Friday, 5 August 2011

Marci Mcdonald, "The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada" (2011)

Mcdonald kicked open wide a hornet's nest of controversy with this book. I admit that even jaded old me avoided reading it thinking it would just a sad, rambling case of conspiracy theory. It was actually pretty interesting, compelling reading.

Essentially, she explores two questions:
1) What is the relationship between the Harper government and 'Christian Nationalists' in Canada?; and
2) What is the motivation for Christian Nationalists to involve themselves in Canadian politics when traditionally they have opted to steer clear of political involvement?

Her answer to these questions is that there is a distinct community of Canadian Christian Nationalists (those who believe not only that Canada should be governed according to strict evangelical Christian principles, but that the Bible indicates Canada will play a special role in the anticipated 'end days'). These CCNs, and their like-minded community of evangelicals (who may not share the idea regarding Canada's pre-ordained end days role), have become significantly more politicized in the last few decades, and attempted to not only influence politics indirectly (e.g., through encouraging congregants to vote for particular candidates, or raising issues for public debate), but also directly (e.g., through financial support for candidates, providing campaign volunteers, etc.). Additionally, the CCNs and their peers have begun to create parallel streams of political education that operate alongside the traditional party apparatus, and that are created with the explicit intention of creating devout, politically astute, evangelical Christians who have as their career goal the aim of civil service and government work. Given their commitment to the idea of Canada's special role in the end times, and the idea that the political system might be 'permeable' enough to be influenced by an organized, like-minded community, the motivation for evangelical Christians to seek to exercise political influence is high.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

Mcdonald started a blog, but appears to have abandoned it.