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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

October 10, 2012

RE: Evangelical Christians find a home in Conservative politics, October 10, 2012

To the editor of The Globe and Mail,

Once again Jeffery Simpson has taken aim at evangelical Christians. He acknowledges using generalizations to describe evangelicals, but proceeds nevertheless to paint a picture that is fuzzy and misleading.

Yes, evangelicals tend to vote Conservative, however many vote NDP and some still vote Liberal! In fact, in Ontario the NDP finds greater support among evangelicals than from adherents of traditional Protestant churches.

Yes, evangelicals affirm the sanctity of human life. Yes, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) supported a private member’s motion to have a reasonable Parliamentary study and conversation about when human life begins.

This same affirmation of life compels us to engage on matters of life, including poverty and homelessness. Evangelicals respond through a myriad of social programs offered by churches and evangelical organizations. The EFC has also supported calls for federal initiatives such as a national housing strategy.

That one issue (care for the unborn) is seen to be on the political right, and the other (care for the poor and homeless) on the political left, simply illustrates that the political categories of left and right are too simplistic when applied to religious communities – particularly evangelical Christians.  

Far from being partisan, The EFC has supported private member’s bills and motions from NDP, Liberal and Conservative MPs; as well as select government initiatives through successive Liberal and Conservative governments. In law and public policy, our focus as a religious community is on the principle, not the party.

Politically aggressive? Well, no different in getting out and voting than other Canadians.  In addition, however, we are socially engaged; volunteering more and giving more to charitable causes than the typical Canadian.

Simpson acknowledges the mainstream media tend to be secularists, either private about their faith or with no religious faith at all, and therefore minimize or miss the importance of religion in politics. This is indeed an oversight that needs to be corrected. The interconnections between religion and politics have shaped Canadian history and it is a story that continues. In fact, it’s a complex storyline that warrants careful study and fair reporting.

Bruce Clemenger
President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada


Letter as printed in The Globe and Mail.

Outgoing Letters

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EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

   
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