Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Fascism: Canadian Supreme Court overturns right to religious liberty

Map of Canadian Provinces

Map of Canadian Provinces

UPDATE: Please vote “no” in this poll if you think tthat the Supreme Court is wrong.

Life Site News announces the death of religious liberty in Canada.

Excerpt:

In what’s sure to come down as a devastating blow to parental freedom, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rejected this morning the pleas of a Christian family to have their child exempted from the Quebec government’s mandatory ethics and religious culture course.

“Exposing children to a comprehensive presentation of various religions without forcing the children to join them does not constitute an indoctrination of students that would infringe the freedom of religion of L and J,” the justices wrote in the majority decision.

The high court’s ruling, released at 9:45 Friday morning, comes in the case of S.L. et al. v. Commission scolare des Chênes et al., which involved a Catholic family who took their school board to court after it refused to grant their child an exemption from the province’s controversial ethics and religious culture course (ERC).

The course, which seeks to present the spectrum of world religions and lifestyle choices from a “neutral” stance, was introduced by the province in 2008 and has been widely criticized by the religious and a-religious alike. Moral conservatives and people of faith have criticized its relativistic approach to moral issues, teaching even at the earliest grades, for instance, that homosexuality is a normal choice for family life.

Despite provincial legislation allowing for exemptions from school curriculum, the Ministry of Education has turned down over 1,700 requests, and had even moved to impose the course on private schools and homeschoolers.

Critics warned that a ruling against the family would have frightening consequences for parental authority and risked emboldening provincial governments across the country as they move to impose their own versions of “diversity” education.

To me, what this means is that in Canada, the state decides what children will believe, not the parents. The state will tax parents in order to pay for government workers and government programs. And the state will use these government entities to make the children believe in the state’s values.

What is ironic to me is that Canadians likely voted to grow government. There are a lot of people in Canada who think that it is a good thing for government to help the poor. Many, many economically illiterate Christians also voted to grow the size of government over the last few decades. They voted to empty their own pockets by raising tax rates. They voted to entrust secular leftist bureaucrats with more and more power. They voted to let the state educate their children with public schools and government-run day care. They voted to let government provide health care instead of letting individuals earn and save to pay for it themselves. They voted for taxes that are so high that women cannot afford to stay at home and homeschool their children – they have to work and hand their children off to strangers.

It is very important for Christians to understand that if they believe that it is government’s job to redistribute wealth from rich to poor, then they voted for this. If you believe in “social justice” then you are opposed to religious liberty – and the free practice of Christianity itself. Many, many Christians who don’t study economics and don’t get their economic views from the Bible think that it is a good thing to vote for bigger and bigger government funded by higher and higher taxes. Christians in Canada seem to be proud of their self-inflicted secularism. They think that taxpayer-funded abortions and taxpayer-funded sex changes are a great idea – because “health care is a right”.  They think that taxpayer-funded abortion and taxpayer-funded sex changes are authentic Christianity, supported by the Bible.

I have had Christians in Ontario tell me on Facebook that they are pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-family but that they favor allowing a secular government to force all taxpayers to pay for abortions and sex changes. That is what Canadian Christianity amounts to, in many cases – because they don’t understand economics, and what economic policies promote and secure rights – including the right to religious liberty. The right to religious liberty is only guaranteed when government is limited and the free enterprise system is strong. We need to stop deciding our views of politics and economics based on feelings and peer pressure and the desire to appear “compassionate”. We need to ask what the Bible says, and study economics in order to find out what guarantees the liberty we need to live out authentic Christian lives.

I think it’s time for Christians in Canada to get serious about applying the Bible to all of life – including economics.

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Republican lawmaker introduces bill to protect questioners of Darwinism

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Excerpt:

An Arlington lawmaker has filed a bill aimed at protecting Texas college professors and students from discrimination because they question evolution.

The measure from Republican state Rep. Bill Zedler would block higher education institutions from discriminating against or penalizing teachers or students based on their research into intelligent design or other theories that disagree with evolution.

Zedler said he filed the bill because of cases in which colleges had been hostile to those who believe that certain features of life-forms are so complex that they must have originated from a higher power.

“We can have the academic freedom to have all kinds of ideas and philosophies but, lo and behold, even mention intelligent design and there are people that want to run you out of town on a rail,” Zedler said.

Zedler said fear of workplace discrimination is preventing evolution critics in colleges from speaking their minds.

“I do believe there are people that want to say something but … they’re afraid to because there are people around the country that have been discriminated against,” Zedler said.

Secular leftists place a great premium on getting “consensus” for whatever ideas provide maximum autonomy from moral obligations, whether the ideas are true or not. They don’t care whether the consensus is true, just that everyone agrees on it and that it produces good feelings. They just don’t handle differing points of view well… it confuses them and makes them anxious and frustrated. They are uncomfortable with concepts like being judged, or being punished. The don’t want anyone to disagree with their religion of materialism, which allows them to pursue pleasure apart from any objective moral obligations. Since the religion of materialism, which is so popular on the left, does away with morality, we have to be very careful to enshrine into the law protections for those who would dissent from this denial of objective morality. Otherwise you end up with cases like the Guillermo Gonzalez case or the Richard Sternberg case. There are no limits to what a materialist will do in order to keep up the illusion that no one is there to hold them accountable. They’ll believe anything. They’ll do anything. There isn’t anything in their materialism to stop them from committing atrocities. That’s why we need laws to contain their abuse of power.

A quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrates the point:

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

Until the time where those on the secular left learn to accept dissent, and allow debate, without resorting to insults and personal attacks, laws that protect dissenters will be necessary.

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Should Christians support government-run day care?

Recently, a Gallup poll came out about human origins.

Here was an interesting finding in the survey:

A significantly higher percentage of Republicans indicated a creationist view of human origins, which Gallup experts say reflects in part the strong relationship between religion and politics in contemporary America. Republicans are also significantly more likely to attend church weekly than are others. Democrats and Independents showed similar views on human origins:

  • Republicans: 36 percent think humans evolved through a God-guided process; 8 percent say God had no part in the process; and 52 percent held the creationist view.
  • Democrats: 40 percent agree with evolution through a God-guided process; 20 percent say God had no part in the process; and 34 percent held the creationist view.
  • Independents: 39 percent agree with evolution through a God-guided process; 21 percent say God had no part in the process; and 34 percent held the creationist view.

Gallup officials wrote that it’s not surprising some 80 percent of Americans hold a view of human origins that involves God, since most Americans believe in God and about 85 percent identify with a religion.

What I find interesting is this – how the heck can someone be a young earth creationist, (which is a view that people can only hold because they are getting it out of the Bible), and yet vote for Democrats? Democrats stand for the enlargement of the secular leftist state, for the destruction of marriage and family, and for the complete elimination of religious liberty and traditional morality from the public square. No mature, authentic Christian votes Democrat.

What happens when Christians for left-wing parties?

Now, with that said, let’s look at the most liberal province in Canada, Quebec. Quebec is a French-speaking province that was traditionally dominated by Roman Catholicism.

Consider this editorial in the National Post, Canada’s best newspaper.

Excerpt:

It’s never too early to close the minds of the young. That’s the thinking of the provincial government in Quebec, which announced earlier this month a ban on religion in subsidized daycare centres.

Subsidized daycare is a central part of social policy in Quebec — parents pay $7/day, and provincial government pays the rest, which is about $40/day. The government of Quebec is now increasing its vigilance on what dangerous ideas the toddlers might be exposed to.

Just before Christmas, Family Minister Yolande James announced regulations that would seek to ban religion instruction from daycare centres that take government money. Given that four-year-olds are unlikely to be studying theology, the Quebec government is out to stamp out religious expressions — prayers, songs, bible stories, manger scenes and even explanations for religious dietary practices.

[...]Our editorial board argued on Tuesday that Quebec’s massive subsidies for approved daycare spaces has effectively crowded out non-subsidized daycare. The economic argument is clear — subsidize one form of child care over all others, and soon there will effectively be just one form of child care. Daycare has been de facto nationalized in Quebec, and the national religion of intolerant secularism will now be imposed.The cultural question is more troubling. So serious is Quebec’s government about imposing its view on all children that, concurrent with the new regulations, it will triple the number of inspectors to enforce them. Quebec will soon have 58 inquisitors dropping in on daycares to ensure compliance. One can only imagine the scene when the inquisition arrives, sifting through the sandbox in search of clandestine religious items. And who will write the code for the bureaucrats, ensuring that miscreant daycare workers don’t mention that la fête nationale was once upon a time Saint-Jean-Baptiste?

There is an economic cost to big government. There is also a cultural cost, if everywhere government goes alternative values and viewpoints must retreat. If government goes everywhere, including the care of babies, then not even babies are entitled to hear views that dissent from government dogma. Quebec has long since abandoned the neutral state in favour of the aggressively secular state. Where the Quebec state goes, religion must retreat, and there is no limit on where the Quebec state will go.

The heart of every culture is its attitude to the big questions of human life and existence. That’s why a sensible people leaves culture in the hands of the churches, the artists, the musicians and the writers. Only a deeply insecure society entrusts culture to bureaucratic inquisitors. And only bureaucratic inquisitors see threats emerging in the cradle.

Totalitarian states have always sought to control the kindergartens and the schools and the youth groups, all the better to ensure that the influence of parents on their own children is attenuated. There is the hard totalitarianism that comes by force of arms. Soft totalitarianism comes by way of subsidies, where first the family is embraced by the state, and only then is it suffocated.

The educational world in Quebec does not leave much room to breathe. On religious and cultural matters, the consensus position, as defined by the curriculum apparatchiks, must be taught without exception in all public schools, private schools and even at home. Until now, the preschoolers had escaped the stifling grasp of government. No longer.

As our editorial pointed out, the actual educational results of Quebec daycare are poor. Quebec’s nationalized daycares don’t teach little Quebeckers very much. Now they will ensure that the youngsters know even less.

And remember, the effort to ram sex education into the minds of younger children over the objections of their parents is quite common in Canada, and other European countries, too.

Every time a Christian votes to tax their rich neighbor or their rich employer, they are taking money away from the private, individual realm, and transferring it to the realm of government. Politicians use that money to buy votes from the masses by subsidizing their selfishness, irresponsibility and recklessness. Instead of having money spent by responsible workers and businesses for responsible workers and businesses, it gets wasted on people who are often lazy and who make poor decisions. To understand what this redistribution of wealth means, you need look no further than the skyrocketing out-of-wedlock birth rate and the resulting social problems, which imposes costs on all taxpayers.

There is a right way to look at politics and economics from the Christian perspective. And mature Christian should have thought these things through.

Now might be a good time to recommend Wayne Grudem’s new book, “Politics According to the Bible”. Grudem is a Bible-believing Christian with a Ph.D from Cambridge University. He is the author of the most widely used and respected systematic theology book. I also recommend Jay Richards’ book “Money, Greed and God”. Richards’ Ph.D is from Princeton University. Those looking for a smaller, simpler book can try “The Virtues of Capitalism”. A good economics book for beginners is “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism”. And a good longer book for beginners is “Basic Economics”, 4th edition, by Thomas Sowell.

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