Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oh, Thomas Mulcair. What Would Tommy Douglas Think?

Consider this a tale of two Tommys.

One Tommy was a government Minister in Quebec. The other Tommy was the Premier of Saskatchewan. One Tommy is the current leader of the federal NDP. The other Tommy is a former leader of the federal NDP. In fact, he was the first NDP leader. One Tommy seems to have a mad-on for evangelical Christians. The other was an evangelical Christian. In fact, he was a baptist minister.

Of course we're talking about Thomas Mulcair and Tommy Douglas.

Tommy Douglas passed away in 1986. Thomas Mulcair stepped in it in 2013.

See, Mulcair is upset that Christian Crossroads Communications -- the same company that produces 100 Huntley Street -- recently received a CIDA grant of approximately $500,000 to drill and repair water wells in Uganda. He's very angry about it because CCC considers homosexuality to be sinful -- an opinion that, for the record, I disagree with -- and on those grounds he thinks that CCC should not receive the grant.

Mulcair declared that evangelical Christians "go against" Canadian values.

So what does that say about Douglas, the man who NDP campaigning propelled to the summit of the CBC's "greatest Canadian" poll?

Mulcair might not like the answer. First off, Douglas was not only a Baptist -- which is an evangelical denomination of Christianity -- but he was in fact a Baptist minister. And Baptists are hardly known for their tolerance of homosexuality.

Then, of course, there's Douglas himself. Now, he didn't believe that homosexuality is sinful, as the folks at CCC do. Rather, he believed homosexuality is a mental illness.

So now, nearly two years after Mark Bonokoski first asked the question, we must ask it again: is Tommy Douglas still the Greatest Canadian? Or, perhaps we must ask this question differently: does Thomas Mulcair, of all people, still think that Tommy Douglas is still the Greatest Canadian?

Keep in mind that Douglas' position -- that homosexuals should be treated with sympathy -- isn't all that different from CCC's. They condemn anyone who uses violence against homosexuals.

Which, sadly, isn't as Mulcair has it. "We don't understand how the Conservatives can ... subsidize a group in Uganda whose views are identical to those of the Ugandan government," he declared. But considering that  the government of Uganda is -- and should remain -- under fire for their infamous "kill the gays" bill, and CCC opposes the use of violence against homosexuals, we can already see that isn't the case.

Unfortunately for Thomas Mulcair, this is more egg on the face of an opposition leader whose face is already looking very eggy indeed.

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