Ontario’s Supreme Court has upheld a decision to deny accreditation to a Christian law school that requires students to abstain from sexual activity outside traditional marriage. The …
What does a school’s moral principles have to do with whether or not they can adequately teach law?
What does a person’s sexuality have to do with whether or not they can adequately learn law?
A more in depth article
Nothing. But no one is forced to attend a Christian college. When I attended the Lutheran college I chose to attend, we had to keep our dorm room doors six-inch ajar if we had a female guest. I made that choice to go there.
A Christian school isn’t a public school, and no one’s rights are violated by moral codes that reflect the teachings of the sponsoring communion.
A spokesman for Trinity Western said that the school would appeal the ruling, saying that the court’s decision “points a knife at the freedom of faith communities across Canada to hold and practice their beliefs.”
Spot on assessment, and it is coming to a state near you in the U.S. This is exactly how the progressive movement intends to attack Christian schools and colleges here in the states. Even schools such as Hillsdale and Grove City, which accept no government funds, will not be exempt. Stopping the funding work work entirely, but stripping accreditation could be catastrophic.
The only true SCOTUS loss the anti-religious freedom movement has had lately is the Hosanna-Tabor case on the ministerial exception. That, too, will mean little in the wake of last week’s decision.
No Christian is forced to set up a legal college either.
The college’s rules effectively discriminate against potential LGBT students. This is just another examples of clashing freedoms: freedom of religion and equal rights for all. It is, rightly, up to the courts to resolve. The courts have a more detailed knowledge of the minutiae of this case, and of the relevant law. All we have are newspaper reports and opinions.
No, but in a free society that values multiculturalism and pluralism, pushing Christians and other groups with traditional moral views out of the public square is detrimental to the entire fabric. To say that this is a “clash of freedoms” is ridiculous. Equality is not in danger here. All people who voluntarily enroll in Trinity Western are “equally” expected to follow their rules. This is a repudiation first of religious freedom, which has been deemed by liberal progressives to be unacceptable when it is put into practice. Second, its a repudiation of the right of free association. If an gay or lesbian person chooses to freely associate with Trinity Western, why shouldn’t they be expected observe the rules like unmarried straight people? Trinity Western is not the only institution of higher education in Canada.
Religious institutions cannot exist if they cannot live out their beliefs. Giving them the choice of surrendering their beliefs or their accreditation is not respecting religious freedom. It is nothing less than the tyranny of the majority. We don’t like what you believe, we think its discriminatory, and we don’t want it in the public square.
The truth is that liberals don’t want those who disagree with them to have any legitimacy. Christian schools oppose their agenda, attack their accreditation, regardless of the quality of the law school itself. This is not a hallmark of a “liberal society” but whatever.
I find it hard to believe that gay and lesbian people who want to go to law school in Canada are prevented from doing so because Christian schools enforce Christian social teaching. However, the effect of marginalizing Christian educational institutions will have profoundly negative impacts on religious liberty.
Accreditation boards/groups/businesses aren’t going to hold the same values that churches hold. They will and do have their own standards and determine the criteria for accreditation. What I want to know is why there isn’t an effort on Christians (all the many different faiths) part to have their own respected accreditation board. Where is the North American Commission on Colleges and Universities you know the one that tells students and parents here is an excellent, well respected university AND on that holds our values.
I think that the problem is not “traditional moral views”, but selective application of those views. If they said, “no sinners can study at our college” then that is one thing. However, if they discriminate among different types of sinner, then they have to justify that discrimination.
For example, some colleges will expel a woman who is pregnant outside a marriage; very few of them will expel the father as well as the mother. That is an obvious discrimination between sinners.
But in Canada I think christian schools do receive public support. That would be my question, but I would think the university receives Ontario funds, hence some jurisdiction over the college.
“The power to tax is the power to destroy”, and receiving of public funds does also.
I grew up when all funds for public schools were local, from the community they served. And therefore you had almost no state mandates, and no federal mandates (and no unions). It all changed in the sixties and you have regulations galore. Somethings improved but most did not, and just made education more expensive (massive bureaucricies in every state capital and Washington and minor ones at county levels and increased ones at the district level to juggle everything).
So the added expense and infrastructure has a correlation to the affordability and decline of private religious schools. We are forced to pay for public schools while receiving very little aid (bussing etc) for private tuition, inhibiting our religious freedom of choice. I thought Canada taxed everyone and divided the funds between all existing schools, public and private/religious. That is better than what we have. Now the recent problem though is the general decline of Canada spiritual state, outlawing by religious organizations of preaching against homosexuality etc…
One could ask why should a government be involved with one becoming a lawyer? Is that any less valuable than becoming a good Christian , or even a good Buddhist ?
Did you know over 90 % percent of American colleges were founded by churches and religious organizations? Harvard and Yale had mission statements that would declare the spiritual to be more important than the secular, yet desired to balance both beautifully.
So it is not the sexuality that matters, in as much as the spiritual truth and purity behind the sexuality that matter, the subordination of the self to a higher calling(in this case the Christian calling) and standards. The same standard that would admonish a future lawyer to be honest, unselfish yet hard working for the cause (client) and for God’s glory.
Every generation is challenged in keeping such a high standard or changing it etc.
This is not about “becoming” a lawyer, it is about being accredited as a lawyer. Most professions, such as doctors, have some sort of government accreditation to try and ensure that only people with the right training go into those professions. In those areas of work a non-trained person can do real damage.
as well as an unethical one
In Christian theology, all men and women are sinners. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Our forgiveness and justification is by grace, unmerited favor, and our righteousness is not our own but ultimately derives from the grace and mercy of a holy God, who by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the power of the Holy Spirit, conforms us to the image of Christ and renews our minds.
These rules are not about separating saints from sinners. They are about setting standards and boundaries so that serious sins of a public nature are not simply allowed to occur without any challenge and thus harm the integrity of the institution’s religious mission. They are also about keeping the students themselves personally accountable to Christian lifestyle choices.
These students knew what they were getting themselves into when they enrolled. If someone is offended by their religious belief, just choose a different law school. Why must accrediting bodies and courts make religious institutions choose between their religious beliefs and appeasing the secular philosophy of the state? If they are competently teaching the law, what their religious practices entail (whether they violate anti-discrimination laws or not) should not matter.
The rights of gays and lesbians to not be offended should not be allowed to outweigh the rights of religious institutions to exercise religious liberty within their own organizations. If religious organizations cannot have this freedom, then Canada needs to come out and say that religious liberty no longer exists. At least they will be honest.
I don’t know anything about that, and I think that men and women should not be treated differently.
It’s about to get much worse. Catholic schools in Ontrario, come September, will be forced, by law, to introduce a new sex-ed curriculum. A curriculum in which anal sex and gender confusion is glorified. Our Premier is a rabid, wild-eyed lesbian who, even prior to getting elected, had this as one of her goals on day 1.
The radical liberals are going farther than Sodom and Gomorrah could’ve ever, ever imagined.
Two things to note:
A 2001 supreme court decision clearly supported, in an 8-1 decision, the school’s right to graduate teachers and to have them accredited by the BC teacher’s union. The same situation applies with this law school. (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Western_University_v_British_Columbia_College_of_Teachers)
The law which legalized “same-sex marriage” in Canada states that people have a right to disagree with this novel definition of marriage. (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Marriage_Act)
The people who oppose this school have no legal basis to stand on. That is why this Ontario SC decision was extremely nebulous, did not respect the legal precedents above which ought to make this a no-brainer, and instead asserted that “attitudes have changed” in the last 15 years (i.e. since the 2001 8-1 Canadian SC decision). The rule of law is becoming a dead letter among Canada’s lawyers and judges. Of course this all is a result of Canada’s “constitution” which only guarantees freedoms insofar as some activist, unelected judges see fit (read the first article of it here: laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html )
Unfortunately it is not that type of accreditation. To practice law in Ontario a person must be a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. This is a legislative requirement. It is the Law Society that refused to recognize graduates of Trinity Western. That decision was taken to the Divisional Court which affirmed it. The next step would be seeking leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Yeah, even the bar associations in the USA are not government entities. The legal profession regulates itself.
Good info .Thanks Yes nothing like a moving target of an interpreted constitution. “Living” documents, leading us to and appeasing the lowest common denominator.Quite progressive and enlightened.(just not God’s light).