Company of Disciples: Religion and Politics: A Theist & Atheist Perspective

Date(s) - June 24, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Vancouver Club

Categories No Categories

Company of Disciples and Centre for Inquiry Present

Religion and Politics: a Theist and Atheist Perspective

with hosts Jonathan Chan and Pat O’Brien

Below is an excerpt from’s “From Bible Bill to Stephen Harper, the Evolution of faith-based Politics.” March 15, 2013


on “Social values”


Harper, who joined the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in the 1980s, had long believed that courting the religious right by emphasizing social issues was bad politics for a party trying to form a national government. Better to stick to economic issues like taxes, deficits and de-regulation. But in a speech given to a conservative think-tank in Toronto in April 2003, Harper changed course. He argued that “the defining issues have shifted from economic issues to social values, so conservatives must do the same …”On a wide range of public-policy questions, including foreign affairs and defence, criminal justice and corrections, family and child care, and health care and social services, social values are increasingly the really big issues.” The new party needed to reach out to social conservatives of all denominations and faiths, a group he labelled the “theo-cons,” and it must be prepared to accept small incremental gains and build coalitions that would ultimately lead to victory.Three years later, that victory was achieved, and in the seven years since then, that 2003 speech can be seen as a blueprint for solidifying the Conservative hold on religious conservatives of all denominations.

“For better and for worse, religion and politics converge, clash, and shape public life. These intersections happen everywhere, from our homes to our courts, from the legislature to the schoolhouse, in the lab and on the battlefield.” – quote taken from

What are your thoughts? Should these two “not very polite companions” intermingle with one another or should they be left separate in our national and provincial public policies? Tonight we will explore these and other questions and look at current examples such as prostitution, gender neutrality and organized labour as we conclude our Meeting of the Minds’ series before our summer break.  

Come join us for this unique discussion on two “not very polite companions.” Cost $5. Payment options: $5 online or $10 at the door. Cash bar is open to purchase beverages. – We hope to see you there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *