Thursday, October 05, 2006

Christians Need Not Apply

It's been fairly obvious for quite some time now that politics is a dangerous profession for practicing Christians in Canada. Not only is the mainstream media quick to pull out the "scary" label, but opposition benches seem to feel there's no line they shouldn't cross. A recent article by John-Henry Westen bears this out.

The latest example has to do with Darrel Reid, the newly appointed Chief of Staff to Environment Minister, Rona Ambrose. Upon hearing of his appointment, Bill Graham, leader of the Liberal Party declared the decision an "affront to democracy." What was Mr. Reid's crime? Was he a child-abuser, a thief, perhaps he stole someone else's identity? No, his crime was that he was formerly head of the Canadian branch of Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization with American roots.

While Pat O'Brien, a former Liberal M.P., is quoted as being highly critical of the Liberals, it seems that all of the Canadian mainstream parties have, at least, made the public expression of Christian values taboo among their candidates or M.P.s. I find it amazing that, in a culture that prides itself on its diversity and tolerance there is such blatant discrimination and even hostility to Christians in public life. Witness the vilification of Stockwell Day who, while certainly not perfect, was not as bad as the press or the opposition made him out to be.

The assumption seems to be that Christian values somehow impair the judgment of a politician, while an irreligious person or a non-practising Christian somehow is free from pre-conceived biases. The obvious fact is that we each have a worldview - a lens through which we interpret events and which informs our decisions. The secularizing of our political scene has simply deprived us of the benefit of informed debate.

We wonder why we see such a frightening decline in the moral judgment of our youth, our politicians, our leaders in general. Somehow we find ourselves unable, or unwilling to connect the dots. The ever-quotable C. S. Lewis wrote, "We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful."

Honestly, would we rather be lead by men and women who feel we will one day be held accountable for our choices, or to those who believe that the only thing we need to fear is being caught? It seems to me that, while there are moral atheists, having someone with a Biblically informed worldview would, and should, add a lot to the tone of public debate. Chew on it.
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