By Jonathon Van Maren
A few short updates:
Canada is again receiving international recognition, but for all the same reasons. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s long war against the family—supported by Progressive Conservative backstabber Patrick Brown—has attracted attention from Christian organizations and religious liberty watchers around the world. Dr. Scott Masson summed up the situation over at LifeSiteNews:
Bill 89, the “Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act,” is yet another omnibus bill which, this time, has repealed and replaced the central tenets of the Child and Family Services Act, those that govern child protection, foster care, and adoption services.
Rejecting what every society throughout human history has acknowledged, i.e. the pre-political natural legitimacy of families, and the natural relationship of individual persons within the family unit, Bill 89 avoids the language of family and personhood, and substitutes identity group terms in its stead.
Henceforth, the agencies that care for families and the courts in Ontario are to operate according to a child’s “race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
Not just the novel and objectively unverifiable notions of gender identity and expression, but the entire laundry list of identity group characteristics is without legal precedent.
And the reason why isn’t because of systemic bigotry. It is because of the high value placed on the individual; whereas regarding identity groupings as determining factors of a person’s basic humanity repudiates the core convictions of Western civilization: that every single human being without exception is a person who bears the image of God, and ought to be nurtured by a natural family, either directly or through adoption…
In the past, as ARPA’s summary has noted, Child and Family Services were governed by the principles of “respecting a child’s need for continuity of care and stable family relationships, involving the child and his or her relatives and community members, and respecting cultural, religious, and regional differences. These principles supplement the central purpose of the Act, which is “to promote the best interests, protection, and well-being of children.”
Bill 89, however, redefines these principles to make them amenable to group rights, and to exclude the natural family. Furthermore, and most tellingly, unlike all the identity group characteristics that will be protected, the “religious faith, if any, in which the child is being raised” has been removed. If any doubt about how stark the change is, the religious identity of the child had been a vital consideration in the previous legislation.
Accordingly, Bill 89 also removes the requirement that a court determine, as soon as possible, the child’s religious identity in the course of a child protection hearing.
This pattern continues in determining who can foster or adopt children. Prospective parents who reject gender ideology on principle will no longer be deemed suitable. Since the adoption of children is a practice with particular theological significance to Christians, the application of the Bill could not be clearer. Needy children will be the greatest losers of the Bill.
Moreover, the natural children of parents who refuse to affirm their gender identity may also be considered “in need of protection.” Even a child “at risk of suffering” mental or emotional harm or whose parents do not provide “treatment or access to treatment” may receive the enfranchisement of the law.
Finally, the Children’s Aid Society must investigate evidence that children may be in need of protection. And a court can make orders governing the care of children deemed to be in need of protection.
In other words? If your children want a sex change and you say no, the government can take your children away to ensure they get all the hormone treatments and genital mutilation they want. This is a radical shift of authority away from families to the government—and a radical government with its own agenda at that. Here in Ontario, Christians are already regularly rejected for adoption or foster care simply because they are Christian. Now, the government is creating the infrastructure it will use to take children away from families that have not embraced the Sexual Revolution.
Last fall, I picked up quite a bit of flack on the Right for pointing out that Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s “Canadian values test” was a stupid idea, especially considering the fact that no consensus exists as to what “Canadian values” are—and that many people would say that Christians and Catholics don’t make the cut due to their beliefs on sexuality. Well, Leitch’s campaign tanked (expect another teary apology sometime), but some polls released recently still highlight again in retrospect the folly of her ideas—at least from a conservative perspective. Maclean’s Magazine revealed that even though a large majority of Canadians—over 80%–support a Canadian values test, the values they would like put forward are not the sort of thing Leitch had in mind. There is overwhelming support for bilingualism, 44% support for a carbon tax, and 62% agreement that Canadians have a problem with Islamophobia. So lesson learned: Be careful what you wish for, Ms. Leitch.
Meanwhile, the Sexual Revolutionaries are implementing a McCarthyite loyalty test wherever they can: Do you now or have you ever opposed gay marriage? The latest witch hunt is in Michigan:
The Tennes family has been farming in Michigan for generations.
They grow all sorts of crops at the Country Mill Farm– organic apples, blueberries, pumpkins, sweet corn. And for the past seven years, Steve Tennes and his family have sold their produce at the farmer’s market owned by the city of East Lansing.
But this year – city officials told the devout Catholic family that their blueberries and sweet corn were not welcome at the farmer’s market – and neither were they. Last year, someone posted a message on Country Mill’s Facebook page inquiring about whether they hosted same-sex weddings at the farm.
Tennes told the individual they did not permit same-sex marriages on the farm because of the family’s Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman. City officials later discovered the Facebook posting and began immediate action to remove Country Mill from the Farmer’s Market – alleging the family had violated the city’s discrimination ordinance.
“It was brought to our attention that The Country Mill’s general business practices do not comply with East Lansing’s Civil Rights ordinances and public policy against discrimination as set forth in Chapter 22 of the City Code and outlined in the 2017 Market Vendor Guidelines, as such, The Country Mill’s presence as a vendor his prohibited by the City’s Farmer’s Market Vendor Guidelines,” read a letter the city sent to the family. It also did not seem to matter to city leaders that the farm is located 22 miles outside the city limits – and had absolutely nothing to do with the business of selling blueberries at the farmer’s market.
Christians continue to be pushed to the fringe. That’s why Donald Trump’s religious liberty order—the one he changed under pressure from the Kushners and didn’t actually protect religious liberty—was so disappointing. Christians are in need of protection.
Just in case you’re thinking that perhaps the whole “government taking your kids” thing is a bit dramatic, here’s some sobering news out of the US this week:
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Minnesota mother against her teenage child along with school officials and healthcare providers on the grounds that they violated her parental rights by treating her son with a hormone therapy to start transitioning into a girl even though he hadn’t been granted court approval to be legally emancipated from his parents.
Senior U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson dismissed the suit this week, saying Anmarie Calgaro’s claim was “meritless,” according to the StarTribune.
Calgaro filed the suit, with the help of lawyers from the Thomas More Society last November, against St. Louis County, the St. Louis County School District, the county’s Health and Human Services, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services, accusing the parties of usurping her parental rights by granting her 17-year-old son de-facto emancipation from his mother even though a court never awarded his son legal emancipation.
We have reached a stage where government authorities actually believe they know better than parents do what is best for children, and the courts will intervene and take their side. This brings home again a warning being sounded by many culture warriors: Don’t send your kids to public school.
For an organization that apparently needs federal funding to operate, Planned Parenthood sure blows a lot of money trying to elect Democrats: After burning through 38 million dollars in their futile attempt to assist Hillary Clinton, it was revealed this week that they also threw $735,000 at Jon Ossof, who was running for Congress in Georgia’s Sixth District. In spite of that—and an unprecedented Democratic effort to get Ossof elected and announce that the election was a “referendum on Trump,” Ossof lost to Karen Handel. That loss must have particularly hurt, considering that Karen Handel wrote a memoir titled Planned Bullyhood on the mafia tactics the abortion giant employed when Susan G. Komen, a breast cancer non-profit, decided not to send them any dollars. Over and over again, the Democrats are being forced to recognize something: Many Americans might not like Trump—but many hate the Democrats even more.
More again next week!