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Saturday, October 13, 2007 

Stephen Harper's Evangelical Faith Remains Under Wraps

"Harper is one of many conservative Christians in Canadian politics, Mackey says, who have been striving to downplay the public's fears about evangelicals being "scary." [...]

"Harper could suffer politically if he were more open in largely secular Canada, or publicly embraced the beliefs of his denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA).

"If Harper came out and said those who don't know the Lord are `lost,' (that they) are doomed, he'd be held up to ridicule," said Bruce Foster, head of policy studies at Mount Royal College here. "In a multicultural, diverse, relativistic country like Canada, that's toxic stuff for most voters."

Douglas Todd
Religion News Service

I need to know if my Prime Minister believes that the Earth is only 8000 years old and that an Armageddon event will take the lives of most persons in the world. What about you?


Everything about him indicates that he is a believer in this fundamentalist dogma. Bush's love for Harper and vice versa tells me that they are 'brethern'.

Harper should come clean with Canadians. I do not want a Leader who believes that the destruction of the world is inevitable. That scares the crap out of me. We already know that Bush believes that to be the case.

What about Harper? If he doesn't believe the tenants of the Alliance church, then why is he hanging with them - for votes??? It would seem to be a risky venture in Canada.

No, I am convinced that he is an 'end times' 'fundamentalist' 'creationist'.

At least he is thinking twice about coming out. Most of our politicians in the states can't help but pander to the religious zealots.

If someone thinks they can choose to believe or not believe in evolution, I think it automatically disqualifies them from public office. If they choose to believe the earth is 8000 years old, they should be disqualified.

They are free to believe what they want to believe, but they are not free and have no right to force their beliefs on the rest of us via Politics.

PoliShifter I agree. I am not comfortable with the President of the USA and the Prime Minister of Canada being dogmatically CONVINCED that a major global catastrophe is preordained and inevitable and that the majority of the human race will perish at that time.

Having a world view like that (without doubt) affects the decisions that they make in the course of their duties.

I am absolutely NOT CONVINCED that the fate of the planet is preordained for catastrophe. I believe that through a much higher level of awareness of REALITY we can cooperatively work to resolving the difficulties that our species faces on this planet. The dogmatic fundamentalists are potentially a threat to human existence on this planet because they have already decided that we are doomed!

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Neither Mr. Harper nor his wife has any formalized religious faith. Mr. Harper is the first PM every to campaign without attending worship. For strategic and public display, occasionally he will say “God Bless Canada”. Even former Soviet leaders and Saddam Hussein would use the word “god” on occasion. Saying “god” does not mean you are any kind of believer. In none of Harper’s writing or interviews has he ever spoken of *his*faith – nyet, nada, never. The man is an atheist who uses the religious for political gain. He is that crass a man.

Leftdog.....I read the doctrine of the particulr sect you say Steven Harper belongs to...I can't see where it differs from any other doctrinal statement of faith of any other mainstream Christian church. It's pretty standard fare.

I would think if you have a problem with Steven Harper you should have a huge problem with Lorne Calvert. He was an ordained minister and would have had to admitt to the same tennants of the Christian faith in order to take the pulpit.

Leftdog don't talk out of both sides of your mouth. Just admit, once again, that you don't care for Steven Harper and let it go at that.

To Mooner: Neither the Anglican Church, Greek Orthodox Church, or the Roman Catholic Church (together accounting for over 90% of christians) believe the same about the "end times" as the Missionary Alliance (less than 1% of Christians).

Regardless, it is Stephen Harper's parents who are Missionary Alliance - stephen harper has not been an adherent of their church in decades. He is an atheist.

Leftdog, I too have to wonder if Mr. Harper is hiding his true Evangelical Christian faith from the Canadian public as he knows it would be his political death knell. After all, he does have connections with Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College. From an article entitled Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons in The Walrus Magazine: (Google "Stephen Harper and the theo-cons")

"But McVety and others on the religious right are equally convinced that Harper is one of their own. “We’ve got a born-again prime minister,” trumpets David Mainse, the founder of Canada’spremier Christian talk show, 100 Huntley Street. They see him as an image-savvy evangelical who has been careful to keep his signals to them under the media radar, but they have no doubt his convictions run deep—so deep that only after he wins a majority will he dare translate the true colours of his faith into policies that could remake the fabric of the nation. If they’re right, it remains unclear whether those convictions would turn government into a kinder, gentler guarantor of social justice for all or transform the country into a stern, narrow-minded theocracy. And what would his evangelical worldview mean for international relations?"

Mr. McVety was instrumental in influencing Harper to bring the abortion issue before Parliament.

And don't forget Harper's Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day. He's an Evangelical Christian through and through. Along with McVety and Jerry Faldwell, good old Stockwell even has his picture on the masthead of the Evangelical Christian website The Word.ca. Have a look, Stockie's seventh from the left. These are the people Harper chooses to surround himself with. As an atheist myself, I can't imagine willingly associating with these people no matter how bad I wanted a majority government.

to rolf, you said. "Mr. McVety was instrumental in influencing Harper to bring the abortion issue before Parliament."

The Harper government did not bring abortion to parliament. Harper could care less about abortion or gay-marriage or anything religious. He is not a beliver. Further, David Maise and Stephen Harper have never had discussions about Christian faith, or faith in general. Always a fundamentalist like Jason K. is sent to talk to people like Maise. Stephen does not engage questions of faith - as he is *NOT* a believer. It's all just a game to Stephen and in a pinch he sends in surrogates to “make it up”.

You will not defeat Harper on the grounds that he is a believer, which is a dubious reason to defeat anyone. But in Harper's case, the only value that Christian faith holds to Harper is he controls the illusion that he shares something with believers (and hence the illusion they owe him their loyalty)... however harper does not believe in either the social gospel (found in the political left) or the responsible-government gospel (found in the political right) - as Harper is not a believer.

Harper is in it for power... the usual reason people use religion in politics.

Slightly off topic but here goes.
McVety's graduation exercise for Canada Christian College was shown in part on his program. Among the guests of honour were Senator Ann Cools and Frank Klees.

Klees was a proponent of and the point man for the faith-based-funding during this last election.
Remember, he was the one that Tom Long convinced to step aside for the leadership of the Alliance. Long ran instead and that clearly miffed Klees. It's not the first time he's been a cats-paw.

Klees is far to the right and there's been talk of him as successor to Tory. Hah! Likely, not!

Ann Cools needs no further explanation.

Excellent post Walks With Coffee...another example of this is legalizing abortion...the senior Liberal leadership at the time was deeply catholic and it did not sit well with them. But they went along and did it because that was what the electorate wanted.

I'm Douglas Todd, the Vancouver Sun journalist who wrote the story that is drawing so much attention on this blog. It's good to see this lively discussion. If you want to see the original exploration of Harper's almost secret evangelical Christian beliefs, go to http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2007/11/23/the-religious-beliefs-of-canadian-pm-stephen-harper.aspx

Douglas Todd, would you be kind enough to repost with the full URL for that article--it seems to have been accidentally shortened. Thanks!

Please read this article on Harper's group and their "faith":



>>In my opinion hes an Economist, not a fundamentalist.

Harper he is even a bad economist

Some people try to say that the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an economist, has finally woken up to the economic crisis that has gripped the planet, and It took him long enough. During this fall’s election, he had falsely downplayed disastrous economic news around the globe by telling Canadians the fundamentals of our economy were sound and by insensitively offering really bad stock market advice. ” Instead of taking action, the Conservatives delivered the now-infamous non-economic statement that included no stimulus for the economy. Instead, it was like a poke in the eye to those Canadians being handed pink slips or watching their retirement savings vanish before their eyes.” And the Canadian public must rightfully also now decide if the Conservative change of heart is genuine or a clever optical illusion, and what all should Canadians now do? All Canadians have a right to be skeptical with Harper’s future standing now too after a firestorm of criticism and a near-death experience for his Conservative government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper failure then to admit the hardship many Canadians were experiencing and to take action could rightfully cost him his job. For one could argue that it has certainly cost untold numbers of Canadians their jobs. Obviously for someone who was supposed to be so smart, he’s been terribly slow to admit the economic deepfreeze the rest of the world has been responding to for months now. he thus really does not deserve any second chances. Was Prime Minister Stephen Harper drunk, or asleep at the wheel, lying, or was he still rather totally indifferent rather also when the earlier signs were mounting that the Canadian economy was heading over a cliff? For in just three weeks, the new Conservative federal government has gone from predicting an ongoing string of balanced budgets to the Prime Minister Stephen Harper stating openly now about the necessity of deficits even in the range of $30 billion. And the opposition parties warn it still might not be enough to win their support for the budget. Suggesting Harper is only offering generous stimulus under the threat of a coalition toppling his government, Liberal MP John McCallum said it’s premature to say if the Liberals will help pass the budget. ”He doesn’t believe in building up the economy this way and he doesn’t believe in helping people who are suffering from the economic crisis,” he said. “So if it’s going to be the coalition approach to stimulus, it should be the coalition government to implement it. It’s better to have a government that believes in the policy than one that doesn’t.” NDP Leader Jack Layton also accused Harper of being dragged “kicking and screaming” into providing aid packages and insisted he must go. Stephen Harper describes Canada’s historic return to deficit as a bitter pill for him to swallow, but as a necessary remedy for the ailing economy. Harper expressed some dismay over the irony that Canada would return to the red under his watch. The prime minister continues to reel politically from a late-November parliamentary misstep that nearly cost him his government. In the run-up to the Christmas period, on a variety of policy fronts, things have not gone Harper’s way. Facing the viable prospect of being unceremoniously driven from office, Mr. Harper is now having trying to dance to the tune being called by the majority others. Now that the opposition parties have joined forces to slice his throat, Mr. Harper looks very much weaker, having also clearly to improvise and bend to the will of other political parties. And when the Commons reconvenes Jan. 26 he’ll face a newly empowered Liberal Official Opposition.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper now himself performs clearly an astonishing about-face presentation on the economy, and is now even following almost exactly the path the Liberal leader Stephane Dion was mapping out before he quit. Harper now is following the very same person Harper had previously himself had labeled as an incompetent fools.. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has clearly even misplayed the financial crisis from the start. The lack of real, valid political leadership in this country is still staggering. Harper’s appointment this week of a group of eminent economic advisers is an personal admission sign that the government recognizes that it doesn’t have all the answers or is it merely confirming Harper’s ongoing false political play to falsely stay in power? Why now take the chance for the good of us all? Rightfully fire him anyway, he clearly has earned that right by now too.

If Harper is an evangelical Christian, would it not be unchristian to deny his faith? If he is, then we are in trouble. If one believes the "rapture" is about to happen in the next 10, 20 or so years, then why care about the future of anything? The environment, child care and Canada are all irrelevant. God (pun intended) help us.

I'm frightened by the religious bigotry I'm reading here. The misunderstanding and misinformation about the Christian faith in general frightens me too, particularly because your readers are blatantly pronouncing condemnation of people who adhere to the Christian faith. This attitude, expressed as it is here, flies in the face of the freedoms we value, particularly the freedom of conscience. Yes, the Christian faith (every mainline denomination) teaches that the world as we know it will one day come to an end, but that belief, contrary to the biased opinions expressed on this site, only drives Christians to care MORE about this world, and the people in it, than they would if they didn't believe God was involved in human history for His good purposes. Your readers need to do some research. The Christian faith was the foundation for most of the best social values and benefits we enjoy in North America today, including hospitals, schools, free public education for everyone, and (in Canada) universal health care. Christians are not "the enemy." They care. And they love even those whose negative biases frighten them. We care because God cares, about everything, not just the end of the world as we know it.

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