Charles McVety

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Charles H. McVety is a Canadian evangelical Christian leader. He has been the president of Canada Christian College in Toronto since 1993, taking over for his father, and was president of Canada Family Action until 2008. He is perhaps best known for campaigning to repeal the law legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. According to the CBC, Charles McVety is "one of the most powerful leaders of the Christian Right in [Canada]".[1]

Biography[edit]

McVety is the son of Betty and Elmer S. McVety, who was also an evangelical leader and the founder of Canada Christian College. Charles McVety studied at the University of Toronto. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from Canada Christian College. He also earned a "D.Min." from California State Christian University, and was granted an honorary Doctor degree from St. Petersburg State University, Russia.

He was the host of a national television program, Word.ca (also known as Word TV) on CTS and the Miracle Channel until he was censured by the CBSC for referring to the Toronto Pride parade as a "sex parade". His response to the censure was to claim that he was censored and that his freedom of speech was being violated. He now hosts Canadian Times TV, a national news commentary program airing on Daystar TV. McVety is also the National Chairman of Christians United for Israel, a sister organization to its American counterpart led by John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Benny Hinn.

McVety is married to Jennifer McVety, currently registrar of Canada Christian College, and has two children.[2]

Positions[edit]

Opposition to same-sex marriage[edit]

McVety is Senior Director of the Defend Marriage Coalition, a lobby group seeking to repeal the Civil Marriage Act (also called Bill C-38), the 2005 federal law legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. In a November 2006 New York Times interview, he was quoted as saying that "With the legalization of gay marriage, faith has been violated and we've been forced to respond." [3]

On December 2, 2006, McVety indicated he welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper's signal to hold a vote on repealing the legislation on December 6. In a Globe and Mail article that described him as having "the ear of the Conservatives", he was quoted as saying that “We have made our case and we have contacted the Members of Parliament and we hope they will reopen the debate and study the impact [of same-sex marriage] on society...." On the question of having an immediate vote, he stated that "the consensus, at the end of the day, was to restore the traditional definition of marriage or have no motion at all.” [4]

Anti-Darwinism[edit]

In the spring of 2008, McVety was involved in the promotion of the pro-Intelligent Design and anti-Charles Darwin film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. On June 12, 2008, he organized a poorly attended protest outside the Royal Ontario Museum against its Darwin exhibit. McVety accused the ROM of “sugar coating” Darwin’s theory and of “cleansing the message” by omitting what he erroneously claimed were aspects of Darwinism that “propagate genocide and hatred." The rally immediately followed a special screening of Expelled at a nearby cinema.[5][6]

Islam[edit]

In 2011, McVety's Canada Christian College invited and hosted Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam politician[7] who has called for the banning of the Koran.[8] Charles McVety, president of the Canada Christian College, said,

Islam is not just a religion, it’s a political and cultural system as well and we know that Christians, Jews and Hindus don’t have the same mandate for a hostile takeover.[7]

The Toronto Muslim community rejected the above comment, stating they had no intention of any hostile takeover. The North American Muslim Foundation said that "Wilders and his allies" will only heighten religious and cultural tensions.[7] Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations also expressed concern at the remarks made by McVety, and asked politicians to condemn Wilders' anti-Muslim views.[8]

Environmentalism[edit]

McVety has been strongly critical of the environmental movement, claiming that it leads to worship of the earth and the abandonment of God. Recently he declared his opposition to a carbon cap-and-trade system to avert anthropogenic climate change in his cover story for the August/September 2009 issue of Evangelical Christian Magazine: "I believe this taxing and trading of "air" will fund the one world government of the Anti-Christ."[9] Earlier, in the magazine's Feb/Mar 2009 issue, he praised conservative Evangelical pastor James Dobson for leading the move to force Rev. Richard Cizik from his position as Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, because of his advocacy of creation care theology, and linked the resignation of Ted Haggard from the Presidency of the organization to his support for the same position.[10]

Influence over Harper Conservatives[edit]

A common theme of news coverage of McVety is the degree of his influence and that of his evangelical colleagues over Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government generally. During the 2006 election, McVety registered several domains which bore the names of Liberal candidates, such as "josephvolpe.com" (a reference to Joe Volpe), and published pro-Conservative material there. He also attempted to sway a number of Conservative nomination candidates in favour of evangelical candidates. After the Conservative victory, McVety and evangelical colleagues were asked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office to help popularize his child-care plan.[11]

Claims about access to Harper[edit]

In November 2006, former Conservative Garth Turner claimed that McVety had once boasted to him of his influence with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, saying "I can pick up the phone and call Harper and I can get him in two minutes." McVety flatly denied saying this, after which Turner firmly reiterated his claim.[12]

Bill C-10 involvement[edit]

On February 28, 2008, Canadian Heritage announced that it would be "expanding slightly" the criteria for denying tax credits to Canadian films to include gratuitous violence, significant sexual content that lacks an educational purpose, or denigration of an identifiable group; these changes were contained in Bill C-10. The following day, McVety claimed credit for this new policy, suggesting that its adoption was the result of a series of meetings he had with Stockwell Day, Rob Nicholson, and representatives of the Prime Minister's Office. He argued that "films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence should not receive tax dollars", and indicated that many Conservative MPs supported this goal.[13] [14]

However on October 8, 2008 the new Conservative platform outlined plans not to re-introduce bill C-10 if re-elected. McVety appeared on CBC Newsworld on the same day and expressed his disappointment in the change in the Conservative Party's position.[citation needed]

Word TV in breach of Canadian Broadcast Standards Council codes[edit]

In December 2010, Crossroads Television System (CTS) pulled Word TV off the air, following a decision by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) for statements made by McVety which were deemed to be in violation of the Council's standards and due to a lack of compliance with CTS's own code of ethics.[15] The first violation pertained to the relationship between opinion and fact with the Council finding against Word TV "because of the false and misleading underpinnings" of a "barrage of seemingly trustworthy information" that was determined by the CBSC to be "neither full, fair nor proper." Word TV was found in violation of the Council's broadcast codes for two errors of fact expressed by McVety in his discussion of gay people, one pertaining to erroneous statements that the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Alberta Human Rights Commission [16] had a 100% "conviction rate" and the other pertaining to the criminalization of commentary by Bill C-250, an act to amend the Criminal Code with reference to hate propaganda, after the acceptance of which McVety stated erroneously that “it is now a crime to speak against homosexuality.” As pertains to the Ontario Government's proposed revision of the Ontario school curriculum, the CBSC found McVety's "twisting of the purpose of the revisions is wrong-headed, unfair and improper." McVety had stated that the curriculum intended to "teach homosexuality". In his statements regarding the Gay Pride Parade, the panel found McVety's implications that homosexuals prey on children " mis-characterizations" which were "excessive, inappropriate, disparaging, and abusive" and in breach of the Human Rights Clauses of its Code of Ethics and its Equitable Portrayal Code as well as other sections of the Equitable Portrayal Code.[17] The offending episodes aired on CTS between July 19, 2009 and February 21, 2010, and was given a rating of "G" in the English Canadian ratings system.[17] The CBSC ordered CTS to announce the ruling at least twice on the air, and to take steps to ensure further breaches of the CBSC's codes do not occur.[18][19]

CTS's banishment of Word TV was originally a temporary move, but in January 2011, it was made permanent when CTS cancelled the program.[20] However, CTS has said in a press release that McVety was asked many times to cease his distorting and polarizing behavior, and comply with broadcasting guidelines, yet he refused to do so.[21]


See also[edit]

Portal icon Conservatism portal

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Hour 19 October 2006
  2. ^ "Biography of Dr. Charles H. McVety". Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship. November 13, 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  3. ^ Mason, Christopher (18 November 2006). "Gay marriage galvanizes Canada's religious right". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  4. ^ Galloway, Gloria (2 December 2006). "Ottawa to revisit same-sex marriage". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  5. ^ "ROM’s exhibit is ‘sugar coating’ Darwin’s theory, McVety charges", Jewish Tribune, June 17, 2008
  6. ^ "Protesters rail against Darwin exhibition", National Post, June 13, 2008
  7. ^ a b c Jessica Hume, Anti-Islamic political leader Geert Wilders comes to Canada, National Post, May 5, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Ask Federal Leaders to Condemn Anti-Muslim Views of Visiting Politician Geert Wilders, CAIR-CAN, May 06, 2011.
  9. ^ McVety, Charles (Aug–Sep 2009). "The Greatest Scam on Earth to Fund one World Government". Evangelical Christian. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  10. ^ McVety, Charles (Feb–Mar 2009). "Lifting Up a Standard". Evangelical Christian. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  11. ^ McDonald, Marci (5 December 2006). "Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons". The Walrus. Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  12. ^ "Evangelist denies he has special access to the PM". Globe and Mail. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  13. ^ Bill Curry and Gayle MacDonald (2008-02-29). "Evangelist takes credit for film crackdown". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  14. ^ "Christians influence Canadian film funding". United Press International. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  15. ^ Pastor claims censorship after TV show canceled due to anti-gay remarks
  16. ^ http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/
  17. ^ a b Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, CITS-TV re Word.ca and Word TV
  18. ^ National Post: "Evangelical TV show pulled from the air", December 10, 2010.
  19. ^ Daily Brew: "Television evangelist Charles McVety censured for claims of gay government agenda", December 9, 2010.
  20. ^ http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Pastor+claims+censorship+after+show+cancelled+anti+remarks/4199794/story.html
  21. ^ CTS press release: "CTS Refutes Comments made by Charles McVety and Word TV", January 31, 2011.

External links[edit]