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Canada On Verge of Banning Christians from Professional Life
Frontpage ^ | 5/30/2014 | Lea Singh

Posted on 05/30/2014 2:15:33 AM PDT by markomalley

An intense struggle is happening in the realm of professional licensing in Canada. The religious freedom of Christians and others is colliding on a grand scale with the “equality rights” of the LGBTQ identity group, and as the tide turns in favor of equality rights, we are starting to witness socially accepted ostracism of Christians by professional bodies.

On April 24th, the law society of Canada’s largest province voted against admitting among their ranks graduates of Trinity Western University, for the sole reason that the school’s community covenant, which students (and teachers) voluntarily sign upon admission or hiring, reserves sexual intimacy for heterosexual marriage. Nova Scotia followed suit, wording their rejection as approval on the condition that TWU change its community covenant or allow students to opt out. In British Columbia, where the school is located, the law society voted on April 11th to admit TWU graduates to the bar, but momentum is building for the law society to reverse that decision in a special meeting on June 10th.

The Supreme Court of Canada will likely soon have a chance to settle this matter, since Trinity Western University has just launched lawsuits against the law societies of Ontario and Nova Scotia, rightly alleging that they failed to stick to the law and follow an earlier Supreme Court decision that approved TWU’s covenant. That 2001 decision, Trinity Western University v. BC College of Teachers, is still good law, but many of our country’s top lawyers have become convinced that a shift in public opinion and the legalization of same-sex marriage have altered the climate enough to overturn the Court’s earlier opinion.

Such lawyers might well be right. With same-sex marriage legalized, the public debate is now strongly weighed against Christians who believe in traditional marriage, and they face rapidly mounting charges of unreasonable intolerance. During the April 11th debate by the B.C. law society (read the transcript online), some Benchers considered TWU’s covenant discriminatory because it requires gay students to abstain from intimacy “even within a legal marriage,” and because it prevents gay students “from being married by the State, a right that was hard fought and hard won.”

Christians Belong in the Closet

As equality rights have been gaining ground, religious freedom has been on the retreat. Many lawyers now argue that even a private religious school like TWU must not be allowed to “discriminate” in its hiring practices by choosing teachers who abide by its moral tenets or by expecting students to conform their behavior to the beliefs that the school espouses.

This new “balance” between religious freedom and equality rights essentially asks TWU to enter the proverbial closet. It would mean that gay students or teachers could openly live out lifestyles that directly violate TWU’s religious values, while TWU would effectively be disabled from creating a campus life reflective of its religious beliefs.

The new reasoning holds that even as religiously-based morality is pushed out of the realm of action and into the confines of our minds, religious freedom is not being impacted. As B.C. Bencher Joe Arvay put it: “No one is asking any of their religious students or faculty to abandon their beliefs.” As long as no mind control is being applied, we are apparently free. But the mere freedom to think religious thoughts is a very narrow religious freedom indeed.

Such a restrictive understanding of religious freedom led Bencher Dean Lawton to caution the B.C. Law Society not to become “Pharisees of secularism,” and Bencher David Crossin agreed:

[T]he right to assemble and the right to freely and openly practice religious belief…is a fundamental right in this country that is to be jealously guarded…a response that sidesteps this fundamental Canadian freedom in order to either punish TWU for its value system or force it to replace it…would risk undermining freedom of religion for all and…would be a dangerous over-extension of institutional power.

Christians Are the New Racists

Just a few years ago, it would have sounded absurd to say that Christians who believe in traditional heterosexual marriage are akin to racists. Today this opinion is quite seriously held by an increasing number of our most prominent lawyers. B.C. Bencher Cameron Ward put it this way: “I remember that in the 1960s some people in the deep south of the United States were made to feel unwelcome at lunch counters, at the fronts of buses and, indeed, in some universities…TWU’s community covenant is an anachronism, a throwback that wouldn’t be out of place in the 1960s.” Other Benchers asked “whether we would have the same debate over discrimination against other equity-seeking groups, like women, people with disabilities or racial minorities.”

What is perhaps most concerning about these comparisons of Christianity to racism and other heinous intolerance is that they lead directly to the belief that Christians are simply not capable of practicing their professions without imperilling the rights of minority groups. Just as they would feel justified in excluding those who hold racist or misogynistic beliefs from positions of influence, so many Benchers also found it right and good to exclude Christians from the legal profession. For such lawyers, Christians have become synonymous with bigots who represent a public threat.

What Is Next for Canada?

Trinity Western University has started the process of bringing this whole matter back to the Supreme Court of Canada, but the outcome of that legal journey is far from certain. The climate has steadily shifting in favour of equality rights, and significant factions in the legal community now believe that religious freedom should be far more limited. Ontario’s law society is the largest and most influential in Canada, and its ostracism of TWU may well be heralding a new trend of exclusion of Christians from public and professional life.

If the Supreme Court decides against TWU, then surely other professional bodies will not stay far behind Ontario and Nova Scotia in excluding the graduates of TWU. Teachers already tried to do this in 2001, and emboldened by a new ruling they would surely try again. Nurses, dentists, accountants and other professionals could well follow suit.

Other Christian schools need to get ready for the domino effect. There are various independent religious schools in Canada, and many of them have covenants. Such schools should get ready for difficult decisions about putting their faith into practice. While they may be allowed to keep their covenants for the time being, they could be limiting the job opportunities of their graduates by doing so.

In the future, even foreign-trained students may not find welcome in Canada if their schools profess the sanctity of traditional marriage. Many international law students arrive in Canada each year, and currently the law societies do not look at the belief systems of the schools they came from but rather, they examine the academic training these students received. All this may change if our law societies proceed further in the direction of excluding students from schools like TWU. Even American students studying at private religious schools with covenants that profess the sanctity of traditional marriage might find their future career options curtailed in Canada.

The current developments in Canada bring to mind a quote from Princeton Professor Robert George, who recently warned Catholics in Washington, D.C. of a nascent persecution of Christians in our society:

To be a witness to the Gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. To unashamedly proclaim the Gospel in its fullness is to place in jeopardy one’s security, one’s personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, one’s standing in polite society. One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members. Yes, there are costs of discipleship—heavy costs.

These are the costs that Christians in Canada may indeed now have to bear, much sooner than they perhaps expected.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: religion

1 posted on 05/30/2014 2:15:33 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Texas is going to get awful crowded at this rate.


2 posted on 05/30/2014 2:22:11 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
As long as they don't bring their voting habits and expect a different result.
I see more and more Coexist stickers every year. Useless idiots.
3 posted on 05/30/2014 2:25:41 AM PDT by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: markomalley

Does this mean the lgbt gay crowd is admitting they can’t be gay AND be Christian?


4 posted on 05/30/2014 2:25:56 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: markomalley
I wonder how Canadian bodies would fare if they tried this approach with Muslims? Of course, they won't. They will celebrate the Koran and its deadly intolerance and subjugation of nonbelievers.
5 posted on 05/30/2014 2:26:06 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: markomalley

This is a chilling portent of our future here in the US.

We used to marvel at the thought control madness that overtook Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and say that could never happen here.

It has been happening here since 2009.


6 posted on 05/30/2014 2:34:29 AM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: MaxMax

Yes, I agree. Christians should be directly combatting these Coexist morons, but I frankly have been seeing fewer Christians bumper stickers and symbols now than what I ever saw.


7 posted on 05/30/2014 2:41:53 AM PDT by CaspersGh0sts
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To: markomalley

This all happening becaause anti-Gay marriage people can’t defend marriage as a religious sacrament by itself.

Their governmental marriages are not Marriages.

If anyone thinks government must be involved in marriage at all, then this is what you get, and polygamy is coming too.

Let us be happy with our true blessing from God.


8 posted on 05/30/2014 3:06:25 AM PDT by ReaganGeneration2
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To: ReaganGeneration2

Government Marriage is not by definition the Bible’s Marriage so when Government Replaces God, this is what you get. Remember the one nation under God.... How about one nation is God; fixed it.


9 posted on 05/30/2014 3:11:36 AM PDT by Jumper
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To: exit82
It has been happening here since 2009.

I would say since the sixties!

10 posted on 05/30/2014 3:34:15 AM PDT by sonofagun (Some think my cynicism grows with age. I like to think of it as wisdom!)
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To: VerySadAmerican
Does this mean the lgbt gay crowd is admitting they can’t be gay AND be Christian?

That's going to leave a scar.

11 posted on 05/30/2014 3:36:14 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Global Warming is caused by illegal immigrants!)
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To: Truth29

Moslems are allowed by their religion to lie if it will forward the cause, so they will agree with lgbt and then keep right on stoning their own or whoever they can capture.


12 posted on 05/30/2014 3:48:15 AM PDT by Excellence (Marine mom since April 11, 2014)
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To: exit82
I disagree with you on one important point -- especially as it relates to Nazi Germany (and maybe to the Soviet Union as well).

The thing that we ought to marvel about in terms of Nazi Germany wasn't persecution per se, but the lack of persecution in many areas of German society. Nazism got a thorough and complete grip over German society in a very short period of time because so many institutions -- including many that should damn well have known better -- were thoroughly accommodating without much of a threat at all. In fact, I would speculate that medical profession, academia, and even most religious leaders in Germany had sold out to the state long before the Nazis were even in power.

Persecution doesn't scare me. What really scares me is outright capitulation by people, leaders and institutions long before they're even facing a threat of persecution.

13 posted on 05/30/2014 4:15:18 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: markomalley

I liked it better when queers knew their place was in the closet.


14 posted on 05/30/2014 4:43:25 AM PDT by pallis
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To: markomalley

Any comments from the PM re: this attack on God and His morals & values?


15 posted on 05/30/2014 4:49:00 AM PDT by newfreep
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To: Alberta's Child

Its the centralization of power that does it. In the west, we experience today an unprecedented centralization of government authority. In Europe, everything today is more centrally controlled than even in the era of absolute monarchs. Rather than having a separation of power dispersed over a wide geographical area, we instead have ‘centers of power’ from where the corrupting influence spreads.

Today in America, that place is Mordor on the Potomac.


16 posted on 05/30/2014 4:53:27 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: markomalley
What the hell is it going to take before the silent, check signing majority get sick of crazy elites, from trigger happy cops to lawless executives to deviant psychopaths, and put their damned foot down?
17 posted on 05/30/2014 5:19:05 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: exit82
“It has been happening here since 2009.”

I have been consciously aware of the process since the 1970’s. A hell of a lot of preparatory conditioning was done in the form of PC that made what is happing now possible.

18 posted on 05/30/2014 5:22:11 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: markomalley

Canadian professionals who are both Christians and want to be free are sure welcome moving to Maine and helping us get a successful secession vote on June 12, 2018.


19 posted on 05/30/2014 5:40:37 AM PDT by The_Republic_Of_Maine (Be kept informed on Maine's secession, sign up at freemaine@hushmail.com)
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To: The_Republic_Of_Maine

Canadian professionals who are both Christians and want to be free are sure welcome moving to Maine and helping us get a successful secession vote on June 12, 2018.

________________

Are you kidding. Maine is the state that just had its Human Rights commission fine the folks who opposed homosexual marriage 50K and now want the list of their donors to, I imagine, fine them.


20 posted on 05/30/2014 5:42:08 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: pallis
I liked it better when queers knew their place was in the closet.

I liked it best when we followed God's law and put these abominations to death.

There is no coexistence with reprobates.


21 posted on 05/30/2014 5:47:45 AM PDT by nonsporting
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To: Chickensoup

You are certainly welcome to stay where you are, unless that happens to be in Maine, for we are looking for Christians who want to be free, not cry babies.


22 posted on 05/30/2014 6:53:03 AM PDT by The_Republic_Of_Maine (Be kept informed on Maine's secession, sign up at freemaine@hushmail.com)
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To: The_Republic_Of_Maine; Jim Robinson

You certainly have not been an addition to this site.


23 posted on 05/30/2014 7:39:26 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: markomalley

I’ve been saying that that was the whole point of the “homosexual agenda” -

criminalizing Christianity.


24 posted on 05/30/2014 7:40:14 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: markomalley

Oh no, Canada...


25 posted on 05/30/2014 8:06:32 AM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: Chickensoup

And you have been nothing but a hindrance to the freedom movement in Maine, don’t forget to vote for democrat Raye in the R primary Monday the tenth.


26 posted on 05/30/2014 9:29:03 AM PDT by The_Republic_Of_Maine (Be kept informed on Maine's secession, sign up at freemaine@hushmail.com)
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To: markomalley

Hmmm.... I wonder if the muslims will be discredited next.

...Oh, of course not.


27 posted on 05/30/2014 10:17:51 AM PDT by cookcounty (IRS = Internal Revenge Service.)
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To: CaspersGh0sts

Putting Christian messages on your car, like conservative ones, is a good way to get your car vandalized, at least around here.


28 posted on 05/30/2014 3:53:05 PM PDT by kaehurowing (FIGHT BULLYING, UNINSTALL FIREFOX)
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To: markomalley

Canada has been following the paradigm set in the U.K. Very influential constituents behind that. Canadians should reject the propaganda and accept our cultural similarities.


29 posted on 05/30/2014 5:54:03 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: markomalley; wagglebee

Coming south of the 49th within the decade.


30 posted on 05/30/2014 7:15:23 PM PDT by lightman (O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, giving to Thy Church vict'ry o'er Her enemies.)
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To: kaehurowing

“Putting Christian messages on your car, like conservative ones, is a good way to get your car vandalized, at least around here.”

Around where?

.


31 posted on 05/30/2014 7:19:36 PM PDT by Mears
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To: markomalley

Breaking my bonds with God and my children in the name of gay bonds oxymorons. Such a crock of sht this “love” bs. This is secular sharia. So the communist immam disagrees and the gay tribe does not approve my business, I get the boot? Are people that stupid?


32 posted on 05/30/2014 8:33:25 PM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: sonofagun

YEP.


33 posted on 05/30/2014 8:47:56 PM PDT by primrose (w)
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To: MaxMax

Coexist?! I’m trying too but the Muzzies aren’t interested in that, now are they?


34 posted on 05/30/2014 10:54:14 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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