Friday, January 13, 2006

Globe arts columnist compares so-cons to terrorists

Those who don’t usually delve into any Globe and Mail sections other than the front page and the ROB might have missed Russell Smith’s Thursday column, “Free from religious loonies, thank God” (subscription required).

In endorsing Canada’s religion-free culture, Smith writes: “how lucky we are not to be living in the particularly charged and polarized cultural atmosphere of our monolithic neighbour. We don’t have to fight fundamentalist school boards here very often; nor do our broadcasters have to survive boycotts of advertisers who have been intimidated by Christian proselytizers.”

He goes on approvingly about how social conservatives are relegated to the sidelines in Canada, unlike in the U.S.:

There are religious conservatives up here, too, of course, and they rant away in their temples and on street corners. But we don’t invite them on to TV shows for “balance,” any more than we invite representatives from Hamas or Islamic Jihad or the Baader-Meinhof gang.

Smith is a good novelist – I own two of his books – and I enjoy his writing on fashion. His last novel, Muriella Pent, contained a stunning speech by one of the main characters, a black Caribbean writer, in which he shatters the cultural elite’s prejudices about literary determinism.

But Smith is not usually dismissive of an entire segment of society. Perhaps the threat of a Conservative government has unhinged him somewhat? Not to worry, Mr. Smith. Regardless of how many seats the Conservatives win, no one’s going to shackle you to a chair and force you to write rapture genre novels.


Les Mackenzie said...

Canada (apparently believing is a seperation of church and state??) has the representatives from the Catholic Church at every single throne speech...

Strange, no?

What's up with all the looney seculars?

Patrick said...

So I, by being a religious conservative, am akin to a member of a terrorist group?

What happened in the U.S. is that the religious groups down there eventually decided that, if their voice was to be muzzled, they would enter the political arena to make sure that didn't happen anymore.

Which is also why you are going to see more of us. Not less. By trying to silence us, you're only guaranteeing that we shake off our complacency and get involved.

And that SHOULD make you concerned. We're zealots, remember. Once we commit to an idea (such as getting rid of the hatred spewing from the Globe arts section), we're not likely to give up.

This guy needs to get off his high horse before the thing that he fears comes upon him.

From this side of the social conservative fence, what has always seemed most remarkable to me is how many of us are Dippers and Liberals. And how few are Conservatives. But with crap like this being spewed forth, that could easily change. It changed in the U.S. (which is how talk radio and Fox News got the support they needed). And it can change here. Given this kind of provocation, it WILL change here.

I'm planning to vote NDP because the Conservative in my riding doesn't have a hope (even with the high poll numbers elsewhere). I don't want to allow my candidate for the Corrupt Party of Canada to get a single vote closer to victory. In the main, that is our influence - to see that some things, such as integrity, are more important than how much we spend on what program.

But, as Martha Stewart famously said, "Don't get me annoyed. You don't want to see me annoyed."

andycanuck said...

I wonder if his critique now includes allusions to Mayor Nagin?