Canada: the Canary in the Coal Mine

May 29, 2015

By Lea Z. Singh |

Almost looks free - but this canary is in a cage.
I have an article up at Crisis Magazine, discussing the Canadian situation regarding the progression of same-sex marriage and gender identity politics, and how religious freedom is being extinguished in this country.

The Canadian situation is a warning to our southern neighbour in particular. It is also a warning to all other countries that are contemplating the legalization of same-sex marriage.

There are many prescient people in the United States who are very aware of what is coming next, if same-sex marriage becomes legalized. Most notable perhaps is Prof. Robert George, who discussed the coming persecution of Christians in his speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast last year (I posted about this speech here).

Another such modern prophet is Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, who wrote an incredible letter to his radio listeners earlier this month, saying:
I do not recall a time when the institutions of marriage and the family have faced such peril, or when the forces arrayed against them were more formidable or determined. Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.
...We in North America and Europe are not simply “slouching towards Gomorrah,” as Judge Robert Bork warned in his best-selling book; we are hurtling toward it. The old earthen dam that has held and protected the reservoir of Judeo-Christian values since the days of our Founding Fathers has given way. Traditional marriage is the last bulwark to fall.
...Let’s get to the bottom line. If the U.S. Supreme Court redefines marriage to include same-sex unions, I guarantee you that it will not be the end of the matter. An avalanche of court cases will be filed on related issues that can’t even be imagined today. Here are a few that we can foresee:
1. Religious liberty will be assaulted from every side. You can be certain that conservative churches will be dragged into court by the hundreds. Their leaders will be required to hire people who don’t share the beliefs of their denominations and constituents. Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture. Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.
2. Christian businesses and ministries will be made to dance to the government’s tune. We’ve all seen examples of photographers, bakeries and florists being required to serve at gay weddings, on penalty of closure or bankruptcy. This kind of legal oppression is coming all across the nation.
3. Christian colleges may be unable to teach scriptural views of marriage. Any nonprofit Christian organization that opposes same-sex unions, including our own, will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Many will be forced to close their doors.
Do these consequences sound draconian to you? If so, consider an editorial published in the New York Times a few weeks ago. It was written by liberal columnist Frank Bruni, who insisted that Christians must be “made” to change their church doctrines on sexual morality. He actually wrote, “Church leaders must be made to take homosexuality off their sin list.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote this in response to Bruni’s statement: “These activists aren’t after a ‘live-and-let-live’ policy. They’re on a march to force all Americans to celebrate and affirm what they do under the penalty of law.”
...Now let’s look at what the law may require of parents and their children in the future:
4. Here’s an example of what is to come: A few weeks ago, President Obama actually demanded legislation prohibiting parents from seeking professional therapy to assist their children who were dealing with sexual identity crises. What business does this man have telling parents how to help their confused and disoriented kids even after they have been abused and exploited sexually? This is outrageous! In some states, counselors can lose their licenses if they try to assist their troubled children in this way. These intrusions appear to be forerunners of things to come.
5. Any professional with a state license of any kind may be stripped of his or her right to practice or do business if he or she doesn’t conform to the court’s biases on same-sex relationships.
6. Textbooks for children of all ages will almost certainly be rewritten and republished to illustrate gay and lesbian marriages.
7. The most outrageous interference with parental rights will come from public schools that require children as young as 5 to be taught gay and lesbian concepts. It will matter not that this teaching will contradict the beliefs and convictions of parents. This could become a requirement in every public school by judicial decree. It is already the law in California and Massachusetts.
There are many other things I could write about at this crossroads of history. Let me summarize my concerns this way: Down one path are millions of strong and vibrant families with their children growing up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Down the other path is a nation drifting away from its spiritual roots in a culture that will teach a dangerous ideology to today’s younger generation and those yet to come.
Prof. George and Dr. Dobson are exactly right. But their arguments suffer from one weakness: as regards the United States, their arguments are still theoretical. Their predictions have not yet come to pass. As such, they can be attacked as far-fetched, scaremongering, a parade-of-horrors, and so on.

Well, just look north of the 49th and you will see that Prof. George and Dr. Dobson are right on the mark. As far as Dr. Dobson's recent letter, every single thing that Dr. Dobson lists as a possible outcome of legalized same-sex marriage (points 4-7 in his letter) has already become a reality here in Ontario.

So is Dr. Dobson just trying to scare people? Hardly. Let's take a closer look:
  • Point 4. Ontario is in the process of passing legislation that will ban the professional therapy that Dr. Dobson refers to. The bill is expected to pass by next month.
  • Point 5. The Ontario law society voted last year to exclude graduates from Trinity Western University. These law graduates will not be eligible for the bar in Ontario, for the some reason that they have signed a voluntary covenant opposing same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships.

    What's more, some of Canada’s most powerful business leaders have created Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD), a group that now includes over 70 major corporations. Through LLD, these companies aim to alter the legal landscape by choosing to do business only with pro-gay law firms.

    Outside the legal profession, we've just seen Toronto Catholic school board trustee Angela Kennedy removed from nomination for the City's Health Board for because she votes in conformity with her religious faith, and does not approve of same-sex marriage.

    And of course, here in Ontario, the College of Physicians and Surgeons has introduced draft regulations that will eliminate the freedom of conscience from all doctors (just in time for legalized euthanasia).
  • Points 6. and 7. are happening here in Ontario at the present time, with the introduction of a new and aggressive sex-ed curriculum that must be taught to children in all publicly funded schools, including Catholic schools.

    This curriculum is categorically opposed to Catholic teaching on sexuality and the human person. Starting in grade three, the curriculum introduces children to the idea that gender is fluid, and that little boys can decide to be girls, or vice versa. The message is that transgender desires are just as perfectly normal as homosexual leanings.

Here in Ontario, our situation already presents all of the challenges that Dr. Dobson lists. But there is still more. I consider it perhaps most significant that we are becoming a culture of fear. 

Everywhere, people are becoming afraid to speak out against the government's chosen ideology. They are afraid of seeming intolerant. They are afraid of being dragged before human rights tribunals. They are afraid of losing their jobs or losing the chance to progress in their careers because they hold views that are Christian, but contrary to the prevailing ideology.

To me, having come from Communism, I see that this culture is now slipping into its own totalitarianism.

Ironic, considering that we escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and came to this country as political refugees, because we believed that this is where we would find true freedom.

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We provide commentary on the cultural decline of the Western world, from a conservative perspective.