Chilliwack-Hope MLA says benchers' stance on TWU law school an attack on Christians

31/12/2015 00:32

Regarding: Chilliwack-Hope MLA says benchers' stance on TWU law school an attack on Christians – Dec 31, 2015

I’m confused as to how Mr. Throness can describe the decision by the Law Society of BC to rescind their approval of TWUs law school as “a slippery slope en route to discrimination against Christians”. It is the community covenant of TWU that is discriminatory against everyone who does not believe in the biblical ideals upon which it is based.

The covenant states that all students and staff must “treat people and ideas with charity and respect” and “to live according to biblical precepts” which are “divinely inspired” and “authoritative guide for personal and community life”. The covenant requires “all members to embody attitudes and to practise actions identified in the Bible as virtues, and to avoid those portrayed as destructive” and to “voluntarily abstain from the following actions: communication that is destructive to TWU community life and inter–personal relationships, including gossip, slander, vulgar/obscene language, and prejudice; harassment or any form of verbal or physical intimidation, including hazing; lying, cheating, or other forms of dishonesty including plagiarism; stealing, misusing or destroying property belonging to others; sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman; the use of materials that are degrading, dehumanizing, exploitive, hateful, or gratuitously violent, including, but not limited to pornography”. To further define sexual intimacy, the covenant states that “according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation”.

I have no problem with Christians withdrawing themselves from “behaviours they believe to be contrary to God’s intention for humankind” if they wish to and I have no problem with a university having a code of conduct for its students however a university that decides to open a law school where that code of conduct is directly in contravention of the laws of Canada – the very laws student lawyers are being taught to uphold.

The Canadian Human Rights Act (1985),” For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status…”

If Mr. Throness is concerned about Christian students “one day [being] banned from attending secular universities unless they renounce aspects of their faith?” he is obviously needs to familiarise himself with the above section of the Canadian Human Rights.

If TWU are concerned about their covenant being labelled as hate speech they should not fear because religion is protected from such an offense as noted in the Criminal Code of Canada:” No person shall be convicted of an offence [hate crime]…if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text”.

The problem is not with the covenant. If that is what the staff and students of TWU wish to believe and live by then that is their prerogative. The problem lies with the fact that TWU is seeking to provide a law school “designed to train lawyers who can think critically, practice efficiently and serve their clients and communities with professionalism and ethical integrity”. How can they be taught to serve with professionalism and ethical integrity when they are taught that the Bible is “the divinely inspired, authoritative guide for personal and community life”.

The Christian Bible clearly states that: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." Numbers 18 v 22; "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." Leviticus 20 v 13; “their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1 v 26-27; “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals” 1 Corinthians 6 v 9; “those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals” 1 Timothy 1 v 9-10.

One of TWU Core Values is that they “believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life”.

How can a lawyer practice ethically when their guidance for “all Christian faith and life” is that of a god who condemns men and women to death because of their choice to love someone of the same sex?

There is no discrimination towards Christians in the Law Society’s decision to rescind their decision. There is no active discrimination against Christians. The LSBC is simply the upholding the rights of all individuals to receive professional and ethical services from lawyers regulated by the society. There is NO discrimination in that. There is however discrimination to be found in the Christian bible and the community covenant of TWU. 

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