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CBC issues call for the Church to be subservient to the State

Former professor Bob Ferguson was given air time to promote this plan:

"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. "

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."

Just as the Vatican has accepted communist control of the Church in mainland China? Hasn't happened, nor will it ever, and Chinese bishops loyal to Rome instead of to Beijing will still be imprisoned, and the Vatican will continue to secretly name bishops.

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?"

I didn't think religious freedom needed help. It just needs the government to leave religious beliefs alone.

Adjusting doctrine seems like such an easy idea, doesn't it? I mean, it's all just made up rules, right? All this nonsense about revealed truth is just so much smoke and mirrors.

But if religious institutions need encouragement, the professor has an idea for that too:

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."

Sounds more and more like China all the time, where all religious practitioners must be registered, and are given government-approved texts from which to teach.

So what adjustments does he have in mind?

"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."

I wonder if this is a joke, if Ferguson is being sarcastic, and we're just not getting it. Because it sure sounds like an absurd joke to me.

Turns out he's serious:

"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."

And there it is -- the primacy of the State over the Church. He is worried about the separation of Church and State, so his solution is to make the Church a government department, along with Human Resources and Health.

Paul Martin as Pope and the Liberal Party as God. Now that's a campign slogan.

Thankfully, the proposal is so ridiculous as to be immediately dismissed. But my worry is that other, more so-called reasonable ideas, might seem more acceptable by comparison, and might have a chance of getting passed unnoticed.

The fact is that the State , that is, the politically correct mandarins at the highest reaches of Canada's public service, are frustrated at the roadblocks to their earthly paradise being put up by the Roman Catholic Church, by evangelical Christians, by Muslim organizations, by Orthodox Jews, by Sikhs, and by other traditionally-minded religious faiths. Better to be like the United Church, where there is no judgment, no belief, no dogma, just a building in which some ceremonies are performed that make people feel better.

Religion as the opiate of the masses.

Traditional faiths are not opiates. They're headaches. They don't go away just because you want them too, they make their presence known regardless of whether it is convenient for you, and to acknowledge them and submit is to restrict your wanton freedoms.

And for what? A promise of salvation that may or may not be true? What sort of fool goes for that? This faith stuff is for suckers.

But in Canada, we have a government who has made it their business for the last 40 years to save us from our own foolishness. Sure it's expensive, and taxes are high, but think of the alternative -- people making mistakes that could be prevented. These religions all disagree with each other, so they can't all be right. That means at least some of the people are making mistakes by following the "wrong" ones.

Play it safe and assume all of them are wrong.

Kill two birds with one stone. By pulling the Church into the State, the State removes a frustrating obstacle to its ability to regulate all social behaviour without criticism, while at the same time ensuring that the people are protected from potentially bad consequences of following unregulated faith. Consequences like disagreeing with the wisdom of the State, which costs so much in wasted time dealing with dissenters.

So the CBC, the voice of the government of Canada, broadcasts one man's opinion. Nowhere is it noted that equal air time was given to a supporter of the Church now that booster for the State has said his piece. I assume no such time was provided.

I suppose that's the whole point of this, isn't it. The Church is to be seen, but only the State is ever to be heard.

[More commentary: 1 2 3]

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