A word from Stephen Harper's God - Macleans.ca

A word from Stephen Harper’s God

He isn’t that wild about anyone in the Third World who may need an abortion. Or seafaring Tamils.


“I don’t speak very often about my own religion, but let me be very clear: My God and my Christ is a tolerant God, and that’s what we want to see in this world.” — Stephen Harper

Don’t get me wrong: My God doesn’t want homosexuals to be able to get married. He’s not that tolerant a God. I mean, try to find one who is, am I right? Ha ha. But up to a point that serves my own narrow purposes and blinkered world view, my God and my Christ is a tolerant God. Oh, He also isn’t that wild about anyone in the Third World who may need an abortion. Or seafaring Tamils. My God is not tolerant of seafaring Tamils. You know what: this is getting complicated. Would it help if I made you all a list?

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A word from Stephen Harper’s God

  1. Using God's alleged tolerance when you see fit. It's so convenient!

    • Who are you talking to?

      • huh? Harper? I don't know. It's a comment. In a forum.

    • It's called the Gospel. Last time I checked, Harper nor anyone else has rewritten it. It very much talks of a tolerant God. As Harper mentioned, his name is Christ. You might want to look it up. Just saying.

      • Harper might want to take a look too, maybe try some of it out. He could start with loving his neighbours and work on up to his enemies.

        Oh, and that small-time hustler working the old pistol packing pastor with the burning Koran scam? He clearly hasn't made it past all the smiting and plagues and stuff in the Old Testament. Wait 'til he hears the good news!

        • Where in the Gospel does it say that Harper has to lose to his left-wing opponents?

          • I'm pretty sure we are talking about tolerance, not left wing opponents. I'm pretty sure we are talking about the lack of tolerance displayed against said homosexuals, for example. Where is the tolerance? That is the point. Where??

          • Telling that he equates tolerance with the left-wing, isn't it.

          • and just where did I do that, Copernicus?

          • You know, the left-wing has a very funny idea of tolerance. If you don't agree with them on issues like homosexuality, then you're labeled intolerant. The irony is, of course, that that's not a very tolerant view of the world itself, is it?

            To be tolerant is to accept that others may disagree. Some of you are completely incapable of this, but have the gall to accuse others of intolerance. It's quite amazing, if you ask me.

          • I'm pretty sure COMPLETE tolerance is impossible. You want to discipline my child with the strap, for example, i won't tolerate that, and vice versa. Where we appear to differ is something to do with more or less tolerance, the so called grey. I agree, that tolerance can be about accepting that others disagree, fine. At some point, just disagreeing isn' t enough. Denying people rights, and what not, is not tolerant, and letting them have them, well, is. There is a range of tolerance, and that is going out of the range. You disagree, so i think you are being intolerant. Am i allowed to say you are being more intolerant than I am, or is that against your rules? Or is that somehow elitist to you?

          • Again, this is a typical modern-day leftist tactic. You believe in something, then turn around and call it a "right" in order to silence others and demonize them. There is nothing tolerant about this tactic. In fact, it's meant to quash all dissent, which is the epitome of intolerance. Indeed, dictators are very good at it.

          • Okay, new tact. You and I are both tolerant. Okay, i will repeat my unanswered question:
            Am i allowed to say you are being more intolerant than I am?
            I believe you are tolerant. I DON't believe you are being tolerant ENOUGH.
            Yes, one can be TOO tolerant, absolutely.
            Do you believe you are tolerant enough? Do some people not deserve rights?
            Child molesters don't deserve some rights. We agree. Do homosexuals deserve some rights? Please answer.

          • You are accusing me of not being as "tolerant" as you because I refuse to view homosexuality the same way as you do. This is NOT an example of being "tolerant". In fact, it is arrogant, but all so typical.

            If you spent less time admiring your own intelligence, and more time actually displaying it, you might actually get somewhere.

          • Nope, i don't admire my own intelligence at all. I however admire people who rise above absurd views of homosexuality. In my seemingly "arrogant" position i think they are displaying a greater level of tolerance, yes. There may be some issues where we are equally tolerant, there may be some issues where you are more tolerant than I, and i find that very interesting. Tolerance is quite a deep topic after all. I don't know how tolerant you really are. On this one topic, you aren't tolerant enough. Call me arrogant, fine. You are denying people a happy life by making it incredibly uncomfortable for them to live it. If that makes you happy, well, i will certainly have trouble tolerating that.

          • Don't bother wasting your time with this guy on homosexuality.

          • Yes, how dare he not be a social liberal! Let's not have to defend ourselves against people who dare disagree with us.

          • I've been through it all with you Dennis, there's no point. Unless you can learn to empathize a little and put yourself in the shoes of a gay man or lesbian woman, you'll never understand.

          • I'm a human being. That isn't enough for you, is it? My God.

          • Nope.

          • Hmmm. That's interesting.

            Anyhow, Pato31, I will say that I appreciate that, for the most part, you stick to the arguments being presented. You and I obviously disagree strongly on many issues, but you don't resort to the knee-jerk stuff that is common among some of your colleagues. You always have a point to make. So do I, believe it or not. Some don't seem to understand that.

            Now, I've been wrong about complimenting opponents before. I hope this doesn't come back to bite me.

          • We started off on a bad foot. But I think we have come to "tolerate" one another on these boards :)

          • No, I just think we disagree on some issues, especially homosexuality. But you usually stick to the points being made, which I find refreshing on here.

          • Why can't you just let me have the last word!!!

          • I don't share the leftist view of homosexuality, and you think that makes me less tolerant. And I don't think that's very tolerant. In fact, I think it's far too typical.

          • No Dennis……..it just makes you seem intolerant……….

          • To leftists. I know. That's how you do business these days.

          • Why is everything about the "left" or the "leftists". I know many homosexuals who ascribe to conservative viewpoints – as I do occasionally. They just aren't tied to some kind of extreme christian ideology.

          • Are you telling me that most of the Christian bashers on here aren't from the left side of the political spectrum? What is it about the left that they never want to be honest about who they are?

            Yes, people who dare disagree with you you consider extreme. That is what the left is about these days. I know. Then you hate it being pointed it out. It's such an insular political movement, yet you always claim to speak on the behalf of others. Remarkable.

          • No I think that's very true. A lot of the Christian bashers are on the left side. But I don't think it is as cut and dry as you may believe, especially when it comes to the hot topic of homosexuality.

          • I actually don't think it's that cut and dry. I agree with you that it isn't. In fact, I think Canadian conservatism has a strong libertarian/socially liberal component to it. On the other hand, many evangelicals are liberal. Nevertheless, there is a divide, and the camps tend to fall on different sides.

          • Might want to indicate the brand of Christianity, Dennis! I'm a Christian too, but I have no problems with gays or with gay marriage. "love thy neighbour as thyself" has no asterisked disclaimer. People who use their Christianity to justify their homophobia give the rest of us a bad name. (Well, that's one reason, anyway…)

            I believe (as increasingly, science seems to agree) that gays are born that way – i.e. made like that by God. Just as he made me straight – but left-handed.

            There was a time in this land (and there may still be elsewhere, for all I know) when Christians considered left-handedness to be the mark of the devil. My father was forced to write right-handed as a result.

            As a lefty (talking biological, not political here), I can appreciate and understand that some people are just born different from the majority. God made us (lefties; gays), just as he made you.

            "Let he who is without sin…"; "Judge not, lest ye be judged"; etc.

      • "it very much talks of a tolerant God" – exactly, so alleged.

        • There is nothing "alleged" about what's written in the Gospel. You're more than welcome to read it yourself. Don't take my or any other "alleged" account of what's actually written. That's the God — specifically referred to as "Christ" — that Harper talked about today.

          • The Gospel is not revelation — God never spoke through any of the apostles, they simply spread the news about what they had witnessed and interpreted. In this sense, the Gospel is only a series of allegations.

          • When Harper talks about "his" God, he is talking about the God, Jesus, written about in the Bible. This is not an "allegation". This is not an interpretation or personal whim. It is a written account that serves as foundation for virtually all Christian belief — not just Harper's. Whether or not you want to believe in such an account is a different matter.

            In essence, Harper isn't making up his own account of what his God is, nor should Feschuck or the rest of you.

          • Simply pointing out the distinction between a narrative account and revelation. There is a common belief among 'New Christians' that the Bible is the word of God. When the more orthodox interpretation has been that the Bible is a mixture of parables, witness accounts (i.e., allegations), and divine revelation. In comparison, the Qur'an is understood by all Muslims as revelation received by Muhammed in its entirety. Much of Sharia law however is based on witness accounts of Muhammed and his cohort's behaviour.

          • I'm not sure what any of this has to do with Harper's comments, or mine. However, I do find the use of the term "allegation" to describe witness accounts of Jesus to be somewhat curious. Although the Gospel certainly does describe allegations specifically made against him that led to his death. In that context, the word "allegations" is probably bang-on.

          • By allegations I mean assertions without proof. Although, perhaps your right that the term is misleading because it could imply that the witness accounts of the apostles is something possible to prove or disprove!

          • Allegations can be made that cannot be proved or disproved. I allege that a specific person stole my lunch. I can try to prove it, without luck. That person can try to disprove it, without luck, right?

            Furthermore, historical assertions of all kinds can be impossible to prove or disprove, yet we still consider them to have historical validity. Plato said that Socrates existed. Says him. Hitler used to get down on his knees and rip up the carpet, say some. Churchill was an arrogant son-of-a-gun, say others. And on and on it goes.

          • This isn't about what's objectively written in the Gospel. This is about how people take whatever they want from it, and deduce whatever conclusions they prefer. In Harper's case, he can all of a sudden speak of a tolerant God when it "fits" politically.

          • Of course this is what's objectively written in the Gospel. Just about any reading of it leads one to conclude that Jesus was a pretty tolerant guy, wasn't he? That's the point. Harper wasn't making this up, nor is anyone who actually knows anything about the Gospel. You lefties can't keep making your own facts up. I know I'm ruining this gag of yours, but tough.

          • no………but anyone who has to use the terms……. lefty…Lieberal…C R A P…….CONS…..or any other derogatory term is NOT tolerant

          • The only terms I sometimes use is "leftie", and that to you is intolerant, is it? What about all the posters on here bashing Christianity? Would you agree that that's intolerant? Or do you have a rather narrow definition of it?

          • as both a 'leftie" and a christian, I would like to ask you to please stop suggesting that all "lefties" are anti-christian, and christian bashers. It's really getting in the way of what I think you're trying to say, and thus detracting from anything valid that you may have.
            I'd like to say as well, that if I believe Jesus loves homosexuals, it doesn't equate to christian bashing, it's just a statement about who I believe Jesus to be – someone who loves everyone, because He is love and this is what He does. It's really too bad that those who proclaim themselves to be His followers are so lacking in that kind of love.

          • My God and my Christ are bitter and spiteful. I'm going to hell. There. Now what?

            You can't preach that God is tolerant as a fact. You can interpret it that way, which I have no problem with. But with Harper it apparently works especially well for when he wants to denounce a certain heinous act.

            And there's a lot more apart from the Gospel that describes this so called tolerant God. I've never met the guy and discussed issues with him over beer. And I'm not sure I'm ready to take what is said by one particular apostle as fact.

          • You may not like Jesus. Harper does. Jesus was tolerant by anyone's definition of the word. Why does this bother some of you so much?

          • Maybe the next time Harper denounces gay marriage, or abortion in Africa, he should start out by saying that his reasoning lies in the word of the Gospel. But he would never do that because it would a bad political move. He uses God's "tolerance" for cheap political gain. That should bother you too.

          • I'm not sure why you're lecturing Harper on his view towards God's tolerance, or when and where he can refer to it. Or, for that matter, me, too.

          • I'm fine with Harper's views towards God's tolerance. I realize that many people agree with him. It's the fact that he wouldn't bring up God's tolerance on other issues when it wouldn't be a good political move.

            There's an inconsistency that I find a little troubling.

            It's really not that big of deal. I think he was right in denouncing the burning of the Qu'ran, I think it's fine that he believes in God. But I think it's clear why he doesn't "often speak about" his "own religion."

          • I notice Dennis stopped replying to this thread. I think he may be quietly acknowledging you scored a point!

            I'm not a big fan of Harper; it will take a change of leadership there before I'm comfortable voting Tory again. (I'm a "blue liberal", and have in the past voted PC when I've been disgruntled with the Libs – but that's in the past). However, I'll cede him this point: he usually doesn't (openly) bring up religion, but did THIS time because the Qu'ran-burning idiot in Florida is giving Christians a bad name and other Christians need to stand up and refute him – AS Christians.

            I do want to make one other aside, though – God's Son wasn't always tolerant: consider his reaction to the money-changers in the Temple. One needs to be careful about over-generalizations.

          • But with Harper it apparently works especially well for when he wants to denounce a certain heinous act.

            See, there's the problem right there…. Harper does not rely on – or even refer to – biblical justifications for his various positions. And I am stating, categorically, that assertions & implications to the contrary are de facto religious bigotry.

            There is certainly no shortage of valid material to choose from when criticizing Harper – so why go with the totally invalid position that you know what he thinks because you know where he goes to church?

          • Umm he just did? And I find it odd that if he just did, why he wouldn't use such justifications elsewhere. Either be true about the biblical message by which you're trying to run the country, or don't use it at all. But don't bring it up when it is all of a sudden a good political move…

          • He spoke about his own view of a tolerant God – mistakenly, I'd agree- in the context of an issue of religious tolerance, not on an issue of domestic public policy.

            There is zero evidence that Harper's governance is impacted in any way by his religion. Implications to the contrary, IMO, are based in religious bigotry.

          • Where's Dennis? lgarvin is calling people bigots. Isn't that the last resort of the left?

            Ugh, I find it hard to believe that his governance isn't impacted in any way by his religion – most human beings are shaped by their religious teachings – as was I – and they often form the basis for a great deal of viewpoints on particular subjects. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

            It reminds of a little debate about the Ground Zero Mosque. Someone was trumpeting the defense that this was not a Mosque but a Community Center. By hiding the fact that, yes, this is indeed a mosque, and that the main issue at hand was the mosque, the person was essentially saying that "mosque" is a bad word. You're doing the same thing. You're trying to tell me that there is no religious impact in what Harper does politically. Or, that it is bad to have religion impact our views – at least as politicians. I'll assume it's the former. But either way, what he said exposed the former as not true, and now you're trying to mask it.

            It's not a bad thing, I just want consistency from my leader.

          • lgarvin is calling people bigots.

            No, I'm stating that some views are bigoted. I've called no-one a bigot. It might seem like hair-splitting but it's an important distinction to me.

            Of course all people are influenced by their religious upbringing just as they are influenced by their families, their teachers, their peers, their politics and myriad other conditions. Which is precisely why it's simplistic – and bigoted – to reduce any person's outlook to a lazy stereotype. Even the people you don't like deserve better.

            You're trying to tell me that there is no religious impact in what Harper does politically.

            No I'm not. I'm telling you that you're in no position to judge what weight religious considerations carry with Harper. Neither am I, for that matter, but I'd suggest from my own observations that Harper is almost purely political and has a remarkable moral flexibility which suggests to me that he doesn't take his religion very seriously at all.

            Not that there's anything wrong with that…

          • Fair enough. Thanks for clarifying. But I don't believe I was ever judging "what weight religious considerations carry with Harper."

      • It's called the Gospel … It very much talks of a tolerant God.

        Dennis, I guess that depends on the definition of tolerance, and how you view the Gospel.

        On one hand, one could take the position that the Gospel – as the alleged word of Yewah – doesn't get to make the decision as to whether or not the Christian god is tolerant. One, in theory, is judged on his works, not his opinion of himself. I mean, if I told you that I am a shining beacon of righteousness, you wouldn't believe it until you judged it for yourself.

        On the other hand, if you subscribe to the view that the Gospel is, in fact, the divine word of God, an argument could be made that God herself gets to define what the word tolerance means. Therefor, it is not unreasonable to say that Yewah is tolerant, and a homophobe at the same time. It does, however, require – as I said – the belief that the Gospel is the divine word of God, and a position that Yewah is infallible (and gets to make the rules).

        Not everyone ascribes to that belief.

        • But Harper does. Geez. That's the whole point. That's what he was talking about. And that's what's driving some of you bananas, despite the fact that you all claim to be understanding and tolerant of religion. Only if they're Muslims or non-Christians, apparently.

          • really….I don't think anyone here is "going bananas" Dennis……I find a great deal of irony in the fact that Harper uses his "tolerant" god when it is useful……frankly I can't stand ALL religions…..but I TOLERATE a prime Minister who has to mention his sky fairy in a news conferance

          • Yes, many of you resent Christianity, while pretending to defend Muslims and others in the name of tolerance and understanding. That is becoming all to clear. Thank you.

          • I know that if we were ever to have a PM who was muslim, and he spent the majority of his time as PM never using the message of the Qu'ran as reasoning behind his political motives (because it would just be an unpopular strategy), but then one day decided that it would score him a few cheap political points, I would also denounce his action.

          • I'm not sure that you actually read my post.

            So, what you are saying is that, Mr. Harper subscribes to the belief that the Gospel gets to define the meaning of particular words? Not only that, but that the central message behind his comment had nothing to do with burning the Koran, and everything to do with the Gospel defining the word 'tolerance'?

            There are a couple of issues here:

            1. Words that appear in the Gospel are not necessarily the words that appeared in the original version. The works have been translated numerous times, and are, frankly, interpretations of the original text. So, the word 'tolerance', as it appears in the Gospel, may or may not convey the original intended meaning.

            1. I don't believe you when you say that his speech was a theological discussion on epistemology, re; Yewah. That doesn't seem like something Mr. Harper would do. Even on a bad day.

      • keep your abrahamic deity to yourself. Hypocrisy is the trunk of x-tianity, and delusion it's fruit.

  2. LOL sort of a Buffet-God…pick and choose as you wish.

    Or as you need for politics.

    Thank you for the laugh!

    • No, it's written in the Gospel. Harper didn't make things up about it, nor should any of you.

  3. Is that the same God that discourages condom use in Africa?

  4. Feschuk: Making the perfect the enemy of the good since 1989.

    Instead of a list, why not publish your criteria for determining who among us is pure enough to speak out urging tolerance?

  5. well at least he isn't burning other religions Holy Books

    • That's holding him to a pretty high standard…

    • Do we really know what he gets up to in private?

  6. So, Harper has his own God AND his own Christ. Very impressive.

    • They give out a free Christ now with every God complex.

      • Mr. Feschuk, I suggest you write any further thoughts you may have on small rolls of soft paper. That way we can make proper use of them before we dispose of them.

        • So don't read him…..just a suggestion

          • Excellent suggestion! As a matter of fact that was the first Maclean article I’ve read since I cancelled my subscription 10 years ago. Nothing new here. Macleans is still a leftist propaganda rag. I’ll check again in 10 years.

          • Or, if this is the extent of your commentary, you could do yourself and those of us who are here for discussion a favor and simply not bother. Save your time.

          • ok……well……..so long then

    • He also has his own holy ghost, but he didn't want to brag too much to ordinary canadians.

      • closet elitist, eh?

        • Stephen Harper's god prefers him to drink starbucks, but advises posing for public photos at timmie's.

          He's a highbrow, yet strategic god.

          • He's a highbrow, yet strategic god.

            This line made people in my office look at me funny. Thanks a lot.

    • Well, according to the NYT style book it should be .. "Mr. Christ, the self-styled Son of God" …

      h/t D. Henwood.

    • To be fair, there are a lot of people going around saying OMG

    • Well as a yuppie, person in power, seated politician, and all that….
      He does have certain privileges….!
      You will find all of his "class" have their "own" Gods.
      These invisible juju's are made and modified and used as needs warrant.
      All you have to do is run the rat race, reach his status, and you too can have your own personal invisible friend.
      (Who conveniently always sees things your way!)

    • I used to have a plastic Jesus on my dash that played the Jackass version of "Plastic Jesus." Somebody stole it though.

  7. Feschuk's old boss Paul Martin has this same God no?

    • Oh, my. They aren't going to like THAT…

      • Paul Martin also had respect for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians, not just ones who are heterosexual.

        • Same-sex marriage isn't a charter right.

          • However, it was brought in (so to speak, as there is no law ordering that marriage apply to anyone in particular) because the alternative was a discriminatory law. The Supreme Court agreed and so do I.

            So, by extension, yes, it was a matter of charter rights although marriage is not a right, no more than signing a contract is a right.

          • If marriage is not a right, same-sex marriage is not a right.

            Equality before the law is required, but one has to think of all the troublesome implications of treating same-sex marriage as a right — virtually all of which were not at all addressed by the means by which Martin implemented the policy.

            I'm in favour of same-sex marriage myself, because I'm in favour of equality before the law. This being said, I also recognize the right of religious institutions to decline to perform or host same-sex marriages.

            Not that I have any appreciation for homophobic religious views. But making it unlawful to be a bigot would set a dangerous precedent.

          • What your argument fails to recognize is that as marriage exists as a social institution, there are basically two separate institutions at play.

            There is marriage as recognized by law.

            There is marriage as recognized by religious institutions.

            Because religious freedom is a charter-protected right, the law cannot mandate that religious institutions will marry same-sex couples. Nor should it.

            There have been lawsuits in which same-sex couples have targeted churches for refusing to marry them. There have also been lawsuits in which same-sex couples have sued religious organizations (like the Knights of Columbus) for refusing to host same-sex marriages (although not perform them).

            In Saskatchewan, there is currently a controversy over whether or not Marriage Commissioners will be required to either act against their religious conscience (such as it is) or quit their jobs as marriage Commissioners.

            Paul Martin rammed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage through so quickly that matters such as these were left untended.

            I personally favour same-sex marriage. But were I an MP in 2004 when Martin was ramming this legislation through, I would have voted against it. Not out of objection to SSM, but out of objection to the lack of attention to how this legislation would inferface with actual existing charter rights.

          • The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Civil Marriage Act legislation with regards to the role of religion is ultra vires of the federal government.

            It has nothing to do with Paul Martin, so just get over it. The "matters" with reference to the federal government were clarified.

            It is a Charter Right. End of story. If you want to talk about Saskatchewan provincial matters, then do so, but as far as the federal government goes, case closed.

          • Wrong again. The Supreme Court of Canda ruled that the Civil Marriage Act legislation was ultra vires of the Alberta provincial government.

            These matters have actually never been clarified. The matter of whether or not Marriage Commissioners can decline to perform a civil marriage based on their religious beliefs is currently in court in the province of Saskatchewan.

            It is NOT a charter right. Marriage is not a charter right, ergo, same-sex marriage cannot be a charter right.

            Section 15 unquestionably applies to the issue of marriage licenses — something the leader of the Christian Heritage party clearly didn't understand when she called for the government of Alberta to decline to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

            It does NOT apply to religious institutions. Yet lawsuits such as those I've alluded to here have attempted to invoke Section 15 in order to make their case.

            These matters are far from fully settled at any level of government. Declaring the case closed does not make it so.

            Then again, you pretty much blew this whole argument when you used Wikipedia as a source.

          • What do you need clarified? The same sex marriage law means that same-sex couples can legally be married. It doesn't mean religious organizations must marry them. In the case of the city hall commissioner or whatever, yeah, he's there to do marriages in law, not in religion. So if instead of being a city hall commissioner he's a drug store cashier, he doesn't get to say this person can't buy condoms because they aren't married, or that person can't get a prescription filled for birth-control pills because the Pope doesn't approve, or whatever.

            I think it's ridiculous that anyone would try to force a religion to marry them. Even more ridiculous that any court with a choice would hear the thing. But city hall commissioners are working for city hall–not any religion.

          • Clearly, the same-sex couples who have sued churches for not marrying them, or not hosting their marriage, need clarification on this matter. As do the courts who heard the cases.

            As do marriage commissioners who decline to perform civil ceremonies.

            An argument exists for grandfathering in marriage commissioners who can demonstrate a matter of religious conscience. Then again, the converse argument has validity as well.

          • Let's jsut say you know absolutely nothing of the matter or are lying, and leave it at that, shall we?

          • Let's just say you have no honest interest in this as an issue, and leave at that.

            That's much better.

          • If it makes you feel better.

            But you'd be utterly wrong. As wrong as you were when you posited that the right to equaltiy under s. 15 is meaningfully distinct from the right to same sex marriage.

          • Nowhere in the Charter is the right to be married guaranteed.

            It's that simple.

            Government is obligated to issue marriage licenses and recognize their unions.

            But the charter doesn't truthfully empower government to coerce religious institutions into marrying them. Something that numerous courts of law in Canada clearly forgot when they agreed to hear cases with no legal merit.

          • You're babbling.

            Nobody has suggested the law forces religious institutions to perform gay marriages. Even if the right to gay marriage were explicity written into the constitution instead of being an effect of s. 15 (a distinction which for some unfathomable reason you give great weight to), it STILL wouldn't.

            The cases on point (which the courts were required to hear as being the place where legal disputes get settled) have done a good job of making this clear.

            Your arguments are a curious mix of error, misunderstanding, and unwarranted conclusions.

          • It seems you're rather desperate to try to steamroll these issues. This must be the reason why you continue to simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that churches and religious organizations in Canada have been sued for refusing to perform, or host, same-sex marriages in Canada, and that these cases have been heard.

            You seem to understand that these cases have no legal merit. So why do you insist on ignoring this particular matter?

            You're like a broken record, which is why a conversation with you can never seem to progress.

          • They were heard – the right conclusion (the one you and me (mowstly) agree with) was reached. Courts don't look at a case and say "gee, we won't even give this a hearing". They give the hearing and apply the principle.


          • They shouldn't have been heard due to the lack of a legally valid complaint.

            It certainly helps that some of these cases were heard before HRTs, where no legally valid complaint seems to be necessary.

          • Case in point, just for starters: Chymyshyn, Smith vs Knights of Columbus.

          • Found it. "The case was decided by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal on November 29, 2005 and is cited as 2005 BCHRT 544." – Wikipedia.

            Can't say I'm a big fan of our HRTs; even when they can't render the decisions they clearly want to, they find some loophole to punish those not in their favour. They couldn't legally force the K of C to host the wedding, so:

            "However, the tribunal found that the organization could have discriminated in a way that was less injurious to the feelings of the complainants. Instead of simply canceling their appointment, they could have directed them to other halls and assisted them in finding another place to celebrate their wedding. Therefore, the tribunal fined the hall $1,000." (Same Wikipedia article – and yeah, I know people here arent fond of that source; go to the BC HRT site if you want the original)

          • BCHRC was site I got the case details from myself. But now I'm sure you see where clarification is needed for the legal bodies hearing these cases.

          • These cases uphold the very point you are trying make – that the right to gay marriage can't be used to make churches perform gay marriages.

            The circumstances in which a court will refuse to hear a case are very very limited. If one party believes that a case is absolutely doomed to fail, they can try to get it dismissed without a full trial, but even that requires an actual hearing.

            Your notion that the federal law could have prevented any possible court case is simply absurd. Firstly, as pointed out above, they couldn't make laws in the provincial jurisdiction. Division of powers. Even if they could, they wouldn't be valid to the extent they were incompatible witht he constitution, so people would bring cases on THAT issue. Even if none of that were true (and it is) the court is the proper venue to decide matters like this.

            You've certainly managed to create a unique argument, I give you that. But it's not a a valid one.

          • Evidently, you didn't bother to read the result of Chymshyn, Smith vs Knights of Columbus.

            When you can't be bothered to familiarize yourself with the basic facts of this case, it's clear you just aren't arguing in bad faith.

            A court requires a legally-valid complaint in order to hear a case. If the complaint is not legally valid, the court has no business proceeding, and must dismiss the complaint.

          • Dude, there are cases where people felt that writing their name in capital letters on their income tax returns meant that their legal and individual personalities to the extent they were no loner required to pay income tax. Even THAT got a hearing.

            Once you file, it's almost always out of the courts hands. Having little to no argument doesn't mean your case doesn't get heard, it means it's an easy win.

            There's really not much else to say on the matter and I'm kinda getting tired of having to repeat some basic facts.

          • Just because courts do not decline to hear a case due to a lack of a legally-valid complaint does not mean that courts do not have the power to do so.

            Human rights tribunals have even greater power to reject complaints, and some times not even due to the lack of a legally-valid argument.

            You aren't repeating any basic facts. You're merely repeating the same error, over and over.

            Like I said, you're a broken record. This conversation can't advance because you keep skipping.

          • Your stupid! It BURNS!!!!

          • You're desperate. It shows.

          • There's also the issue that the couple was put to the extra time and expense of having to find another wedding hall on short notice. It's not easy to plan a wedding, and suddenly losing the venue can be a major, compensable hassle.

          • They also withheld information from the Knights of Columbus that would have spurred the decision to not host much sooner.

            A comparable situation: I sign a lease with an apartment complex, one of the rules of which stipulates no drug use.

            I am later discovered to be a heavy cocaine user.

            The termination of my lease happens for two reasons:

            -Because the conditions of that lease are reasonably known to me.

            -Because I withheld information pertinent to that condition.

            Likewise, when renting space from the Knights of Columbus, it's known that the KoC is a Catholic organization. It's well-known what the stance of the Catholic Church is in regard to homosexuality.

            Smith, Chymshym withheld that information from the KoC. The KoC had the right to act accordingly.

            Doesn't mean anyone has to like the Knights of Columbus' decision. But they have the right to make it.

          • They had no duty to disclose.

            The stupid still burns,.

          • Wrong. As individuals applying for a space rental, it is their responsibility to disclose any information regarding the rules by which an organiation chooses to rent out their space.

            Your desperation still shows.

          • That certainly isn't what the case ruled now, was it?

            This is just another in a long line of your misunderstood or made up legal arguments, from the moment you first jumped in with a tidbit that was only true in a tortured, ambiguous sense, wasn't relevant to the conversation before and didn't support the arguments you tried to make later. You're so far off in this entire discussion that it's a joke.

          • *snicker*

            Mikey, the ruling is wrong, from a legalistic sense.

            As are so many of the rulings that come out of Canada's HRTs.

            It shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, Canada's Human Rights Commissions don't even consider themselves bound by the very Charter of Rights and Freedoms that empowers them. Nor do they consider themselves bound by any law or legal principle external to the charter.

            If anything's a joke, it's your desperate attempt to re-define what the discussion to date has been about.

          • I'm sorry the law conflicts with your imagination of the law, but that's all that's going on here.

          • Evidently not. And if you were even passingly familiar with the Charter — instead of with the Charter as imagined by the far left — you'd be aware of it.

            Various HRT rulings have swept aside Charter rights such as Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of Association.

            The ironic thing about this is, that as the Charter is entrenched wtihin the Constitution, these matters are the highest law of the land.

            (Although the Charter provides legislatures — not courts or tribunals — the power to limit the Charter through a notwithstanding clause.)

            When Human Rights Commissions employees make a statement such as, oh, say… freedom of speech is an American value, not a Canadian one, they openly flout the very document they are pledged to uphold.

            In other words, the law is on MY side of this issue. Not only the law, but the highest law of Canada.

            Moreover, the facts are also on my side.

            All you have to support your argument is legal folly. That's not the basis of a strong or enduring argument.

            Your argument has pretty much degenerated into pounding the table.

          • I'm sorry, but i'm only interested in discussing actual law. Not the law as you imagine it (and how your imaginings somehow take precedence over actual cases). Pretty much everything you have said is wrong.

            Please continue to speak quietly in your head.

          • Fair enough. Let's discuss the highest law on the land.

            It isn't on yourside in this case, nor is it on the side of the Human Rights Tribunal. Ironically.

          • Can you please cite these cases to which you refer? And what, BTW, was the outcome? Did any agree with the plaintiffs? (I'm sure if they had, it would have been national news and the subject of much debate, but I've heard nada)

          • You'll be pleased to know that courts and tribunals generally don't have a choice on whether they hear the case.

            The cases that have dealt with same sex marriage rights after the Supreme Courts decision, such as the Knights of Columbus case (which the Knights won), have been carefully thought out and have been very respectful of the religious rights of the parties involved. It's silly to suggest that the mere existence of cases which flesh out the details of a law indicate that the law was hastily thought out or improperly drafted.

          • This isn't a matter of cases that "flesh out the details of a law"". This is a matter of cases that have no legal merit. Big difference.

          • Please please trust me when I say you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and how courts work.

          • "So if instead of being a city hall commissioner he's a drug store cashier, he doesn't get to say this person can't buy condoms because they aren't married, or that person can't get a prescription filled for birth-control pills because the Pope doesn't approve, or whatever. "

            Actually, that may not be true – at least in the case of a pharmacist. Not sure if any thing like that has happened here, but in the U.S. and Britain pharmacists have (legally) refused to supply "morning after" pills to rape victims because of their religious beliefs. That's because they are considered to be private business owners – not working for the government. The U.K. pharmacists were Muslim – not sure about the U.S. cases.

          • Ah, but one very important word in your example. "Owners"

            If you are an employee, like the city hall commissioner, you don't get to make the rules! If you own the business, you don't have to open your restaurant on a Sunday, for example, or serve pork in it. You can require gentlemen entering your establishment wear a tie. You don't have to stock Heinz ketchup in your grocery store, or morning after pills in your pharmacy. All kinds of rules you can implement if you own the place.

          • Assuming the dispenser had a genuine religious belief that he could not dispense birth control to the unmarried, and it didn't mess up the work too much, there is a possiblity that there may be a religious right to not dispense birth control. I don't think there are any Canadian cases on the matter.

            With marriage license commissioners another factor comes into play. Again, let's assume that somebody has a genuine sincere religious belief that they cannot, in good conscience, hand out marriage licenses to gay couples. Let us also assume it is a relatively easy matter to ensure that gay couples can still get their licenses in an easy and respectful manner, and that the anti-gay license issuers can still do their jobs with just straight couples.

            The problem isn't accommodating the belief, the problem is that to do so in itself is discriminatory. It is quite ugly to allow, in public employment, this kind of discrimination. I await developments on the issue, but I hope that courts will require public employees to perform gay marriages or find work which better suits their prejudices.

            And to look at it from another way. What if the marriage issuer had a sincere belief that his religion prevented him from marrying black couples, or inter-racial couples? The same principles would apply.

          • You just can't handle facts can you? If you take issue with wikipedia, try the Library of Parliament. Or is that too fact based for you? Search ultra vires.

          • Same-sex marriage is a charter RIGHT. It has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with being recognized equally under the law, which apparently you don't understand. What exactly are what you call, "the troublesome implications of treating same-sex marriage as a right" ? There aren't any. It's a right. So don't worry about it. Get on with your life.

            It had already been "legal" in 8 provinces and the Yukon when the Civil Marriage Act passed in 2005. By enacting legislation the government was simply preventing any future supreme court challenge. In a response to a reference question, the Supreme Court stated that marriage fell under the purview of the federal government.

            Due to section 15 of the Charter, not providing the same rights to same-sex couples would violate the charter. In response to a reference question from the government as to whether passing a law making same-sex marriage legal would be "consistent" with the Charter, the SCC stated, "Yes."

            From Wikipedia:
            "On considering the second question, the Court not only affirms the validity of the legislation, they add that its purpose "flows from" the Charter. They further find that equality right of religious groups and opposite-sex couples are not undermined by the legislation, on the basis that the expansion of the Charter enriches society, and equality cannot be supported by denial of others from a benefit. When conflicts between rights arise, the Court says, it must be solved by internal balancing of those rights, not denial of rights."

            Section 15 of the Charter:

            "15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

        • Paul Martin would have sold his grandmother to get a vote. The only thing he had respect for was replacing a perfectly good and well-liked and WINNING Prime Minister by means of backstabbing and undermining.

          • Ah, the bitterness.

          • Is he talking about the same Chretin as everybody else is?

          • Paul Martin would have sold his grandmother to get a vote

            That spineless pretender probably would have subsidized millionaire hockey owners too.

          • Never stooped that low. And Chuck cadman voted with him while Harper's team offered financial 'incentives' to vote the other way.

        • Another useless document that has done more to segregate and separate Canadian society than anything else in the last 30 some years!

  8. You know what would have really made that joke crushing? One of those clever hyperlinks that the kids are using wherein Harper is found citing God as his justification for those horrible intolerant positions… Maybe you could update?

  9. Interesting Feschuck, that your admirers' here can't tell the difference from what you've made up to appear as Harper's quotes or your failed attempt at black humor. You are the moron Feschuck……….Just another Lefty koolaid drinker.. And your attempt to make it appear as if Harper has stated these comments is irresponsible and hack writing…….

    • Good grief. This lefty hates koolaid. I mean, loathes, despises, detests, and I actively seek it out and urinate it in every chance I get. That big pitcher gives me the creeping heebeejeebies. If I had my way, koolaid would be on the controlled substances act, alongside such other vile powders as cocaine and heroin. People who drink koolaid should be publicly shamed, and the people who promote it should be branded and sent to work camps. You don't want to know what I think about the people who manufacture it or profit from it.

      Sorry, you were saying?

      • Yes, I too remember the horrors of that anthropomorphic kool-aid jug. So disconcerting, the way it would burst through walls and then demand that you drink from it. It used to give me nightmares as a child.

        • We should have a koolaid burning!

          • I bet the sugar content would make it burn high, like pop tarts. Fuel crisis: fixed!

      • "I mean, loathes, despises, detests, and I actively seek it out and urinate it in every chance I get."

        I was saying my kids are, like, never allowed to hang out at your house on hot summer days.

        • Your kids are perfectly welcome to GET THE HELL OFF OF MY LAWN even on cold winter days.

    • I agree with you this Feschuck is a total moron. This is not funny when you try to pretend you are quoting someone. In the third world many woman are not allowed abortions by their religions and by their husbands. In my mind it is fine if someone does not believe in abortion but believes in family planning. It's more important for people to practice prevention rather than use abortion as a means of birth control. Harper has nothing against homosexuality that is very evident but he does not believe we should call the union of same sex a marriage because it does not agree with the definition for marriage. He has a right to his beliefs as you do. His opponents are just using this for political gain. Some of the writers for Macleans actually appear to be very stupid people.

  10. "Oh, He also isn't that wild about anyone in the Third World who may need an abortion."

    Or, y'know, he just thinks that all life, even in the womb, is precious or whatever.

    • Which is why we're killing Afghans.

      • that would have been John Chretien's and Paul Martin's God that gave the ok.

        • And Harper who carried it on, extolling and promoting it all the way. Mission creep they call it.

          • Funny. Ignatieff has already been suggesting an extension to the mission the PM says ends in 2011. More mission creep??

        • Right.
          Mr Harper would have had us in Iraq too.

  11. My God doesn't want homosexuals to be able to get married.

    Um, no he doesn't. He actually doesn't tolerate homosexuals at all.

    Oh, He also isn't that wild about anyone in the Third World who may need an abortion.

    I'm pretty sure He's not too happy about it in the First World or Second World either.

    Not your best work Feschuk.

    • God phoned you?

      • Nah, it was a tweet. Stephen's God has all the latest technology.

    • And yet, homosexuals exist. Hmmm. How could God have let this happen? He must not have consulted Stephen Harper.

      • They just need to go to those camps where "straight" Christians deprogram them with totally-not-gay techniques

      • It's called "free will".

        • Which is why they've managed to identify genetic components, right?

    • God relies on incremental change until he gets his majority.

    • "Um, no he doesn't. He actually doesn't tolerate homosexuals at all."

      john g's God sounds like a first-class a-hole.

      • I checked with Paul Wells, and he suggests that because Stephen Harper's God really enjoys playing God, He's going to continue to play God for as long as He can, or until He no longer can. Because He likes being God. And, also, Christ.

      • Yahweh in a nutshell.

      • most "gods" are..

    • Actually, according to this, Jesus died for homosexuals, women having abortions, and all other terrible people, even you:
      Romans 5:6 – 10For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
      For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
      But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
      For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

      Jesus also told us not to judge:
      Matthew 7: 1 – 5 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
      Matthew 5:44 – 46 tells us how God "tolerates" the homosexuals (and how we should treat them): "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

  12. Here's the thing.

    Most people in Canada don't have a clue who Scott Feschuk is. I just asked a co-worker and he said "doesn't Scott Feschuk play left wing for Dallas?" Most people know who Harper is and his statement was aimed at his base. (Also probably a shot at the shrill sounding twits who make up the left in this country.)

    What's really cool about this is how quickly Feschuk (who is about as funny as watching paint dry) jumped into the blogosphere to provide the predictable diatribe of either anti-Harper or anti-Christian rhetoric that we've been hearing from the same types for years.

    Maybe Harper's God is a tolerant one. The question I'd ask of Feshcuk is what's your God stand for? I mean aside from third rate attempts at being ironic and funny at the same time and failing miserably in the process.

    Enuff said, eh?

    • Cons are having a very bad day.

      • Red Alert at the PMO's – all hands to the computers – Macleans is attacking us – again!

      • so, the PM takes a postion in the media that presumably a large number of, if not most canadians would agree with, (even Emily, I presume, or are you in favour of burning books? Just the christian and conservative ones perhaps?) and the best thing to do is slag him horribly, deride his religious beliefs and point to completely unrelated other non-stories in the name of Feschuk's "comedy" columns. Feschuk reminds me of the a$$hole kids that used to pick on someone every day and then appeal to "come on can't you take a joke?" when they get called out for their assinine behaviour.

        • Also he isn't funny.

          Also he worked for Paul Martin and Jesus, who wants that?

          • Feschuk worked for Jesus?

          • Couldn't have been Harper's Jesus. He doesn't work with Liberals. And don't get him started on Coalitions.

        • Atheists don't burn books, religious people do.

          And no, most Canadians aren't rightwing 'christians'. They find Harper's religious references annoying and silly.

          • >>Atheists don't burn books, religious people do. <<

            No, Athiests don't burn books at all. They just burn religious ideas.

          • you can't "burn" an idea……well..maybe you can burn it on to a CD

          • lol – that was funny

          • Thanks. I never realized most Canadian's find right wing christians annoying and silly. I guess they have more tolerance for leftwing christians. Must be those left wing Canadian values Liberals claim to posess.
            Everyone's allowed thier opinion, unless it differs from ours, then we ridicule them and call them names.

            Stay classy….

        • Assumption makes you an ass

    • The question I'd ask of Feshcuk is what's your God stand for?

      I can't answer for him, but mine can fly – so nothing, really.

    • Oh, plenty "enuff."

    • So not only do you read a humour blog by someone you don't find funny – you write long-winded comments and ask your coworker about him? Maybe you should ask your boss for some more work?

      • I own the company.

        • Let me guess…you liked it so much you bought the company?

          Now, back to work at J Teller & Son's Mobile Bathroom Cleaning Inc. Those toilets aren't cleaning themselves (unless you're in Japan or South Korea, in which case I apologize).

          • Ha-ha-ha- snif… Ha ha ha! Oh my side hurts … oh, that's just me having a stroke.

          • FYI – if you own a company you do not have co-workers, you have employees and/or staff. You're welcome.

    • Agree, Scott Fefchuk making fun of christians and inviting nasty posts on a conservative MP's cute baby boy. Disgusting display of HATE from MacLeans Magazine.
      All Canadians should be give this scary man a wide berth.

      • Christians are fair game….especially when they paint targets on themselves.

        • Christians are fair game sounds like you could be posting from Afghanistan. Is this the message MacLeans is promoting? Christians are fair game… maybe Nato should be worried about the Hate this STUNT is promoting?

          • Well, this post won't stay up for long, but are you fuc!ing crazy?

          • There are no sacred cows I'm afraid. Everything is a target for both criticism and humour.

    • It would seem to me that Feschuk is too intelligent to believe in any kind of god .

    • you should run. You're the perfect acolyte. Google it.

  13. Scat F@@*chucks latest attemp at humour fails!

  14. My God does not rely on statistics, science or fact to develop policy and programs…..faith will suffice. (Well, ok, the RIGHT faith will suffice)

  15. This is more anti-Christian rhetoric, than anti-Harper commentary. I find these comments in poor taste and disrespectful of anyone willing to take positions on difficult moral issues, while also neglecting the nuance of certain public policy decisions (e.g. maternal health, Tamil ship issue).

    PS- I am a non-Christian Liberal.

    • And an enabler.

    • And I'm a liberal christian whose God does not have a problem with his homosexual children, period, or, having given us free will, with abortion, but gets fairly vexed by the current right-wing trend to hijack Him for their own narrow agenda.

      • Wow, you must talk often if you can be that specific about what vexs Him.

        I wish I had an imaginary friend with such strong political opinions but I've had to settle for a little dog. He has very strong opinions about food & cats but no discernible political opinions at all.

        • Strange how that works, isn't it. See, there's this book out there, and many of us read it. It is ancient, and complex, and sometimes allegorical, sometimes metaphorical, sometimes polemical, and it comes in two volumes, one historical and prophetic, one historical and narrative. It was written in a dead language (or languages), by multiple authors, translated from language to language by groups of fallible humans with social contexts and political agendas. It's so much clearer when you have your little dog to guide you.

          • Harper has cats though.

          • Well duh. It's pretty damn obvious that he isn't being guided, he's making it up as he goes along. Whatever it takes to keep that plump little white hand on the levers of power.

          • See, there's this book out there, and many of us read it. It is ancient, and complex, and sometimes allegorical, sometimes metaphorical, sometimes polemical, and it comes in two volumes, one historical and prophetic, one historical and narrative. It was written in a dead language (or languages), by multiple authors, translated from language to language by groups of fallible humans with social contexts and political agendas.

            Is that supposed to be an endorsement?

            It's so much clearer when you have your little dog to guide you.

            Oh, I don't agree with him! We kind of see eye to eye on the cats thing but I wouldn't follow his guidance on food , not even on a dare.

          • Does it sound like an endorsement? It's a cautionary about inerrancy on both sides of the political spectrum.

          • Ok. I guess I mistook your meaning when you started talking about what your God likes and dislikes. Maybe it would be simpler for all concerned if we just agreed to substitute the word "I" in place of the word "God" when talking about the things we like, or hate, or just choose to ignore.

          • I don't understand how you are willing to call yourself a Christian when you have so little faith in the Word of your Lord. Or that's maybe just how you like to think of it, so you can flex the scriptures to your own agenda?

  16. I bet this blog post seemed much wittier in Feschuck's head.

    • Nope. Pretty much the same.

      • Really? I just assumed that the Voice in Feschuk's Head was leading you astray.

        "My God is not tolerant of seafaring Tamils." Heavy-handed, no? In response to an unambiguous message of tolerance and goodwill?

        • if it was unambiguous why was it so selective, and, uhm, self-serving, frankly.

          • Did you actually read what Harper said? How was it in any way "selective" or "self-serving"?

          • 1) selectivity – Feschuk lays out a number of instances, and there may well be more, where this newly orated guiding influence of Mr Harper's tolerant God and Christ could have shown up and didn't. That he chooses particular instances to unveil, and 'preach' this tolerance makes it inherently selective, whether Feschuk is heavy handed about it or not. (and i don;t see how he is).

            2) self-serving – one of my all time favourite blog post is famed TV screenwriter David Mills (Treme; the Wire) railing against one of Obama's worst characteristics. The post is nothing fancy, but it is effective:
            "Have y'all noticed something peculiar – and a little off-putting – about Barack Obama's rhetorical style as president? Have you noticed how he over-personalizes sh*t? Makes it all about him?" <a href="http://(http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com/)” target=”_blank”>(http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com/).

            You need to scroll down a bit but not much to get to the post. But to save you the trouble, the money is: "Did previous presidents talk this way? I don't think so. Nor do I think a president should talk this way… constantly referring to himself personally, to his own feelings, to his own power."

            Now to be clear the two instances don't align exactly, but the principle is the same. Mr Harper didn;t need to talk about his personal anything in making the point. And it would have been far better had he not. It felt like campaigning, not governing (his job). He does the latter all to rarely, which is too bad. Those rare instances when he elevates himself to the latter, or at least talks about, he more or less, on balance, does pretty good. I wish he would do it more. But like his address on this, the former is self-serving and seems to occupy him too often.

          • The PM delivers an unambiguous appeal for religous tolerance, and in so doing makes a brief reference to his own beliefs. For this, you condemn him because "Mr Harper didn't need to talk about his personal anything in making the point"; ergo, it was self-serving.

            Your "selectivity" argument is even more unconvincing, because it's based solely on your subjective interpretation of what Harper's religious beliefs entail.

            In short, your interpretation of Harper's words is ridiculously unfair. It's almost as if you're predisposed to condemn Harper no matter what he says or does, which makes this whole discussion pointless.

          • 1) yeah. like Mills with Obama, i find people that have to talk about themselves to make what should be self-standing principles to be both annoying and questionable. in other words don't want harper's notion of religious tolerance to be tied to what he thinks of his god, i want him to be in favour of religious – and a general tolerance of most things (i.e., not hate speech) – to derive from the idea that that it is an immutable principle.

            2) luckily i had a dictionary to help me understand the word, his word, tolerance so i could think about that definition in the context of other decisions or opinions Harper has offered.

            and yeah, CR i have never said anything positive about Harper. Including the part in the comment that you are reacting to that says he 'does pretty good' at governing when he bothers to. in short, your rebuttal of my criticism of Harper's delivery is devoid of substance, as well as unfair, proving your point that this conversation is pointless.

          • 1) That's your subjective opinion, and you're entitled to it. I just happen to think that you're being remarkably petty by criticizing Harper for saying: "I don't speak very often about my own religion, but let me be very clear: My God and my Christ is a tolerant God, and that's what we want to see in this world".

            It's not like Harper has Obama's habit of "over-personalizing sh*t", to quote Mills. Unlike Obama, Harper almost never talks about his emotions or his personal religious beliefs. The fact that he chose to do so (in a single sentence, while making a commendable plea for religious tolerance) doesn't strike me as something that a fair-minded person would criticize.

            Finally, a call for religious tolerance that includes a reference to one's own religious beliefs isn't that different from a call for religious tolerance that refers to "immutable principles". Perhaps the latter appeals to you more because it refers to humanist principles rather than religious principles, but they're both matters of belief.

            luckily i had a dictionary to help me understand the word, his word, tolerance so i could think about that definition in the context of other decisions or opinions Harper has offered.

            (2) I'll make this as simple as I can. Harper appeals for religious tolerance. Your response (paraphrased): "Harper is being "selective" because I personally don't think he's "tolerant" of some nonreligious stuff, for example Canada's policy towards refugee trafficking operations."

            Do you see the blatant scope shift?

            and yeah, CR i have never said anything positive about Harper.

            That's not what I said. I said: "It's almost as if you're predisposed to condemn Harper no matter what he says or does". I think that's what you're doing here, because I honestly don't believe that a fair and impartial observer would have a problem with the words that Harper used in his call for religious tolerance.

          • Fundamentally, a call for religious tolerance that includes a reference to one's own religious beliefs isn't that different from a call for religious tolerance that refers to "immutable principles".

            sorry disagree strongly. what happens if SH had divined that his God and Christ was not tolerant?

        • Sometimes Feschuk crosses over the border separating humorous ridicule (John Stewart style) from absurd, non-humorous, partisan tripe (Aaron Wherry style).

    • It would be ironic if you confused wit with humorous satire.

      • Is that the Alanis Morissette version of irony? Wit and humorous satire aren't mutually exclusive, y'know.

        • Draw me a Venn diagram :)

        • Is that the Alanis Morissette version of irony?


    • But the Con reaction – priceless! They don't seem to get that Harper is chiding those on the right who don't have a problem with the burnng of Korans.

  17. Hey Feschuk
    I'm an athiest.
    You're still a dickhead

    • I'm unclear: are the two related? if you were to find God, would I become an okay guy or at least tolerable in small doses?

      • Paige Smythe's ungod is an intolerant ungod.

        • Definitely not an atheist.

          • Her belief that Scott is a ____ means that she is religious? Wow – no judging here.
            Sherlock Holmes you are not.
            Maybe she just doesn't like Scott, and needs to preface this statement with the fact that she is an athiest, because everyone will think it is because of her religious beliefs, not because she just doesn't like the man's writing.

      • If she believed in a Creator than she would at least know there was a little good in all of us.

      • Once you've found God you aren't allowed to judge people. So, you'd still be a dickhead, but Ms. Smyth wouldn't be able to talk about it.

        • lol – that was funny.

    • *atheist*

      • At least she didn't spell it with a capital 'A'. That drives me up the wall.

        • well……..that's not very tolerant

          • My tolerance doesn't extend to intentional ignorance. Most people who capitalize the word are intentionally misunderstanding what atheism is (claiming that it is a religion). The rest fail at spelling. Which, since almost every modern browser has built in spell check, is usually out of laziness.

  18. Hey, I grew up watching the same tv programs as Harper, and I don’t recall Zeus being all that tolerant. You never knew when a thunderbolt would come crashing down from Mount Olympus.

    “Hey Newt – #1 on the Top 5 Worst (Therefore Best) Cartoons From Your Childhood” – Herc


  19. What do humour and religion have in common?

    They're both kinda subjective absolutely nothing

    • They're both funny, and they're both dangerous.

    • George Carlin spent a good deal of his post Hippy Dippy Weatherman days questioning religion, and seemed to make a pretty good living at it, as I recall. You'd probably better enjoy the early stuff. Of course, now that he's dead, he could be toast.

      • I love George Carlin!

        I think it more likely that God is toast. LOL

      • Or in a Mexican bathroom.

        RIP George

  20. It's an assumption religious people make. Wrongly.

  21. What's really annoying about the PMs comment on 'his' God, is that he has to preface it with that gerund he always uses when he's obfuscating, "Let me be very clear." There should be a drinking game where the nation has to tipple every time he blathers those words. Except we'd all be soused.

    • But if we all drank rye, the economy might improve?

    • The 'let me be very clear' means he's speaking ex cathedra, and it's therefore infallible.

      • You're right. So substitute 'soaring, stirring, rhetorical flourish' for gerund.

        • Will do.

    • We could drink coffee. Then it would be a national stimulus plan.

    • It seems to me that more often than not, when Harper says "let me be very clear" he follows up with a real whopper.

  22. I'm usually the first one to bash Harper (or applaud Feschuk's sarcasm directed at Harper) but good on him for speaking out against the Koran burning.

    • Yeah, that was a tough decision to make.

      • Perhaps not but he could have played it like many Republicans south of the border and remained mum.

        • Well apparently the message has been received. The Florida whack job has decided to call it off.

    • I can get behind this. Although, its a little like speaking out against beating up street people; there isn't a whole lot of risk involved in speaking out.

  23. Again – stuff like this is put out there to deliberately antagonize Harper's detractors and to play to his base. Scott Feschuk still isn't funny and the only reason I saw this is because I saw the link on NNW. What would be far more interesting would be if a national leader embraced Satan instead of Jesus. That would be news!

    • Other than the fact that he likes to invoke him for his own gain, what makes you believe harper has embraced Jesus in any way?

      Remember: you can't answer that he says so. List Harper's actions that show a love, respect and reverence for the teachings of Jesus Christ.


      • I think that whether he has embraced Jesus, Ganesh, Vishnu or Mephistopheles is a matter of his own personal faith and if you see this as anything more than playing to his base then you're naive as hell or a moron.

        • Oh I agree faith is personal, but then I'm not the one talking about it in public to score cheap political points.

          But I see you cannot answer the question. Buh-bye, get back to work — that business isn't going to run itself ya know.

    • I'm part of Feschuk's base, and I approve of this posting.

      • I take it you don't think Feschuk is off base, unlike several other posters.

        So if Feschuk is on base, and you are part of his base. . . .

        • All your base are belong to us!

        • No chains on me, my friend. Call me free-base

  24. Having your own personal God might come in handy when you have a village to smite, or need to whip up a quick plague of locusts. But I can't really see the practical application beyond that. Seems a bit ostentatious, if you ask me.

    • Liberals to smite, NDPers to plague….

  25. So the guy says "My" God and liberals go crazy.

    Would you have preferred he said "our" God? Of course not, because you're atheist liberals, and as such, would use the moment to whine about how he doesn't speak for you or something.

    Oh well, I'll pray for you all.

    • Thanks. Ask for a motorbike for me, please.

      • While they share the same favorite day (well now anyways), I don't think Mr. Christ and Mr. Claus are the same people.

    • "Let me very clear he said", he said "my God is and my Christ is…" and liberals do not go crazy, they simply point out that his definition of tolerance and the majority definition of tolerance are not the same. And while it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy to characterize liberals as atheist because they don't necessarily share your particular dogma, or the Honorable Mr. Harper's personal opinion of God's tolerance, it doesn't make us atheists, or even agnostics. On the other hand it leaves you sounding both arrogant and foolish, an unpalatable mixture.

    • "Oh well, I'll pray for you all."

      Ryan's God is the passive-aggressive one that suddenly snaps one day.

    • "Of course not, because you're atheist liberals, and as such, would use the moment to whine about how he doesn't speak for you or something."

      Stephen Harper NEVER speaks for me and neither do any of his party. I should know. I spent 15 years listening to them yammer on day after day as my job required it and I can say without a doubt that I would never elect a Conservative to represent me. Nor a Liberal for that matter. They don't represent me either but while they were in office, I didn't feel like I was going to burst a vein from all the lies and the innuendo that bunch (the Conservatives in case you need a reminder) sling around on a daily basis, perverting the parliamentary process and then lying to their pod people.

      As for praying for me, use the time to pray for yourself instead. You're going to need it.

      • This post doens't even make sense.

    • There are probably more ministers and priests in the Lib and NDP party than there are in Con party, so kindly don't make things up.

    • i just wish he didn't bring religion in it at all, but i suppose it was essential right?

  26. When I read blasphemous things like this, I think of Psalms 2.

    • Scott Feschuk's God would like people to actually read and think for two seconds before instinctively deriding as "blasphemous" something that is actually not at all about God but rather one man's highly political, strategic and selective use of God.

      • That's just you, Fezzy, not your god! Writers can only wish that their work is read the way they intended, and by an intelligent enough audience to "get" it.

        I was just thinking: wow this Feschuk post is getting way more traffic than usual. Saved traffic.

        Editor will now want you to cough up blaspheme at every turn. And THAT, Scott Feschuk, will be your cross to bear.

        • The editor of macLeans wants to cough up blaspheme at every turn? When MacLeans coughs up Christians are fair game then more than Scott Feschuk will have a cross to bear. Canada deserves better than STUNTS like this from MacLeans. SHAME

          • Let's have a Maclean's burning!

          • If you're really devout, you can subscribe & burn a new issue every week. That'll show em!

          • If you don't agree with the haters , they will smear and make up identities. I feel dirty after sharing my opinion on this disgusting site. The left continues to censure free speech.

          • Which part of your speech has been censored (or censured if that is what you really meant to say)?

      • Actually, I meant the whole post and some of what is written as comments, not just Scott's blog.

      • So I ask again… please provide other examples of Harper's invoking God. It would be keen if you could quote him invoking God regarding homosexuals or Tamil refugees, but failing that, any previous example of Harper invoking God at all would be appreciated.

        As others have already mentioned, it seems a little small to pull out the BFG when Harper is saying something that any rational person would endorse.

        He makes reference to his own religion – because the topic is religious tolerance – and all the usual suspects jump up crying "AAAHHHAAA! we told you he's a religious fruitcake!"

        It's cheap. You usually think yourself before you post. You didn't show much thought on this one.

          • No. What is it supposed to illustrate, other than religious bigotry?

            Surely you are aware that similar polemics can be – and have been – written about Catholics, Jews, Muslims and every other denomination and sect under the sun. Harper's political beliefs concern me, his religious beliefs are his own business.

          • Harper's political beliefs concern me, his religious beliefs are his own business.
            I'll agree with that, provided the two don't overlap.

            I don't think the article I linked to illustrates "religious bigotry"; it illustrates that Canada's voting public (unlike the US) do not embrace evangelical leaders and this is one of the main reasons Mr Harper keeps his faith private. The author of the article doesn't seem to be a biased bigot?

            The disingenuous evangelical politics of the US scares the hell out of me and makes me rather sensitive to the issue here. I'm not intolerant of anyone's beliefs, but I like politics and religion to give each other a wide berth

          • The article is a series of implications and innuendoes about Stephen Harper based on associations that Harper himself has never claimed. Hell, the photo used is a picture of Harper leaving a funeral that may or may not even be at his own church. It's just a photo that shows Harper with a cross over his head, and what the hell, that's close enough for our purposes, eh?

            If the article was written about a Jew – and filled with innuendoes about how all those Jews stick together, and all those Jews think alike – then people would have little trouble recognizing the sloppiness of it.

            Recently, Barack Obama had to disassociate himself from his former preacher because of some of the inflammatory rhetoric that the preacher had been using. That's a different case, however, because Obama himself had identified this preacher as long-standing friend, mentor and inspiration. Do we see any similar claims from Harper? Quite the contrary, he himself has never made any public statement about his religious beliefs or his membership in this, or any other church. At least not as far as I know.. I should have said, at least not up until now.

          • Igarvin is right – this is a pathetically written article. For example:
            "But Notre Dame University's Mark Noll, one of North America's leading evangelical church historians, says: "I suspect many Canadians would be upset to learn about the conservative beliefs of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. They certainly are far less tolerant than, say, the United Church of Canada." "
            Anyone in the Christian world can tell you that compared to the United Church, most other Christian organizations look 'conservative'. The author knew this, and he knows that non Christians do not. He used this quote to scare non Christians into thinking the Alliance Church is more far right, or more conservative than all of the others.
            Or this:
            "It is hard for the Canadian public to reconcile Harper's image as a highly rationalistic policy wonk with the conservative Christian morality and leap-of-faith belief system of the denomination to which he belongs, says Foster, a specialist on Canadian politics and conservative Christianity.

          • …….
            Harper's "near-Teutonic" rationalism, says Foster, seems at odds with his evangelical faith, which Foster says relies on supernatural belief.

            "It's as if the two hemispheres of his brain are warring with each other." "

            Come on – the author might as well quote someone saying "It is amazing – he can breathe, he talks and thinks, and he still believes in God. How is it possible?"

            To claim that this article is anything other than a slam against the Alliance Church and Stephen Harper is ridiculous. Heck, you can say that you disagree with the AC, and with everything that SH stands for, but to say that this article is unbiased is a far cry from the truth.

        • "To be honest with you, I am a lot more concerned by God's verdict regarding my life than the one of historians."

          "As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions."

          "the NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men" (a joke, but a telling joke, I'd argue)

          "And we know who we stand with.
          The proud and courageous military men and women of the True North Strong and Free.
          God bless the work they do.
          God bless all of you, their families and friends."

          "Honourable Members, let us join together to build a stronger Canada and a stronger economy.
          As you set about this vital work, I pray that Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations." (May's Throne Speech)

          "God bless Canada."

          • I'm not sure you're helping, Sean.

            Those are some truly innocuous uses of the word God. I'm sure he's probably said "God bless you" when someone sneezed too.

          • Big difference between invoking god in private, and in interpreting governance as something explicitly intertwined with spiritualism. (But agreed that a few of those are minor. A few others are not, however.)

          • They are all minor, IMO, but more importantly not one of them comes close to being a religious justification for a specific policy. That's exactly my point about the original post. With zero evidence of religious intrusion into policy decisions, Feschuk just goes ahead and asserts it anyway.

            And all the smug, open-minded, champions of tolerance give Feschuk and themselves a good-natured attaboy for the clever joke that results.

            Self-awareness is a tricky beast sometimes.

          • "I pray that Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations."

            Throne Speech's are well calculated affairs. While it may be an innocuous statement, I don't doubt for an instant that it was highly strategic. Harper may be mainly mum about his religion, but its difficult to deny the fact that there is a pretty strong Christian identity to a core of his base.

            Lets just say that I'd be interested in a thorough analysis of the use of godly phrases in annual Throne Speeches.

          • "…but its difficult to deny the fact that there is a pretty strong Christian identity to a core of his base."

            So his base is less legitimate, less trustworthy, or less valuable than… what? secular people? Jewish people? Buddhists? Muslims? Sikhs?

            Politicians pander to voter segments, it's the way it's always been. The only thing that's new under the sun is this sudden fear of Christians, it's kinda bizarre in a country that is overwhelmingly Christian by population.

            If you're so frightened of the "secret" Christian Stephen Harper you must shudder at the Charter of Rights which begins: Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God… That's not some Throne speech boilerplate, it's the law of the land!

          • This should be enough to stop the lefties in their scandalous judgements, but they are not very intelligent, these sheeples!

      • Do you think maybe the reason Harper mentioned God in response to the burning of the Qu`ran was because the subject is about the God that different religions worship and the importance of showing tolerance towards those religions ?
        Well, fortunately not everyone thinks it`s funny to tee off on someone you dislike, just because, in a twisted way you think there is some humour there.
        Most of us don`t have any particular religious connection but when a man makes an honest statement condeming religious intolerance and mentions God, we should have the decency to accept it and not look for anything " political or strategic " in it even if we`re just trying to be funny.

        • "Do you think maybe the reason Harper mentioned God in response to the burning of the Qu`ran was because the subject is about the God that different religions worship and the importance of showing tolerance towards those religions ? "

          Absolutely. But it may also be noted that the author is pointing out that those noble sentiments – those of universal love for all our brothers and sisters – are seemingly selectively applied to only some brothers and sisters at some times.

          • And I think Feschuk is wrong to insinuate that Harper has selectively chosen to ignore those brothers and sisters he mentions.
            If Feschuk wants to be a mean comic—go to Yuk-Yuks. He should think twice about his choice of humour subject, rather then go for the cheap laugh.

          • Except that Harper has done so.

    • Yes, Harper certainly blasphemed. I assume you'll be burning his speech collection?

      • twist and spin… twist and spin away, Emily. (I knew an Emily once and she was nice and intelligent… guess it's not you.) How can you say such a thing??

        • The Dark Ages are over with. And blasphemy is a joke from that era.

    • Bettie's god is a kind and loving god.

    • The blashpemous one is Harper. Not only does Harper's god have limited tolerance, his god has selective tolerance. Harper's god is willing to allow Harper to use and abuse right wing fundamentalist religious organizations to staff and fund his political ambitions even though Harper's actions are demonstrably "unchristian". That is what Marci MacDonald is talking about in her book The Armaggedon Factor.

  27. Boy oh boy… some folks on this comment board didn't appreciate you making fun of their all-knowing, all-powerful lord. And they didn't take too kindly to you bringing God and Jesus into it, either.

  28. Everyone has a God. That belief generally manifests pretty damned fast when they learn that have something like terminal cancer. It might be Yaweh, Allah, Ganesh, money, sex, pot, fast cars or Tim Hortons. Everybody worships something and to suggest otherwise is lame.

    • A big tent definition of god! Maybe terminal cancer is a god?

      • Its certainly a liberal view of the divine.

    • Another religious fallacy.

    • No gods, no masters.

    • So Harper's "god" is comparable to a Tim's Coffee ………..good to know

  29. I`m never surprised when the usual suspects here line up behind Feschuk or Wherry or whoever in vain attempts to pass mediocre ramblings as anything resembling humour.
    But it seems to me that on a subject that is all about tolerance or the lack thereof, you just show your intolerance with your sophomoric and mean attempts at humour.
    Jeez, you`ve even got the nameless one joining in on your blurbathon.

  30. Could Scott Feschuk be intolerant?

    Scott is not intolerant. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, intolerant, but he is not a porn star.

  31. So Scott Feschuk's God is not as tolerant as the PM's. It is so. He has just admitted it. I know because I saw the statement by Harper on TV and nothing was mentioned in reference to Gays Tamils etc
    So, unless Mr Feschuk is attributing to the PM, statements not made, which would be a lie and that would not be surprising considering his experience as a liberal speech writer, one has to take those statements as examples of his own intolerance.

  32. In The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, Marci McDonald criticizes the current Conservative government for its highly selective adherence to Christian values. While Harper has done little by way of legislation to advance a theocratic agenda, he has brought the enormous patronage power of his office to bear in packing the Senate, appointing only judges who agree with him, firing “independent” watchdogs who speak out against his policies, and removing funding from organizations which he considers to have helped advance a left-wing agenda. At the same time, McDonald claims, a disproportionate amount of stimulus funding has gone to faith-based agencies and denominational schools.

    • Sorry buddy, the moment you site Marci McDonald your post lost all credibility.

      Try posting something with your own opinion about any subject—better chance you`ll get a fair reading.

  33. You shall have no other gods before me

    sounds tolerant to me

    • I realize you are joking (and that was pretty funny) here, but I think the sentiments belie a misunderstanding of what tolerance is. Tolerance is a negative value, not a positive one. One demonstrates tolerance by NOT oppressing or restricting somebody, even though they disagree with you. Biblical God was largely tolerant* in that he didn't smite heathens and gave people free will (at least according to the Catholic Church, I don't know about protestants).

      *Admittedly, Old Testament God was kind of a bad-ass who smiting anybody that looked at him cock-eyed (eg. Sodom and Gomorrah or the flood).

      • Yes, I was joking, and I agree with your explanation of "tolerance"

    • Ah, but He didn't say anything about having other gods behind him.

  34. So, are you saying that only non intelligent people have Gods?

    • Only non-intelligent people worship invisible friends.

      Or crazy ones.

  35. Do you want a happy god, or a vengeful god?

    • If this is multiple choice, I'd like a few more options.

      • Why? Happy sounds nice…

        • Yes, but vengeful would have better special effects.

    • Does it have to be either/or? How about a happily vengeful god? The special effects would still be pretty good.

      • My imagination was working overtime on that image. In the end I think I settled on Zeus giggling maniacally to himself while throwing lightening bolts into school yards.

        Its very dark in here.

    • Can we not have both at the same time?

  36. I expect that Feschuk intended this as an anti-Harper rant, but it comes across more as an anti-Christian rant, displaying exactly the kind of we are all castigating Mr. Jones for. We are trying to defuse hostility here — not amplify it. As much as one may dislike Harper, I find posts like this from Feschuk's to be ignorant and unwarranted.

    • Must be your victim complex kicking in.

  37. Is his God tolerant of Koran burning, or of the existence of religions other than whatever one Harper belongs to? Or is he saying that the God of the Koran and the God the Bible are different ones and that the biblical one tolerates the worship of other Gods? (It's clear He does not) The Bible says nothing about the God of the Koran, but the Koran is pretty explicit about tolerance http://quran.com/29/46 "Do not argue with the People of the Book except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one."

    That means Harper is probably a Muslim. That explains why he doesn't speak much about his religion.

    • I can hear rightwing heads exploding from here! LOL

  38. Yes, God has to be a social liberal, doesn't he. Gay marriage. Abortion. Divorce. The whole works. God has to be tolerant of everything, doesn't he. Why not throw in murder and child molestation to boot? Or, hey, how about terrorists! God has to be tolerant of non-Koran burning terrorists, too!

    • Somebody's been reading Leviticus.

      • Nah, someone's been hearing someone quoting Leviticus to make a point.

    • God is a he? Sounds absurd to me…really.
      But yeah, i get that 'he' is an easy word to use…
      as far as being tolerant of everything. Nah, that's also absurd.
      Does it always go extreme with you? I disagree with you on one thing, therefore everything? No, right?

      • Who is being extreme? I'm merely carrying Feschuk's initial point to its absurd extreme. He seems to think that God can be anything he wants it to be, including a gay marriage proponent.

        As for God being a "He", why would that be so absurd? Jesus was a male. We can agree on that, can't we?

        Again, amazing how the champions of tolerance and understanding on here run out of it pretty quickly when something falls out of their agenda's jurisdiction, such as Christianity. We have to bend over backwards for Muslims and everyone else, but lets get those blasted Christians!

        • As for God being a "He", why would that be so absurd?

          The male and female classifications are there to denote members involved in mating. So unless you are suggesting that the Christian god mates, or is capable of mating (does the virgin birth count as mating?), it is absurd to classify it as male or female.

  39. I guess that Harper has a hotline directly to God. After all, in the old Testament God commands us to kill anyone (even one's wife or child) who tells you to worship any god but Him. It seems to me that burning a book that does this is a rather weak response but if God called on the hotline to tell Harper that this particular commandment has been cancelled then we have to believe him.
    The hysteria both from both sides would go away if we simply realize that both the Koran and the Bible are just stories told by Bronze-age people.

    • Couldn't have said it better myself .

  40. Do God and Christ ever disagree on anything? Or is Harper falsely inflating the support for his position?

  41. Well I guess it is fitting that Harper has his own God. He does make the rules after all.

  42. Marci is a pathetic, hysterical hack. End of story.

    • Not only does Harper's god have limited tolerance, his god has selective tolerance. Harper's god is willing to allow Harper to use and abuse right wing fundamentalist religious organizations to staff and fund his political ambitions even though Harper's actions are demonstrably "unchristian". That is what Marci MacDonald is talking about in her book The Armaggedon Factor and she has it right.

      Have you read the book and if so can you provide a single phrase from it that you can prove inaccurate?

  43. My God doesn't burn books.

    He does however burn alot of people… for eternity.

    But don't worry, he loves you.

  44. I don't believe in an interventionist god, but if I did, he'd be inclined to slap Scott Feschuk.

    • He'd more likely slap Harper.

      God was into slapping…and smiting…not tolerance

  45. You know, I do find it fascinating that the same people who bash this nut pastor in Florida as an intolerant bigot then turn around and bash Christianity incessantly. Which is it? Are you people for tolerance or not? Geez.

    • You know how you can't tickle yourself?

      Tolerance is kinda like that.

      • Tolerance for me but not for thee?

        Well, I agree that that's some people's version of tolerance, especially on here.

        • Do you disagree with Harper then?

    • Everything is black and white with you? Do i have that right?

      • Hmmm. I made a point, and you didn't address it. Of course you have that right.

        • Are you tolerant, Am i tolerant is not a yes no answer. Tolerance for me and tolerance for thee, hey we agree! But its not nearly as simple as that. Tolerance is like a venn diagram, no? I accept some things, but can't accept others. That's both tolerant and intolerant depending on your perspective.
          Is everything black and white with you, or do you see a grey area for everyone?

          • Why in the world do you keep using the term "black and white" in such a knee-jerk fashion? It doesn't make you sound insightful or intelligent. Just predictable.

          • "Are you people for tolerance or not? Geez. "
            I replied, it's not that simple, depends on the situation.
            "Hmmm. I made a point, and you didn't address it" Tolerance for me but not for thee
            So, I replied it's not that simple, your point isn't valid. People are tolerant to a certain extent. It's not a simple yes no question.
            Well, we aren't getting anywhere, so keep on enjoying your tolerant / intolerant life, and i will do so with mine…

    • Ah – the nut bar pastor is a Christian…

      • Yes, and you're a fringe leftist. So?

  46. The threat of organized religion in my opinion is that you cannot laugh with it or in any other way not take it dead seriously. This makes it a haven for selfish & hypocritical people.

    Besides, its all bullsh!t.

    • Yes, you're so light-hearted and charming yourself, aren't you.

      Since when is there no shortage of mocking Christians? That's what this thread is about. Christians allow it. Apparently, many Muslims and leftists don't.

      • Except for the rightwing fundamentalist Chirstians in name only, who whine their butts off about it; thus deserving even more mockery.

        • Ah, here comes one of the champions of intolerance herself! Thanks for providing a timely example.

      • Is the guy burning the korans christian? Is he tolerant?

        • Let's see if I've got this straight. If this pastor of a tiny Church in Florida is representative of all Christians, then I guess terrorists who kill in the name of Islam are representative of all Muslims, right? That's the argument you're putting forth, is it? Or maybe you should try again.

          • What we have with Pastor Jones and our PM, is using Christianity for self-promotion.

  47. Unless I'm mistaken, I recall Imperial Rome had an attitude similar to feschuk and many of the "enlightened left" who soil this board. I suggest some short readings in Aquinas (you know that dumb medievel podunk whose words still ring true today). I'm going from a 30 year ago undergrad memory but I think his argument for the existance of God is in Suma Contra Gentiles ch. 13 (pardon the spelling on the latin) and Hawking can stick his big bang back in his rear orifice…from whence it came

    • God, that was persuasive, peter. Or is it St. Peter? Can you recommend somewhere that does baptisms after hours?

      • Even if he told you, he'd just deny it….

        • I was going to give you another thumbs up, but on seeing it had been done three times already, I figured that was just the right number for some reason.

          • Fair enough.
            I was just pointing out that Peter is considered to be one of the all time great deniers, though Tony Clements denial of statistical analyses has him racing up the leader board…..

    • So you run your life by something written in the 13th century?

      Well that explains why this country is so far behind.

      • His raw inductive reasoning seems to trump Marx, who only is wrong on praxis, human behavior, economics and social theory. BTW, the "unmoved mover" argument certainly trumps Hawking's recent blather on the "spontaneous big bang" of course getting something from (or for) nothing does seem a left/cenre psychosis.

        As an aside I'm guessing festus and wherry are hanging at D'Arcy's with their pals trying to lather up the touchy feely gang for the annual Liberal fall fizzle.

        • In what way is the unmoved mover argument more valid than the Big Bang theory?

          Both require the creation of something from nothing. And, considering that the cosmological argument depends on the creation of a being far more complex than the Universe itself, it is far more likely that the Universe spawned from nothing, than that the Universe spawned from the imagination of a vastly more complex god figure. The logic is fairly straightforward.

          St. Aquinas' arguments have been thoroughly argued against, but please, bring them up. I haven't had a good metaphysical discussion in a while.

        • It's not hard to trump Marx. There are hundreds of millions of dead people and untold economic and political hardship in vast regions of the world thanks to his ideas.

    • And it's Summa Theologica btw.

  48. Last evening on CBC, there was a segment on this affair. All the usual characters were there, including the de regure shot of the angry Arab street (Pakistan, really, so maybe it was the Muslim street, whatever). Anyhow, the agitated locals, as an act of protest against what was going to happen, were at actually burning flags, effigies and the like.

    Let me emphasize this: There was something going to (in the future, so it had not happened yet) be burnt, they didn't think it right, so, they burnt something (past tense, they have already done it.)

    How can they object to the burning of something when they do it all the time?

  49. But what I can't discern is:

    Feschuk: for or against the proposed Quran burning?
    Feschuk: for or against the PM attempting to put the weight of his office to dis-swade the proposed protest?

  50. "Funny" that what offends Feschuck about Harpo's ludicrous comment is not that the PM's god is cool with invading, killing, jailing, torturing, bullying and otherwise occupying Muslim Afghanistan, but rather that this political god is not down with gay marriage and abortion.

    Frankly, Feschuck is as fuct as he is unfunny.

    • The PM is elected to represent all the people. That would include gays and pro-choice people.

      Not just the PMs chosen religious group.

  51. Speaking as an atheist and no fan of Harper's, my question to Andrew Coyne would be this: Why does Scott Feschuck have a job? And I don't just mean with Maclean's — I mean anywhere. At all.

    • to pay his bar tab

    • Because people like you sign in to places like this and get counted in the advertising hits as you post a message.

  52. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Feschuk and Reid married?

  53. Well anyway, seems to me that Feschuk is right. It does appear that Harper's god has limited tolerance.

    I don't think the funny part is actually supposed to be the notion, but the presentation of the notion. The notion isn't funny at all and that's what he's trying to say. A lot of you missed that. Not me. I chuckled. So did "the people I work with".

    Anyhoo, Feschuk made the Most Read tab today and that's not bad for a days work, is it.

    • Well said. Not only does Harper's god have limited tolerance, his god has selective tolerance. Harper's god is willing to allow Harper to use and abuse right wing fundamentalist religious organizations to staff and fund his political ambitions even though Harper's actions are demonstrably "unchristian". That is what Marci MacDonald is talking about in her book The Armaggedon Factor.

  54. Stephen Harper increased immigration to far higher levels than the Paul Martin government you shilled for, chum, and he cut five large from the $1000 head tax the Liberals were charging immigrants. If he didn't like Tamil immigrants he would have sent them back, and kicked them off the steps of the PMO when they seized downtown Ottawa for 8 days.

    The UN doesn't fund abortion either, and abortion is illegal for 90% of Africans. Are you suggesting the UN are theo-cons? Do you want to force your abortion agenda on a continent that does not want it? Isn't that a tad…colonial?

    Harper opposes gay marriage? So did over half of Canadians when your boy Paulie shoved it down their throats, and so do about 190 other countries in the world. Are they intolerant too? Really? We're talking over six billion people here.

    Tell me more about this imaginary world you live in Scott, where the man who raised immigration rates to all-time highs, and cut the landing fee in half, and is well known world wide as a gay rights crusader, is a bigot. Read your own friggin' magazine for pete's sake:

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper…is being hailed as a gay rights hero—in Uganda. “He's a human rights activist,” said Brown Kiyimba. “Harper is a liberal guy,” added Emmanueil Turinawe. Both men are from Uganda's gay community…at last November's Commonwealth conference in Trinidad and Tobago, Harper had a private meeting with Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. He gave him his two cents' worth on the anti-gay bill. Shortly after, the East African leader told BBC News, “The Prime Minister of Canada came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays.” For the first time, Museveni talked of the need for “extreme caution” about the bill because it had become a foreign affairs issue.

    You're a funny guy Scott, but like all lefties you go all rah hulk smash when the topic turns to gays or Stephen Harper. It's Pavlovian. Is he really that amazing of a PM that you have to make up stuff to criticize?

    • If Harper actually thought he was a 'well known world wide gay rights crusader' he'd probably do himself in.

  55. Mr Feschuck, you are loathsome and your feeble attempts at humour are way too arch for normal mortals. But, to judge by the huge number of foaming at the mouth comments, you have certainly lifted the rocks under which bleeding heart nihilist sophomores normally lurk.

  56. Not the usual comments on a Feschuk post today!!

    Why does everyone online lose their sense of humour and ability to see what is clearly tongue in cheek? I actually kind of respect Harper on how infrequently he mentions God and his religion… But the second he invokes it to expouse a belief in tolerance he reveals his hypocracy because he is so clearly intolerant of my life, my identity, and my worldviews (female, gay, liberal). So intolerant is he that he's even afraid to engage in debate about these issues – cite his fear of the press corps and his penchant for proroguing (spelling?) parliament. Not your finest hour Harper…

    • " …. lose their sense of humour and ability to see what is clearly tongue in cheek?"

      So your tolerance for others only goes so far because laughing at people's religions/morals is quite funny, apparently.

      " …. reveals his hypocracy because he is so clearly intolerant of my life, my identity, and my worldviews (female, gay, liberal)"

      You live in the most progressive, tolerant country on earth. What legislation has Harper/Cons passed to make it clear that they are intolerant of your life, identity or worldview? And why demand tolerance from others while you laugh at them?

      It is not all about you, y'know.

    • Hey Carol,

      Not to rain on your parade, but Harper allowed a free-vote on SSM. In fact, when he took over as Leader of the Canadian Alliance he did so on the condition that moral issues (abortion and gay marriage) would never become party positions but would be up to each individual MP.
      Would he have been more tolerant if he forced his MPs to vote along with his personal beliefs? Like his liberal predecessors?

      I really don't like Harper or the Conservatives…but its this kind of mindless junk that will never allow me to identify myself as liberal.

  57. Holy crow. Lighten up people. It was just a little dig at Dear Leader. Oh and I am sorry but Feschuk IS funny. I am off now to ask for some federal money for my backyard rink.

  58. Jan, as always, you're more than welcome to make a coherent point if you have one. Again, thanks for showing up. lol

    • Sarcasm is the last resort of a weak mind Dennis

      • So are knee-jerk attempts at insults. My God. lol

        • My God. lol

          I thought we had agreed that we were going to leave our Gods out of this and settle it man to man.

          • Cute, Larry. Cute.

  59. I see your point after some thought.

    He could have left it at denouncing against burning other people's sacred things.

    Perhaps the squeamishness has to do with the "personal" image — like his demonstrating his piano skills.

  60. I''m an athiest, pro-choice, pro-same sex marriage and I enjoy Feschuk's stuff.

    That sad, is everyone (including Scott) ok with making fun of "God" only insofar as you're offending Christians? Could you imagine Scott (or many other writers) questioning the faith of a Muslim or Jewish politician in this country?

    • How many Muslim politicians do we have and does anyone know enough about Islam to make jokes about it. Lots of us were brought in the Christian tradition, whether we now practice or not. So we know when someone like Harper says something silly.

  61. Is it just me, or is it weird that abortion is brought into this.
    I personally don't think that many Canadian taxpayers want to fund abortions in some other country. This is about money, and a government's responsibility to it's people with how it spends it. If our forign aid money went towards people having breast implants, or sex change operations, I am sure most Canadians would be uspset – same with abortions.
    I have a hard enough time providing for my family, while paying taxes. I am kind of happy that a government has thought about what the money they are giving away is funding. Now if only they could do that with all forign aid, and then take a look at where our money is being wasted inside Canada.
    (Subsidies for Canadian magazines would be a good palce to start. In a round about way, our our tax dollars paying some of Scott's salary? – lol)

    • Harper has had plenty of time to stop magazine subsidies. He hasn't, he's actually aded to the list. The Conservative base will tolerate anything he does, it seems.

    • Why are subsidies for Canadian magazines a waste of money?

      • If it cannot support itself, that means not enough Canadians want it. Why should our taxes be uesed for something that can't get financial support on it's own?

  62. God does tolerate all kinds of people for a long time. That does not mean that he accepts or embraces their behavior. People confuse toleration and acceptance. You don't tolerate something that you embrace. You tolerate something that you don't agree with but accept the person who has the view. I think it's great that our Prime Minister actually has convictions about God. Too bad so many former PMs were so wishy washy. We can use more people of conviction whose beliefs actually impact their daily living. Allan D

  63. Christians are tolerant …hold to a standard set out in the Bible by God/Jesus/Holy Spirit …speak the truth, in love …but accept that others have beliefs that often differ.

  64. Good little Stevie and his imaginary god .I suppose he believes in Santa too . Wish he was just an imaginary Prime Minister . Oh well , nice to see he hasn't changed his "George W. Bush on training wheels" style .

    • People are disagreeing, and using their brains………….and then there is you.

  65. Ahh Fesshuk, I do not believe in any religion but I do not mock other people on their faith. You might like to try growing up a little, who knows you might like it.

  66. Religion is the second biggest waste of time ever invented by Man . Next to golf .

    • Yes, but it's very lucrative. As a profit centre it is second to none.

  67. Scott,

    Congratulations on writing an article that was one paragraph long, yet somehow solicited the craziest flame war I've ever seen on this site.

    If only people had taken my suggestion that we rename "marriage" in law to "mutually adjunct persons", issuing "mutually adjunct persons licenses", the world would be a much happier place.

  68. Disclaimer: I'm test- posting here to see how it compares, speed-wise with the Globe.

    On topic. This is a characteristic of cafeteria religion. Devotees search the texts for proof that their own opinions, prejudices, or biases are supported in print or by "authoritative" word, and then they attribute their own views to their God.

  69. FYI David siad long ago, "O God, you are my God". Look up Ps 63 (and many more of the Psalms). It is a common invocation for covenant people in the Scriptures to refer to God as "Their God". Where do they get this right from, Why God Himself. "You shall be my people and I shall be your God". The God of the Bible is personal and near, not remote and absent, as with the Muslim God. Mr Harper is entirely consistent with Scripture to make this claim as a Christian.

  70. I used to read Scott and even enjoyed it from time to time, but this blog is as low as low-blows go.

  71. It is easier to mocks a person's faith knowing there is no repercussions, where is Feetyuck's bravery in mocking other people's faith where reprisals are fast and assured, in let say Middle East, Afghanistan, or Pakistan?

    • I forgot to add that Feetyucks is exhibiting a hall mark of a bully! Just as idiotic as the pastor who's threatening to burn the Q"uran.

    • Ariadne, you have become my favourite balloon pricker. Precious Feschuck's humour is like that of Pastor Jones, or the Floridian preacher who caussed all the recent row.

      • As the idiotic pastor realized that denegrading one's faith get him a lot of attention and publicity, copy cats abound, not only from other pastors but most especially from media people who needs more attention and publicity to stay in this business. It's very low, but it works!

  72. Feschuk you sound angry… If you want I can recommend some angry, troll-filled forums.

  73. and the name of your gawd is…

  74. The fact is, Harper's the best we've got right now. There's no denying that. And besides, this was more anti-Christian than anything. It's easy to bash a religion, but Feschuk, your job isn't to bash religions, it's to provide a witty and humorous commentary on current events, something this post was not.

    • "witty and humorous" – from Feschuck? what are you on, Jordan?

  75. I'm assuming Mr. Harper made this quote when referring to the Pastor Jones issue. In saying it, Harper was disagreeing with Jones and his intended actions. To be tolerant means to put up with something, or to permit it to exist or be practiced, even if one does not agree with it or believe it to be as valid as something else. So I think Harper is showing tolerance in this case. As for the other examples cited of Harper's so-called intolerance, Harper has the right to disagree with abortion and the practice of homosexuality. In doing so he can still be seen as tolerant, as long as he isn't out bombing abortion clinics and beating gay men.

  76. These ares shameful responses to a comment from our Prime Minister.. We are so very blessed to have him as our leader and yes, God is tolerant but not of sin, and what the Prime Minister was referring to is being tolerant of other people's belief in religion.. not to the many horrendous crimes the Muslims have committed or to any other "sin" but to having respect of other's beliefs .. I think .. as always.. the public here is just taking his comments out of context.. so what else is new??

  77. More typical, leftist, Canadian media drivel from a cynical journalist who evidently could find nothing intelligent to write. So that's what he did – wrote nothing intelligent. And I'll guess he actually thought he was funny. Does he get paid for this?!

  78. Let us put aside rhetoric for a moment and find out what is the definition of tolerance? 'Dictionary.reference.com', in its first criterion, says: "1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry."

    OK, does that mean anything goes? Of course not. I won't even go into ridiculous examples (murder, etc.) Nevertheless, if a private individual believes that something is wrong, it's his responsibility to not act contrarily to the description of tolerance above. BUT, if that person has been PUT in a position of 'responsible' power, then that person has the right to and must take charge of issues in an equally responsible manner.

    With regards to the Canadian specific issues Mr. Feschuk mentioned above, Mr. Harper and his party are in their right to introduce and, if successful, enact laws of the land as they see fit. The opposition is in its right to 'oppose' the governing party and the people are in their right to remove Mr. Harper's party after a certain number of years if they see fit. At that time, the next party party in power will be in their right to act as they see as responsibly fitting.

    Mr. Harper's party has the right also not to support something with which they disagree (ie. African abortion). The same responses as mentioned above must be applied by the opposition and the electorate.

    If ever Mr. Feschuck becomes a party leader and his party wins an election then he and his associates have the right to act as they see best. The opposition and the electorate will, hopefully, respond as they see best. Till then, with the same responsibility, he should also behave in a tolerant manner towards the governing party.

  79. Who is Stephen Harper ???

  80. Politicians have no beliefs, morals, values, ideology, sense of decency, or common sense. Their sole goal is to attain and hold power, they will say anything and do anything to serve that purpose. They pray on the metaphorical altar Machiavellianism. They see themselves as Lord and we are Serfs. In their utopia we the populist are their worshipers, and we allow them to control us 100%.

  81. What is with the Christian bashing? You lefties are the first to tell everyone to embrace diversity, love, tolerate and pay for all people. And of course, to legalise pot! Why are you so scared of the Bible? I'm not a follower, but I at least believe in the people's right to have their faith. Once again, you are the biggest bunch of hypocrits. Oh – and Feschuck – you are a Dickhead alright!

  82. Unfortunately, most people in the political arena who use the Bible for guidance use the most barbaric passages from the Old Testament(2 Kings Chapter 2 v.23-24 for an example of biblical "tough love") and then skip ahead to Revelations. The tolerant bits i.e. the sermon on the mount, which is the most sustained presentation of Jesus' manifesto, never seem to get quoted these days by christian politicians where ever they sit on the political spectrum.

    Probably because the sermon on the mount would work as a NDP campaign platform, if they had the guts to try it. On the other hand, Vic Toews probably looks like Elisha and "bears" a similar attitude toward unruly youth(see 2 Kings, above)

  83. Seriously! Harper is entitled to his God and his Christ.

    Would anyone dare twist a Muslim's faith like Feschuck has here?

    Christian bashing….nice, and ever so original…. so brave of Feschuk to take a stand.

  84. Unless it's life or death, you don't ever NEED an abortion. Period!

  85. Basically his god is a jewish zombie, who can be invoked by about a billion simple folk by symbolically eating his flesh and drinking his blood, who is apparently his own father, and not only listens to the telepathic thoughts of believers but will, if you think hard enough, bring you that Cadillac.
    Oh, yeah, and for Steve, Stockwell and the tribe, a god that made humans and dinosaurs walk together, and for whom they wil be lucky enough to get sucked up into some kind of happy place, when all us unbelievers down here are incinerated in the armageddon coming when their so called saviour returns.

    Wow! And people actually vote FOR these people???!!!


  87. Stevie Harpo's God Almightly told him to go out and trash Toronto during the G20 and then go out and spend $15 billion of taxpayers' money on American-made war toys, and scrap the Long gun Registry and the National Child Care Plan!

    We know where Stevie's Godly priorities are, don't we? It sure is a mightly tolerant God, Stevie's God is, eh?

  88. Perhaps, "our God is longsuffering" would be a better expression, wouldn't it. The fact is that Jesus Christ, Immanuel or God with us, taught us to be salt and light and to overcome evil with good. He also teaches us to not only abstain from evil but also to do good. God is both loving and just, fortunately for us His justice is tempered with mercy. Pastor Terry Jones was going to burn the Korans because he had read it and considered it evil because of some of its content however Stephen Harper's position not to burn the Koran is appropriate because this is an act that is contrary to overcoming evil by good. Terry Jones should be satisfied with exposing what he believes to be incorrect in the Koran.

  89. Regarding Stephen Harper's position on homosexual acts as well as beastiality one would expect him to be opposed in accordance with the teachings of the Bible, wouldn't we. Whereas abortion is taking the life of an innocent unborn person it is not unreasonable to be opposed to that either, is it. When criminals illegally smuggle people into the country for profit they should be apprehended before the ship docks and charged with whatever crimes they are committing. It appears that liberal thinking would have us assist those who are taking advantage of us. Help the thief who is breaking into our house to rape and steal.

  90. as long as God and Jesus likes tax cuts, i'll be a Christian!

  91. Harper doesn't speak much about religion, and when he does, Feschuk sees fit to attack him with jokes that involve lazily filling in the usual blanks. Homophobic, check. Anti-abortion, check. Sea-faring Tamils, ok that was original, but frankly not that insightful or funny. Its cruel to be opposed to illegal immigrants? I'm missing something here.

    Final verdict: Mostly lazy, no funny. Feschuk can't be a genius everytime. This one's a swing and a miss.

  92. Dear Fuddy Duddies: when you’re done being prudish, ashamed, and shocked by everything that your parents or other authority didn’t tell you to go ahead and do, maybe consider that 1) Scott’s blurb was concise, funny, and insightful, and 2) Vast numbers of people, upon reading it, find and would find it funny. See that? I didn’t even say Blow Me.