As GraceLife Church settles back into their home after being locked out nearly three months ago by the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services – forced to have underground services on account of their pastor James Coates being thrown in jail and fearing further retribution, questions are still being raised about how that could have happened in the first place. How could the church be barricaded by the government, and who signed off on it?
Back in April, the Western Standard reported that Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the unprecedented attack on GraceLife, with a fellow political party ally and Member of the Legislative Assembly reportedly saying “Shandro directly signed off on the raid.” He didn’t have to do it, but chose specifically to.
As for why he would engage in this level of provocation, his hatred for Christianity might have something to do with it. We think he saw an opportunity and took his shot. La Revue Gauche gives us insight into why that might be, revealing that for years he was President of his University Atheist Club who would pen antagonist columns denouncing Christmas while mocking spiritual beliefs.
Lest one think that Sandro has become kinder and less smugly confrontational, this doesn’t seem to have been the case. Shandro managed to find himself one of the most disliked politicians in Alberta, the result of blocking dozens of doctors who have disagreed with his COVID approach, as well as a series of scandals he’s been embroiled in, to the point where 98% of doctors within the Alberta medical associates declared that they lost conference in him, voted by nearly 9000 physicians in the province.
It’s entirely possible that two are unrelated, but Coates and supporters have long suggested that something about their particular piece of persecution seems personal. If anything, we know Shandro doesn’t like being criticized, having paid a visit to a private citizen who posted a meme that critical of him, standing in his driveway and yelling at him for the insult and slight.
With Coates having publicly criticized the Province’s handling of the pandemic, and him by proxy, Shandro may have seen an opportunity to stick it to Jesus man by getting his hands dirty, fulfilling a childhood dream of shutting down a church, all while looking on with pleasure and seeing his atheism lived out.
Editor’s Note. This article was written by Pastor Ed Litton and published at Protestia