and here http://legalleadersfordiversity.com/membership/ 6044
The person responsible at #BMO and #BMOHarris is https://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-information/executive-bios/simon-fish
Debate: a 30 min. Video
February 18, 2015
Years ago, when I was the producer of Tapestry, CBC Radio’s program on spirituality and religion, I was interviewing a woman who wanted to work on the show. She was extremely eager to join the program, so it was not too unreasonable to ask whether in fact she was a believer, or just someone “interested” in religion.
Furthermore, knowing her background, I was even bolder. “Are you a Christian?” I asked her. She looked startled. And after a few moments of what we in broadcasting call “dead air,” she told me in a demurring tone, “Yes...” Then she asked me to not spread that around.
Even at the time I thought: how odd is it that you can come -- leap! -- out of the closet and proclaim yourself gay (as several friends had done previously), and celebrate the fact that you no longer have to hide it. In fact, everyone should support your landing on your cherished spot of identity. Yet here we were, in the late 20th century, and the intelligent, lovely person I was interviewing could barely admit she was a straight out Christian. Score one for secularism, I thought.
I bring this story up because of Context’s recent episode on Trinity Western University’s attempt to start a law school, which has met concerted opposition. On this episode we hear from the renowned lawyer Clayton Ruby and Justin Trotter, a board member of the Canadian Secular Alliance. These two well-spoken advocates plainly dislike Trinity Western’s Community Covenant which asked students to refrain from sex from outside of marriage -- and here’s the rub -- marriage being defined as the union of a man and a woman.
The fact that students elect to go to the school, and therefore choose to accept these prohibitions, was not the issue for Ruby and Trottier: How dare a Christian school tell a gay person his sexuality was never to be permitted, sanctified or not, whether in or outside of marriage. This prohibition was outright discrimination.
The prohibition against pre-marital sex wasn’t the issue. Clayton Ruby even laughed off the idea that 4,000 students could refrain from sex — it was so unenforceable it wasn’t worthwhile protesting against. What really disturbed him was something that goes to the heart of any small “l” liberal -- the idea that the fundamental principle of equality would be breached. A person’s autonomy, inviolable identity, was at stake. Heterosexual students could ignore the Community Covenant with a laugh; being told that you could not be who you were and how you could exercise your sexuality -- that was the problem, whether you “chose” to go to that school or not.
Also on the panel was a gay student, Brian Sandberg, a recent graduate from TWU. He defines himself as both a Christian and gay. He felt supported and loved within the TWU community. This meant that he could live within the strictures of the Community Covenant -- I suppose only by being celibate or by ignoring it. But Sandberg gave no indication he disobeyed or ignored the rules. So we were left with the unsettling notion that as a gay Christian he was to be marked, considered deficient or unnatural (granted all Christians feel “broken” but this is a separate category). I don’t know how Sandberg resolves this issue -- clearly it’s one for the whole Christian community. The choice being to normalize homosexuality or just avoid it.
The pro TWU panelists, John Stackhouse and the lawyer Earl Phillips, did their best to call for pluralism and tolerance -- Christians should be allowed a space to practice their beliefs, discriminatory in the eyes of others or not. As the Walrus Magazine declared, it’s all “very complicated.” But what is clear is that in much of secular Canada, being a Christian is more complicated -- and more marginal -- than being gay. That’s quite a change in a very short time.
Richard Handler is a former producer with CBC Radio’s Ideas, Tapestry, The Arts Tonight and Morningside. He also wrote the Ideas Guy column for CBC News online. Richard is an agnostic: “By agnostic I mean, I don’t know about the existence of God, I am skeptical about many of the claims of religion, but I am sympathetic to the transcendental and spiritual impulse in religion."
It is quite the change, and now I as a Christian find myself arguing on diversity grounds - we too, as Christians, are part of the diversity that should be represented in workplaces, curriculum, and even law schools. For example - all the controversy now in sex ed curriculum in Ontario is because We are religious views are part of the diversity that educates children too -- and that is a tricky thing to navigate in our freedoms. We are on testing grounds for what it means to be good neighbours. Lorna
February 25, 2015 | Lorna Dueck