Thursday, March 19, 2009

The National Post - A Begging Bowl?

With apologies to Buddhist monks everywhere for using that term, when I read David Asper's column this morning, my first thought was, what an obvious shout out to the government!

Just when we learn that the government may be willing to help out CanWest Global Communications, we get this? I mean, come on! Have you ever seen a more obvious attempt at backing a government position? Quid pro quo, anyone?

Opinions on the matter of our Minister of Science, (more precisely to what the man said) have been many. In fact it was no surprise to read some Blogging Tories and people like Michael Coren, chanting the same old hoary mantra, ' they're Christian bashing'. I didn't however expect to read a column by David Asper taking that myth and expanding on it in the most disingenuous way.

For instance:

Throughout the growth of the current Conservative party, starting with the establishment of Reform, the Alliance and then the merger with the Progressive Conservatives, there has been a festering undercurrent of anti-religious bigotry in the methods of attack used by left-wing critics.

What? Anti-religious bigotry? Criticism of Gary Goodyear wasn't was the recognition of the fact that he may be anti-science.

Now, we have a reporter from the Globe following the same script. The essence of the newspaper's front-page slag on Tuesday was that if you have a religious faith that includes the idea of a God who created the heavens and the earth billions of years ago, it must mean you entirely reject the evolutionary process that shaped the life forms that subsequently developed -- and are therefore unfit to be the Minister of Science and Technology.

No, you see David, the anti-evolutionists do not believe that a God created the heavens and earth, billions of years ago. They actually reject the science that would put such an age on the Universe and instead believe it to be a couple of thousand years old. They also do not believe that evolution shaped the life forms that subsequently developed. There is a huge difference between anti-evolutionists and the traditional religions you refer to and in this particular case, the difference is not one that can be swatted away as a pesky little detail.
Catholics and many other religions have no argument with the Theory of Evolution. Science is based on fact and he was asked whether or not he agreed with this fact. Science doesn't have an opinion on God or religion.

This attack on Goodyear needs to be put into context. There is no workplace in Canada where an employee can be grilled -- let alone belittled, or have their competence questioned -- on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Fair enough. The point is that he wasn't being grilled on his religious beliefs. He was being asked about science.

This stuff has to stop. It debases politics generally, and constitutes a reason why good people often stay away from elected office.

I agree that this stuff has got to stop, but by that I mean these ridiculous editorials and opinion pieces that fabricate some bogey-man, in this case liberals, where one doesn't exist. Gary Goodyear is free to believe whatever he likes. He's also free to become an MP and even a Minister. What is questionable though, is whether or not he should hold a portfolio that is antithetical to his beliefs.

The 'war on religion', (like all 'wars on...) is yet another feeble minded premise that publications like the Post are only too happy to import into this country. That my friends is what has to stop and as far as I can tell, there is only one group responsible for it.


Anonymous said...

Could a name change to The National Harper , or Holy, Holy, Harperujah be far behind?

Karen said...

While there are some talented writers there, your first suggestion often fits.

Anonymous said...

Excuse my language,but who the **** cares if he believes in evolution or not. It has nothing to do how he performs in is work.

Are we going to ask future governments / health ministers for example if they are pro-choice or pro-life,because it may affect how they spend the health cash?

Better yet maybe we should ask future environment ministers if they own cars,because if they don't they may actually try to ban cars in this country. Now you may say that this is ridicules and you would be 100% correct. That is my whole point,this whole thing is so ridicules if you ask me.

Karen said...

I care because in this case it could very well affect his work. He's supported funding for research, but it's research for market based output.

In this particular case though it goes beyond his belief system, which as I've said he's entitled to, it goes to him as a person. Did you hear his second explanation as to what evolution was? It was ridiculous. A grade six student could have ripped it apart.

Sorry. That does not speak well to who the man is and the depth of knowledge he has. He sounded like a buffoon and I for one would prefer not to have buffoons running the country.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. The point is that he wasn't being grilled on his religious beliefs. He was being asked about science.

I think the point was that he was asked about the science because of his religious beliefs. That is where the difference is.

RuralSandi said...

Asper was obviously "sucking up" to Harper because he wants money.

Hmmm....I wonder, that $3 billion that they don't want to have to report on - is that for their favourite right wing media folks?

Karen said...

It's never been accounted for Sandi. I wonder why that is?