By John Jalsevac
HALTON, ON, June 9, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The verbal sparring match began on May 28, when Conservative MP Garth Turner appeared in a television interview, alongside pro-marriage/Christian political activist Charles McVety.
The issue at hand was homosexual “marriage” in the RCMP.
During what McVety—who is involved in or represents the views of groups including Defend Marriage Canada, the Canada Christian College, and the Canada Family Action Coalition—calls a “spirited” debate, it came to the fore that one of the goals of Christian political activists is to work to ensure that anti-marriage, anti-life, anti-Christian Conservative MPs are defeated and replaced with more family-friendly and Christian candidates during the nomination meetings that will occur before the next election.
Turner responded, accusing McVety and those who share his beliefs of employing anti-democratic tactics. On his blog that same night Turner responded to McVety’s arguments, saying “I have no time for groups in our society who try to force their morals, or their culture, on the rest of us.”
He concluded his remarks saying, “Call it Defend Marriage Canada. Call it the Taliban. Fleurs de mal [Flowers of evil]” (https://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/6/).Â
In a later blog entry Turner labeled those who share McVety’s political and religious views as “people who share his divine Kool-Aid,”Â(https://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/5/) an apparent reference to the infamous Jonestown Massacre of 1978, during which 913 members of the Peoples Temple cult committed mass suicide by drinking grape-flavoured Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. And in another post he called those who would attempt to nominate politicians whose politics is informed byÂtheir faithÂas “religious vigilantes,”Â (https://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/2/) and elsewhere, “single-issue monochromatic militants” (https://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/6/). And elsewhere, mere paragraphs after back-pedalling and saying “No, I did not call the fundamentalism Christians Taliban,” he continues and comparesÂthe very same ChristiansÂto Afghan Militant Muslims, although avoiding the explicit term “Taliban,”Âsaying, “But a faith-based government? Forget it. Our brave troops in Afghanistan spend every day tracking down and squishing the freaks who tried that one”Â(https://www.garth.ca/weblog/page/2/).
Joseph Ben-Ami, Executive Director of the Institute for Canadian Values, expressed his confusion at Turner’s accusations that recruiting supporters to attend nomination meetings is anti-democratic.
“When Garth Turner arranges to bring his family and friends to a nomination meeting on a bus he calls it democracy, but when a challenger who happens to be brown-skinned, or perhaps a member of the local church or synagogue, does the same thing for their family and friends, he calls them Taliban and accuses them of ‘taking over’,” observed Ben-Ami.
“Garth Turner’s behaviour is a sharp illustration of the vicious and deep-rooted bigotry lurking just below the surface of the secular-left in our society,” continued Ben-Ami. “People like him claim to be champions of tolerance, but when their own ideas and positions are challenged, they resort to name-calling and fear mongering, laughably invoking the principle of tolerance to justify their bigotry.”
Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, a group thatÂworks toÂhelp electÂpro-life candidates, said of Turner, “We said right from the beginning that Garth Turner wasn’t somebody that could be supported. A lot of people said we just have to vote Conservative regardless of the candidates. And here we’re paying the price.”
Hughes continued, saying “The Prime Minister has had this man in already and told him to clam up. Now the only thing is for his expulsion from Cabinet. That would satisfy the bulk of people who supported Mr. Harper from the life and family movement.”
LifeSiteNews.com tried to contact party leader Stephen Harper’s office to find out if an apology for Turner’s remarks was forthcoming, but was unable to speak to anyone with information on the matter prior to publishing time.
Throughout the debate Turner has also—despite his often expressed approval of a majority-based democracy—repeatedly called into question the need for a free vote on the same-sex “marriage” issue in parliament.Â
In one post Turner admits that traditional-marriage supporters represent a large portion of the Canadian population: “In a moral sense,” he says, “they have a huge current behind them since most churches are solidly behind traditional marriage. In a cultural sense, many ethnic communities represented in Halton [Turner’s riding] are massively against same-sex marriage. In a political sense, these highly-motivated voters are not going to let their views be ignored.” Turner continues, admitting that he has also had strong reservations, “about the wisdom of the Liberal move to change the definition of marriage, especially without a whole lot more public input and debate.”
The Halton MP, however, dismisses the concern that the Liberal government side-stepped proper democratic processes in pushing through the same-sex “marriage” legislation, and failed to properly take into account public opinion on the redefinition of marriage.
“It is behind us,” says Turner about the passage of the legislation, “the Right has been extended, and there seems no compelling reason to take it back.” He did not say whether or not the majority of Canadians being opposed to the extension of the “right” would be a sufficient reason. Numerous polls have indicated that the majority of Canadians are indeed opposed to same-sex “marriage”. A CBC poll conducted in January of last year indicated 54% of Canadians were opposed to Bill C-38, while a National Post/Global National poll in February of the same year indicated 66% opposition.
“I’ll go down fighting to stop any faith-based group, Christian, Islamic or whatever, from using our precious political system to impose their value system and religious beliefs on the rest of us,” Turner wrote on his blog on June 6. “There’s a reason wise people decided the state and the church should be separate, and Canada – proudly multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-faith and multi-hued – is no d**n place to start gluing them back together.”
“That does not mean,” he continues by way of clarification, “we can’t be ethical, moral, responsible, principled and virtuous. In fact, our government should be an example of humanity gone nuts with goodness.”
Throughout the debate Turner has repeatedly labeled himself as a “Christian”, although it is unclear if he draws his beliefs of what is “ethical,”“moral” and “good” from his Christian faith, or from some other unnamed source.
To express your concern contact Stephen Harper at: [email protected]