Anti-gay pastor, denied by Ric McIver, endorses the PC leadership candidate anyway for his ‘traditional Alberta values’

by David Climenhaga on July 24, 2014 in Alberta Politics

The Calgary pastor who believes gays aren’t merely being duped by Satan, but are practically on the demonic payroll, endorsed Tory leadership candidate Ric McIver yesterday.

Artur Pawlowski of Calgary’s so-called Street Church, a well-known nuisance violator of civic noise bylaws and leader of the annual March for Jesus attended several times in his political career by Mr. McIver, yesterday told the Calgary Herald the candidate is the best man to preserve “traditional Alberta values.”

Never mind that Mr. McIver disavowed his connection with the Pastor Pawlowski’s beliefs at least thrice, if not quite his relationship with the pastor himself, after his 2014 appearance in the preacher’s annual “March for Jesus.”

No sooner had Mr. McIver allowed himself to be photographed at the June 15 parade than his political opponents were Tweeting links to the Street Church’s contentious views about participants in the city’s Pride Parade – “that they are not ashamed to declare the name of their master (Satan).”

Mr. McIver hid out for a few days, and then gingerly backed away from the Street Church’s views, declaring that “if chosen premier, I do and will continue to defend equality rights for all Albertans as defined in the Charter, including sexual orientation.” Eventually, he issued a statement calling Pastor Pawlowski’s opinions “ugly” and “nasty.”

Pastor Pawlowski didn’t shed any tears about that disavowal, though. He went straight to the media and explained that “Albertans would be stupid not to vote for that man.”

Anyway, no roosters crowed before or after Mr. McIver’s disavowal of the pastor and at least some of his doctrines – thanks at least in part to Provincial Court Judge Catherine Skene’s 2012 ruling that the Cowtown bylaw prohibiting Calgarians from keeping chickens in their back yards is constitutional. (That’s enough obscure Bible references — Ed.)

The pastor told the Herald that real Albertans were disappointed by Mr. McIver’s disavowal, but they understood why he had to do it. “We have, in the Bible, very similar circumstances,” he said, referencing the same chicken story noted above.

He had some unkind words for both of Mr. McIver’s opponents – frontrunner and former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice and former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, slamming the former for being too inclusive in his campaign staff and the latter for not living up to the pastor’s fiscal views.

The important question now, though, is whether Pastor Pawlowski’s endorsement and the votes of his flock will help or hinder Mr. McIver’s leadership bid.

As argued here, posts passim, they could actually boost Mr. McIver’s leadership campaign, since the Calgary-Hays MLA has now almost cornered what’s left of the extreme social conservative vote left among the PC Party’s supporters.

It’s even possible, if unlikely, that they could push him over the top. And they will certainly make the winner and future premier of Alberta – most likely Mr. Prentice – think twice about not putting Mr. McIver into his cabinet to shore up the province’s hard-core Christianist vote.

But if Mr. McIver did win, his association with Pastor Pawlowski’s flock would destroy him and the Progressive Conservative Party.

They may also sink the chances of any other candidate who wins, because between them, Mr. McIver and Pastor Pawlowski have torpedoed two years of concerted efforts by PC strategists to brand the Wildrose Party as a bunch of homophobic nuts for remarks discovered in a blog by a candidate in the 2012 election campaign.

Since both conservative parties stand for pretty much the same thing on most other issues, they have frittered away about the only significant advantage held by the PCs.

Thus endeth the lesson.

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

Here is the real press story:

NEWS RELEASE

July 23rd 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

McIVER BEST CHOICE TO LEAD ALBERTA,” SAYS STREET CHURCH LEADER

CALGARY – Artur Pawlowski announced, today, that he will continue to support Ric McIver’s bid to become the Leader of the Alberta PC Party and Premier of Alberta.

Said Pawlowski, “I still believe that my good friend, Ric McIver, is still the best choice for Albertans of good will who want to make sure traditional Alberta values are defended in Edmonton at the Legislature. Despite the fact that we are both Poles, I continue to have serious doubts about Thomas Lukaszuk and his commitments to fiscal responsibility, to moral standards, and to the truth. Mr. Lukaszuk was a key supporter of Alison Redford, and we all know where that took Alberta and the Alberta PC Party. Mr. Lakaszuk and I both speak Polish, but we speak different languages when it comes to traditional Alberta values.”

A few weeks ago, Ric McIver was challenged by Alberta media as to his association with Artur Pawlowski and his participation in the international “March for Jesus” here in Calgary organized by the Street Church led by Mr. Pawlowski. While he initially defended his participation, under enormous pressure Mr. McIver later attempted to disassociate himself and his leadership campaign from the Street Church, the March for Jesus, and Mr. Pawlowski.

Pawlowski also holds serious doubts about Jim Prentice and his campaign to lead the Alberta PC Party.

“I also have serious doubts about Jim Prentice’s fitness to lead the Alberta PC Party, let alone the Province of Alberta. Mr. Prentice’s policies would see higher tax bills for hurting Albertans. But Ric McIver has promised to make Alberta debt free, not by raising taxes, but by cutting public spending. Ric McIver has supported the work of the Street Church to feed the homeless, including homosexual, lesbian, transgendered, and transvestite homeless people – people we feed every week. But Mr. Prentice has long been a supporter of an anti-marriage, anti-family, anti-religious, and pro-abortion political agenda, and he is bringing that agenda to this race,” added Pawlowski.

Jim Prentice’s campaign includes Jaime Watt and his public affairs company, Navigator Ltd, of Toronto. Mr. Watt and Navigator were granted sole-sourced contracts by Alison Redford while she was Premier. Mr. Watt was recognized by EGALE as a leading campaigner on behalf of gay marriage, gay adoption, and using the courts to force Catholic schools to promote or to tolerate a militantly gay social and political agenda. When he was asked about his association with Jaime Watt and Navigator, Jim Prentice refused to deny his association and Mr. Watt’s taking a role on the Prentice leadership campaign.

I know that many Albertans were very disappointed at Ric McIver’s efforts to distance himself from traditional, Alberta values. But I still believe that my friend Ric is the best choice to lead the Alberta PC Party and our Province in the 21st century,” said Pawlowski.

-30-

For further information, please contact: Artur Pawlowski at (403) 607-4434 or by email: art@streetchurch.ca

http://www.streetchurch.ca/press-coverage-topmenu-33/1145-press-conference-mciver-best-choice

Here is the video of the entire press conference and what really was said:


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