Religious beliefs shouldn’t frame public policy

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Editor,

The article by Ian Bushfield (“Leaders should talk about religious beliefs,” Thursday, April 7, 2011), stated that a politician’s religious beliefs should be public knowledge.

Further, these beliefs should not frame public policy, especially in a pluralistic and secular society like Canada’s.

With this in mind, allow me to introduce you to Darrel Reid, former president of Focus on the Family Canada.

According to Rabble.ca, from where I found my information, Mr. Reid was once director for Policy and Research for the Reform Party.

And as president of Focus on the Family Canada, Reid’s extreme religious position was that homosexuality is a disease, but, fortunately, a curable one.

Also, he lobbied hard against same-sex marriage, and he sought to repeal gay rights legislation, arguing that government policy should exercise the Not Withstanding Clause of the Charter of Rights to withdraw their rights.

He views pro-choice as ‘systemic genocide,’ supports spanking children, disapproves of divorce, and believes activist judges are a threat to democracy.

People might be surprised to learn that in March, 2009, Stephen Harper appointed Mr. Reid to deputy of policy in the PMO, and then bumped him up to chief of staff.

Harper then appointed Paul Wilson as director of Policy.

Mr. Wilson is former executive director of Trinity Western, a Christian-focused university based in Langley, B.C.

With two such evangelicals advising Mr. Harper late into the darkness in the PMO, it would be unwise to think that they are not helping to shape government policy.

If I were gay, a feminist, or a divorced women raising a child alone, I’d feel a chill coming down.

Mr. Ian Bushfield has a point.

J. Blair Arsenault

Summerside     

Organizations: Family Canada, Reform Party, Charter Trinity Western

Geographic location: Canada, Christian, Langley

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  • Bruce A. Arsenault
    April 24, 2011 - 12:35

    "ANYBODY-BUT"?? In a letter to the editor dated April 21/11, J. Blair Arsenault said' that religious beliefs shouldn't frame public policy". In his letter he complained that Stephen Harper has Christian Evangelicals advising him on some of his policies. In this "pluralistic" society I don't see a problem with that. Plural means more than one, so does Mr. J. Blair Arsenault mean that only secular humanists, atheists or agnostics should be allowed to influence politicians or at least speak to them in their offices? Is he saying that nobody of dubious intent spoke to and influenced the public policies of Jean Chretien or Paul Martin whose policies many of us disagree with? We're not that naive to believe such was the case. In the former Soviet Union, the Christian voice was silenced. It is the intent of many in this country to do the same or at least relegate the Christian voice to irrelevance. In the country today as the playoffs are underway, there are a lot of Montreal Canadien fans, and there are a lot of "anybody-buts". Is this the same scenario playing itself out around the political game? Bruce A. Arsenault 216 Mill Road Tignish P. E. I. C0B 2B0 902-882-3470