Do the evolution (II)


Adam Radwanski on all this nonsense.

I agree wholeheartedly with Kady O’Malley that Gary Goodyear displayed an appalling lack of political acumen in walking straight into a discussion of his belief – or lack thereof – in evolution. Coming so soon after his weird blow-up with representatives of the CAUT, it suggests our science minister is in way over his head in a portfolio that’s taken on more profile than Stephen Harper probably anticipated when he appointed him to it. And yes, Goodyear’s background as a chiropractor is probably not going to help him much in his discussions with Steven Chu.

All that being said, does anyone else get the feeling we’re losing the plot a wee bit here?

More to the point, when people are weary of the viciousness that’s come to characterize federal politics in this country, attacking the personal knowledge or views of your opponents is a dangerous game to play. At least, I’d like to think it is. And I’d also like to think that those of us in my line of work will keep our eye on the ball as much as we’ve implored our politicians to do.   

He then points to another case of religion meeting public policy that might be more worthy of discussion. He might’ve mentioned this too.


Do the evolution (II)

  1. Not exactly relevant, but that Ottawa Sun headline is… wow. He opposes same-sex marriage and supports free speech, ergo he is “anti-gay” as if he was trying to ship them all off to heterosexuality education camps in the Rocky Mountains.

  2. This is like complaining a fisheries minister doesn’t enjoy angling. It might be a damning indictment to the shallow or obsessive, but if he actually does his job, more or less as someone without the Horrifying Incorrect Belief might, what does it matter?

    • No, this is like a fisheries minister not believing in the existence of fish.

      Hey, maybe belief in the existence of fish shouldn’t be a “litmus test” for fisheries minister – I mean, the minister doesn’t *have* to reflect his beliefs in policy. But who in their right mind would appoint someone like that to *that* position?

      And who could take someone seriously who doesn’t believe in the existence of fish because he thinks his religion forbids it? Goodyear is a partisan hack and a clown and he’s further damaged his credibility by telling the truth here.

  3. It is a fair question of a man who thinks homosexuality a “sin” if he thinks potential claimants should receive refugee status for that same “sin.”

    • Even if that were true, your logic is faulty.

      Homosexuality isn’t grounds for refugee status in itself. He’s not going down a checklist and refusing to check the “Gay? Let him in” box; he’s determining whether the claimant faces an unacceptable risk of persecution if deported to their country of origin. I, for one, am capable of believing that a bureaucrat can make a decision about a person without liking or approving of them as a person. Are you?

      • Would you put a white supremacist on the refugee board?

        • Failure to support same-sex marriage is now functionally equivalent to being a white supremacist? I missed that memo.

          • What’s the problem? Or is a belief in racial equality now a litmus test?

            As long as he promises to keep his personal beliefs out of policy, by your reasoning, a KKK Grand Dragon shouldn’t be prevented from serving on a refugee board.

          • Both dehumanize someone on the basis of an irrelevant personal characteristic by denying them full rights in society.

    • They’re not getting refugee status because they’re gay, but because they’d face persecution back in their home countries.

      • But how far is it from ‘believing homosexuality is a sin’ to that of ‘people aren’t persecuted because they are gay’ view point? I’d say there have been many people who argued that God will punish homosexuals for their deviation from His order, and thus either indirectly or directly accept that discrimination is ‘part of the disease.’
        I’d like to get him on record that he believes people persecuted because of their homosexuality are among those he would support at a refugee hearing. It seems that, being part of the possible rulings which a refugee board hears, that he accepts it as fact.

        • You’re missing the point, like your esteemed colleague above.

          If a claimant faces persecution, he faces persecution. If true, it’s true no matter what the source of the persecution, or whether the Refugee Board bureaucrat feels it was “deserved.” Moreover, no member of the Board could perform the specific auto-da-fé you demand, because it would display favouritism towards one type of claimant – which, again, ignores the actual question their administrative function is put in place to answer.

      • Very true. But if one’s personal belief is that the sinner should be punished, and the refugee wants to enter this country to avoid the punishment, well, the initial thought would be that Cryer would deny the claimant the ability to avoid the punishment.

        However, maybe not. Maybe Cryer could rise above his personal beliefs, acknowledge that yes, this claimant would be punished and therefore should be granted refugee status–all the while gritting his teeth. I would just like someone (hint, Aaron) to keep an eye on this to see whether the man can do the job based on the job criteria only (it is possible), or whether he judges based on his personal views.

        I personally think this man is a *strange* choice, but then again I’d feel a bit queasy if the most qualified applicant was passed over solely due to his religion.

        Okay, that last bit was mostly bulls*it. I’m firmly convinced that Cryer’s only “qualifications” for the job was the first part of the first sentence, “a longtime Conservative”.

    • “It is a fair question of a man who thinks homosexuality a “sin” if he thinks potential claimants should receive refugee status for that same “sin.”

      cam, do you really want to get into litmust tests now?

  4. Look here… This is a democracy and in a democracy, quizzing a public official about their religious beliefs and then suggest that those beliefs make him/her unfit for the job is unacceptable.

    What’s next? Sexual orientation?

    I thought we put all that McCarty-like nonsense behind us? The reporter was out of line. Yes, her rear end is covered in as much as Goodyear slipped up and gave her an entry way but she should NOT have gone there.

  5. What’s more… I find it quite suspicious that the reporter would leave out the initial question that spurred this reply.

  6. So Mr. Wherry, if being anti-gay marriage is a case of religion vs science, please enlighten me, what is the scientific case for gay marriage?

    Crickets chirping.

    • Actually, I believe he said “religion meeting public policy” not religion vs. science.

    • What is the scientific case for heterosexual marriage?

      • Hard science, social science or weird science?

  7. He was not questioned about his religious beliefs he was questioned about his acceptance of a fairly fundamental tenet of science which is the theory of evolution.

    For him to instantly equate that question with a question about his religion and clam up reveals far more about his qualifications to deal with the science portfolio than about the questioner or the method of questioning. Valid grounds to question Goodyear’s competence for that position arise from his answer.

  8. I think a basic understanding and acceptance of current scientific knowledge is a fundamental qualification for the portfolio.

  9. At least Goodyear has funky specs, like Devolin.

Sign in to comment.