Well, that’s the conclusion I’m coming to based on both men lashing out over a Christian group that had stated that homosexuality is a sin.
The furor started when Canadian Press reported that Christian Crossroads, an evangelical Christian group that has received funding for aid projects since 1999, also declares homosexuality a sin. That report led Fantino to distance himself from the group his department had defended earlier. The report’s publication also saw Crossroads take down that part of its website.
Of course that’s not good enough for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
“It’s shocking to hear Minister Fantino defending the indefensible, standing up today and defending a group that on its website is attacking something that’s recognized and protected by Canadian law,” Mulcair said after question period.
“It goes against Canadian values. It goes against Canadian law. And he can’t defend that.”
“We don’t understand how the Conservatives can … subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are identical to those of the Ugandan government,” Mulcair said.
Now I want to point out that Mulcair and Fantino are both reportedly Catholic. In fact, Mulcair gets quite uppity when someone questions his faith. So let me just quote from the Vatican website emphasis added.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
So at this point I expect Fantino to halt all funding to Catholic charities that are feeding the hungry, providing hospitals and so on. I also expect Mulcair to denounce the Catholic Church and ask how any Canadian can defend it.
But that won’t happen will it?
In fact Fantino’s office funds plenty of Catholic charities and Mulcair’s NDP have spoken repeatedly about funding cuts to Catholic Development and Peace, the official aid agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – who it might be noted do regard homosexuality as a sin.
So is this about homosexuality or is this about beating up religious charities based on whether they are perceived as “progressive” or “conservative?” Evangelical charities would wrongly be perceived as all being “conservative” and Catholic charities – because like most Catholic politicians (Fantino, Mulcair etc.) they apparently don’t believe what their Church teaches – are perceived as “progressive.”
What is disturbing here is the attempt to enforce a uniformity of views on Canadians if they want to engage with the government. Personally I don’t like church groups of any kind taking government money because it corrupts the church. Yet not all Canadians support that view and some want long standing religious charities to work with government, something that has gone on for decades inside this country and through our foreign aid.
Now for cheap political points, Mulcair and Fantino have decided that this must change. Either Christian churches give up all government partnerships or they give up their traditional teaching. That may sound extreme but that is the natural extension of the positions taken by Fantino and Mulcair.
These two, aided by Canadian Press, have started a new inquisition.