Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two strange issues

I'm reading today about our science minister, Gary Goodyear, who has been rather coy when it comes to stating his beliefs surrounding such scientific issues as evolution and creationism. A Christian, Goodyear basically ignored a question posed to him about whether or not he believed in creationism. Later, I suppose under pressure from the party, he came out and said that he did, indeed, believe in evolution - like, that we are all evolving right now. Which really, if you think about it, is in no way rejecting the claim that he believes in creationism. However, I say who cares? If Goodyear is a creationist, big deal. So what that he doesn't believe in certain scientific discoveries?

As the minister of science, he is not required to believe in anything specific. He could even be a Global Warming denier and still merit the job. As long as his personal beliefs don't affect the way he does his job. I think we need to trust the people in these positions to separate religious beliefs from their actual duties. Now, of course, if Goodyear decides to deny funding to certain scientists based on his religious affiliation, then we have a problem. But so far I haven't seen him do that. Instead, the Conservatives are just denying funding to all scientists across the board. It's equal opportunity, and anyone could do that. Goodyear isn't the problem, and for now I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he can separate his religion from his politics.

On the other hand, we have Doug Cryer, recently appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board on behalf of the Conservative government. Cryer is an outspoken opponent of homosexuality based on his religious convictions. He has defended the right of the church to say that homosexuality is "sinful". He has gone out of his way to fight against gay marriage. In short, he has mixed his religious beliefs with his politics. And to put him in a situation where he has a say over who can and can not come into this country, in some cases where those decisions are life-and-death for those people applying, a position where he could, conceivably and easily, deny someone entry into Canada because of his anti-gay views.

This is a whole different ball of wax. This is someone who does, in fact, confuse his ideology with his politics. The fact that homosexuality and gay marriage is even a political issue at all is asinine, of course, but at some point don't we have to start treating homophobia the same way we treat racism? If someone had a highly-publicized anti-semitic or white-supremacist stance, would we appoint them to any office, anywhere, ever? Especially one where they had the power over immigration? I'm going to say no. We would not. This Cryer appointment is disgraceful, and the Goodyear controversy is ludicrous.


  1. Hi Eric - thanks for your blog; it's very good. I agree with you totally!