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October 27, 2010

Evangelical Christians, Zionist Jews and the Harper government

The Canadian Charger

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In what is supposed to be a secular democracy, with a clear separation of church and state, one has to wonder how a Canadian evangelical Christian leader named Charles McVety has come to have such influence with the Harper government.

Mr. McVety wears so many hats it's hard to keep track of them all.

He's been president of the Canada Christian College in Toronto since 1993; he's current president of Canada Family Action Coalition, National Chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a sister organization of its American counterpart led by John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Benny Hinn; and he's host of a national television program, on CTS and the Miracle Channel.

Although Mr. McVety's influence over Mr. Harper and his colleagues has been reported in the media, it's difficult to grasp the extent of this influence. 

In November 2006, former Conservative Garth Turner claimed that Mr. McVety had once boasted to him of his influence with Prime Minister Harper, saying, “I can pick up the phone and call Harper and I can get him in two minutes.”

Although Mr. McVety flatly denied this assertion, Mr. Turner firmly reiterated his claim.

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “I always make it clear that Christians are welcome in politics and particularly welcome in our party,” his endorsement has translated into votes.

According to an Ipsos-Reid poll in 2006, 64 percent of weekly Protestant churchgoers — the vast majority of them evangelicals — voted Conservative in the last election, a 24-percent jump from 2004.

For the first time in the history of polling in Canada, Catholics who attend church weekly also shifted a majority of their votes from the Liberals to Mr. Harper’s party. 

Mr. Harper has quietly but determinedly nurtured a coalition of evangelicals, Catholics, and Zionist Jews that brought him to power and that will put every effort into ensuring that he stays there.

After the Conservative victory the Prime Minister's Office asked Mr. McVety to help popularize his child-care plan and on budget day he was the personal guest of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the Commons’ VIP gallery.

Surprisingly, for those who don't share Mr. McVety's and Mr. Harper's views, promoting Mr. McVety's version of family values has paid off politically for the Conservative government.

A recent poll published in the National Post placed the Conservatives far ahead of the Liberals and the NDP in response to the question: “Which party best protects family values?” 

Does this mean the other parties are opposed to family values or they just aren't as good at articulating their message to a target audience?

Moreover, Mr. Harper himself understands how family values can unite people of different faiths, - more specifically evangelical Christians and Zionist Jews - when as Opposition Leader he laid out plans for a new Conservative coalition based on social conservative values that would cross faith lines.

For those who don't understand how this relates to family values, Mr. McVety explains the connection: “Israel is the number one family values issue,” he said. “Where does marriage come from? God. Where does the Bible come from? Israel. The first family of Christianity – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – were all Jewish. Israel is the source of everything we have.”

Moreover, Mr. McVety – National Chairman of the Canadian branch of the CUFI - and his colleagues also use the Bible to justify their unconditional support for Israel.

The CUFI is an American pro- Israel Christian organization – the largest in the US – that defines itself as “a national grassroots movement focused on the support of Israel.”

CUFI's stated objective is “To educate and build Christian support for Israel throughout America: CUFI seeks to rally evangelical Christians in support of Israel for biblical and moral reasons. CUFI pursues this goal through the distribution of literature, DVDs, Middle East Briefings, and holding annual Nights to Honour Israel in communities throughout the country.

However, this type of support for Israel, while appearing to be benign, translates into a call to arms, when CUFI executives deem it necessary.

For example, Reverend John Hagee announced on July 16, 2007, in a speech during the CUFI Washington Summit that he is a proponent of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran in order to save the State of Israel.

And Reverend Hagee is a Texas televangelist who packs 18,000 born-again-Christians into his church every Sunday and whose fire-and-brimstone broadcasts reach an estimated ninety-three million homes around the world.

Meanwhile, Mr. McVety has long faced criticism that he's financed by the US Christian right, an allegation he vehemently denies.

“We haven't seen one American greenback,” Mr. McVety says. Just because the Canada Christian College houses nearly two dozen evangelical organizations, including Oral Roberts Ministries, and just down the hall from Mr. McVety's office he runs John Hagee's Canadian office, selling books and DVD's he claims brings in $1 million a year, is no reason for anyone to jump to conclusions.

Moreover, despite his efforts, Mr. McVety's American colleagues are not satisfied with the results.

“They all say, 'What's happening to you?'” he said. “ 'You're legalizing gay marriage; you're legalizing marijuana. You've become extremists.' “

Mr. McVety's stance on climate change may also help explain Mr. Harper's reluctance to support any meaningful legislation to curb pollution.

Mr. McVety has been very critical of the environmental movement, claiming that it leads to worship of the earth and the abandonment of God.

In the Aug/Sep 2009 issue of Evangelical Canadian magazine he said: “I believe this taxing and trading of air will fund the one world government of the Anti-Christ.”

Imagine the response if a Canadian Muslim leader said such things.

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Dotan Rousso. Holds a Ph.D. in Law—a former criminal prosecutor in Israel. Currently working as a college professor in Canada.

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