Thursday, June 19, 2014
Concerned Christians Canada was one of Craig Chandler’s creations … until he sold it to its current owner when the political heat got a little to much.
To nobody’s surprise, according to CCC’s Jim Blake, Ric McIver has been done a grave injustice by the National Post (and other media outlets) for talking about his participation in Pawlowski’s “March for Christ” event.
Firstly, I worked closely with Artur Pawlowski on various Christian events (including the Night on the Street for the Poor, March for Jesus, public youth worship events, various Christian festivals, etc) and acted as a mediator between he and various officials on several occasions. I came to know Artur very well and can attest to the fact that I witnessed, on many occasions, Artur inviting people of all backgrounds and persuasions to various events he was involved in, or events that Street Church itself had hosted. I dare say that they would likely not have invited him to their events, by the way.
Many people have accused him of being “anti-gay”, merely because he stands on the Bible as the truth, and stands for sexual relationships that align with it. But just because Artur is very vocal about the fact that he stands firmly against homosexual relationships and acts, and against the public promotion of that lifestyle, does not mean that he does not show compassion and a willingness to serve those practicing homosexuality at the table his ministry sets up. Week after week, I would see Mr. Pawlowski serve many of Calgary’s most downtrodden people and always showed a heart of service that is unparalleled in any community. Among those who came out, were people involved in homosexual relationships whom he would serve. He would talk with them, and pray with them, and for them, when they would allow him to. By doing so, he repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that he does not hate people because they identify themselves as homosexuals, rather he sees the homosexual lifestyle as a destructive force in a person’s life, whom he would say was created in the image and likeness of God.
Well yes, I’m sure Pawlowski likes to make a big show of all the “good” he is doing. That is irrelevant here. The issue is not even Pawlowski’s event, or even the philosophical stance that Pawlowskis (or Blake’s) understanding of Christianity take with respect to homosexuality as it is about the sincerity of McIver’s damage control apology.
Secondly, I find it sickening that people like Jen Gerson are still writing such intolerant articles against Traditional Christian values. After all, we are told that Canadian society is a “tolerant” one, yet Jen in the clear tone of the article, would have us believe that since Ric McIver is merely associated to the likes of homeless advocate Artur Pawlowski, his leadership ability should be questioned and his candidacy denied. What seems clear from her June 14, 2014 article is the real truth of the matter, which is that she does not like social conservatives or social conservative values, and that she is willing to smear and defame any public figure that would hold those values, or who would in any way be associated with those who do.
Nobody is “persecuting” McIver for his beliefs here. Calling out hypocrisy, perhaps. Disingenuity? Definitely.
Pawlowski is not just a “homeless advocate”. He is a man who wants to ram his religiosity down everybody’s throat … and does so regularly. Don’t believe as he does? You’re on the wrong side of his god. He’s well known for preaching against homosexuals, and we’re supposed to ignore that because he helps the homeless? Uh no. It doesn’t work that way.
Where McIver is concerned, the real question isn’t just his association which Street Church and March for Jesus, but rather what are his sincere views. Does he believe that GLBT people are lesser citizens? Does he support Pawlowski’s anti-abortion, anti-divorce stances? Where does McIver stand?
Blake then moves on to try and give us a lesson in civics:
Perhaps Jen Gerson, and those like her, should take some lessons from the “real” Charter of Rights and freedoms that clearly states the following:
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Then under the section following called FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and(d) freedom of association.
As seen above, the charter doesn’t just allow those identifying themselves as homosexuals or “gay” the liberty to live in sexually immoral lifestyles, Biblically speaking, it also allows perfectly reasonable and loving people to believe that the choices that these people are making are detrimental to them and to society as a whole. Similarly, there are those who believe that it is not compassionate to speak against abortion, or divorce, or premarital sex, or gambling, or drug addiction, or pornography addiction, or alcohol abuse, or drunk driving, or any such thing, and they are entitled to hold that opinion and to debate their viewpoint vigorously and even advocate for it. The same can be said, in a free and democratic society, for those who want to see the word “sin” restored to society, and who want to see traditional family values, virtue, integrity, honesty and morality to be promoted in society due to their merits.
Well, Mr. Blake. Let me bring a few more details of interpreting the Constitution to your attention. First of all, the premise statement about the “supremacy of God” is in the preamble, and mysteriously does not stipulate which particular notion of God is held to be “supreme”, nor does any other part of the Constitution of this country stipulate any particular faith as having supremacy. This is important, especially in a society where there are so many faiths practiced (and no small number of people who consciously choose not to practice any religion at all).
Second, Mr. Blake seems to misunderstand the fundamental freedoms in S2. All of those are indisputably individual freedoms. They do not extend beyond the individual per se. Mr. McIver, Mr. Blake and everybody else in Canada all bear those freedoms without question. That does not grant any of them the right to impose their beliefs upon others either directly or indirectly.
Further, Mr. Blake fails to understand one additional point. Nothing in those freedoms shields anyone from the consequences of their exercise of those rights. Mr. McIver is absolutely free to associate with Mr. Pawlowski’s church, or whatever else he wishes. Nobody will charge him with anything for it.
That said, Mr. McIver is a politician – a public figure – and one who is angling to become this province’s next premier, and possibly the premier for the next four years after an expected 2016 election. Mr. Pawlowski’s preachings may well carry with it a price when it is put in front of the electorate. Mr. McIver knew that when he started participating in Street Church events, and he knows it now. When it comes to political figures, the public has a right to know what a candidate believes, and whether or not he would act on those beliefs legislatively. McIver now has the unfortunately difficult job of convincing a public that has come to see homophobia as electoral poison that his association with Street Church doesn’t influence his legislative beliefs.