Friday, July 22, 2005


Bogus Gold and The Anchoress both led me to an article on Lifesite that has me stunned beyond belief. I'll defer to their commentary as I would only be echoing theirs. But Canada's national public radio CBC Radio has actually aired a commentary by a retired professor from the Royal Military College calling for state control over religion, specifically Catholicism. I first read George Orwell's 1984 in ummm...I believe it actually WAS 1984, as a sophomore in high school. I have watched this book creep closer and closer to reality with each passing year it seems. Michael O'Brien has been warning of this sort of possible future in Canada for years...and here it is...right in front of us. Staggering.

"Given the inertia of the Catholic Church, perhaps we could encourage reform by changing the environment in which all religions operate," Ferguson began his commentary in measured tones yesterday. "Couldn't we insist that human rights, employment and consumer legislation apply to them as it does other organizations? Then it would be illegal to require a particular marital status as a condition of employment or to exclude women from the priesthood."

Oh puh-leeze. Here in the first paragraph we see his agenda.

Ferguson continued, "Of course the Vatican wouldn't like the changes, but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada. Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure."

The former professor pitched his idea as a boon to religious freedom. "We could also help the general cause of religious freedom by introducing a code of moral practice for religions," he said. "They will never achieve unity so why not try for compatibility? Can't religious leaders agree to adjust doctrine so all religions can operate within the code?"

Ferguson, would see religion regulated by provinces in the same way professions are regulated. "I am an engineer so the model I am thinking about is rather like the provincial acts regulating the practice of engineering," he said. "For example, engineers must have an engineering degree from a recognized university or pass qualification exams. They must have a number of years of practical experience and pass an ethics exam. The different branches: mechanical, electrical, civil and the like have a code of practice that applies to everyone. Why can't religious groups do the same?"

Continuing his comparison Ferguson stated, "I envisage a congress meeting to hammer out a code that would form the basis of legislation to regulate the practice of religion. Like the professional engineers' P.Eng designation, there would then be RRPs (or registered religious practitioners). To carry the analogy to its conclusion, no one could be a religious practitioner without this qualification."

Ferguson also suggests 'obvious' prohibitions on religion including preaching of 'hate'. "I won't try to propose what might be in the new code except for a few obvious things: A key item would have to be a ban on claims of exclusivity. It should be unethical for any RRP to claim that theirs was the one true religion and believers in anything else or nothing were doomed to fire and brimstone. One might also expect prohibition of ritual circumcisions, bans on preaching hate or violence, the regulation of faith healers, protocols for missionary work, etc.," says Ferguson. we go. 'Hate' preaching. No Leviticus for you! This stems I believe from the bishop who has been brought up on actual charges for this "crime" which I posted earlier.

The retired professor concluded his comments aired on CBC yesterday morning saying, "Now what is the point of proposing this? I do it because I am worried that the separation between church and state is under threat. Religion is important in our lives, but it can become a danger to society when people claim that the unalterable will of God is the basis for their opinions and actions. Yes religion can be a comfort and a guide, but we cannot take rules from our holy books and apply them to the modern world without democratic debate and due regard for the law."

Waitaminute! His solution for preserving the separation of church and state, is to CREATE a government code of religion? Hello? And why CAN'T we take rules from our holy books and apply them to the "modern" world? So in his world "Thou shalt not kill" was only valid until oh....well...when exactly? 200 BC? 173 AD? When?

There's even audio.


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