Ottawa — Christian activists have secured Conservative nominations in clusters of ridings from Vancouver to Halifax -- a political penetration that has occurred even as the party tries to distance itself from hard-line social conservatism.
At least three riding associations in Nova Scotia, four in British Columbia, and one in suburban Toronto have nominated candidates with ties to groups like Focus on the Family, a Christian organization that opposes same-sex marriage.
But organizers say many more will be on the ballot during the next federal election, a feat achieved by persuading parishioners, particularly new Canadians, to join the party and vote for recommended candidates.
One can almost sense Ms. Galloway's blood running cold with the chill of fear running up her spine, as visions of Bible-bashing theocrats seeking to recreate John Calvin's Geneva dance through her fevered imagination.
But what, pray tell, defines a "Christian activist"?
The NDP has a United Church minister and a former director of a Catholic Worker house in its caucus. Its CCF predecessor was founded by a Methodist minister; a Baptist minister has been its leader. It has had several clerics elected to previous Parliaments, including two Roman Catholic priests.
The Liberals have also had clergymen as candidates and MP's in the past.
Yet neither of these parties have ever been accused of harbouring "religious extremists" with a hidden agenda to create a confessional state.
The not-too-subtle context of this article is a warning to "conservative Christians" (in reality, Protestants from evangelical denominations unaffiliated with mainline liberal denominations) to stay out of the public arena. It is an attempt to impose a religious test for public office, a regressive notion that had been put to rest with the Reform Act of 1832.
At its heart, though, it is an attempt to silence anyone who believes that rights and freedoms are ultimately derived from a source other than the state, which no state may alter, abrogate or redefine.
It is the refusal to worship Caesar that troubles the modern progressive, just as it troubled the Roman pagans.