A security guard at the event speaks to one of the protesters. (Photo by John Boivin)

Castlegar protesters crash controversial pastor’s sermon

First ‘Mighty Men’s Conference’ in Canada doesn’t go unchallenged

About 25 demonstrators stormed into a religious revival meeting in Castlegar on Sunday to protest the gathering’s main speaker.

The protesters, LGBTQ+ persons, their supporters and others, were protesting the presence of Angus Buchan, a South African evangelist notorious for what has been described as homophobic, misogynist and abusive rhetoric.

“It’s time, Canada, equality for all,” said Shannon McCready. “It’s not time for women to be submitting to men. You can’t pray the gay away. Corporal punishment is not for children. These are all things I’ve seen video of this man professing. And if that’s the kind of thing this guy is saying in Canada, it’s not okay in my backyard.”

The protesters first gathered at the entrance to the Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds, where the event was taking place.

However, they swept past security soon after, and stood in front of the stage waving placards — some laced with obscenities — and shouting slogans.

Security at the event called the police, who moved the protesters off to the side of the gathering. While they let the protesters stay, police warned them not to interfere with other attendees’ enjoyment of the event.

Buchan ignored the protesters, who occasionally heckled his message of a traditional biblical family structure. While he avoided talking about homosexuality, he did reiterate his view that women should submit to their men to bring peace to a household.

“My wife is probably the most feminine woman you can find. My house smells sweet. The food tastes delicious. My bed is clean. She’s got new sheets on my bed. I go to the bathroom there’s fresh soap there. She is a woman!” said Buchan. “I am a man. I don’t want a dirty bathroom. I don’t want cold food. I don’t want dirt … I love my wife more today then when I laid eyes on her 50 years ago . Let me tell you, you have a specific role in the home. Never, ever forget that, and boys, give them a clap … they have a role no man can fulfill.”

“When my boys have a problem they go to their mom. When my girls have a problem they go to their dad. That’s how it works. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.

“Let the wife see that she respects, submits to her husband,” he added. “That’s what the word of God says. It’s not what Angus Buchan says . the more I love my wife, the more my wife submits to me.”

While the protesters scoffed at the philosophy of the preacher, the mostly white, middle class audience cheered and applauded. The participants also ignored the protests for the most part, though some engaged the demonstrators in debate, shook their hands or even offered hugs.

Buchan spoke for about half an hour, then left the stage. Some of the crowd began to trickle out soon afterward.

Jeff Zak, who helped organize the event, said he welcomed the protesters to the meeting.

“They’re still loved, like every human being, God loves everybody and it’s fine,” he said.

He wouldn’t say whether he supported Buchan’s views, which includes calling homosexuality a “disease” that can be cured through prayer.

“Most of those things didn’t even come up and he didn’t address those … the purpose of this meeting was all about love, and about family, and loving your neighbour.

“I’m not going to get drawn into things … that wasn’t any part of those meetings. There’s a lot of misinformation and I disagree with you about that,” he said, when asked about Buchan’s past comments.

Zak said he was happy with the event.

“I saw a lot of people encouraged to love other people, and that’s what it’s all about. And to be proud of their families and take care of them. And I don’t think most people would have an issue with that.”

Organizers had hoped to attract up to 1,000 men to the three-day event. A rough count estimated about 800 attended Sunday, though much of that crowd included wives and children, who were allowed to go to the Sunday event.

The protest was organized after word of Buchan’s views spread on local social media. The outrage prompted the managers of the Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds to apologize on Facebook.

“Our Society would never support a negative or hurtful event being held at the Exhibition Grounds and our apologizes to our Community,” said Donna Smith, President of the Pass Creek Regional Exhibition Society. “We also want to express that we had no knowledge of who this Evangelical Preacher is.”

One protester said she thought the demonstration went well, and held out hope that Buchan’s message wouldn’t spread.

“I know a lot of people in the crowd,” she said. “They’re good people. They don’t really buy into what he says.

“They’re here for other reasons.”

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

 

For the most part Buchan stayed away from most controversial statements. (Photo by John Boivin)

Protesters waved placards and jeered Buchan, while the crowd mostly cheered and applauded his message. (Photo by John Boivin)

Just Posted

Single-vehicle crash in Ootischenia sends driver to hospital

The crash occurred on Aug. 8 along Aaron Road

Camp Day pours ahead at Tim Hortons despite COVID-19

All coffee and iced coffee sales, and bracelet purchases support sending kids to camp

Interior Health reports two more COVID-19 cases

IH: One person is in hospital. No one is in ICU with COVID-19.

ICBC stats show Castlegar drivers prefer Toyotas and Hondas

In 2019, there were 4543 vehicles registered in Castlegar.

Police seek suspect in rash of Castlegar thefts

There have been a number of thefts over the last two weeks in Castlegar.

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Most Read