot of sense, but then he looked at his caucus and said this, ‘But since I am committed to a free vote on issues of moral conscience…I want to hear what you guys have to say.’”

Let us pause for a second. This is assuming that Faytene’s leak from an MP or staffer was accurate and she is passing that on accurately. At the time of this meeting, Mr. Harper, saying “It’s not the right time” would mean that he was a pro-lifer depending on the chance to act prudently. Post election, if he is now a “the subject of abortion is now closed” type of guy, that would be quite a shift.” One that Faytene has kindly let Canadian voters know about, if she got it right and is not indulging in wishful thinking.”

Faytene, I should note, does try to be modest and say that Harper didn’t do thing because of what she said alone, but “when God gives you a microphone, use it.”

Faytene continues, at 49:22, with her secondhand account of the secret Tory caucus meeting. Microphones were brought out and MPs lined up to speak.

“The very first Member of Parliament stepped up to the plate and said this ‘With all due respect Prime Minister, I can appreciate what you’re saying,’ he said, ‘But for the sake of my own conscience, and for the sake of representing my constituents in Saskatchewan I am going to show up in the House of Commons and I am going to show up in the House of Commons and I am going to vote against the motion’ using the microphone God had given him. The next member of Parliament stood up, the next Member of Parliament stood up…”

“Several [MPs] stood up, they told me afterwards…The Members of Parliament told us afterwards. ‘Faytene, we don’t know what came over us!’ and I said ‘I know what came over you—Holy Ghost!’”

She quotes the leaking MPs as allegedly saying this” ‘” We don’t even know what came over us, it was like a spirit of courage that we’ve never had!’—come on, let the strong be strong—‘We’ve never stood up to the Prime Minister ever* as a caucus.’”

At 50:24, Faytene relates, according to what she says she was told by her sources, Stephen Harper started to fold faster than Superman on laundry day.

“After about ten minutes the Prime Minister shut it down, no one knew what he was going to do, nobody knew, if he was just going to say, you know you guys, that’s great, but we’re going this way—he’s a strong leader, right?...He [Harper] shut down the microphone, pushed back his seat and said something like this; ‘Okay, we have heard from caucus today. With one voice and one heart, we are going to go to the Parliament this afternoon and we are going to unanimously vote against this motion, and if anyone has any issue with that, come talk to me.’”

So, the Tory MPs proceeded to do just that. The pro-life side, Faytene added to her audience, was helped by various pro-choice MPs arriving late. “[T]he one person who adamantly opposed the [Tory position] walked out of the debate and her retina mysteriously detached, so she was rushed to emergency,” she added.

And so the pro-life side carried the day that time.

I know that Faytene has her own point of view on all this, every reason to create or exaggerate. But, if this is anywhere close to being true, it’s, perhaps, a precedent.

Some observations.

The traditional practice in Westminster systems is that caucus meetings deliberate secretly, so there can be honesty and secrecy. If, and I emphasize if, Faytene’s account i

s right, she’d just told a church audience the equivalent of whether Harper preferred boxers or briefs in this instance. The pro-life MP’s, I am guessing, appeared to have leaked this to a friend, perhaps knowing that she’d blab and they would look good. Unfortunately, tape was rolling and unfortunately again, a blogger noticed it

. So, if a pro-choice MP walks up to a leaker and is indignant with them,we’ll know why.

Where does M-312 come into all this? Well this, assuming this is correct, is a direct example of pro-lifers seemingly being able to pull off a miracle comeback. They were told they couldn’t win, but were able to point to Harper’s stance allowing free votes on conscience and get him to be persuaded to let it happen.

And remember the ostensible two-part status of Motion M-312. “All it does, Stephen,” a pro-life MP could say,” Is allow us to talk about the issue. All we want is an opportunity to make our case to the Canadian people. Politicians talk and debate all the time. And if you don’t like what the commission says, you can put their report away where it will never be seen again. You are not obliged to act” Harper may think “I can stack the members of the committee so it will be dependably pro-choice.”

If you are pro-choice, there is a chance of mischief. And recalling what is alleged to have happened here, could it not happen again? Surely the pro-life side is trying to reuse this strategy now as I speak, or gave it a try already.

If nothing else, it’s perhaps useful to have this out there.

Bet your rent money, bet my rent money that Motion M-312 will be defeated. I see a strong attitude by Harper that he is quite done with abortion, thank you.

But if by some weird happenstance, Motion M-312 makes a 1 chance in 100 move through to a third reading, it would be good to be able to have material that will allow us to guess “How did this happen?” Look, then, for something like what happened then to have shepherded M-312 through.

The Toronto Star starts a "Stockwell Day comeback!" meme

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on Sept 6, 2012]

I haven't heard the rumour that Stockwell Day will be drafted to lead the B.C. Conservative Party after John Cummins is made to walk the plank, but reporters are writing about it.

You'll remember that about a week ago, news came out that some B.C, Tories were unhappy with the leadership of Mr. Cummins. Due to what I saw as his poor way of talking about it, I briefly blogged about it.

Well, The Toronto Star's western Canadian stringer wrote a story on the woes of B.C. Premier Christy Clark earlier this week. In the second half of the story, the reporter mentions rumours that Stockwell Day had been approached to become leader of the B.C. Conservatives. Dismayed voters, who are already giving the Cummins party about 20 per cent in the polls, would unite the right in the next BC election--which must be held in May--and deny the NDP power.

The TorStar quotes former federal BC MP John Reynolds, who says that Day might be a good choice, but doubts that he wants a comeback and that such a comeback would work out as Day might hope.

The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's alternative newspaper, picks up the ball and runs with it in its paper released today. Their story at least tried to quote Day, and makes note of his social conservatism.

Former BC Liberal leader Gordon Wilson argues that there is a perceived need for a "great right hope" and adds that while Day is not the only possibility, he does have qualities that make him seem attractive.

It has happened twice in B.C. that certain people were groomed to be the great leader of the "free enterprise" forces. [Wilson knows this well, as he was the victim of this when Gordon Campbell took over the leadership of the BC Liberals.]

That I find a possibility. But not a Day comeback. If he were drafted, I doubt that the BC Tories would benefit.

But I do want to note that people are talking about it. This is B.C. we're talking about after all...


Friday, April 26, 2013

Which Canadian PM would win a pro wrestling "battle royale"

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Sept. 3, 2012¸

There's a bit of a meme on Facebook these days, a post that's getting around and shared.

It asks which US President would be the one left standing in a fight-to-the-death knife fight. Various people chime in with the personal histories of the participants and try to figure out who would win.

That's too unseemly for me, but then I thought about pro wrestling, where the aim is to "win" without really hurting the other participants.

And then I thought of the "battle royale" where 30 or so wrestlers go into the ring, and the last one left standing, unbeaten, inside is the winner.

So, which of the various Canadian Prime Ministers, if they were pro wrestlers, would win a battle royale where they were fighting each other?

As in the knife fight, we would assume that each PM is in the best shape of their respective lives, save for any lifelong thing that would make them unlikely to be successful, which would also apply to them.

The "rules" of pro wrestling, which wink at certain forms of cheating, would also apply.

*Bell rings* This match is scheduled for one fall apiece. In this corner....


B.C. politician compares himself to Christ

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On Sept. 2, 2012]

John Cummins is a veteran politician, so you think he would be wiser than this.

The name might be familiar to you as he was a B.C. MP for 18 years under the various small-c conservative parties. In 2011, he became the leader of the B.C. Conservative Party and you may remember the flap when he tried to apply his belief that homosexuality is a choice to his politics.

Cummins is getting some increased attention because of a recurring trend in B.C. politics. There is an idea that right of center votes may go to his party at the expense of the B.C. Liberals, which would result in the first Tory MLAs in over 30 years.

So, it's understandable that on Friday August 31, the Vancouver Sun ran a story on its front page, explaining that a member of the B.C. Tory governing board has called for a leadership review.

Cummins argued in the Sun article that you can't please everybody. But it is the way that he did it that I found a bit dismaying.

The Vancouver Sun, in the second half of the story, quotes Cummins this way. Emphasis mine:

“There’s always somebody that is going to disagree. He’s the one, I guess. I don’t perceive it as a huge threat by any stretch of the imagination,” said Cummins, adding it is unreasonable to believe that any leader could enjoy unanimous support.

I hate to use a biblical reference but Christ had 12 apostles and one turned him in,” Cummins said.

“We share the same initials but I can’t rise from the dead and I can’t get unanimity on the board. I wouldn’t expect to be able to. He couldn’t. I can’t.”

The phrase "I hate to use a Biblical reference, but..." was Cummins' brain warning him that the bridge was out and he needed to stop the car.

The Bible certainly does apply to politics, but it strikes me as a bit of hubris to compare oneself to Christ. Christ was perfect and I expect that any politician is not.

It's also unwise in the sense that the critic calling for the leadership review is complaining that Cummins doesn't listen and such. So, appearing lordly, if you will, is a bad idea. [I wonder if that's why the Sun reported used these direct quotes. I think so, as they may prove a point nicely.]

I don't think that comparing yourself to Christ when you're a politician can work. But I wanted to make a note of it to open this up for discussion.

English paper runs, and then spikes, story about Todd Bentley not being banned from the UK?

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 30, 2012]

Something odd involving the local newspaper, the Croydon Advertiser, whose reporting eventually led to Todd Bentley being banned by the UK government from entering Britain.

I ask Google, using their Google Alerts function to send me e-mails about news coverage about Todd Bentley. Today, Google Alerts sent me this link:

News 1 new result for "Todd Bentley"

Face-kicking 'faith healer' will not be banned from UK, says minister

This is Croydon

Canadian pastor Todd Bentley, who believes he can "heal" people by kicking them in the face, is to hold a three-day event at Croydon Conference Centre, in Surrey Street, at the end of the month. ?. Todd Bentley, an evangelical pastor from Canada ...

But if you click on the link the story has disappeared from the website where the paper's stories run. A search of the site cannot find the story. This is as I write--perhaps we'll see a revision--but it is strange.

Several things could have happened.

1. The paper ran this story confidently quoting someone predicting that Bentley would not be banned a few days back in their print edition, only to be overtaken by events--the ban. In this case, the paper should have prominently run an editor's note explaining this, but keeping the story for the historical record.

2. This story ran only recently with the paper not realizing that Bentley has been banned. Very doubtful, as I'm sure local MP Malcolm Wicks, who was probably tipped off by the paper that Bentley was coming to the UK, would keep the paper fully informed.

3. The story ran a day or so ago in the paper edition of the paper. "Minister" could, of course, refer to a cabinet minister, such as the Home Secretary, agreeing to work against the Bentley ban. I don't think so, as that would have been trumpeted in the lede.

What is much more likely is that a local minister--perhaps the organizer for the Bentley visit--is working on getting the ban reversed, or plans to do so. They told the paper and the story ran. Their Bentley supporting source panicked and called the newspaper and said something like "My God, I meant this to be off the record, you have to pull the story from the website! I need to be able to work quietly on this without being flamed by those who fear Bentley."

Unless the reporter totally got the position of the "Bentley supporting minister" wrong and the paper is in a frenzy trying to limit the damage by "memory holing" everything.

Anyways, this is passing strange and I felt a need to make a note of it. Let's be kind to the Croydon paper as I know from personal experience that reporters are not perfekt.

Mr. Bentley's disingenuous argument

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on August 26, 2012]

Well, after a bit of a flurry, talk about Todd Bentley being banned from entering the UK might be dying down now in the blogosphere and English media.

Todd himself is unfazed. I am assuming that he is the one that posts on the "Fresh Fire USA" page on Facebook--it sounds like the way he expresses himself-- and today, there is a post that his Norway crusade is going well. "National media reported a favourable story." he posted.

But earlier on, he continued to be perturbed at the ban that prevents him from coming to Britain.. August 22, on the Fresh Fire USA Facebook Wall:

"Amazed at how the media can interpret a 1 time event 13 years ago and present it yo you as if when you pray for the sick we use violence. So not True."

I was prescient enough, in this post, to guess that he might complain along these lines.

Todd, not everyone is prone to assume that you might be lying from the pulpit. Fortunately there is video evidence.

This video quotes several incidents that Bentley talked about at Lakeland. You'll notice that there is not just "One" incident that is pointed to or shown.

And then there is the incident when the man who had a cancer who was kneed by Bentley on the Lakeland stage. You may see it here. What Todd says--"I don't do that often"-- does not mean "This is the only time that I have ever done this." And, you'll note, this was 4 years ago, not 13.

Todd Bentley is trying to lie.

Hope he doesn't have the gall to say: "Do you believe me, or your own lying eyes?"

I suspect that I can make a bang on guess about why immigration officials earlier in Australia and now in Britain have banned him from entry. I suspect it has to do with his honesty in some way.

An earlier complaint, also cited in abbreviated form in the Guardian story that broke the news of the ban. I had a look on the Fresh Fire USA Facebook Wall and found it.

It reads like this:

Fresh Fire USA I was thinking of posting this and asking the question? What about all the other celebrities, musicians and others with a more colorful past than me that are permitted into the UK for shows. Some Examples are UFC and WWE Wrestlers, celebrities & many Rock stars. Is this really about my past and fear of potential violence or Freedom of Religion and attack on Faith, God & Healing? They have no legal basis for their accusation. I did all their visa process and fingerprinting & security. This decision was made before any of my application was processed. It is based on Internet, media and false perception they have not followed up on. I think this is big news! USA Immigration saw fit to receive me into the country. The UK Government never asked our side of the story or gave any process for discussion. Disappointing but God wins!

August 20 at 2:31pm via mobile · LikeUnlike · 9

His whining makes the rest of those who want to minister in Britain look bad, as I will explain. Some comments:

1. Why does Bentley think of himself in the same context as "celebrities" and "musicians". Why didn't he think of himself in the context of a minister with a criminal past, say the late Chuck Colson of Watergate fame? "He tried to cover up a major abuse of political power and I am sure he was allowed into Britain. But he came in to bless through the power of Christ and spread the gospel."

Is it because Todd doesn't think of himself as a minister sometimes, but as a performer putting on an exciting show?

If you think that you entertain, what does that mean for the evangelism that you try to do?

Colson came to my mind within seconds as an example that Bentley could have used, a concrete one. One that Bentley could have used in lieu of a hypothetical one. And Colson has now died, so he cannot object.

Can he cite a specific example of where someone in the jobs he mentions is directly comparable to the "red flags" Bentley may have?

All this depends on where your mind is, I guess.

2. I don't think that serving time at 15 for molesting a child could be dismissed as merely "colourful". Or can Bentley cite say, a rock star who was similarly jailed for a sexual offense and then refused entry into Britain as a result?

3. Bentley has said in regards to his record that he feels it has been "erased". I doubt that this means that you can't mention to immigration officials. Presumably, if they did fingerprints and such, he would have undergone more than crossing the US-Canadian border. He would have had to say, at least on a form, if he had ever had a criminal record.

4. Bentley complains that this is legally unfair. Has he, or does he, intend to do something about it?

5. In the English public eye, he is being perceived as ultra violent. Isn't the first priority to prove you are "non-violent" and non-dangerous? This is because any appeal to "freedom of religion" means freedom to kick, knee, hit, etc., when you heal as of now.

This makes it difficult for people to see Todd's side. They might say "Certainly when you out it like that, we do not want it in Britain." And the sad thing is that a lot of non-crazed ministers, who really would be having their freedom impinged on, may be caught in the trawl of the Bentley net.

6. It wouldn't be anything special to have unfettered access to the United States, a "green card" or US citizenship, when you marry an American citizen resident in the US. And such is Jessa Bentley.

It would seem that Bentley is up to his old tricks of "misleading." Perhaps the immigration authorities in Britain have grown tired of it, but that is only a guess.

Todd Bentley is newsworthy for all the wrong reasons

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 22, 2012]

Todd Bentley may be more newsworthy to the British press, now that the British government has banned him from entering the country, than when he was travelling the country doing his thing.

Stories are at these various sites, and I'm guessing they may have run in the actual newspapers or on TV:

BBC News The Montreal Gazette which means that the other POstMedia papers may run it too. He's not a "B.C. pastor", but that's what happens when you do a story quickly. Two big papers in Belast Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph and the Belfast Newsletter. The Newsletter story quotes both Bentley's website and the Home Office statement. And the major English paper, the Telegraph.

And the [Manchester] Guardian had the scoop yesterday, as we know.

[Note from Rick: Please check back on this post as I may add updates as they break. Thanks.]

Breaking: Todd Bentley refused entry into the UK

{Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 21 2012]

Thanks to a heads up by commenters--thanks--I can mention that Todd Bentley, according to a story on The Guardian newspaper's website, has been banned from entering the United Kingdom on the grounds that it would be against the public good in some way.

[Note from Rick--I'm trying to update on the fly, so please check back on this post. Thanks.]

Bentley, Tweeting his indignation, is promising a press release later today.

Brag about being violent in ministry, as I posted last night, and see what will happen, eh Todd?

At work, but will try for quick updates as time permits today.

The hounds of the English press may well start to hunt now. "Nine day wonder" on the way?

FIRST UPDATE Todd, on his way to Norway right now, tweeted this four hours ago:

Follow Following Unfollow Blocked Unblock Pending Cancel Todd Bentley ?@IamToddBentley 5h @ianjmatt @samhailes I know I have been in the UK a 12 times previous and my record from when I was 13 is erased. It's not on record!

Oh really? It seems that I recall different facts. According to the relevant court documents as reported in The Report newsmagazine, he was 14 when this happened.

If immigration authorities have this information in front of them, Bentley has been caught in a lie. He may no longer have a penalty, but lying about something that he was jailed for must raise some eyebrows.

He'd better not be trying to lie about how many "violent ministry incidents" there are. That would cause the immigrations authorities to wonder as well.

Did similar fudging cause him to be banned from Australia?

I don't know, but that is a good guess.

2nd Update: A statement from Britain's Home Office regarding their decision to ban Bentley's entry, courtesy

In a statement the Home Office said: “We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society.”

Bentley's first response, in which he complains of not having the courtesy of a hearing before the ban, is there on their site as well. Hat tip as bloggers like to say.

3rd Update: The brief statement sent out by Bentley 45 minutes ago by e-mail to his supporters e-list:

Statement from Todd Bentley regarding the U.K. Greetings Friends and Partners,

Todd and Jessa Bentley are currently travelling to Norway for the anticipated Miracles Signs & Wonders event. At this time, we are requesting your prayer and support as they continue to do what the Lord has called them to. Please read the below statement from Todd Bentley on the recent decision made by Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Todd from entering the UK.

I am deeply saddened by the recent decision of the UK government regarding my entry into the country. At this point, we are thankful to God for the support from our friends in the UK who truly love Jesus and embrace the supernatural, faith and healing. We know and believe that the UK has a great destiny and we are praying for the leaders and those in government. Please continue to stand with us in prayer regarding this decision and our return to the UK.

In Him,

Todd Bentley

Update: (BD here)  Todd Bentley made this statement about being refused entry into the UK:
What about all the other celebrities, musicians and others with a more colorful past than me that are permitted into the UK for shows … Is this really about my past and fear of potential violence or Freedom of Religion and attack on Faith, God & Healing?”

The Home Office statement:
"We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society,"
The UK Border Agency Guidelines, p. 20, the er, not conducive to the public good part...


Well, Todd, you shouldn't really complain when people assume you are truthful

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 20, 2013]

Editors at Canadian newspapers think that the British MP's efforts to ban Todd Bentley from entering the United Kingdom later this month to evangelize are newsworthy too.

The Daily Express, of the British press, has been first and loudest in worrying about Bentley, but as noted here, the Daily Mail newspaper has chimed in as well. They quoted an MP from Croydon England, where Bentley plans to go, who wrote Britain's Home Secretary to ask that Bentley be banned from entering.

All this was because of a sermon from Lakeland--which has been saved online. where Bentley told some fabulous tales of times that he had healed people by striking them violently. I'm surprised that they didn't go right to videos like this famous one where he knees a cancer victim in the stomach {"I don't do this very often!" "Why did the preacher just knee you in the gut"]

You'd think that "Look at him actually striking people instead of merely talking about it,' would be pretty damning. Perhaps they just don't know about it.

Since then, the local newspaper in Croydon, England has done a follow-up story on what the Labour MP is trying to do.

As Bentley plans to minister at a church in County Armagh, N. Ireland short after his time in Croydon, Northern Ireland papers have picked up the Violent-preacher-is coming-here idea for their own stories. Belfast's News Leader did a story quoting a local Presbyterian minister who was worried about Bentley's ways of "healing". Meanwhile the Irish Sun--local edition of Britain's Sun tabloid-- did their own story, which quotes who I suspect might be a local organizer for Bentley's event there. He's trying to argue that God has used Bentley "in a certain way for divine healing" while the Irish Sun reporters are clearly aghast.

Yesterday, August 19, I was surprised to see a story on Bentley on Page A24 of The Province newspaper. The story, by Randy Boswell of Postmedia News, is a little different in the online version, but essentially the same as "Brit MP wants Canadian preacher blocked" that ran in the newsprint edition.

While he is not really an "Abbotsford [B.C.] preacher" any more, having moved to the U.S., his Canadian--specifically B.C.--background gives a strong hook for the story. As he was a little know out this way even before Lakeland, the Vancouver Sun picked up this particular story too, at least in the newspaper's website. PostMedia, I am guessing, is the new version of Southam News, so it could have been picked up elsewhere in Canadian dailies too.

The story quotes the letter from Labour MP Malcolm Wicks asking for the ban, goes into some background on Bentley and why people see him as controversial. Bentley himself isn't talking any more, but, laudably, the press has decided that this will not deter them. An "unnamed man" at Bentley's US ministry base is quoted deep in the story that the meetings in England will take place. "Controversial things--they are what they are," he said to the reporter.

Bentley has not always been so reticent on this controversy.

He had told The Daily Mail "Kicking people in the face is not a practice of our ministry and I do not see this happening in the UK."

It may not be something that 'is" practiced, but what people are seeing and reacting to is that it "was" practiced. They could even see the video that I link to above where "god" overwhelms you will and "makes" you knee the cancer victim.

Bentley can't say "I've never done that" as there is video evidence that he has. Also, an "I was making all this up" will lead the wise to check out what else he has made up. The "healed" people who went on to die of their sicknesses will no doubt come up. Those brought back from the dead that some unnamed doctors refused to define as coming back from the dead may as well.

The Christian Post's story on all this --Thanks to them--records an interesting exchange that I would like to quote:
When asked by a Twitter user about the Daily Mail's report this week that claims he "'cures' cancer by kicking people in the face," Bentley responded: "This story is truly a huge media sensation. It is so wrong and the furthest thing from who we are and how we minister. Sad!"

Further questioned by others concerned by the claims of violence, the minister, while calling the recent reports "misleading," acknowledged that he has kicked a cancer-stricken woman in the face. He added however, that his Fresh Fire USA ministry no longer operates that way.

"UK friends and partners. Please do not believe everything you read in the Media. It is a true misleading report. Hope to see you soon," Bentley wrote at one point.

Confronted with a video clip of him claiming that the "power of God" wasn't moving because he had not kicked the woman in the face, Bentley replied, "It happened 12 years ago. She was healed if (you) saw the unedited clip. This was one incident and not how we operate at all."

Some comments: One incident? Bentley mentions several in that Lakeland sermon, which would reasonably lead you to understand that it is not unknown that such things can happen. Just ask the cancer victim he kneed on video. That makes two incidents.

If this had been pieced together from dozens of videos, Bentley could claim that it could be "misleading" but he apparently spent much of an entire evening talking about this one subject--my wacky ministry.

If he wants to dwell on it, and was not compelled to talk at length about it--can anyone be fairly blamed for giving this issue now the significance he gave it them?

Where is Bentley confessing that he blew these stories out of proportion, or made them up, if that is the case?

Where is Bentley's fervent and public repentance and apology for even talking about such things? If that is not who he is now, shouldn't he get on this quickly.

Bentley should be telling every reporter who asks how wrong he was, if he believes that. But he may not.

A promise that in order not to distract, he will never touch anyone when praying for them again, who totally wipe out fears that he will hurt someone while praying for them in Britain. Would he promise this?

Perhaps he needs to appeal to those curiousity seekers--thinking anything can happen, didn't Bentley say so himself--wondering if Bentley has something amazingly theatrical up his sleeve.

Step right up. Hurry, hurry, hurry, see the evangelist kick a woman in the head...

Nothing will happen, I am sure. But people coming to see him need not be told that...

The sunny nuns

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 13, 2012

] Readers of Saturday's Vancouver Sun may have been surprised to see a photo of a nun dominating the newspaper's front page.

The August 11 issue of the city's broadsheet newspaper had a big feature story on the small group of Dominican nuns who are waiting for the 23,000 square foot Queen of Peace monastery to be finished construction near Squamish B.C..

The story points to the new monastery and other ancedotal evidence--such as the fact that two other orders of nuns have recently planted roots in B.C.-- as evidence of a new appeal for contemplative Roman Catholic spirituality.

As you may know, Dominican nuns, as the story attests, place great value on quiet and meditation. "We don't Tweet," the Sun quotes a nun as saying.

In an age that increasingly seems non-religious, why the increased interest? Well, the reporter guesses, older women may be finding that the nun's sort of faith is a good fit for them as they start to think about winding down their secular careers.

Sister Claire, the order's prioress featured in the page one photo, has an optimistic theory:

"Before, people came to religion through their parents, through tradition. It was a custom, it was a given, presumed. And a whole geberation of people let go of that because it wasn't their personal faith....And now they're coming back, but it's a new wave coming back. It's a personal quest."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Todd Bentley's alleged antics covered in Australian newspaper

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 5, 2013

We may be coming up on a holiday in Canada, but I wonder if Todd Bentley may be on his way to becoming a "nine-day wonder" in the English press. No holidays for Bentley for a while if that happens to him.

The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper in Sydney Australia, was so astounded by Todd Bentley's alleged antics--which promise to get him in a spot of bother before his visit to Croydon, England later this month--wrote a story of their own for what I would guess would be their own Sunday edition.

Let's recap for a moment. Todd Bentley is scheduled to visit, Croydon England, near London, starting August 30. The local newspaper, the Croydon, Advertiser, looked on the Internet and learned that Bentley had been imprisoned for molesting a boy and saw one of his wilder testimonies from the Lakeland video, on video. They used this to do a "Can you believe this guy?" sort of story, which you can read here. I noticed the Croydon story and added my own comments here.

Earlier today, England time, the Daily Mail did their own story, moving it forward by noting that a local MP has sent a letter to Britain's Home Secretary, asking that Todd Bentley be banned from entering the country, due to the alleged violent way that he healed people.

Evidently, an editor at the Daily Telegraph in Sydney Australia was amazed too. Their news story on Bentley earlier today quotes both the Croydon story and the Daily Mail story for what I am guessing is their "international news briefs" section. It had the added feature of a video clip of Todd Bentley--a noted fabulist--telling his tales of violent healing.

Two quick comments, before dozens of reporters in England try to bring Bentley to ground if this story "has legs".

Bentley now faces a Hobson's choice. The best way that he can protest that it is safe for him to minister in England is to say that he was lying lie a rug when he shared from the stage in Lakeland in that infamous video clip. That, though, will indicate to potential audiences around the world that he was not above lying spectacularly when he felt it necessary.

The first secular reporter who wrote on Bentley--who not only caught him lying in a flagrantly reprehensible to their readers but also to the readers of a prominent US magazine--would no doubt say "Well, duh!". As would the many reporters and bloggers who have exposed Bentley as the evangelist with no clothes since then.

But if Bentley is to avoid returning to working in a sawmill, he has to try to maintain that he is truthful. Thus he used to do those things, but doesn't do them any longer. That worried authorities in England may not believe.

My second note is a big caution for the press. Do not assume that anything that Bentley says about his past is the truth. He could have been building and building a fabulous tale of the violent stuff he has done in order to please an audience. He once mentioned in an old old sermon tape of his that the only thing he had to his name before becoming born again was the "gift of gab."

I would hate to be Bentley if the British press turns on him as a pack.

Labour MP calls for Todd Bentley to be banned from Britain

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On August 5 2012

For Todd Bentley, who plans to minister in the London suburb of Croydon later this month, things are going from bad to worse.

We already know about the article in the Croydon newspaper. Well, now in this weekend's editions of the national tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail, that paper has turned its attention to the evangelist.

Their article. which you may read here also mentions Bentley's teen molestation conviction and assumes that he was telling the truth about his violent faith healing stories.

This puts Bentley in a spot though. In order to allay what seems to be a developing fear in the Bentley-is-violent meme, he'll have to say "Oh, I was lying when I was sharing those stories. I have never been violent." No surprise to some of us that he lies, but that would neatly undercut his image as the great healer of Lakeland.

I'm pleased that the Daily Mail is onto this, but I would have gotten a quote from this MP, and lead the story with what they report here towards the end of the story:

"Labour MP for Croydon North Malcolm Wicks has urged Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Mr. Bentley from the UK. He told her 'His visit can do nothing but harm and I would be grateful for any measures that you can take.'"

Will there be questions in the House, especially if Bentley doesn't watch his behaviour?

I'll bet that the Daily Express, which has led the British press with its coverage of Bentley for many years,is onto this. If Bentley is about to become a "nine day wonder" and the hounds of the English tabloids start to work as a pack to get the story for their own papers, Mr. Bentley, the fox, will have his work cut out for him.

To be perfectly honest about To Be Perfectly Honest

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs on August 4 2012

Earlier today, I bought a used copy of the fairly new book To Be Perfectly Honest. On the way back to my office, I started to read.

You might see it in your local Christian bookstore. It's by the noted Western Canadian speaker and writer Phil Callaway, who recently took a vow to try to speak and act only truthfully for a year. This book is the result.

In the introduction, Mr. Callaway writes that he comes from a family of (perhaps rhetorical) horse traders and that while he would love to read a book by someone else who had made the I-will-be-honest-to-a-fault pledge for a year, he balked at making the pledge himself.

The end of the introduction--where I've stopped reading for now--has a note that made me go "Hmmm..."

It reads like this:

"This book is a work of fact. I have, however, taken two liberties. First, I engaged in minor chronological adjustments. Second, a handful of names and minor details were changed so that I may continue to live in peace and go out in public without incident in the small community I call home. I suppose a nomadic lifstyle would be ideal for an author. You could breeze into town, point out people's inconsistencies and hypocrisies, then hightail it out of there before they discover how inconsistent and hypocritical you are. The first draft of To Be Perfectly Honest contained all the actual names and places, and it was really quite fun. But I realized it's like a Wal-Mart greeter pointing people to Target. Not all that smart."

I don't want to be too hard on Mr. Callaway, but I found it deliciously ironic that four pages into his "I was honest for a year!" book, he has an "I have noticed the year is now over!" sort of note. :) Of course, as someone who at least used to write for a living, I totally understand the "Names have been changed to protect my behind!' sort of disclaimer. Would we have seen it in a Christian book on honesty 50 or 100 years ago?

There's lots of chew on. if you think about it. Can Christians make with-the-bark-off honesty work? Have Christians always had a "go along to get along" attitude, and should we be concerned about this? Are there valid reasons to "fudge"? Intriguing questions. Some editor at a publishing house should get an author to wrestle with the subject as the results would certainly be thought provoking.

As for me, I know myself well enough to not make the same sort of promise that Mr. Callaway did. Unless, of course, I made it easier on myself by also taking a contract--at the same time--to live among the Bedouins and teach sheep how to blog. [Typing sheep: "The flock has decided to beat up the human tonight as he just won't stop snoring..."]


English reporter looks at Todd Bentley in the same way that they would look at a used car

Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On July 28 2012

It’s going to be increasingly hard for evangelist Todd Bentley to make a living, judging by some recent press coverage.

He seems to have settled down to a level of work and prominence of the sort that he had before Lakeland with some minor changes. He’s not based in Canada any more, and ministers here infrequently. Ministering anywhere near his old ministry base, in Abbotsford B.C., near where his kids may still, presumably live, seems to be something he won’t be doing soon.

He’s keeping the habit of not ministering in many big Cities, with the attendant possibility of media coverage. Rather, he works close enough to cities and airports so that a fan, if they are determined enough, can come see him.

He seems to be ministering outside of North America with the same frequency as he did before he became famous to the average Christian. But his history is tagging along behind him like a little puppy as readers of a small English newspaper realized about a week or so ago.

I’m guessing that this comes from the local newspaper in Croydon , England. Croydon is one of the southern suburbs of London, inside the region of London.

Bentley is scheduled to hold a series of meetings there from August 30 to September 1. And I think, judging by what they wrote, the reporter will be waiting for Bentley when they show up.

There are no new quotes from Bentley, but the reporter has done their homework. They refer, high up in the story, to Bentley’s claims to heal people by beating them up and his time in jail as a teen after he molested a child.

The “face-kicking faith healer” reference relates to one night at Lakeland, when Todd Bentley started talking about the odd things that “God” would have him do when praying for people on other occasions. It’s probably his most infamous clip on YouTube, in various forms.

The reporter could have easily quoted this particular video clip where at 0:40, Bentley starts to say this:

“…And I’m thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He [God} said, ‘Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face’ {Shot of Stephen Strader in the crowd, laughing] And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He {the Holy Spirit] said ‘Kick her in the face with your biker boot. I inched closer and I went Bam! {Makes full hard kicking motion with his right leg] and just as my boot made contact with her nose she fell under the power of God…”

[Radio apologetics  Todd Friel, playing this and other clips from the same sermon on his program was not only dismayed, but puzzled too. He said “What are they laughing at, exactly? He’s hurting people…” ]

The writer for the Croydon Advertiser was no doubt also warned by the national Express tabloid newspaper, which has done fine coverage of Todd Bentley. Most recently, last December, their story on his first visit to Britain in years ran with the headline “Beware of the tattoo preacher

The newspaper had also written critically on Bentley before this so hopefully a bit of a meme has been created in the English press.

Interesting note at the end of the story. The Croydon conference center that Todd has rented for his meetings is owned by a local church, Folly’s End Community Fellowship. Bentley is listing the church as a co-host of the meetings, the story reports, but the pastor of the church is paraphrased as taking pains to note that they merely hired out the facilities to Bentley and nothing more.

The church has “nothing to do with the event”. Thus the church’s name might prove to be prophetic, one could say.