An election must be nigh.

Which means I’ll soon have my hackles up about ridiculous statements about faith and religion from politicians and the media.

I noted this story on CBC Radio One’s noon news: “Quebec Tory candidate is Opus Dei member” (Opus Dei is a conservative Catholic organization, caricatured in Dan Brown’s fictional Da Vinci Code).  Why is this news?  We’re a multi-cultural, multi-faith country, so why is this a surprise?

Why is this newsworthy?  Are we not a multi-cultural and multi-religious society?  If so, why would this candidates affiliation surprise or concern anyone?

From the Montreal Gazette:

[Bloc Québécois leader Gilles] Duceppe seized on the revelation that one of the Conservatives’ candidates in Quebec is a member of the ultra-Catholic group Opus Dei as a candidate saying it is proof that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative party are narrow-minded right wing ideologues who would take away a woman’s right to choose.  (Link)

From the Globe and Mail:

“My problem is that Opus Dei is a rather secret society,” Mr. Duceppe told reporters in Quebec City. “Those people certainly share an ideology, a narrow ideology, that doesn’t correspond at all to the modern times in Quebec…. That candidate said very openly that self-whipping is a sacrifice they have to do. I question myself on such practices.” (Link)

An election must be nigh.

5 thoughts on “An election must be nigh.

  1. Scott

    I am thankful that we are not in the States where it seems one cannot get elected unless one mentions God… and it seems that the only God that will get you elected in the USA is a Christian God.

    I think that religion should not be in politics at all. Politicians have to represent all of their constituents equally, and it should not matter what a MP/MLA &c believe… they should be able to speak to the concerns of their citizens, not their own concerns.

  2. Marc Vandersluys

    I think agree. Gilles Duceppe apparently does not.

    Actually, I would hope that any politician would run on a platform that reflects what he or she believes. If elected, they can then have the freedom to act on that platform in good conscience.

    In fact, that happens a lot of the time. Could it be that citizens elect politicians because their beliefs are reflected their platform?

    Are so-called “non-religious” politicians any different? Do their platforms and policies not reflect their own beliefs to some degree?

    In the (unlikely) even that a pro-gay-marriage politician gets elected in a riding that is overwhelmingly anti-gay-marriage, should that politician go with the opinion of those in his or her riding, or his own?

    There is always an outcry about elected officials and their religious beliefs, their faith. Why? They were elected and these days their faith would not have been a secret before their election. It is the will of the people of the officials’ riding that they represent them, religious beliefs and all.

    It is clear that a person’s private life unavoidably affects their public life, whether they are religious or not. Why can’t we just leave it alone and talk about the issues?

  3. Toni

    There will always be outcry after someone is elected, regardless of religious or otherwise beliefs, because it is likely a minority did not want that candidate.

    Scott – while I dislike the manner in which politics is done in the US, I do not think you can separate an individuals actions from their beliefs. If someone believes people are important, he will administer that way. If someone is a drunken womaniser then he will administer that way. Of course they will be constrained by the rules of office, but they will still lead according to who they are within that constraint. They may even try to alter the rules to allow them greater freedom in the direction to which they are inclined.

  4. Andre

    If you ask Karl Marx, he’d tell you that politics is religion. But if we think it has no place there, I’d suggest it has less even less place in the life of the Christian. Spirituality, however should hold primary place in the life of the Christian. To set aside our spirituality is to set aside the spirit of Christ, isn’t it?

    It seems to me that if Jesus was killed by the political bodies of his time, it was because his Spirit could not abide the injustices that the political systems were responsible for. That same Spirit lives in us and I would hope that our elected officials, Christian or not, would go to Ottawa to stand against injustices. Spirituality is the foundation for stands like that.

    When politics is merely about the advance of economy over individuals (and this is what shows it to be a secular religion), then one comes to expect that spirituality (and its pretender, religion) will be mocked and vilified.

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