Do You Believe?

Do you believe that being gay is a sin?
Reporter to Andrew Scheer

A frustrated sigh.

Mumble inclusion. Mumble respect mumble.
– Andrew Scheer to reporter

Oh, dear. Other reporters jumped to comment on what this sort of response does to Scheer’s electability. This David Akin article includes the full text of Scheer’s mumble-mumble response, with comments from three political operatives: two Conservatives and one Liberal.

And all three say encouraging Scheer to just swallow his beliefs
and say something he knows not to be true
just to make the issue go away
would also be a bad idea.

They see it as a bad idea? Whew, that’s a relief. I wonder if they see it as being a fundamentally dishonest way of being in public life, not to mention in the world.

Do you believe that being gay is a sin?

I expect Scheer will hear this question every day until his party’s April convention. As a one-time professional communicator and one-time church-goer who thinks she sorta understands his perspective, I respectfully offer Scheer a different answer to this question that might yet be true to what he, you know, believes.

Being who we are cannot be a sin, because we are the way God made us.
I believe that sexual activity outside marriage is a sin.
I also believe in the right of Canadians to same-sex marriage,
and I will protect and maintain that right.
Now, you don’t ask, but you might ask,
whether I believe that LGBTQ people are somehow more sinful
than heterosexuals if they engage in sex outside marriage.
No. Of course not.
I believe we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God,
but I believe that our sexual activity is the least of it
although it’s the one that gets the most press (and the Press, the most).
Jesus Christ called each of us to love our neighbour as ourself,
and in ways small and large we have failed to do that.
When we turn away from our neighbour, I believe we turn away from God
and from the promise of God’s love and grace for everyone
people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, skin colours,
ethnicities, heritages, abilities, language groups, religions,
marital statuses, places of residence, educational statuses, occupations,
political beliefs and religious beliefs, to name just a few.
And I believe that government’s role has everything to do
with building a stronger Canada for all those everyones
and nothing — nothing — to do with sin.

Now. Would that be so hard?


While I deplore Scheer’s inability to respond effectively, I deplore even more the ongoing pummeling he, and he alone of our national leaders, is getting on this issue of how his faith will affect his leadership or legislative agenda if ever entrusted with the keys to the kingdom/dominion. But with respect to the media, it is what it is. Scheer has to play the ball from where it lies.



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8 Responses to Do You Believe?

  1. Tom Watson says:

    It’s the role of the media to ask probing questions. Andrew Scheer has yet to figure out how to answer questions about this issue, and others, without sounding and looking as if he’s not being completely straightforward. What one says counts, but so does how longer says it, and what the accompanying body language suggests.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – At this point, my guess is that he’s not going to learn how to do it, either. That’s too bad, maybe: he seems like a decent guy. As for probing questions, I think it’s one thing to ask about policy and legislative intentions and another to frame it the way they do. I’ve never heard a reporter asking any other of our nominally Roman Catholic prime ministers (Trudeau, Chretien, Martin, and Trudeau again — at least those in my lifetime) whether they consider homosexuality or pre-marital sex or abortion to be sins — all teachings of their church. And of many churches, for that matter.

      • Tom Watson says:

        Yes, but isn’t it the case that Scheer has made negative statements in the past about those issues, whereas the others you cite didn’t?

        In spite of all this, that isn’t what cost Scheer the election. If the Conservatives had even a hint of a positive climate policy they would have won.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          Tom – That’s fair: He spoke against same-sex marriage. He hasn’t explained the evolution of his thinking. I am appalled at their communications in this election. But I agree that the substance of their campaign was poor. “Where seldom is heard an inspiring word . . .” if I might borrow a phrase.

  2. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – another possible reply Sheer could give is, “I didn’t agree with much Pierre Trudeau said or did, but I do agree with his comment that, ‘The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.”‘

    And I second that comment.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Yes, that might have worked too. Scheer isn’t super fast on his feet, at least not in public, talking to reporters. I empathize: I’d do a terrible job with gotcha questions.

  3. I would like to recast your sermonette on homosexuality and government in the terms of the first issue you touch upon today: war, its causes and the people who wage it.

    I would like to point out that psychological studies of the left-lateralization of gays and Alfred Tomatis’s understanding of the role of the right ear in lateralization and in behavior — to which I have substantially added — indicate that sexual orientation is caused by audio-processing deficits of the right ear and would not develop if the ears were treated with music when the person is young. I had the privilege last summer of sharing this neurological information with a middle-aged gay man, who was enormously relieved to learn what he had always suspected, namely, that his sexual proclivities were physiological and beyond the power of his will to transform.

    The same neurology explains a great many other forms of exceptional, aberrant, and normal behavior that we admire, vilify, condone, condemn, ignore, or take for granted. One of my intentions is to assemble the data in audiograms that will further prove these facts that other researchers have discovered. What people will do with those facts is difficult to predict.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I look forward to the day that we can prevent difficult-to-live-with conditions that are preventable and enhance our ability to deal with the remainder of those “exceptional, aberrant, and normal behaviours” that we exhibit.

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