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Cold Canadian front

"Cold Canadian front" Continued...

Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013

Bull said if current trends continue, religious freedom will be limited to what a person does at home or within a church building. Those attempts are already under way in some parts of the United States, where objections of conscience have led to lawsuits against photographers, bakers, and others who don’t want to be directly involved in same-sex ceremonies.

The onslaught will only continue with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman for purposes of federal benefits. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “The only thing that will ‘confine’ the court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.”

Bull said bad things for conservatives come to the United States after a trial run in Canada: “Homosexual activism starts in Canada and creeps forward to the United States.” Bull said Christians are “asleep at the switch” and need to have the courage to stand up for what they believe in.

Crandall’s Bruce Fawcett also gave some advice to U.S. believers: get ready. “It will come—and probably when you least expect it,” he said. “The time to begin praying is not in the middle of the storm.” Fawcett suggested Christian organizations and institutions meet to talk about exactly what they believe and how they will express those views, because they will eventually be challenged.

Following Trinity Western’s 2001 victory, six more education programs sprang up at Christian institutions in Canada, yet few faith leaders have shown a willingness to publicly defend the school in its law school controversy. Although TWU may eventually find relief from the courts again, it raises the question: Should it have to go to court to start every new program?

Attorney Kevin Boonstra argues nothing has changed since 2001 when the court ruled that “freedom of religion is not accommodated if the consequence of its exercise is the denial of the right of full participation in society.”

But, according to a group of lawyers and professors who wrote an op-ed for Canada’s National Post, things are different now. “Much has changed—both in the law and in Canadian society,” they wrote. “Time did not stop in 2001.”

Perhaps not, but TWU’s Jonathan Raymond said the university is operating under the conviction that Canada needs a Christian law school, so it is willing to do what it takes to gain approval—and that may mean going back to court: “If it’s not approved, we’re not going to just throw in the towel.”

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD's Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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