Saturday, September 8, 2018
Not what you must believe but what you must not. . .
Canada seems to be leading the way in this method of proscribing religious liberty. In a recent decision that has been hailed as a great triumph by gender-identity activists, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that certain religious beliefs are too onerous to be allowed, especially for the situation of a law school within a university that has a traditional code of ethics. By a majority 7-2 decision June 15, Canada’s highest court upheld the right of two provincial law societies (somewhat akin to our own American Bar Association) to prevent graduates of a proposed law school at Trinity Western University from practicing law. All of this was because they would be required to adhere to the private evangelical Protestant university’s code of traditional Christian sexual ethics. This code was seen to be a violation of the rights constitutionally granted to Canadian citizens. According to the decision, religious-freedom rights that are formally enshrined in Canadian Constitution are subordinated to the need to protect the rights of students who might seek a legal education at TWU to not be forced “to deny who they are for three years to receive a legal education.”
This decision by the court effectively means that provincial law societies can discriminate against lawyers on the basis of their religious affiliation and moral values and thus prevent them from practicing law at all. In effect, the Supreme Court decision has placed at risk any group whose views on equality, diversity and inclusion conflict with those bestowed by the judiciary, constitution, or law. You do not have to believe as the law or court or constitution declares but your rights may be abridged because you do not. We won't tell you what you must believe but we can prohibit what must not be believed or practiced.
Watch for this methodology to be used more and more to restrain the freedoms here, especially when free speech, freedom of religion, and individual rights conflict. Orthodox Christian agencies dealing with everything from adoption to foster care of children as well as individuals providing services have already seen this conflict. While some have challenged this in courts here, other agencies have simply stopped providing the services regulated by the state.