So I got this in my mail last week. Not exactly unfamiliar stuff if you've owned a mailbox in the last five years. Just another propaganda piece about how Harper's working for you, the little people, and how the Opposition is all about death and taxes and taxing you to death.
Cool, I can dig, not to mention read. The plights of these poor people, "The Wilsons," is of serious concern for me. They're trying to save for their "dream holiday," a lofty goal assisted by the Conservative government's new tax-free savings account that Stephen Harper seems so creepily enthusiastic about at the bottom of the second page.
"Who is on the right track to give Canadians new tax incentives to save money?" You get three guesses... But I have to ask, how many more people are struggling for more basic needs than saving for their "dream trip?" How many Canadians are struggling with the fact that they have no job and thus no money through which to save up enough to even buy a postcard?
But I didn't come here to rant about that. No, I rant because I got this piece of mail from Cambridge and North Dumfries MP Gary Goodyear. You know, the guy who's not my MP, and will never be my MP unless I move to Cambridge, which is not bloody likely because I already escaped from one big box hell, never to go back. Phew. So why did I got this from Gary? My guess is wasting money on pointless survey flyers is fun. Frankly, I can't even guess how many of these they actually ever get back.
Furthermore, economically speaking, I hope that this, what is basically tantamount to junk mail for people (not everyone can turn around and blog about it), isn't coming out of taxpayers' pockets, which I'm afraid it is given the fact that the return address is "CRG-Government Caucus Services... House of Commons." At least when the Liberals wasted money on golf balls, you got a golf ball.
But I digress, the real treat offered here is that Goodyear gave me the perfect segue through which to talk about his other faux pas, a little thing involving the fact that the Science Minister dodged a question about whether or not he believes in evolution.
Now one would think: Science minister/evolution, they should go together like peanut butter and jam. But in an interview with the Globe and Mail, Goodyear politely (I hope) refused to answer a question about whether or not he believed in evolution. Naturally, this was of some concern to Canadian scientists.
Goodyear didn't exactly recoup his loses the next day either, when he "cleared the air" about his feelings on evolution by saying the following: “We are evolving every year, every decade. That's a fact, whether it is to the intensity of the sun, whether it is to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it is running shoes or high heels – of course we are evolving to our environment.”
For the file, it should be added that Goodyear is a chiropractor by profession, so science is not entirely unfamiliar to him. But let's be clear, this was his answer to the original question: “I'm not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate.”
What does that say to you? To me, it says that either he believes in creationism, or he's stymieing his own thoughts on the subject because he has a party line to tow. Frankly, I don't care for either of those options.
Now my respected colleague and fellow blogger Andrew Prescott wrote a letter to the editor in the Guelph Mercury where he said that Goodyear was being vilified for his Christian beliefs, and that liberals (small 'l') were treating him unfairly and that he was being hassled purely on the basis of his religious beliefs.
Not quite. The trouble is that science says that the Theory of Evolution is the most likely, empirically vetted explanation as to how life evolved on this planet. When the Minister of Science quantifies a question about a scientific theory by casting it as an attack on his faith, it's time for a little bit of concern to be raised.
Basically though, it has nothing to do with what Goodyear believes. If, as a Christian, he believes that the Earth was created in six days by God, then cool, he's more than free. But you can't be science minister while that's your exclusive point of view. It's like the Pope being a Rabbi, both Catholics and Jews believe in one God and that the path to salvation is through Him, but everything else, from the sacraments to the ceremonies, is different. A rabbi can't be Pope, it's really that simple.
I don't think anyone wants to make a mountain out of a molehill with this, but with Barack Obama down south of the border finally throwing some US support to embriotic stem cell research, I believe it is was the hope of a lot of scientists that now we'd live in a time where religious doctrine wouldn't guide our scientific pursuits with a heavy hand. I sincerely hope that this is not the direction the Harper government is steering us towards.