Here is an excellent article to contemplate when challenged to prove that the voice of faith has a right to be heard within every medium of modern society.
In a letter, written in defense of Pastor Steven Boissons, Bishop Henry of Calgary viscerates the philosophic underpinnings of modern day secularism as practiced today in Canada. It is this philosophy which dominates the public square these days, creating an ever increasingly hostile atmosphere for the free expression of one's religious convictions. You can say that a church is still free to speak and preach its creed and beliefs, however you demand that they be punished for believing in values contrary to current public opinion, then their speech is hardly free.
Given Bishop Henry's involvement in the NP Holy Blog story about a Calgary church being stripped of its charitable status, thus denying it the right to offer tax receipts. This decision is not made because they are not a charitable organization...they serve over 150,000 meals per year to the homeless and urban poor of the city. They are being stripped of this right because the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) has decreed that churches cannot spend in excess of 10% of their resources to argue for a traditional Christian interpretation of what constitutes a sin. This is nowhere established (yet) in law, but it is the actual policy, as it is currently being applied in Canada.
It's really is this simple. The government is over and over again punishing voices of faith publicly expressing their understanding of what is moral, and is using the instruments of the state to try to intimidate their expression in the public square.
Boissons was not only forced to pay a $5,000 fine directly to a person that claimed to be "injured" by his traditional christian teaching on sexuality written as a letter to the editor of a local newspaper which he did not agree with it, (thankfully overturned later by the Courts after a great deal of financial suffering by the minister), but he was prohibited from even talking about these subjects in any public forum... including in his own religious services (again tossed by the Courts after much expense - without Crown compensation I might add)!
People have the right to believe as they choose. They have the right to say so. They also have the right not to be financially punished for the expression of their belief.
It would be nice if secularists would at least be as open and honest in admitting to the philosophy behind their arguments against religious expression in the public square, and own up to their prejudice against the arguments of faith.
About Fr. Tim
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