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KAIROS Canada member churches speak out against Kenney's 'anti-Semitic' charges.

As I was hoping they’d do, the member churches that belong to KAIROS Canada are starting to push back against the federal Conservatives and Jason Kenney for his remarks that KAIROS Canada was stopped CIDA funding due to the organization being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel:

The United Church of Canada and other Canadian churches are demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper explain why one of his cabinet ministers accused them of being anti-Semitic. The United, Catholic and Anglican churches are part of KAIROS, an aid group that was shocked to hear Immigration Minister Jason Kenney say its funding was lifted as part of the Conservatives’ effort to cut off anti-Semitic organizations. “It’s a horrible charge to make, and to do it with so little thought cheapens the reality of anti-Semitism in the world and diminishes the very careful attention that it deserves,” said United Church spokesperson Bruce Gregersen. “We’re quite disappointed in the government on this. The policies of KAIROS have all been approved by the collective board of KAIROS, so in a sense what Mr. Kenney is doing is accusing Canadian churches of being anti-Semitic and I think that’s really unfortunate,” Gregersen said in an interview.

Sam Carrière, director of communications for the Anglican Church of Canada, said the church supports a statement released Friday by KAIROS, which condemned Kenney’s remarks as false and warned the Harper government against letting politics dominate Ottawa’s foreign aid priorities. Besides the United and Anglican churches, Toronto-based KAIROS’s members include the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Mennonite Central Committee – Canada.

Working with 21 partner organizations around the world, KAIROS sponsors projects promoting social and economic justice in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Opposition MP’s are also suggesting that government officials need to be brought before a House of Commons Committee to explain this KAIROS Canada funding cut decision, as well as the rather large discrepancy between Minister Kenney’s and Minister Oda’s explanations, but I believe the member churches and a potentially big voting block of parishioners ticked off at this will be ultimately the organizations with the most influence to change the Conservative government’s mind on this wrong decision, based on Kenney’s wrong information. Remember, the member Christian churches are the 7 largest denominations in Canada. There’s a lot more of them out there then there are of Charles McVety’s little ultra right-wing religious group that has denounced KAIROS Canada (and by extension its member churches) as being “leftist ideologues”.

4 comments to KAIROS Canada member churches speak out against Kenney’s ‘anti-Semitic’ charges.

  • Just another embarrassment to Canada on the world stage. Kenney is out of line, as he often is. Again he went over the top and insulted the wrong people. This presumptuous little Chabad Lubavitch bottom-kisser is doing his damnedest to move the zionification of Canada up a few more notches.

    Between him and Half-a$$ Harper they have done a bang up job of killing our international reputation over the past year. Looks as if they are trying to outdo themselves again. It will be interesting to see how this is handled because it must be. Actually, it might be good if they are as arrogant as ever and refuse to do so, more Canadians might wake up and find we are well on our way the theocracy that threatens us all.

  • Observer

    Scott,

    I doubt Liberals or NDP supporters such as yourself should be worrying too much about KAIROS Canada funding.

    First, their members are all tax free donation driven organizations. If they wanted to fund something they could easily do that through their own member organizations. As you note, they represent the 7 largest churches.

    Second, there are members such as the “Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops” who are essentially using the “good” that KAIROS Canada is doing to wash their generally less-than-progressive reputation. At the same time, it enables their reps to gain access to and influence with elected officials. Witness the “audit” of the tar sands by KAIROS involving the Alberta government. They use that influence to do things generally against your own stated preferences. Just because the United Church is a member doesn’t make them “left wing”.

    Now you may interpret this as some sort of anti-religious viewpoint but that would be incorrect; the left needs the votes of the parishioner citizens too. Their official church reps almost always far more right wing than the actual members are. The best approach would be to cut off the oxygen to their “reps” and deal with the church going members directly as much as possible. By getting government funding they’re just playing you the public and the parishioners for suckers.

    This, to me, is very straightforward strategy.

  • S

    I’m pretty certain it was a hit at the non-fundamentalist churches. A number of these non-fundamentalists are in fact blessing same sex marriage.

  • […] Star writes that “Fury grows over anti-Semitism charge“  Apparently some of the constituent members of KAIROS have their noses out of joint.  Maybe they would change their minds if they took a closer […]

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