Extreme Christianity

I recently posted an article on the web about Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who has been labeled a religious extremist by members of the press for his support of the Harper government’s stance against funding abortions in the developing world. When a reporter asked specifically about rape and abortion, he stated “Why should we push a woman who has been the victim of a crime to commit one of her own?”

He later told reporters: “I understand very well that a woman who’s been raped is dealing with trauma and that she needs to be helped. But she needs to do so with respect for the being that is in her womb. It is not responsible for what happened. It’s the rapist who is responsible. But there’s already a victim. Do we need to have another one?” He said taking a human life “is always a moral crime” and, he added, “A fetus is a human life.”

The public outcry over this remark has been swift and brutal. Montreal’s La Presse columnist Patrick Lagace compared the cardinal to the Iranian imam Kazem Sedighi, who recently suggested scantily clad women were to blame for natural disasters.

Mr. Lagace went on to say: “Cardinal Ouellet will die someday. I hope he dies from a long and painful illness…Yes; the paragraph I’ve just written is vicious. But Marc Ouellet is an extremist. And in the debate against religious extremists, every shot is fair game.”

It is a sad commentary on our society that most people are not outraged at this malicious and libellous attack on a member of the clergy. We have come to expect this disrespect of all things sacred from the secular press. What I find especially disturbing is the ever expanding definition of what constitutes “religious extremism.”

Last week I got into an online conversation with a few atheists about religious extremists. One fellow told me that I definitely qualified. I asked what they defined as extreme religion. The general consensus is that anyone who believes that the Bible is the word of God and tries to convince others that there is only one way to eternal life is an extremist.

What I find rather appalling is the venomous outcry against any public declaration of Christian belief. Saying that ‘abortion is murder’ is an attack on women’s rights. Saying that’ homosexual behaviour is a sin’ is a violation of human rights. ‘Quoting the Bible’ is inciting hatred. ‘Teaching children that God is real’ is child abuse. ‘Teaching children that hell is real’ is child endangerment.

By this definition, I will gladly accept the label of religious extremist. I hope that you will accept it as well. Christians are the counter-culture revolutionists now.

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