Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Ottawa?
Cynicism did not start in this century nor in this country. Rhetorical sarcasm has been recorded through the ages and political satire extends back through the rise and fall of many empires and dynasties. Even in the religious realm, doubt has been often more evident than faith. When Jesus launched his ministry, Nathanael’s first response was, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” The implied answer to his own question was “No.” The correct answer, soon proven by the Lord himself was an emphatic “Yes!” Of course, Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem so it might be that Nathanael’s question should have been, “Can any good thing come through Nazareth?”
Twenty centuries later, it would be tempting to surmise, based on recent history, that not much that is pure and noble and undefiled comes out of the political machinery that is Ottawa today. Roxanne’s Law─designed to protect vulnerable pregnant women from harassment, coercion and intimidation─is defeated and the smug defenders of the abortion industry smile and yawn. Bill C-389, the “Bathroom Bill” passes and the homosexualist lobby groups go back to the drawing board to dream up their next intrusion on decent society. Where is the fight? Where is the verve? Where is the passion for children and families and vulnerable youth? It lies beaten and bruised somewhere on the campaign trail, beaten and left for dead by the latest media spin, doctored opinion polls, partisan positioning and naked political ambition.
Two private members’ bills come to the floor of the house: one brought by government backbencher Rod Bruinooge, and one by soon-retiring homosexual NDP MP, Bill Siksay. The one is to defend innocent life and personal choice, the other to promote transsexual and transgendered acceptance in society, even to the point where “male” and “female”, “man” and “woman” cease to have real meaning for the vulnerable generation now being raised in Canada. The response of the Prime Minister to these two bills was revealing.
Essentially, the failure of the Conservative government to rise up and give moral leadership and direction on these bills is a failure to trust the Canadian voters with the choice between good and evil. After all, if voters failed to recognize moral leadership, then all might be lost. The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper’s aging bid to form a majority government might collapse. No, it seemed better to him and to half of his trusted cabinet to vote against Rod Bruinooge’s bill and make a clear statement that no legislation regarding abortion will ever be considered. Send a message to junior backbenchers that they will receive no support or backing on anything that requires the PM to risk his majority.
As for the opposition MP and his bid to normalize every abnormal sexual appetite and lifestyle? Well these things come to try us. Lay low; don’t say too much. Maybe this thing will go away. If we don’t make a big fuss over it, perhaps the middle-of-the-road voters out there will give us credit for being open-minded. Those who support the hyper-sexualization of our youth, perhaps they will see that we’re not that narrow after all. And in the end, forced to a vote, if Stephen and most of the caucus vote against it, we can at least tell our socially conservative voters and members that “we tried”. That seems like the game plan to an outside observer. Bill C-389 received almost no resistance at Second Reading, it flew through committee in 15 minutes with no meaningful discussion. In a motion of concurrence after committee, five Conservatives voted for it, and ten Conservatives did not bother to vote, including the PM. At Third Reading, Mr. Harper was present and dutifully voted against it but still six of his caucus, including high-profile John Baird (hand-picked by Harper for his tenacity as well as his pugnacity) and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. Eleven caucus members did not vote. The bill passed by eight votes.
So can any good thing come out of Ottawa? Massive deficit spending, government sponsored Gardasil vaccinations of young girls, intrusions into the health food and natural supplements industry, more taxpayer-subsidized junk mail, this time from the Senate, partisan bickering and blowhard egotism on steroids…the list of complaints goes on. Of course, if we depend on mankind, whether in Ottawa or in the business world to produce good fruit, compassionate and selfless service, etc., we will be waiting a long time. But can any good thing come through Ottawa? Can our elected representatives (and the non-elected ones) be trained, encouraged, challenged to do the right thing and for the right reason? Can God, the one who raises up governments, who gives the throne to whom He will and who holds the nations in the palm of His hand…can that same God bring good out of and through our human institutions, even the political establishment in Ottawa? The answer to that is a resounding “Yes!”
The temptation to cynicism is strong but the One who made the universe is stronger. His promise is “If My people, called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14
Don’t give in to apathy. Get on your knees and fight.