Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Religious Persecution of Christians Continues in Canadian Higher Education

Americans should be required to study what is going on in Canada in terms of religious persecution of Christians so that they won't be complacent enough to let happen there what has already happened here.

Many Canadian institutions have been taken over by narrow-minded, poorly-educated, left-wing activists and the trail of destruction they are leaving behind is sad and all the more so for being so unnecessary. The public school system, teacher's colleges, the CBC, the legal profession, the judiciary, the major political parties, the universities, the public sector unions and the mass media - all are becoming increasingly intolerant and leftist.

The result is that articles like this one by Peter Stockland now appear as a matter of course in major newspapers, in this case the Vancouver Sun. It discusses the sad spectacle of a left-wing labor union taking it upon itself to go on a search and destroy mission to eliminate the few remaining Christian universities from having even the opportunity to exist as dissenters to the left-wing consensus. The true mentality of the Left is exposed here as totalitarian in the name of a false tolerance. Tolerance as defined by the Left means essentially iconoclasm. Anything traditional, old, conservative, Western, religious or male must be questioned, undermined and finally overthrown. Anything socialist, new, left-wing, feminist or non-Western must be praised, supported with public money and used to replace the old. This is what tolerance means to the Left.

Peter Stockland describes the crusade of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) against residual Christian convictions within Canadian higher education:

When Canada's university leaders meet privately in Vancouver on Thursday to talk academic freedom, headline-grabbing incidents at schools such as Carleton, York and Waterloo will doubtless drive much discussion.

Abortion, Israel and aboriginal rights, not to mention arrests of yahoos locking themselves by their necks to fences, have a way of monopolizing the highest-minded conversation.

In reality, however, such events are town and gown conflicts -- university spaces hijacked by external partisans. They have little to do with true academic freedom.

As the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada engages in its Dialogue on Academic Freedom next week, it would do well to deal with a more egregious threat to scholarly liberty.

The AUCC should take sharp note of the assault being waged from with academe itself on the independence, and even existence, of Canada's faith-based universities.

Since 2006, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has been targeting small, private, accredited, and invariably Christian, universities. Its method is to emit vague accusations that codes of conduct of such institutions somehow violate CAUT's definition of academic freedom. It then appoints its own "commissioners" to "investigate" whether the schools are guilty as charged.

Last year, it used these tactics against Trinity Western University in the Fraser Valley. More recently, it has turned it sights on a Mennonite school in Manitoba, a Baptist academy in the Maritimes and similar Christian schools across Canada.

What's risible about CAUT's singling out of these Christian schools is that, by its own admission, it has absolutely no legislative or administrative authority to conduct such investigations.

So the academic freedom of Christian universities to have their own ethos and believe what they want must be taken away in the name of what? Of academic freedom, of course. When it comes to academic freedom, for the CAUT some (left-wing) animals have to be more free than the others, naturally. Orwell explained it to us a long time ago.

So why is CAUT doing this? Well, there is no reasonable answer to that question. Academic freedom is not under assault (well, at least it wasn't before the CAUT got involved). This issue is outside the mandate of the union. But the faculty members of private universities do not belong to CAUT: could that have anything to do with it?

It it the existence of something independent, different, outside the mainstream, not under the thumb of the powers that be that so rankles the CAUT collectivists? Is it that they resent anyone unenlightened enough to have the nerve to be different? Why don't they try tolerance as a policy?

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