B.C. MP Lunney quits Tory caucus to defend his Christian views on evolution

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B.C. MP Lunney quits Tory caucus to defend his Christian views on evolution

The Canadian Press — Mar 31 2015

OTTAWA - British Columbia MP James Lunney quit the Conservative caucus Tuesday so that he can more freely defend his religious beliefs.

In a statement, Lunney said he's leaving voluntarily so as not to entangle his Tory colleagues in controversy over his beliefs regarding evolution.

He will sit as an Independent but continue to vote with the ruling Conservatives, he said.

Lunney's decision was sparked by reaction to remarks he made last month, which he says were inflated by the media and became part of a "firestorm of criticism and condemnation" surrounding two Ontario politicians who do not believe in the theory of evolution.

"In a society normally proud of embracing difference, the role of the media and partisan politics in inciting social bigotry and intolerance should be questioned," he said.

Late last month, Lunney defended two Progressive Conservative members of the Ontario legislature, tweeting that he has no problem describing evolution as "scientific theory" but that people should stop calling it fact.

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More:

http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/03/31/b-c-mp-lunney-quits-tory-cau...

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Editorial: James Lunney's religious freedom

March 31, 2015

OTTAWA CITIZEN EDITORIAL BOARD

Add MP James Lunney to the list of people who somehow have come to believe they’re being persecuted — that indeed, their fundamental human rights are under threat — when people disagree with them on Twitter.

Lunney has withdrawn from the Conservative caucus. In a statement, he said he made the choice so that he would have greater latitude to defend his Christian beliefs in the House of Commons without the “circling trolls” affecting his Conservative colleagues. He referred to “a few words exchanged on social media becoming a news story. Those few words were Lunney’s tweets from February that included the exhortation to “stop calling evolution fact!”

Lunney is, of course, entitled to believe whatever he likes about evolution. He is allowed to question the science of climate change, too — and in fact, he has. He is allowed to give credence to crackpot theories linking vaccines to autism — and in fact, he has.

But no one is entitled to have their views met with unquestioning support or even uncomfortable silence from voters, from political parties, from the media, from people on Twitter, or from anyone else. “It is clear that any politician or candidate of faith is going to be subjected to the same public scrutiny in coming elections,” Lunney laments, as if public scrutiny of candidates for public office were a bad thing.

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More:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/james-lunney-religious-freedom

 

Mr. Magoo

I love how religious k00Ks have managed to convince themselves that errybody is out to get them.

Here's why, k00Ks:  you believe that everything that happens in the world is the action of an invisible, omnipotent, always male superhero who lives in outer space and grants wishes to anyone who can think them loudly enough.

Quote:
"In a society normally proud of embracing difference, the role of the media and partisan politics in inciting social bigotry and intolerance should be questioned," he said.

Society has NEVER celebrated the "difference" between 2+2=4, and 2+2=5.

It's not bigotry to have a chuckle at people who genuinely believe the universe is 6000 years old any more than it's bigotry to smirk at the few people left who believe the earth is a flat disc.

That said, reluctant props to Lunney for letting his freak flag fly.  Better than the k00Ks who don't *even* have the courage of their convictions.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I love the way these fascist theocratic scumbags use the language of oppression and diversity to draw attention to their lost causes. What a crybaby!

NorthReport

I love how this could become another NDP seat

I hope they are moving on it now!

Brachina

 Am I the only one who would love it if he became the leader of the Christian Hertiage party, we could have yet another party at the debates! :-) 

Aristotleded24

I wonder if this will do anything to the Christian right-wing support base the Conservatives have relied upon all these years? In a minority situation, Harper always had the ability to say, "we can't get this through on our own, just give us some time," but now that he hasn't outright acted on many issues (and in fact, his Cabinet has often voted against socially conservative initiatives brought from the back benches) and I wonder if these people are becoming disillusioned to the point of questioning their support for Harper?

Debater

Good question, Aristotle.

According to Charles McVety (Canada Christian College & Institute for Canadian Values), some social conservatives are becoming disenchanted with Harper.

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Lunney bolts CPC caucus amid social conservative disenchantment with Harper

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2015/03/31/when-we-are-not-happy-we-dont-vote-so...

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MP James Lunney quits Tory caucus so he can defend his faith

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/mp-james-lunney-quits-tory-caucus...

 

NorthReport

Unfortunately this will only help Harper and give him more credibility! Too bad!

 

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Throw in 

June 5, 2013 Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert Independent Voluntarily left the Conservative caucus, citing the Conservative party's "lack of commitment to transparency and open government""

 

Mike Duffy,Pamela Wallin, Nigel Wright thingies,

vets talking of voting ABC (Anybody But Sonservativer),

 as well as C-51

 

and the Unite the Right may become undone. small c conservatives may stay home or go rogue- vote indpendent CHP,Green,  NDP< Liberal.

 

If people want to stop Harper next election- there are better strategic things to do than trying to persusade New Democrats to vote Liberal or Liberals to vote NDP.  We need to work on some of the people who have voted Big C Consevitive in the past  to not do that this time.=stay home ,vote indpendent CHP,Green,  NDP, Liberal whatever works for you.

 

 

Debater

Here's a video of Power & Politics today.  The Lunney topic starts at about the 1 hour mark.

Power Panel:

Althia Raj, Huffington Post

Ian Capstick (NDP)

Amanda Alvarro (Liberal)

Geoff Norquay (Conservative)

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/ID/2661738101/

cco

And comparing it to the niqab debate. Y'know what, Mr. Lunney? Nobody's denying you citizenship for being Christian. Nobody's locking you up for being Christian. Nobody's beating you in the streets for being Christian. You haven't even lost an election for being Christian. You just happen to have some insane anti-science beliefs, and somehow, the fact that those beliefs have been exposed to your voters -- the people you ostensibly work for -- is discriminating against you. When, oh when, can someone who's openly Christian be prime minister?

Debater

James Lunney was the focus of Power & Politics tonight.

He was interviewed by Evan Solomon.

Then the Power Panel weighed in afterwards.

There was a debate with Ian Capstick vs. Charles McVety.

When the video is up I will post it.

Debater

James Lunney defends views on evolution in House of Commons

'It's not freedom of religion if your views are put down by your peers.'

Apr 01, 2015

One day after he announced he was leaving the Conservative caucus to better defend his religious beliefs, Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney attempted to do just that from his new seat in the corner of the House of Commons reserved for independent MPs.

But despite his best efforts, he was unable to convince House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer that the "cyberbullying" and "crowd-shaming" that he claimed to have experienced after questioning the science behind evolution constituted a breach of his parliamentary privilege.

Several colleagues on both the government and opposition sides of the House supported his question of privilege.

The Speaker allowed Lunney just over 10 minutes to deliver a a wide-ranging speech on religious freedom, the history of chiropractic therapy and the "false construct" of evolution, but Scheer eventually shut down the newly independent MP on procedural grounds after Lunney failed to garner the necessary unanimous consent to continue.

On Wednesday, Lunney revealed he had decided to leave the Conservative caucus in order to defend his religious beliefs against what he described as "deliberate attempts to suppress a Christian world-view from professional and economic opportunity in law, medicine, and academia."

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More:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/james-lunney-defends-views-on-evolution-...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

"In a society normally proud of embracing difference, the role of the media and partisan politics in inciting social bigotry and intolerance should be questioned,"

What a fucking lunatic.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
'It's not freedom of religion if your views are put down by your peers.'

Yes, it is.

And FWIW, "science" demands no such immunity from criticism; in fact, it's an essential part of science.

wage zombie

Quote:

"There's a whole generation of kids being taught that what they're taught in Sunday School or in church is garbage, it's wrong, it's false, and it's simply a form of bullying that's no longer acceptable. It's not scientifically tenable, it's a disservice to science… it's not freedom of religion if your views are put down by your peers."

Lunney's defence of religious freedom does not extend to supporting the right of Muslim women to wear the niqab when being sworn in as citizens, however.

I don't see the audio (or video) anywhere, I would think various clips would be highly coveted for sampling in techno tracks.  What a clown.

wage zombie

Quote:

On Wednesday, Lunney revealed he had decided to leave the Conservative caucus in order to defend his religious beliefs against what he described as "deliberate attempts to suppress a Christian world-view from professional and economic opportunity in law, medicine, and academia."

I'm sure he totally supports more opportunity for a wiccan world view in law, medicine, and academia.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
deliberate attempts to suppress a Christian world-view from professional and economic opportunity in law, medicine, and academia.

It's rough, believing in magic and having your hopes and dreams of a career in science dashed.

Christian Archaologist:  "And this so-called 'fossil' was planted by Our Lord, to test our faith.  This other so-called 'fossil' was put here by Lucifer, to tempt us to the dark side..."

Christian Biologist:  "It's not the case that this species of bird 'adapted' to eat the seeds that are locally plentiful.  God, in His infinite wisdom had already planned this when He made sure there was room for this bird in the Ark, and indeed did He not promise to take care of the birds of the air in Matthew, 6:25?..."

Christian Chemist:  "While some heretics might say that combining sodium and water "makes" hydrogen, we must be mindful that God made that hydrogen and left it to man to free it..."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

In my opinion, someone who denies basic scientific facts, like the age of the earth, and the evolution of life, has no place in any important decision making position. It doesn't matter to me whether this denial of demonstrated facts is because of religious beliefs, mental health, or any other cause. Such a person is detached enough from what I regard as reality that I am concerned any decision they make might be based on equally irrational grounds.

Debater

wage zombie wrote:

I don't see the audio (or video) anywhere, I would think various clips would be highly coveted for sampling in techno tracks.  What a clown.

Here's the video of the debate between Ian Capstick and Charles McVety:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power+%26+Politics/ID/2661902488/

When I find the other CBC video clips I will post them.

Debater

Here's the interview with James Lunney on Power & Politics.

Advance the video to the 1 hour, 9 minute mark to find the segment:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/ID/2661899389/

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

In my opinion, someone who denies basic scientific facts, like the age of the earth, and the evolution of life, has no place in any important decision making position. It doesn't matter to me whether this denial of demonstrated facts is because of religious beliefs, mental health, or any other cause. Such a person is detached enough from what I regard as reality that I am concerned any decision they make might be based on equally irrational grounds.

Extreme-right parties and organizations commonly use Christian themes, as did the warrior kings before them.

The somewhat emotionally troubled MP will claim freedom of speech, which will be painful for all of us to see. The Christian Heritage Party will meddle.

jas

Michael Moriarity wrote:
In my opinion, someone who denies basic scientific facts, like the age of the earth, and the evolution of life, has no place in any important decision making position.

I tend to be of the same sentiment, however this would deny democracy.

We currently have sitting members of Parliament, and Congress, who support the notion that steel-framed highrises can plummet to the street from upper floor damage and one-hour fires. This is gobsmacking enough. Yet others get their undies in a twist over creationists. What, pray tell, is the difference?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Regarding 9/11 truthers, I adopt the position stated by Chomsky in this video.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
We currently have sitting members of Parliament, and Congress, who support the notion that steel-framed highrises can plummet to the street from upper floor damage and one-hour fires.

Pffft!  Everyone knows heat can't weaken steel.

[IMG]http://i58.tinypic.com/rbckeo.jpg[/IMG]

jas

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Regarding 9/11 truthers, I adopt the position stated by Chomsky in this video.

I agree with him there as well for the most part, since he states that, regarding the WTC destruction, he will defer to the experts.

However, a lot of people found his statements about activism being a 'risk-free' activity a little puzzling. I think it probably doesn't sound like a real-world observation.

Rev Pesky

In addition to the picture posted by Mr. Magoo, I'd like to point out that the structure of the World Trade Center towers was such that the individual floors could only support their own weight. Each floor was 'hung' on the external framework. All it would take to collapse the whole building would be the loss of a single floor (one floor falling onto the floor below it).

Given the damage to at least one floor was extensive, - the floor(s) hit directly by the aircraft - then further weakened by the fire it really doesn't strain credulity to say the building collapsed because of the aircraft hitting it. As soon as one floor collapsed, the rest followed, and it didn't matter where in the structure the first collapse took place. The top floor or the bottom floor, it wouldn't make any difference.

 

 

jas

Hi Rev. As I understand it, floor failure was considered in the end not to be the failure mechanism for the towers. According to Kevin Ryan, there's a specific reason for that. 

So as not to further derail the topic of creationists in the HoC, I will post Ryan's video presentation "A New Standard for Deception" in the 9/11 reports 2 thread for your perusal.  Or if I don't get around to it, you can search it.

sherpa-finn

Actually, I don't begrudge Mr Lunney leaving the Con caucus and going all creationist for six months before he retires. If only some Lib or NDPer would similarly throw off the yoke of party discipline and go all Occupy or Palestinian or Idle No More for 6 months.

I think it would be great to see a more diverse (and in many cases, more representative) set of voices in the House, going waaaay "off-script" for a change.   It would do the country good, IMHO.

Sean in Ottawa

sherpa-finn wrote:

Actually, I don't begrudge Mr Lunney leaving the Con caucus and going all creationist for six months before he retires. If only some Lib or NDPer would similarly throw off the yoke of party discipline and go all Occupy or Palestinian or Idle No More for 6 months.

I think it would be great to see a more diverse (and in many cases, more representative) set of voices in the House, going waaaay "off-script" for a change.   It would do the country good, IMHO.

I agree with all of this.

It also serves to provide insight into what SOME of these Conservatives really think. The exposure of that is a public service. Lunney is not the only one with these views and they should be seen since they are part of the biases of current cabinet members.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I love that Lunney's request to speak before parliament received support "from both sides of the House." Lol, I bet it did!

I can't believe Peter Julien shut him down at the 10-minute mark. There was far more rope still to go around at that point.

Sean in Ottawa

Catchfire wrote:

I love that Lunney's request to speak before parliament received support "from both sides of the House." Lol, I bet it did!

I can't believe Peter Julien shut him down at the 10-minute mark. There was far more rope still to go around at that point.

Hear hear.

Yes he should have been given enough rope to hang his whole party.

thorin_bane

Rev Pesky wrote:

In addition to the picture posted by Mr. Magoo, I'd like to point out that the structure of the World Trade Center towers was such that the individual floors could only support their own weight. Each floor was 'hung' on the external framework. All it would take to collapse the whole building would be the loss of a single floor (one floor falling onto the floor below it).

Given the damage to at least one floor was extensive, - the floor(s) hit directly by the aircraft - then further weakened by the fire it really doesn't strain credulity to say the building collapsed because of the aircraft hitting it. As soon as one floor collapsed, the rest followed, and it didn't matter where in the structure the first collapse took place. The top floor or the bottom floor, it wouldn't make any difference.

 

 

Unless you consider the 93 bombing of the WTC that took out several floors of the basement levels and left the building completely intact. So not sure how a dozen floors above one of the collisions in 2001 is so much more stressful on the frame of the building than blowing up several floors supporting the 110 florrs above it in 1993? Nor does massive fire explain it as seen from vitrually all steel structure buildings that can and have been entirely engulphed in flames but remained standing.

On this I don't agree with chomsky.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

This is not the thread to rehash all our favourite 9/11 truther arguments for old time's sake. Please take it elsewhere, ty.

Sean in Ottawa

The BBC aired a documentary that argued that the reason the towers collapsed was that the fireproofing was not properly done. They used footage from the building showing gaps at key points. They also showed footage from the wreckage showing that the structural failures occured where the fire proofing was insufficient.They claimed that fire inspections had raised the issue that the buildings were not up to code. Finally they claimed that there was indeed a coverup becuase there were massive liabilites given that this caused more deaths than the initial impact and fire. The BBC also looked at the political connections of those who were responsible.

The documentary was banned in the United States.

It is possible that the US government prefers the crazy conspiracy theories suggeting they did it to themselves etc. as these distract attention from this issue where they are much more vulnerable.

I found the documentary very credible and have watched with some dismay as nutty theories have sucked all the air out of any examination of this.