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Feb 11 2013

Harper government gives money to anti-gay religious group working in Uganda

Via reader Jeffrey P, seems the Government of Canada has provided over five hundred thousand dollars to a rabidly anti-gay religious group, Crossroads Christian Communications, to “help dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda through 2014.” Given John Baird’s spoken out against the plans for a death penalty for homosexuality in that country, this seems like a rather underhanded way to promote that same agenda without taking flak for it.

Ottawa Citizen reports:

Until Tuesday, the organization’s website carried a list of “sexual sins” deemed to be “perversion”: “Turning from the true and/or proper purpose of sexual intercourse; misusing or abusing it, such as in pedophilia, homosexuality and lesbianism, sadism, masochism, transvestism, and bestiality.”

Lower down the page, the group asks sinners to “repent.”

“God cares too much for you (and all of His children) to leave such tampering and spiritual abuse unpunished,” according to the group’s website.

Just hours after The Canadian Press contacted the group to ask a spokesperson about the site, the page in question disappeared from public view.

[...]
Crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in scripture.

“Crossroads’ views on sexuality are informed by our Christian faith and values,” spokeswoman Carolyn Innis told The Canadian Press in an email.

She said the projects funded by CIDA do not include evangelical work and are focused on specific objectives.

Because the people going over there as “missionaries”, with their anti-gay rhetoric filling their heads, are certainly not going to socialize in their off time between digging wells or anything. Certainly they would never, you know, discuss their interpretation of scripture with other local Christians.

On the group’s website, under the section “Who We Are,” the group describes its mission the following way — “Our motivation: To communicate a visible expression of God’s love, and contribute to the transformation of lives around the world.”

And by “communicate” they obviously don’t mean actually conveying information to these people “around the world” or anything. Nope. All above board here. Never mind the ridiculous cultural assimilation that is religious missionary work. Never mind the imperialism that represents. It’s aaaaaall good.

Steve Foster, president of the Quebec LGBT Council, said the federal government should stop funding groups like Crossroads.

“It’s unacceptable that the government would accept that kind of organization as an international-co-operation organization,” Foster said.

“Taxpayers’ money should not be used to finance religious groups working abroad, who furthermore contribute to the creation of discriminatory — even inhumane and dangerous — policy.”

Foster calls it a “dangerous” shift from the government toward using religious groups to perform international development work.

Yes, it absolutely is. And that shift is entirely correlated with the current government’s rise to power. Is anyone surprised here?

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    religious groups to perform international development work.

    No way that the natives’ll mistake it for a crusade or colonialism! They’re not still sensitive about that, are they?

  2. 2
    shouldbeworking

    An appropriate letter is in the mail to my MP, FWIW. Her name is Rona Ambrose. I’ll get a nice letter spouting the party line in about 2weeks. When’s the next general election?

  3. 3
    Jean

    Here’s another related example of Harper’s international aid bias (hopefully the fact it’s in French is not an issue): http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2013/01/14/001-aide-etrangere-ong-religieux.shtml

  4. 4
    mikmik

    I see that the funds have been frozen. Too much backlash. Now if we could only get an NDP government.

  5. 5
    timgueguen

    Crossroads is the producer of the long running Canadian Christian talk show 100 Huntley Street. Former host David Mainse had a kinder, gentler vibe that many of his American counterparts, but when it comes down to it they push the same kind of nonsense.

    As for Baird, it’s widely rumoured that he is gay, although he hasn’t confirmed the claim. He apparently hasn’t denied it either.

  6. 6
    Kyle

    @Mikmik

    It seems the funds will flow after the organization passed its review. Took less than 24 hrs! Not often the government moves that fast!

    This from the recent CBC article on the subject:

    “Fantino said on Twitter Sunday night that the funding would be reviewed before the next payment was sent to the organization. A spokeswoman for CIDA said in an email Monday night that the review was complete and Christian Crossroads complied with the terms of its funding agreement.”

  7. 7
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    “crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in scripture”despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
    does it defend stoning children as grounded in scripture also?

  8. 8
    Perry Bulwer

    The fact that Harper is himself an evangelical fundamentalist, or pretends to be one to win votes, ought to be a wake-up call to Canadians. If he just pretends to believe in his church’s statements of belief and core values, then he is immoral, and if he truly believes then he is immoral.

    Here’s the links to The Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith http://www.cmacan.org/statement-of-faith and its statement of Core Values http://www.cmacan.org/core-values

    Does Harper really believe in biblical literalism? Is he really committed to upholding biblical justice? Because that’s what the Uganda government is doing by killing homosexuals.

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