Everyone might be walking on eggshells, but treading on Christians is still okay.
You can’t discuss the relationship of Islam to jihadists without being condemned as an Islamophobe. You can’t protest the dismantling of gender into meaninglessness without being called a homophobe.
But you can take shots at Christians pretty freely without any backlash.
Just like Denis Coderre did a while ago when he lumped Wild Rose leader Brian Jean in with “the same people who think the Flintstones is a documentary”. That is an example of an anti-Christian jab taken for easy rhetorical gain.
Why is it anti-Christian you ask? Coderre didn’t mention Christianity at all.
What Coderre was referring to is the historic Christian church’s view that God created the universe making human beings oversee the earth with its plants and animals, even dinosaurs.
Now there is disagreement among Christians about how the book of Genesis relates to the various scientific theories about the origins of the universe. But historically, there has been large swaths of the church that interpreted the origins of the universe as a powerfully cosmic and supernatural event that produced the natural order of our world in the span of six days. Incidentally, the sixth day of Creation, according to the Bible, was when human beings were created in the image of God— male gender and female gender to be exact.
So Coderre’s ‘Flintstones’ comment is not about Albertans watching too much Cartoon Network. It’s about them being Christians, and therefore nutjobs. But when the Genesis order of things is being tossed as the NDP experiments with washrooms and the IOC with genderless sports, maybe Christians aren’t the only crazy ones.
Coderre is not alone. His anti-Christian comment has a pretty good pedigree in Canadian politics. Another mayor, Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi used it to shame former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice on legislation for Gay-Straight Alliances. Nenshi said that if a student would potentially have to go to a judge to get approval for his club, as the Conservative motion claimed, then it would be “the Scopes Monkey Trial of Alberta.”
Now many people wouldn’t catch the reference. Who is Scopes and why was his monkey on trial?
What Nenshi was referring to was the watershed trial about the teaching of evolutionary theory in public schools. Nenshi’s fear of Albertans being viewed as ‘hillbillies’ could have come straight from H.L. Mencken who covered the Scopes trial with eloquent mockery of the Christian townsfolk in Dayton, Tennessee.
Albertans will remember the power of that pushback from Mayor Nenshi, as Premier Prentice backed away from the proposal from the Conservatives. More eggshell-walking for some and not others.
But remembering further back, an even more powerful jab was landed by the inimitable Warren Kinsella who famously produced a purple Barney dinosaur on Canada AM in order to mock Canadian Alliance leader, Stockwell Day’s Christian beliefs about Creation.
Now as a Christian, I understand all this and expect it. Mocking Christians has been a cherished pastime going back to the Romans and the famous Alexamenos Graffito — a Charlie Hebdo-like cartoon showing Jesus with a donkey head, captioned, “Alexamenos worships his God”. Yet like Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you…on my account”
So Mayor Coderre’s comments simply illustrate that crazy Christians can be the easiest punching bags.
But in a world of out of control hypersensitivity maybe Jesus and his crazy followers will start to make sense.