US. Presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke, is calling for the removal of religious organizations charitable status that does not support same-sex marriage. This is a strange but not unexpected development in the antipathy toward those groups with traditional teachings on marriage and who are pro-life.
Unfortunately, there is considerable appetite for the same policy here in Canada. We saw this most blatantly in the arguments of the Canadian Bar Association at the Supreme Court of Canada during the Trinity Western University Law School case. I have written an extensive chapter about this in a new book being published in January 2020, entitled: “The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law.”
The argument is that government should not be “supporting” religious organizations that “discriminate”. “Support” is defined as government approvals for these organizations, for example: government accreditation of universities as in the case of TWU, and the granting of registered charitable status.
This will effectively shut some religious organizations down completely – for example a religious university that cannot issue accredited degrees.
Recognizing this as the next battlefield faced by religious organizations with traditional moral views I have been busy over the last year working with a number of academics crafting arguments supporting religious charities. Religious communities must be informed of what their opponents are arguing and how to respond effectively. A resource is badly needed.
In order to maintain diversity in this country we need freedom – religious freedom. Such freedom allows us to hold different views from others based on our religious conviction without fear of hindrance or reprisal. What is being advocated is not freedom but tyranny – believe the way we do or else! Once government takes away its “approvals” – what will come next once the religious organizations fail to dissolve to their liking?
“The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law,” published by and peer reviewed by Anthem Press is the result of our work.
Going with an academic press meant the book is a bit more expensive than if we self-published. However, given the importance and timeliness of this subject and the need that our arguments receive the best possible exposure in the academic as well as the general public we thought this was the best way forward.
I encourage the religious community to pull together and distribute as many copies of this book as possible so that religious charity administrators, pastors, clergy, and CEOs, are educated and informed of the arguments against religious charities and have a resource to rebut them.
We can expect a powerful media and political campaign to belittle the religious community that maintains traditional moral views. The cry for the de-platforming and silencing of those charities will become deafening. The time to be prepared is now.
Book Title: The Status of Religion and the Public Benefit in Charity Law
Publishing Date: January 15, 2020
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If you sign up now we will send you a free chapter by email. Dr. John Pellowe’s “The Public Benefit of ‘Advancing Religion’ as a Charitable Purpose” gives the latest research on the important role religious organizations play in our communities.
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