The latest Canadian crazy ideas

As a writer who comments on current ideas, I often find myself in a quandry when I encounter an idea that is just plain crazy. Do I comment on it, and risk giving it more attention? Or do I hold off, hoping that the idea will drown in a wave of apathy, so I can focus on other things? After all, I can’t comment on *everything*.

Well, recently Professor Bob Ferguson offered a radio editorial on the CBC which proposed that the government regulate religion, including who gets to be a minister, and offering a baseline of what religious groups should not be allowed to include in their doctrine. Some others picked up on it in the blog world, but I thought it was just too nutty. So I let it go.

I have, however, since received some email from people (including parishioners) asking me for my thoughts. The ideas were even discussed on local radio stations, implying that the talk radio people are latching onto the whole concept. It is possible, then, that this is *not* going to drown in a wave of apathy, which means it demands some comment.


OK, for starters, you should listen to the CBC commentary piece for yourself. You can also get a pretty good transcript from LifeSite news, albeit edited to turn it into a news release.

Now, here is my comment regarding the regulation of religion, and in particular any attempt to regulate Catholic doctrine and religious practice:

Just try it.

Assuming Pentecost was in 33 A.D., the Catholic Church has been around approximately 1834 years longer than Canada. And (assuming Jesus doesn’t come first) it will still be around long after “Canada” has faded into historical obscurity.

We’ve been down this road before: the French Revolution, for example, tried to regulate religion through the Civil Constitution on the Clergy, enforcement of which was backup up by the guillotine. The result? Some people caved, but others just lost their heads, refusing to cooperate. And in the end, their side won, and the Civil Constitution disappeared. Too bad they had to be decapitated before people realised the fundamental injustice of it all, don’t you think?

Well, it won’t come to that here (at least not yet). No, instead it will be things like Christians being legally harassed before human rights tribunals, or Christians being evicted from their homes for expressing their beliefs, or Christians being denied professional opportunities because of their faith. Oh wait, the future is already here! Just check the links to see for yourself.

I fully believe that, at some point in our future (perhaps not so far), Christians and Christianity (along with persons of other religions who have the temerity to believe in something that contradicts things which are nationally approved of by the State) are going to face persecution. Jesus prophesied it, and so in a sense we should rejoice when these persecutions come, as it just means the Advent of the Sun of Justice is coming ever closer. But we’d better get used to it, and be prepared to make a loving (but principled) defense of that in which we believe.