Who is Andrew Prescott, the Conservative campaign worker now linked to the IP address in the Guelph voter suppression scandal? For one thing, as a conservative Christian, he appears to be a member of the Plymouth Brethren.
There are “Open” and “Closed” or “Exclusive” Brethren sects, though they all seem rather secretive. While Brethren are not supposed to be involved in politics (even voting is discouraged) the Exclusive Brethren made news in Australia some years ago for their questionable activities in support of John Howard. Similarly when the same sex marriage bill was introduced in Canada the Brethren were active here - as this excerpt from the Syndey Morning Herald indicates:
“A political conflagration was soon blazing as the Canadian Parliament debated same-sex marriage… households in the electorate of every member supporting the bill received a greeting card raging against the legislation: ‘The suicidal rush to fundamentally change a 6000-year-old institution is the canker that will destroy the roots of Canada's 'living tree'.’
…the card was signed by ‘Concerned Canadian parents’ who gave as their address a post-office box in a 7-Eleven store in Toronto…’What I do not respect is tens of thousands of dollars being spent anonymously with absolutely no way to contact this organisation,’ said a Canadian Liberal MP, Mark Holland… I would like to know who is behind it. We do not know who is behind it. Is there foreign money? Is there a political party behind it?’
His questions were answered by advertising agent Ron Heggie a few days before the Civil Marriage Act was passed... Questioned by journalists after placing a newspaper ad attacking the legislation, Heggie said he and the ‘Concerned Canadian parents’ were Exclusive Brethren. He told the Vancouver Sun: ‘Those who think the Brethren are being unethical and deceptive don't understand their approach to the outside world. It's not that we're hiding anything. It's just that we're not interested in grandstanding.’"
A blogger adds:
“According to Marci McDonald* the Brethren have hired the services of Conservative insider Gerald Chipeur, who has represented the Reform-Alliance-Conservative Party for some time”.
So, it’s mildly interesting at least, if Andrew Prescott is a Brethren member (and one who seems to have been similarly exercised about gay marriage). Here is something that appears on a Brethren website at the time of the legislation:
“The Government has attempted to re-define an institution that it has no authority to alter. As such, I do not recognize this legislation, and I will not recognize any same sex couple as being ‘married’. Marriage is an institution defined by God alone, and in accordance with the teachings of the Bible, God's Holy Word, I do not recognize such unions as valid.
Today, hereby referred to as ‘Black Tuesday’, marks the beginning of the end for Canada as we know it. History shows that as a nation declines morally, its end is near. Let it also be stated that the enacting of this law will result in the imprisonment of Christians within the next few years. As one who may enter Church leadership sometime in the future, and one who may be authorized to perform marriages, this law may end up in my own incarceration. Nevertheless, may God's will be done.
My Declaration - (to be read at my court hearing at a date yet to be determined)
On this day, ‘Black Tuesday’, June 28, 2005, I, Andrew Prescott, declare that in accordance with God's Holy Word, the Holy Bible, I do not and will not recognize the validity of same sex marriage.
In accordance with the religious freedoms proclaimed within Bill C-38, it is my right. Prime Minister Paul Martin has indicated that religious freedoms will be protected, and he is to be called as a witness to this fact. Any overturning of this right by any court or tribunal is in direct conflict with the religious freedoms protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We acknowledge that at a future date, these rights will however be ignored for the ‘greater good’, and let it be known that at every stage of debate, opponents of Bill C-38 warned that the protections for religious freedoms within Bill C-38 were not sufficient.
In other words, we were right. Bill C-38 will in fact be used to target those of faith.
‘Black Tuesday’, June 28, 2005”
Here's another 2005 post on religion and politics:
“Well, we are well aware that there will one day be such a unity of the globe, but we who study the Bible know that this will only occur during the ‘End Times’, when the dark powers behind the world leaders take final control and proclaim "peace" unto all the earth; when their master, Satan, will in essence be ruling the world. (as fortold by the prophets of the Old Testament, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc, and the New Testament writer John in his ‘Revelation’)
The main question at hand is the role of true born-again Christians in politics. As a background for you, many in our sect of Christianity have in the past felt that we must keep ourselves seperate from the worlds affairs and use our time and resources solely for our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, and seeking to convert the world by preaching His Gospel to all before His glorious return to earth to rule; that will of course be the true ushering in of ‘Peace on Earth’.
Several of us (mostly in the younger generations) have questioned this practice, (of non-involvement in politics) as we see many laws being passed in our home countries that are in direct conflict with the Word of God, the Bible. (in Canada, a law permitting Same-Sex Marriage is about to be passed) Some of us feel that it is partially due to our neglect of politics that these issues that we are faced have arisen.
Of course, some feel (as I do) that the passing of these laws may simply be another sign that the End of Days is almost here, and it should spur us on to proclaim the Truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that He alone is the pathway to God, before time is up for the world”.
Further on in this thread, Andrew Prescott makes reference to being “asked today to join the Board of Directors for our local CPC EDA.” But for the most part (until then at least), it would appear that the author sees himself obeying some higher calling than the earthly laws enacted by parliament. Would it be such a stretch to wonder whether the same might apply to the Elections Act?