Canada bars Christian lawyers
His Grace thought this was a spoof: the Muppetesque presentation style of this Sun News reporter takes a little getting used to you, but if you can get around the Kermit-the-Frog intonation and manage to ignore the Fozzie-Bear gesticulations, the content of the report is alarming and sinister.
Ontario and Nova Scotia have banned lawyers educated at a Christian university from practising law in their provinces. The reason? It's really quite straightforward: the Trinity (= Christian) Western University School of Law, while fully approved by the British Columbian Ministry of Advanced Education and accredited by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, discourages same-sex intimacy and disagrees with same-sex marriage.
The fact that the University is otherwise excellent and, they tell us, has been "consistently ranked among the top universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement", is of no consequence. The fact that it holds four Canada Research Chairs is irrelevant. TWU has at the heart of its ethos a Community Covenant which requires all staff and students to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”
This, of course, is unacceptably narrow-minded and discriminatory, not to say homophobic and bigoted. It is entirely legal and constitutional - indeed the Supreme Court, no less, has ruled it to be so. But such religiously-induced apartheid is a manifest evil to an elite body of barristers and must be eradicated from society. And so TWU's law degrees are not fit to be recognised by the law societies of Ontario and Nova Scotia, meaning its future law graduates are not fit to be admitted to the bar. Cardus Daily observes: "In short, students who are taught at TWU are presumed - before the school has even produced a single graduate - to be so bigoted as to not be worthy of practicing the same law which upholds the right of their school to teach them and to require them to sign a commitment to a particular conception of sexual conduct."
No one forces students to enrol at TWU, and the moral pledge is entirely voluntarily: it is, in effect, no different from the oath required by Roman Catholic seminaries for ordinands to abstain from sex and abjure marriage altogether. It is a matter of free choice; of vocation. By enforcing a secular conformity and uniform moral compliance on a Christian university, the law societies of Ontario and Nova Scotia are effectively asserting an equality fascism which overrides religious beliefs. It must be remembered that TWU has not yet produced any graduands in law: it is simply assumed that, on qualifying, their conjectured private beliefs render them so utterly illiberal as to disqualify them utterly from practising law in these provinces.
Quite where this leaves lawyerly supporters of traditional marriage in other provinces is unclear. What do freedom and democracy mean when an elite enlightened body can set aside the Constitution and ignore judgments of the Supreme Court to impose by stealth a secular moral liberalism which is no liberalism at all? What happens to freedom of speech? Where is Freedom of religion? What about the freedom to believe as the conscience leads?
This is Canada, but we are seeing the same here in the UK. Christian registrars who believe that marriage is an exclusive covenant between one man and one woman are losing their jobs; Christian teachers who believe the same are rebuked and reviled; Christian business owners are being persecuted, sued and bankrupted. And there's not a hope in hell of hetero-normative marriage-believers being employed in the public sector or of being selected by the main political parties as a candidate: the ideology is infallible; the orthodoxy immutable; its uniform imposition inviolable. As Jonathan Chaplin notes:
Liberalism [does not] bring about a universal realisation of “tolerance”... Every political system, not only authoritarian ones but liberal ones as well, is a “regime” which facilitates a particular zone of toleration, and simultaneously demarcates clear boundaries to such toleration. These will often be legal boundaries imposed, if necessary, with coercion. Such boundaries are acts of intolerance.Do not be deluded or deceived about what is happening here: Canada shares our Queen, who is constitutionally sworn to uphold the Protestant Reformed religion established by law and to govern her peoples in accordance with their customs and traditions. But it seems that our Reformation freedoms are being undone: a man's personal beliefs must now be interrogated by the inquisitorial high priests of equality to ensure that they conform to the totalitarian precepts of secularism before he may enter public service, practise law or even donate to a political party. 'Right belief' must precede public interests, personal vocation and acts of altruism.
Our freedoms are disappearing. Our liberty is dying. And the concerning this is that so few people are noticing or even care.