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  • The Armageddon Factor



    http://www.goodreads.com/book/...he-armageddon-factor

    Peter Darbyshire added it
    Unlike many Canadians, I've never believed Stephen Harper is the Second Coming of George Bush. First off, I think he's smarter than Bush, although I think Bush had more political cunning. And second, while Bush turned out to be even more religious and right than most of his followers anticipated, Stephen Harper has always appeared to me to be more of an economic conservative than a social one. Now that I've finished reading Marci McDonald's The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalis...moreUnlike many Canadians, I've never believed Stephen Harper is the Second Coming of George Bush. First off, I think he's smarter than Bush, although I think Bush had more political cunning. And second, while Bush turned out to be even more religious and right than most of his followers anticipated, Stephen Harper has always appeared to me to be more of an economic conservative than a social one. Now that I've finished reading Marci McDonald's The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, I see no reason to change that viewpoint.

    Sure, the book examines Harper's religious beliefs and background — even down to what churches he has attended — but there's nothing to be alarmed about in the details. Harper goes to church, yes, but his politics seem informed by the holy books of the economists, not the Bible. In fact, The Armageddon Factor quotes more than a few Christians who complain that Harper has courted them for their votes only to make token efforts to support their causes in office — the vote on *** marriage was designed to fail, for instance — while throwing all the resources of the government into economic and political reform. Hardly the theocon that nightmares are made of.

    But as the book makes clear, it's not Harper that poses a threat to our society of multiculturalism and tolerance. It's the growing religious right movement in Canada. Or, more accurately, a growing religious right movement that embraces the American model of intolerance, paranoia and hate. It doesn't matter what kind of conservative Harper is, because he's turned to these people to shore up the party's base, and they are driving the party deeper and deeper into American-style religious fundamentalism and social conservatism. The book cites example after example of Canadian religious zealots who have imported American religious right strategies and moved into the circles of power in Parliament along with the Conservatives, or who influence the Conservative Party through fundraising and social networking, or just plain organizing. Who, in short, are starting to affect policy in ways that even Harper, with his iron fist on his party, can no longer control. Call it Harper's deal with the devil or just politics. It doesn't matter. The Conservative Party of Canada's future will be more Stockwell Day than Stephen Harper.

    The Armageddon Factor is fearmongering, sure, but it's fearmongering based on fact. Just take a look south at the border to see how much damage the fundamentalists have caused to that society. Now imagine the same fault lines spreading to this country. It wouldn't take much for the same kind of civil cold war to happen here.

    There are flaws with the The Armageddon Factor, of course. It's more anecdotal than statistical, when at times stats would be useful. And it could certainly use more accounts from inside circles, although it's not a surprise politicos are unwilling to talk on record. But what it needs the most is more voices from the religious left, or at least the religious centre. The book — hell, Canada — needs an alternative to the simple formulation of left vs. right/religious right. We need to recognize there are other voices in the religious community besides those who use their bibles to justify their hatred and anxieties, their rejection of modernity and their future. We need to recognize and promote those who embrace tolerance and pluralism, science and reason. In other words, we need to find ourselves in Christian Canada. If not, we're destined to the same descent into madness as the U.S.
    http://www.anbsoft.com/images/usflag_med.jpg

    "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit

  • #2


    http://www.goodreads.com/book/...he-armageddon-factor

    Peter Darbyshire added it
    Unlike many Canadians, I've never believed Stephen Harper is the Second Coming of George Bush. First off, I think he's smarter than Bush, although I think Bush had more political cunning. And second, while Bush turned out to be even more religious and right than most of his followers anticipated, Stephen Harper has always appeared to me to be more of an economic conservative than a social one. Now that I've finished reading Marci McDonald's The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalis...moreUnlike many Canadians, I've never believed Stephen Harper is the Second Coming of George Bush. First off, I think he's smarter than Bush, although I think Bush had more political cunning. And second, while Bush turned out to be even more religious and right than most of his followers anticipated, Stephen Harper has always appeared to me to be more of an economic conservative than a social one. Now that I've finished reading Marci McDonald's The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, I see no reason to change that viewpoint.

    Sure, the book examines Harper's religious beliefs and background — even down to what churches he has attended — but there's nothing to be alarmed about in the details. Harper goes to church, yes, but his politics seem informed by the holy books of the economists, not the Bible. In fact, The Armageddon Factor quotes more than a few Christians who complain that Harper has courted them for their votes only to make token efforts to support their causes in office — the vote on *** marriage was designed to fail, for instance — while throwing all the resources of the government into economic and political reform. Hardly the theocon that nightmares are made of.

    But as the book makes clear, it's not Harper that poses a threat to our society of multiculturalism and tolerance. It's the growing religious right movement in Canada. Or, more accurately, a growing religious right movement that embraces the American model of intolerance, paranoia and hate. It doesn't matter what kind of conservative Harper is, because he's turned to these people to shore up the party's base, and they are driving the party deeper and deeper into American-style religious fundamentalism and social conservatism. The book cites example after example of Canadian religious zealots who have imported American religious right strategies and moved into the circles of power in Parliament along with the Conservatives, or who influence the Conservative Party through fundraising and social networking, or just plain organizing. Who, in short, are starting to affect policy in ways that even Harper, with his iron fist on his party, can no longer control. Call it Harper's deal with the devil or just politics. It doesn't matter. The Conservative Party of Canada's future will be more Stockwell Day than Stephen Harper.

    The Armageddon Factor is fearmongering, sure, but it's fearmongering based on fact. Just take a look south at the border to see how much damage the fundamentalists have caused to that society. Now imagine the same fault lines spreading to this country. It wouldn't take much for the same kind of civil cold war to happen here.

    There are flaws with the The Armageddon Factor, of course. It's more anecdotal than statistical, when at times stats would be useful. And it could certainly use more accounts from inside circles, although it's not a surprise politicos are unwilling to talk on record. But what it needs the most is more voices from the religious left, or at least the religious centre. The book — hell, Canada — needs an alternative to the simple formulation of left vs. right/religious right. We need to recognize there are other voices in the religious community besides those who use their bibles to justify their hatred and anxieties, their rejection of modernity and their future. We need to recognize and promote those who embrace tolerance and pluralism, science and reason. In other words, we need to find ourselves in Christian Canada. If not, we're destined to the same descent into madness as the U.S.
    http://www.anbsoft.com/images/usflag_med.jpg

    "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit

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    • #3
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      http://www.anbsoft.com/images/usflag_med.jpg

      "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit

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