Sunday, April 09, 2006

Stuart Laidlaw - Faith and the left

From the Toronto Star:

"Duncanson-Hales, president of the Carlton-Mississippi Mills New Democratic Party riding association in Ottawa, is a leader in a movement to bring faith more into the party's mainstream.

He knows there are others like him — in his riding association, across the party and sitting in Parliament. To accommodate them, Duncanson-Hales' riding association is sponsoring a resolution to the New Democrats' policy meeting next month to set up a faith and social justice caucus.

The move has sparked a heated debate within the NDP and highlighted some strong divisions between those who come to activism through their faith and those who count religions among the problems they are trying to address.

Long-time party activist Tarek Fatah has gone so far as to say he might quit if the NDP goes too far in formalizing ties to religion, particularly groups with conservative views on homosexuality or the role of women.

"There are a number of religious groups that would like to use this to penetrate the NDP," he says. "They will use that to dilute NDP ideals."

The right wing has been the most prominent claimant to the politics of theology in recent years, and religious traditions within Canada's socialist party are often overlooked. In fact, there are strong connections, inside and outside the party, between social activism and Canadian churches."

Read the rest here. Thanks to Albert L. for the article.

I'm glad to see that the CCF roots of the NDP are still alive. I personally hope that Canada can maintain, and revive, a religious and socially conscious political presence without capitulating to the entire social agenda of either the left or the right. I also do not want Canadian religious politics to go the same way they have gone here in the US.


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