Thursday, June 04, 2009


Northern Lights

"Atheism: a threat to civilization."

Now, what might you think an article with such a title could be?

That's right! It's an extended complaint about how "the militant atheism of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others who want to slam religion ... portray Christianity not only as wrong but evil."

As could be predicted, the names Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao Zhe Dong get associated with atheism as well.

If you haven't suffered too much irony whiplash from that, consider the following juxtaposition:

"Their goal is to divorce political questions like abortion from moral claims and religion ..."

[Which is part of] a larger and more insidious political strategy designed to make voters fear Conservatives on the basis of individual religious choices."

Individual religious choices, of course, that Conservatives can politically impose on everyone else.

You might think this wouldn't bother me much, seeing how I'm a militantly apathetic agnostic, but I'm afraid that the author of the piece, one Fr. Alphonse de Valk, is pretty clearly conflating "secularists" with "atheists":

Atheism's common form in Canada is secularism. As we have pointed out many times in the past, modern secularism is not neutral; on the contrary, it is aggressively anti-Christian.

You might also think this wouldn't bother me much, seeing how I'm not Canadian, but I've got to have someplace to run if the lunatic right wins down here again.

Lastly, there is this, which just goes to show what difference an editor can make:

Today the Christian belief in God is under tremendous attack. It began in the 1960's with the overthrow of the ageā€“old condom nation of contraceptives, divorce, abortion, and homosexual activism.

That's a nation I could happily pledge allegiance to.

While we Canadians may be a little, teeny tiny bit more progressive than our American neighbours, we still have our fare share of regressive ideologues. Just this week, the gov of one of our provinces passed legislation that allows parents to both pull their kids from classes where things like sex ed, homosexual equality, etc, will be taught. In addition, they can take the teacher before a human rights tribunal if they fail to notify the parents in advance.

Hows that for progressive?
Yeah, but according to the article (I have no idea myself) "the leaders of three out of four political parties are agnostics or aetheists." If true, that's a situation unthinkable down here where at least public nominal genuflecting is required to hold public office.

On the other hand, you do still spell words like "atheist" and "neighbor" with unnecessary vowels ...
Iggy, Layton and Duceppe are all agnostic/atheist? Could be, but I wonder how he knows that? I have no hard info either way, but de Valk strikes me as the sort who would apply the label to anyone he considers merely insufficiently devout.

And I notice he recycles the Standard Lies about l'affaire Goodyear. I may have to fisk this at my place, over the weekend....
John Pieret said: "the leaders of three out of four political parties are agnostics or aetheists."

This may or maynot be true. The leaders of three of Canada's four main political parties don't exactly hype their religious beliefs. They may or maynot be agnostic or atheist, but to my knowledge none of them have aver made that claim.

One thing that is very different up here, compared to the US, is the role of religion in politics. We're much less tolerant of religious agendas in our politicians, whereas in the US it seems to be a requirement - especially for one particular party...
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