Why I’m Shocked But Not Surprised at the Supreme Court’s Decision on Trinity Western University

TWU Campus

Nobody should have been surprised that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the sexual preferences of a tiny minority (two-three percent) of the population take precedence over the religious rights of all Canadians (including the tiny minority of the tiny minority—Gays and Transgenders who are also Evangelical Christians). Can anything be done about the Trinity Western Law School decision?

Those who value religious liberty and all civil liberties, liberal democracy, pluralism and the Canadian Constitution as written and enacted—we should all be disappointed to the point of shock. It is supremely dismaying that the highest court in the land has reinterpreted the Constitution to mean something so opposite to its wording and, we have to assume, the intention of its drafters. The impact is potentially extremely hurtful and moves Canada in a decidedly totalitarian direction hostile to faith and freedom.

Why am I not surprised? Because the writing was so clearly on the wall when the whole issue was created by the legal professions in three English-speaking Canadian provinces—including the two biggest in Ontario and British Columbia. Their overwhelming dismissal of the religious rights of future graduates of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school indicates the direction taken by several generations of law professors. This ruling was long in the works.

Such a clear indication of where the legal profession has gone surely warns that the judges that have been drawn from the profession will hold the same views. As one then-law professor (and now a judge) told me recently: “I am the only legal conservative on my laws faculty. I know that other faculties throughout Canada are the same.” The majorities on those faculties and the lawyers and judges they have trained believe the following:

  • The Constitution and Charter of Rights means what judges say it means, not what the words convey on their face.  This has been the theme of the long, baneful reign of Chief Justice Beverly Maclachlan: the so-called “living tree” doctrine. It means that the courts are free to reinterpret the written document to suit the changing times. In effect, this provides a way to change the Constitution without resort to our very difficult amending process involving assent by a  super majority of provinces representing a majority of Canadians.
  • The importance that the Constitution gives religion—making religious freedom one of the four “fundamental freedoms” along with speech, assembly, and thought—can be, should be and has been dismissed by the courts. That was then and this is now. Canadians today place much less importance on religion than in 1982, when the Constitution was drafted, and the courts should reinterpret the Constitution to reflect this. No need to wait for the elected legislators to reflect the will of the people.
  • Diversity, which means rights for sexual minorities essentially, but also medical access for those seeking abortions and euthanasia, is much more important than religious rights.
  • With religious belief effectively demoted as one of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms fundamentals, it survives only as one of the characteristics protected from discrimination along with ethnic and sexual minorities, gender, age etc. When conflicts arise between such groups, the courts now weigh them in the balance of relative ease of accommodation on the one hand and  relative injury on the other.

In the case of Trinity Western University, even using this “balance” approach, the Supreme Court is clearly wrong.

Because Trinity Western University’s proposed law school has been prevented from existing under  the school’s current ban on sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage, the Evangelical Christian community in Canada, as well as conservative Christians of all denominations (conservative Catholics have already set up an adjunct to TWU), have lost  their only opportunity to have their children schooled in law while protected from the prevailing sexual mores.

But if TWU were allowed to operate its school under its current ban, not one single LGBT student would be denied a place there. They would simply have to pledge to refrain from homosexual activity while enrolled. If this was deemed an intolerable imposition they could attend any other law school in Canada and have their sexual activities defended and promoted. Moreover, they could do so for a tiny fraction of the tuition free charged by the private Christian university. (Virtually nobody attends TWU whose parents aren’t footing the bill)

Nor does TWU’s ban on homosexual activity deny them any real opportunity. The proposed school would attract candidates who would otherwise attend public universities. TWU’s law school would therefore open up opportunities for LGBT candidates in public university law schools.

What this decision does is strike a blow against diversity of thought in the name of diversity of sexual practice. It quashes debate on the issue by preventing the creation of a law school that would dare to disagree The decision must therefore be seen in the larger context of Canada’s intellectual elites acting in favour of LGBT entitlement. The country’s banks not only flash pro-homosexual messaging to customers from the back wall of their branch offices, they threaten to cut off would-be corporate borrowers who do not appoint enough LGBT members  to their boards and management, for example.

Is the situation hopeless? No,but resistance will be costly. Conservatism in the U.S. points at least one way. There legal foundations have created summer law schools to provide training for graduates of secular law schools in bringing Christian and conservative legal thinking to bear. This addresses the need for an ideological counterweight to the prevailing post-modern legal consensus which holds that laws are whatever judges want them to be and which promotes sexual permissiveness. However, it does not solve the problem of protecting young Christians who have been home schooled or enrolled in Christian private primary and high schools until now from the secular humanist, sexually permissive world view.

Christ never promised us a rose garden, in this life.

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Mother’s Day Reminds Us Where Science and Christianity Agree

 

 

You could call Globe and Mail Columnist Margaret Wente that paper’s token conservative, but you would be doing a disservice. She is a provocative thinker in her own right. For Mother’s Day sh focused  our Western Civilization’s abandonment of the reproductive function, in effect writing its own death warrant. Virtually every industrialized nation except the United States now has a birth rate well below replacement levels and the U.S. is only inches away from the tipping point.

The rate of immigration needed to sustain our population and our economy is arguably unsustainable culturally. We can’t bring people in from Africa, Asia or the Middle East fast enough and process and school them into proper, secularized , high-tech Canadians fast enough to sustain our economy or our rainbow mosaic of a society.

However, Western Europe’s leaders still seem to believe they can indeed absorb unlimited numbers of Muslims and turn them into perfect post-WW2 secular Europeans who keep whatever religious beliefs they have in a closet. I think Justin Trudeau and his entourage think the same.

At one remove from this is an agenda hled by many in our university and public policy elites to reduce the population sharply—down to a few billion worldwide — supported by fully robotized infrastructure.

Conservative Canadian pundit Ted Byfield used his column to applaud Wente. Some of his fans, however, got on her case for appearing to endorse evolution when she did a quick survey of reasons for having children, including serving God and perpetuating one’s genes.

So the readers’ discussion quickly moved, as web comment chains do, away from motherhood to Wente’s somewhat offhand reference to evolution and genes. Thus, Jim Mason wrote dismissively: “In fact, the ‘right’ behaviour in an evolutionary worldview is for males to impregnate as many females as possible as often as possible since evolution is simply ‘the survival of the fittest’ with the ‘fittest’ being, by definition, those that survive. Consequently, by having as many offspring as possible, a male will increase the probability of more offspring surviving and, therefore, being ‘the fittest,’ whereby, that male will be making his optimum contribution to the continuation of the species.”

But I don’t believe Jim Mason’s version of the current evolutionary take on the male imperative is correct, though it used to be. Evolutionary biologists no longer believe male promiscuity may not be as good a way to ensure the survival of one’s genes or one’s offspring as settling down with one mate and ensuring her survival and that of one’s children (and genes.). in this, they would be agreeing with God.

Of course, evolutionary theorists have no idea what really was going on a million years ago and they have no way to verify their theories. Many men have indeed behaved promiscuously. But marriage has obviously prevailed as an institutionalized behaviour while promiscuity has been condemned. Even polygamy is a form of marriage institutionalizing permanent unions.
Arguing evolution from observable human behaviour is like a parlour game, or, as some put it, a mug’s game. But, admit it, as a game, it is fun. In my view, however, Christianity has a fuller explanation for what we observe in human behaviour than do evolutionists because our explanation includes the Fall. The Fall explains why we can see how the world should work, and how humans should behave, at the same time as it is apparent that people do not behave that way.

In natural law theology, God is said to have written in human nature—in the nature of each human being—how we ought to behave. Which, being Fallen, we often ignore.

I once attended a lecture by Helen Fisher (anthropologist, author: Why We Love, about the neuroscience of romantic love). This lecture was where I learned of evolutionary thinking’s shift to seeing monogamy rather than male  promiscuity, being best for survival. Evolutionary scientists who believed marriage was best were still stumped, she admitted, to explain why promiscuity and infidelity persisted; why humans were capable of being married and sincerely committed to one person while at the same time also able to fall in love with another and be sexually attracted to a third. As faithful evolutionists, they have to believe everything that lives or ever lived has an evolutionary reason to do so.

I was tempted to wave my hand and say, “Teacher, teacher, I know why these contradictions exist.  It’s because of The Fall.”

I agree with Fisher, in other words, that it is hard to see an evolutionary advantage in adultery. If life, as Darwinists believe, is nothing but a dog-eat-dog struggle, then ensuring the survival of one’s mate and offspring is a full-time job.

However, if Christians are correct, life in the fallen world is often, but not necessarily and not always, dog-eat-dog. It is redeemable in a limited way by our faithful, charitable actions in imitation of Christ. And it is redeemable completely by Christ on His return.

Where the promiscuity idea came from, I believe, is the insect view of life. Some leading popular thinkers, notably Paul Ehrlich and Jared Diamond, wrote very deterministic books based on their study of insects. Ehrlich wrote the Population Bomb, wrongly predicting the world would run out of all natural resources including food, in the 1980s. Diamond explained all history in terms of geography. Britain was more successful than France because it was closer to North America, surrounded by water and rich in tin and then coal. Period. And so on. Diamond gives no importance to Protestantism, the Magna Carta, the cherished story of King Arthur, for example.

But humans, unlike insects, have free will, and can change their course. Humans can develop new ways to feed themselves, explore for more oil and iron and coal when rising prices encourage this.

An excellent but under-appreciated  documentary movie called Demographic Winter showed a human geographer who commented on screen that the downturn in the industrial world’s birth rate was not affecting conservative Christians, conservative Jews, and Muslims as much as others. They all saw children—and life—as God’s great gift. Therefore these “People of the Book” would slowly take over a larger and larger share of the population by virtue of their large families.

These days Muslims and very conservative Jews are doing the best job at maintaining a commitment to big families but Evangelical Christians and a dwindling number of conservative Catholics are also having big families.
May their tribe increase. While the survival of genes is ultimately irrelevant, the survival of Christian beliefs is of the utmost importance. Mother’s Day is a perfect time to remember that traditional—and large–families are the best way to ensure our faith lives.

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An Unflinching Examination of Islam

On Islam

A  Chronological Record, 2002-2018

By James Schall, S.J.

Ignatius Press, 2018

The danger that Islam poses for post-Christian North America came home to British Columbia with the abortive plot to explode a bomb at the Canada Day celebration in front of the Legislature a few years ago. Forgotten by most was the earlier use of Victoria as a staging area for a Muslim scheme to set off a bomb at an NFL game in California. Politicians and even Christian leaders have rushed to “explain away” even such successful acts of terrorism as the 9-11 destruction of New York City’s World Trade Center and the murder of  French Jews at their schools and French priests at their altars by Muslim terrorists.

These terror acts are blamed on economic conditions in Middle Eastern countries dominated coincidentally by Islam, or their failure to modernize, or envy of Western success, or the infection of the discontented in those countries with Western-inspired Islamo-fascism.

The blame is laid on anything, in sum, but Islam itself, which, we are told repeatedly, is a religion of peace. Those who actually perform the acts, and claim Islamic inspiration and motivation, are  deluded.

Now here is a book by a Catholic scholar, Father James Schall, which argues that the delusion is on the other foot. It is the terrorists who are speaking the truth, says Schall in On Islam. And not only subjectively: about Islam being their inspiration. But objectively: Islam really does justify terrorism.

He makes a good case too, and an important one. The West cannot come to grips with Islamic terrorism without treating Islam seriously as a religion whose message has all-reaching ramifications that impact on us and our countries, economies and our Christian faith.

The various popular explanations “fail to get at the central issue,” writes Schall, which is the fundamental Islamic “belief that everyone ought to be a Muslim.” And “until the submission [of the world] can be brought about…there can be no peace.”

Christians can identify with this: our faith too is evangelical. Indeed, we invented evangelism, obeying God’s command to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. But Islam was the invention of the warrior. It was spread by the sword, and its remarkable holding power, its ability to resist counter-evangelism, Schall notes, is sustained by the sword. In most Islamic states conversion merits the death penalty, while those whose families who have been Christians for a thousand years are now being exterminated or forced to leave.

Schall’s book is actually a collection of his writings on Islam since 9-11. But his analyswis logically begins with the Koran. Dictated by Muhammed over several decades in no apparent coherence, it incorporated altered versions of the Old and New Testament in an apparent attempt by Muhammad to attract converts from those faiths. Some of its contradictions rest with the author’s hope to draw converts voluntarily at first, and his later disillusionment and embracing of military conquest to bring the world under Allah’s will.

Thus, parts of the Koran support the idea of Islam as “a religion of peace,” and other parts, added later, justify holy war. This inconsistency is not a problem for Islamic scholars because the God of Islam is understood as the Supreme Will, a big difference from the Christian concept of God as the Supreme Lawgiver, whose law reconciles Justice and Mercy.

It is a hugely significant difference, not least in explaining  acceptance of terrorism by many ordinary Muslims (Schall says, by at least  10 % of the one billion believers). The individual “guilt” or “innocence” of terrorism’s victims is not a matter of concern for terrorists, if their objective is the submission of the world to God’s will.

But the two concepts of God are also key to understanding why the West advanced in the natural sciences so much more than have Muslim countries. Schall relies on the recent work of  theologian/physicist Stanley Jaki , who argued that the West’s Age of Reason was based on medieval Christian thinking that God was the God of Reason, whose universe was governed by universal laws discoverable by observation and rational thought.

Meanwhile medieval Muslim theologians condemned their scientific counterparts who also sought to base their studies on a rational, law-giving God. Such a belief was blasphemous, said the theologiians since it would implicitly subject God’s will  to his own laws.

Small wonder, then,  Schall writes, that Muslim countries display “common signs of arbitrary military rule: civil intolerance of other religions and practices, and usually poverty.”

(It must be admitted that Christian countries displayed intolerance in the past, especially during the Reformation. Nonetheless the fundamental Christian belief that salvation requires a voluntary acceptance of Jesus as God and Redeemer eventually led to the elevation of individual rights such as freedom of religion, speech and thought.)

So “few, if any, Muslim nations could be called free societies. In these areas the term ‘tolerance’ means something different from our accustomed understanding. A non-Muslim can survive but only as a second-class citizen, however delicately it is putt,” writes Schall.

But the nations of the West are afraid to condemn Muslim violations of the rights we hold to be universal. Partly, suggests Schall, it is because our declining birth rates make our leaders reluctant to “risk in combat their dwindling supply of sons.” But, “an abundant supply of sons is something that Islam has, many of whom seem surprisingly willing to die defending or expanding it.”

Another reason the West fails to come to grips with the Islamic threat is that it continues to think in terms of conflicts between states. And Muslim states are weak in conventional terms: poor, fractious, undemocratic and non-consensual. Coupled with that is our failure to take religion seriously. The threat Islamist terrorists pose is transnational.  To Islamic extremists, Even Islamic states are merely stages on the road to the world’s subjugation to God’s will.

A third reason lies in the West’s confidence in its own values. Leaving Schall aside for a brief personal observation, on a recent visit to Europe I viewed, among many wonders, the Museum of Europe (really of the European Union) in Brussels, and the Venice Biennale, an international exhibit of contemporary art. It was possible to discern in both settings how Europe’s intelligentsia still duismisses the threat posed by Islam. They see contemporary Europe as a triumphant expression of secular, scientific humanism, fully capable of absorbing, or digesting, Muslim immigrants or refugees and turning out enlightened, secular individuals who may or may not retain some attachment to a privatized form of their quaint and primitive faith. One has only to listen to Justin Trudeau to hear a perfect expression of this blind belief in secular humanism’s power.

The immediate danger of this false faith is that it will lead political leaders to try to stop terrorism by appeasing Muslim minorities with limited forms of self-government. This has been proposed both in Canada and Europe but so far resisted.

What does Schall think should be done? Though he admits early on that Muslims have resisted conversion, in his conclusion he nonetheless urges Christian evangelization as one solution to the threat of Muslim terrorism. Of course, nothing more violates the “spirit of the age” than a concerted effort by Christians in the West to evangelize Muslims here and in the Middle East. But that, he says, is clearly what God wants from us.

Alternatively, we should coldly and realistically see Islamic terrorists for the enemy they are,  first, as true expressions of the Islamic faith; and second, as opponents of our fundamental freedoms and of our faith in the Triune God. We should act accordingly.

Steve Weatherbe, May 7, 2018

 

 

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The New Gender Ideology Comes With Knives And Muzzles

A petition is circulating that calls on the federal and provincial governments to stop promoting the new gender ideology. Christians should take note and sign it, though already many Christian churches have been infiltrated by this latest trendy and powerful extension of post modernism and political correctness. After legislation was passed in the previous session without dissent or debate, it is now being taught in our B.C. schools as fact.

Gender ideology is the “ism” behind a dangerous trend in medicine and psychology that promotes troubled teenagers unhappy with their bodies to “change” their sex by taking powerful hormone blocks in early teen years, then opposite sex hormones later, with a view to ultimately cutting off their breasts if female and their genitals if males. It is a bad ideology that has caused a shared delusion among doctors, politicians and parents.

There is plentiful evidence that 80-90 percent of teenagers who decide they need to change their gender, or who believe they are already a different gender from their biological one change their minds back in a few years if left alone. Yet most doctors and psychologists will now support the troubled teens in their delusion.

The argument for taking hormone blockers at the onset of puberty and opposite sex hormones in mid-teens or late teens is that if such treatment is delayed, the child will develop the primary and secondary sex characteristics that are unwanted. They will develop according to their sex in some ways that are irreversible, such as the breadth of shoulders and pelvises , the length of arms and legs and the proportions of the bones of the face. And they ill develop in some ways that are changeable but only through irreversible surgery such as masectomy and castration.

But given that most people who suffer gender dysphoria recant, medicos and parents who jump on this particular bandwagon are approaching child abuse. Acceding to a child’s or teenager’s wishes certainly avoids conflict, but the evidence is that most gender dysphoric teens would be unhappy anyway because of a co-morbid condition such as depression or schizophrenia. Or so insists Walt Heyer, who after undergoing surgery to live as a woman for more than a decade, later reverted to his real sex and now crusades against the transgender movement full-time.  Treating such conditions with hormones or hormone blockers is a short term panacea, says Walt, that just prevents addressing the underlying condition. Heyer, a Christian, counsels trans youth to stick with their birth gender at waltheyer.com.

Again, given that most trans-inclined youth change their minds, arresting their normal growth with hormone blockers or opposite sex hormones during their teenage years may never be entirely reversed. They can go back to being a boy or a girl, but may grow into a permanently smaller less masculine, less strong man, or a less feminine, less attractive woman.

 

Heyer recently published an article in the conservative website the Federalist, “This formerly trans 14-year-old has a message for questioning kids.” There he writes about about a teen girl, Noor Jontry, who fought her parents for two years to be allowed to take steps to “change” her sex. Now she has recanted. Heyer quotes her as follows:

“I learned that being female isn’t a feeling. It’s a biological reality and I could feel however I feel without it meaning I was male.”

When asked why she wanted to be male, she said she didn’t like her body and wanted a different one. She also realizes in retrospect that “I used being trans to try and escape being scared about being small and weak. I thought that if I presented myself as a man I’d be safer.”

Noor’s thoughts are published on 4thwavenow.com, a website for dissenting parents and professionals, many who write anonymously because those who fight are shunned by their professions. In Ontario and California it is illegal to even counsel teens who are gender dysphoric with the intention of helping them accept their birth-gender.

The CBC recently planned to air a BBC documentary on “Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best” until LGBT activists campaigned against it. A Wilfrid Laurier University teaching assistant, Lindsay Shepherd who showed her class a debate on gender ideology was subjected to an Orwellian disciplinary hearing because it subjected her students to opinions that might upset them: the opinions of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson that gender is immutably based on biology.

Now the view that gender is plastic and subjective is being taught as fact and dogma in British Columbia schools.  The same is happening in Alberta, but there a resurgent conservative movement led by former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney is daring to give mild support to parents who challenge the reigning  gender ideology. The NDP government is suggesting Kenney and his United Conservative party is bigoted against gays and trans youth.

Similarly, a new federal anti-hate law is being invoked against those who, like Jordan Peterson,  challenge the transgender ideology. The same law was cited the WLU teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd for merely showing students a debate between Peterson and those holding the prevailing view.

Christians who believe God made us male and female should sign the petition and support their Christian schools in resisting this dangerous ideoleogy.

And any parent you hear promoting this viewpoint, or supporting a gender dysphoric child, refer them to the websites listed in this blog.

 

 

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The Darker Meaning of Julie Payette’s Ignorant Comments

 

Payette and Trudeau : Birds of a Feather

A speech by our new governor general, Julie Payette, has clearly underlined a grave deficiency in our political culture. That is the more or less complete failure of socially conservative politicians (mostly: Christians) to defend the intellectual roots of their position, including and especially the religious component.

In fact, even to put “religion” in the same sentence with “intellectual” is now a controversial act, as Payette’s comments to a group of scientists demonstrate. She expressed incredulity that some people in “learned society” continue to deny climate change and man’s role in causing it, while at the same time holding to unscientific belief in astrology and the origin of life  through “divine intervention.”

These three things don`t really go together. Far from it: a belief in a conservative Christianity—such as that which informs Evangelical Protestants—is an antidote to belief in astrology, UFOs etc. It is true that Evangelicals are climate change sceptics, but it is not because they are anti-science but because they oppose immoral or harmful public policies “justified” by invoking “Science” with a capital “S,” like climate change, embryonic stem cell research, and transgenderism.<

Tellingly, opposition criticism of Payette’s comments have focused on what the critics see as a breach of the governor general’s traditional role of unifying Canadians. Instead she has heaped elitist contempt on the beliefs of some. But both conservative politicians and Canada`s only conservative newspaper, the National Post, have defended only the right of Canadians to hold those beliefs, not the beliefs themselves.

Payette`s putdowns and these lame defences therefore blur over the fact that both a belief in God the Creator and scepticism about climate change are intellectually defensible. They are also held by a segment of the population that is quite distinct from believers in astrology and other pseudo-sciences.

Payette’s glib putdowns will prevail, if Canadian politicians of faith such a Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will not volunteer a rational defence of their beliefs, but continue to explain them away as family heirlooms. They are contributing to the relegation of such beliefs to the church sanctuary and the home. The consequences of this are there to be seen in the attack by Canada`s biggest law societies on the very existence of the  Evangelical Christian law school proposed by Trinity Western University.

It behooves all of us to have a rational explanation for our faith, because we should believe and profess there to be no conflict between reason and faith and science and faith. God is the author of all. That is what Isaac Newton believed, for example. He believed the universe was governed by discoverable rational laws because the Maker is supremely rational.

Personally, I still believe in the faith of my childhood because the world I empirically observe as an adult accords with it. While science offers no explanation for selfless love, honour, sacrifice honesty and forgiveness, my faith acknowledges their existence and explains them as virtues. I observe a world where both good and evil are displayed in the actions of people, but nowhere find them described or explained by science or scientists. And these things are far more important to me and to the world than climate change.

Moreover, I maintain that it is empirically demonstrable and universally acknowledged  that good and evil not only exist in the world as described in the Bible, but they do so in the relationship described in the Bible: That is: we live in a Fallen world and we ourselves are Fallen in a way the other living creatures ae not. The world and we ourselves bear the evidence of benign design which we have wilfully, sinfully thwarted.

I once attended a speech by anthropologist Helen Fisher, the leading exponent of the theory, growingly supported by neuroscience, that romantic love is not a cultural artefact ( a product perhaps of medieval French troubadors) but is biologically wired into our brains. Fisher explained that romantic love amounted to the production in one part of our brain a certain mix of chemicals causing another part of our brain to experience pleasure over the contemplation and proximity of a certain person.

This mix causes the production of a different set of chemicals that generated sexual desire. This sequence also acts in reverse. Love leads to desire but sexual desire leads to romantic love.

Then the romantic chemical cocktail goes out of production, giving way to chemicals that give us a less manic pleasure simply from being in the company of our spouses.

According to Fisher, this must have evolved because it enhanced the survivability of the human race. But of course, this idea is completely compatible with the idea of a Creator God who built these capacities into our brains so that we would survive and, I speculate, so that we could, when procreating, enjoy some of the pleasure He enjoys creating.

But Fisher had a problem. We scientists cannot see any reason, she told us, for the person who now has a spouse and children, to still have the capacity to fall into love or lust with a third person, since the resulting breakup surely endangers the survival of the children.

 

I wanted to put my hand up and say, “Teacher, teacher, I know why it happens. It’s the Fall.” Or as Shakespeare put into Hamlet’s mouth: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I bet that Andrew Scheer has worked things out too in his own way and does not believe there is a conflict between science and his faith. But his political advisors assuredly have told him he should never speak of the content of his beliefs, except to defend his right to hold them privately. This is bad thing in both the short and long terms.

The compatibility of science and faith has been established empirically. For example, in his study titled “Are Religious Americans Opposed to Science?” University of California, San Diego academic John H. Evans, reported the opposite. His comparative survey of conservative Christians and other Americans showed that the first group were just as likely as other Americans to hold scientific jobs.

However, they definitely had a bone to pick with “Science” but it is over “values not facts” said Evans. This “bone” has arisen over issues such as abortion, or the use of fetal stem cells obtained by abortion for research of medical treatment.It has spilled over, says Evans, so that Evangelical Christians are willing to dispute and oppose many public policy recommendations made by scientists.

“Differences over global warming, for example, do not seem to be similarly grounded in theology or passages found in the Bible. In that instance, conservative religious people may simply believe that scientists should not have authority in the public sphere– on any issue,” Evans writes.

There is more. The book, What Americans Really Believe by researchers at Baylor University, based on polling by Gallup, shows that Evangelical Christians are the least likely Americans to answer yes to questions such as: “Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?”

Fully 31 per cent of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these notions but only eight per cent of those who attend a place of worship more than once a week did. Of course, the huge majority of such people are Evangelicals.

Setting aside attendance levels, there were significant differences in terms of how liberal was the denomination: only 14 per cent of those in the conservative Assemblies of God (Sarah Palin’s church) believed in the superstitious potpourri served up by Gallup.  However, 36 per cent of those in the liberal United Church of Christ—Barack Obama’s fellowship– believed in these absurdities.

Sadly Catholics are about average in credulity, though I do wonder if the pollsters broke them into orthodox and liberals what the results would show.

 

Other social science to be found on the site of the Washington D.C.-based Marriage and Religion Research Institute shows a strong positive correlation between religious attendance and school success, lawfulness and post-graduate income.

Science is more than an ordered way of studying nature based on empirical testing of propositions. It is an ideology that is complex and aimed at gaining power. Also, in its heart it believes that all human problems are reducible to testable characteristics and solvable by discoverable techniques. Payette speaks for this overweening and prideful ideology of Science and Reason, as does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

We Christians believe that the world’s woes cannot be solved at a technical level because they reside in the souls of humankind.

 

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Victoria 40 Days for Life told it is part of an army of 750,000

VICTORIA, British Columbia,October 15, 2017 (Choose Life Victoria) —  A contradiction lies at the heart of arguments for abortion rights, 40 Days for Life staff person Katherine O`Brien told 40 Days volunteers here on Thanksgiving Day, that prevents abortion supporters from sustaining counter efforts.

“They are demonstrating for a right that they are very grateful, somewhere in their heart, that their Mom did not use’ “That’s why, in the end, they are not going to have a 40 day campaign. In the end they don`t want that either,” Mrs. O’Brien, who is Director of Hispanic and Youth Outreach for the Texas-based organization.

(O’Brien’s remarks were echoed, interestingly, by European abortion advocate Neil  Datta, Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development. As reported by Agenda Europe, Datta was commenting on “the successful European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us”, which collected more than 1.7 million signatures in support for a request to the European Commission to fully recognize the dignity of the human embryo and provide adequate legal protections.”

Said Datta, “Try to imagine the collection of a similar amount of signatures by a feminist or progressist movement. We would never be able to achieve this.”)

40 Days for Life’s Katherine O’Brien joins Victoria-area vigil keepers

O’Brien was in Victoria, accompanied by her husband Edward, as an extension of a week-long tour of 40 Days vigils in Washington State. After that she was headed for Mexico City, she said.

“It blows me away that you are here on Thanksgiving morning. I don’t know if we could get people that dedicated in the United States,” she told the vigilists.

She added that she and her husband Edward, who accompanied her, were embarking on “our biggest pro-life adventure,” and were “expecting a baby in March.”

Noting that she was headed to Mexico from Washington, O’Brien said Latin Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. shared a paradoxical position on abortion. “Latinos say that it is wrong but then turn around and get abortions for their daughters,” if they are unmarried or when other circumstances make it expedient.

She hoped that young people today could be appealed to on the basis that women “should not be put in the situation where they are so vulnerable that they see their only way to go is to have an abortion.”

O’Brien cautioned a half dozen vigil keepers from Choose Life Victoria that, “sometimes it can be a bit discouraging and hard to motivate people to come out. [But] we have a cause that we’re here for that is more than the other side has, the counter protesters who want to make us feel alone. We’re not alone. We have our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“This isn’t just happening here…Its happening in 375 cities around the world,” she continued. “Forty four countries—people out on the sidewalks, in front of the abortion clinics. Praying to end abortion.

“It’s a David and Goliath problem. But it’s not just eight people here. We have more than that. We have God with us. We have eight people here and 750,000 people worldwide.”

Victoria has been holding 40 Days vigils outside the city’s private abortion clinic twice a year since 2011. While for some of that time they were opposed by a solo protester who local pro-lifers believe was paid, and other times bullied by civic officials and physically threatened and cursed by pro-abortion advocates, opposition in the past two years has subsided. (The local RCMP detachment has respected and, at times, defended their free speech rights).

 

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Marxism In Seven Minutes

 Marxism had a huge impact on the world, and though discredited by history, continues to undermine Western Civilization and Christianity in its latest expressions in gender theory, feminism, and post-modernism. So I thought I’d provide a quick explanation.

Marxism’s initial appeal came from its ambitious scope: Karl Marx said his theory explained not only why everything important in history had happened; more significantly it predicted everything important that ever would happen, in particular the workers revolution that would bring history itself to an end with its fulfillment in the perfect socialist society. It was imminent, his theory showed, adding Millennarian fervour to the intellectual appeal.

It was the 19th Century, after all. Big theories were in vogue. Charles Darwin was explaining everything that ever had or ever would happen in Nature with his theory of Evolution. Karl Marx admired Evolution, by the way. I don’t think Darwin returned the compliment.

Marx said history was driven by one thing only: that humans were alienated from their labour and its product. Just as the Greek or Roman aristocrat owned his slaves and their product, the capitalist owned the wage workers’ factory output. Ultimately all wars, all intellectual activity, derived from this fundamental fact.

Now the details. Depending on how advanced the productive technology was at any time, an appropriate method of production would evolve (Tools and methods together Marx called the infrastructure, the means of production). These would bring about a matching social organization of ruling and working classes, a political system to legitimize and enforce this, and a religion to bless it.

Very primitive production (hunting, gathering), produced chiefs and followers and animism; primitive farming produced landowners and slaves, monarchy and polytheism; more advanced farming produced feudal lords and serfs, monotheism and the divine right of kings; And the harnessing of water, fossil fuels, and specialization produced the bourgeoisie, the factory system, capitalism, representative democrac,  wage slavery and Protestantism.

It also produced the French Revolution as France’s landed aristocrats were expelled by its vulgar middle class factory owners.

Each formulation throughout history Marx called a thesis, which eventually gave birth to an internal contradiction Marx dubbed its antithesis, (Okay, he stole the whole scheme from Hegel, but as they like to say in Marxist studies, he turned Hegel on his head) . Each antithesis swallows its parent and produced a new synthesis. (This is Marx’s Historical Dialectic). Capitalism, even as Marx was writing, was producing the working class, or proletariat, its antithesis, that would rise up and destroy it.

One of Marx’s “Iron Laws,” was that capitalists would be driven by competition to reduce wages to the point they drove the workers to starvation–and revolution. For this impoverishment would force the working class to become aware of its own united self-interest and its own power.  Then, inevitably, Marx promised, the proletariat would overthrow the bosses and assume ownership of its own labour, resolving the last contradiction.

The wastefulness of capitalist competition would give way to harmony and plenty. Oppression would end and with it the need for government, the state, and religion.

Religion’s role in this was to assure the suffering workers that they would be rewarded in heaven for their pain; meanwhile the rich might be rewarded in this world, but would surely be punished in the afterlife.

The overall theory is called Dialectical Materialism. It didn’t work at all at predicting the future and, apart from the French Revolution, it didn’t actually match up with history very well either. The workers of the world did not unite, for example. In their name, however, dedicated and ruthless activists did take over Russia and then China where they murdered upwards of 100 million of their own countrymen to achieve their ends.

But that is okay for Marxists because they do not believe in countries, nor in countrymen. In fact, they do not believe that human beings with rights exist at all as such unless and until socialism has been achieved. That is why even people on the right side of history can be killed when necessary. They aren ‘t really people yet. Just fighters on one side or the other of history. (Arthur Koestler explores this ruthless expedience in Darkness at Noon.)

The owners of the old factors of production (eg. France’s aristos) will always resist the march of history expressed by the efforts to take over by the owners of the new factors of production (eg. middle class factory owners). The factory owners must likewise resist the efforts of the workers to claim ownership of their labour and its product.

They must resist because Marxism acknowledges only one motivation: self-interest. Instead of evil, there is the working class’s alienation from the fruits of its labour. But this alienation is, like everything else in Marxism, inevitable, given the technology and method of production at any given time.  Instead of good, there is only “Being on the right side of history.”

But if it all be inevitable, why should anyone kill anyone else to achieve it? asked the Mensheviks in Tsarist Russia, for example. Because history needs a push sometimes, replied the Bolsheviks, speaking out the barrels of their guns.

I’ll add that Marxism’s perfect socialism obviously resembles and replaces Christianity’s promise of a paradise on earth after Christ’s Second Coming, when sin is all washed away. Marxism is, therefore, sometimes said to be a Christian heresy.

How does communism fit into all this? At the theoretical level, communism is the next to last stage before perfect socialism is achieved but after capitalism is overthrown. At this penultimate stage the workers are ruled for their own good by a single political party: the communist party. This is called “communism building socialism.”

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