By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
OTTAWA, May 31, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative columnist Ezra Levant , who is Jewish, has slammed a growing trend of overt anti-Christian bigotry expressed by some elected members of Canada's parliament.
Following a lunch arranged last week by Conservative Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle Andrew Scheer for some of his colleagues to meet Msgr. Frederick Dolan, vicar of the Catholic lay organization Opus Dei in Canada, some MPs publicly expressed objections to a representative of a Catholic group meeting with other MPs in the Parliamentary restaurant.
Levant focused on Pat Martin, the NDP MP for Winnipeg Centre, who told reporters last week that members of Opus Dei "give me the creeps." In his blog Levant said that "there is a new aggression" in the comments of politicians "who don't like Christians" and that Martin "didn't just call conservative Catholics creepy, he expressed his objection that any MP would invite such people to soil the sacred precincts of Parliament Hill."
Martin is known for his opposition to Christian-based initiatives. In his own riding in Winnipeg, he tried to thwart plans by the non-profit Christian group, Youth For Christ, to build a 50,000-square-foot 'Youth Centre of Excellence' in the city's squalid downtown area.
LifeSiteNews reported earlier this year that Martin slammed a proposed city contribution of $2.6 million toward the $11.7 million youth centre project as "taxpayer-funded proselytization." "These people are evangelical fundamentalists," he said. "Offering much-needed sports opportunities is just their way of luring in young prospects."
Levant's blog also mentions Gilles Duceppe of "the xenophobic Bloc Quebecois." In Question Period on May 27, Duceppe said "that an (sic) sizeable pro-life caucus is working behind the scenes within the government. The Prime Minister, who controls everything, must know about this caucus. He must also know that Kara Johnson, who was president of the National Council of the Conservative Party, is a member of Opus Dei, and that Nicole Charbonneau Barron, who will again be a candidate for his party in Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, is also a member of Opus Dei, and that a conservative member invited his colleagues to dine with Opus Dei leaders. Will the Prime Minister admit that his policy is influenced by the fundamentalist religious right?"
"Look, we know that Martin and Duceppe don't like Christians," Levant writes. "No surprise there."
"But there is a new aggression to their comments," he continues. "They don't just disagree with Christians. They don't just shun Christians themselves. They believe that Christians should be kept out of the public square altogether. That is, they are aggrieved that anyone would truck with them. And to effect a Christian-free government, these new McCarthyists of the left believe that Christians in public life have to be named, outed and denounced."
Levant speculates about the result of Martin's and Duceppe's public expressions of disdain for Christianity and Catholicism if they were directed at other religions.
"How do you feel about people being blacklisted because they're Catholic? How do you feel about MPs calling different religions "creepy"? How about a leader of a party declaring certain private religious rituals "questionable"? How about the condemnation of even inviting such people to lunch?"
"If your answer is anything different than it would be if . . . Pat Martin and Gilles Duceppe were counting Jews or Sikhs or Muslims, then shame on you."
Levant summarizes "that anti-Christian bigotry remains an acceptable form of intolerance in Canadian politics," that "this bigotry has infected the parties of the left." and that "the mainstream media, and indeed the rest of the political establishment, ignores this bigotry (and in many cases approves of it)." He concludes that nothing will be done to curb this "McCarthyism of the Canadian left."
"Will Canada's self-appointed anti-hate squads pounce on Martin and Duceppe? The Canadian Human Rights Commission? Of course not: they're part of the anti-Christian persecution themselves, having prosecuted Fr. Alphonse de Valk, Rev. Stephen Boissoin, the Christian Heritage Party, etc. I'm surprised they haven't gone after Msgr. Dolan yet."
A YouTube video of Gilles Duceppe and Pat Martin's comments is available here.
See related LSN article:
Winnipeg MP Slams Proposed Downtown Christian Youth Center