The Armageddon Factor: The Rise Of Christian Nationalism In Canada

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The Armageddon Factor: The Rise Of Christian Nationalism In Canada

by Marci Mcdonald

Random House of Canada | May 11, 2010 | Hardcover

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In her new book, award-winning journalist Marci McDonald draws back the curtain on the mysterious world of the right-wing Christian nationalist movement in Canada and its many ties to the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.
 
To most Canadians, the politics of the United States - where fundamentalist Christians wield tremendous power and culture wars split the country - seem too foreign to ever happen here. But The Armageddon Factor shows that the Canadian Christian right - infuriated by the legalization of same-sex marriage and the increasing secularization of society - has been steadily and stealthily building organizations, alliances and contacts that have put them close to the levers of power and put the government of Canada in their debt.
 
Determined to outlaw homosexuality and abortion, and to restore Canada to what they see as its divinely determined destiny to be a nation ruled by Christian laws and precepts, this group of true believers has moved the country far closer to the American mix of politics and religion than most Canadians would ever believe.
 
McDonald's book explores how a web of evangelical far-right Christians have built think-tanks and foundations that play a prominent role in determining policy for the Conservative government of Canada. She shows how Biblical belief has allowed Christians to put dozens of MPs in office and to build a power base across the country, across cultures and even across religions.
 
"What drives that growing Christian nationalist movement is its adherents' conviction that the end times foretold in the book of Revelation are at hand," writes McDonald. "Braced for an impending apocalypse, they feel impelled to ensure that Canada assumes a unique, scripturally ordained role in the final days before the Second Coming - and little else."
 
The Armageddon Factor shows how the religious right's influence on the Harper government has led to hugely important but little-known changes in everything from foreign policy and the makeup of the courts to funding for scientific research and social welfare programs like daycare. And the book also shows that the religious influence is here to stay, regardless of which party ends up in government.
 
For those who thought the religious right in Canada was confined to rural areas and the west, this book is an eye-opener, outlining to what extent the corridors of power in Ottawa are now populated by true believers. For anyone who assumed that the American religious right stopped at the border, The Armageddon Factor explains how US money and evangelists have infiltrated Canadian politics.
 
This book should be essential reading for Canadians of every religious belief or political stripe. Indeed, The Armageddon Factor should persuade every Canadian that, with the growth of such a movement, the future direction of the country is at stake.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 432 pages, 3.66 × 2.46 × 0.57 in

Published: May 11, 2010

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307356469

ISBN - 13: 9780307356468

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– More About This Product –

The Armageddon Factor: The Rise Of Christian Nationalism In Canada

by Marci Mcdonald

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 432 pages, 3.66 × 2.46 × 0.57 in

Published: May 11, 2010

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307356469

ISBN - 13: 9780307356468

About the Book

Documents the extent of the influence that the religious right already wields in Canada and shows how, quietly, often stealthily, it has provoked far-reaching changes in Canadian policies and institutions, including our public service, our schools and our courts.

Read from the Book

GOD’S DOMINION I     On a sun-dappled Saturday in the summer of 2008, a thousand young people throng the lawns of the Parliament Buildings in a classic picture-postcard tableau. Against the iconic backdrop of the Peace Tower, toddlers race through the crowd trailing rainbow streamers and a fresh-faced blonde stretches out under an umbrella to breastfeed her plump newborn. As the compelling rhythms of an electronic keyboard pound over the loudspeakers and a dance troupe swoops across an impromptu stage twirling oversized maple-leaf parasols, an onlooker might be forgiven for assuming that Ottawa’s tourist bureau orchestrated the idyllic scene. Then a young woman in a maple-leaf T-shirt shatters that perception with an anguished wail. “Father, save us!” she implores from the microphone, tears coursing down her cheeks. “Hear our cry!”   As her sobs erupt into the incantations of an old-time revival, it suddenly becomes clear that this is no occasion for celebration or national pride. For the conservative Christians who have flocked to Parliament Hill for this day-long fast and prayerfest called Thecry, it is a concerted, eleventh-hour plea for the repentance and reformation of a nation they believe is headed straight to the hellfires of damnation for having betrayed its divinely appointed destiny—a destiny spelled out in the national motto, Psalm 72:8, chiselled around the neo-Gothic windows of the Peace Tower: “He s
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Table of Contents

Preface
 
I: God's Dominion
II: Coat of Many Colours
III: Serpents and Doves
IV: Watchmen on the Walls
V: Rocking the Vote
VI: In the Beginning
VII: Raising the Joshua Generation
VIII: The Electronic Pulpit
IX: Judgment Day
X: The Armageddon Factor
XI: Here to Stay
 
Acknowledgements
Source Notes
Index

From the Publisher

In her new book, award-winning journalist Marci McDonald draws back the curtain on the mysterious world of the right-wing Christian nationalist movement in Canada and its many ties to the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.
 
To most Canadians, the politics of the United States - where fundamentalist Christians wield tremendous power and culture wars split the country - seem too foreign to ever happen here. But The Armageddon Factor shows that the Canadian Christian right - infuriated by the legalization of same-sex marriage and the increasing secularization of society - has been steadily and stealthily building organizations, alliances and contacts that have put them close to the levers of power and put the government of Canada in their debt.
 
Determined to outlaw homosexuality and abortion, and to restore Canada to what they see as its divinely determined destiny to be a nation ruled by Christian laws and precepts, this group of true believers has moved the country far closer to the American mix of politics and religion than most Canadians would ever believe.
 
McDonald's book explores how a web of evangelical far-right Christians have built think-tanks and foundations that play a prominent role in determining policy for the Conservative government of Canada. She shows how Biblical belief has allowed Christians to put dozens of MPs in office and to build a power base across the country, across cultures and even across religions.
 
"What drives that growing Christian nationalist movement is its adherents' conviction that the end times foretold in the book of Revelation are at hand," writes McDonald. "Braced for an impending apocalypse, they feel impelled to ensure that Canada assumes a unique, scripturally ordained role in the final days before the Second Coming - and little else."
 
The Armageddon Factor shows how the religious right's influence on the Harper government has led to hugely important but little-known changes in everything from foreign policy and the makeup of the courts to funding for scientific research and social welfare programs like daycare. And the book also shows that the religious influence is here to stay, regardless of which party ends up in government.
 
For those who thought the religious right in Canada was confined to rural areas and the west, this book is an eye-opener, outlining to what extent the corridors of power in Ottawa are now populated by true believers. For anyone who assumed that the American religious right stopped at the border, The Armageddon Factor explains how US money and evangelists have infiltrated Canadian politics.
 
This book should be essential reading for Canadians of every religious belief or political stripe. Indeed, The Armageddon Factor should persuade every Canadian that, with the growth of such a movement, the future direction of the country is at stake.

About the Author

MARCI McDONALD is one of Canada''s most respected journalists. The winner of eight gold National Magazine Awards, she is also the recipient of the Canadian Association of Journalists'' investigative feature award. A former bureau chief for Maclean''s in Paris and Washington, she has interviewed Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton, and spent five more years in the United States as a senior writer for US News & World Report. A winner of the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, her study of the backstage machinations behind the free trade deal led to her book, Yankee Doodle Dandy: Brian Mulroney and the America Agenda. Her controversial cover story in the Walrus, "Stephen Harper and the TheoCons," inspired this book.

Bookclub Guide

1. Do you think Canada should follow the US example of officially separating church and state?

2. Give some examples of how Stephen Harper has had to walk a tightrope between the beliefs of his religious right supporters and the mainstream public? For example, why did Harper rush through a vote on reopening same-sex marriage?

3. Based on Chapter 2, how much do you think the formation of religious organizations and think tanks in Ottawa has been linked to groups in the US? How much has same-sex marriage in Canada worried religious groups in the US?

4. In Chapter 4, why do some Christians believe Canada has a divinely ordained role to play in the end times and how does a group like the Watchmen come to believe this? How does Canada's national motto fit into this belief?

5. How have Israel and links with Jewish groups become such a factor in Christian evangelism? How has biblical prophecy played into this and what else do conservative Christians and Jews have in common?

6. What would Christian nationalists like to see for Canada in the future?

7. In Chapter 7, what was the motivation behind the formation of Patrick Henry College in the States and Trinity Western University in Canada? How are they influencing their countries' political futures?

8. In Chapter 9, do you agree with Timothy Bloedow that human rights commissions are stifling free speech and beliefs, especially Christian speech and beliefs? Should free speech, as in the Stephen Boissoin case, trump human rights concerns and legislation?

9. How do you think immigration and the changing face of Canada's population will affect religious involvement in politics? Will the Conservatives be able to attract a large number of those voters?

10. Should the government download some or all of its social programs to faith-based organizations?

11. What issues do you think the Christian right will want to address in the future? For example, how much do you think issues like the right to die and technology will feature in the next few years? Will issues like homosexuality and same-sex marriage or abortion ever cease to be divisive?

12. Is it possible Canada could become as embroiled in vicious "culture wars" between the religious right and the mainstream as the US?

13. Should the Liberals and the NDP make an attempt to attract the religious vote and build a religious left? Do you think there's a danger in this?

14. Has reading this book changed the way you might vote in the next election?

15. Do you think the information in this book would affect the way the average Canadian would vote?

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