The past two days two articles have been written with the following provocative titles: “Author warns of growing influence of religious right in Canadian politics” by Don Martin in the National Post (May 11, 2010) and “CBC waging ‘faith war,’ Conservatives say” by Jane Taber in the Globe and Mail (May 12, 2010). Both cite a book written by Marci McDonald, author of the recently published book, The Armageddon Factor an a CBC report on the rise of the “Christian Right” in Canada and it’s influence on the Prime Minister. The articles describe how Christian values and principles are seeping into the fabric of politics. The language Taber uses to describe this trend is ominous, as though there is a grand conspiracy at work between the Conservative Party and the Christian church.
I can’t help but wonder why is this even an issue. Don’t Christians have a right to assert their political opinions? The article by Taber, the book by McDonald (as mentioned by Taber and Martin; for the sake of full disclosure I have not read the book in full) and the CBC news report seem to reflect the grumblings of ideologues who are in danger of losing power. Christians are demonized as hate-mongers and extremists. These monikers are applied by the same folks who demand tolerance of their own views, even if those views are considered extremist by other groups.
If tolerance is to be applied it ought to be applied universally. But it is not. Instead, opposing ideologies attack each other with utter disdain. Utopian values like tolerance do not exist in political systems with such divergent viewpoints. As the society becomes more dissonant, the less civility there is in society.