Some things just need to be said...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Social Conservatives not just at Church any more

I am preparing an article addressing the rise of the social conservative christian activist in Canada. Many people are pointing to the recent activism that has become more visible during the debate over equal (Gay or same-sex) marriage in Canada.

This activism is not occurring by accident. The seed was planted over twenty years ago in a youthful but growing evangelical religious movement. They began in the school system, using resources, instructors and funds from American based fundamentalists.

Recent activity has provided christian activists a foot hold in the political arena after years on the outside. Political parties such as the Christian Heritage Party have been the only choice for many were seen as a fringe party and unsuccessful. Today the new political home for the evangelical is the Conservative Party of Canada. Nomination victories, delegates selections to the conservative party's first ever convention was successful.

Encouraged by their recent successes, this movement though small in numbers is acting as a much bigger force. A force which is well financed due in large measure to rich American evangelical groups and individuals.

Canadians evangelical's like Tristan Emmanuel, Bishop Henry, Ben-Ami, Stockwell Day, Rev. Charles McVety, David Manse, Bruce Clemenger, Cindy Silver and Jim Hughes are entering the political world with no apologies, no hidden agendas, telling it like they want it to be. Some are candidates, others are opinion leaders and back room planners. Still these people are succeeding in creating a vocal and visible political force way beyond their membership size.

For background on this new political force check out the CBC backgrounder, Canada's Evangelical movement: political awakening and the Canned West newspaper report, Pray: Canada's social conservatives are anxious to have their voices heard where it really counts in a democracy: at the ballot box. I wrote a piece on aspects of the Christian Right in the United States being declared a "Hate Group" by the leading watchdog of organizations that perpetrate hate. See it here, Christian Right.

My evaluation will be here in time for August 7, appropriately released on a Sunday, or not, depending on your view.

For more information on social conservatives, Stephen Harper, gay, same-sex or equal marriage, James Dobson, evangelicals, Focus on the Family, Bishop Henry, use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Queer Thoughts.

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