Those Who Refuse to Learn (Recent) History

Canada’s Parliament legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, but Canada’s evangelicals are just now arriving to the party, celebrating the same unprincipled political action that American evangelicals so dearly love.

“With the legalization of gay marriage, faith has been violated and we’ve been forced to respond,” said Charles McVety, a leader of several evangelical Christian organizations that oppose gay marriage and president of the Canada Christian College in Toronto.

Remember, the legislation already passed, so this is a tad late. A little retroactive anger is always good for a free society. But more to the point, how has faith been violated? I’m fairly certain that Canada’s law does not require churches to perform same-sex marriages. There is no civil issue.

Though the expected vote in Parliament will not decide whether to rescind the gay marriage legislation, but instead whether members wish to reopen the issue for debate, it remains significant for the Christian right and the government.

For leaders of the Christian right, the vote is a chance to get the marriage issue back on the government’s agenda and to get a better sense of where individual politicians, especially newly elected ones, stand. They have adopted that strategy in part because they say that the vote in Parliament will be difficult to win.

For Mr. Harper and his Conservative Party, the vote is an attempt to appease the religious social conservatives who form the core of the support for his minority government without losing moderate voters who want to avoid the issue.

Didn’t the U.S. already try this basic idea, except with a majority government? Don’t recent indications suggest that it’s a failed long- medium-termed strategy for building and maintaining a majority? At least we know that America’s new “conservatives” aren’t the only big-government statists who’ve co-opted the term.