July 18, 2016

Court’s ruling against Trinity Western privileges “equality” over Charter’s “fundamental freedoms”

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

In order to set the stage for this column, let us review a specific passage of our beloved Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Under Section 2, which gives us our fundamental freedoms, the Charter states,

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.

The most recent decision by the Ontario Appeals Court in the ongoing saga of Trinity Western University versus the Law Society of Upper Canada, has the distinction, to my mind, of ruling that fundamental freedoms a, b, and d,  are now fundamentally meaningless.  

By the same token, what evidently does mean something to the court — especially in a world dominated by liberal “norms” — is the equality section of the Charter (15), which states,

“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

Yet, to get back to the most recent developments, a key statement in the Ontario ruling was this:

“TWU can hold and promote its beliefs without acting in a manner that coerces others into forsaking their true beliefs in order to have an equal opportunity to a legal education. It is at that point that the right to freedom of religion must yield”.

This statement suggests that asking promiscuous heterosexuals to promise to live chastely while at a Christian institution is being deemed an institutional coercion — not a clearly understood moral foundation and divine expectation for Christian living. Meanwhile, it bears noting that Jesus rejected both fornication and adultery. Additionally, Jesus also believed that Sodom would have repented had he ministered there.

Also, why is homosexuality being associated with “belief” in this statement?

Most people would call it an orientation upon which one may or may not act. The deliberately strange use of language in this instance makes one wonder what other “beliefs” the Ontario Appeals Court is subtly referring to, perhaps whether a man believes he’s a woman, for example?   

So, if this legal decision is to be clearly understood in context, a specific “equality” — not of opportunity, but of identity — is now more important than any fundamental freedom according to the Ontario Appeals Court. And, of course, we all know from decisions that have recently taken place in some provincial jurisdictions, that the list of identity-based equalities grows with every new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, brought to us by those paragons of conservative social diagnostics, the American Psychological Association.

But it gets even more bizarre.

Do you recall that the word “orientation” is absent from the Charter? For decades, it has been read into the Charter, not named. Hence, the Ontario Court of Appeal has now made plain that an explicit freedom deliberately named within the Charter must yield to an equality implicitly read into the Charter.

In other words, and try to remain seated, what is NOT in the Charter today has greater legal weight than what IS in the Charter. Should the Supreme Court of Canada agree with the Law Society of Upper Canada, it will have taken our judiciary less than 35 years to leave concrete  jurisprudence behind and fully embrace interpretive dance. From a speculative point-of-view, such dancing might look rather spectacular in those red and white Santa suits. 

In Biblical textual terms, this mistake, however, is called eisegesis— when a Catholic priest or a Protestant pastor reads into the Bible what he wants to find (most often for his homily or sermon), instead of talking about what the text itself is actually trying to say. Every sermon contains some kind of interpretation, but no sermon should knowingly interpret the Scriptures in a manner that is intellectually dishonest. And, while the letter may kill, the letter is actually what the Law is all about— or should be.

And what’s bad in a sermon is far worse in Constitutional law. When explicit freedoms are made the vassals of implicit equalities, we don’t need a Charter anymore. Why codify lofty principles when the interpretations behind the words come to mean more than the words, themselves? 

At that point, judicial whim is what Canada has codified, not the rule of law.    

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commented 2016-08-05 12:57:20 -0400
shria rights in canada will be next
commented 2016-07-31 11:36:02 -0400
The Bible is an obsolete document, poorly suited for the realities of modern life; they didn’t know any better at the time but we do, so there is no excuse to continue anachronistic prejudices.

The ultimate power of the land lies in the Supreme Court, who make decisions based on what is the most reasonable interpretation of the Charter and other laws.

Sexual orientation is a biological reality. Religion is a belief. The latter takes a backseat to the former.
commented 2016-07-25 15:24:52 -0400
ALERT * Has Rebel covered the decision to reinstate the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Courthouse in Ottawa? Scrap a monument to 120 MILLION PEOPLE and put in its place a useless courthouse for OVER privileged Judges ( the actual reason for the courthouse as STATED in documents I received from the LAC clearly indicate there is no need for a courthouse and its only purpose back when it was devised was to revere the Tru-doh name and provide judges with chambers that could have tunnel access to the existing court house so they don’t get their over privileged butts cool in the winter!) This is a STORY Rebel get to it! in order for this court house to match the other buildings in the area, it has to be built of stone and have either gothic or Greco-Roman features. That will likely cost the tax payer a heck of a lot more than the price set out in the 80’s. The Victims of Communism memorial is now being paid in full by that foundation. So how many people on here want to support the spawn of Tru-doh building a useless courthouse for a bunch of privileged lieberal judges in the name of his holier than thou Communist father AT OUR EXPENSE! This needs to be stopped before it begins. I could smell a stinking rat when the Memorial to the Victims of Communism was shut down by people who had and or HAVE a vested interest in seeing Tru-doh’s embarrassing erection in Ottawa!!!!
commented 2016-07-19 08:59:16 -0400
Yet more proof there is no longer a justice system in Canada, only a legal system!
commented 2016-07-19 00:18:20 -0400
Judicial tyranny, Marxist activism and the persecution of Christians in Canada…a snapshot of that slippery slope in action.
Godspeed John Carpay.
commented 2016-07-18 16:12:47 -0400
I wonder what the ruling of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeals would have been if the university was a Muslim one? (O, yes, Ezra Levant brought the same thought up.)
By the way, Ezra Levant, a Jew, is a great champion of Christian rights, and he fights for those rights for Christians. He is to be highly commended for his care and concern and actions in defense of Christian rights and freedoms.
commented 2016-07-18 16:03:00 -0400
The logic of the Ontario Appeals Court an d the Law Society of Upper Canada is lamentably flawed. Indeed, it is an intentional twisting of logic (through ideological mental smoke and mirrors) that is anti-Christian oppression. I have no respect for the Ontario Appeals Court or the Law Society of Upper Canada. In fact, I hold both in complete contempt. Contempt of court? Yes, I hold these morally bankrupt Canadian “institutions of the law” in total contempt.
Trinity Western University is one of the finest educational institutions in Canada…..a school of intellectual and moral integrity. I hold nothing but the highest admiration for it.
It is being immorally and unjustly persecuted by the egregious bigotry of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Appeals Court.
commented 2016-07-18 13:41:54 -0400
Well said, David. I couldn’t possibly agree more.