The rise of intolerant secularism is becoming an ever increasing threat to the foundational platform of democracy, freedom of religion, conscience, thought, expression and association; Dalton McGuinty’s new Anti-Bullying Bill 13 is a full frontal attack. Ontario’s Premier is attempting to force Catholic’s to violate their faith by making their schools teach LGBTTIQQ curriculum and support student led gay clubs. This same Bill 13 also attacks Evangelical Churches renting public school auditoriums on Sunday.
Evangelicals are all opposed to bullying, and its tragic consequences. We applaud the government for its initiative to eradicate bullying in Ontario schools. However, we are deeply concerned with the Premier’s attempt to control religious services with a conduct clause in the proposed legislation.
Bill 13 Accepting Schools Acts states:
(2) Section 301 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:
Agreements with parties re use of schools
(3.1) If a board enters in to an agreement with another person or entity, other than a board, respecting the use of a school operated by the board, the board shall include in the agreement a requirement that the person or entity follow standards that are consistent with the code of conduct.
Hundreds of Evangelical Churches rent school auditoriums for their place of worship every Sunday. The government must not attempt to control worship services under the guise of an ever changing code of conduct. When preaching and teaching the scriptures there will be passages that will speak to issues of sexuality that are spoken by God that no man has the authority to eliminate, revoke, or change. In such cases the pastor could possibly be in breach of the proposed legislation and then evicted from the premises.
The anti-bullying legislation that Mr. McGuinty is proposing constitutes a violation of our religious freedoms that is guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Further to that, it is a violation of the common-law of separation of church and state.
This attack on freedom is spreading throughout our society. In New York City, the Mayor has recently evicted all churches from city owned schools. Now dozens of congregations have been forced to vacate the otherwise empty schools on Sunday. This move is catastrophic for the numerous small upstart congregations that cannot find other meeting halls in the congested City of New York.
It is ironic that Mayor Blumberg is not for freedom of Christians, but he is for the freedom of Muslims. In 2010 there was tremendous controversy surrounding the building of a $100 million dollar mosque at ground zero. It is to be named Cordoba Mosque after the Victory of Cordoba, Spain after the Muslims had invaded and conquered Spain in the Eighth Century. The Mayor stood passionately with Imams and declared
"We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life. And it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001." Where is the "respect and tolerance" for Christians?
Also, in America freedom of religion is under attack by the White House and the new healthcare legislation. The United States government is attempting to force Catholic
institutions to provide birth control measures to its employees.
Some of our political leaders seem to have no regard for freedom of religion. It would appear as though Premier McGuinty does not understand the first few lines of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states:
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
Guarantee of Rights and FreedomsRights and freedoms in Canada
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.Fundamental Freedoms
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and(d) freedom of association.