July 23, 2006
A visit to the Church of the Universe
To put some context to the latest local cartoon I feel compelled to explain who I placed in the position of God in my parody of Michelangelo’s famous painting “The Creation of Adam”. It’s Michael Baldasaro, and most Hamiltonians know who he is. For the record, here’s a photo essay I created after I was invited for a visit in February 2004.
An update on onetime federal PC leadership candidate, and mayoral candidate, the Rev. Michael Baldesaro, and his campaign manager, Brother Walter Tucker.
When you put the words “politics” and “Hamilton” together, the first name that springs to mind is Sheila Copps. But did you know that along with left leaning Coppsian politics, steeltown is also known for the political movement to legalize cannabis? The crusade has been led for years by the two founders from the Hamilton based Church of the Universe. On February 9, I was invited to their temple. Here is my photo essay:
The first thing one notices upon entering the temple is the high security system. Before being allowed in, I was observed from a closed circuit surveillance monitor. Following admittance, the door was secured behind me. Brother Michael tells me the building has been prey to trouble makers desiring free access to the church’s leafy sacrament.
That’s a George Foreman grill to the left of the door.
Once comfortably seated in the temple kitchen, Brother Walter spoke about previous busts, jail sentences, and court challenges, as Brother Michael rolled a joint.
And they worshipped the sacrament…
We talked about some of the cartoons I had drawn of them, and they presented me with a framed drawing I had done in May, 1999.
The brothers, also known for advocating naturism, lobbied the city to consider creating a nude beach at the edge of Hamilton Harbour. Brother Walter, pictured in the cartoon on the right, confided that the cartoon motivated him to lose weight.
I had them pose together with the cartoon:
After an hour and a half visit it was time to get back to the office. Brother Michael offered me a brownie cooked by members of the church’s ladies auxillary. Unfortunately, I had to decline consuming the brownie owing to the fact that I’ve been limiting my carbohydrate intake recently. He suggested I offer it to a colleague, and I obliged by handing it over to my office neighbour, The Spectator’s City columnist upon my return to the office. Then I got busted by my boss, the Editorial Pages Editor, a former RCMP officer, who interrogated me and my colleague before confiscating the baked good for disposal.
For more information, visit the Church of the Universe website at: