Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Foul Ball, Gilles.

Gilles Duceppe has decided to attack a Tory candidate based on her religious affiliations.

I'm no Opus Dei member - but religious beliefs should be absolutely, 100% off-limits in the realm of public debate.

I don't care if this woman is Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, a Rastafarian, Scientologist, Mormon, Evangelical or Wiccan. A candidate's faith - or lack thereof - is an issue between them and their God(s/dess/desses). There is absolutely no place for this in any election, and Duceppe owes the candidate, and all Canadians of ALL faiths, an apology.

If you want to talk about her public comments on a given issue, that's fine. But to say that "she belongs to this religious group, they believe this, and we think that's wrong" is gutter politics of the worst kind.

The irony of Duceppe's foul ball? Quebec is 83.2% Catholic. Many of course are Lapse Catholics, but the majority would still be mass-attending Catholics - including many BQ candidates, one would have to guess. I don't know how up-to-date Gilles is on the teaching of the Catholic Church, but the new Pope, and therefore the Church, isn't exactly a big fan of the 2 issues Gilles cited - abortion, and same-sex marriage.

How many of his own candidates did Duceppe just condemn for their own, private religious beliefs? How many Quebecois did Duceppe just insult in the most personal of ways? Tune in on October 14th to find out.


the regina mom said...

But when that faith involves a fascist doctrine and a cult-like allegiance such as that espoused by Opus Dei, isn't it wise for a political leader to expose it for what it is?

Enlightened Savage said...

Regina Mom: Thanks for your comments, and welcome to the blog! :)

Respectfully, the same arguments can be made about MANY faiths - and often are, by detractors of those faiths. Mainstream Catholics have the "Cult of Mary", and are required by doctrine to obey directives from the leader of their Church. Islam is almost CONSTANTLY being accused of spreading hateful, fascist-style doctrine. Even WITHIN Christianity, there is debate about which denominations are "righteous", and which are "cults". Practitioners of Falun Gong are accused of being a cult. Modern Pagans are accused of devil-worship, despite the fact that they don't believe in the concept of a devil. Which is to say nothing of the global Jewish conspiracy, or the Cult of Oprah.

The truth is, there will always be people who have negative things to say about other people's faiths - just as there will always be racism, and sexism. The fact that those views can be "published" on the internet doesn't make any of them any more objectively factual than when they were just privately-held biases - whether based on personal experience, what we've read, or what we've heard.

In the end, we're all entitled to our opinions. And if we share those in public, all of us (even me) can be held accountable for them. But those thoughts, ideas and beliefs that we keep to ourselves should and MUST be off-limits to public debate. Or should we start hooking the Leaders up to lie detectors at the Debate and ask them about their fantasies, just in case?

Anonymous said...

"But when that faith involves a fascist doctrine and a cult-like allegiance..."

So because some guy wrote a FAQ, it must be true?

I think you are confusing FAQ with facts.

According to your definition, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and many other environmentalist groups should be exposed in the same fashion... but I don't think that will happen.