Tanya Granic Allen's views are consistent with Catholic moral teaching, Charles Lewis writes. Photo courtesy of Tanya Granic Allen

Charles Lewis: Tanya Granic Allen deserves a badge of honour

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  • May 17, 2018

I am writing about a friend. Her name is Tanya Granic Allen. I do not normally write about friends or family, but what happened to her at the hands of supposed political allies needs repeating because it was so grotesque and cowardly. 

Tanya, who earned a spot as Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate in the riding Mississauga Centre, was kicked out of the party and the race earlier this month by Doug Ford, the party leader who hopes to be Ontario’s next premier.

So what happened? He found out that she takes her social conservative values seriously. Imagine the shock the poor man must have felt.

For a while, just after he won the leadership race, Ford seemed content to share the limelight with Tanya. I am sure he felt she could help him get elected by rousing that part of the population, known as social conservatives, many of whom are dying for someone to represent their interests in the provincial legislature or anywhere for that matter.

Tanya is absolutely pro-life. She is against same-sex marriage on religious grounds and does not like to see women covered head to toe with their faces obscured with a mask. These views were not a secret. 

Most of her views are consistent with Catholic moral teaching. She is not a bigot but simply a devout Catholic who believes her ideas have some value in the public square.

However, she was not running on these issues. Her main concern has been for a while the provincial government’s ideologically loaded sexual education curriculum. In this fight she has not only attracted orthodox Christians but a fair number of Muslims.

She has also been concerned about the conscience rights of doctors who are fighting for the right to refuse to refer their patients to those who perform euthanasia.

Yet her association with Muslims did not stop Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn from declaring her “anti-Muslim” along other unfair labels.

Also piling on in the Star ultra-left lovefest was former orthodox Catholic and now the poster boy for everything the Church opposes, Michael Coren. In a Star column he wrote about Tanya and her supporters.

“Do not be fooled by their ostensible Christianity. The socon Bible seems to have had the references to forgiveness and gentleness expunged somewhere along the line, and Jesus has become the Lord of Nastiness rather than the Prince of Peace.”

Thank you, Michael, for reminding us of the real meaning of Christianity. We are beyond grateful.

Ford began to distance himself from Tanya in mid April when he realized a lot of people, and at least two Star columnists, were attacking her. He began to think about her as a liability that could lose him votes.

Then the Liberal party dug up a couple of videos four and five years old. She had harsh things to say about same-sex marriage and the burka. I would never have chosen her exact language but I understand her. Being a social conservative in this time in history in this country is frustrating and at times disheartening. Many of us have gotten angry over this. I have on many occasions. And besides, when did we all become so delicate that words make us wilt?

Finally, Ford must have woken up in a cold sweat and decided she was simply too much and cut her loose.

He and his cronies crowed the usual rhetoric that the party is open to everyone — except, of course, those creepy conservative Christians.

Ford could have simply said she earned the riding nomination fair and square and it is up to the electorate to pass judgment. Then he could have said with a straight face that the party really does allow a variety of views.

I have been a friend of Tanya’s for several years. We often ended up at the same parish on Sundays. She is a good person, she has a beautiful family, she is firm in her beliefs, she is faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and she has a great sense of humour. She also talks at top speed.

In other words, she has a personality.

Personality and moral backbones these days scare politicians and many regular people. They do not want people who think for themselves and who are not afraid to practice free speech instead of just supporting that fundamental right as just another quaint theory.

Tanya is also fearless, something that freaks out the weak and complacent.

Most people today want to hide in some bland comfort zone in which no one ever gets angry or, in the parlance of our time, acts “inappropriately.”

In these sad days the only thing most politicians care about is getting elected. It is all expediency.

When I wrote to Tanya I told her that she should wear this setback as a badge of honour. But this latest disaster should not be a surprise. We have been living with this for years.

Once again we have been fooled. When do we stop being fooled?

(Lewis a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

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