When Bigotry Becomes Law

    If you took a stroll around the campus of Trinity Western University, near Vancouver, British Columbia, you'd be impressed. You'd find a whole lot of wholesome, enthusiastic Christian students preparing to serve Christ in all areas of life -- environmental science students doing research on endangered salmon, business students learning to apply Christian ethics in the global marketplace, and future teachers being equipped to serve in public and private schools. But this last group, the education students, are in a precarious situation. For, if the British Columbia College of Teachers, a liberal teachers' association, has its way, they will be labelled a threat to the teaching profession. Several years ago, Trinity Western applied for accreditation of its teacher education program. Approval would make it possible for Trinity students to take their final year of college at their own university, instead of having to finish at a secular institution. But when the accrediting agency examined the records, it found Trinity's "Community Standards Agreement." In it, students promise they won't they won't commit crimes, or engage in immoral behaviour -- including homosexual activity -- while enrolled in school. Well, the College of Teachers claimed shock and dismay, and accused the university of "discriminatory practices which are contrary to the public interest and public policy." The College of Teachers said Trinity graduates would express anti-gay attitudes in the classroom. And the application for accreditation was denied. Trinity appealed the decision and won in court, but the government immediately appealed and lost again. Now the case is on appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court. Think about how ludicrous the argument of the accrediting committee is! The fact that Christian students covenant not to commit crimes or engage in immoral behaviour disqualifies them from being teachers? Immoral people make better teachers? Well, since the case began, Trinity Western has had to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend itself. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops filed a brief on their behalf, as did the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. More recently, the University of British Columbia filed suit against the College of Teachers that started the whole fiasco. But the case grinds on. The Supreme Court heard all arguments last November, but it may be months before a ruling is handed down. It ought to be obvious that Christian colleges have a right to set moral standards for their students. Unfortunately, pro-homosexual activists, like those in Canada, are determined to punish institutions like Trinity Western that hold traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. This is an ominous trend that puts the principle of freedom of conscience in grave peril. And rest assured what's happening in Canada will soon be happening here if Christians don't stand firm. Will our children have to disavow their faith in order to become teachers? Will Christian medical students have to perform abortions in order to practice medicine? Will secular litmus tests be prescribed for lawyers, counsellors, and chaplains? This could happen! We need to pray that this case will be resolved and that the people of Canada and elsewhere will realize that censorship and repression of religious beliefs are dead wrong. If there is ever a place to draw a line in the sand, this is it!


Chuck Colson


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