Skip to comments.Comrades [proposed: "Registered Religious Practitioners"!]
Posted on 07/20/2005 9:34:17 PM PDT by sionnsar
If a man named Bob Ferguson has his way, Canada will jump from socialist all the way to Maoist:
Just as Senate approaches the final vote on the gay marriage bill, C-38, Canadas national public radio CBC Radio has aired a commentary by a retired professor from the Royal Military College calling for state control over religion, specifically Catholicism. While parliamentarians dismissed warnings by numerous religious leaders and experts that such laws would lead to religious persecution, former professor Bob Ferguson has called for "legislation to regulate the practice of religion."
"Given the inertia of the Catholic Church,
Translation: the Catholic unwillingness to rewrite the Word of God just because some liberals don't like what it says.
perhaps we could encourage reform by changing the environment in which all religions operate," Ferguson began his commentary in measured tones yesterday. "Couldnt we insist that human rights, employment and consumer legislation apply to them as it does other organizations? Then it would be illegal to require a particular marital status as a condition of employment or to exclude women from the priesthood. "
Ferguson continued, "Of course the Vatican wouldnt like the changes, but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada.
Or place the entire nation of Canada under an interdict and let Ottawa deal with lots and lots of angry Canadian Catholics all by its lonesome.
Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure."
No doubt. I suspect that the Catholic Church in Canada has more than its share of closet Anglicans.
The former professor pitched his idea as a boon to religious freedom. "We could also help the general cause of religious freedom by introducing a code of moral practice for religions," he said. "They will never achieve unity so why not try for compatibility? Cant religious leaders agree to adjust doctrine so all religions can operate within the code?"
Well, no. You don't hit church much, do you, Bob? See, we don't have these doctrines of ours because we voted on them. And, since some of our doctrines are incompatible with the doctrines of other religions(particularly that Jesus-dying-on-the-cross-for-the-sins-of-the-world thing the fundies are always getting in people's faces about), you're essentially telling people what they can and can't believe. And I thought Canada was a free society.
Ferguson, would see religion regulated by provinces in the same way professions are regulated. "I am an engineer so the model I am thinking about is rather like the provincial acts regulating the practice of engineering," he said. "For example, engineers must have an engineering degree from a recognized university or pass qualification exams. They must have a number of years of practical experience and pass an ethics exam. The different branches: mechanical, electrical, civil and the like have a code of practice that applies to everyone. Why cant religious groups do the same?"
Because many of us have heard that there's separation of church and state in Canada. You're not much for listening, are you, Bob?
Continuing his comparison Ferguson stated, "I envisage a congress meeting to hammer out a code that would form the basis of legislation to regulate the practice of religion. Like the professional engineers P.Eng designation, there would then be RRPs (or registered religious practitioners). To carry the analogy to its conclusion, no one could be a religious practitioner without this qualification."
Registered religious practioners. A more socialist phrase has never been invented. For all practical purposes, Bob's essentially proposing to make Unitarian Universalism Canada's state religion.
Ferguson also suggests obvious prohibitions on religion including preaching of hate. "I wont try to propose what might be in the new code except for a few obvious things: A key item would have to be a ban on claims of exclusivity. It should be unethical for any RRP to claim that theirs was the one true religion and believers in anything else or nothing were doomed to fire and brimstone. One might also expect prohibition of ritual circumcisions, bans on preaching hate or violence, the regulation of faith healers, protocols for missionary work, etc.," says Ferguson.
And now for the punchline...
The retired professor concluded his comments aired on CBC yesterday morning saying, "Now what is the point of proposing this? I do it because I am worried that the separation between church and state is under threat.
Impressive. Bob, a retired college professor, wants to protect the separation of church and state by involving the state in religious affairs like it's seldom been involved anywhere at any time. I don't think that even Frank Griswold could say something that sociopathic.
The sad thing is that I can see Mike Ingham, Andrew Hutchison and a fair chunk of the rest of the Anglican Church of Canada backing this idea if only to shut their conservatives up. But on the bright side, if this should ever be pushed through, it'll finally pry Kathy Shaidle and some of her friends loose.
Please tell me this is a sick joke...but of course it's not. It's our future.
Someone should propose religious tests for engineers..
Looks like he is just trying to follow the Red Chinese model for dealing with churches. It hasn't worked particularly well for them, has it.
Actually, a little bit of persecution might improve the quality of the churches in Canada.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.