Yes, it’s true. I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit, but I really am defending the actions of our Prime Minister.
It seems that while attending the funeral of former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc, Stephen Harper was caught on video accepting a communion wafer and, gasp, putting it in his pocket instead of immediately consuming the body of Christ right then and there. Well, today must have been one heck of a slow news day because this made the front (web)page of most Canadian news outlets.
The argle-bargle (fooferaw?) results, of course, from the long-standing tradition of religious people getting all uppidy when other people don’t consider the same things sacred as they do. Roman Catholics are outraged because they believe the cracker, once “consecrated”, becomes the literal body of Christ (usually to be washed down with the blood of Christ, in the form of communion wine). By not consuming the cracker, Mr. Harper is offending the religious sensibilities of Catholics. The story goes something like this: Catholics think the cracker is sacred, and so, therefore, must everyone else. At the very least, those of us who are not afraid to call a cracker a cracker (ummm…) must treat the cracker with a certain amount of respect that would not ordinarily be afforded to other pieces of unleavened bread.
Stephen Harper was under no obligation to do anything with that cracker. If he (or I) were actively preventing Catholics from eating their holy cracker, THAT would be grounds for anger. But he was not interfereing in anyone’s ability to practice their (ridiculous) religion as they deemed fit. If Mr. Harper had, say, taken the cracker home, driven a nail through it, and then tossed it in the garbage, that would be his right. Catholics might not like it, but I’m afraid that’s the price you pay to live in a liberal democracy.
Of course, in the end, Stephen Harper ate the cracker, which is a bit odd. He’s not Catholic, and as far as I know, Catholics have a very well-enforced “Catholics only!” policy on these things. Perhaps they shouldn’t have offered it to him in the first place, or perhaps he should have declined. I don’t really know. This is the most ridiculous non-news piece of news I’ve heard in a long time.
Bottom line of how this should all go: Catholics, go ahead and delude yourself into thinking cracker = Jesus, and we here in realityland wont get in your way, so long as you don’t get in our way of making merciless fun of your ridiculous superstitions.