These are interesting times to be a person of faith and conscience. These are interesting times to be a free thinker – to not be hemmed in or cut out by groupthink. But there are some troubling trends that speak to curtailing the freedom of conscience in Canada:
“It has become a scary time to be a Christian professional in Canada. In 2014, lawyers and doctors were targeted by their own professional associations for direct attack because of their religious beliefs… another overt campaign to drive out or silence Christians in the legal community was commenced: The Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD) is made up of the heads of the legal departments from more than 70 major corporations. The campaign involves its own form of community covenant… to restrict hiring of law firms for their legal work to those who have a commitment to “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” The LLD’s definition of these words requires approval of same-sex marriage and excludes Christians or others who might have a different opinion.”
Very recently the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario instituted a new policy: Physicians and the Human Rights Code. This policy will no doubt be popular; but at its core, it strikes a deafening blow to freedom of conscience among Doctors of faith. Thus the Christian Medical and Dental Society felt compelled to bring their case to court. This is from theStar.com:
With physician-assisted suicide on the horizon, the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada is asking the Ontario Superior Court to declare that a new regulatory policy infringes upon doctors’ freedom of conscience.
The society, which represents close to 1,700 members, filed documents in court on Friday regarding the CPSO’s Professional Obligations and Human Rights policy that was announced on March 6. The policy means doctors who refuse to refer patients for services on religious and moral grounds, including abortions, could face discipline from their regulating body.
It is interesting to see the video clip: Freedom to Care: The Threat to Conscience Rights in Medicine – and how the Society is trying to frame the issues in the wider context of all our access to freedom of conscience. It is a story that can get murky, fast. People ask, “where do you draw the line in “refusing care” (sic).
Enter CBC’s “The Current” with Anna Maria Tremonti. On March 25, the title of her segment was: “Doctors fight for their right to refuse care over religious beliefs.” CBC sets the angle of the story in terms of caring Doctors who uncaringly refuse care; it appears that CBC cannot conceive of the role that conscience plays in caring.
I am reminded of what Roxane Gay wrote in the Guardian: “Nuance gets lost in groupthink.” I found it ironic to see in that article, the same process of groupthink at work with terrorists and the politically correct? I find it troubling that there is a politically correct sweep in our nation that is quickly becoming oppressive to people of conscience and faith.
These are Enigmatic times. May we be found to be both gracious and wise. What do you have to say from conscience?