You can have your faith — or you can have a job.
But you can’t have both.
This increasingly is the position of secular Western elites, and it’s well epitomized by the Canadian government, say critics, who complain that the Justin Trudeau regime is discriminating against Christian organizations and students in its Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program.
At issue is that applicants for the CSJ, which offers $200 million a year to hire 70,000 students seasonally, must now essentially attest that they’ll accept the prenatal infanticide and “transgender” agendas. Moreover, Dr. Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College and School of Graduate Theological Studies and the Evangelical Association, told The New American in an interview that it isn’t just religious employers that would have to sign the “attestation.” Students desiring summer jobs would have to as well, he says.
As Maclean’s reports, applicants must attest that their “core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights.” This sounds innocuous enough, but the government then specifies that these rights “include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”
This means, apparently, that a CSJ-funded church summer camp for kids couldn’t refuse to hire a cross-dresser as a counselor and must, in the least, attest that prenatal infanticide is a “right.”
The Trudeau government is now trying to massage this, claiming it’s not “about beliefs or values.” In fact, Employment Minister Patty Hajdu actually says that the CSJ demand shouldn’t conflict with most religious organizations’ “core mandates.” As she puts it, rationalizing to the hilt, “For example, the core mandate of the Catholic church — you can look it up — it’s around spreading the word of God and Jesus Christ,” reports Maclean’s. My, by this logic, abolitionist antebellum churches should have had no trouble signing a pro-slavery pledge; I mean, they could still preach the gospel to those in bondage.
While one hesitates to contradict someone with the theological acumen of a government bureaucrat, the Catholic Church disagrees. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops protested the CSJ demand, calling it an “obvious and regrettable infringement of freedom of conscience and religion.” Other Catholic organizations and priests have expressed similar sentiments; the Catholic Register announced, “It’s official… pro-lifers are second class citizens”; and Dr. McVety said that the demand was akin to President Trump making receipt of government funds dependent upon a pledge to support the Second Amendment.
Yet the CSJ demand is actually part of an old strategy. As a Hungarian tour guide once explained, related writer Jonathon van Maren, about how her country’s Marxists “dealt” with Christians: “It wasn’t that you couldn’t be a Christian, she said. You could pray at home, worship at home with your family, even get baptized and go to church. However, you had a choice. ‘You could either be a Christian,’ she told us, ‘or you could be successful.’”
We’ve seen this today with the governmental persecution of bakers, wedding planners, florists, and other businessmen for refusing to participate in faux weddings; with proposals to disallow lawyers who express Christian views from practicing their profession; and with the California Supreme Court’s decision (rescinded after the Boy Scouts bent on homosexuality) prohibiting judges from being affiliated with the Boy Scouts, to cite just a few examples. And now we even see it with Christian students who want a summer job so they can finance their college dreams.
Unavoidably, though, when Big Brother pays the piper, it will call the tune. Here’s what happens: Government forcibly extracts resources from the people via the legalized theft known as excessive taxation. Yet since money represents the ability to accomplish things, to transfer money from the private to the public sector is to transfer the capacity to accomplish things from the private to the public sector. In the CSJ case, instead of private entities perhaps funding the summer jobs in question, the government now does it — and thus uses the stolen money as leverage to enforce its orthodoxy.
Of course, there’s a tendency to say that there “shouldn’t be an ideological test for jobs,” but this misses an important point.
There’s always such an ideological test.
For example, being a known Nazi has always been an impediment to employment, and being a Marxist sometimes still is. This type of discrimination would largely be effected by the private sector and served as an added social stigma against embracing evil. The problem now is that, with good called bad and bad called good, Christian views are being stigmatized.
In other words, stigmas are unavoidable because they’re the corollaries of values; valuing certain things means devaluing their opposites (e.g., valuing industriousness means devaluing laziness). And every society values certain things. The only question is whether it will value — and hence stigmatize — the right or wrong things.
The lesson here is that traditionalists can’t lose the culture and the entities shaping it — the media, academia, and entertainment — and expect to keep legitimate rights. If you don’t control the culture, the culture will control you.