I have been encouraged to “write” more as I go along.  I take that as a compliment though in truth I struggle.  I am given to oral communication.  I am a preacher.  But, having written a ton of monthly pastoral newsletters over the last 5 years many have said they support my gift to put words to paper/screen.  So, here goes the first of a hopefully monthly journal entry on our BGCC web site.   

This month’s topic is Government Actions, and Our Reactions.”   Our American cousins have a strong wall of “separation of church and state”.  Senators Obama and McCain have been crossing it back and forth as they work their candidacy for the president’s chair.  Interestingly, when the church tries to influence public policy there is a hue and cry from the establishment pushing them back but it’s okay to seek the church’s involvement when the shoe is on the other foot.     

Canada has a different ethos.  Churches have always had a conversational relationship with the government.  It stems back to the founding days of our nation when the Roman Catholic Church had a huge influence on the operation of our land (not just their churches) but even the Protestant Christians felt it was their privilege and responsibility to engage in public discourse with a “religious viewpoint”.  The genius was—it was always a conversation where solutions were hammered out considering all viewpoints.  The fact that an influencer came from a religious viewpoint did not silence his voice but his opinion was always measured in the court of public discourse as to what was best for all Canadians.  (Read Rev. Tommy Douglas into this anecdote and consider his cause to provide medicare for ALL Canadians).   

I say the above to say that we as Christians do have a voice in public affairs, especially as our voice reflects not only our own needs, but even as our voice reflects what could be best for all needs.   

Two things come to mind:  Henry Morgantaler’s appointment to  the Order of Canada, and the recent decision of the CRTC to approve a Canadian Porno Channel for operation in the next year.  I am disappointed by both, but have a differing level of reaction to both.   

On Henry Morgantaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada, yes, I am only a little disappointed.  I realize it was made by a small selection committee.  I realize it has been strongly opposed by thousands of Canadians.  I realize it was because he helped promote the decriminalization of abortion and that has had huge consequence on our country.  But, stop right there.  If Morgantaler had not done what had he done—where would we be?  Would we still have a plethora of back alley abortions?  Would we still have children and women being brutally handled?  Is our Canada even a little better now?  We as Christians deplore the atrocities being done on the unborn, and rightly so.  But did we deplore it when it wasn’t in the public eye?  Did we deplore it when women were scarred, even decimated by unqualified, unsanitary engagements?  Let’s be consistent here.  If we truly want to energize on this issue, I wouldn’t energize on Henry Morgantaler too much,  I’d energize on behalf of our Crisis Pregnancy Centres, our help for unwed mothers centres, our caring for women raising children in difficult circumstances rather than choosing to end their pregnancy early.  I’d hold my nose and nod politely on this one.   

On the establishment of a 24 Hour Porno Channel featuring 50% Canadian talent, that one lights me up a whole lot more.  Are we serious?  I know it’s a pay per view channel.  But the very thought of it makes my blood pressure rise.  Are we not as Canadians saying that sexuality is just another form of physicality and is designed for entertainment in the same way that WWE, UFC, and hockey games are offered to the paying customer?  As a religious viewpoint, informed and influenced by my reading of the Bible and God’s intention for marriage, morality and sexuality, I have to say—this is BAD for Canada.   

I have counseled with women recovering from the sex trade industry.  Trust me.  It’s not benign.  I have sat with men trying to recover from their addiction to pornography.  It’s not easy.  I have seen the devastation on marriages and relationships.  Don’t try to call this one good—for anyone.  Except maybe the marketers and developers of this pernicious channel and their programmers.   

As a Canadian, with a religious viewpoint.  I am opposed.  To those that make these kinds of decisions, rediscover your moral compass.  If you have lost yours give me a call.  I can loan you mine.