Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Liberal blogger attacks Valeriote for his faith

Well, I was fully expecting this one to come during the election, knowing the Liberals penchant for "Fear & Smear" tactics. So in anticipation of the baseless attack, you may recall that I posted a "Statement of Faith" on this blog some months ago. What most people don't realize though is that it wasn't from my church... it was from Guelph Liberal candiate Frank Valeriote's, Lakeside Bible Church.

You see, Liberal blogger James Curran followed the exact "Fear & Smear" gameplan I expected the Liberals to follow, and launched an attack on evangelical Christians on his blog today, in a misguided attempt to smear Prime Minister Harper. However, in so doing, he's unintentionally subjected Guelph Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote to some "friendly fire", as Mr. Valeriote's church, Lakeside Bible Chapel, has a very similar worldview to the one James is accusing Mr. Harper's church of having.

Here's the main section of James' post:
The Harper Nobody Knows....Shhhhh, it's a Secret

Mr. Evangelical. Oh, Sarah Palin, we've got you beat.

Why Stephen Harper keeps his evangelical faith very private
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is damned if he does talk about his evangelical beliefs and damned if he doesn't. If he continues to avoid answering questions about his religious convictions, political observers say he appears secretive, like he's hiding something. But, at the same time, most Canadians do not share the moral convictions of his evangelical denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.

The Alliance Church, to which Harper has belonged for decades, believes Jesus Christ will return to Earth in an apocalypse, won't ordain women, strongly opposes abortion and divorce, condemns homosexuality as the most base of sins and believes those who aren't born-again are "lost."
And here's the response that I posted on his blog...
James, with this article, I fully expect you to hold other candidates to the same standard... namely Guelph Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote, who attends Lakeside Bible Church. You see, he's a former Catholic, who converted to Evangelicalism some time ago. (however, he started re-attending the local Catholic mega-church in addition to his regular Evangelical church home during the run-up to the by-election... interesting)

For the record... it's an affiliated church with my own, and has the same core beliefs and principles as I do. Here's their statement of Faith... which I posted on my blog several months ago in preperation for the anticipated "Fear & Smear" attack from you Liberals. And you haven't disappointed me James. (I know... desperate times call for desperate measures)

What does Frank's church believe? Pretty much everything I believe... "believes Jesus Christ will return to Earth in an apocalypse, won't ordain women, strongly opposes abortion and divorce, condemns homosexuality as the most base of sins and believes those who aren't born-again are "lost"."... the very same things you take Harper to task for.


Are you suggesting that Guelph voters shouldn't vote for Mr. Valeriote because he's an Evangelical Christian?
So now... is a somewhat prominent Liberal blogger suggesting that Evangelicals are not fit for public office in this land? And if so, will he hold their Guelph candidate to the same standard?

For the record... I don't think Mr. Valeriote, or the many other Liberals of the Evangelical faith like Dan McTeauge, ought to be attacked for their faith. Likewise, nor do I think Mr. Harper ought to be attacked for his. Leave religion OUT of politics James... isn't that exactly what you want?

UPDATE: Looks like I've got James all bent out of shape on this one, so let me be clear... James, I'm not "questioning your integrity". Having met, I know you're a straight up and honest guy, and I'd never repeat my previous mistakes on that front. What I've done here is to simply take your statements on Mr. Harper's faith to their logical conclusion. You've stated pretty clearly that Mr. Harper's faith is an issue for you in this campaign, so I've merely pointed out that your own candidate in Guelph is mostly on the same page. (as for the abortion issue, well, Frank's not on the same page as his congregation, I'll give you that)

Besides... I was going to say the same things no matter which one of the Libloggers tried to make faith an issue in this campaign... it just happened to be you who stepped in it. ;-)

UPDATE II: James has brought to my attention that most of the blog post I quoted are not actually his own words... it's a straight repost of an article from the Vancouver Sun. While I'll grant that these words are not his, I still think it says a lot that he reposted it, along with the title that he personally gave it... "The Harper Nobody Knows....Shhhhh, it's a Secret - Mr. Evangelical. Oh, Sarah Palin, we've got you beat". I don't think, however, that he defend himself with that.

I still think his intentions were pretty transparent with this posting... hoping to cloud the public's judgement by bringing Mr. Harper's faith into the mix.

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  • At Fri Sep 26, 09:39:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger James Curran said…

    Actually, here's Frank telling us that he supports a woman's right to choose.

    And rightly so my friend. I'm not God, you're not God and Stephen Harper is not God. So who are we to impose our will on another human being?

  • At Fri Sep 26, 10:10:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger West Coast Teddi said…

    Love the way you do "gotcha politics" ... well done

  • At Fri Sep 26, 10:41:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    West Coast, just throwing back at them what they try to throw at us. I'm not an instigator, but there's no way I'm going to let a baseless attack like that go unanswered.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 10:59:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Bert said…

    Hey James, it really bothers me when people mess up the whole Abortion issue by complaining that the prolife people don't believe in the "womans right to choose". They most certainly DO have the right to choose not to have unprotected sex. Their right to choose stops when that choice results in the death of another human being.

    Pro choice ought to be called pro death.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 11:31:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Its funny that he says they don't ordain women. We had two female pastors at my last church (which was alliance), and had many women speak on sunday mornings.

    Its also plain wrong to say it condemns homosexuality as the 'most base' of sins. Most alliance churches are far beyond that.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 02:38:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Oliver said…

    I have yet to meet an evangelical church in Canada that "condemns homosexuality as the 'most base' of sins".

    In fact, I haven't seen a single one rank homosexuality above say, unrepentant lying, unrepentant theft, unrepentant verbal abuse, or unrepentant porn watching.

    I love how the leftists simply make mud up out of air to dirty those with whom they disagree.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 03:03:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Once Just said…

    I'm curious, as the Alliance church does not ordain women, do they allow them to sit on the church board?

    What do you think about having voting polls in Alliance churches where MPs attend and or sit on the church board? I personally think is a massive conflict of interest.

    Also, the entire homeless population in Canada could be eliminated if the money invested by churches in church buildings was instead invested instead in affordable housing...remember that bit in the Bible about feeding the poor, giving shelter to the homeless, and helping the sick? When is the church going to step up? It's a sad day when the Liberal and the NDP have to take over the role of the church, because the church (and Conservative Party) is so self centered.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 03:14:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger wilson said…

    When PMSH brought the 'should we open up the gay marriage issue' motion to parliament,
    12 Liberal candidates voted yes.
    Libloggers went on for days wanting to have those 12 Liberal MPs tossed out of the Liberal Party.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 06:27:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, "once just" since you have obviously never set foot in a church or have even the slightest idea about what churches contribute to society you are in a bad position to speak. Without churches thousands would go hungry. Millions of students would be uneducated and most charities would be unfunded. Churches and church goers contribute far more to society that you and your ilk.

  • At Fri Sep 26, 06:54:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Eric said…

    Once Just:

    I have attended Baptist, Brethren, Alliance, Catholic and many other churches in Canada and around the world.

    The answers you seek depend on the church you attend. An Alliance church in one city may have differing views from an Alliance church in another. I have attended an Alliance church which from time to time would have a woman give the sermon. Other Alliance or similar churches ordain female pastors to help address women's issues in the church but not to give sermons.

    Some churches take up offerings every month to support the homeless. Other less financially fortunate churches run food drives and assist in setting up food banks instead. The Salvation Army, a Christian sect, is pretty big into that.

    When I was part of Christian youth groups one major component of our activities involved raising money to donate to the homeless, serving at shelters cooking meals or otherwise, visiting hospitals and playing songs (as students we were rich in our musical abilities). We also donated money to help overseas through groups like World Vision or UNICEF.

    So to accuse 'the church' of being self-centered shows either a poor understanding or a lack of knowledge about how churches function. I encourage you to visit a couple and see what we are up to. In fact, if you are nearby I'd gladly take you to mine.

    Unfortunately the issue of homelessness is not simply one of adequate number of housing. Indeed, if that was all it would take then the problem would have been already solved long ago. However, issues such as drug abuse/addiction, mental/emotional abuse or illness, etc.. also play a large role and are extremely difficult to address with money or food but require extensive training and support which churches are not able to provide.

    As to the issue of voting in churches, many churches allow all members of the church a voice in decisions of the church. So every member (including Liberal and NDP MPs) may also vote in their church, not just the ones on the church board.

    As for the Liberals and NDP, they held power for 13 years federaly and never came close to accomplishing their promises of ending poverty or such like. So let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • At Sat Sep 27, 04:06:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Once Just said…

    Sorry, I didn't clarify well enough:
    I have stepped foot in over 200 churches, I toured with a church music group for 2 years, I also attended Prairie Bible College in Alberta for 4 years, perhaps the most conservative Bible college in the country...and guess what I learned?

    That the church has pulled the wool down over the eyes of its followers, you've lost direction. You focus your energy on gay marriage and getting tough on crime, not on loving your neighbor as yourself.

    It should speak volumes that Canada has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and is pretty much at the top when it comes to developed countries.

    A Church truly devoted to loving it's neighbor would not turn a blind eye to suicide...but tell me, when was the last time your church did something significant to help the mentally ill?

    And onto the topic of voting, I was talking about having FEDERAL ELECTION VOTING POLLS in CHURCHES, (building owned by privately owned special interest groups). I was not talking about voting on church issues within the church.

    Nowhere does the bible say, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick...unless they are drug addicts, in which case, wait for them to die.

    Jesus set a very good example for the church, he hung with prostitutes, leapers, and tax many prostitutes go to your church?

    Where does the bible suggest that churches should own land, and be exempt from taxes? Jesus says give unto Caesar what is Caesars. Even Paul didn't take a salary in the form that today's so called "church leaders" he stayed in the houses of the people he ministered to, and ate their food.

    I don't expect Conservatives to know the Bible, after all, ignorance is bliss, but in my opinion a church and a bar are the very same thing, so perhaps bars should start getting the same tax breaks as churches.

    The entire budget for all north American Protestant churches would end world hunger, and would be able to eliminate many old diseases in Africa. But the church would rather have fancy buildings, nice sound systems, high salaries, retreats to the mountains, missions trips to Mexico to spread the good word (where of course about 95% of the population is already Catholic), and of course really bad music.

    The church is nothing more than a tool for evil to trick humans into thinking they are doing good, it's nothing like the Church Jesus talked about.

  • At Sat Sep 27, 09:29:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    "Just Once", believe it or not, but I pretty much agree with the overall theme of your last comment, though perhaps not with your specific examples, mainly because my "church" experience I think is more in line with the ideals you espouse.

    Though my previous churches have owned land, it's always been minimal, and only fitting their immediate needs. Our buildings have also always been "sparse", again, minimalist and suiting only our needs.

    They've also always been very giving, using their "tax exempt" status for what it was intended, by using it to serve others. I've helped out at a soup kitchen, and we're planning to take a bunch out to another one in the near future.

    And for the record, I think I've heard "gay marriage" referred to all of a handful of times in the last 8 or so years. Whereas "Love Thy Neighbour"? That one's been a regular feature in the churches I've attended.

    Then again, perhaps I'm a little more picky... and have a more similar focus to you than you realize. You see, I also have a problem with the "mega-church", or "churchianity" as I often refer to it. Yea, it would be nice if we could reallocate that money to where it's needed... by you and I are only two people, trying to convert a whole lot of folks... many of whom, I think we can agree, are more likely "unconverted" in the first place.

    The current group of believers with whom I fellowship have started a new gathering where we're trying to get back to the basics, much like you've suggested. We actually don't have charitible status, and we're spending our money to meet the needs of those who need it... because that's what the Lord would want us to do, right?

  • At Sat Sep 27, 10:32:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Rileysowner said…

    Once Just you stated that conservatives don't know their Bible, but at the same time you seem to pick and choose as well. You mention Paul not taking a salary, but at the same time when Paul speaks of that in 1 Corinthians 9, he also points out that he has a right to receive material support from the ministry he was doing as well, "For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?"

    In several ways I agree with your post, but at the same time I can respond pointing out that statistically evangelical Christians are some of those who give most to help those in need (yes, including those who have mental and other problems). Yes, some are hypocrites, that is no surprise as the Bibles tells us that our tendency is to hate God and our neighbor, yet at the same time there are just as many hypocrites who are not Christians, who claim that the poor, mentally ill, and the disenfranchised should be helped, but don't give a cent beyond paying their taxes to assist them. Let me put it this way, if all the money people spend on smokes and alcohol were given to help the homeless there would not be a homeless problem. Oh, wait as minute, look carefully at how much money the GTA puts into helping the homeless and you will find that if you divide it by the number of homeless they estimate are in the GTA, it would turn into a living wage, yet they remain homeless. Why? Because the homeless problem is more than people not being able to afford a home, but people who are under the power of sin evidenced in various ways, who abuse, squander, and waste the resources that are already there. And do not think I am only talking about those in need, I am also talking about those who administer those funds. If simply providing the money would solve the problem, I don't think Jesus would have said, "You always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."

  • At Fri Oct 03, 12:57:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bible-thumpers will always quote the Holy Bible to suit their own ends. The holier-than-thou religions right are NOT the only ones to consider in this country, or this election. I don't care how religions Stephen Harper is, he's a creep, and does not deserve to run for any position of authority, much less the Prime Minister of Canada. I only pray that he loses in his riding, and he'll get out of politics altogether.

  • At Fri Oct 03, 12:58:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bible-thumpers will always quote the Holy Bible to suit their own ends. The holier-than-thou religions right are NOT the only ones to consider in this country, or this election. I don't care how religions Stephen Harper is, he's a creep, and does not deserve to run for any position of authority, much less the Prime Minister of Canada. I only pray that he loses in his riding, and he'll get out of politics altogether.


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