07 June, 2012

Canadian Crackdown - Michael Coren - National Review Online

When Same-Sex Marriages (SSM) were legalized by Paul Martin's Liberal government in Canada, Canadians were assured that the rights of religious institutions to refrain from participating in such ceremonies. At that time, I invoke the Neuhaus Principle ('that which is now permitted will soon be obligatory') in saying that this was a dangerous initiative for the Church. I was told that I was being an 'alarmist', 'extremist', 'homophobic' and 'despotic'. It appears that while I dispute these labels, I do claim that I was right... as recent events are beginning to make clear.

I'm not a huge fan of Michael Coren (I don't like his intensely combative and confrontational style) but I think that he is right in this recent article posted on the National Review Online site. He offers a number of examples that demonstrate that Neuhaus' principle is indeed on the way to being realized. Additionally, there is an article published elsewhere today in which it is reported that the Danish government has now passed a law forcing Churches to celebrate SSM ceremonies within their sanctuaries.  Individual priests are permitted to refuse to bless such a union in a religious ceremony, but the Bishop of the diocese MUST provide another priest to perform the ceremony.

While I freely admit that the Ontario government was within the rights to mandate the creation of GSA's in all the province's school, when the Minister who's shepherding the legislation can go on record as saying "if the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of homosexuality or gay marriage, it “would have to change its teaching,” it is assuming unto itself the power to tell the Church what it MUST believe. It is a GROSS VIOLATION of the barrier between Church and State that has been a cornerstone of our modern Western democracies. Society suffers EVERY TIME this barrier is breached from either side. It is an harbinger of major troubles ahead if the State believes that it has the power to tell the Church what is 'right' or 'wrong' - even to the degree of forcing it to perform ceremonies for what she believes to be counter to God's will. These latest controversies in Canada and Denmark (two countries who have led the charge for SSM's) add to the evidence that's piling up which points to the lucid analysis of RJN as being accurate and active there. 

Canadian Crackdown - Michael Coren - National Review Online


  1. The Danish situation is because Denmark is a theocracy and the Lutheran Church of Denmark is the official Church of Denmark and the supreme authority for the church is the Danish parliament. This is not a government telling churches what to do, it is, effectively, the official church telling itself what to do. Note : no other denominations are affected.

    This is why secular government is the best for religious as well as non religious citizens.

    1. Rationalist: I appreciate that. Nevertheless, when Denmark first introduced SSM's, they promised the Lutheran Bishops that the Church would not have to solemnize them in their Churches. Here we are, 10+ years later and that promise has been broken. Why? Because RJN was right! If I am correct in believing in his principle, it won't be too long before the State tries to enforce its will on other Churches here as well. The Ontario Education Minister's quote is revelatory that my prediction has a good chance of coming true here very soon.

      Don't get me wrong. I don't want to be right on this. But I suspect that, sadly, I am. I take no joy whatsoever from it.

      Fr. Tim

    2. But the problem in Denmark is the parliament controls the Danish Church. The obvious solution is to break the connection and let the Church govern itself.

      It's like in England where the Prime Minister appoints the Church of England Bishops. Imagine if a person like Richard Dawkins became prime minister, he'd appoint bishops who didn't believe in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Eucharist, the divinity of Jesus. In fact just the situation one has now. :->

  2. If the Danish government's law is overturned then it would be that a church's governing body, at least in Denmark, would have no right to tell its priests how to behave and therefore any Catholic priest in Denmark could not be told not to perform gay marriages by his governing body (i.e. his bishop).


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