Tim Bloedow is an Ottawa-area writer who has worked as a researcher, speechwriter and media co-ordinator for two members of Parliament. He has also worked as a researcher and lobbyist for Campaign Life Coalition and run for office as a member of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada. He has a bachelor of theology degree from Tyndale Bible College, is married to Lynette and has two children.
Is newly published book, State vs. Church: What Christians Can Do to Save Canada from Liberal Tyranny, aims to make Christians enthusiastic about standing up for Christ in Canada’s public square. It also seeks to let Christians know why their faith is a superior foundation for Canadian culture and government and why secular humanism is a threat that must be suppressed for the good of all Canadians.
The Interim: Why did you feel the urge to write this book?
Tim Bloedow: The secular-humanist assault on Christianity in Canada … Secular humanists have been saying for a few years that Christians have no business engaging in the public square and sharing, promoting and advocating our views … You certainly see Catholic bishops taking the biggest hit on some of this, because as they try to encourage politicians to take seriously their Christian and Catholic values when they deal with public legislation, you’re getting some real pushback from increasingly intolerant secular humanists … I don’t think Christians have been prepared to deal with that. I’ve seen some weakness on our side in terms of articulating exactly where we stand on this.
The Interim: Things have been accelerating in recent years. With the same-sex “marriage” debate, it seemed the Christian community came alive more than ever.
Tim Bloedow: I think that was a real catalyst to make a lot more Christians awake to see what was going on. I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of building the momentum that’s necessary, but certainly that was a catalyst … A fair number of evangelicals and a fair number of Catholics are quite partial to what I would call economic liberalism … I see an underlying philosophy of secularism is big, centralist government. When Christians allowed the state to start taking over areas of charity and social welfare, we basically let the camels move into the tent and allowed the state to become fairly active in areas of life that basically the church, family and voluntary social communities and individuals should be responsible for.
The Interim: Terms are very relative, aren’t they? … We now have a positive liberalism, which seeks to meddle in all aspects of people’s lives.
Tim Bloedow: That’s one of the most clever things the secularists today have taken advantage of: the word “liberalism” … (They know with) certain words like “equality” and “liberty” … what emotions and sentiments and ideas the average person has when you use those terms. That’s why they have kept hold of those kinds of terms to advance their agenda, even though their agenda is the furthest thing from what we understand as liberal …
(Equality) is one of those areas where we, as Christians, need to clarify our terms and understand what we mean … A Judeo-Christian approach to equality is basically equality before the law … We need equality between the governed and the governors … There is just a whole spectrum of ways in which the governors take advantage of their power to arrogate to themselves special benefits … (Because of this) we’ve already planted the seeds of erosion of equality before the law and we have the kind of playing out we see today …
Christianity is unique in offering society, people, the world a civil, equality-oriented and liberty-oriented world view. As Christians, we shouldn’t be afraid of advancing the uniqueness of our values … We believe in human dignity, that there’s an inherent value in the human being … People in government believe that without special treatment, there wouldn’t be enough popular support (for affirmative action-type programs) … Basically, the government becomes an advocate of a particular agenda …
There really doesn’t exist a realm of moral neutrality … secular-humanism, recently, has been pushing that … We’re accused of wanting to set up a theocracy, wanting to impose all these oppressive laws on people … The Judeo-Christian world view does not advocate use of the state to impose all our beliefs on everybody else. It doesn’t. I believe the Judeo-Christian view allows for a lot of liberty, even for people in the privacy of their own situation to make their own moral decisions about different things. But the issue from a cultural perspective is: what is the public morality? What is the moral code or moral law that the civil magistrate is upholding? You have to come down on one side or another.
The Interim: We saw in the recent past the Supreme Court rule that swingers clubs are legal because there’s no demonstrable negative effect on society. How can supposedly learned judges come out with a statement like that?
Tim Bloedow: That points out another aspect of the fraudulent, hypocritical nature of secularism … Secular-humanism is a religion; therefore, what we’re really talking about is which religion is dominant … We should be bold. We’re the ones on the side of reason. We’re on the side of science … We’ve been arguing for our rights based on religious liberty … In a way, we marginalize ourselves if we focus on religious liberty protection. We need to promote the concept of liberty on a broader foundation.
The Interim: Christians seem to have their backs to the wall all the time, in terms of public policy. But shouldn’t they be setting, if not heavily influencing, the public agenda, in terms of their numbers relative to the overall population?
Tim Bloedow: Absolutely … We believe in the separation of the institution of the state and the institution of the church … God has given distinct jurisdictional boundaries to the different institutions … We also need to be vigorously advocating the integration and interrelationship of religion and politics … We need to get back to a decentralized approach … “little platoons” – basically the whole idea of local, social, voluntary, community-oriented organizations.
The Interim: Should the role of government be social engineering or running the army, paving the roads and operating police departments and so on?
Tim Bloedow: We need smaller government … because the other institutions God has ordained for the effective ordering of civil society are far more effective options … (They are) more humane and more charitable.
The Interim: Why is homosexuality playing such a big role in the secularist agenda?
Tim Bloedow: I’m still struggling to figure out exactly why … Sex is essentially worshipped as a god … That’s what drives some of this activism that flows out of the homosexual activist movement … Perhaps (homosexuals) figured out how to use rhetoric, the right terminology and the right language at the right time to drive forward their points. Now, they’ve made people basically scared of resisting them … It is an incredibly weak perspective and it just requires people of courage and strength to stand against it … It’s an ideological, fanatical agenda.
The Interim: Is it enough to reason with people on these issues? Is something more needed?
Tim Bloedow: If we can articulate views, values and ethics in a comprehensive enough manner, we can win (political) office … We need to be promoting a vision of cultural reform among our young people … There’s such a lack of people who are interested in pursuing leadership in areas like media, law, politics … We still have enough freedom that Christians can actually develop the education and training needed to do this stuff.