Removal of Charitable Status

removal of charitable status

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.”

Katholische Pfarrkirche zum Heiligen Kreuz
Credit: Barry W. Bussey

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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Thoughts on Removal of Charitable Status

  1. Andre Delage

    This is an overview of what to come to Canada if the Liberal Party of Canada leads by Hon. Justin Trudeau if re-elected will legislate if elected…

    Through his leadership, in the summer of 2018, he legislates a condition to be legible for the Summer Jobs program. The applicant had to attest that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights (abortion), and the right to be free from discrimination based on sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. As if the Charter of Rights and Freedom did not suffice, Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to ensure control over those who oppose his definition of moral code values and sexual behaviour choice values. As a result, over 1500 charities refused to sign on to the program and were not granted the fund to support their summer project. Over 100 were refused under the new 2019 terms and conditions… only a few recognized the ruse.

  2. Ed & Wanda Chipeur

    Thank you for your extensive work on this. May God bless you and the book to get the message to the right people.


    Thank you for your interest and work on these timely matters. As you can see the popular vote was not reflected in the party that is now forming the government. I believe Western Canada & parts of the east spoke loudly in their votes, yet, in- fact, we do not seem to have any impact.

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