Skip to comments.Canada On Verge of Banning Christians from Professional Life
Posted on 05/30/2014 6:29:08 AM PDT by SJackson
- FrontPage Magazine - http://www.frontpagemag.com -
Canada On Verge of Banning Christians from Professional Life
Posted By Lea Singh On May 30, 2014 @ 12:15 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | No Comments
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 Canadas largest province voted against admitting among their ranks graduates of Trinity Western University, for the sole reason that the schools 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 TWUs covenant. That 2001 decision, Trinity Western University v. BC College of Teachers, is still good law, but many of our countrys 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 Courts 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 TWUs 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 TWUs 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…TWUs community covenant is an anachronism, a throwback that wouldnt 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. Ontarios 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 ones security, ones personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, ones standing in polite society. One may in consequence of ones 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; ones witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members. Yes, there are costs of discipleshipheavy costs.
These are the costs that Christians in Canada may indeed now have to bear, much sooner than they perhaps expected.
This must not be allowed to take root in our pluralistic society. Our constitution provides people of all faiths the free practice of their religion.
If this kind of licensing restriction can be put on those who believe in Jesus, why not those who believe in 'Allah'?
And yet, when a muslim professes the same anti-queer ideals as a Christian, will he also be denied a license to practice?
> If this kind of licensing restriction can be put on those who
> believe in Jesus, why not those who believe in ‘Allah’?
Because, according to the idologues that run the Western World, to restrict the activites of the satanic spawn of the pedophile pirate is “racist”
The term “racist” has come to mean anybody who disagrees or opposes in any way any of the members of the Left’s hierarchy of victimized people groups.
what will happen won’t be pretty, just like the boxing championships were split, Christians, being intelligent and proactive people will set up their own licensing for doctors, lawyers, etc and there will be a schism............
The pressure will be great even from among churches. "God knows your true heart". "God wants you to be able to feed your children". It doesn't mean you "REALLY" reject Christ. "You can leave Christianity behind, reject the bible, and still be "secretly" saved." "Its like praying in your closet".
There will be much much pressure on people. Few will pass the test.
I don't think that is a viable option. The state has a monopoly on professional licenses, by law, and anyone who practices a professional without a state-approved license can be prosecuted for practicing without a license. No matter how qualified, a professional has to have a state-approved license to practice.
US Jews that have their heads in the sand and think persecution of Christians doesn't concern them are very mistaken. Ditto for the average "non religious" person. Persecution of select identity groups *always* spreads when not stopped. Eventually it becomes blanket despotism. Complacency is acquiescence.
Martin Niemoeller (1892 - 1984):
First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
I don’t think so. The “state” is/will be involved, and not on the side of Christians. Already happening here.
Turning the other cheek won’t work. Nor will simply trying to go their own way. The end game is not to ostracize, but to stamp out Christians. When successful, they will go after any other group that doesn’t worship at their alter of selective diversity.
Canada never had a 1776. Looks like they ought’a get one!
Because the Jesus believers will pray for you; the Allah believers will kill you!
Then the Christians have to recapture the state.
Confused. Why just Christians? Muslims officially object to homosexuality as well.
This is already coming to the US. And many think it can’t happen here, and many more think it’s not already got a foothold.
“If this kind of licensing restriction can be put on those who believe in Jesus, why not those who believe in ‘Allah’?”
Those who believe in ‘Allah’ will kill you if you offend them, or discriminate against and not for them. They’ll kill you anyway...
You'll get no disagreement from me.
This law society should not be doing this. What they’re doing is discriminatory against people of faith. They should let individuals make these decisions for themselves. They should not be trying to “balance” things themselves. It’s a case of taking the law into their own hands. They are vigilantes in suits. They deserve to be sued and for damages too.
They have Civil Rights Commissions in Canada
and apparently Christian belief is the only thing not protected
Leftists are bringing back apartheid
Yet many of their men practice it as pederasty. As long as it's just sex, and it is a relaionship where an older man takes advantage of a child, they do not regard the "pitcher" as a homosexual.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.