16 December, 2009

Human Rights Commission menaces Christian organization (again)

Once again the Canadian Human Rights Commission has set its perverted gaze upon a Christian organization, this time threatening "Christian Horizons" with the loss of its charitable status since it does not limit its ministry to just Christians.

Christian Horizons, an organization that provides residential care services to severely handicapped persons, has been brought before the H.R.C. by an employee who was dismissed for living in a lesbian relationship despite signing a Christian code of conduct statement as part of her employment that forbid employees from living in such a non-biblical relationship.

The ruling of the HRC tribunal was that since Christian Horizons did not limit itself to providing care to only Christians, it could not demand that its employees live in accordance with biblical principles. What's truly bizarre is that is the same HRC that previously stated that the organization could not place such a condition upon its employees UNLESS they signed such a code of conduct as a condition of their employment, something that the complainant had done.

The case has now come before the courts.

This is hardly a unique example. In Britain, the Catholic Bishops are raising concerns about new equality legislation that can be used to force the Church not only to hire individuals that live contrary to church teaching, but even to the point of demanding that the church ordains women and gays. It seems that the exemption that is granted the church is based upon a priest working more than 50% of his work "leading religious services" or providing such services that only an ordained priest could offer.

I can assure you that as a priest, I would not meet these criteria, and I doubt if the situation is any different in England. Too much of my time gets eaten up doing paperwork (often for the government!) or taking care of temporal rather than spiritual affairs.

These intrusions into the workings of religious organizations is an egregious abuse of that secular mantra: separation of church and state, for this principle not only precludes the Church from imposing its will on the state, so too should it keep the state from meddling in Church affairs.

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