'Religious exemption' on Canada's guillotine

'Religious exemption' on Canada's guillotine

'Religious exemption' on Canada's guillotine

Unless members of Canada's legislative branch vote to retain a religious exemption in the criminal code, public expressions of biblical truth on sexuality may land Christians in jail.

Members of Canada's Parliament are considering a bill that could come close to silencing Christians in the public sphere. David Cooke of the Campaign Life Coalition explains the thrust of Bill C-367.

"It's going to enable the police to charge pastors and Christians in general with hate crimes if they speak out against certain things [on which] they share their biblical beliefs … like drag queens or sharing what the Bible says about marriage or sexual purity," he tells AFN.

Specifically, the measure would eliminate the "religious exemption" in Section 319 of the country's Criminal Code, which states: "No person shall be convicted of a [hate crime] offence … if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text."

In other words, should C-367 become law, Christians uttering a defense of their faith or of biblical truth on a matter would be at risk for being charged with hate crimes and jailed. Cooke wouldn't be surprised to see the bill pass.

"Generally, our society is moving farther and farther away from God. It's been on this trajectory for a long time," he laments. "The person who is proposing the bill, Bloc Québécouis leader Monsieur Blanchet, has said we are in a secular country and there's really no room for public expression of religious views."

Cooke's organization describes the measure as an "opportunistic and cynical ruse" that would allow prosecution of Christian pastors and laity who preach biblical truths about human sexuality. It also warns that "in time, government authorities will also prosecute Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams when they express traditional sexual ethics."

Campaign Life Coalition has already launched a public information campaign asking Christians to stand up for what they believe and urge members of Parliament to drop the bill.