||11-19-2006 07:31 AM
Gay Marriage Galvanizes Canada's Religious Right
The religious right in Canada- where I legally
married my husband (so nice to be able to say that- and I look forward to the day when it will be realized here in my home state- NY- and the rest of the USA) is making a push to roll back gay marriage. I doubt, however, that they will be successful.
Reports that the sky is falling are erroneous.
OTTAWA — It was a lonely time here in the capital for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in the early days of the gay marriage debate in 2003.
Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press
Charles McVety, who leads several evangelical groups, said, “With the legalization of gay marriage, faith has been violated and we’ve been forced to respond.”
Of the scattered conservative Christian groups opposed to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, it was the only one with a full-time office in Ottawa to lobby politicians. “We were the only ones here,” said Janet Epp Buckingham, who was the group’s public policy director then.
But that was before the legislation passed in 2005 allowing gay marriage in Canada. And before the election early this year of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative and an evangelical Christian who frequently caps his speeches with “God bless Canada.”
Today across the country, the gay marriage issue and Mr. Harper’s election have galvanized conservative Christian groups to enter politics like never before.
The best part....
But the experience of Canada’s abortion debate in the 1980s and early 90s looms ominously over optimism that the movement can be broadened beyond gay marriage.
At the time, evangelical leaders formed groups, raised money and drew significant support in an effort to establish stiff laws against abortion. In 1989, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney introduced legislation banning abortions in cases where the health of the mother was not at risk but the bill failed in the Senate and never became law.
Soon after, the evangelical political movement disbanded, remaining relatively dormant until the gay marriage issue arose.
“When the abortion legislation died everyone just went home and all the momentum was lost,” said Joseph C. Ben-Ami, executive director of the conservative Institute for Canadian Values, which opened an office in Ottawa last year to team up with Mr. McVety’s organizations in Toronto. “I do worry something like that could happen with what we’re seeing now.”
You may worry Mr. McVety, but the light of our love will not be extinguished.
Perfect Love Casteth Out All Fear.
||11-19-2006 04:55 PM
I know I shouldn't say this.. but rather then calling themselves the "religious right" I call them the "religious wrong". :)
Well, I hope that Canada maintains gay marriages.
||01-14-2007 07:29 PM
I really like your Gibran quote; never heard it, but want to write it on a plaque!
It's sad that we galvanize Christians. They believe the coming together is itself an affirmation that God is with them. How could so many of them be wrong? And then once they reach a tipping point, where there are so many people with them it makes disagreement nearly improbable, because God can't be the author of disagreement, and the gatherers feel they must be in the right because of numbers alone. This is when they really start believing God is blessing them: when they disagree about other spiritual matters, but agree on their stance against the GLBT community. It feeds the fire. "At least on this one issue," they think, "we stand united."
At least that's how it happens in the freedom loving U S of A. I had a pastor in Canada that weekly would use us as villains in his sermons; any legislation for us was legislation against Christians. It was tiring to hear how much trouble we were causing. But then also how prolific and powerful we were! Amazing, how this little group of people, this ten percent, like Gideon's army, were causing a ruckus in the great Evangelical Camp.
I too hope that Harper's promise to put the legislation up in front of the government never gets off the ground. I doubt that they will roll back the law.
Here's praying that Canada could lead the way!
||01-14-2007 08:28 PM
The Gibran quote is from his work The Prophet.
Kahlil Gibran on Love
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
Yes. It is amazing how such a small group of people can inspire inflamed rhetoric of hate and fear. Boggles the mind when you think about it. But I am proud- damn proud - of our Canadian neighbors, who, with their generosity and good sense, have shown their neighbors to the south what true egality is all about.
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