Thursday, July 02, 2015

The persecution against Christians continues -- within Canada!

From Ezra Levant:

Dear George,
The Ontario Divisional Court just issued its ruling in the case of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school.
As you know, anti-Christian bigots at the Law Society of Upper Canada voted to ban any graduates from that school from practicing law in Ontario — in advance, without even meeting them, without any complaints against them.
It is exactly what it looks like: keeping Christians out of the public square.
Trinity Western appealed that ruling, and our friend John Carpay from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms intervened to help. And hundreds of ordinary Canadians helped chip in to cover the costs.
Well, the Divisional Court sided with bigotry. Their ruling was laughable — you can read it here. They claimed they weren’t being anti-Christian — after all, Trinity Western University could still go ahead and operate a law school! It’s just that their graduates couldn’t work in Ontario. Here’s what they wrote, in paragraph 121:
If TWU wanted to operate its law school for purely religious purposes, it would be content to proceed with its view of the proper law school but with the full knowledge that its students would only be automatically eligible for membership in the Bar of some Provinces, while not of others. 
So the court is saying, they’re not against religious freedom. They’re not banning the school from teaching law students in a Christian environment. No sir! They’re just banning them from working — a totally different thing!
Imagine telling, say, Jewish medical school students they could still get a degree — so no discrimination! — but they just wouldn’t be allowed to work in any hospitals.
This is outrageous.
And do you see the self-reinforcing cycle here? Anti-Christian law society benchers ban Christian lawyers; that ban is upheld by anti-Christian judges. And so a Christian law school is banned — thus tilting the legal profession even more deeply against Christians.
I’m not even Christian myself — I’m Jewish. Maybe that’s why this makes me so mad. There is no difference to me between this anti-Christian bigotry in 2015, and the anti-Jewish quotas in some Canadian universities from 70 years ago.
As you know, we have committed to helping our friend John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Just last week, we sent him our latest cheques — totalling $12,000. Obviously this ruling must be appealed.
The court battle continues in British Columbia and Nova Scotia too — where Trinity Western had a great victory. So all is not lost.
This battle is going to go all the way to the Supreme Court. We’ve got to help make sure that John has the money to fight it all the way to the top. Will you please join with me in contributing to his costs to appeal this outrageous Ontario decision?
Please click here to help. As long as Trinity Western and John keep fighting for us, we’ve got to stand with them.
Yours truly,
Ezra Levant
P.S. Christians around the world are being physically attacked — especially in the Middle East. The least we can do is fight back against this legal persecution of Christians in Canada. Please click here to help.
P.P.S. Please forward this e-mail to all of your friends who care about religious liberty.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

King Edward and William Wallace

The Edward that issued the Magna Carta of 1300, presently at the Canadian Museum of History, is the "Longshanks" (called that because of his imposing height) of Braveheart fame. 

A bit of history….

Alexander III, king of the Scots, died and the legitimate heir to the Scottish crown was Princess Margaret of Norway. Edward saw a way to exert control over Scotland by negotiating a marriage between Margaret and his son and heir, the future Edward II. Although he was the feudal lord of the Scottish kings through his Anglo-Norman roots, he was not the sovereign of Scotland. Awkwardly, Margaret died in 1290 en route to England. This led to a disputed succession in Scotland with no less than thirteen different claimants. Edward exerted his right as feudal lord to intercede. His unwelcome interference led to a rebellion in Scotland, notably under the leadership of William Wallace (“Braveheart”).  Wallace defeated the English Army at Stirling and harassed the northern counties of England. Edward defeated Wallace at Falkirk in 1297 but the resistance continued until Wallace’s capture and execution in 1304.

It is interesting to note that Edward reissued Magna Carta during the time of Braveheart.

Edward I, "Longshanks"

William Wallace, "Braveheart"

Magna Carta

On Monday we went to see the Magna Carta exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History. Understandably, they did not allow any photography of the two charters (Magna Carta and Charter of the Forests).

The importance of Magna Carta cannot be overstated. Among the key principles are:
  • Nobody is above the law of the land: The basis of equal justice at all levels of society.
  • Habeas Corpus: Freedom from unlawful detention without cause or evidence.
  • Trial by jury: Rules to settle disputes between barons and the Crown established trial by a jury of one’s peers.
  • Women's rights: A widow could not be forced to marry and give up her property – a major first step in women's rights.
  • TaxationNo taxation without the consent of the people.
The Charter of the Forests provided rights, privileges and protections for the common man against the abuses of the aristocracy. At a time when the lands were the most important potential source of fuel for cooking and heating, and of industries such as charcoal burning, as well as of collecting firewood, grazing, or of cutting of turf for fuel, this charter provided a degree of economic protection for free men.

The exemplars on display in Ottawa were issued in 1300 and bear the seal of King Edward I. Durham Cathedral is the keeper of both these charters. 
It was impressive to see the 715-year old documents. The dimensions of Magna Carta are about 18" by 20", and the Charter of the Forests is a bit smaller. 

If you wonder whether these documents are important, just ask yourself whether you'd rather live within the Anglosphere (UK, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) or in any of Saudi Arabia, Syria, China, Russia, Nigeria, etc. 

(John Robson has a good article on Magna Carta here.)

Charter of the Forests

Magna Carta