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Riley W





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:30 pm    Post subject: The Church of Stephen Harper Reply with quote

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The church of Stephen Harper

At East Gate Alliance, they use PowerPoint, and pray for the Prime Minister

COLIN CAMPBELL | Feb 20, 2006

The Sunday before he was sworn in as Canada's 22nd prime minister -- with his own personal Bible -- Stephen Harper, arguably the country's most openly religious leader in decades, did something few might expect: he skipped church. Harper and his family attend the East Gate Alliance church, in the working class neighbourhood of Vanier, just down the street from a suburban strip mall that counts as tenants a pizza restaurant and a sex shop. With its red brickwork and white Roman columns, it might resemble a funeral home if not for the steeple on top. That Sunday, while Harper was putting the final touches on who would and wouldn't be in his cabinet, the congregation at East Gate prayed for one of its sick members; they prayed for a single mother who couldn't find work; and they prayed for their absent, soon-to-be prime minister. "We want to pray for Stephen Harper," said his pastor, Rev. Bill Buitenwerf, a tall, thin bespectacled man with a bushy goatee. "We pray that he will glorify [God's] name while he's in office."

As a man of religious conviction, Harper is no different than past prime ministers. Most of his predecessors have professed religious faith, though they've been careful not to let it drive their policies. Paul Martin personally opposed same-sex marriage, but eventually supported it as a Charter of Rights issue. Even Pierre Trudeau, who famously said the state had no business in the bedrooms of the nation, and who advanced abortion rights, was a devout Catholic. (Since then, Kim Campbell, an Anglican, has been the only non-Catholic PM before Harper.) But Harper is the first in recent times whose religion has become an issue, largely because it is seen to cut against the grain of mainstream Canadian social values. He is the first evangelical prime minister since John Diefenbaker, and the first ever to belong to the relatively obscure Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination.


His church follows in traditions normally associated with American evangelicalism, a brand of Christianity that has a relatively small following in Canada. In that vein, Harper appears to have more in common with President George W. Bush, a born-again Christian, than with his predecessors. At the East Gate Alliance Church, the hymnals even contain the song America, the Beautiful. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord," they read. The church looks and sounds nothing like the ornate, staid Catholic churches attended by past prime ministers. There is no choir, organ or pews. Instead, there is a drum kit, guitars, piano and metal chairs. There is a large wooden cross at the front, but little else by way of decoration. The pastor uses PowerPoint graphics, projected onto the building's pale pink walls to highlight his sermon. Worshippers are encouraged to clap or raise their hands to the sky while singing.


more: http://www.macleans.ca/article.....ource=srch

Very interesting! Glad to know Harper is a devout Evangelical. One of the churches I've been too prays for the Prime Minister and President of the U.S. every Sunday.
mrsocko





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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But Harper is the first in recent times whose religion has become an issue, largely because it is seen to cut against the grain of mainstream Canadian social values.


What? Love your neighbour. Feed the poor. Help the sick. Not Canadian values?

I guess Macleans thinks same sex marriage and abortion on demand are the rights that define Canada.
Craig
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did Maclean's get a new editor? They seemed pretty balanced for awhile there when they had a conservative editor.
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The Church of Stephen Harper

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