The Story: Two Toronto churches are housing hundreds of refugees after government shelters turned them away due to overcrowding. Despite only having funding for 500 refugees, a recent influx has the City of Toronto seeking space for 3,000. As a result, the City has been turning asylum-seekers away from public shelters since June. Once the story broke, two local churches began providing food, hygiene, shelter, and transportation to hundreds of refugees—some of whom had been sleeping on the street for over a month. The Federal Government has promised additional funding but the capacity crisis remains unsolved.
The Significance: This story has two primary takeaways. First, the Federal Government’s mismanagement of this capacity shortage shows the importance of holding governments to account for their politically-motivated commitments. Since 2015, the Federal Government has advocated for compassionate-sounding immigration policies that generate good publicity. However, compassionate words and compassionate actions are two very different things and welcoming refugees into a country without any means of providing for their welfare is not compassion—its cruelty. Platitudes are not more valuable than people.
Second, this effort demonstrates that local churches operating as the hands and feet of Jesus is the most effective method of demonstrating compassion. Cardus, a Christian think tank, has produced multiple studies showing the tremendous social value of local churches—providing social benefits far more efficiently than any government program.
The Story: An LGBTQ activist group is lobbying the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to make drag queen story hour mandatory for Toronto students. As a result, pressure is mounting for the TDSB to end a policy which currently allows parents to remove their children from Pride-related activities at school. Michael Ain, the president of Toronto Pflag, penned a letter stating, “This policy is outrageous. [The storytime opt-out policy] panders to the dangerous and wrong-headed belief that a drag queen reading a story hurts children. It is dangerous as it ‘others’ 2SLGBTQ+ people, including the storyteller, and almost certainly some of the students and staff.” According to a statement, the TDSB is working to “determine a path forward.”
The Significance: By demanding conformity to the values of a single group, Canadian public schools have lost any meaningful claim to truly public education. This shift demonstrates the myth of secular neutrality. A society will either align itself with the order of God’s created reality or stand in direct opposition to that reality—there is no such thing as a public square completely devoid of moral claims and personal values. Human beings are created for worship and, because of sin and apart from God’s saving grace, will pay homage to ideological idols. Christians should stand against the idolatrous religion of modern sexuality and refuse to delegate the education of their children to those who are opposed to both faith and reality.
Read More: Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews, “LGBT activists urge Toronto school board to force children to attend drag queen story hour”
The Story: Recently released audio footage reveals a Windsor Public School teacher berating her majority-Muslim class for their boycott of the school’s Pride celebration. In the recording, the teacher can be heard rebuking Northwood Public School students’ “incredible show of hatred.” The teacher also revealed that the school’s administration retaliated against the student body by increasing the visibility of Pride paraphernalia in the school building following their failure to attend Pride activities.
The Significance: Rather than simply teaching children to read, write, and calculate, many Canadian public schools are promoting open hostility toward any religion that competes with ascendant progressive orthodoxy. Despite its seeming inconsistency with progressive demands for “tolerance,” however, this denigration of religion is necessary for the LGBTQ movement. False belief systems often rely on coercion and conformity to propagate the lies that would otherwise be uncovered. By contrast, Christians have no need to leverage the authority of the state to coerce the outward conversion of unregenerate people. Instead, with full confidence in the truth of God’s word and the power of the Holy Spirit, we preach the gospel to a hurting world that needs good news. As we do so, we should ensure that controversial and offensive ideas are allowed to be shared—even by those we deeply disagree with.
Read More: Elie Cantin-Nantel, True North, “Ontario teacher berated Muslim students for skipping ‘Pride Day’”
Read More: Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun, “It’s not hate, parents are concerned about what’s being taught in school”
The Story: MindGeek, the Canadian-headquartered owner of PornHub, has submitted a request to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) arguing that pornography is not Canadian content and should not be regulated under the recently-passed Bill C-11, which grants the federal Government sweeping power to regulate explicitly “Canadian” content. The statement argues: “as elemental as explicit adult entertainment is to the human condition, it is not an expression of Canadian cultural identity that Canadians expect the federal government to protect.” An exemption would allow PornHub to avoid maintaining a Canadian-produced content quota on their platform.
The Significance: Anti-exploitation advocates such as Senator Julie Miville-Dechenne and MP Arnold Viersen have repeatedly asked the Federal Government to regulate PornHub over their failure to regulate online child exploitation content. So far, the Liberal Government has failed to act. Thankfully, however, the unintended consequences of an entirely unrelated bill appear to be having a negative effect on PornHub’s balance sheet—creating an apparent win that anti-exploitation advocates didn’t even ask for. This is a reminder of the importance of wisdom and shrewdness in political decision making. Without abandoning principle, Christian legislators and voters should work hard to find strategic ways of effecting change in Canadian society.
Read More: Cosmin Dzsurdzsa, True North, “Porn platforms argue they are not Canadian content and should not be regulated”
Cardus releases new report on Canada’s fertility rate.
Canadian faith-based think tank Cardus has released a report showing the connection between religious practice and positive fertility rates. In a society facing both secularization and alarmingly low birth rates, this study is an important project. You can read the full report here.