Religion Magazine

The Other Intolerance

By Sjbedard @sjbedard

Everyone knows that Christians are intolerant. Everyone will tell you. The only other people who are as intolerant as Christians are… everyone else.

Take for example Trinity Western University. They are a Christian university. They have a code of conduct for students that includes sex only being between a married man and woman. It is not anti-homosexual as some people claim, it is just as much banning sex between single heterosexuals, which is far more common than homosexual sex.

TWU planned to start a law school. People got all up in arms because clearly TWU is anti-gay, even though gay students are welcome as long as they follow the same code that straight students have to follow. After a long battle, the TWU law school was approved.

Having lost the battle on one front, another battle began. Various law societies in Canada acknowledged that TWU could train lawyers, but these societies would prevent TWU graduates from practicing law. Coming down hard on TWU graduates was the only way of maintaining an atmosphere of tolerance.

The Law Society of British Columbia ended up voting to allow TWU graduates to practice. However, the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) voted to not allow TWU graduates to practice. You can read about it here. The Law Society of Nova Scotia will only accredit TWU graduates if they drop their code. You can read about it here.

What is happening here? The law societies would say that they are stepping up against Christian intolerance against gays. But who is intolerant here? TWU is a Christian school that has a code requiring their students hold to a certain lifestyle. It is not aimed at gays and in fact gays would be a very small minority of the students who would be affected by the code. TWU has not argued that other schools reject gays or even that gays should not be lawyers. They are simply following the religious tradition for their school.

I thought that Canada was a multicultural country. I was taught as a child that Canada was a mosaic, a country where we did not have to be all the same but that we could be connected to each other in a peaceful and tolerant way to each other. There should be room for evangelical Christians with a specific sexual ethic along side people who disagree with them. I think it is completely appropriate for people who disagree with the TWU policy to not attend their school or to support them financially. I think it is very inappropriate for critics to punish TWU and its students for not having the same beliefs. It is somehow un-Canadian.

Who is being intolerant here? Is it the university who is trying to be true to its traditions or the law societies who are trying to stamp out opposing beliefs?

  • Canada
  • Homosexuality
  • Law School
  • Law Societies
  • Lawyers
  • Lifestyle
  • Trinity Western University
  • TWU

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