Until the 1940s, Jews were banned from the professions in Canada. Not completely banned – that would be unseemly. But universities like McGill had quotas.
And once those few Jewish students graduated, they were blacklisted by many law firms and hospitals. It’s the reason why so many cities have Mount Sinai hospitals today. Those are the hospitals the Jewish doctors themselves set up, when the establishment wouldn’t hire them.
That was so long ago, wasn’t it? The professions aren’t bigoted like that anymore. If you doubt it, look at the recent election in Quebec. The proposed Charter of Values attempted to limit ostentatious religious symbols – like a Muslim veil or a Sikh turban – worn by government employees. The Parti Quebecois that proposed this ban was given a thrashing.
But of course there is one religious group against which it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate in 2014: Christians. Because in recent weeks the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society have both voted to ban from practising in their provinces any student who graduates from the new law school at B.C.’s Trinity Western University.
This isn’t just a ban on ostentatious displays of religiosity or a ban for people working in government jobs, like Quebec proposed. Ontario and Nova Scotia will ban any graduate of this school from working as a lawyer, at all, in private or in public, no matter how they conduct themselves. They won’t even be allowed to draft a will or a contract.
It’s all because Trinity Western University is a Christian university. It’s been around for more than 60 years. Its law school, slated to open in 2016, is accredited, like any other. It’s similar to Catholic school boards in any province. They teach the same basics and give the same diplomas as public schools, but do so in a Catholic religious tradition. It’s as Canadian as maple syrup.
Trinity Western is the one Christian law school in Canada. They don’t discriminate against non-Christians – anyone can attend classes there. But, like Catholic schools, they have a code of conduct. It’s a university, so adult students willingly and thoughtfully choose to go to school there – they’re not forced to by their parents. As part of that enrolment, students promise to “observe modesty, purity and appropriate intimacy in all relationships, reserve sexual expressions of intimacy for marriage, and within marriage take every reasonable step to resolve conflict and avoid divorce,” to quote the student handbook. Of course, being Christian, Trinity Western believes marriage is between a man and a woman – just like Catholic schools do.
Why have law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia have decided, in advance, to blacklist any student from this school, without meeting them, without knowing them, without a complaint against them, without a hearing? Is it because they have taken this pledge? Because that would be the dictionary definition of religious prejudice and bigotry. It’s the Jewish quotas all over again. And how ironic would that be, considering how many benchers on Ontario’s law society are Jewish and understand religious prejudice?
The student handbook applies to everyone: straight or gay, male or female, Christian or not. It is a personal pledge of modesty. If you don’t like it, go to any other law school in the country – there are plenty who like to sell themselves as party schools, where sex, booze and drugs are part of the experience. Just not Trinity Western.
This is an unacceptable act by our legal elites – the people we are supposed to count on to uphold our Charter of Rights, not destroy it. I’ve launched a petition to rescind this new blacklist. If you want to learn more, visit www.AntiChristian.ca.