Saturday, January 31, 2009

Asshat of the Day - January 31st, 2009

Today's Asshats of the Day, collectively, are... the CHP! I've been putting them off for a while, on the basis of "really, really easy targets are unsporting", but their time has come.

Their full title, the Christian Heritage Party (and their sub-nom de plume, "The Right Conservatives!") should give you an idea what this party is about from the get-go, but let's pick apart the asshattery in detail, shall we?

First, there's the tagline present on every page of their site:
The CHP is Canada's only pro-Life, pro-family federal political party, and the only federal party that endorses the principles of the Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canadian Constitution, which says:

"Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law..."

Now, off the bat, they make a really arrogant statement. I'm sure the neoRhinos would claim to be both pro-life and pro-family. In the sense that they are pro-people having a life, and pro-people having a family. Of course, they're also likely to claim to be strawberry jello or figments of your imagination, so I suppose they don't count. Even so, they imply - as most "pro-life, pro-family" types do - that all the other parties want to break up families and kill people (specifically, helpless babies).

Leaving that aside for a moment, let's go into a few more of their more general pages.

Alright, how about here? "Biblical Principles that Guide the Christian Heritage Party of Canada". Yikes. Well, let's have a look:

  • There is one Creator God, eternally existent in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Well, there's probably not. I mean, these guys make some pretty solid counter-apologist arguments against the existence of the Abrahamic God, these guys have a whole index debunking myths about a Creator, and these guys went through that book of yours, pointing out contradictions or blatant falsehoods.

If you want to believe in the Lordship of a dead and possibly mythical figure, feel free - but don't expect sane people to swear fealty to you if you're swearing fealty to ghosts above all others.

  • The Holy Bible to be the inspired, inerrant written Word of God and the final authority above all man's laws and government.

Er, aside from the link above above all man's laws? The shady, patriarchal bible-language aside, Leviticus is a nightmare, if you go by its laws. Also, there's the ever-popular Leviticus 11:10, "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you." So no shrimp. If you want to throw Leviticus out, because, well, gee, that was the old testament, I'm just fine with that - but you'd better be ready to welcome in the homosexual community, because guess where all the rules about gay folks are? So either give up shrimp, pork, and rabbit, or give up gay bashing. You can't have it both ways.

  • Civil government to be under the authority of God.

You know, on the whole, I'm alright with this, if it doesn't involve the bible or speaking in tongues. The guy hasn't stuck his head in to ask how things are going in going on two thousand years now, and I don't think he's likely to start, so if they want to make a big beard in the sky the authority over the Supreme Court, they can go ahead. They just can't use the Bible, nor can priests of any description claim to have heard from Him unless they have a notarized affidavit attesting to the conversation.

The remainder of that page, though tainted with some "biblical principles" this and "Biblical ethics" that, is largely inoffensive. Which is good, given the content of the rest of the site!

Going through their Policy at length would be an essay in itself, so I'll just pick and choose some of the most horrendous verbiage.

  1. The Canadian Nation
    • 1.0.1 NATIONAL IDENTITY - "In the interests of national identity and stability, we believe it is wise to enhance public appreciation for God’s role in Canada's unique history, laws, freedoms, political structure, resources, economic opportunities, all of which reflect Canada’s Christian heritage."

      Er, sorry, what? Our laws, freedoms, and economic opportunities are in no way the providence of some Creator - that is what was achieved by labour and effort, over years. The resources, I'll leave - I've already expressed my skepticism as to the role of your God in any great act of Creation.

      Look, guys, I realize you're a one-trick pony as a party, but seriously, this is embarrassing.

  2. National Sovereignty
    • 2.1.6 RECRUITMENT - "In general, admission to Canada's armed forces should be open to all applicants who are of the age of eighteen (18) years and who are resident in Canada, in sound physical health and not practicing either unnatural or immoral lifestyles. Recruitment should be on a voluntary basis in time of peace, encouragement being given to those wishing to make a career of the service. Conscription in time of war should make provision for conscientious objectors (on religious grounds) to serve their nation in non -combat roles."

      Okay, I have a few issues here. For one thing, we all know what you mean by "unnatural" lifestyles - and despite what your read-along-with-Father book might say, they're every bit as natural as you or I. Second, the only valid conscientious objection is one based on religious grounds?!? While I would willingly defend my country against an aggressor, what about a moral objection to an unjust war that isn't founded in religious twaddle?

    • 2.1.9 - ROLE OF WOMEN - "Without diminishing the worth of the individual, government should respect the inherent God-given differences (physical and psychological) between men and women within the context of national defense. The role of women in the armed forces should be restricted to non-combat roles."

      So, to summarize, "No offense intended, but we're just going to keep you away from any real fighting for your own safety. Not because you're necessarily weaker or less capable with a weapon than our other recruits, but because of your gender." I'm not a huge supporter of the military, but if a person can do a job, where in the hell does gender come in as a consideration?

  3. National Prosperity. This section has so many bible-reference footnotes, I'm not even going to try.

  4. National Finances. This section hardly mentions God at all, and is broadly in line with my own fiscal conservatism. Except, of course, one of their precepts is getting more money into the hands of the taxpayer by means of tax breaks - and we all know how well that works. However, aside from that, very little objectionable here.

  5. Resource Management
    • 5.0.3. GREENHOUSE GASES - "Both water vapour and carbon dioxide at all historical levels be recognized as beneficial greenhouse gases..."

      Water vapour, being mostly a magnifying effect, I'm willing to cede as a neutral greenhouse gas. But beneficial? Are you guys nuts? Oh, wait...

  6. The Law

    Now, there's way too much for me to list here, so I'll just hit the highlights:

    • Original Sin under the law.

    • Consultation of the Bible before making legislation.

    • The Bible's rules are beyond reproach in Parliament.

    • Special government protection for Christian institutions. Not religious, mind you. Just Christian.

    • No euthanasia.

    • Abortions are bad and should never be performed. Not in the event of rape, or hazard to the mother's health. Never.

    • Pornography? Illegal.

    • In-vitro fertilization, sperm donors, and pregnant lesbians? Right out.

    • Gay marriage? Please.

    • One that I have to quote in its entirety, just to emphasize the asshattedness of the policy: "It should be beyond the power of any legislative or administrative body to recognize, affirm, condone, or discriminate in favor of, identifiable sexually aberrant individuals or groups." (Emphasis added.) So not beyond the power of the government to discriminate against. They just can't recognize them publicly. Hm.

    • Mothers should be encouraged to stay home. Not "caregivers", mind. Mothers.

    • Banning the teaching of positive viewpoints on abortion, homosexuality, and the occult, among others.

    • No laws banning hate speech.

    • To reiterate: Porn == Bad.

    • Capital punishment. But not abortion!

    • Laws based on the Bible, rather than current events.


  7. Civil Government

    • 7.0.2. CHURCH AND STATE
      We affirm that government and some belief system are inextricably intertwined, and that faith and government, therefore, cannot be segregated. Though the mandate of church and state are different, we deny that God and His Word should be separate from either institution.

      Seriously. WHAT THE HELL?

    • You know what? It keeps getting worse. So again, I'll try to hit the highlights.

    • Human rights come secondary to the rule of the Bible.

    • Human beings are human beings from conception onwards!

    • Proportional representation. Gee, I wonder why?

    • Want to be a Supreme Court Justice? Then you'd better be a God-fearin' Christian!

  8. The Public Service

    Pretty inoffensive. No mention of God, or of the moral decrepitude that is clearly overwhelming our country.

  9. Welfare Services

    Quick summary: Fewer welfare cases, sex should only be in marriage, because that would stop the spread of STDs.

  10. Arts and Communication


      In view of the awesome power of the media and entertainment industries to shape public sentiment and attitudes, we favor the adoption of national codes of ethics to restore objectivity and to uphold wholesome traditional values. In the past, censorship implied the suppression of legitimate view-points or facts. In our own time 'censorship' is necessary to protect the weak and gullible from the avaricious. Therefore, a code of ethics incumbent on the mass media and entertainment industries, both printed and electronic, is necessary to halt the debauching of public morals, particularly those of the young.

      I am, somehow, unsurprised.

      ... [I]f the media and arts are unable to regulate, by a self-imposed code of decency, those things which are calculated not to inform but to titillate or disinform, then censorship by authority becomes essential.

      Again, I'd like to say I'm surprised that they want to slap a muzzle on media. I'd like to.

      Government support of the arts should continue, but it must not be left aimless -- a condition in which it is susceptible to misuse or abuse by anti-social, anti-religious, immoral or unpatriotic ideologues. Instead, government funding should be targeted to works that ennoble the human spirit, educate, preserve and transmit the values of our culture and the Christian principles upon which they are based, encourage the aspiration to be better human beings, and glorify the Creator.
      (Emphasis added.)

      So, we'll keep paying for the arts - but only the arts that we want the people to see. And yet this is the group who says totalitarian regimes are a bad thing.

      The National Film Board should be reduced to an archival facility with a limited budget to purchase Canadian-made productions which document Canada's culture, history, natural history, and educational standards.

      And as a last bitter stab, we'll go and gut a prominent Canadian institution.

There are hundreds of pages of stuff, which may be revisited in the future, if there's a slow day, but the long and the short of it is that the whole party's insane. They want to turn the clock back to 1920, legally and socially.

News flash, CHP. It's not a lack of proportional representation that's meant your party's never landed a seat in Parliament. It's the fact that your policies are thinly-veiled bigotry, sexism, and theocratic mutterings. It's the fact that you're clearly hypocritical and, frankly, apparently unstable. It is, more than anything else, the fact that you purport to know what everyone needs better than they themselves do.

You want to evangelize? Take a lesson from what happened to the smokers, and so it in the privacy of your own home. Don't take it into a political forum.

Addendum - this is just too juicy.

So, get this. The CHP posted a bit about climate change, the danger of the UN, and the IPCC. If I had an irony meter, it would probably have exploded - take a gander:

Thousands of respected climatologists have raised their voices (and signed a document) in vain to warn that the "science" behind the IPCC's fear-mongering is in fact woefully unscientific: it tolerates no questioning of its basic premise, which is not a scientific orthodoxy but a religious dogma: "Human activity is altering the world's climate, and disaster portends." Saints Gore and Suzuki have uttered the decrees, and doubts are heretical and sinful.

Is it possible that they miss the massive cognitive dissonance involved in a party which defines itself by religion using a comparison with religious dogma to throw science into a negative light?

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