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Religious freedom falls under threat (Canada: again cautionary example)
CALGARY SUN (Canada) ^ | Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Bishop Fred Henry (RC)

Posted on 02/28/2005 6:02:50 AM PST by GMMAC

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Religious freedom falls under threat
Liberals practise 'heavenly deception'

By Bishop Fred Henry

Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew recently quipped: "I find the separation of church and the state is one of the most beautiful inventions of modern times." He went on to add that the church is obligated to remain silent on the issue of same-sex unions as the government and the churches should not get involved in each others affairs.

No retraction or apology has been forthcoming.

Nevertheless, it is clear the churches, in their opposition to same sex "marriage" legislation, are starting to get under his thin skin.

To ask clergy and believers not to base their contribution to society and political life -- through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy -- on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good, is to deny their basic rights.

Canada guarantees every citizen "freedom of religion." The Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of religion and conscience ..."

In Canada, freedom of religion means numerous churches and religious bodies and individuals are free to speak about what our governments do or fail to do.

Religious freedom is central to the current debate about the re-invention of marriage.

A few weeks ago, I really wasn't too concerned about this dimension of the question, but I am now.

My first concern has to do with the Supreme Court's decision. Their decision on the marriage reference indicates that "the protection of religion afforded by the Charter is broad enough and jealously guarded in our Charter jurisprudence."

Religious officials are protected "from being compelled by the state to perform civil or religious same-sex marriages that are contrary to their religious belief."

Freedom of religion also prevents "compulsory use of sacred places for the celebration of such marriages."

However, there is a disturbing qualifier added in the decision, i.e. "absent unique circumstances with respect to which the Court will not speculate, the guarantee of religious freedom in s. 2(a) of the Charter is broad enough to protect religious officials ..."

Here we have an open door. Particular circumstances might lead to some future court legitimately trying to force religious officials to perform these ceremonies against their conscience, though the justices decline to speculate on what those circumstances might be. It is disquieting that the Court would even raise the possibility.

My second concern has to do with the government's "heavenly deception" on Bill C -38. According to the Bill, officials of religious groups are protected from performing same-sex marriages, if it is contrary to their beliefs.

These are meaningless provisions.

Religious groups are not so protected by this same-sex legislation.

The federal government knows that the Supreme Court, in the same-sex marriage reference case, specifically stated religious rights are matters of provincial jurisdiction only and the federal government has no authority over them.

Marriage commissioners in some Canadian provinces have already been ordered to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex partners, despite their religious beliefs.

The federal government can do nothing to halt this trampling on the religious beliefs of these commissioners, despite its statement in the preamble that "everyone" has freedom of conscience and religion which will not be affected by this same-sex legislation.

In addition, the federal government knows that in every case where religious rights have competed with homosexual rights, the Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the trumping of homosexual rights over religious rights.

The parade of cases to diminish religious rights on same-sex marriage issues has already commenced with a B.C. lesbian couple claiming discrimination because a Catholic men's organization, the Knights of Columbus, refused to rent their hall for their marriage celebration.

The preamble also claims that same-sex marriage respects the "right" of same-sex couples to equality without discrimination.

Again the federal government is fully aware that the Supreme Court did not state in the reference case that opposite sex marriage was discriminatory against same-sex couples.

It merely stated the government may, as a matter of policy, extend marriage to same-sex couples, but did not require the government to do so, on the basis it was an equality or human rights issue.

It is obvious that, in its effort to push through this unpopular legislation and make it more palatable, the government is involved in "heavenly deception."

In the one area where the government of Canada is free to legislate on its own, there is silence.

The proposed legislation does not offer protection to faith groups from being penalized with respect to their charitable status if they do not agree with the proposed redefinition of marriage.

It is sadly ironic that freedom of conscience and religion under Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms invoked by Bill C-38 has such limited application within the Parliament of Canada itself.

All cabinet ministers and the members of some of the opposition parties are expected to vote "yes," whether such an action is against their conscience or not.

If this matter is to be voted on in Parliament, then every single member of Parliament must be free to vote according to his or her conscience.

TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: canada; catholicism; churchandstate; homosexualagenda; religiousfreedom; samesexmarriage

1 posted on 02/28/2005 6:02:51 AM PST by GMMAC
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To: Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; coteblanche; Ryle; albertabound; mitchbert; ...

"Faith & Family" ping

2 posted on 02/28/2005 6:04:05 AM PST by GMMAC (lots of terror cells in Canada - I'll be waving my US flag when the Marines arrive!)
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Ping to self for later pingout.

3 posted on 02/28/2005 6:05:45 AM PST by little jeremiah (Resisting evil is our duty or we are as responsible as those promoting it.)
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Just another reason why Canada sucks.

4 posted on 02/28/2005 6:11:19 AM PST by Fan_Of_Ingraham
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To: Fan_Of_Ingraham

2nd Degree Knight dittos.

5 posted on 02/28/2005 6:17:20 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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Pierre Pettigrew
6 posted on 02/28/2005 6:21:06 AM PST by kanawa
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Good for him!

7 posted on 02/28/2005 6:30:56 AM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Fan_Of_Ingraham

Now known as Al Qanada..

8 posted on 02/28/2005 7:43:23 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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The Church has been caught napping.

We have read in articles on FR for the past year or so that for decades denominational church attendance has gone down to nothing in Europe Canada and the Blue state regions in the US.

They have had a crisis with priests in numerous of these denominations -- s[anning lack of interest and vacancies, Gay priests, and sexual abuse of children.

What is happening in Canada and the EU is not something that is happening in a vacuum. It is a result or what should be termed a payday for an absolute rotten job performance since the days shortly after WWII was won.

The Church's mission is to win souls for Christ --whining that it does not have political clout or seeking to take political clout is not the church's mission. If in Canada the churches had been full and they had been reaching out to this generation of lost collage students from which academia and the politicans sprang from the news would be quite different in taht nation.

But the cold hard facts are that these denominations are in such tough shape because of the absolute corruption of their priests and that these folk have no idea at this point how to return to God.

On Paul Harvey he has cites articles on anglican bishops offering chocolates and tote bags with gifts to sit through their sermons, and other incredibly lame commerical ploys that things to bolster attendance

9 posted on 02/28/2005 7:44:17 AM PST by Rocketman
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To: Rocketman
Prosperity is the bane of religion. "It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Since religion is the spiritual nature of man and is at war with his physical nature, the more freedom man has, and more money gives him more freedom, the easier it is for him to endulge his physical desires. That is often at the expense of his spiritual well being. This may account for falling church attendance.

Communism, the ultimate goal of Socialism, and other tyrannical forms of government, negate God because the tyrants can't stand the competition for allegiance. Each is an all or none proposition. That is the battle for minds going on around the world today.
10 posted on 02/28/2005 9:22:13 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: Fan_Of_Ingraham
"Just another reason why Canada sucks."

As perceptive a comment as it is elegant!
Must be great living in a land where nothing now sucks or ever has and where even the very concept of sucking would still be unknown if hadn't been for those darned Republican busy bodies harassing poor ol' Billy-Bub Clinton. LOL!
11 posted on 02/28/2005 9:36:43 AM PST by GMMAC (lots of terror cells in Canada - I'll be waving my US flag when the Marines arrive!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
I know of some churches in toronto there are sone huge churches -- that have gone from 100's to 100's in the fast three years.

Their priests are deidcated love God and preach heavy doeses of the Bible.

First it remains that not all churches are in that dying trend. Even in te came cities and area's.

Since you mentioned the prosperity Gospel I will mention that one of the things I have against these epcific churches is that the unabashedly preach that message. They fellowship with a man named Rodney Howard Brown an Australian import that lives in Florida

This man had forged Kenneth Haigan's teachings teachings on worship and The prosperity Gospel into a gospel that offers everything for the flesh -- no commitmentbut to men no need to give up anyhing for God. You get the fire insurance, you get God as your servant wating at your beck and call to show himself worthy of you. you get the riches of the world. You get everything your eye lusts for from this world, and all you have to so is go to one of his churches sing pay your tithes and become a disciple of RHB.

There is an outward Church. A church of the flesh that has been made by hands -- that is not found in the Gospels and the book of Acts and the Epistles.

The Word Church is not in the Bible either it is a made up word in place of the Greek word EK-Klesia Ek meaning out from and away from and Klesia meaning the called.

At best churches are comprised of the called and many denominations acknowledge that their particiapnts have heaed the call of God and heeded it.

But that is not the Ekklesia that Jesus and the Apsotles spoke of. It is out of the Klesia that the Ek-Klesia come forth.

Israel was the called -- and then there were the multudes taht followed christ ( In a sense the multitudes we the Ek-klesia.) But then from the multitudes there were the 120 disciples of Christ (And these would say that they were the ekklesia from Israel and the multiudes) But then there were the 12 and they could say they were the ekklesia from Israel, from the multitdes and from the 120. You get the drift. They mark of the Ekklesia is that these beople are at very least according to the bible "The disciples of Christ" that is in the bible Those that follow the lamb withersoever he goes."

The denominations and christiandom is the called from where the ek-klesia come from. These belong to an invisible church that is not made with hands. Many are called but few -- are chosen, many are called but few are the Out called of the called. straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.

Those that find it are on theri face before God and read his word themselves they are those that literally come to know the Lord and in time they find their way out from the Klesia and into the Ek-klesia.

These belong to no particular denominations and do not make disciples for themselves they do not build churches or denominations these live as Christ said letting their lights shine before men and leading people to a more personal relationship with God and they are salted among the Klesia, they are in all denominations.

They live like Abram of old as strangers in this land seeking a city with foundations that man has not made. They follow in the footsteps of Christ and the 12 apostles forsaking all and seeking an eternal kingdom not made with hand.

There is a relationship between the klesia and the Ek-klesia. Without the called there could be no outcalled. In the old testament God speaks of the called He calles them his namesake, he calls them those that are called by his name. If you look up these verses they are not very flattering. God deals with the Klesia on the basis that he must maintain a physical earthly witness -- that the world abd unsaved understand and can go to.

While God watches over it and will noit let it utterly be removed from the earth -- when it becomes excedingly corrupt he judges it.And Canada and Europe have fallen into that catagory.

Sucess in Rodney Howrd Brown's case is the corruption of his message -- but even so Paul the Apostle says that even with corrupt people he rejoices becasue God's word still gets out (Making more klesia that more ekklesia can come forth.)

12 posted on 02/28/2005 12:25:40 PM PST by Rocketman
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To: Rocketman

Thanks. I have never seen that presented before.

13 posted on 02/28/2005 2:28:59 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
It has taken me a long time to grasp this myself.

That was an answer to a questio I had sought God over for a few decades.

The Question is why are there hunderds of denominations out there that all beleive they have the truth and yet they all beleive that everyone else except themselves are deceived?

14 posted on 02/28/2005 4:33:32 PM PST by Rocketman
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Amen to the bishop.

15 posted on 02/28/2005 5:35:58 PM PST by youngtory (Rights are rights are rights. Just like a proof is a proof is a proof.-Liberal dorks.)
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