Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One meeelion members! (but no more than 26 groups)

Dr. McVety says one million members, but this is difficult to substantiate, or determine its relevance.

In some of the groups, one assumes that the membership is behind the leadership. (McVety's Canada Christian College, which has an enrolment in the hundreds, presumably accept his leadership in such matters).

But another in the list is the Catholic Diocese of Calgary, and while constitutionally this is a dictatorship under the bishop appointed by the Church, the weight of the Bishop's statement within the Canadian political context depends on whether or not he is communicating the views of the rank and file Catholics under his charge. Although one might assume that many if not most Catholics accept the Church's teaching that abortion is sin and therefore would oppose Morgentaler's Order of Canada. But even among those how many will back the extreme demand that the Chief Justice be sacked because she chaired the committee that granted this award? And does McVety's one meeellion members count all of them? Because not all of them agree with their Bishop on this.

And then, of course, we have the problem that many of these 42 organizations are tiny, tiny, tiny. Consider the group named Active Christians Engaging Society (A.C.E.S.), the 5th organization named in Rushfeldt's list. Who are they? According to the Sudbury Christian Messenger, A.C.E.S. is a Sudbury group established to facilitate communication between church groups in Sudbury. The members of the A.C.E.S. team are named on this page. All four of them. ... Four.

The question, of course, is how large an "organization" has to be before it's worth including in a national news story claiming to show seething unhappiness in the masses. Four clearly misses by a couple orders of magnitude. Which leaves us at 26.