Opinion

Gay activist bemoans ‘astonishingly’ resilient social conservatives

Says substantial portion of Canadians have formed a counter movement of social conservatism that is "one of the most prolific and visible movements of the past four decades in Canada".
Mon Dec 13, 2010 - 6:50 pm EST

Book Review of Losing Control, written by Tom Warner

Publisher: Between the Lines, Toronto, which receives assistance for its publishing activities from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Book Publishers Tax Credit program and through the Ontario Book Initiative, and the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program.  $29.95 292p

December 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The author of the book, Losing Control, Tom Warner, has been a gay activist since 1971.  He was involved with the controversial, now defunct, homosexual newspaper, “Body Politics”, which was charged with obscenity, a charge that was ultimately dismissed.  Mr. Warner was also the first homosexual to serve on the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

He argues in his book that the foundations of society based on Christian belief and morality have now been replaced, because of the Charter of Rights and Human Rights Commissions, with a new, secular morality of equality rights.  This, he states has smashed the Christian concepts of sexual morality, family and gender relationships.  He accurately comments that the biggest obstacle to social conservatism in Canada has been the Charter of Rights. 

Mr. Warner believes that the new secular morality causes no harm.  His view can only be held by ignoring sexually transmitted diseases linked to promiscuity, the loss of countless unborn, and the destruction caused by the loss of family cohesion.  In his support for liberalized prostitution there is no mention that organized crime profits from prostitution, pornography and drugs.  This blindness to harm is stupendous.

Mr. Warner, however, is not too confident that the present secular changes are here to stay, due to a substantial portion of Canadians who have formed a counter movement of social conservatism.  The latter he describes as “one of the most prolific and visible movements of the past four decades in Canada”. 

Warner goes on to say that, “Despite the many defeats and setbacks suffered over the last couple of decades, social conservatism in Canada is neither dying nor beaten.  It has survived with astonishing resilience and tenacity.”  Defeats in fact “have spiked their determination to restore Judeo-Christian religious beliefs and moral values as the bedrock of Canada’s laws and public policy.”  He says that the enactment of the legislation recognizing same-sex marriage and the many perceived assaults on religious freedom by the courts and Human Rights Commission, have galvanized social conservatives anew.

As examples of the current rise of social conservatism, he refers to the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program and admits “the impact of the program in helping to reshape modern Canada in the age of Charter rights had been profound”.  He claims that the Conservative government catered to the demands of REAL Women and other social conservative groups opposed to feminism. 

The cuts to feminist funding left the Status of Women “significantly diminished as an agent of social change”, Warner writes.  Warner sees recent federal cuts to leftist groups as “an effective means of helping social conservatives in their constant struggle against secularism and immorality.”

REAL Women is prominent

But Warner is fully aware of who is defending what he calls the “old Christian Canada.”  In his chronicle he quotes the many pro-life, pro-family groups, which have relentlessly defended, in our courts and legislatures, what he sees as “the old, oppressive religious morality that imbued the laws and shaped public policy.”  He sees REAL Women of Canada as prominent at every stage, opposing the secularist march through our institutions.

Obviously, REAL Women has been doing good work!

Mr. Warner is alarmed that Canada is witnessing a firm commitment to the building of an organizational infrastructure that is supporting and sustaining the social conservative resurgence in order to gain control of the political agenda in the long run.  He argues that social conservatives do so by presenting a more moderate image, and adapting more pragmatic tactics that allow them to successfully navigate “the faith/political interface”.

Mr. Warner singles out the Manning Centre for Building Democracy as particularly troublesome, since it has “built and maintains strong ties with the Conservative Party and serves as a training ground for both social conservatives and party activists”.  He also refers to the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI’s strong efforts to reunite the Gospel and culture, the effective work of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), quoting Brian Stiller and Bruce Clemenger (past and present presidents of the EFC). 

Campaign Life Coalition, Focus on the Family’s Ottawa based Institute of Marriage and the Family, the Catholic Civil Rights League, Christian Legal Fellowship, the Home Schooling Legal Defence Association of Canada, the Institute of Canadian Values, the Canada Family Action Coalition Coalition (CFAC) headed by Dr. Charles McVety of the Canada Christian College - all are building the contemporary social conservatism movement in Canada.  Challenges to these organizations, Warner complains, “have spiked their determination to restore Judeo-Christian religious beliefs and moral values as the bedrock of Canada’s laws and public policy”.

Mr. Warner ends his book by warning, “Canadians who want to ensure the continued existence of a more secular state - to advance the continued expansion of the separation of church and state - must remain vigilant.  When the need arises, they will need to respond swiftly and decisively to beat back the multitude of social conservative crusaders who are so fervently dedicated to bringing the nation back to God”.

Diane Watts is the chief researcher for REAL Women

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