Tuesday, 24 January 2012

STEPHEN HARPER AND THE THEO-CONS

The rising clout of Canada’s religious right

October 2006 magazine

On the car radio, the weather report was aptly apocalyptic. Environment Canada had just issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Toronto, and already the sky north of the city had turned an ominous charcoal. Even the most cynical Hollywood scriptwriter couldn’t have dreamed up a more fitting scene-setter as a stream of cars turned into a parking lot tucked behind the Loblaw’s superstore at Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road in search of a more precise forecast on just when to expect Armageddon.

Outside the low-rise office building that houses Canada Christian College, security was tight. Yellow police tape blocked the driveway, and plainclothes RCMP officers eyed the crowd for threats to two visitors inside: Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Alan Baker, and Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, chief of Israel’s military intelligence. Still, neither was the night’s main draw. Taking their seats on the stage of the college’s ground-floor auditorium, they were mere warm-up acts for the undisputed star of the show: Reverend John Hagee, the Texas televangelist who packs eighteen thousand born-again Christians into his Cornerstone Church in San Antonio every Sunday and whose fire-and-brimstone broadcasts reach an estimated ninety-three million homes around the globe.

Seated onstage, Hagee hardly looked capable of mustering such charisma. A squat fire plug in a brown shirt, brown suit, and beige striped tie, he stared out from behind owlish wire rims, no hint of a smile creasing his jowls. But the moment he strode to the mike, he had the audience in thrall. “As we sit here in safety and security, a nuclear time bomb is ticking in the Middle East,” Hagee intoned, his drawl gathering decibels as he rhymed off the litany of threats against Israel from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including his vow to see the nation wiped off the map. “In the twenty-first century, the president of Iran is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” Hagee thundered. “I believe Israel is in the greatest hour of danger it has known since statehood.”

In his latest book, Jerusalem Countdown — on sale for $14 in the college lobby — Hagee had already spelled out the implications of that scenario, complete with supporting arguments from top intelligence sources and the Biblical prophet Ezekiel. “We are facing a countdown in the Middle East,” he wrote with urgent certitude. “It is a countdown that will usher in the end of this world.”

But on this particular May night, Hagee chose not to elaborate on that discomfiting doomsday plot — discomfiting, that is, for all but Bible-believing Christians like himself, who bank on wafting heavenward in the rapture before all the bloodshed sweeps the globe. As he had warned in Jerusalem Countdown, “We are racing toward the end of the age. Messiah is coming much sooner than you think!”

The Second Coming has always raised an awkward theological hurdle in Hagee’s quarter-century of cheerleading for Israel. Even in his disputed reading of the Bible, there are only rapture provisions for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior. For this audience, sprinkled with Jewish dignitaries, Hagee chose to focus on a more diplomatic, short-term action plan one he unveiled last February when he summoned four evangelical pastors, including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, to San Antonio to recruit a grassroots lobby called Christians United for Israel.

This summer, as Israeli jets pounded Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon, killing an estimated 900 civilians, 3,500 of Hagee’s evangelical conscripts descended on the US capital to demand that Congress stand in solidarity with Israel. Any calls for a ceasefire ignored “God’s foreign policy statement” for the Jewish people, Hagee told the Washington crowd. “Leave Israel alone. Let them do the job.” No matter that such solidarity might fuel new waves of Islamic terrorism or, as Hagee details in Jerusalem Countdown, lead to a preemptive Israeli strike against Tehran’s nuclear installations, which risks igniting the final-days fuse. “I challenge you to be bold, be fearless,” he exhorted his Toronto audience. “Christians, stand up and speak up for Israel.”

To some Canadians, Hagee’s end-of-time sabre-rattling might seem like a marginal sideshow — an exotic import from the sometimes raucous big top of the US Christian right. But here, political pulse-takers seem to have overlooked the signs and portents of a shift in the landscape where fervent religious conviction and realpolitik meet.

HAGEE APPROVES OF HARPER

Not a word about Hagee’s Canadian visit had crept into the mainstream media, nor had its organizers run a single conventional ad. Despite that lack of publicity, two thousand evangelicals had made the pilgrimage to this suburban campus, alerted only by Christian broadcasters and church bulletins, to hear a superstar pastor with a direct pipeline to the born-again occupant of the White House. As Hagee confided to a reporter before his Toronto appearance, he first broke bread with George Bush back in the Texas statehouse, “so I know that he is with us.”

Now he has reached the same conclusion about the man ensconced at 24 Sussex Drive. On stage, Hagee lauded one of Stephen Harper’s first post-election acts: after Hamas militants won power in the Palestinian Authority, Harper became the first world leader to cut off its funding, trumping even Bush. “God has promised to bless the man, the church, the nation that blesses the Jewish people,” Hagee purred from the podium. “I am so delighted that Canada’s prime minister immediately denounced Hamas terrorism when he became the leader of this great nation.”

Hagee’s assessment of Harper isn’t based on news clips alone. His Toronto host, not to mention his longtime Canadian major-domo, was Canada Christian College president Charles McVety, one of the most outspoken players in this country’s religious right wing. During the last election, as head of a handful of pro-family lobbies including the Defend Marriage Coalition, McVety emerged as a power to be reckoned with. He bought up the rights to unclaimed Liberal websites such as josephvolpe.com and stacked a handful of Conservative nomination contests in favour of evangelical candidates adamantly opposed to same-sex matrimony, a campaign he has vowed to repeat.

As Harper navigates the tricky waters of minority rule — keeping the lid on any eruptions of rhetorical fervour from the rambunctious theo-cons in his caucus — it is noteworthy that he has continued to cultivate a man regarded as the lightning rod of the Christian right. Last spring, those around the prime minister drafted McVety to help sell the government’s contentious child-care policy, and on budget day he was the personal guest of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the Commons’ vip gallery.

Were those gestures — like Harper’s promised vote on reopening the gay marriage debate — mere sops to a constituency that the Conservatives need to transform their mandate into a majority? Most in the Ottawa press corps see them that way — as an exercise in cynicism by a canny strategist who remains at heart an unalloyed economic conservative, a tax cutter temporarily forced to pander to a passel of holy rollers he can’t wait to shrug off.

But McVety and others on the religious right are equally convinced that Harper is one of their own. “We’ve got a born-again prime minister,” trumpets David Mainse, the founder of Canada’s premier Christian talk show, 100 Huntley Street. They see him as an image-savvy evangelical who has been careful to keep his signals to them under the media radar, but they have no doubt his convictions run deep — so deep that only after he wins a majority will he dare translate the true colours of his faith into policies that could remake the fabric of the nation. If they’re right, it remains unclear whether those convictions would turn government into a kinder, gentler guarantor of social justice for all or transform the country into a stern, narrow-minded theocracy. And what would his evangelical worldview mean for international relations?

During this summer’s Middle East war, Harper reversed decades of Canadian foreign policy with his adamant support for Israel, even after its jets smashed a clearly marked United Nations observation post, killing a veteran Canadian peacekeeper. His admirers argue that steadfastness could turn the burgeoning bond between evangelical Christians and Jews into a powerful and unprecedented alliance that could leave him unbeatable at the ballot box.

But a growing chorus of critics warns that Harper has already paid a high price for that strategic calculation, irrevocably alienating Canada’s mushrooming Islamic population and leaving in shreds the country’s reputation as an even-handed peace broker.

Harper’s stand has also raised more unsettling questions. What does it mean if and when a believer in the infallibility of Biblical prophecy comes to power and backs a damn-the-torpedoes course in the Middle East? Does it end up fuelling overenthusiastic end-timers who feel they have nothing to lose in some future conflagration, helping speed the world on Hagee’s fast track to Armageddon?

Fifteen minutes east of the Parliament Buildings, far from the neo-Gothic limestone of official Ottawa, the faded storefronts and fast-food joints along Montreal Road testify to working-class life in the capital. Just around the corner on Codd’s Road, next to Halley’s Service Centre, a curbside sign announces East Gate Alliance Church, the unlikely evangelical congregation that Harper attends.

The single-storey brick building still resembles the public school it once was. Stout colonial pillars have been tacked onto the front where former classrooms now house half a dozen ethnic congregations. Inside the airy sanctuary, there are no pews — only rows of stackable metal chairs beneath a simple cathedral ceiling. The pink walls, punctuated by pink blinds topped by skinny chintz swags, are the only nod to decor. No stained glass or gilt icons detract from the stark wooden cross above the stage.

On this particular Sunday, East Gate’s star parishioner is miles away, but it seems no wonder that a man with a passion for secrecy would choose this house of worship, light years from the media’s prying eyes. As members take their seats, few of the men sport jackets or ties, and kids race through the aisles to the chords of a grand piano. Suddenly a band strikes up, complete with a drum and guitars, and a young woman with a hand-held mike leads hymns whose rousing lyrics are projected onto the back wall. Halfway through the service, Pastor Bill Buitenwerf, who prefers a dark shirt and tie to his clerical collar, finally lopes to the pulpit, counseling his flock not to lose heart when the forces of darkness close in. “There’s moral degradation everywhere,” he begins, rhyming off a list of evils, including abortion, which he plans to protest at a right-to-life rally on Parliament Hill later that week. “It can be discouraging when we try to make a difference in our government,” he says, then catches himself. “Now, I’m not saying anything about our current government.”

Buitenwerf’s sermon is no barn-burner. Occasionally during a hymn, scattered worshippers lift their arms skyward, palms raised in praise, but this isn’t some emotive, revival-style service, studded with ecstatic sobs and hallelujahs. East Gate is a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, founded in 1887 by a Prince Edward Island–born preacher named Albert Simpson. Infused with a zeal for faith healing and more aggressive evangelizing abroad, Simpson’s breakaway sect was part of what divinity scholars call the holiness movement, which agitated for a return to Methodism’s reformist roots. Now, with more than four hundred thousand members in two thousand churches across the continent, it’s considered squarely in the evangelical mainstream. According to its Statement of Faith, adherents believe the Bible is “inerrant” and the Second Coming is “imminent.” Women are still not accepted for ordination, and a position paper on divorce does not mince words on a related matrimonial subject. “Homosexual unions are specifically forbidden,” it decrees, “and are described in Scripture as manifestations of the basest form of sinful conduct.”

Buitenwerf admits that the prime minister isn’t a regular attendee these days, but for many the surprise is that he shows up at all. For more than a decade, the man who remains an enigma to all but a trusted inner circle has kept his religious identity largely under wraps. Then last year, Lloyd Mackey, the Ottawa correspondent for a Christian news service, blew his spiritual cover. In a slim, rambling volume entitled The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper, Mackey traced the Conservative leader’s odyssey from the blithe stolidity of the United Church in suburban Toronto where he grew up to East Gate’s makeshift metal pews.

Harper never did give Mackey a formal interview, but he had spoken publicly about his faith twice before, in both cases to small Christian outlets off the mainstream-media frequency. In February of last year, evangelical talk-show host Drew Marshall cued him on a Toronto-area station, Joy 1250. “Let’s jump into the Jesus stuff here,” Marshall said. “Rumour has it that you actually are a genuine follower of Christ.” Harper was primed for the query — relaxed, even chatty. “Yes, I became a Christian in my twenties,” he replied, before acknowledging, “I don’t talk a lot about it.” Still, he attempted to reassure secular listeners who might have tuned in. “I won’t say I always keep my faith and my politics separate,” he said, “but I don’t mix my advocacy of a political position with my advocacy of faith.”

Ten years earlier, Harper admitted to the now-defunct Ottawa Times that when he was a teenager he “would have been an agnostic central Canadian liberal,” but “life experiences” had led him to the Alliance church. He did not elaborate on those experiences, but according to others, Harper’s evangelical conversion dates back to when he was helping Preston Manning hammer out the Reform Party’s credo. Harper was fresh from his first stint in Ottawa as an aide to Conservative Member of Parliament Jim Hawkes, a solitary, disillusioning year that had shattered every certitude about the machinery of policy-making that he’d cherished. He’d fled back home only to face a traumatic breakup with his fiancée. Throwing himself into his master’s in economics, he addressed that dark night of the soul by embarking on a private intellectual quest: a crash course in philosophy.

Shortly after Manning recruited him, Harper began trying out the evangelical services that seemed to offer many of the party’s early players, especially his confidante Diane Ablonczy, such certainty. But Mackey fingers Manning himself as Harper’s chief spiritual mentor — a role that Reform’s godfather waves off. “I’d take that stuff with a little bit of a grain of salt,” Manning says. “Stephen was very unhappy about that book.” Still, Deborah Grey, Reform’s first MP and Harper’s boss during part of that period, confirms Mackey’s account. “Preston was key,” she says. “Stephen had some very long, very involved discussions with Preston in the late 1980s, early 1990s. He saw Preston and a faith that was real, and how you could marry faith and politics.”

Mackey points out that Harper is no George Bush — a traditional “born-again” who claimed a life-changing epiphany on the booze-sodden road to perdition. He calls the prime minister a “cerebral” Christian who read his way to belief. “When it came to his spiritual formation with Preston, he’d say, ‘What are the classics?’” Mackey explains. “And Preston would say, ‘Try C. S. Lewis’ or, ‘Try [Malcolm] Muggeridge.’”

At the time, Harper’s father, Joseph — the man he calls the most important influence on his life — was facing his own spiritual crossroads. In Harper’s interview with Drew Marshall, he recalled that his father “became quite an expert in theological matters as he grew older,” and after years as an ardent United Church–goer and elder, suddenly decamped to the Presbyterians. Harper sidestepped the question of why Joseph Harper had jumped ship but he pointedly noted that Marshall’s evangelical audience would get his drift. What he seemed to be referring to was the charged 1988 decision by the United Church General Council to approve the ordination of homosexuals — a decision that provoked thousands of defections.

In Calgary, Harper chose the same no-frills denomination that counted Manning on its rolls, but a different congregation across town: Bow Valley Alliance, which had opened modestly in the mid-eighties with seventy people praying in a public school. Three years ago, when Harper returned to Ottawa as leader of the Canadian Alliance, Bow Valley’s pastor recommended family-friendly East Gate, where a former Reform researcher, Laurie Throness — later chief of staff to Chuck Strahl, Harper’s minister of agriculture — happened to be a pianist and elder.

After word of Mackey’s book leaked out, conventional wisdom in the capital argued that Harper’s wife, Laureen, must have dragged him to East Gate. In fact, although she has attended services with her husband and two kids, Buitenwerf claims never to have met her. “She’s not interested in spiritual things,” confirms Grey. According to Mackey, it is Harper who makes sure their children, Ben and Rachel, get to Sunday school, not his wife. “Apparently, somebody in her family was a member of an evangelical sect which paid more attention to the church than to the family,” Mackey says. “It turned her off.”

Harper has been so careful not to reveal his faith that many voters were stunned when he capped off his election-night victory speech with “God bless Canada.” Was it a slip of the tongue — a case of rhetorical exuberance swamping his celebrated intellectual cool? Or, as some critics insisted, a shameless aping of every American president within recent memory, no matter their political stripe? Even New York Times correspondent Clifford Krauss noted that it was “an unusual line in a country where politicians do not customarily talk about God.”

In fact, Harper had already used the tag line as opposition leader, and he wasn’t the first prime minister to do so. On February 15, 1965, Lester Pearson jubilantly roared out the same benediction as he hoisted Canada’s first red and white maple leaf flag over the Parliament Buildings. “It’s just ridiculous to think that this is some novelty that was learned by watching Republicans on television,” scoffs Preston Manning. “This is a country that used to end every public meeting by saying, ‘God Save the Queen.’”

As pundits pondered the significance of Harper’s taste in exit lines, one thing seemed clear: a politician known for attempting to control his party’s every public utterance had chosen to invoke what National Post columnist Warren Kinsella dubbed “the G-word.” If, as suspected, Harper was sending a message to the country’s estimated 3.5 million evangelicals — not to mention the 44 percent of Canadians who tell pollsters they’ve committed their lives to Christ — what was he trying to tell them?

In his pre-election chat on the Drew Marshall Show, Harper managed to work in an undisguised plug: “I always make it clear that Christians are welcome in politics,” he said, “and particularly welcome in our party.” That invitation has not gone unnoticed. As Janet Epp Buckingham, director of the Evangelical Fellowship’s Ottawa office, notes, “In the last election, the media was pointing out that evangelicals are scary, and in the election before that the Liberals were doing quite a bit of fear mongering. It’s such a relief to have a party that says, ‘You guys are welcome here.’”

That relief translated into votes. According to an Ipsos-Reid poll in April, 64 percent of weekly Protestant churchgoers — the vast majority of them evangelicals — voted Conservative in the last election, a 24-percent jump from 2004. For the first time in the history of polling in Canada, Catholics who attend church weekly also shifted a majority of their votes from the Liberals to Harper’s party. While the Ottawa press corps has been preoccupied with Harper’s ability to keep the most blooper-prone Christians in his caucus buttoned up, he has quietly but determinedly nurtured a coalition of evangelicals, Catholics, and conservative Jews that brought him to power and that will put every effort into ensuring that he stays there. Last spring, when Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty could barely wangle an hour with him, Harper made time for dozens of faith groups, including a five-woman delegation from the Catholic Women’s League which hadn’t managed to snare a sit-down with any prime minister in twenty-four years. “Smile if you’re a so-con,” ran a headline in the Western Standard above a photo of the meeting. “Canada’s traditional Christian groups can’t say enough good things about the Tories’ social policies so far.”

Harper’s agenda turns out to be hidden only to those who don’t know where to look. Within weeks after the election, the first leak about his upcoming legislative package outlined a plan by Justice Minister Vic Toews, one of the most conservative evangelicals in his cabinet, to raise the age of sexual consent to sixteen from fourteen. The media greeted the scoop with a barely concealed yawn, but the Evangelical Fellowship, which had been lobbying for years on the issue, recognized it as a custom-tailored bulletin. Says Epp Buckingham, “We took it as a message that we were being heard.”

Borrowing a page from Bush’s White House, which boasts a deputy responsible for “Christian outreach,” Harper has installed a point man for the religious right, among other groups, in his government, under the title “director of stakeholder relations.” But evangelical activists know that a more direct route to the prime minister is through his parliamentary secretary, Jason Kenney. After the election, many in the Ottawa press corps were astonished when the Calgary loyalist who served as a critic in every recent Reform/Alliance shadow cabinet didn’t win a portfolio. But these days, Kenney may have more clout than any minister, playing emissary to groups with whom Harper doesn’t wish to leave prime ministerial fingerprints, above all on the religious right. Despite being a Catholic, Kenney is a regular on the evangelical circuit, turning up at so-con confabs and orchestrating discreet meetings with the boss. “Jason,” says one Ottawa insider, “has a lot more influence than you might think.”

For Harper, the courtship of the Christian right is unlikely to prove an electoral one-night stand. Three years ago, in a speech to the annual Conservative think-fest, Civitas, he outlined plans for a broad new party coalition that would ensure a lasting hold on power. The only route, he argued, was to focus not on the tired wish list of economic conservatives or “neo-cons,” as they’d become known, but on what he called “theo-cons” — those social conservatives who care passionately about hot-button issues that turn on family, crime, and defence. Even foreign policy had become a theo-con issue, he pointed out, driven by moral and religious convictions. “The truth of the matter is that the real agenda and the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values,” he said, “so conservatives must do the same.”

Arguing that the party had to come up with tough, principled stands on everything from parents’ right to spank their children to putting “hard power” behind the country’s foreign-policy commitments, he cautioned that it also had to choose its battlefronts with care. “The social-conservative issues we choose should not be denominational,” he said, “but should unite social conservatives of different denominations and even different faiths.”

These days, though Harper seems firmly set on that theo-con path, he has every reason to see a minefield ahead. In 1989, when Preston Manning convinced him to set aside his MA studies and shepherd Deborah Grey through the Byzantine byways of Parliament, Harper and Grey sailed smack into the maelstrom of the abortion debate. Former Evangelical Fellowship president Brian Stiller calls it “the most galvanizing issue in the last twenty years” — one that makes today’s inflamed passions over same-sex marriage pale in comparison. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision striking down the law banning abortion, Stiller and Brian Mulroney’s government tried to cobble together an uneasy compromise: a bill that would have sentenced doctors to two years in prison for performing abortions when a woman’s life was not at risk, but that was not an outright ban.

Grey never made a secret of either her pro-life views or her evangelical faith — at her election-night victory party, she sang “What a day that will be/When my Jesus we shall see” with a gospel choir before network cameras — but the abortion vote posed a conundrum for her. Privately, Preston Manning shared her views, but he also made clear that her job as the solitary torchbearer of his new populist party was to represent her riding. Harper set about polling Beaver River, Alberta, and to Grey’s relief a majority of voters opposed the bill. She might have been more elated if she hadn’t been so appalled by the vitriol that was unleashed before the results were in, when she’d made clear that she might have to follow her constituents’ wishes, not her conscience. “I got more hate mail from Christians than from anybody else,” she marvels still. “I had believers come to my office and say, ‘You’re no Christian. May you rot and burn in hell.’”

As Manning watched last winter’s election from the sidelines, he fumed at what he likes to call the “sham tolerance” of the national media. “There was considerable receptivity to the argument that Mr. Harper comes from the wrong part of the country,” he says, “and holds these religious convictions which are dangerous.” For Manning, it brought a sense of déjà vu. In Reform’s earliest days, he’d dodged sly digs about his religious “wing nuts” and later watched as Stockwell Day, the outspoken Pentecostal who had snatched the Canadian Alliance from him, was caught in a creationist quagmire. After the CBC resurrected footage of Day opining that Adam and Eve once walked with dinosaurs, Warren Kinsella, then a Liberal operative, promptly went on TV with a purple Barney doll to crack, “I just want to say to Mr. Day that The Flintstones was not a documentary.” Day’s leadership was swamped in a gusher of guffaws. “There’s a taboo in the House of Commons that you do not talk about your deepest spiritual convictions,” Manning says in exasperation. “Part of the reason is that people who open themselves up just get hammered.”

Now Manning is doing his part to ensure that his spiritual protégé and the estimated seventy evangelicals in the Conservative caucus — however well muzzled — don’t suffer the same fate. Last year, he set up the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a $10-million Calgary-based non-profit aimed at training Conservatives how to run ridings and campaigns, then staff MPs’ offices. He calls it “a school of practical politics,” but one of the centre’s main preoccupations is tutoring the Christian evangelicals now flooding into Ottawa on how to survive the perilous waters of public life.

In February, less than a month after Harper’s victory, Manning took over Ottawa’s Holiday Inn to kick off his centre with a three-day seminar called Navigating the Faith/Political Interface. A sold-out group of more than one hundred MPs, aides, and public-policy researchers turned up to take notes at what the Ottawa Citizen dubbed “Mr. Manning’s Charm School for Unruly Christians — or What Not to Say.”

While Manning blames media hostility and intolerance for much of the fix in which evangelicals find themselves today, he also concedes that some Christians bring on their own image woes. “Some of these faith-oriented people conduct themselves in such a way that they scare the hide off the secular,” he confided later. He counseled newly elected MPs to curb their zeal. “The preference is to ride into Parliament with a speech that will peel the paint off the ceiling,” he told them, “but you’ll set your cause back fifty years.” Much of his advice amounted to spin control: ditch the God talk and avoid the temptation to play holier-than-thou. “You have to advocate righteousness,” he said, “without appearing self-righteous.”

For the seminar’s theme, Manning chose Matthew 10:16, in which Jesus is about to send his disciples out into the world “like sheep among wolves” to carry on his work. “He said, ‘I’m going to give you a few guidelines first,’‘’ Manning explains. “And one of the major ones was, ‘Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’ In other words, be shrewd — be as smart as the other guy — but be gracious. Be non-threatening.” Manning promptly illustrated the difficulty of following his own advice. “In a moment of spontaneity, Mr. Manning went off his notes,” the Ottawa Citizen reported, “and said many people become gay after ‘horrific’ experience with heterosexual relationships.”

In the penthouse suite of a high-rise tower three blocks from the Parliament Buildings, Dave Quist surveys the vista unrolling beyond his corner windows. “If we could chop down the top floors of the World Exchange Plaza,” he quips, “you could see Parliament Hill.” Not that the preppy, personable Quist has any trouble accessing the corridors of power. A former Conservative candidate and Hill aide, he’s now executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (imfc), the research arm of the Canadian branch of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.

Last February, before Parliament had convened, the imfc’s gala launch lured more than a dozen MPs, including Stockwell Day, Harper’s new minister of public security, and Jason Kenney, who delivered a toast. It also drew protesters from the equal-marriage lobby group Egale, who denounced Dobson, a child psychologist whose Colorado Springs broadcasting empire turned him into one of the chief power brokers of the new US religious right, which put George W. Bush into the White House.

In a city where the Evangelical Fellowship had been a lone voice for the last decade, Quist’s institute is the latest and most lavishly funded of a new crop of faith-based organizations that have sprung up in the capital over the last eighteen months. Most, like the Institute for Canadian Values founded by Charles McVety, were a direct riposte to Bill C-38, which legalized same-sex marriage. “There’s no doubt it was a major lightning rod for a lot of people,” Quist says. “There was an awakening. People said, ‘Wow, how did we get here? And is it too late? Is it all set in stone?’”

Certainly, the Canadian debate grabbed the attention of Dobson, who worried that Canadian legislation might encourage gay rights south of the border. In his 2004 book, Marriage Under Fire, Dobson compared proponents of same-sex marriage to Adolf Hitler, and last year Focus on the Family Canada bought time on 130 radio stations for an appeal from Dobson urging Canadian voters to contact their MPs and kill Bill C-38. As Darrel Reid, the former president of Focus on the Family Canada, puts it, “He saw Canada as being on the leading edge of social decline.”

But Quist is adamant that the institute was not the brainchild of Dobson, whose lobbying might endanger its charitable tax status, and his photo is nowhere to be seen on its walls. “I’ve never met Dr. Dobson,” he says. He takes pains to underline that Focus on the Family Canada, headquartered in Langley, British Columbia — the heart of the Canadian Bible Belt — is an autonomous entity. That claim was undercut when the Montreal Gazette examined the US ministry’s annual reports and discovered that it had contributed computer, broadcast, and telephone support services to its Canadian spinoff valued at $1.6 million over four years.

With an operating budget of $500,000, the institute’s sleek penthouse is three floors above Conservative Party headquarters and accessible only by a private elevator or stairway. “If what you’re doing is substantial, you have to look substantial,” says Reid, the driving force behind establishing the Ottawa office. “Ottawa is where the lawmakers are. You can’t be four thousand miles away. Nobody was listening to us out in Langley.”

A former chief of staff to Preston Manning, Reid had turned his seven-year Focus presidency into a bully pulpit on social issues before stepping down last year to run as a Conservative candidate in Richmond, BC. But he insists that the institute is not a lobbying arm. “We’re not an activist organization,” agrees Quist. “We’re not going to be organizing petitions or rallies on the Hill.”

Quist paints the institute merely as a vehicle to provide lawmakers with helpful information to better argue their case, whether on spanking — the subject of Dobson’s 1970 bestseller Dare to Discipline — or assisted suicide, which social conservatives see as the next major front in the culture wars. His inspiration, he claims, is not Dobson’s controversial Washington arm, the Family Research Council, whose president told a Washington gathering of conservatives last year that the federal judiciary posed a greater threat to democracy than terrorist groups. Instead, for a role model Quist looked to that provocative bastion of economic conservatism, Vancouver’s Fraser Institute. “When they started twenty-five years ago, they were viewed with great skepticism,” he points out. “Now they’re quoted all the time.”

Despite the institute’s research mission, Reid wanted a seasoned political player in the pilot’s seat. A born-again Christian who spent six years as executive assistant to Reed Elley, the Reform/Alliance MP from Nanaimo-Cowichan, Quist more than fit the job description. In 2004, when Elley resigned, Quist ran for his seat and, after losing, spent last year as operations manager in Harper’s office. That resumé might seem more essential to a lobbyist than a think-tank chief, but Quist had learned how to draft cram notes for MPs and their aides. “I knew if we could make the research into bite-sized chunks — clearly written with five or six bullets or talking points — it would be invaluable,” he says. “No twenty-page report is going to get read.”

The debut edition of the glossy imfc Review had the prescience — or insider knowledge — to focus on Harper’s first thorny legislative issue: child care. Still, it took an unusual tack for an organization trying to stake out a reputation for research. The lead article, entitled “Don’t Get Fooled By Child Care Research,” argued that most studies advocating public daycare “tend to be ideologically motivated and researcher bias is frequent.... Beware.” The article went on to attack Martha Friendly, coordinator of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit at the University of Toronto — which it noted was federally funded — for harbouring “a strong bias towards government-funded, non-profit daycare.” That slap singled out a commentator who was guaranteed to be a leading critic of Harper’s proposal to hand every family a $1,200-per-child allowance instead of expanding public daycare.

Quist hand-delivered the imfc Review to MPs’ offices, starting with old Conservative pals like Cheryl Gallant, who used it in a press release. He also made sure to get it to those MPs whose votes might be up for grabs. “For those who are neutral,” he says, “I’m hoping it will be a tipping point.”

On the day of the Throne Speech, Quist was one of more than a dozen guests at a festive pre-event lunch in the parliamentary restaurant hosted by Senator Anne Cools, a vocal social conservative in Harper’s caucus. There had been no mention of a business agenda in the initial invitation, but Cools’ guest list included some of the country’s most muscular so-con voices, including McVety and Gwen Landolt of real Women of Canada. During lunch, the conversation turned to how the assembled invitees might beat the drums for Harper’s family allowance. Some welcomed it as a hint of later tax credits for private religious education; others saw it as a windfall for stay-at-home moms and the growing number of evangelicals — like Quist and his wife — who had chosen home-schooling. Two weeks later, a headline in the Globe and Mail trumpeted, “Social conservatives to sell Tory daycare plan.”

Some participants denied they’d agreed to any such thing. Harper’s office disavowed organizing the lunch, insisting it was a coincidence that Jason Kenney had dropped by, but his spokeswoman conceded, “We’re reaching out to all interest groups who agree with our child care plan.” real Women’s Landolt was not as shy. “When the thing arises on the drawing board,” she told the Globe, “we’ll be there.”

On budget day, when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty firmed up the legislative nuts and bolts of the child-care allowance, Dave Quist was also there — in Spin Central, the vast holding pen where reporters troll for reactions to government proposals from assembled lobbyists and interest groups. The next morning he was quoted in the Globe lauding the plan as “a significant positive step for families.”

Quist insists the imfc is no Harper cheering section. Ready to open its doors last fall, it delayed the launch until after the election. As Derek Rogusky, Quist’s British Columbia–based boss, confides, “We didn’t want to be seen as a policy arm of the Conservative party.” Besides, Rogusky points out, “People of faith don’t see Stephen Harper as their messiah. They don’t feel he’s going to change everything they want.”

For many evangelicals, the real measure of Harper is not his first budget, with its crowd-pleasing bonanza of cash; it’s the one he brings down if and when he secures a majority. Will he answer the demand of some in the Christian right and ensure that a portion of the new daycare spaces he has promised to create are run by religious communities? More importantly, will he follow Bush’s lead and begin to dismantle the federal social safety net, turning the job of being one’s brother’s keeper over to faith-based do-gooders?

In the United States, Dobson has urged parents to abandon the public school system, which he sees as a breeding ground for secular humanism, hostile to the Book of Genesis and prayer. “I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools,” agreed Jerry Falwell, the founder of the Moral Majority that helped sweep Ronald Reagan into power. “The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them.”

Those may be long-term aspirations, but the US religious right has learned that patience pays off. Many of the conservative think tanks that were seeded to supply intellectual heft and respectability to the burgeoning right wing under Reagan have not only outlived him, they have provoked a shift in popular discourse that now gives the religious right a hold on both houses of Congress. As Darrel Reid makes clear, the imfc isn’t pinning all its hopes on Harper. “The fact that there’s a government that’s more sympathetic is good,” he says. “But that government won’t be there forever. That’s why we need to be there for the long haul.”

At 7:30 on a drizzly June morning, the Confederation Room — the largest and most ornate hall on Parliament Hill — was already crammed to capacity with more than four hundred MPs, civil servants, and their guests, all of whom have turned up for the National Prayer Breakfast. An overflow crowd of 150 was being shepherded into an adjoining salon with closed-circuit video screens. Those numbers might not mean much in Washington — where the annual mega-event of the same name draws more than three thousand, including the president, making it the highlight of the social calendar for the Christian right — but this year’s turn-out was the largest in the forty-year history of the Ottawa breakfast.

Jack Murta, the former Mulroney cabinet minister who now runs the event, attributes the enthusiasm to a new breed of more committed Conservative evangelicals in the House. So many flocked to his weekly parliamentary prayer breakfasts earlier this year that he had to encourage some to drop out. “It was getting unwieldy,” he says.

Not that there is a shortage of prayer meetings on Parliament Hill. The Conservative caucus has its own Thursday-morning Bible study class, and for the last three decades civil servants have gathered for prayer groups in almost every department, including three in Defence. Even Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party has created a faith and social justice caucus.

But the newest prayer hub in the capital is also the most improbable: a missionary delegation to the federal government led by Rob Parker, a pastor from Vernon, BC, who feels he’s received a divine calling to bring prayer to the country’s leaders — and, not coincidentally, to help them see the error of their ways. Last year, in a stately neo-Romanesque convent formerly occupied by Les Filles de la Sagesse, Parker and his wife, Fran, opened the National House of Prayer. In its handsome paneled salons, weekly prayer teams who’ve flown in from churches across the country send up supplications for the nation. Fanning out across the city on prayer walks, they end up in the Commons’ visitors’ gallery for Question Period three times a week. Except for their rapt expressions of concentration, they might be just any other tourist group. They don’t bow their heads or kneel. “You don’t have to have your eyes closed to pray,” Fran Parker points out.

National unity is a frequent topic, and they’ve offered “strategic prayers” for Trade Minister David Emerson as he wrestles Washington over the softwood lumber dispute — an issue key to many of the Parkers’ supporters in BC. They’ve also prayed for the nation’s security with Stockwell Day, one of their biggest supporters in cabinet. “We say, ‘Let’s cover our waterways,’” Rob Parker explains. “‘Let’s cover our nuclear plants.’” The teams often drop by MPs’ offices, offering a takeout prayer service, but the Parkers try to avoid naming the parliamentarians they’ve prayed with, or the subjects on which they’ve pleaded for intercession. “You have to be careful with the non-Christian media,” Fran confides. “A reporter kept asking us whether we prayed about same-sex marriage. No way we’re going there.”

In some political circles, the National House of Prayer might be dismissed as a marginal Christian outpost, but Stephen Harper’s Ottawa has put out the official welcome mat. Jack Murta invited Fran Parker to address a seminar after the National Prayer Breakfast, and every Friday afternoon the couple runs a prayer meeting in the Parliament Buildings’ chapel, just across the street from the pomp. Even though he’s never had an official meeting with the Prime Minister, Rob Parker says he has “certainly shared with him in passing — in the hallways or whatever. He was very glad we’re doing what we’re doing.”

A Pentecostal who believes that God’s will is revealed to believers in portents and prophetic utterances, above all when they speak in tongues, Parker had embarked on a seventy-three-day prayer walk from Calgary to Ottawa six years ago with a charismatic Christian group called Watchmen for the Nations. When the walkers arrived in Ottawa, Parker prayed for God’s mercy on the nation and, as his wife tells it, “Rob looked around and thought, ‘Man, all these embassies, but I don’t see an embassy of prayer here.’”

Still, it took the 9/11 attack to convince Parker that his mission couldn’t wait. Watching evangelist Billy Graham lead Washington’s national memorial service, he was shocked when he switched channels to Ottawa’s commemorative rites. “There was no mention of God,” he says. “I found out later in the newspapers that the name of God or Jesus was not allowed to be used. We were too multicultural.” As Parker recounts on the National House of Prayer website, “I cried out to God that Canada has become a ‘Godless nation’ and asked Him to intervene.”

The Parkers talked up the notion of a prayer embassy across the country, but two years ago they were ready to give up when they received a divine thumbs-up. The morning after they’d read a passage from Jeremiah about the siege of Jerusalem, a newspaper headline on the Liberals’ sponsorship scandal proclaimed, “Paul Martin under siege.” For Fran Parker it was an unmistakable prophetic sign. “We thought, ‘Yes, it’s a siege of righteousness,’” she says. “We realized it was a wake-up call: we’ve got to make things right.”

Last year, when they discovered the abandoned convent, they knew it was the building they’d been praying for when a real-estate agent pointed at the Chinese embassy out the back door. “That’s China behind you,” he said — the very phrase uttered by a prominent Pentecostal preacher who had singled out the Parkers during one of his Ottawa revival services. But the $900,000 price tag was too steep and the demand for a $500,000 down payment daunting. Then Christian broadcaster Dick Dewart invited the Parkers to appear on his Alberta-based Miracle Channel. Within days of the show, they’d raised $300,000, and a Chinese evangelical congregation in Toronto kicked in with a $225,000 interest-free loan. “We represent thousands in the land,” Fran Parker says.

Now the Parkers host as many as thirty-five prayer activists a week who pay their own travel expenses and donate $20 to $50 a night for room and board in return for a unique glimpse of the capital. When they’re not on Parliament Hill, they can often be found praying inside the Supreme Court, whose rulings have sparked so much evangelical outrage. This summer, the activists focused their spiritual attention on the offices of those MPs who might be wavering on whether to support reopening the same-sex marriage debate. But their most frequent destination is the Peace Tower, where they pray beneath the nation’s motto inscribed on one wall — a motto inspired directly by the Bible.

In 1867, as the Fathers of Confederation were wrangling over what to call their newfangled federal entity, Samuel Tilley, the premier of New Brunswick, sat down for his morning devotions when his Bible fell open at Psalm 72, verse 8: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.” Tilley and his fellow pols took it as divine intervention. Ever since, that defining verse has inspired Pentecostal and charismatic Christian groups such as the Parkers’ to believe that the Dominion of Canada has a destiny linked to scriptural prophecy.

It’s a controversial view — and never more so than now. This spring, in Kingdom Coming: the Rise of Christian Nationalism, New York writer Michelle Goldberg traced the growing influence of American fundamentalists who embrace what’s known as dominion theology, calling for a society where civil law is replaced by Biblical prescriptions and born-again Christians take over the task of governing to prepare for the thousand-year dominion of Christ. Their first skirmish in that struggle has centred on restoring religious terminology not only to holidays like Christmas, but to official discourse. Goldberg warns that many of those “dominionists” not only have ties to the Bush White House, but seem determined to turn the US into a theocracy. “It makes no sense to fight religious authoritarianism abroad,” she writes, “while letting it take over at home.”

The Parkers are careful to dismiss the notion that theocratic designs lie behind their National House of Prayer. “It’s not about getting a Christian government or a Christian nation,” Fran Parker says. “It’s about praying for our leaders to restore the nation to righteousness.” But in a relaxed moment after the National Prayer Breakfast, she admits that she believes Canada has a divinely inspired destiny — a covenant with God that has been broken by governments that failed to stop practices such as abortion that “defile the land.” She’s convinced that the nation has received a prophetic warning to return to its Christian roots.

She has not the slightest doubt that celestial nudge came last May 24 when the Peace Tower clock stopped at 7:28 a.m. — precisely the number of the psalm and verse that gave the country its designation and motto. “And what day did it stop?” Parker asks, underlining her point. “Victoria Day! On the news that night, they said it might take seventy-two hours to fix,” she says, pausing for effect. “Seventy-two!” she marvels. “Just so you get it!”

In his corner suite on the fourth floor of Canada Christian College, the ebullient Charles McVety is hanging up from a long-distance call to a Conservative MP. “A lot of our friends are in government now,” he confides, “so that makes a lot of things easier.” So cozy is McVety with Harper’s team, in fact, that last June he arranged an honorary degree for Stockwell Day from Russia’s St. Petersburg State University.

From his suburban Toronto office festooned with frothy fake-flower bouquets, pictures of fighter jets, and a scale model of the Avro Arrow, McVety wears so many hats it’s not always clear from which pulpit he’s speaking. On the wall behind his desk, framed front pages of the National Post testify to his staunch opposition to Bill C-38 under headlines such as “Faiths Unite Against Same Sex.” Sometimes he’s cited as the president of this college where twelve hundred students — three hundred of them full-time — pursue Bible-based studies in a former pension-fund building from which McVety broadcasts his weekly TV shows. Other times, he’s the voice of the Defend Marriage Coalition, thirteen religious and activist organizations — including real Women of Canada and Campaign Life — on whose behalf he stormed the country last year aboard the red and white Defend Marriage bus with his wife and their seven-year-old daughter. On one of his many websites, McVety recounts that adventure under the title, “Daddy, Why Are They Spitting At Us?” Now, the bus sits in the college’s parking lot, ready for the next campaign. McVety has vowed to wrest Conservative nominations from candidates reluctant to vote out same-sex marriage legislation. One sure target: maverick Conservative Garth Turner, who compared McVety’s nomination threat to the modus operandi of the Taliban.

Occasionally, McVety pops up in the media as president of the Canada Family Action Coalition (cfac), whose mission is “to see Judeo-Christian moral principles restored in Canada.” Co-founded ten years ago by Brian Rushfeldt, a Calgary pastor who’d acquired his theology degree from Canada Christian College by correspondence, cfac has become a ten-thousand-member grassroots lobby known for publishing election guides that track MPs’ votes on social issues, as well as for Rushfeldt’s periodic appearances on Jerry Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour. But last year McVety decided it was time to create a new Ottawa-based think tank with more of an academic gloss: the Institute for Canadian Values (icv). Why the need for so many outfits? “On the left, there are hundreds of organizations,” he says, “and on the right there is a great void.”

Funded by a $250,000 gift from a retired trucking magnate named Sidney Harkema, the new institute was prompted in part by McVety’s impatience with the Evangelical Fellowship, which published a guide for clergy on just how far they could go fighting Bill C-38 without incurring Revenue Canada’s wrath. McVety scoffs at that scrupulousness. “There’s nothing in the regulations that says we’re second-class citizens not allowed to have a voice,” he says.

To head the icv, McVety tapped someone who shared his taste for a more boisterous approach: Joseph Ben-Ami, an Orthodox Jew who’d been B’nai Brith’s point man in Ottawa and a top operative in Stockwell Day’s leadership campaigns. A ubiquitous presence at Conservative and evangelical gatherings, Ben-Ami emerged during last spring’s child-care debate as more than just a quotable source defending Harper’s family allowance. He showed up brandishing Access to Information documents charging that some advocates of public daycare, including the Caledon Institute, had received Liberal government funding. “It’s a con game,” Ben-Ami declared, “and Canadian taxpayers are the victims.”

McVety’s ideological muscle-flexing has provoked charges that he’s financed by the US Christian right. “We haven’t seen one American greenback,” he retorts. Still, his critics could be forgiven for leaping to conclusions. Canada Christian College houses nearly two dozen evangelical tenants, including Oral Roberts Ministries, and just down the hall from McVety’s own office he runs John Hagee’s Canadian command post, dispensing books and dvds that he claims brings in $1 million a year. When McVety visits his televangelist chums south of the border, he says, they’re “appalled” by this country’s legislative developments. “They all say, ‘What’s happened to you?’” he reports. “‘You’re legalizing gay marriage, you’re legalizing marijuana. You’ve become extremists.’”

McVety has turned to key strategists who choreographed the religious right’s takeover of the Republican Party to help stop that drift. Two years ago, he imported Jerry Falwell for an “Emergency Pastors Briefing” to rally four hundred evangelical clergymen against a bill that included making denunciations of homosexuality a hate crime. Then last December, still smarting from their failure to stop Bill C-38, McVety and Ben-Ami launched the Institute for Canadian Values with a gala dinner tutorial from Ralph Reed, the boyish tactical wizard behind Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, which succeeded Falwell’s Moral Majority and helped mobilize the South for Bush. With nearly two million believers in his grassroots guerrilla force, Reed terrified liberal Republicans with his organizational stealth. “I paint my face and travel at night,” he once boasted. “You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.”

By the time Reed appeared at Canada Christian College, his influence was waning. His bid to become Georgia’s lieutenant-governor was foundering, and he was embroiled in the casino-lobbying scandals that sent his sometime business partner, Jack Abramoff, to prison. But his appearance a day after the federal election call drew a sold-out crowd of evangelical and Conservative activists, including Senator Anne Cools and McVety’s old friend Jim Flaherty who, as Ontario’s attorney general, had once called for jailing the homeless.

Reed warned his audience that “if the people of the church don’t get involved, somebody else will,” and urged them not merely to organize meticulously, but to be bold. “He said, ‘Never run and hide,’” McVety recounts. “Never allow anyone to tell you family values are a liability. They’re only a liability in the media, never at the ballot box.” But Reed also offered a lesson on how to take over a nomination contest or a riding. “He taught us all that only a handful of people actually go and seriously volunteer to get someone elected,” McVety says. “We’re talking about 150 people per riding. Tiny numbers! This is the size of a small church.”

McVety sprang into action. He and activists like Tristan Emmanuel, head of Equipping Christians for the Public Square, focused on a few dozen ridings scattered across the country. McVety himself zeroed in on one particular target: Mark Holland, the Liberal MP in his own riding of Ajax-Pickering, outside Toronto, who had organized the pivotal caucus petition that convinced Paul Martin to push Bill C-38 through before the Commons’ summer recess last year. McVety helped engineer the nomination of Rondo Thomas, his longtime deputy at the college, as the Conservative candidate over two better-known rivals. But as soon as Holland’s backers released video footage of Thomas describing an apocalyptic ideological battle between “those who believe in righteousness and those who believe in immorality,” the pastor vanished from the hustings — apparently not of his own free will. McVety rails against the Conservative campaign war room that “locked him down,” as he put it. “They’re afraid of a hostile, vicious media that hates Christians.”

Holland sailed to victory in the election, but the campaign left him shaken. At one point, he received a call from McVety, who queried, “How are your constituents going to feel about you not being married?” Almost no one knew that Holland and the mother of his three children had never tied the knot in their fourteen years together. The MP was stunned. “To me it was a veiled threat,” he says.

Holland lodged a complaint with Revenue Canada about Canada Christian College, whose president, McVety, was listed as the registered owner of nearly two dozen websites taken out in the name of leading Liberals who had supported same-sex marriage, including Don Boudria, Belinda Stronach, and Holland himself. As it turned out, this was not the first time the college had found its actions under scrutiny. In 1976, McVety’s father, Elmer, a Toronto evangelist who had founded a Bible school named Richmond College, the predecessor of Canada Christian College, was the subject of a probe by the Toronto Star after donors to his charity, International Outreach, complained they had trouble getting tax receipts. Elmer McVety admitted to the Star that although he’d assured contributors that “arrangements are now completed for the distribution of thousands of copies of the Scriptures in Arabic,” he had not yet located an Egyptian printer for the project.

Six years later, the Ontario ministry of education revoked the right of Canada Christian College to grant degrees. That accreditation battle raged on after McVety’s death in 1993, when his son Charles took over and purchased the college’s current home for $2.1 million. Five years later, the education ministry ordered the college to shut its doors. As McVety likes to recount, “I told them to take a long walk on a short pier and get lost.”

He casts the fight as a ministry vendetta, which he finally ended with the intercession of some pals in Mike Harris’s Conservative government. In May 1999, Frank Klees, a former Baptist pastor who was in Harris’s cabinet, introduced a bill finally conferring legal status on McVety’s school. That year, McVety made a $1,000 donation to Klees’ re-election campaign.

Ironically, one of the major stumbling blocks to the college’s accreditation was a charge levelled by the Canadian Jewish Congress (cjc) that some of McVety’s courses were aimed at converting Jews. McVety calls this a terrible misunderstanding, but it lasted seven years. Only after he agreed to close the college’s Jewish studies department and dismiss two faculty members did the cjc drop its objections. Still, it may not be entirely coincidental that in 1991, the year of the cjc’s initial complaint, McVety hooked up with John Hagee, whose Texas TV ministry had made a name for itself as a cheerleader for Israel.

Now McVety has emerged as one of Israel’s leading champions in this country. He has co-hosted an Israel-bonds dinner at Canada Christian College and this summer, as some liberal evangelicals were taking to the streets to protest Israel’s devastation of Lebanon, McVety was the chief speaker from the evangelical right at a massive “Stand with Israel” rally organized by, among others, his old nemesis, the Canadian Jewish Congress.

McVety’s preoccupation with Israel has become the thread that knits together his whirlwind organizational activities, from the fundamentalist theology that the college dispenses to the curiously wide-ranging agenda of the Institute for Canadian Values, where Ben-Ami fires out press releases on subjects as apparently disparate as same-sex marriage and Hamas terrorist threats. Both issues are concerns shared by the intensely conservative wings of the Christian and Jewish communities that rally around McVety and his closest collaborator, Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B’nai Brith Canada, who has an honorary doctorate from Canada Christian College on his office wall.

Dimant and McVety’s mutual interest in Israel and family values is exactly what Stephen Harper had in mind three years ago in his Civitas speech when he laid out his plans for a new Conservative coalition that would unite social conservatives across faith lines. For those who can’t see the connection between so-con issues and Israeli security, McVety offers one practiced sound byte.

“Israel is the number one family-values issue,” he says. “Where does marriage come from? God. Where does the Bible come from? Israel. The first family of Christianity — Jesus, Mary, and Joseph — were all Jewish. Israel is the source of everything we have.”

But the connection is considerably more complex, turning on a controversial theological doctrine that argues the apocalypse is just around the corner. Christian Zionists like Hagee and McVety, who embrace it, insist that the end of the world is due any day. How soon? “We’re about three seconds before midnight,” McVety says, “and this bond [between evangelicals and Jews] is part and parcel of it.”

On McVety’s desk sits the sort of souvenir usually found in Jerusalem tourist shops: a chunky, foot-long silver-and-gilt replica of the city crowned by what Jews call the Temple Mount but, as home to two mosques, Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, erected where Mohammed is believed to have ascended to heaven, it is also regarded as the third-holiest site in Islam. But to both Jews and evangelical Christians, the Temple Mount is equally sacred as a prophetic construction site: the spot where the ancient Biblical Temple of Solomon must be rebuilt before the Messiah can return. They may differ on whether it’s the Second Coming of Christ or the arrival of Judaism’s own long-awaited Messiah, but their shared interest in that charged patch of Jerusalem real estate has spawned an alliance that has become one of Israel’s political and economic lifelines.

In 2004, more than four hundred thousand evangelical tourists flocked to Israel, outnumbering any other visitor group, including North American Jews. According to Israeli sources, they poured an estimated $1.4 billion into the economy. So vital has the influx of Christian Zionists become that the Knesset now boasts a Christian Allies Caucus, and the Jerusalem Post has launched a new monthly Christian edition. “It’s a tremendous message of solidarity,” says Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Alan Baker. As Joseph Ben-Ami points out, “The Jewish community in Canada is 380,000 strong; the evangelical community is 3.5 million. The real support base for Israel is Christians.”

Hagee’s congressional lobbying blitz in Washington last July was, in fact, directly inspired by a strategic blueprint drafted by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin three decades ago. At a time when Washington was pressuring Israel to relinquish the West Bank and East Jerusalem and create an independent Palestinian state, an Israeli report fingered the US evangelical community as Tel Aviv’s best hope to counter those demands. In 1978, Begin invited Hagee and other American televangelists to Jerusalem to point out their common theological stake in the geography they saw as essential to the unfolding of Biblical prophecy. As Hagee likes to say, he went as a tourist and “came back a Zionist.” Three years later, when Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor provoked a global outcry, Hagee held his first rally for Israel in San Antonio. Since then, both the Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition have made support for Israel a key plank in their domestic political mandate. As Falwell told 60 Minutes, the American Bible belt is “Israel’s safety belt.”

In Canada, one of the chief links in that safety belt is Reverend John Tweedie, an evangelical pastor from Brantford, Ontario, who now chairs a Netherlands-based charity called Christians for Israel International. Not only does Tweedie lead regular tours to the Holy Land, but his group has also sponsored the immigration of hundreds of Jews from the former Soviet Union to settlementsin Gaza and the West Bank. Four years ago, Tweedie teamed up with B’nai Brith to organize Canada’s first joint mission to Israel by Jews and evangelicals. It was no coincidence that he chose to partner with one of the most conservative wings of the Jewish community. Like most Christian Zionists, Tweedie opposes the creation of a Palestinian state or an Israeli pullout from Gaza and the West Bank. “I have a Biblical worldview,” he says, “so I don’t agree with trading land for peace.”

Tweedie’s efforts and those of dozens of other evangelical tour groups since have forged extraordinary bonds between faiths. On one fact-finding mission to Israel, Frank Dimant and Jason Kenney, then an opposition MP, were about to enter the Palestinian stronghold of Ramallah when they ran into Jibril Rajoub, Yasser Arafat’s security chief. Kenney nudged Dimant and suggested a quick revision of the B’nai Brith official’s title: the MP introduced Dimant to the Palestinian as his aide.

Despite these bonds, some Jews remain deeply suspicious of Christian Zionists and the theology that fuels their zeal: the theories of a nineteenth-century rebel deacon named John Nelson Darby, the father of dispensationalism. On repeated missions to North America between 1862 and 1877 — some of which included pulpit stops in Toronto — Darby touted a new scriptural timeline based on a vision he’d had after falling off a horse. Arguing that the world was already in the penultimate era of seven Biblical epochs or “dispensations,” he warned that only true believers would be saved in a secret rapture — tugged heavenward before a seven-year period of turmoil known as the tribulation, when the Antichrist seizes global power. Once that false Messiah had been vanquished in battle at Armageddon, Christ would return to Jerusalem triumphant and usher in a millennium of peace.

Darby’s end-times scenario, once scorned as marginal, sparked a surge of interest after the founding of Israel in 1948. For many evangelicals, the creation of a Jewish homeland on Biblical acreage was the fulfillment of a prophecy that warned the “budding” of the fig tree — a symbol representing Israel in parables — was a portent that the Second Coming was at hand. They pinpointed Armageddon taking place on the present-day hilltop plain of Har-Megiddo, near Haifa.

As dispensationalists took over the postwar evangelical movement, many detected other hints of Darby’s millennial script being played out in the headlines. Ernest Manning, Preston’s father, frequently cited Darby’s apocalyptic vision in his radio sermons on Canada’s Back to the Bible Hour. For Manning — as for Ronald Reagan, another fan of dispensationalism — there was no doubt that the Book of Daniel’s “wicked king of the north” was the godless Soviet Union. Since its implosion, candidates for the dispensationalist Antichrist have been updated more than once: the secretary-general of the United Nations and the head of the European Community have been displaced by Saddam Hussein and now the president of Iran.

Thanks to the Left Behind series of Christian thrillers co-authored by Tim LaHaye, a Republican operative who helped found the Moral Majority, Darby’s theology has been tarted up with a contemporary, high-tech gloss and devoured by more than forty-two million readers. In the latest installment, The Rapture, released in June, Rayford Steele, an airline pilot, steers his 747 above the smoking debris and collapsed communication towers left behind after millions of Christians have been snatched out of their homes and cars in one cataclysmic whoosh.

That plot line is exactly what has spooked many in the Jewish community: despite the affection Hagee and other evangelicals profess, Darby’s script does not include a clear exit strategy for those who haven’t accepted Christ as the Messiah. Even Hagee and Falwell have ended up hurling accusations at one another in the Israeli press over just how Jews fit into the dispensationalist salvation scheme. Tweedie prefers to dodge the question. “We don’t find it profitable to get too specific about end-times prophecy,” he says.

Theologians in most mainstream Protestant denominations debunk Darby’s scriptural timeline as an outrageous misreading of the Bible. Even leading evangelical scholar Donald Wagner, professor of religious and Middle Eastern studies at Chicago’s North Park University, calls it “a modern heresy with cultish proportions.” For a growing number of critics like Wagner, what’s most alarming about the wildfire spread of dispensationalism is not its trendiness but the fact that it is now embraced by many who either control or exercise leverage over the corridors of power. “The danger is that when people believe they ‘know’ how things are going to turn out and then act on those convictions, they can make these prophecies self-fulfilling and bring on some of the things they predict,” says Reverend Timothy Weber, the author of On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend.

What could a dispensationalist worldview mean for global politics? In the 1980s, Washington’s foreign-policy establishment worried that Reagan’s flirtation with end-time beliefs, including branding the Soviet Union “the evil empire,” would hasten the nuclear apocalypse that he periodically referred to as inevitable. To speed the day, dispensationalists like Falwell who helped bring him to power were among the loudest voices urging Reagan on a course of brinkmanship.

George Bush has reignited many of the same fears with his rhetoric of righteousness in launching the invasion of Iraq and his war against the “evil-doers” of global terrorism. Congress has become controlled by ardent Christian Zionists like former majority leader Tom DeLay, who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state and once told an Israeli audience, “I don’t see occupied territory; I see Israel.”

Writer and TV journalist Bill Moyers, himself an ordained Baptist minister, has raised another equally urgent fear about the dispensationalist hold on domestic policy. In a speech to Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment last year, he warned that millions of Christian fundamentalists have no interest in protecting the environment or putting the brakes on global warming. “They believe that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded,” Moyers said, “but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming apocalypse.”

That thesis might sound alarmist, but last year when superstar pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestselling The Purpose Driven Life, joined other evangelical leaders calling for action against global warming, they were slammed by James Dobson, who declared that the scientific evidence against carbon dioxide emissions remains unproven. Besides, Dobson said, the issue was a distraction from the more pressing evangelical preoccupation with family values.

For Charles McVety, any mention of the environmental movement sparks a tirade against the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. “The Bible talks about a false religion and one-world government, and what we have developed is exactly that,” McVety rages. “The false religion is the worship of Mother Earth — I call them earthies!” He dismisses Rio’s Earth Charter as “that pagan document.”

Did those same views colour Stephen Harper’s decision to bow out of the Kyoto Protocol? Have Harper’s private spiritual impulses as an evangelical shaped any of his policy decisions, whether on child care or boosting the defence budget and backing Israel unequivocally in the Middle East? The answer isn’t clear, nor may it ever be. Not only is Harper notoriously guarded about his motivations, but many of the items on his agenda that have won the applause of the religious right in Canada so far have coincided with the demands of other more traditional groups in the expanding tent of his new Conservative coalition.

In the end, it may not matter to what extent Harper himself buys into the beliefs of his evangelical backers. By wagering his political fortunes on their goodwill, he is already, like Bush, to some extent their captive. It may be less important to know whether Harper personally cares about avoiding an epic clash in the Middle East than to discover what political ious he has to a core constituency that has no interest at all in peace for the region — at least until the Second Coming.

Even before the Israeli offensive in Lebanon, Canadian voters were registering a newfound wariness of letting religion seep into politics. A survey for CanWest News Service conducted three months after Harper’s election showed that the number of respondents who said they’d vote for an evangelical prime minister had dropped over the last decade from 80 to 63 percent. Pollster Andrew Grenville attributed some of that disenchantment to Bush’s example in the United States, where a flurry of new books by American evangelicals is decrying the politicization of their faith. The title of a recent release by Randall Balmer, a professor of religion at Barnard College in New York City, sums up the growing unease: Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America — an Evangelical’s Lament. But Grenville also blamed part of the Canadian wariness on what he called “the Stephen Harper factor.”

Could it be that Harper has tied the Conservatives’ future to a strategic faith-based alliance modeled after one that is already beginning to backfire on his ideological soulmate in the White House? If so, he might consider reading the full text that Preston Manning recommended for believers setting out on the high-risk road of public activism. Christ’s coaching session for his apostles as recounted in Matthew 10:16 offers a caution on the volatile affections of apparent allies: “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” it counsels, “but beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.”

Marci McDonald is an award-winning freelance writer who spent thirteen years in Washington DC as Maclean’s bureau chief, and as senior writer for US News & World Report. She has won National Magazine Awards for her last two articles in The Walrus, “Blind Trust” (October 2003) and “The Man Behind Stephen Harper” (October 2004).

3 comments:

  1. Salaam Noor,

    Hagee is an apostate who has literally denied that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

    Bibi Netanyahu would contact Hagee before anyone else in the United States, to have him sell the White House on courses of action, which always were strictly the hardest line Likkud genocidal Zionist course of action and policy.

    While Hagee led the "Christian Zionists" into complete apostasy from God and His Christ, he drove the White House into the worst of slavery to 911 and Israeli genocide and wars of aggression for Oded Yinon's planned Israeli expansion throughout the entire region.

    All of this provided the base and opportunity for the Iraqi genocide by America and her thug allies to happen and the Palestinian Naqba to get far worse, especially Gaza.

    Also please see: The Justice of God: High tech, drugs, Intelligence networks and lying politicians.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very sad. I always thought of Canadians as not being as dumb as the U.S. Americans ...

    A new term to more accurately describe these people:

    Warvangelicals a sub-category of Churchianity which pursues Holocaustianity (for the right price) and kills innocents around the globe for Israel and their true G.O.D. (gold, oil, drugs)

    Having never read or heard the "reverend" Hagee, I'd bet he never "preaches" the most direct, clear, succinct truth, teachings and warnings contained in his "bible"

    "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."

    Revelation 2,9

    To the scribes and Pharisees

    “You are from your father The Devil, and the desire of your father you are willing to do; from the beginning he has been murdering men and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him; whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from what is his, because he is of falsehood and is also its father.”

    John 8, 44

    ReplyDelete
  3. “On McVety’s desk …souvenir …what Jews call the Temple Mount but, as home to two mosques, Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, erected where Mohammed is believed to have ascended to heaven, …the third-holiest site in Islam. But to both Jews and evangelical Christians, the Temple Mount is equally sacred as a prophetic construction site: the spot where the ancient Biblical Temple of Solomon must be rebuilt before the Messiah can return. They may differ on whether it’s the Second Coming of Christ [ed. Note: NOTHING in Christian eschatology says that Jesus will ever enter a rebuilt temple of any kind, only that He will destroy any such edifice, if it exists, when He returns] or the arrival of Judaism’s own long-awaited Messiah [ed. Note: which is only and only can be the Antichrist], but their shared interest in that charged patch of Jerusalem real estate has spawned an alliance that has become one of Israel’s political and economic lifelines.”

    Muhammed (PBUH) did not ascend to heaven in the flesh. Islam clearly states he went in a vision in the night journey. He later died and was buried. St. Paul also speaks of such visions. He also later died and was buried. Nothing heretical here on the part of the Prophet (PBUH), or St. Paul (PBUH). Please see: The Final Trial for a correct relationship of Christian faith to Islam. Both Islam and Christian faith confess only Jesus Christ as having ascended to heaven bodily in the flesh. That includes that Maryam (PBUH) did not ascend bodily into heaven either; that comes from the heretical inclusion of the pagan Isis Horus Gnosticism of the great mother goddess injected into Christianity by the Rabbinical Zionist Jews from the earliest centuries A.D. onward. The Lord Jesus Christ will return at Sayyidah, the Parousia – Second Coming of Christ. Mary is buried (which was done in 58 A.D. by St. John the apostle and other faithful then) East of the East Gate. She did not resurrect early – that is heresy. (I am not going to tell you the exact location although it is known by traditional Christian Scholars – if I did, the infidel perfidious Jews would do something unthinkable.)

    “…the spot where the ancient Biblical Temple of Solomon [ed. Note: Remphan – not Solomon] must be rebuilt before the Messiah can return.” – NOT TRUE, Our Lord Jesus Christ said He will return. Nothing makes that return conditional or contingent upon anything. Jesus said: Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say to you: LO HERE IS CHRIST, OR THERE, DO NOT BELIEVE HIM. 24 FOR THERE SHALL ARISE FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS, AND SHALL SHEW GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS, INSOMUCH AS TO DECEIVE (IF POSSIBLE) EVEN THE ELECT. 25 BEHOLD I HAVE TOLD IT TO YOU, BEFOREHAND.
    26 If therefore they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert, go ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not. 27 FOR AS LIGHTNING COMETH OUT OF THE EAST, AND APPEARETH EVEN INTO THE WEST: SO SHALL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.

    The rebuilding of the temple is a project that the Church Fathers said the Perfidious infidel Jews would undertake, but that the Second Coming is NOT contingent upon it. That this is so, is easily seen from the fact that they already tried it in the 4th century A.D. under the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate by his sponsorship – and failed utterly when fire broke out repeatedly from the ground of Mt. Moriah (the so-called temple mount). It does not matter how many times they try it OR NOT – it has nothing to do with the Second Coming. It is to be warned against as a project of only the Antichrist and any and all of his predecessors. That is all. The vile evil utterly deceived and deceiving Christian Zionists, who are NOT Christians at all, are only trying to help the Antichrist forces of IsraHell to embark yet again on this foul and depraved project.
    See: …THEO-CONS

    ReplyDelete

Please. No spam. No hate spewing. Religious quotations not so much. If your comment is not posted, it was deemed offensive.

QUOTES BY JEWS

“The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs or ceremonies we observe – whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists – we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.” ~ Herman Wouk

WISE WORDS AND WARNINGS OF WICKEDNESS


"If [Jews] are as wise as they claim to be, they will labour to make Jews American, instead of labouring to make America Jewish. The genius of the United States of America is Christian in the broadest sense, and its destiny is to remain Christian. This carries no sectarian meaning with it, but relates to a basic principle which differs from other principles in that it provides for liberty with morality, and pledges society to a code of relations based on fundamental Christian conceptions of human rights and duties." ~ Henry Ford

“It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organization for their international world swindle, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.” ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 11

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The real God of the Universe does not have “Chosen” in the first place because he is perfect as we understand and predilection is a human weakness. The Jews invented the OT to fool humanity as always. The real God of the Universe does not send any body to kill, destroy his own creation, to rape, to maim, to create misery and havoc on other people. Don’t you get it? the God in the OT is a monster, is another one of the many Gods in the dessert, those sacrifices offered to God are Satanic as their name and the Jews keep offering sacrifices to their God. Last year they immolated thousands of human beings in Gaza to their God Baal, Moloch, Azazel, Satan, Lucifer. ~Isaas, TUT

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"I had been asked to sign a pledge for Israel when I first became a candidate for Congress and after refusing to do so my congressional career became trench warfare, hand to hand combat just to remain in the congress.


Ever since my refusal to sign that pledge for Israel the pro-Israel lobby let me know that my political net was in the hangman's noose it was the pro-Israel lobby they decided to tighten that noose." ~ Cynthia McKinney

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"Himself a Jew, Marx has around him, in London and France, but especially in Germany, a multitude of more or less clever, scheming, agile, speculating Jews ~ such as Jews are everywhere: commercial or banking agents, writers, politicians, reporters for newspapers of all shades, with one foot in the bank and the other in the socialist movement, and with their arses sitted upon the German daily press ~ they have taken possession of all the newspapers ~ and you can imagine what kind of sickening literature they produce. Now, this entire Jewish world, which glut a single profiteering sect, a nation of blooksuckers, a single gluttonous parasite closely and intimately interlinked not only across national borders, but across all differences of political opinion ~ this Jewish world today stands for the most part at the disposal of Marx and, at the same time, at the disposal of Rothschild.

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This may seem strange. What can there be in common between Communism and the largest banks? Ho-ho! The Communism of Marx seeks an enormous centralization of the state, and where such exists, there must inevitably be a central state bank, and where such a bank exists, the parasitic Jewish nation, which profiteers from the labour of others, will always find a way to prevail. In reality, for the proletariat, this would be a barrack regime, under which the working men and the working women, converted into a uniform mass, would rise, fall asleep, work, and live at the beat of the drum." ~ Bakunin (1814-1876)

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“We entered the synagogue, which was packed with the greatest stinking bunch of humanity I have ever seen. When we got about halfway up, the head rabbi, who was dressed in a fur hat similar to that worn by Henry VIII of England and in a surplice heavily embroidered and very filthy, came down and met the General (Eisenhower)...The smell was so terrible that I almost fainted and actually about three hours later lost my lunch as the result remembering it." ~ General Patton in Germany, diary entry Sept 17, 1945
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The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in legislation that was passed by both houses. Congress and the President of the U. S., George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization. They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in educating the Citizens of the U.S. of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day.”
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Marxism, to which all branches of Socialism necessarily adhere, was originated by Jew Karl Marx, himself of rabbinical descent and has been dominated by them from the beginning. Marx did not actually originate anything; he merely “streamlined” Talmudism for Gentile consumption.” ~ Elizabeth Dilling

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Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.” ~ Fr. John Sheehan, S.J.

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The cruel canard ‘anti-Semitic’ does not apply for many reasons, not the least of which is the simple fact that the slanderous word itself is derived from language games for purposes of propaganda and in real world context has no validity. ~ Tom Valentine

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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker.

Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy.

Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot'

than the stigma of conformity.

And on issues that seem important to you,

Stand up and be counted at any cost.

~ Thomas J Watson (1874-1956)

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'There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. The business of the Journalist is to destroy truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.' ~ John Swinton, former Chief of Staff, The New York Times, 1953

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WHAT TALMUDICS THINK

Historically, Jews had always thrived in nations and empires with multicultural, pluralistic and tolerant environments, while they fared badly in strong ethnic or nationalistic societies. European Jews have always been the emblematic stranger or ‘other’. Therefore, by definition, a society where the stranger is welcome is good for the Jews, although they have not always appreciated this link. The future of European Jewry is dependent on our ability to shape a multicultural, pluralistic and diverse society. ~ Göran Rosenberg, Jewish author and journalist

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American Jews are committed to cultural tolerance because of their belief ~ one firmly rooted in history ~ that Jews are safe only in a society acceptant of a wide range of attitudes and behaviors, as well as a diversity of religious and ethnic groups. It is this belief, for example, not approval of homosexuality, that leads an overwhelming majority of U.S. Jews to endorse ‘gay rights’ and to take a liberal stance on most other so-called ‘social’ issues. ~ Charles Silberman, Jewish writer and journalist

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The Jew … Judaizes … he provokes religious indifference, but he also imposes on those whose faith he destroys, his own concept of the world, of morality, and of human life. The Jews detests the spirit of the nation in the midst of which they live. ~ Bernard Lazare

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We will legally define the Talmud as the basis of the Israeli legal system. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu

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"Anti-Communism is Antisemitism." ~ Jewish Voice, July ~ August 1941.

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We Jews, we, the destroyers, will remain the destroyers forever. Nothing that you will do will meet our needs and demands. We will forever destroy because we need a world of our own. ~ Maurice Samuels, You Gentiles. 1942.

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According to the Talmud...."...When the serpent came unto Eve, he infused filthy lust in her (but) when Israel stood on Sinai, that lust was eliminated" ~ Talmud, Abodah Zarah 22b

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As monstrous as it may seem, we are engaged in close combat between Israel and the Nations ~ and it can only be genocidal and total because it is about our and their identities. ~ Yitzhak Attia, Israel Magazine, April 2003

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"Some may call it Communism, but I call it what it is: Judaism." ~ Rabbi Stephen Weiss.

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It was hard for Satan alone to mislead the whole world, so he appointed prominent rabbis in different localities. ~ A Chasidic saying attributed to Nahman of Bratzlav, early 19th century

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It is our duty to force all mankind to accept the seven Noahide laws, and if not ~ they will be killed." ~ Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg

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"The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts." ~ Talmud: Baba mezia, 114b
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"The Akum (non-Jew) is like a dog. Yes, the scripture teaches to honor the the dog more than the non-Jew." ~ Ereget Raschi Erod. 22 30
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"Even though God created the non-Jew they are still animals in human form. It is not becoming for a Jew to be served by an animal. Therefore he will be served by animals in human form." ~ Midrasch Talpioth, p. 255, Warsaw 1855
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Dear World, "I understand that you are upset by us here in Israel. Indeed, it appears you are very upset, even angry. So…it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you ~ and establish a Jewish State.” ~ Rabbi Meir Kahane, 1988

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"A pregnant non-Jew is no better than a pregnant animal." ~ Coschen hamischpat 405
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"The souls of non-Jews come from impure sprits and are called pigs." ~ Jalkut Rubeni gadol 12b
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"Although the non-Jew has the same body structure as the Jew, they compare with the Jew like a monkey to a human." ~ Schene luchoth haberith, p. 250 b
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"If you eat with a Gentile, it is the same as eating with a dog." ~ Tosapoth, Jebamoth 94b
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"If a Jew has a non-Jewish servant or maid who dies, one should not express sympathy to the Jew. You should tell the Jew: "God will replace 'your loss', just as if one of his oxen or asses had died." ~ Jore dea 377, 1

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"Sexual intercourse between Gentiles is like intercourse between animals." ~ Talmud Sanhedrin 74b

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"It is permitted to take the body and the life of a Gentile." ~ Sepher ikkarim III c 25
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"It is the law to kill anyone who denies the Torah. The Christians belong to the denying ones of the Torah." ~ Coschen hamischpat 425 Hagah 425. 5
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"A heretic Gentile you may kill outright with your own hands." ~ Talmud, Abodah Zara, 4b
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"Every Jew, who spills the blood of the godless (non-Jews), is doing the same as making a sacrifice to God." ~ Talmud: Bammidber raba c 21 & Jalkut 772

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Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity. The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists. ~ Noel Ignatiev, Harvard Magazine, Sep-Oct 2002

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We intend to keep bashing the dead white males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as ‘the white race’ is destroyed, not ‘deconstructed’ but destroyed.

Even if reason tells us, even shouts with all its force the very absurdity of this confrontation between the small and insignificant people of Israel [i.e., all Jewry worldwide, not just “the State of Israel”] and the rest of humanity… as absurd, as incoherent and as monstrous as it may seem, we are engaged in close combat between Israel and the Nations ~ and it can only be genocidal and total because it is about our and their identities. ~ Yitzhak Attia, Israel Magazine, April 2003

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Any trial based on the assumption that Jews and goyim are equal is a total travesty of justice. ~ Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, June 6, 1989:

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REVENGE OF THE JEWISH RABBIS OF SPAIN
In 1492 CE, Chemor, chief Rabbi of Spain, wrote to the Grand Sanhedrin, which had its seat in Constantinople, for advice, when a Spanish law threatened expulsion (after the fall of Muslim rule in spain).

This was the reply:

” Beloved brethren in Moses, we have received your letter in which you tell us of the anxieties and misfortunes which you are enduring. We are pierced by as great pain to hear it as yourselves. The advice of the Grand Satraps and Rabbis is the following:

1. As for what you say that the King of Spain obliges you to become Christians: do it, since you cannot do otherwise.
2. As for what you say about the command to despoil you of your property: make your sons merchants that they may despoil, little by little, the Christians of theirs.
3. As for what you say about making attempts on your lives: make your sons doctors and apothecaries, that they may take away Christians’ lives.
4. As for what you say of their destroying your synagogues: make your sons canons and clerics in order that they may destroy their churches. [Emphasis mine]
5. As for the many other vexations you complain of: arrange that your sons become advocates and lawyers, and see that they always mix in affairs of State, that by putting Christians under your yoke you may dominate the world and be avenged on them.
6. Do not swerve from this order that we give you, because you will find by experience that, humiliated as you are, you will reach the actuality of power.

(Signed) PRINCE OF THE JEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE.”
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
The reply is found in the sixteenth century Spanish book, La Silva Curiosa, by Julio-Iniguez de Medrano (Paris, Orry, 1608), on pages 156 and 157, with the following explanation: “This letter following was found in the archives of Toledo by the Hermit of Salamanca, (while) searching the ancient records of the kingdoms of Spain; and, as it is expressive and remarkable, I wish to write it here.” ~ vide, photostat facing page 80. ~ The above was quoted from Waters Flowing Eastward by Paquita de Shishmareff, pp. 73-74

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“[1] When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you ~ the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you – [2] and when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy” (Deut 7:1-2).

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"Compassion towards the wicked is really wickedness. It is along these lines that Rabbi Levi opened his speech in honor of Purim: (Talmud, Megillah, 11a): "If you do not uproot the inhabitants of the Land, and allow them to remain - they will become thorns in your sides, and will cause trouble for you in the Land in which you dwell." (Bamidbar 33:55) The mitzvah, then of wiping out Amalek [Palestinians], actually stems from the value of compassion and kindness - compassion on all those whom Amalek threatens to exterminate. This mitzvah is an ongoing one, and valid even today. Today, too, there are those - driven by a deep-seeded anti-Semitism - who desperately wish to kill us. These are the people whom the Torah commanded us to obliterate, to leave no memory of them." ~ Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

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Nachman Abramovic demonized Palestinian children stating: “They may look young to you, but these people are terrorists at heart. Don’t look at their deceptively innocent faces, try to think of the demons inside each of them. I am absolutely certain these people would grow to be evil terrorists if we allowed them to grow. Would you allow them to grow to kill your children or finish them off right now? Honest and moral people ought to differentiate between true humans and human animals. We do kill human animals and we do so unapologetically. Besides, who in the West is in a position to lecture us on killing human animals. After all, whose hands are clean?”

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"Wars are the Jews’ harvest, for with them we wipe out the Christians and get control of their gold. We have already killed 100 million of them, and the end is not yet." ~ Chief Rabbi in France, in 1859, Rabbi Reichorn

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"The Communist soul is the soul of Judaism. Hence it follows that, just as in the Russian revolution the triumph of Communism was the triumph of Judaism, so also in the triumph of fascism will triumph Judaism." ~ Rabbi Harry Waton, A Program for the Jews and Humanity, p. 143-144

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If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there. ~ Moed Kattan 17a

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The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order, the “children of Israel” will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the resources of the state. Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands. ~ Baruch Levy in a letter to Karl Marx.

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"My opinion of Christian Zionists? They're scum, but don't tell them that. We need all the useful idiots we can get right now." ~ Bibi Netanyahu

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It was hard for Satan alone to mislead the whole world, so he appointed prominent rabbis in different localities. ~ A Chasidic saying attributed to Nahman of Bratzlav, early 19th century

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Gentiles exist only to serve Jews as slaves. Goyim were only born to serve us. Without that they have no place in the world. Only to serve the people of Israel. Why are gentiles needed? They are only here to work. They will work, they will plow. They will reap. We will sit like effendi and eat. That is why gentiles were created,” Rabbi Yosef, Sha Party, Jerusalem Post, 2011

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"An example of the use of the Jewish code words Esau and Jacob is found in a sermon preached by Rabbi Leon Spitz during the Purim observances in 1946 (quoted here from the American Hebrew of March 1, 1946) : "Let Esau whine and wail and protest to the civilized world, and let Jacob raise his hand to fight the good fight. The anti-Semite . . . understands but one language, and he must be dealt with on his own level. The Purim Jews stood up for their lives. American Jews, too. must come to grips with our contemporary anti-Semites. We must fill our jails with anti-Semitic gangsters. We must fill our insane asylums with anti-Semitic lunatics. We must combat every alien. Jew-hater. We must Harass and prosecute our Jew-baiters to the extreme limits of the laws. We must humble and shame our anti-Semitic hoodlums to such an extent that none will wish or dare to become (their) 'fellow-travelers'.

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This is what Trotsky, a Jew, was preparing for the Russians for the implementation of Communism, which Marx based on the Babylonian Talmud for Gentiles:

"We should turn Her (Russia) into a desert populated with white Niggers. We will impose upon them such a tyranny that was never dreamt by the most hideous despots of the East. The peculiar trait of that tyranny is that it will be enacted from the left rather than the right and it will be red rather than white in color.

Its color will be red literally because we would spill such torrents of blood that they will pale all human losses of the capitalist wars and make the survivors shudder.

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Remember my children, that all the earth must belong to us Jews, and that the gentiles, being mere excrements of animals, must possess nothing. ~ Mayer Amschel Rothschild on his deathbed, 1812

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The largest overseas banks will cooperate with us most closely. If we win the Revolution and squash Russia, on the funeral pyres of its remains we will strengthen the power of Zionism and become a power the whole world would drop in the face of on its knees. We will show the world what real power means.

By way of terror and blood baths we will bring the Russian intelligentsia into a state of total stupor, to idiocy, to the animal state of being. So far our young men dressed in leather ~ the sons of watch repair men from Odessa and Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitza ~ oh, how beautifully, how brilliantly do they master hatred of everything Russian! With what a great delight do they physically destroy the Russian intelligentsia ~ officers, engineers, teachers, priests, generals, agronomists, academicians, writers!" ~ Secret Forces in History of Russia. U.K. Begunov 1995, p 148

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One of the finest things ever done by the mob was the Crucifixion of Christ. Intellectually it was a splendid gesture. But trust the mob to bungle the job. If I’d had charge of executing Christ, I’d have handled it differently. You see, what I’d have done was had him shipped to Rome and fed him to the lions. They could never have made a saviour out of mincemeat!”~ Rabbi Ben Hecht

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The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks.”~ Al Goldstein (publisher of Screw Magazine).

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"The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews ~ all of them in all different levels ~ is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle." ~ Rabbi Kook, the Elder, father of the messianic tendency of Jewish fundamentalism, said

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"You have not begun to appreciate the depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We are subverters. We have taken your natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them. We have been at the bottom of not merely the latest Great War, but of every other major revolution in your history.

We have brought discord and confusion and frustration into your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No one can tell how long we shall go on doing it. Who knows what great and glorious destiny might have been yours if we had left you alone." ~ Marclis Eli Ravage, Century Magazine February, 1926.

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"The United Nations is nothing but a trap-door to the Red World's immense concentration camp. We pretty much control the U.N." ~ Harold Wallace Rosenthal, Zionist, The Hidden Tyranny

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Very soon, every American will be required to register their biological property (that’s you and your children) in a national system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging. By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will affect our security as a charge back for our fiat paper currency.

Every American will be forced to register or suffer being able to work and earn a living. They will be our chattels (property) and we will hold the security interest over them forever, by operation of the law merchant under the scheme of secured transactions. Americans, by unknowingly or unwittingly delivering the bills of lading (Birth Certificate) to us will be rendered bankrupt and insolvent, secured by their pledges.

They will be stripped of their rights and given a commercial value designed to make us a profit and they will be none the wiser, for not one man in a million could ever figure our plans and, if by accident one or two should figure it out, we have in our arsenal plausible deniability.

After all, this is the only logical way to fund government, by floating liens and debts to the registrants in the form of benefits and privileges. This will inevitably reap us huge profits beyond our wildest expectations and leave every American a contributor to this fraud, which we will call “Social Insurance.”

Without realizing it, every American will unknowingly be our servant, however begrudgingly. The people will become helpless and without any hope for their redemption and we will employ the high office (presidency) of our dummy corporation (USA) to foment this plot against America.” ~ American traitor, the Jew Edward Mandell House giving a very detailed outline of the New World Order plans that were to be implemented gradually over time to enslave the American people ... A PLAN THAT HAS BEEN REPEATED IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA, BRITAIN AND ELSEWHERE.

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"You throw a little Jewish on top of that, you got trouble. You got a bunch of wild, crazy energy.

"Sorry that doesn't sound hippie. Sorry that doesn't sound like communal jubilant fun. Sorry I'm not a Pepper. Sorry I didn't pop out of a soda-pop ad, and life is just one big fucking cabaret, because a lot of what propelled Van Halen, what compels me and propels me is precisely this element. It's fury. If you approach me with anti-Semetic preconceptions, I'm not here to re-educate. I come from a whole different school of thought. If you don't get it on the first try, fuck you.

"I once heard somebody say to the Van Halens, "You guys play the music; the Jew sells it." Well, you're fucking right. And now that I'm gone, Van Halen stinks. Okay?

"Want to know why some of my contributions to Van Halen sound like they do? Didn't come from a smiling place in my soul. Not at all.

"Nobody ever said to Mick Jagger, "So, Mick, you're Episcopalian, aren't you?" Nobody ever took Jimi Hendrix aside and said, "So, Jimi, you're a Baptist, aren't you?" Much less start off the interview that way.

"Every step I took on that stage was smashing some Jew-hating, lousy punk ever deeper into the deck. Every step. I jumped higher 'cause I knew there was going to be more impact when I hit those boards. And if you were even vaguely anti-Semetic, you were under my wheels, motherfucker. That's where the lyrics came from, that's where the body language came from, that's where the humor came from, and where the fuck you came from. All equally as important. You want to know the ingredients? Don't ask if you don't want to know.

"What you get from repression and what you get from hatred is fury, and fury was one of the main trigger points for the great Van Halen. What you see now is a bunch of buffoons waddling around at the family barbecue, and their wives admonishing the children saying, "Don't worry, Daddy's just had a few too many Coors Lights and he's imitating what he used to do for a living when he played music, honey."

"What's missing is the testosterone. What's missing is the fury. What's missing is the passionate convicted commitment. And I got a lot of mine from my religious background. So y'all best stop imagining the way Dr. Zorba looked, or some defenseless Hasidic Jew with a little yarmulke on his head, 'cause that ain't here for you." ~ David Lee Roth

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Rabbi Isaac Wise, in The Israelite of America writes, “Masonry is a Jewish institution whose history, degrees, charges, passwords, and explanations are Jewish from beginning to end

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“We infiltrated the Roman Catholic Church right from the very beginning. Why do you think the Pope, the Cardinals and all the Bishops wear yarlmulkahs? (skullcaps) The white race never figures this out. A thousand years later the white race began to wake up ... we had to come up with a plan B ... so we formed the Jesuits. There was a nice boy, Ignatius Loyola. He started the Jesuits.” (Loyola was Jewish. Research/read the Jesuit Extreme Oath) Regarding the Jesuits, quoting Rabbi Finkelstein

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Does worship of the Talmud pervade Judaism globally? Herman Wouk, Orthodox Jew and famed author of The Cain Mutiny, affirms, “The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, ceremonies we observe ~ whether we are Orthodox, Reform,Conservative, or merely spasmodic sentimentalists ~ we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.”

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From Jews Must Liveby Samuel Roth, pg. 22. “The organ is diseased. This disease is a sort of moral gonorrhea known as Judaism, which, alas, seems to be incurable. If you have any doubts, look at any Jew ridden country in Europe. If you need to be further convinced, take a look at what is happening in the United States.”

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“Every synagogue we Jews build in a Christian country is a finger of scorn we point at our hosts; a sore finger we stick into their eyes, like the leering of a senile old woman who does all sorts of foul mischief before you, and feels safe in the knowledge that you will not lay hands on her for fear of contamination.” ibid., pg.

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Sen. Al Franken: One of the widely disseminated stories was that no Jews died in the collapse of the Trade Towers because they had received calls telling them not to go to work that day.

To tell you the truth, I got the Jew call. I had an office in the Trade Center where I used to do most of my writing. The call came from former New York mayor Ed Koch. “Al,” he told me, “don’t go to work on the twenty-third day of Elul [September 11, 2001.].”


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Tell me, do the evil men of this world have a bad time? They hunt and catch whatever they feel like eating. They don’t suffer from indigestion and are not punished by Heaven. I want Israel to join that club. Maybe the world will then at last begin to fear us…Maybe they will start to tremble, to fear our madness instead of admiring our nobility. Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy, that we might go wild and burn all the oil fields in the Middle East, or that we might start World War Three just like that. ~ Ariel Sharon