By Jonathon Van Maren
The backlash against the new Liberal requirement that organizations sign off on an “attestation” of support for abortion in order to get funding from the Canada Summer Jobs Program continues, with the latest developments being covered by Licia Corbella in the Calgary Herald:
Stephen Wile, CEO of the Christian aid organization The Mustard Seed, which ministers to tens of thousands of Alberta’s most vulnerable and poor citizens in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton, says The Seed hired 17 grant-supported students to work across Alberta last summer, serving those experiencing homelessness, addictions and other issues associated with poverty, regardless of the client’s faith, creed or colour.
“The Mustard Seed doesn’t take a position on abortion, but with the government making this a requirement for funding, it’s trying to force us from a neutral position to an affirmative position on abortion, and we’re not prepared to do that,” said Wile from his Calgary office. “We’re not willing to support the government’s position in order to get the funds, it’s just not worth it for us.
“It seems,” added Wile, “like the government is saying, ‘The issue of where you stand on abortion is more important than the work you do and the people you serve,’ and that’s really sad. At the core of who we are, we’re really against fear and hate, and unfortunately, the government is taking a position that instead of decelerating division, it’s accelerating it.”
Unfortunately, Wile’s analysis is bang-on: the Liberals genuinely do care more about where you stand on abortion and a host of other so-called progressive issues more than they care about the work of faith-based and religious organizations. Corbella was quick to point out the hypocrisy in this position:
Wile is correct. In the name of tolerance, the Trudeau government is being intolerant to a huge swath of society that does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to caring for the poor and vulnerable in Canada. According to the report Religion, Participation, and Charitable Giving — written at the behest of Canadian Heritage, Statistics Canada, Health Canada and other organizations — author Kurt Bowen found that actively religious people are far more likely to give of their time and money to charitable causes — including secular charitable causes.
According to the 1999 report, “the religiously active are 32 per cent of all Canadians, but they are responsible for 65 per cent of all direct, charitable donations. Conversely, the 42 per cent of Canadians who are religiously inactive generate only 20 per cent of all charitable givings.”
I saw an insightful response the other day to a question that pro-lifers often get from abortion supporters: “What will you do for the mother after the baby is born?” (The answer, as those statistics indicate, is pretty much anything and everything.) But one woman challenged the question with a devastating riposte: “What will you do for the mother after the baby is dead?” The answer to that, of course, being “nothing.” Meanwhile, organizations that dare to care for the lives of children in the womb as well as those outside the womb have discovered a target on their back—painted there by Trudeau’s Liberals:
James Paton, lead pastor at First Alliance Church in southeast Calgary — who is from Scotland and led an inner-city church for the poor in Amsterdam before moving to Calgary — says he’s never before worked with a government that demands you accept its policy platform in order to partner with it to deliver a program.
“There’s great irony in this new requirement in the jobs grant application,” mused Paton, whose church of 4,000 parishioners has sponsored hundreds of Syrian refugees in the past few years and is engaged in numerous programs, including in-school breakfast programs in low-income areas and is one of the top three givers to the Calgary Food Bank.
“Even if you take the Christian faith and morality out of it, they’re actually asking us to agree with the federal Liberal policy platform, but they don’t ask Pakistan to do that, they don’t ask China to do that. It’s ironic,” said Paton, who says the church will forgo the funding for nine to 12 students rather than sign something that says it is in favour of aborting babies.
As I noted earlier this week, Trudeau probably didn’t foresee that so many organizations would balk at signing off on support for abortion. Party of Liberal arrogance is that they cannot fathom that good people might disagree with them. But his solution—that Christian organizations should fulfill the requirement and apply anyways—amounts to lying, which they will not do. Trudeau’s attempts to discriminate against pro-life groups—which stand up for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society—have resulted in other organizations that help the vulnerable being discriminated against, as well.
Those in Canadian society who need it most will end up suffering for Trudeau’s attempt to force his beliefs on all Canadians.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.