June 13, 1991
To Mr. Ed Vanwoudenberg
Warmest Christian greetings.
I’ve just received your letter of May 29th, in response to mine of May 16.
Seventeen years ago I vowed to God to exercise my influence as a Canadian citizen to affirm that Jesus Christ is the Lord. By the grace of God I have, with good conscience, kept that vow in pursuits which have eventually led me to the position I publicly affirmed in my letter of May 16th. That position is both reasonable and honourable in the sight of God constituting as it does, a call to all fellow-patriots to:
(1) affirm the convictions reflected in their present Party affiliation, while
(2) responding to the present crisis in confederation with a strategy appropriate to the unique urgency and opportunity of this “watershed” moment in Canadian history.
I regret that you have misjudged my present position as representing an attack on the Christian Heritage Party and reacted in a defensive and judgmental manner. I have always applauded the Biblical principles to which the Christian Heritage Party is publicly committed and which I share. I have not suggested for a moment that those principles and positions should be compromised or abandoned. Indeed I have forth-rightly urged, in my letter of May 16 that CHP members:
“Keep your present Party membership and your commitments to the distinctives for which your Party has taken its stand.”
At the same time, recognizing the leadership which President Manning is giving, under God to a dynamic, grass-roots, pro-freedom movement of Canadians seeking a renewal of our democratic institutions based on a restoration to dominance in public life of the fundamental principles of freedom – “government by the consent of the governed” – I have urged, in the name of Christ, that members of the CHP, the COR Party and the Christian Freedom (Social Credit) Party, also “join the Reform Party…seeking its election to power.”
Christian citizens of a democracy ought to put the promotion of this fundamental Christian principle of liberty ahead of all partisan or sectarian considerations.
It is my conviction that Preston Manning is providing leadership based on that priority and that all Christians ought to conduct themselves by the same liberating principle. You seem to advocate a politics which would impose on the majority, the agenda of a Christian minority – a position which is both un-Christian and undemocratic.
Clearly the Biblical mandate to “pray for Kings,” in a democracy where “the voter is King,” is to seek by sweet reasonableness to convince the “King” of the superiority of Christian values in legislating the social order, so that the “King” – the majority of voters – chooses a legislative agenda based on the liberating, ennobling, civilized values expressed in “The Ten Commandments” and “The Sermon on the Mount,” to the benefit of the whole society.
I reject your view of “government imposed on the governed” – no matter how well-intentioned – as incompatible with the Spirit and teaching of Jesus Christ, and affirm my endorsement of Preston Manning’s politics as a valid expression of the liberating principles of the Gospel, namely, government, by the consent of the governed.”
One is the spirit of the “Magna Carta,” the other, no matter how well-intentioned, is the spirit of “Mien Kampf.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ can only be authentically identified with the Spirit of “Magna Carta” – “government by consent of the governed.”
The Biblical principles to which the CHP is committed, I share. The reactionary strategy you have expressed in your letter of May 29th – by which you seek to impose your agenda against the will of the majority in a democracy, I reject as incompatible with the wisdom of God expressed by the Person and teaching of Jesus Christ, and as a denial of the most elemental principles of democracy.
“A Christian voice” in public life is not Christian at all if it is identified with an anti-Christian and undemocratic strategy. It is my conviction that this time of peril in our national life challenges Christian patriots to answer the cry of a bewildered, post-Christian society, with leadership which encourages the majority to choose to reaffirm “the good ways” – the values of our Judeo-Christian heritage, on which this pluralistic society was founded and has flourished in God’s blessing – as the basis to building a new Canada.
In the name of “Christ the Liberator,” I invite you to reconsider the call contained in my letter of May 16, and to seek the coalescing of Canadian patriots in a pro-freedom strategy which could replace the secular subversives who have hijacked democracy, and are imposing their godless tyranny on the nation – with “government by the consent of the governed” – the liberating principle on which principle alone Canada may be renewed in God’s blessing.