[Final update: since all of this has happened, the No Apologies website has gone offline. Consequently, many of these links will not work, and can only be checked through the use of the Wayback Machine. Bloedow and some of the Christian Heritage Party -aligned contributors have moved to Bloedow’s blog at christiangovernance.ca]
If Canadians realized the views and agendas their tax money was funding, I’d suspect they’d be pretty angry. Because in a way, Timothy Bloedow’s sugar daddy is Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott. But in another way, Bloedow’s sugar daddy is us.
I want to preface this by saying that my intent in this column is not to silence Timothy Bloedow altogether. He is entitled to his opinion, and he is entitled to speak his opinion. While I believe in censure (reprimand — because part of the value of free speech is calling out those who speak bull$#!t) and voting with our feet and dollars (i.e. the right to not contribute to the financial, political and social fortunes of those who hate), I’m still not partial to censorship, since that is a two-edged sword that cuts both ways. I want my right to be heard, so consistency demands that I not interfere with others’ rights to do so as well.
I am also not out to deny Bloedow a job. His opinion doesn’t mean that he should be denied employment, provided he abides by what is required by the job during his time on the job. However, if his employer is essentially the Canadian taxpayer, I think I and other taxpayers should have some say about whether he should be promoting anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-Islamic, anti-woman agendas on company time, not to mention advocating for a government that is run by his personal belief system, rather than the democratic will of all Canadians, of all faiths and races and genders and orientations. Which is what is happening right now.
Legislative Assistants (LAs) to Members of Parliament (MPs) are employed by the Government of Canada, and directed in their jobs by the MPs for whom they work. So in a way, Timothy Bloedow’s “sugar daddy” is MP Maurice Vellacott, the Conservative MP for Saskatoon – Wanuskewin, and one of the most radically far right MPs in the Harper government, with anti-gay, anti-woman agendas that Bloedow fits right in with. But in a way, Timothy Bloedow’s sugar daddy is us, taxpayers who pay his wages for the purpose in assisting Vellacott to perform his job as a government representative.
Somehow, I don’t think that Vellacott’s job on behalf of Canada is to promote the anti-democratic / theocratic agendas and views daily disseminated in billionuplicate on the website No Apologies and its predecessor, ChristianGovernance. Posts at No Apologies and ChristianGovernance are not timestamped, which is atypical for weblogs. As a random sample, on Friday January 21st, 2011, I count a total of 10 posts, the majority of which were posted without attribution — which is currently only done by Bloedow, who reacquired full administration of the website at the end of 2010. (There’s a bit of a drop in activity recently, which makes sense given that a Legislative Assistant should be busier now with helping the Harper Conservatives and his boss prepare for an election). It’s pretty much accepted universally online that unless it’s attributed to other occasional contributors in the headline, then the post is by Bloedow.
Part of the reason for the lack of attribution is that a significant percentage of the articles are reposts of news or commentary items not authored by Bloedow, but retitled and prefaced by his own skewed spin of what the article means or represents, sometimes carelessly signed by him. And although the posts are not timestamped, they usually roll in on his RSS feed during the course of the morning or afternoon. A number of the reposted articles go live on No Apologies within hours of them going live at their originating websites, during the day. And his Twitter feeds at @ChrGov and @NoApologiesca have no such ability to mask his posting at all hours. At least some of his postings inevitably reveal blogging on the taxpayer’s dime.
What the Taxpayer’s Dime is Funding:
I wrote about Tim Bloedow’s retitles and commentaries before, when discussing the efforts of another website (LifeSiteNews) to trumpet Uganda’s anti-gay work to Canadians while whitewashing how these efforts led to that country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which calls for the execution of “repeat offender” gays and lesbians, and 7-year prison terms for people who fail to report them or who provide assistance of any kind to them. The article apparently even comes up near the top of searches so that people can be aware of LifeSite’s obfuscations when they type “donate to lifesite.ca” into Google. Oops. Unfortunate timing, that. (A cautionary note, too: going to the Google link and clicking on “The Canadian Religious Right’s Obfuscation Fetish” might cause it to be ranked even higher, so be careful. Also be careful about doing the same with similar search terms, wherever else you might find that post in Google searches)
In [Bloedow’s] consultation to the 2011 federal budget, he recommends “shutting down the enslaving Indian Act and setting Aboriginal people free to be entrepreneurial and to abandon dependency” (voiding treaties with First Nations peoples and cutting off all reparations payments), defunding all Non-Governmental Organizations “so that only those with a real membership base” (i.e. [dedicated religious congregations]…) will survive, eliminate Marxist graduated taxation ([stop taxing businesses and individuals according to their earnings, inevitably causing the insanely wealthy to either have to pay more or work harder to fudge the numbers]), “encouraging voluntary social supports and reducing expensive and destructive dependence on the state” (cut off all social programs), “sharply reduce red tape, and roll back the micro-managing, paternalistic developments of recent years with the increase in oppressive regulations under the guise of health and safety” (because deregulation works oh so well, such as when it was applied to banks in the US, offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or even the deregulation of power and natural gas in Alberta)
If that’s not enough, here are a few others. In “Canada’s socialists terrified of media freedom,” he discusses a decision by the CRTC to amend its rules to allow news sources to broadcast “false or misleading news:”
“Some of the best evidence of the irrelevance and intellectually feeble nature of socialism is the fact that socialists hate media freedom. They know their views cannot stand up to the light of day and rational scrutiny. They know that their personal, deeply held beliefs are uncivilized and totalitarian. So they don’t want to have to defend them before a watching public. They don’t want to be asked hard questions about their crackerjack convictions.”
Rational scrutiny, or twisted spin? You decide.
Just as the “rational scrutiny” he champions doesn’t have to actually be true, it’s not akin to science either, judging from “The transparent ignorance of modern “experts”:
“For several generations, most Canadians have embraced the cult of the expert, abdicating responsibility to them. These Christians joined non-Christians in pretending that the pursuit of expertise would lead only in one direction, towards indisputable truth. They pretended that all intelligent and honest people would interpret the evidence in only one way. Instead, we are learning, and very slowly accepting, that the interpretation of the evidence depends on our theological and philosophical premises. This means that possession of a Biblical worldview is necessary for wisdom.”
He commemorated the Transgender Day of Remembrance with this mockery:
“Maybe some of these adults are predatory beasts who want to groom and desensitize youth and children to be their victims. Perhaps they are simply fools. But what a tragedy that on any day, let alone Universal Children’s Day, another group of sex activists wants to celebrate their confusion and a perversion that many say is a threat to children.
“… those who think they are “transgendered” are also tragic victims. They are not transgendered. They are confused. They are lost. They need the guidance and help from real men and real women. They need protection, including by the law, from those who would sexually, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually abuse them by affirming them in their confusion….”
In that same article, he went on to pontificate about righteous masculinity and finished by hyping a book penned by an author who realized that God wanted her home and pregnant, rather than troubling her pretty little head about wanting a career.
Which I suppose would be consistent with his thoughts on women in combat:
“You can have a hundred pragmatic arguments for allowing women to enter combat but, at the end of the day, the real issue is that real men don’t send women into places where they can kill and be killed.”
Tim Bloedow, in fact, is advocating for a Canada in which only theology is accepted as fact, and where only Christians who meet his standard are entitled to govern… or vote. Apparently, that’s Bloedow’s idea of democracy (not that he’s the only one). If you’re Muslim, or Jewish, or atheist, or agnostic, or Unitarian or even attend a progressive organization like the United Church, well, too bad. One example of this comes from his introduction to Chuck Colson Draws The Wrong Conclusion:
“Regretfully, Mr. Colson is denying the need for an explicitly Christian solution to the current problems in the U.S. If you work together with non-Christians, they will want to contribute their ideas to the solution. But Christians should appreciate that what is good depends on God and the true Christian witness to Him. A consistent and long-term commitment to the good cannot be sustained outside of Christ. Mr. Colson is also falling into step with popular American populism. But the reality is that one doesn’t need a majority to influence the culture. He has just finished demonstrating that with two accounts of courageous individuals under Nazi rule. And he demonstrates it in this article by noting that those currently in charge represent a minority opinion. What is needed is a courageous – and, for Christians, a godly – minority. If we rise to influence through free and democratic means, then there is nothing unchristian about exercising leadership on the basis of Christian principles even if we aren’t a majority. As in the case of today’s minority elites, most people will just fall in step because they are more interested with peace and putting food on their tables. And if we reflect the majority opinion, they will be largely happy with us as well.
If Christians want to restore truth and righteousness and liberty to America – and to Canada – we need to abandon the undemocratic notion of populism and the loser’s view that 50+1 is the level of support necessary to exercise leadership.”
And again, he is entitled to have all of those opinions. It’s up to taxpayers, though, whether their money should be used to widely advocate for that kind of country. For someone who feels that taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund non-religious pregnancy counseling, multiculturalism, mention to new immigrants of Canada’s relatively unique status as a nation that embraces same-sex marriage, public education, tolerance inclusion in school curricula, pro-peace Islamic clerics’ inclusion in foreign affairs events and the like, he still has no issue with spending taxpayers’ money on promoting his own agendas.
I want to reiterate that I’m not calling for Timothy Bloedow to be censored or fired. This is a matter of consistency: I want the right to be heard, and, well, that means I need to accord the same to others, regardless of how fringe they might be. Besides, No Apologies remains an interesting window into the extreme nature of Christian Nationalism in Canada, is handy for researchers like myself (reading through the doublespeak), and is almost brazenly naked enough to drive people away from his views in the same kind of way that the Fred Phelps / WBC clan does. However, I do believe that it is reasonable as a taxpayer to expect assurances that this blogging and site maintenance is not done on the corporate dime… and to also expect some assurances that these extreme views are not representative of those of the Government of Canada.
If you agree, you could probably contact Maurice Vellacott, the MP who hired and directs Bloedow. It might not make a difference, though since Vellacott has promoted many of the same agendas as Bloedow (not to mention that if you write to him at that info, it very well might be Bloedow handling your mail, anyway). Within hours of a Saskatchewan court ruling that Marriage Commissioners (as opposed to religious leaders) could not refuse to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies, Vellacott was petitioning the provincial Justice Minister to adopt a complex scheme (and expensive, given that it called for the creation of a government office for this sole purpose) in which commissioners could refuse anonymously. He promoted junk science that claimed that abortions cause breast cancer. He tabled private members Bill C-422, which was designed to end child support and enshrine paternal authority after divorce. His C-537 was intended to enable medical professionals to refuse to perform medical treatment if they felt it was against their religion. So you might not get a sympathetic ear.
Contacting his boss, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on the other hand, might be worth a try. Harper might not appreciate the fact that Vellacott’s Legislative Assistant is promoting the Christian Heritage Party by featuring commentaries like “Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Ottawa?” and taking CHP administration on as guest contributors, on the company dime. The Christian Heritage Party would most likely siphon off some of the far right-wing and Christian nationalist support that Harper would need in order to form a majority government — at a time when election call is still rumoured to be near.
Unfortunate timing, that.
If you found this illuminating, then please vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers. Thanks!
————— Update ————————–
The following was posted today at No Apologies:
ChristianGovernance and NoApologies are very pleased to be able to update our readers and supporters on developments with the organization. From the start, we have been committed to growing a broad-based organization rather than a one man operation. Form the outset, ChristianGovernance has operated as a “family business”, with Tim Bloedow and his wife Lynette and son Daniel being active in different aspects of the operation.
Lynette is very active with the dad-to-day development and promotion of our projects. Right now she is speaking to many of you, and others, to promote our exciting Titanic 2011 dinner coming up in April. Daniel has been helping in different areas, including website maintenance, and the posting of articles on NoApologies.
We also have our three Directors, required for a non-profit corporations, and our very helpful webmaster. Other volunteers are helping organize and promote out Titanic event and our WAY Camp.We also have excellent columnists writing regularly for NoApologies: Rod Taylor, Tom Bartlett, David Krayden, and Larry Bray. And we’re making progress in discussions to bring another person on board in a progressive manner, in order to give us a more active political voice.
Of course, Taylor, Bartlett, Krayden and Bray are all given a byline when they post. But assuming this is correct and that Bloedow and son both pitch in on posting, both with the same kind of commentary and retitles and such, that could partly satisfy question one, about whether he is posting while in the employ of the citizens of Canada, or at least make it difficult to know otherwise.
I’m awaiting a response from the Prime Minister’s office on part two of this question: whether the views expressed reflect those of the Government of Canada in any way.
————— Update Two ————————–
I recived the following from the PMO:
Please know that your e-mail message has been received in the Prime Minister’s Office and that your comments have been noted. Our office always welcomes hearing from correspondents and being made aware of their views.
Thank you for writing.
Sachez que le Cabinet du Premier ministre a bien reçu votre courriel et que nous avons pris bonne note de vos commentaires. Nous aimons être bien informés de l’opinion des correspondants.
Je vous remercie d’avoir écrit au Premier ministre.
>>> Original Message >>>
Dear Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper,
I’m writing with concern about the extreme attitudes being disseminated online by an employee of the Government of Canada, and under the direction of a Conservative Member of Parliament. I realize that Timothy Bloedow is entitled to have the opinions that he has, and also that he should be as free as anyone to post them online, as he does by maintaining and posting to NoApologies.ca.
However, since he is a Legislative Assistant for Maurice Vellacott, I would like (as a Canadian and a taxpayer) some assurance that he is not advocating these radical positions while he is supposed to be working on behalf of Canadians and on behalf of our representatives.
I would also like some assurance that these positions are not the positions of the Government of Canada. I sort of guess that they probably aren’t, given that ample time is given at his website hyping the Christian Heritage Party, rather than any democratically-elected and represented party in Parliament — but because he is an assistant to a Conservative MP, I feel it warrants some official clarification.
Thank you for giving this due consideration. I will attach some quotes from Mr. Bloedow below my signature, so you can see specifically what kinds of positions I am referring to.
Which, of course, is not an answer. But it was an interestingly fast response. To be continued…?