Friday, February 16, 2007

Protection of Unborn Dependent on Freedom of Religion

In today’s National Post, Raymond DeSouza discusses the most important freedom protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [h/t] The first one listed in the Charter is "freedom of conscience and religion."

Religious liberty and freedom of conscience is not the first freedom by accident. The first article of the Magna Carta in 1215 guarantees "that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired." The first amendment of the American Bill of Rights (1789) states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) speaks of human beings "endowed with reason and conscience" (Article 18 specifies the consequences for religious liberty).


As the vast apparatus of the Canadian state moves in certain respects toward enforcing a secular orthodoxy, infringements on religious liberty are sure to become more, not less, frequent. This has already happened in education, as students and parents often find themselves confronted in the classroom with moral teachings contrary to their religious beliefs. To date, accommodations have generally been worked out, but as secularist bureaucrats become more zealous, these cases too will soon head to court on religious liberty grounds.

As I see it, whether or not we retain religious liberty in Canada depends entirely on our determination to retain those good things which we have inherited from previous generations. I would put it another way. I would say it’s a matter of living up to the truths of our Christian faith.

If we continue along on our apathetic way as we have for many years in Canada, we will certainly lose our freedom of conscience and religion. We are already being pushed to the wall and into a corner and eventually we will be dominated by the tyranny of social and immoral engineers.

And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.

The most fundamental human right is the right to life. I haven’t yet seen or heard anyone make a successful argument against such an obvious truth. Yet the protection of that most fundamental right hinges entirely on whether those who have been entrusted with that truth are able to [and choose to] declare it openly and effectively. If our freedom of conscience and religion is sufficiently compromised we will simply not be able to do so.

And if that day should come, Canadians who maintain an integral relationship with truth and conscience will have to start paying for their convictions by being hauled before the courts [that’s already happening] and by going to jail.

Can we not rise up today in defense of life and push back the culture of fear and death which is seeking to destroy us? Are we frozen with indifference?


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