Canada’s Summer Jobs program has been drawing a lot of attention for a change to the funding policy in that it requires any applicant company to “attest” that their “core values” are consistent with those of the governing Liberal party.
CSJ applicants will be required to attest that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
“Reproductive rights” is another term for abortion on demand.
“Sexual orientation” refers to same-sex sexual activity.
“Gender identity / expression” refers to the belief that gender is a construct and that people can identify and / or present themselves as any of a myriad of genders regardless of their internal plumbing or chromosomes and others have to call them by their preferred pronouns.
All of these are at variance with the Word of God –
- who created person and gave them the gift of life,
- who made people male and female with all that that entails,
- who created human sexuality for binding a husband to a wife within the bonds of marriage,
- who established marriage for bearing and rearing children as part of a family and the continuation of the human species.
- who bans sexually immoral people from the the kingdom of God
All this precludes a faithful Christian from recognizing any other arrangement of human affairs. It then follows that any company run by people of faith have two choices – either deny their fundamental beliefs to get summer job funding – or – have their application for summer job funding denied and leave the positions unfilled.
Continuing with the Canada Summer Jobs Overview –
The employer attestation for CSJ 2018 is consistent with individual human rights in Canada, Charter rights and case law, and the Government of Canada’s commitment to human rights, which include women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.
The government recognizes that women’s rights are human rights. This includes sexual and reproductive rights — and the right to access safe and legal abortions. These rights are at the core of the Government of Canada’s foreign and domestic policies.
The government recognizes that everyone should have the right to live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose, free from discrimination. The government is committed to protecting the dignity, security, and rights of gender-diverse and transgender Canadians.
The primary issue for people of faith is that this policy requires them to acknowledge and affirm teachings that are directly opposed to Scripture. This is not a choice true believers will make, and to offer a few pieces of silver for them to make that choice is unconscionable.
The next part is the most odious:
The objective of the change is to prevent Government of Canada funding from flowing to organization whose mandates or projects may not respect individual human rights, the values underlying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law. This helps prevent youth (as young as 15 years of age) from being exposed to employment within organizations that may promote positions that are contrary to the values enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law.
What this is saying is that the current government considers anyone that believes that –
- life begins at conception,
- people are either male or female,
- gender is biological fact established by God and not a social construct that can be changed at whim,
- sexual activity should be confined to a husband and wife in the bonds of marriage,
to be a “lesser” citizens that needs to be segregated away from the rest of society and in particular kept away from young people.
This “lesser citizen” status includes every faithful believer that’s a member of LCC.
Having established the context – let’s see what the Synodical powers-that-be have to say.
From the Canadian Lutheran Government employment program accused of discrimination:
Reaction within Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) to the government’s policies are a combination of concern and waiting to see exactly what the consequences could be.
And this is one reason why Canadian society is where it is – “waiting to see exactly what the consequences could be” leaves the field open for opponents to faith to run unopposed. By waiting to see “what the consequences could be” before making our voices heard – it’ll be too late. Rather than wait for our opponents to decide the church’s fate, the church should be on the offensive in the public square like Paul in the Areopagus – testifying to the eternal truths that God has established, refuting error, and if need be – availing themselves of civil laws and the courts in order to protect its interests.
Outgoing LCC President, Dr. Robert Bugbee, observed, “With this policy it may be that a serious line is being crossed.
The Canadian Government has just called every faithful LCC member a lower class citizen that needs to be avoided and kept away from young people. It also wants LCC’s members to affirm doctrines and teachings as individual human rights even though they directly contradict Scripture’s eternal truths.
If that isn’t a ‘serious line’ – what is?
It is one thing to expect individual Christians and church organizations to respect the law of the land, even though on some moral issues that law stands at variance with their faith convictions.
Abortion, sexual immorality, and gender confusion is just a “moral issue” that is simply “at variance” with Scriptural truths?
It is going too far, however, to insist that applicants for government grants must think the way the current government does.” The president believes that “the current government’s priorities, while certainly well-intentioned from their own viewpoint, may not erase the basic equality of treatment religious people should expect under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
First, this isn’t the first time the governing authorities have tried to mandate beliefs and penalize speech. The witness the disciples gave the Sanhedrin serves as a good template to follow today.
Second, this isn’t about us and what the Synodical President or anyone else believes, it’s about God and His eternal truths. Our faith is a gift from God and because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer we are conscious-bound to obey God rather than man. Governments can mandate policies like this all they want – a true believer will never submit, and certainly not in exchange for a few pieces of silver.
When you compare that truth against government policy positions that
- have killed over 3 million Canadian children since 1974,
- teaches and encourages sexual license that excludes people from the kingdom of heaven, and
- holds that gender is a state of mind as opposed to being an integral part of God’s creation
“…well intentioned from their own viewpoint” falls a bit short of the mark.
For comparison purposes, here’s what LCMS President Matthew Harrison wrote after a court ruling related to abortion:
The United States Supreme Court ruled today that 58 million aborted babies is not enough. Our national sin of abortion now dwarfs the atrocities of the genocide of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, and the extermination of 20 million Christians by the Soviet Union. I can find no other words to describe this disgrace than those of Hermann Sasse directed at the Nazi regime….
No platitudes about “viewpoints” or “might have gone too far” – abortion is evil and President Harrison calls it out as such.
Fortunately President Teuscher has a bit more backbone as can be seen in the Canadian Lutheran article LCC joins faith groups calling for change in government jobs application:
LCC’s president, who will be officially installed on Sunday, January 28, noted that while upholding the Lutheran two-kingdoms understanding—God’s kingdom of the spiritual realm and the earthly kingdom dealing with temporal matters—“we need to speak out when there is an intersection of the two that clearly violates Scripture and our confession.”
- Instructing from God’s word? Check.
- Strong statement that government is clearly violating Scripture? Check.
- Nothing about “belief”, “perhaps”, “maybe”? Check.
I’ll give President Teuscher a hearty “Amen!” along with my hopes and prayers that we’ll see more of the same in the time to come.
President Harrison’s prayer seems an apt way to close this article:
O Lord Jesus, author and source of life, cast us not away because of our sins. Change the minds and hearts of the people of this nation, waning under moral ambiguity. Uphold your Church wherever it stands for life. Give us repentance where Christians have failed to speak and act and vote for life. Help us to continue to care for the least, the last, the needy, the downtrodden, and especially those who have succumbed to the lie. We plead it for your sake. Amen.