The law, the Lord and one giant cross to bear

What role would a Christian law school play in broader Canadian society?

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The controversy around Trinity Western University’s application to create Canada’s first private law school based on Christian foundations has centred on a covenant the school requires of its students. The school, located in Langley, B.C., mandates that its students and faculty pledge to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

While the school does not explicitly exclude gay students, the pledge has sparked accusations of discrimination. The Federation of Law Societies and B.C.’s Ministry of Higher Education has approved accreditation for the school. But provincial law societies, which set the standards for admission to the profession, are under pressure from critics to reject the school’s potential graduates.

Beyond the covenant controversy, however, the application for Canada’s first Christian law school raises another question: What role would a Christian law school play in broader Canadian society in which controversial social issues are often decided in the courts? In the U.S., a new wave of Christian law schools have become more than places to train lawyers—they are players in a growing conservative legal movement that is shaping American law and politics.

“This is a situation worth watching,” said Rob Boston, spokesman for Citizens United for the Separation of Church and State, an American advocacy and litigation group. In the U.S., he says, “the law schools and legal groups they work with have created an infrastructure to push ‘culture war’ issues in a more conservative direction.”

The new, assertive brand of politically engaged Christian law schools differ from the many private U.S. universities that had religious roots but had become secularized over time. They were conceived as gathering places and incubators for Christian legal thinkers and activists, and an integral part of the conservative legal movement that seeks out and litigates strategic cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on issues including school prayer, the rights of anti-abortion protesters, gay marriage, and gun laws. The law schools were founded by deep-pocketed Christian activists who wanted to match the success of liberal groups such as the ACLU and NAACP at effecting social change through the courts.

In 1986, televangelist Pat Robertson, who headed the Christian Coalition and the Christian Broadcasting Network, launched the Regent University school of law in Virginia Beach, Va. (Motto: “Law is more than a profession. It’s a calling.”) It drew faculty such as former attorney general John Ashcroft, and produced graduates such as the two-term governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell. At one point, Regent became a pipeline to jobs in the federal Justice Department under George W. Bush. In 1999, Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino’s Pizza chain, founded Ave Maria law school, now in Naples, Fla., to merge legal education with conservative Catholic teaching. In 2004, Liberty University, a Lynchburg, Va., university founded by another television preacher, Jerry Falwell, opened its own law school.

Alongside their law schools, Robertson and Falwell established public-interest law firms staffed by like-minded lawyers who launch strategic litigation. Robertson created the American Center for Law and Justice, originally housed together with Regent’s law school. Liberty University has Liberty Counsel, whose founder and chairman also serves as the dean of the law school. “There was a long-term vision: you create the law firms by cherry-picking leading Christian lawyers and then you develop the law schools with direct affiliations with the law firms—and the students can take classes from the lawyers at the firms and do internships. So you create a feeding network,” said Joshua Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Denver, who has studied the history of Christian law schools in the U.S.

Wilson traces the rise of such groups to the conservative backlash against the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that proclaimed a constitutional right to abortion. Evangelical Christians organized and helped elect Ronald Reagan, but were disappointed when his term in office did not affect abortion rights or school prayer. Abortion politics were driven into the streets—with activists protesting in front of clinics. “Then those people started getting arrested and needed lawyers.” Meanwhile, state government efforts to restrict abortion rights were being challenged in courts, too. “These dual pressures made Christian conservatives realize they need to develop legal resources,” said Wilson.

The movement has had an impact on secular education as well. Last year, Stanford University opened the first legal clinic in the U.S. focused on religious liberty issues, helped by large donations from conservative foundations. “The 47 per cent of the people who voted for Mitt Romney deserve a curriculum as well,” Lawrence C. Marshall, the associate dean for clinical legal education told the New York Times at the time. “We ought to be committed to ideological diversity,” he said.

In Canada, by contrast, law schools have been publicly funded and secular. Conservative legal scholars say this has bred homogeneity and conformism in thinking. “I think there is a lack of diversity in the Canadian legal academy and Canadian legal institutions and that manifests itself in all kinds of ways,” says Bradley Miller, a law professor at the University of Western Ontario. Another result has been conservative and Christian students leaving Canada for American institutions. “They go and tend to stay. We don’t tend to get folks back once they’ve made the leap. It’s a big problem,” says Ian Brodie, research director at the school of public policy at the University of Calgary, former executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada, and a former chief of staff to the prime minister.

Canadian expat Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington who was involved in the group’s legal challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care reform, agrees. “I see a lot of conservatives and libertarians from Canada here. We joke we are here for ideological exile—or at least we did before the Obama administration,” he says.

He says that the Canadian conservative movement, “could and should develop a network of like-minded students, professors, and thought leaders of various kinds.”

Janet Epp Buckingham, a political science professor at Trinity Western who is a proponent of the law school project, says she has had students leave for U.S. law schools such as Pepperdine University in California, Baylor in Texas, and Indiana’s Notre Dame in search of faith-based legal education and Christian teachings on legal ethics. “I have had quite a few express to me that there is very little room in the current secular law schools for faith and it’s not considered a serious topic for law school or even an appropriate topic for law school,” she said.

But she says those waiting for Trinity Western to take on an activist role outside the classroom along the U.S. model will be disappointed. “We are definitely not looking at engagement with culture-war-type issues—but filling needs we see in the Christian community and in the larger community around us.” Students at Trinity Western are politically diverse, and what they decide to do with their educations will be up to them, she said, but adds, “I don’t have a problem if law graduates become public interest advocates.”

Epp Buckingham toured a number of religiously affiliated U.S. law schools and “was struck by how diverse they are.” She visited Virginia’s Regent, which she described as “focused on the ‘culture wars’—but also contributing in a robust way to public discussion about the nature of law and interpretation of constitutional provisions.” Her preferred model is Campbell University, a small school in North Carolina, which she said is focused on training competent, regional lawyers. Her goal is to train lawyers to serve small communities and underserved clients.

But where does that leave a potential Canadian conservative legal movement? “Who knows what could happen,” says Miller, “When you get a critical mass of like-minded people.”


The law, the Lord and one giant cross to bear

  1. Well if we insist on a Christian system of law, under the equality clause of the constitution we’ll also end up with a Jewish and Muslim one……and Sharia law will indeed be in Canada.

    Religion poisons everything….keep religion out of the courts….and law schools of the nation.

    • The problem with your comment is that the Canadian system has taken a lot to the Judeo-Christian heritage already. Much of our law is already Jewish and Christian and it seems to me that it has served us well as a country.

      Why, as a conservative Canadian, am I not allowed to be an active participant in the formulation and administration of the laws of my country? Why do u have to be a secularist in order to have a voice?

      • We don’t have any ‘Judeo-Christian’ heritage. Laws and courts have been around for thousands of years all over the world with pretty much the same laws.

        Laws have to apply and be fair to everyone….they cannot be from just one religion.

        Unless of course you want us forbidden to eat shrimp or pork….or punished by stoning and beheading.

        Govt should be out of the morality business.

        • I personally don’t want to worry about being shot when I work in my backyard on Sunday. And you’re right, the JC heritage hasn’t invented legal systems. It has quite often invented cruel, oppressive laws, stood behind the bloodiest wars in history and has spread unimaginable misery to millions of people around the world. No one, in his right mind, should even think about promoting that kind of shameful heritage.

          • Totally agree….we’re finally getting down to elimination of the last few religion-based laws on the books.

          • Bloodiest wars in history have all been secular inspired.

          • Right, When Christians go to war they leave their Christianity at home. Isn’t that a bit too convenient? Then, what is this ideology good for? Any ideas?

          • Xtianity has prevented more bloodshed then any secular belief and legal system.

          • Please review history. Start with the crusades and right through the dark ages and beyond. Millions died at the hands of and in the name of Christianity.

          • Or than.

          • really Hitler took advantage of religion( the whole…the jews killed jesus worked wonders). What crazy blood thirsty tyrant wouldnt…herd mentality (shivers) gives me the hibigeebees.

        • Laws, by their very nature, involve a degree of morality. The question is whose.

          • No, the question is the definition of morality in today’s world. 15th century Christian morality is way different from 21st century one. Buddhist morality is different from Christian morality. A secular democratic society should be based on a secular, all inclusive moral principles of the day.

          • I think you just said the same thing I did. And then provided your own answer (one I agree with, BTW).

            My comment (and I guess I could have been clearer about this) was aimed at Emily’s claim “Govt should be out of the morality business.” The only way that is possible is to do away with laws altogether. Personally, I’m not a big fan of anarchy.

          • I agree….the law doesn’t require ‘morality’….it requires common sense.

            No successful society has ever been permissive about murder, theft, assault, kidnapping, breaking contracts etc. It’s a rational look at maintaining a stable society.

          • One thing you aren’t Emily is a deep thinker.

          • Mmmm yeah, fairy tales are ‘deep thinking’ eh?

          • Justin Trudeau is no deep thinker, on that we can agree.

          • This isn’t an election campaign thread.

          • Chris is particularly fond of talking snakes.

          • LOL…even a fat one with glasses?

          • Better then the babbling incoherence of lefties.

          • Or than.

        • This is incorrect EmilyOne. At least your assertion “we don’t have any ‘Judeo-Christian heritage'”. There are a great many scholarly articles which disagree with this assertion. In particular you are suggesting that law is independent of morality, perhaps entirely? This would be a legal positivist standpoint, but also many legal positivist would agree that many laws, often if not mostly, grew from normative expectations rooted in religion. Laws do have “to apply and be fair to everyone” but you are assuming laws were created in a vacuum, or at least independently from religion.
          However, to put this bluntly, perhaps the greatest decision of the common law world stated- “The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour” I would ask you – where did this comment come from?

          • Law is based on preserving the stability of a society. It is not based on any Judeo-Christian morality.

            What, you think all other societies in the world were immoral??

            The ‘golden rule’ has a long history predating our appearance.


          • EmilyOne. Well first – I think you’re denying the obvious by suggesting that the wording of that statement by a Welsh judge in the 1930s is not referring to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Your reference to “our appearance” and the Golden rule is not convincing that it is otherwise. But forget it then. I would also strongly suggest that your suggestion that “law is based on preserving stability of a society” is flawed. Many, many scholars disagree with that. Many think laws are based on preserving the power of elites, for example. While far beyond the scope of this – laws were and continue to be made by people, whether judges or politicans. Also the inflammatory statement about myself thinking “all other societies are immoral” is without basis – you’re missing the point really. A law is designed so those subject to it will adhere to it, at its most basic. Who decides what things people should adhere to, and why?

          • Yes, laws are made by people…..not gods. And THAT is the point.

          • Im aboriginal hhmm I think im canadian…and im not considering my very long canadian heritage as being jewish or christian. Stop claiming stuff…geesuzzz And morality has nothing to do with religion. Infact the idea of not being religious and having superb moral is well real. Religion likes makking law we dont have to let them..they have a bad reputation of making horrible laws

          • Sorry, could you repeat that? I was busy bakking a cakk, so I missed it.

          • Chiristianity has a root in everything because of its bad habits of cultural colinization. Religion does has its roots in politics..as a primitive tool…(As a native American I sadly I know the utility of religion in politics) We are far past does days…and even when you bring up religion as needed to have morals…stupid and even when you bring up religion in politics…still stupide…..Religion is primitve….when I vote i dont dance around a fire naked and I would appreciate it if Judeo Christians did not found politcs on what a zombie would have wanted.

        • Only a progressive would say “government should be out of the morality business.”

          Laws are a societies enshrinement of its morals.

          And to say we have no Xtian heritage is trash left-wing rewriting of history.

          • No, laws aren’t the enshrining of morals….they are common sense rules for a stable society.

            ‘WE’ have no Xtian heritage….you may

          • You’ve suffered through a modern progressive education, Emily. That explains your historical ignorance, you poor thing.

          • Yawn.

          • You suffer from patriotic confusion. Take it from an aboriginal this is not a judeo christian land..this is land. You suffer from an apologetic education…

          • You say stable, I say harem.

          • Laws can be sexist, racist, homophobic – how can you say they’re common sense. Again – think before you post.

          • So we should get rid of laws about assault and murder because some fool in Arizona wants to turn away gays?

            The ‘law’ vs using the law to back hate.

            You’re arguing like a Con

          • religious colonization is part of right wing religious history Im sorry

          • Of course it was – the idea that the laws surrounding Aboriginals were based on common sense and not religious bigotry is ridiculous.

      • You are allowed and you don’t need to be a secularist. You can attend any university and any university law school, provided you meet the academic requirements, and use that education as you wish. You may have some spirited discussions with your classmates and profs, although I’m sure you’ll find many of a like mind. The diversity of opinion and debate benefits everyone.
        I’m not sure the opposite applies to TWU and the US schools mentioned. There, they’re asking prospective students to make other sacrifices related to their personal lives, which weeds out all but a small subset of very dedicated people who are likely to be of like mind.

        • Emily, your ignorance of the world’s legal systems astounds me. Canadian law does indeed have a distinct Christian heritage as would be obvious to anyone who has looked into it. Furthermore, if you look at the laws of other cultures you shall find that they tend to be very different. Your notion that government should be out of the morality business is nonsensical, government is never neutral regarding morality, laws exist to police morality the only question is whose morality and what is policed?

          • Our laws are much the same as those in any other country…..there are local religious variations, but that’s the part we’re trying to eliminate.

            Yes. Whose morality…..is exactly the question. Which is why ‘policing morality’ has got to go.

          • All laws are a reflection of “morality”.

          • She means, any laws that don’t reflect *her* morality. She is the ultimate arbiter of everything.

          • Sheerly due to intelligence, not morality. So I have read.

          • Her morality is a product of her superior intelligence. Which doesn’t explain why she comes across as so thoroughly amoral. What a minute. It does explain it.

          • Or wait.

          • Sheerly you jest.

          • Quite the narcissist, isn’t she?

          • Oh dear freud would like lol at you right now

          • You must be totally delusional. Were you only schooled in Sunday school? Forgetting that Canada is a secular country? Forgetting that the ‘Christian heritage’ (of any country) should be nothing to be proud of and in fact should be looked at very critically? Please, keep your religion of misery to yourself, buddy. Religion of any kind has no place in public sphere, period.

          • Really? Expand on that in light of these harsh truths: In a 500 year time span, Muslim invaders of India waged wars on the Hindus that cost the lives of 60-80 million non-Muslims in India. That’s over 400 a day for 500 years.
            In the 20th century, socialists (German, Russian, Chinese) directly killed AT LEAST 120 million people between 1915 and 1991. That’s over 4000 people per day from the rise of the Bolsheviks to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Every hour of every day for over 75 years, socialists managed to kill 183 people. That’s one death every 20 seconds for the bulk of a century, at the altar of socialism. Men, women, children; and if you take the time to read the history of China and Russia in the 20th century, you’ll find that millions upon millions of those people died horrible, painful, ugly deaths as slaves to the god of socialism- The State.
            It wasn’t enough that the Soviets confiscated the harvests of the Ukraine, they herded the hungry cattle and hogs and sheep into pens and shot them before pouring diesel on the piles of the carcasses and burning them.
            Name us one instance in Christian history, or in the history of any English speaking people where that level of barbarism took place. Name a time and place in history where Christians killed hundreds of people a day, for decades and centuries on end. Name one. Then find a time and place in Anglo history where similar occurred.
            Then try and make the case that Christian heritage isn’t something anyone should be proud of.

          • We’ve had 2000 years of christian barbarism. From inquisitions to burning at the stake to crusading to war and genocide….christianity covered it all.

          • Lame. I cited historical fact. Can you? Give us some hard historical facts to back up your assertion.

          • If you haven’t heard of the Inquisition, all the Crusading, the stake burnings, genocide and all….there is always Google.

            I doubt it will do you any good though, if you haven’t heard of those things before.

          • Think he was looking for death toll, Em. Certain people like to blame Christians for all kinds of atrocities (and I won’t deny they never happened – they did) but seem to overlook similar or worse committed by non-Christians.
            Those people (you’ll find one looking back at you from your mirror) have a hate on for Christians and blame them for all the evils in the world. At the same time, they forget about all the good that has been done and continues to be done in the name of Christianity.
            It’s an incredibly biased selectivity that completely ignores things like the fact that our hospitals, education systems, charities and a host of other now-secular institutions in western society have their roots in Christian charity.
            You can’t place blame without giving credit, unless you want to make your bias evident.
            The reality is this – and one you, as an atheist, ought to be well aware of – good and evil are human conditions. Religion just becomes the excuse for the actions taken by humans.
            I find it very telling that those who call themselves atheist, and who thus should be the first to realize that all acts, good or evil, committed by humans, are the fault of the humans committing the act, seem the most eager to blame religion and God for what humans have done.

          • Good and evil are human conditions you are right, but as Weinberg once said, “With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

            And unfortunately that is true and extends to all forms of dogma based belief systems that focus on purity of belief. Stalinism was no different than fundamentalist religion in this area and in fact was really modeled after the only role model it had – Orthodox Christianity. Religious belief was the opiate of the masses and could only be replaced by another more fundamental form of religious belief.

            Also unfortunately your appeal “You can’t place blame without giving credit, unless you want to make your bias evident.” is seen daily in reverse by the faithful where they give credit to the object of their beliefs but fail to blame the same object for its failures.
            One child survives a plane crash and it’s a miracle but don’t point fingers at the same god who saved the child for allowing the plane to crash in the first place killing hundreds of others. A high school football player breaks a scoring record in Texas and it’s all praise to god, meanwhile thousands of kids die daily of starvation.
            It’s trite, but shouldn’t the believers lead by example if they wish others to follow?

          • Christians aren’t perfect – in fact, that’s one of the core tenets of our belief – we are all sinners. And I agree that many Christians give too much credit to God for the good things that happen – but the reason we don’t blame God for the evil or for our failures is because that’s our doing.
            I’m certainly not here to defend all Christians or all actions taken in the name of Christ. But it isn’t the religion itself that’s responsible; it is an inherent human condition – as you yourself acknowledged with your “all dogma” comment.
            And that includes certain subsets of atheists. Which is why I get sick of certain individuals trying to blame every evil in the world on Christians, and claiming moral superiority solely on the basis that they aren’t.

          • Then that all depends on how you define your god and the qualities that you ascribe to them.
            All good, All powerful and All knowing seems to be the popular way of defining it. If that is so then that doesn’t leave much room for unintended consequences like the existence of evil or even good for that matter.
            Religion is a way of codifying and regulating society based on divinely revealed knowledge. So it is a way of justifying some pretty horrendous actions in the name of a divine law giver. Most of us would not deliberately kill someone unless we were threatened and even then many of us would still not do it. Religion like other dogmatic regimes based on the religious model take threats to the purity of the religion seriously and some of the worst punishments are slated to be carried out to apostates, heretics and sexual sinners and what’s more religious tenets specifically encourage and justify these actions. Show trials, exile, death, eye for an eye, snitches, torture, indoctrination of the very young are all to be found in communist societies as well as religious ones.
            God may very well be good, but religions very rarely do anything but use god’s name to support their own prejudices.

          • Generally speaking, humans are lazy. Life is much easier if you are told how to behave and what to believe and you never have to think on your own. Or figure things out. Or have a moment of doubt.

            Easier to sit in a tree and groom yourself. All religions rely on this laziness for their own ends.

            ‘In ancient Rome there were more than 72 authentic religions. The people believed every one of them was true. The philosophers believed every one of them was false. The Government believed every one of them was useful.’

            Thank goodness for humans that think and dream and work and try….it’s a very small percentage but they’re all that’s saving us.

          • The greatest anti-religious political system is that which allows all beliefs to exist and not place primacy on one form over another. This equalisation of religious belief is best anti-religious move that a society can enact, because when everything is special then nothing is special. The Romans knew that treating religions equally would maintain the peace and as soon as Constantine decided to change that situation Rome started to fall as Christianity gained an ascendency.
            Likewise in the West today, where we refused to favour one faith over another these means the superstitious are just group of weirdos who are free to spend Friday, Saturday or Sunday wailing and wringing their hands for personal emotional gain. It’s why the religious right dislike truly centrist policies, they are reduced to being another bunch of odd-jobs insisting that “Someone who isn’t there” really talks to them.
            It’s when that balance is changed and one faith gains the ascendency or becomes the scapegoat that problems arise. And that is when religious belief can justify truly evil acts.

            I don’t mind the faithful, they are an anachronism, but one that does have a calming influence on society if none of them acquires too much power. but I really resent the tax breaks and access to public money and power that they get. That is an anachronism too far.

          • I agree. As I’ve said I don’t care if people believe in pink unicorns as long as they don’t try and force everyone else to.

            It’s just tribalism….our land, our clothing, our god, our rituals….everyone else is evil and can be attacked.

            But in a pluralistic society….it’s a jumble of tribes and no one group should be allowed special advantages. Public prayer, religious holidays, special schools, tax exemptions….

          • Why privilege secular thought? It’s just another belief system.

          • Atheism is non-belief by definition.

          • Atheism is the magical belief that the universe just popped into existence all by itself.

          • Humans don’t know how the universe came into being….atheists just don’t make up fairy stories about it.

          • And since atheism fails to provide any answer concerning the universe’s creation, it fails as a belief system.

          • That’s because it’s not a belief system…..nor is it meant to provide answers

            Plus, you’re just chattering to hear yourself chatter.

          • Another fiction to give yourself comfort. It is time to put away childish things.

          • Christianity is the magical belief that an invisible sky daddy raped a girl so that she could carry his son, who is also himself, so that his son/self could get nailed to a tree.

            Isn’t Straw Man building fun?

            But seriously, it’s all very pagan, isn’t it?

          • Atheism is the belief that there is no God / are no gods. That’s not non-belief”; just a different belief.

          • Everyone is atheist. I just happen to lack belief in all gods, whereas you lack belief in all gods but your own.

          • Just because you have been condition by soceity to see it as abnormal to not belong to a sect….here it goes,,,secularism is like public schools… atheism is not belonging or worshiping anything based on faith. Secularism is for everyone.

          • Ah, so you’re painting the atheists as the new “saviours” now are you? I thought only evangelicals ran around trying to save people. Now I know who the real Messiah is. She’s been haunting Macleans comment threads since 2008. ALL HAIL THE MESSIAH!

          • stop pretending you know everything and how everyone should live

          • How the hell did you get that out of my comment? It is the atheists posting on here that are trying to dictate how people live. I haven’t told anyone how to live.

            Far too many people seem to think of Christians as if they are all alike. We are found across the entire political spectrum. I seldom agree with those who fall into the category of “Christian Right” – in fact, though I tend to be centrist in my own views, the left would seem the more natural home of anyone who actually practices what Christ preached.

            Look at the comments on here by the anti-religionists. They place the blame for all evils on “Christians” and do their best to minimize any positive influences religion has had. If you were to substitute “black”, “Asian”, “Jew” or “gay” in any of their statements in place of “Christian” many of these same people would be labelling the statements as bigoted messages of hate. And they would be right.

            I happen to be very much in support of separation of state and religion. I’m just sick of all the Christian-bashing. You don’t like religion? Fine. I’m not on here criticizing anyone for that. Just lay off the bigotry and hate language.

            And try actually reading my posts before attacking me.

          • Well if they didnt feed the crazies we wouldnt be blaming them

          • Well if someone didn’t feed the crazies you’d have long since starved to death.

            You want to talk, join the conversation. You want to snipe – hope your skin is thick ’cause I can snark with the best of them.

          • Even with the Great White Snark?

          • You guys get funding… the special card. Modernity is going to change that like the fact that no one takes dancing around a fire to do any real good other than making you feel good…much like a fun placebo

          • Tell that to the families my church regularly feeds and clothes. To the people eating at the soup kitchen we support. To the homeless young people we help. And on and on… and that’s just one parish of a few hundred families.

            We don’t “get funding”; we get the same tax breaks as any charity. And less than donors to political parties. And we do actual good for actual people in need.

            But hey, why would a mindless bigot like you bother yourself with facts?

          • How about your ilk Emily?
            In the twentieth century alone left-wing atheists slaughtered more people, even outside the arena of war, than all the religions of the world put together, ever. Even round the clock human sacrifices of Tenochtitlan at it’s most industrious, couldn’t keep pace with you guys.

            Maybe we should keep your sort away from politics too, just in case the old instinctive urge for another Holodomor, Cultural Revolution, or Killing Fields becomes irrepressible.

            Quite frankly the country would remain freer placed in the hands of Baptist snake-handlers, Iranian mullahs, Israeli settlers and Hindu nationalists than with you guys.

          • LOL noop sorry

            I love the way you religious types don’t know any history, and try to slough off any responsibility.

            Pagans invented pretty much everything….and no one has ever been killed in the name of atheism.

          • Welp now you’re either blatantly lying, or self-decieved yourself to the point of idiocy.

            Since you’ve conveniently overlooked the “left-wing” part, I will too. And ignoring the fact that militant atheism served as the official doctrine of every single one of those states, let’s just look at atheists who killed for atheism. I’ve only selected pages with attributable quotes, where advancing atheism was the singular goal of the oppression.

            This is just the tip of the iceberg of course, I could fill this thread with thousands of links (church burning in the states, by misguided young Dawkinites is an increasingly popular pastime). However since I’m pretty sure you won’t read a single one, but instead run off to your atheist hugbox for some ahistorical pap from Dennett and Hitchens, with which to refute me, I’ll leave it at this;


            Also arguing with vicious fascists masquerading in liberal sheepskins disgusts me. So I’m off to take a shower and pretend hate-filled ideological demagogues aren’t actually destroying the left.

          • LOL I’m sorry but that’s a great collection of nonsense.

            As are your political remarks. Snort.

          • Much as it irks me to agree with Emily, no one has ever set off a suicide bomb an shouted “atheists are great” or “no god is great.” Nobody also claimed that “nothing led me to go to war on it’s behalf.”

            It isn’t by accident that Stalinism, Maosim etc all resemble the most successful religions in design and operation. Yet still you insist that they are completely separate entities rather than the competing forms of religious belief that they clearly are.

            Those totalitarian systems you insist on labeling atheist might not have prayed to a god, but they had every aspect of a religious belief system about them.

            As Bertrand Russell pointed out:
            Yahweh = dialectical Marxism.
            The Messiah = Marx.
            The Chosen ones = the proletariat.
            The church = the communist party.
            The Second Coming of Christ = the revolution.
            Hell = punishment of the capitalists.
            The millennium or thousand year reign of peace = communism.

            As an old Soviet joke illustrates
            “The Christians only preached the advantages of poverty,
            the communists enforced them.”
            the problem for the religious with regards to fanatical totalitarianism is that it only becomes a problem when it isn’t their approved brand of “fanatical totalitarianism.”

          • So the problem isn’t religion then, because the exact same phenomena happens even in stridently anti-religious ideologies. Human nature would seem to be the problem Religion is just one of many flags of convenience fanatics might choose to rally behind. So much for the theory that religion causes conflict.

          • You really didn’t read what was written did you?
            Religiously based societies were all that there were until recent times. Each new religiously based society learned from those that preceded it and from the mistakes of those societies.
            Even so called modern secular societies learned from the societies that went before them, after all how could they not that was all that existed in the past. Stalinism is a religion by design and structure as is fascism, moaism, khmer rougism, global capitalsim and all the other isms. They are utopian pipe dreams that are so sure of themselves.
            So as the only pattern we have as humans for organising society is religiously based then it would be more accurate to state that there is only one problem and it is that of religion. Nothing else has ever been attempted by mankind other than a system based on that designed by successive religious beliefs. Which is ironic when you consider that Stalinism while claiming to be atheist was actually just another cult using a tried and tested religiously based format to establish itself.
            They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and so it would appear to be.

          • So all ideologies are religion. And all ideologies are the product of human nature. Therefore, human nature is the problem, not ideologies or religion. Got it.

          • Human nature created religion to excuse its excesses. It also created utilitarian belief structures based on previous religious thought to try and overcome any criticism that their actions were governed by superstition.
            God, ideologies and religion are human inventions and are manifestations of human nature. Trying to separate them out is futile.

          • The point is, though, that the problem isn’t religion, per se – it’s people. Ending religion won’t end the problems you try to lay at its feet.
            There are always convincing sociopaths who are capable of leading people to do their will. Religion has often proven to be a useful tool for them. But if religion isn’t available they will find something else. Hatred, resentment, fear and greed are the motivators. Not belief in (or lack of belief in) god(s).

          • The point is that religion is the aspect of people that allows the problems to exist. People and religion are not separable because the belief in god that allows people to justify our atrocious behaviour has been with us since we formed social groups.
            We have no need to look for something else, because we always revert to religious justification whether that be the will of god, the party or our country. To do otherwise would require effort and rational thought, something we are too lazy to do honestly. And to be honest the clergy, commissars or other agents ensuring purity of belief like us that way.

          • You sound like Emily – get rid of religion and all our problems will magically go away. That’s utter nonsense.
            Nationalism, ethnicity, even political beliefs are all equally relevant motivators – and have been the prime motivators for the wars of the past century or two (when the vast majority of mass killings have occurred).
            You’re usually pretty sensible, harebell – strikes me as odd that you have the anti-religionist fervour.

          • The difference between me and Emily on this is that I can’t see religion ever going away, so plan to neutralise its nastier proclivities and restrict its opportunities to do damage instead. Religion needs accounting for as wishing it would go away is like wishing that the sun won’t come up tomorrow.
            Nationalism and ethnicity along with religion are usually to be found together as a irrational trifecta that allows horrendous acts to occur. By religion I mean not just the “invisible sky daddy talks to me” kind but also those that were based on that kind but claim to do away with religious belief like communism and nazism. When political beliefs are inseparable from religious beliefs then they are religious beliefs.
            Look at Islamic nations around the globe, even look at the state of Israel who’s very foundation is a a Jewish state, then look at the foundation of many western countries where the dominant religion holds enormous political power. The power of religion in Ireland, the US, the UK (where the monarch and our monarch still has the letters FD after their name) and many other countries allows and accepts a huge level of political interference.
            There never has been a nation on earth that wasn’t either based on religious belief, run on religious grounds or used the religious model for its government. So any nonsense that tries to claim that there ever was a system of government that didn’t have religious thought as a major foundation is just plain ludicrous and wrong.
            Handwaving about nationalism, ethnicity etc will not hide the fact that those characteristics are an integral part of religious thought.

          • You are seeing the evidence but letting your view of religion blind you to the real picture. There is a paradigm of behaviour that most often manifests itself as religion but is also found elsewhere, such as in politics. You conflate these under the umbrella of religion – and therein lies your perceptual error.

          • I don’t conflate the two, I recognise
            that modern politics was born out of the religious basis for community
            building. Modern political theory is based in and evolved out of the theocratic
            political theory that preceded it how could it not given the basis for most
            legal systems and how politicians are educated, socialised and trained?

            You seem to think the two are neatly separated whereas history and practice
            tell us they aren’t. That’s the reason we see the same behaviours manifest
            themselves in both arenas.

          • Look up the definition of religion. You need a deity, spirit or sacred object to qualify. So while similar, the others are not religions – and capable of existing independent of religion. Doesn’t matter if they are “descendants” of religion or not.

            So there is a larger paradigm based on innate human behaviour.

          • I have to admire your stamina in accepting that modern society and political systems have been created from faith based religious belief yet insisting that that previous foundation has no bearing on the characteristics of those derived social systems today.
            That would be like saying that the education a person receives up until the age of 18 has no effect once one leaves school and enters the workplace as they are both different times.
            Sacred objects come in many forms – the free market is just such a mythical object of worship for many today. It is proselytized throughout the world and enforced with an iron hand. Heretics are not tolerated. The party and the supreme leader are worshiped in N Korea and to some extent China, just like Mao and Stalin were back in the day. These are religions in every aspect of the word.

          • It’s more akin (pardon the pun) to a mother/son relationship. Both human; one older; different sexes; but discrete individuals with shared DNA. The mother can die and the son still survive.

            And that’s only if we accept your argument that one is derived from the other – which I have done for argument’s sake but am far from convinced.

          • The DNA example is quite a good example but if one could take it further, genetic diseases could be used as an illustration of the excesses of relio-politico systems. If the mother dies then the son will still display the gene for the disease as it is an innate part of his biological blueprint passed onto him by those who came before him. Also he will pass it on to those who come after him.

            The derivation argument is fairly simple as there was nothing else for the present system to be derived from and the apple rarely falls far from the ideological tree. As a race we are very conservative and large radical steps are usually snuffed out as a threat before they gain a toe hold.

            Still this was a great back and forth and we didn’t call each other any names once… this is the internet, I’m anonymous… that’s paradigm shattering in itself… I just defeated my own argument about the rate of change.. damn.

          • LOL! Thanks for the exchange – it was indeed a great back and forth. ‘Til next time…

          • “You need a deity, spirit or sacred object to qualify.”

            Millions of Buddhists have just become very confused.

          • Took the line directly from dictionary definition and an article. Strictly speaking, is Buddhism then a “nontheistic religion” or simply a philosophical way of being? I’m sure that debate has gone on for a very long time. I’m equally sure I don’t have an answer – though I am more inclined toward the latter of the two choices, based on my admittedly scant knowledge of Buddhism.

          • If the problem we face is the ability of sociopaths to lead people, then surely we can identify credulity and herd-thinking as two of our enemies. I think we must then conclude that religion is a harm to us, as credulity and herd(or flock)-thinking are religion’s stock-in-trade.

          • Again, wrong conclusion – the problem isn’t religion, but those who use it to their own ends. Religion in itself is not evil; the uses some people make of it is. Far more people use it to do good.

            It’s like money – neither good nor evil in and of itself, but can be used for either.

            Credulity and herd thinking are not necessarily a trait of religion (though it seems to be of the religious right – a term which I consider an oxymoron, BTW, at least for Christians), nor do you need to be religious to exhibit these traits.

          • …now you’re either blatantly lying, or self-decieved yourself to the point of idiocy.

            I vote for the latter.

          • The results are in: The latter wins by 1 vote.

            In other news: the recently unseated Robert Ford reinvents the Model-T. It is now crafted entirely of Stoli bottles and crack pipes.

          • So, the deeply religious Germans stopped being Christians when they joined Nazi party, right? How convenient. All European countries in WW1 were Christian. North and South American ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Christians, Vietnam war… Christians, Iraq, etc. Even Stalin’s atrocities were perpetrated by his Christian (Russian Orthodox) henchmen. So, put a political label on any of these, the fact is the were all Christians. Christianity is useless, doesn’t make most people better and in fact, it is an ideology soaked in blood.

          • “All European countries in WW1 were Christian”

            Kind of beside the point; the war was about nationalism, not religion. The ranks of those fighting were not restricted to Christians.

            False analogies like that stretch your credibility.

          • “Gott Mit Uns”

          • Atheists have killed more folks then everyone else combined. History didn’t start in 1964 you know.

          • No one has ever been killed in the name of atheism.

          • Ha! Funny!

          • You’re right; everyone needs a rallying cry and “Atheism!!!” rarely works. So they label it something else. But the majority of wars in the last several centuries have NOT been religious wars. The majority of other deaths have NOT been in the name of God.
            As I’ve said in other posts, religion isn’t the problem; the problem is the ease with which sociopaths find the right name to attach to people’s fear, resentment, greed and hatred and then manipulate them to do their will. Religion is one tool used for this purpose; nationalism, ethnicity, politics are others.
            Ridding the world of religion will solve nothing. Except maybe make one set of haters feel better about themselves.

          • How are doing at Bingo these days?

          • I’m not religious.

          • You are a certified lunatic. Christians are responsible for more killings than any other religion or non-religion, in the last 1500 years. All crusades, all colonizations, ‘modern’ slavery, American CW, WW1, Spanish CW, WW2, Korean war, Vietnam war, Latin American CWs, Afghanistan, Iraq…. and these are only the major ones. Add them up and see for yourself that Christianity is the deadliest ideology in human history. Educate yourself!

          • Please explain how most of the wars you list in the past century are “Christian” wars. They are mostly wars of nationalism. That some of the participants call themselves Christian is beside the point. Except to those whose hatred sees the boogeyman of Christianity everywhere. Get a dose of reality.

          • Those ‘nationalists’ in European context were Christians, Christian soldiers. They couldn’t have left their Christianity conveniently at home. If they did, what does it say about the value of Christian ideology?

          • They were not doing battle in the name of their religion, to promote the cause of their religion. The ranks were not restricted to Christians, and would almost certainly have included atheists. By your logic, an atheist who robs a bank does it because he is an atheist.

            The motivating factor is the key. Were they acting as they did specifically and directly because of their religion, or was their motivation nationalism, political beliefs, or racially/ethnically motivated?

            When you label something a “Christian” war because the participants were largely of the Christian faith, but the war was over something other than religion, then you lose all credibility as an unbiased observer. You’re just another bigot trying to justify your hatred.

          • I love how you insist we should educate ourselves then expose your extraordinary ignorance. I shall therefore rebut several of your examples, I could do it with more but who has the time?

            Spanish Civil War: Atheists burning churches and killing priests, stealing land, etc. Naturally provoked a hostile reaction and the Republicans were overthrown, but frankly resistance to the atheists was just a small part of the Nationalists’ reasons for rising up frankly. Are Christians to blame for defending themselves from Atheist aggression?

            Korean War: Atheist North Korea invades South with the support of Atheist USSR and PRC. UN intervenes to stop them. Are Christians to blame for helping to defend a (not really Christian at the time iirc) nation from Atheist aggression?

            Afghanistan: Islamic forces supported by Afghanistan attack the US, US naturally responds by invading Afghanistan. Are Christians to blame for defending themselves from Islamic aggression?

          • Afghanis never attacked the US, neither did Iraqis or Vietnamese and in Spain, well hard to argue with somebody defending Fascism. Christian Germans also just defended themselves from atheists? You are a clown.

          • Or than.

          • What an ignorant comment. That GED didn’t help much did it.

          • PhDs do though.

          • What was the subject of your thesis if I may ask?

          • Next you’ll ask for the name of the university, and then the year…..so I might just as well give you my name and address right now eh?

            Fat chance. LOL

            PS It’s a dissertation

          • Yummy……with whipped cream?

          • Well, unless it’s in Quantum Heavy-Duty Mechanics……..

          • Snort! Let me know when you get one. Or better yet, if you really have one, let me know the university so I know where not to send my daughter.

          • Cuz your daughter doesn’t get to decide for herself?

          • She gets to choose – but knowing Emily attended one on her short list, I’d encourage her to pick one of the others. Besides, if Em has one, it’s probably from those places that sell them online.

          • I’m guessing you don’t really love their way…….in stark contrast to Peter Frampton’s famous affirmation.

          • Here’s a hint: Communism, Maoism, Fascism et al followed the exact same Messianic impulse you godbotherers embrace so fervently. Religious fanaticism by another name. Try again. That line has gone static.

          • Here’s a hint use your real name to express your opinions not mine you gutless coward!!!!!!!!!!

          • Now now. I’m the real Mouland here. Not you two

          • Said the gutty, courageous Brian apparent.

          • Says the real Brian who doesn’t care for a gutless internet maggot using his name

          • That’s kinda harsh.

            What if:

            Faux-Brian’s sister, Mary Louise, needed an operation
            To get the money he would have to become an internet sensation
            Now faux-Brian knew the Canadian people had wonderful, love-giving hearts
            His well-publicized swipe he considered would hype
            His anonymous ass to the top of GoogleCharts
            And it did!

          • Moving to Saudi Arabia? Go for it; you’ll like it there!

          • I’ve used them all, but I gotta tell ya: None of ’em were very effective in controlling the ant infestation in my garden.

          • Were any of the Nazi butchers Christian?

          • Yes, all of them.

          • You know what I like about you, Emily? You make it like shootin’ ducks in a barrel. You constantly show up at these gunfights packin’ a little wee, itty bitty, pen knife. You go on with post after post, but never once make even the slightest effort at putting some meat on the bones of your intellectual vacuity.

          • Bill, I’ve been here for some years now….and if I had a nickel for every time I’ve posted ‘meat’ on this topic, I’d be rich from that alone. I wouldn’t, however, have time to get anything else done after dealing with everyone who comes on here trying to convert me….point by point.

            I’m an atheist. I’ve been an atheist for over half a century. I’m never going to become a believer.

            I don’t care what you believe in…..it could be pink unicorns for all that it matters to me. Whatever gets you through the night.

            What you may not do is attempt to force your beliefs on me or anyone else. And you certainly aren’t allowed to use the machinery of the state to do so.

            That I won’t allow. Nor will our courts. But if you want to debate theology [which as far as I’m concerned is about as valid as astrology] go harass your local preacher.

            I doubt you’d want to spend hours of your life discussing Odin or Zeus or Jupiter…..so why you think I’d want to discuss another god I don’t believe in….I don’t know.

          • You’re overestimating yourself again. Your contributions have been a joke, all 13,000+ of them.

          • I really don’t give a rat’s ass what you believe. What I don’t like is your lying and attempts to incite hatred toward believers – and especially Christians.

          • Hate makes you old before your time, also affects your tips.

          • Inciting hatred is strangely gratifying isn’t it.

          • Expressing hatred is a commonplace on here….by Cons and Libertarians

            I’ve never met a Christian Con

          • That contradicts most of your claims above. Normally, anyone baptized as an infant, no matter what they themselves proclaim later in life, is a Christian in your eyes the moment they do something you consider bad behaviour.

          • I’ve heard about that newfangled Intellectual Vacuity – it supposedly works even better than the Dyson Uni-ball!

          • None were because none lived Xtian ideals.

          • I’ve never met a Xtian yet who did.

          • Who are you to criticize?

          • Been down that road with you before Em. We both know that’s a load of BS that you shoot because the fact that Hitler was an atheist who had Christians on his hit list once he had won the war and eliminated the Jews shows your “atheists don’t kill people” crap for the nonsense it is.

          • Hitler was a Catholic. The SS wore the words “Gott mit uns” on their belts. Lutheran doctrine was at the heart of the Nazis’ anti-Semitism.

            Nazism’s “1000 Year Reich” is as Messianic as any of the Nazarene’s promises.

          • That belt inscription was entirely secular. They did that cuz they liked mittens more than milk.

          • Hitler was a Christian and Germans were and are overwhelmingly Christian. The Church was largely supportive of Fascism. The most persecuted people were Jews, Communists and Gipsies. Don’t try to re-arange history.

          • I don’t know that this is an argument you want to make. If the 95% of wartime Germans who identified themselves as Christians, were so easily “used” by one of the most evil regimes in history, than what moral force does Christianity have? Did being Christian stop them from carrying out the Holocaust? No. It didn’t.

          • I gots ‘cited too!

          • Source please

          • Your Google button is broken?

          • I asked for a Google button but I gotsded a belly button instead. It regularly fails to retrieve the requested information when pressed, but it makes me giggle so I use it a lot.

          • Nice selective little bit of history (obviously you have been well indoctrinated by the public school system). Care to describe the Christian barbarism that ended slavery, created the enlightenment etc.

          • Christian barbarism kept slaves in the US….the bible even tells you how to treat slaves.

            And the Enlightenment was anit-religion.

            WHERE did YOU got to school?

          • I suggest that you actually study Christianity and its beliefs because while the Old Testament talks about slavery etc. the New Testament lays out the guiding principles of Christianity.
            And the Enlightenment was a critical examination of the practice of religion extending into the social/economic forums that were beginning to emerge at the time.
            And I GOT to school by doing a graduate program!!!

          • I’ve been an atheist for over half a century….religion leads to the kind of insanity you’re spouting.

            Join a convent and annoy someone who cares.

          • Name us one instance in Christian history, or in the history of any English speaking people where that level of barbarism took place.

            Beziers, France – July 22, 1209

            “Show mercy neither to order, nor to age, nor to sex…kill them all…God will know his own.”

            – Pope Innocent III

            To whom do you think Stalin and company went for inspiration? See above.

          • Again, while this particular event of the Crusade era stands out as one of Christianity’s less shining moments, let’s keep it in context of the time. Mu’izz al-Din would have killed hundreds of thousands in his Indian conquest. Again, as I pointed out earlier, Muslims killed, on average, some 400 people per day for five centuries in India alone. The Islamic conquests of Europe killed millions, while the events co-related to Pope Innocent’s exhortation directly led to the deaths of somewhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 people.
            The bottom line is that you simply can’t find an event or series of events in world history whereby Christians and their governments, at the behest of religious leaders, were the cause of as much bloodshed as either Islam or socialism.
            Do not forget, for example, that some of the bloodiest conflicts of the Crusades were fought on European soil- Christendom- in an effort to throw off the yoke of Muslim oppression and slavery.

          • Six million Jews were killed, systematically and eagerly, by a populace raised on Lutheran anti-Semitism. What, you think the Nazis’ anti-Semitism emerged from a vacuum?

          • Again, you’re clutching at straws here, gringo. The Nazi’s were most specifically socialists (What exactly do you think National Socialist Party might otherwise mean?), and thus not part of any organized religious movement. I don’t think anyone has ever denied that anti-Semitism was rampant in late 19th century and early 20th century Europe, but the Holocaust was most definitely not the work of any recognizably Christian doctrine.
            Nice try, though.

          • Simply because you refuse to admit that the anti-Semitism of Lutheran doctrine played a key role in the Shoah, doesn’t change the fact that an overwhelmingly Christian population executed it.

            You can play the apologetics all you want, but it was Christians who carried out the extermination of the European Jews. The latter, of course, being the “killers of Christ.”

            Google “Gott mit uns,” then hold your beliefs because of the facts, not in spite of them.

          • Again, we must look at this in contemporary context. Sure, many Nazi’s were “Christians”, but they were all Socialists. If Mao, a fellow socialist, slaughtered 50 to 70 million, and the Soviets- again, socialists- killed roughly the same number, what does logic dictate as the most likely inspiration for Nazi barbarism- socialism or Christianity?
            The hard facts, such as socialism’s tendency towards anti-Semitism (again, look towards Russia for further details), simply lead towards the hard reality that socialism and not Christianity is the culprit.
            Again, nice try, though.

          • I looked towards Russia, but I couldn’t see past Sarah Palin’s house.

          • Slice your apologetics any thinner and you’ll have a Jesus biscuit.

          • Just statin’ some facts the left finds oh so uncomfortable. See links-

            I think I’m pretty accurate at stating that calls for the specific exclusion of conservatives and Christians from the Canadian political millieu, in this discussion as well as many others I’ve participated in, have come from people who would consider themselves comfortably left of center.
            You know, fascists and socialists, those kind of folk.
            I’m here ’til Thursday. Try the veal.

          • No need to Google, my answer is “Yes”, several pairs actually.

          • Well if it did, it wouldn’t have been from a Dyson – it’s British.

          • Mu’izz al-Din?

            Didn’t he just get busted at Bieber’s house?

            And didn’t the Biebs just finish throwing off his yoke…….onto his neighbor’s house?

          • The third installment of any series is typically the worst.

          • Hey Im a native!!!! yAY IM stILL aLIVE thought my culture and language has been seriously damaged by the Oh soo superior not silly culture of people pretending to eat jesus face

          • Take it back! That was ACTUAL face I was given……..wasn’t it?

          • 400 a day for 500 years?
            Now THERE’S a work ethic you don’t see much of anymore.

          • “Religion of misery”? Guess it depends on the particular sect.
            What I find odd, though, is how much hate spews from those who accuse Christians of being so hateful.
            Hatred and poor treatment of others is not a trait of a given religion – but a universal human condition. Religion – or lack thereof – is just the excuse.

          • Precisely. Human nature is the problem. Because human nature is essentially animal nature. Fortunately, humans can be conditioned and civilized so that they do not behave like cruel savages. Those who either do not have such civilizing influences, or those who choose to ignore them, will be savage and cruel regardless of whether they rally behind a religious cause or some other flag of convenience.

          • OK, so if it’s strictly a ‘universal human condition’, then why bother with a religion? If a religion can’t live up to its promise of bettering human condition and implementing humanistic ideals, then I asked you again, what is it good for? Getting you to heaven because you think you’ve been good? Dream on.

          • The Charte of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the practise of religion in the public sphere.

          • No, it says freedom of religion….that also means freedom from religion.

            It says nothing about practicing religion in the public sphere.

            In fact Jesus forbade it.

          • Freedom means freedom. Get used to people living their religious lives openly for a very long time to come.

          • They have always done that….they may not, however, impose it on me.

          • First sensible thing you’ve said here. Now apply it to yourself – quit trying to force non-belief on others.

          • “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen.”

          • MacLeans could you please do something about this poster who is posting under my name . I will be considering taking legal action against this imposter for fraud he is obviously a gutless coward who lacks the courage to post under his own name.

          • Neither of them are me Macleans. I’m actually the real Brian Mouland

          • Busted again Loooooooooooooooooooooser!

          • Right, as long as the ‘public sphere is a church, mosque, or whatever. What’s your definition of public sphere?

          • No it isnt. Canadian law is yet another facet of our heritage that religion would like to colonize. Morality is not christian..tisk tisk Moe your ideology is very short sighted and condacending towards ppl who are a we are a striving to perfect its law system.

      • You as a Christian lawyer have no say in formulation of laws, unless you are also an MP. And as an MP, as long as your ideas don’t affect others in a negative way, you have a right to practice your religion. Preferably at home or in a church. MPs should by definition should be secularists in order to serve their constituents fairly. It’s that simple, my friend.

        • That is an odd notion cancze, why should M.P.s by definition adhere to the narrow philosophy of secularism which in many of these ridings is very much a minority philosophy. That is no different from arguing that all MPs should be Christians. Secularism is no more neutral than theism.

          • Let’s get to Emily’s point. We need Muslim universities in Canada so we can be sure that we have enough lawyers to administer Sharia Law – not to say political activists for Islamic publicly funded schools.
            Is this a democracy or some special group (christian) theocracy?
            I don’t have much faith in the lawyer federations to take a stand for separating church and state.
            Religious universities smells like a move against students receiving a liberal education. Just push ‘creationism’ and make sure no one on the faculty talks about evolution and DNA.

          • But from religious point of view, it is.

        • So what your basically saying is that Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews and Buddhists should be forbidden from serving in parliament, if their beliefs are anything more than vague traditions and loose cultural attachments.
          If an MP actually, truly believes Elohim is the only true God, or that the Qur’an was verbally revealed from Allah to Muhammad, or that the Atman is eternal, or that Yeshua is the physical incarnation of YHWH, you believe he should be excluded from holding office?

          And you believe only professed secularists and atheists would serve their constituents fairly? You can’t trust people of other beliefs, correct?

          • Correct. It would be the ideal situation.

      • If by Judeo-Christian laws you mean the laws based on innate principles (like reciprocity) that are biologically wired into 99% of the population then, yes, our legal system is based on Judeo-Christian laws. Ignoring, of course, the similarities in other independent, legal traditions that are a function of the same biology. But let’s keep believing in stone age fairies who zapped the laws down from the skies and asserting that the laws zapped by our fairy are necessarily superior to those of other fairies on the circular basis of my fairy is real and yours isn’t.

      • A country is an idea…an idea that is not religious. If you or anyone does claim that a country by definition is religious by nature,,you are patriotically confused. I am native…I do not appreciate the insinuation that canada is religious…it is also atheist and aboriginal…culture is culture….verstiges from the past..get over it Leave religion in the churches.

        • Yeah, way back when there used to be an “r” in vestige.

      • you don’t have to be, but SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

    • There is already a system of Jewish law in place. Any Jewish woman divorcing her husband for any reason must abide by the ruling of the Rabbi, abdicating her rights in a Canadian court. There are many other instances where the Rabbi becomes the ultimate legal authority in Jewish conduct. And Judeo-Christian concepts rule in our courts and code of conduct. So what’s the big fuss. And indeed next will be a cry for the application of Shariah in Muslim families.

      • A Jewish court has no legal standing in Canada. And no, Judeo-Christian concepts do not rule in our courts or code of conduct.

        Yes, there was a request for a Muslim court, but it was turned down as well.

        • Indeed a Jewish court has no legal standing in Canada. However when referring matters to a Rabbi, his decision is binding on the family much like decisions made when a Muslim authority is consulted.

          • Or…..they can toss it out.

            It has NO legal standing.

          • Tell that to the thousand of Canadian Jewish women who lost custody of their children and found themselves pennyless after these so-called non legal decisions.

          • Source please

          • It is irrelevant. Asking for a source when the media simply refuses to report on these events and that the women are cowed into silence is pugnacious. I would suggest that you simply continue to spread the propaganda that this simply doesn’t happen in Canada simply because we have a Con P.M. who kissed the wailing wall.

          • In other words you have no source. Thank you.

          • Of course you must deny and I can live with that. But it does not mean these events don’t take place. Thank you

          • Rubbish.

          • OKAY by me!!!

          • Stop spreading misinformation then.

            There is only one court system in Canada.

          • I challenge you to prove I have mis-informed anyone. When claiming such a gesture the onus then shifts to the accuser. I never stated that there was a different system but simply stated the truth, that when a divorce or fiscal conflict occurs among those of the Jewish faith, they refer the matter to a Rabbi who has the ultimate say in how events turn out. Prove me wrong. It is exactly like saying that Catholics are absolved of all of their sins at confession and that whatever wrong was committed is then erased. No need to punish child molesters because they have been absolved of their sins. No need to provide proof because what goes on between members of a faith cannot be judged by others or need to be ascertained by witnesses. Of course in your mind these things simply do not happen!!!!

          • There is only one court system in Canada. Period.

            Thousands of Canadian Jewish women have not lost their children through any rabbinical court.

            You were the one who made the claims, and failed to prove your case.

            Now stop spreading such misinformation.

          • I never claimed that there was a rabbinical court. Stop misinterpreting my statements. I really don’t care if you disbelieve or believe. I stated that rabbis have the final say when Jewish couples submit themselves to such a person and most often a Rabbi’s decision favors the male.

          • All religions favour the male.

            However, whatever a rabbi says has no legal standing in Canada.

          • Especially when capitalized.

          • I agree with Emily on this one. Source please! If it is happening it would have to be with the consent of both parties, as it would not be legally enforceable.

          • Regular divorce whatever the husband says.

          • i.

    • So says a Dawkins disciple.

      • Atheism has been around for thousands of years….long before Dawkins showed up. And he has nothing whatever to do with the Canadian constitution.

        • Tsk, tsk. Must I remind you of the ill-conceived Meech Dawkins Accord?

    • That is utter nonsense – no where in the article or in the proposed law school is anything about a Christian system of law. It is speaking to the need for people to be able to attend an environment that supports their religious life – you know – some people practice their religion EVERY DAY not just for a hour on Sunday morning!!!
      By your standard, no Christian would ever be employed by a public agency, be able to practice law or be a doctor or school teacher. I can appreciate that that is clearly your preference, but at this point in time, people in Canada still have the right to religious freedom AND can do so while adhering to the laws of Canada.
      BTW – Sharia Law is NOT compatible with Canadian law in a whole bunch of areas.

      • It’s about a christian law school. That’s where they study christian law, it’s not just an ongoing church service.

        Christians can do anything they like….except try to push their beliefs on anyone else.

        PS Sharia law comes from the bible. Muslims follow both the old and new testaments.

        • There is NO, ZERO evidence that they are teaching ANYTHING but Canadian law. They went through the same silliness with their teacher education program and the courts sided with them and against the bigots in the teacher federations BECAUSE THEY WERE TEACHING THE CURRICULUM THAT WAS APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO TRAIN TEACHERS!!!!!
          Just because they choose to do it in an environment that is supportive of their students Christian beliefs doesn’t mean the students will be advocating or in your bigoted words “push their beliefs on anyone else”. NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO STUDY AT WESTERN TRINITY, as there are lots of law schools in EVERY province that people who don’t want to follow the code of conduct at the school can attend.
          Given the experience with their teacher education program it is very likely that the courts will side with them AGAIN and the various law societies will have to SHUT UP!!!

          • American ‘christian’ law schools teach biblical law. Bush had over 50 of these ‘graduates’ in his administration.

            There is no need to have a religious law school in the first place

            PS….shouting at people isn’t very christian of you.

          • Don’t assume – I never said I was a Christian.
            And I think the article clearly identifies that the many ‘Christian’ law schools in the US produce qualified and experienced lawyers that are fully capable of understanding and defending the laws of the land – the fact that some of them choose to move into an advocacy role is their choice (something that is still allowed in the US, but as we have seen with how Obama and his cronies use the IRS may soon be hard to do). The only thing that is in question on the US is Obama’s ability to actually follow the law.
            You are confusing the choice of students to study in an environment that supports their religion with the suggestion that they will somehow not be able to apply the laws of Canada – that is a huge stretch, particularly when you consider the crap that is taught in most public schools about people’s ‘rights’ and what they deserve (as witness by the poor sensitive high school students in Calgary who knew what the requirements were for walking across the stage but didn’t think they would actually apply to them!). Everyday people make choices about where they will (or will not) live, who they will (or will not) associate with or where they will (or will not) work. For example, I choose NOT to associate with people who steal from others just as I choose NOT to work for some employers (even through I could and earn lots of money, I find some employers practices to be horrid). Lawyers make those kind of choices everyday right down to who they will (or will not) take on as clients. And it is perfectly legal (unless the progressives of the world decide that they need to micromanage those type of interactions as well in addition to what we eat, what we wear on our heads, or any of the other myriad of regulations that have been deemed to be for ‘our benefit’!)

          • In the US judges are elected….they don’t even have to be lawyers….and US lawyers are a disgrace in any case.

            And since you’re such a sensitive soul, I suggest you hide in a convent.

          • You have lost the plot EmilyOne – we are talking about LAWYERS and TRAINING OF LAWYERS. NOT about how judges are made judges in another country!!!

          • And you are just ranting nonsense….go away.

          • “Don’t assume – I never said I was a Christian.”

            The ALLCAPS and excessive exclamation points(!!!!) kind of give it away.

          • It is called emphasis to draw the readers attention to salient facts. But then it is clear that you are not interested in reading different views – only those that are easy for you to understand and agree with.

          • It’s called shitty writing.

  2. Christian conservatives lie they have no secret agenda. They are obliged by their faith to spread misery. Fear, ignorance and want is the substrate of their born again religion. Stephen Harper told us he died in his early twenties. Shorter life spans, increased poverty and higher rates suicide are signs the pews are filling up again. Watch for it in Canada. It will happen here.

    • So do you think should it be illegal for them to advance their views? Should being a “born-again” christian preclude you from government office? Should born-again Christian’s be allowed to proselytize? Should they be allowed to pass on their beliefs to their children?

      • Born again Christian lie because they know Canadians know they are unfit to be creating policy or writing laws.

        • Born-again Christians like Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Bono lie more than guys like the Koch bros, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck?

          I’m guessing you’ve got the concept mixed up with American right-wing cultural Christianity. A quick trip to wikipedia might clear up the matter.

          • Christian conservatives, I was told by an executive of Hill and Knowlton, use Christianity to hide their agenda to impose.

          • Unrelated query:
            Was your maiden name Darko?

          • No. But. Suicide is, by chance, the second most common way people like me die. I won’t because if I do many in my family might follow my lead. In my inquiry about what decreases and increases suicide rates I learn conservatism increases rates of suicide. So Stephen Harper is like the evil charter in that movie.

          • Liberalism increased rates of stupidity and death by stupidity( Darwin awards). It is interesting that you don’t post on the Toronto Sun comments any more.

          • I learned what I needed profit off system 1 thinkers. Profiting off those who default to our system 1 thinking process.

            “How my father came to believe the right-wing lies of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative pundits.”

            Create cognitive dissonance in system 1 thinkers mind. Its easy.

            Spot defense behaviour.

            – create excuses (rationalization),
            – shift blame (displacement),
            – manufacture imaginary alternatives or conceptual frameworks (fantasy),
            – demonize enemy figures (projection),

            “What lies Donnie?..where is religion mention in conservatism?.Conservatism is bad for life spans?..where do you get this drivel from?.You slam religion yet all our laws are based on Judeo Christian tenants that have served us better than human secularism.You are weak pathetic piece of human debris that wants to be taken care of from cradle to grave.You don’t have the balls to stand up and be a man.you whine snivel and complain..you bring nothing to the table that can or will improve your lot in life…You make me sick and I wouldn’t piss on your heart if it was on fire..you and all you represent disgusts me”

            Facilitate interventions for what $3,000?

            Is it ethical?

            “But the prime minister wasn’t interested in explanations or the truth. It’s not about what you did. It’s about the perception of what you did that has been created by the media. The rules are inexplicable to our base.”
            Harper exploits default system 1 thinkers. That is their choice.
            We have only one choice in life.
            Default to system 1 or exercise our system 2 process.
            Is this a viable business? Yes.

          • Create cognitive dissonance in system 1 thinkers mind. Its easy.

            Spot defense behavior.

            – create excuses (rationalization),Gas plant cancellation(safety issue)
            – shift blame (displacement),The other parties would cancel the plants
            – manufacture imaginary alternatives or conceptual frameworks (fantasy),Green energy
            – demonize enemy figures (projection),Hudak’s hidden agenda myth.

      • “Should being a “born-again” christian preclude you from government office?”

        Jesus thought so.

    • “Stephen Harper told us he died in his early twenties.”

      I believe he was referring to his trim waistline.

  3. Gee, we have a putative Republican/Tea Party North so why
    not a Federalist Society North ? It’s all going well so far.

  4. A conservative christian legal movement in Canada might have some political theory, and might raise some money, but it doesn’t have the law itself on its side. Our writers in the area like Morton and Brodie tend to be big on constructing elaborate politcial-studies theories about why they are right, not so good at finding legal cases and extant principles which would support their ideals. Sometimes, especially with Levant, they are more content to state bald misrepresentations which show the world as they would like it, and hardly as it is.

    We don’t have a left-wing charter. We DO have a robust Charter, and if it protects rights that they don’t like, they will have to go through the legislature to actually change the law, not try to find ever-sillier ways to interpret it to their liking.

    • Great comment.

      • Get a great room.

    • We don’t have a robust Charter, the Charter guarantees Freedom of Religion, not to mention Freedom of Speech but look what happens to that whenever that right goes against what some unelected Judge wants – even if the democratically elected representatives of the people oppose it. Not to mention that the Courts have a bad tendency to just invent new rights out of thin air in between taking away longstanding Canadian rights.

      • Seems like you do not understand the charter very well. Section one subjects all freedoms to reasonable limits in certain cases including freedom of speech and religion. And ‘inventing new laws’ is known as case law and setting precedence. Very important to shaping society and looking at things on a case by case basis. The representatives of the people (government) often have their own agendas which aren’t always in the best interest of society. For example, last year the Ontario Superior court struck down the conservatives 3 year mandatory minimum gun sentencing, ruling that it was a cruel and unusual punishment. Courts keep politics out and keep objectivity and clarity in

        • Wait for the superior court to strike down every dangerous law that Hudak and his tea party pass in the legislature after being elected this spring. Hope you’ll appreciate the courts then

      • Well before the Charter we had laws restricting “free speech” they were called libel and slander laws and were only available to the rich and powerful in practice. The Charter is sensible in that it tries to protect a reasonable level of rights, because a democracy can only truly function if it guards against the tyranny of the majority.
        Your use of the term “unelected” judges and insistence that judges invent “new rights” indicate that you are totally unaware of how the law operates and are just pouting because the law doesn’t reinforce your limited understanding of what it should do. are you related to Conrad Black?

    • I’m glad Sunquest wasn’t a left-wing charter, or our plane woulda spiraled into the ocean on our way to Turks ‘n Caicos last month.

  5. It’s happening everywhere even in Hamilton Ontario Christian schools are going up everywhere Catholic schools in fact I believe Canada is in det 80 billion for new schools across Ontario don’t even know what to do with the old schools they think parking lots condominiums they want this to happen as soon as possible 3000 kids in a school high schools they could have planned it for ten years instead of 3 years do you think the government’s plan is for all these places no matter what religion you are to open up your own schools so the government doesn’t have to pay for anything you’re sadly mistaken

  6. The fundamental basis of law must be truth. Cutting through the bull $h!t and seeing the facts.

    Any organization that believes first and foremost that there is an almighty creator, the resurrection, creation and the flood, may not be all that interested in the truth.

  7. No no no. What’s next? Islam tainted lawyers, Shinto tainted lawyers, Flying Spaghetti tainted lawyers? It’s bad enough that we still have the archaic separate schools. They should go too!

    • Ha ha, you said taint.

  8. What happened to “render onto Caesar?” The people in favour of this kind of thing aren’t Christians. They’re Pharisees.

    • Pharisees are Jews.

      • I’m well aware, thank you. Funnily enough, so was Jesus, and was Jesus not the antithesis of the Pharisees?

        These so-called Christians have adopted the trappings of Pharisees.

        • Ahh okay. I can never tell around here. LOL

          There is just no need for ‘christian’ law schools

          • Agreed.

        • I wonder how much it costs to adopt a trapping.

          A baby is like 10 grand now.

        • Your afterburner is sucking canal water.

          • Jesus was absolutely clear about Christians entering politics. He was against it. Why aren’t his so-called followers?

      • That was rude. Perhaps they’re just thrifty.

      • So..

  9. Religion is like a gun and the arguments are the same. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Religion doesn’t kill people, people kill people. The flaw in both articles is that the adoption of either give them the means or justification to commit the act.

  10. Unfortunately, we live in a place where the majority of people have delusions about reality. Lets forget religion for a second – how many non-believers nevertheless believe in the existence of the human soul? How many believe horoscopes and psychic abilities? Homeopathy and other alternative medicines? Ghosts and spirits? These are all equally irrational and anti-scientific beliefs. It’s difficult for some of us to believe that this level of ignorance still exists in 2014 but I think it’s because it’s easy to hold two completely different and conflicting views of reality in your head at the same time. So, a person can say that science is great because it gives us cell phones and big screen televisions but science is also evil because it states that humans are apes and therefore part of the animal kingdom and when we die we face oblivion. Having faith just makes it easier to adopt some of these other delusions. “if it’s possible for a virgin to give birth, then yes, it’s possible for a magnet to cure my arthritis.”
    I used to be tolerant of religion, but it’s a terribly condescending and dishonest way to treat people. If a person asks me about god, I don’t say “I don’t believe in god.’ I avoid that language and instead tell them god does not exist. I’m hoping that others will join me in rejecting this toxic idea of religious tolerance. We need to put an end to faith schools, sunday school and church daycare and the general indoctrination of children.
    Here are some more irrational beliefs:
    – fate/destiny (the universe has a plan/purpose for us)
    – magic spells
    – unicorns, fairies, witches, bigfoot and other mythical creatures
    – conspiracy theories, alien visitation/ancient astronauts – everything that is considered paranormal
    – climate change denial
    – the bermuda triangle
    – perpetual motion and free energy
    – past life regression
    – ayurveda, chakras, kundalini

    • Ah, you lost it with the ‘climate change denial’.

      • How so? More anti-science BS I suspect.

  11. Lawyers at the moment do not enjoy general public respect and are often likened to used car salesmen instead of the servants of Justice and Truth. Perhaps turning out a few Christian lawyers out a year will brighten the image, it can’t make it much worse.
    Jason A. may find himself out of step with a population that believes in various degrees of a religious world view but it is still not illegal to harbor such thoughts however beneath contempt he may find them.

    • So, I should respect this nonsense because the majority of people believe in it? Bullshit. Maybe you missed the past few centuries of debate – it’s over. If you’d like to find out what happened, open a science textbook.

      • Calm down.

      • Science has had to reverse it’s findings on a number of fronts over “the past few centuries”…follow your own advice and open a few books of your own.

        • “Science has had to reverse it’s findings on a number of fronts…”

          Yep that’s exactly what “science” does. It’s called the scientific method.

    • There are far more christian used car salesmen than non-christian used car salesmen. Think about it!

      How can a school produce “servants of Justice and Truth” when it’s foundational premise, a dead person coming back to life, is an impossibility.

      Get real.

      We need people in our justice system who will not tolerate superstition and stupidity.

      • The ‘profession’ is rife with intolerant and stupid individuals…just look at the SCOC.

    • Why don’t we open a law school for telepaths and train psychic lawyers? They’ll never lose a case!

  12. Janet Epp-Buckingham, a proponent of the law school claims, “We are definitely not looking at engagement with culture-war-type issues, yet this is exactly what she herself did when she argued in court against extending rights to gay people on behalf of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Among her ‘arguments’ I remember her ‘concern’ about the ‘vulnerability of our children’. What a hypocrite.

  13. Pingback: B.C. Christian law school can open despite same-sex policy - Macleans.ca

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