It’s a joke. It really, truly is. But unfortunately, not everyone gets it.
Pushers for Trinity Western and its faith-based law school – which is an oxymoron up there with civil war and old news – would like you to believe this whole deal is about religious freedom.
Yes, because the Christian university – which exists and has for some time – is somehow being squeezed out of God’s silky robes just because it’s forced to join the 21st Century. Yes, because the real victims here are the administrators who are preaching one religion as the only way. Somehow, in their world without religious choice, we’re supposed to slide them over some sympathy.
Because nothing says freedom like forced obedience.
Trinity Western’s supposed case isn’t just an insult to gay students who now – if they won’t pretend to pledge allegiance to a witch-hunting, baiting, ancient and shameful code of moral conduct, if the school ever gets approved – have one less academic option in a country with too few law schools and too many applicants.
It’s also an insult to our common sense. To any sense at all.
And to our system of law. To our system of right and wrong and, really, that’s what the law is supposed to be for. Isn’t it? Or is that too idealistic of me?
How can any law school be able to create, foster, and spit out our next generation of paralegals (because, at this point, would you expect any TWU grad to pass or be eligible for a bar exam?) when it doesn’t hold our values?
Not just Canadian values but simple human-to-human values.
TWU has insisted it isn’t discriminating against gay people – casually sliding that part of the debate down its inverted pyramid so it can blather on about religious freedom in an open, democratic country like Canada – because its stance on them is essentially, “Go somewhere else.”
Donald Sterling said the same thing about another demographic recently. I remember we were all pretty pissed about that.
But now it’s not just about pure homophobia or even decency. Because now it’s about religion, and nothing makes us pause and pretend to consider every angle like some good old fashioned Jesus.
Whatever your religion – and, if you can’t tell, I’m in the None category – you can’t pretend this is about whoever you’re praying for or whatever book you subscribe to. Nobody’s religious freedom is being threatened… only their personal freedom is. Only.
This is about people. It always is. Gay people, straight people. People.
Trinity Western refuses to acknowledge that because it’s afraid of what it doesn’t understand – and really, isn’t that what drives people to church anyway?
We’re scared when we’re in trouble, so we pray. We’re scared when the Canucks trail late in the third, so we pray. We don’t know what happens when we die, so we pray it’s okay when it comes. Because we’re scared of anything that isn’t in front of us, and so we chuck up our hands and tell ourselves someone is listening. Someone has to be listening. This all can’t be random. It can’t be as simple as it really is. The world wouldn’t be that cruel, would it?
It’s this self-conscious fear that drives us to selfish prescriptions. And then we justify the awful stuff that’s really in our heart and we tell ourselves and others like us that we’re noble because we believe, not for what we believe.
It’s not courageous to be Christian. It’s certainly not courageous to be a Christian school – same goes for other Bible-thumping, diploma-printing, creationist-preaching institutions like Liberty or Bob Jones in the United States. Like Bill Maher said, “Target sells pizza. That doesn’t make it a restaurant.” And don’t think I didn’t realize that Bob Jones University is anacronym’d to B.J.U.
(In Trinity Western’s listed ‘Core Values’, Trinity Western doesn’t even acknowledge the Big Bang or evolution. “God called the cosmos into existence by His Word and keep it in existence,” the school’s decree reads. “In Jesus Christ all things hold together and are sustained.” It then goes on to applaud itself for teaching “respect for the dignity of humans”… well, except for one group of humans, of course.)
But it’s not courageous to not be Christian, either. It’s not courageous to write a column like this.
And it’s not courageous to sh*t on Trinity Western or be opposed to its covenant, because it’s not courageous when it’s obvious.
Something this easy – the clear conclusion that anyone of any sexual preference, any gender, any race, and any religion should be able to practice law anywhere in Canada and attend law school at any law school in Canada, as long as they’re qualified academically and intellectually – is just that.
Bill Maher: Liberty University