Art Lucier with the Revival Reformation Alliance says the group is not homophobic, but deflected other questions about the group’s position. He will be speaking in Sidney Saturday. (Facebook)

Art Lucier with the Revival Reformation Alliance says the group is not homophobic, but deflected other questions about the group’s position. He will be speaking in Sidney Saturday. (Facebook)

Christian minister accused of homophobia set to speak in Sidney

Kelowna-based Art Lucier will speak about the Battle of Canada

A minister who has drawn criticism from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community because of his sexual politics, among other views, will be in Sidney this Saturday.

Art Lucier, a leader of the Kelowna-based Harvest Ministries International, will be speaking at the Mary Winspear Centre as part of the so-called Battle for Canada, a continuous series of multi-day long revival meetings staged by the Revival Reformation Alliance with its next Battle for Canada scheduled for Kelowna, Feb. 18-20, 2020. St. John, NB., and Edmonton, Alta., held recent editions of the events, which features a variety of speakers from various Christian denominations. Harvest Ministries International is a part of Revival Reformation Alliance.

Lucier said in an interview with the Peninsula News Review that the Sidney event attempts to explain the agenda of the alliance to help drum up support for the Kelowna event. Battle of Canada is a “unity movement of all nations, including First Nations, all denominations to pray for the nation of Canada,” said Lucier, who describes himself as card-carrying member of the Metis nation.

RELATED: Cineplex sticks by decision to screen anti-abortion film ‘Unplanned’

“We can call it the Battle for the Canada, because for Christians, we see the eroding the morals, of values, that are in line with the foundation on which this nation was established on,” he said. “So prayer is a type of warfare. It is a battle of the moral foundation for this nation.” He later added that it is also important for Christians to run for government.” We believe that we need to come together as a church to pray for government, but also to get involved in government.”

This language echoes language popular among certain circles of Christian fundamentalists in the United States. When asked whether Lucier sees himself in the same tradition, he disagreed.

“We actually stand for progressive, conservative values,” he said. “We are a movement that believes in progressive, conservative values. We believe that we need to pray for our nation and that is why we are gathering.”

Promotional videos for the group do not necessarily suggest politics that meet the prevailing definition of progressive politics. They feature images of pro-pipeline protesters, anti-abortion activists, and opponents of Motion 103, a non-binding motion calling for the condemnation of “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” (Lucier said his group believes in moving oil to market and free speech).

One of the videos draws attention to Bill C-150 passed under the Liberal government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. The bill passed in 1969 decriminalized homosexuality in Canada and stands as a milestone for the expanding rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community. Bill C-150 also decriminalized abortion if a so-called therapeutic abortion committee of doctors felt the pregnancy endangered the mental, emotional or physical well-being of the mother.

A 1988 Supreme Court of Canada ruling later found that the committee provision violated the Charter of Rights and Freedom in effectively expanding abortion access. While the law remains in place, the 1988 court ruling has rendered it unenforceable.

Lucier said his group drew the link between Trudeau and Bill C-150 to draw attention to the abortion, not same-sex rights.

“We believe that life begins at conception,” he said. “That is why we put Bill C-150 there.” By way of the background, Lucier has been promoting screenings of Unplanned, an anti-abortion movie.

The Battle for Canada movement has also drawn criticism from the LGBTQ+ community, when it stopped in Edmonton and North Battleford, where a local lawyer called the group an “anti-LGBTQ+, anti-reproductive rights, pro-Trump extremist right-wing political-church” in a lengthy social media post.

RELATED: Saanich church hosts anti-SOGI rally, drawing pro-SOGI protests

So how does Lucier respond to these charge of homophobia? “That is all relative,” he said. “They can look at any statement that I have made and judge from there.” When pressed, Lucier said his group believes in “rights for everyone.” Would that include LGBTQ+? “We believe in rights and we don’t believe in discrimination of anybody including homosexuals,” he said. When asked whether that includes all groups that identify as LGBTQ+, Lucier demurred. “I’m just going to leave it like that.”

Based in Kelowna with its history of social and religious conservatism, Lucier is travelling to one of the most liberal corners of the province, raising the question of how his message will resonate.

“We are looking for healing and unity between the nations, and we are looking to have people understand that God loves us all,” he said. “That is about it. We know and understand that people who find themselves marginalized want to attack any and all institutions they feel that come against their personal choice. That is unfortunate, but that is not our intention.”

Lucier’s pending appearance in Sidney also draws attention to his environmental politics. A strong supporter of pipelines, Lucier declined to answer questions about climate change and the agenda of local MP Elizabeth May.

“I have no comment about climate change,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Saanich fire crews close road over smoking underground electrical equipment

Police diverting traffic as Vernon Avenue closed to all through traffic

A man accused of sexual assault has resigned as a coach at Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club and has had his employment suspended at The Local. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Rugby coach resigns, is suspended from Victoria restaurant following sexual assault allegations

Social media page creates a safe space for survivors to share their stories

A GoFundMe has been launched in memory of an eight-year-old boy who drowned at a Hotel Zed pool in Victoria on March 24. (Jane Andema/GoFundMe)
GoFundMe started in memory of 8-year-old boy who died at Hotel Zed pool

Child drowned after wandering off to the pool alone

Smoke is visible from the Trans-Canada Highway, April 16 around 12:15 p.m. (Black Press Media photo)
UPDATED: Saanich fire crews truck in water as hog fuel fire smoulders

No injuries reported following fire at greenhouse near Burnside West and Prospect Lake roads

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Nanaimo Clippers’ game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs slated for Thursday, April 15, has been postponed due to a “potential positive COVID-19 test result,” says the BCHL. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers COVID-19 test negative, team can practise and play

Junior A hockey team had suspended activities the day before out of ‘abundance of caution’

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)

Most Read