Shellfish, Tattoos and Sacrifices

By Amy Beange

I attended a pub night for secularists once and was confronted with a question about why I, as a Christian, did not follow the laws of the Old Testament. 

It’s an important question because we Christians ground our faith in revelation, the words of God given in a book that’s open for anyone to read. We can’t argue that the Christian faith has nothing to do with the Old Testament, so how do we answer this question without being accused of trying to weasel out of doing things that are simply inconvenient or old-fashioned?

First, it must be stated that Christianity and Judaism do not compare to one another like two similar animal breeds living together in the same pasture. Rather, Christianity is more like Judaism fully evolved, and the New Testament is the second half of what in popular fiction is called a duology; it is the completion of a single story left hanging at the end of the first book.

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But to fully understand, we need to start with creation—how God originally made the world as a habitat for humanity, a place He devised where we could know Him and enjoy Him forever under the banner of prosperity and righteousness. We also need to remember how that harmonious relationship was ruptured by our first parents’ rejection of God in the Garden.

God would never have remained content with such a state of affairs, however, and (Him being God, and all) He had established a plan to solve the alienation problem “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Human sin needed human atonement and in time we would discover that God intended to atone for us Himself (1 Peter 1:18-19).  But He would not do this by simply parachuting into history and confronting an unprepared humanity. 

Instead, God chose one man, Abraham, with whom He made a covenant (Genesis 15:18, 17:2) in which God promised to Abraham that he would become the father of a nation—known today as the Jews. Within the context of this nation God would reveal His intentions and character, and it was in this nation that God would Himself eventually appear to personally deal with sin.  

To recap, God chose Abraham and his descendants the Jews. At the right time He revealed His power to them and the rest of the world by rescuing the Jews from slavery in Egypt and leading them to a land in which they could settle and multiply under His care.  It was the establishment of this new nation that is the basis for all the Old Testament laws.  

Speaking of laws, the Ten Commandments and the moral code found in the opening chapters of Exodus function as a sort of national constitution for ancient Israel. In other words, Exodus was written in part to declare that this particular God (Yahweh, Ex. 3:13-14) chose this particular people group (Abraham’s descendants) to bless them and prosper them in exchange for their obedience and loyalty. Note how the commandments set the stage—God’s laws are not arbitrary but are grounded in the identity of the God who chose them; “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2-3).

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The laws explained what God required and how the people needed to relate to Him in order to deal with the sin that had alienated humans from Him ever since Adam. They also functioned as the means of governing this new civil society: how people were to behave toward one another in matters of property, marital relations, interpersonal conflict, and so on.  

On a certain level the Old Testament is not applicable to Christians simply because we are not Jews living in the ancient theocratic nation of Israel, just as Canadians are not required to abide by American laws.  

But we need to go further by explaining the nature of the relationship God inaugurated with the Jews. What was His ultimate purpose in doing such a thing? Hints are sprinkled throughout the Old Testament, telling us that building a nation was but a step in a larger plan with two main thrusts: 1) a lasting solution to the problem of sin that 2) would be available to the whole world, not just the Jews. Here’s the plan in synopsis:

  • God tells Eve that a descendent of hers would conquer the tempting serpent (Genesis 3:15).  

  • God tells Abraham that through him and his descendant, “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3)

  • God tells His people through the prophet Ezekiel that someday “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes” (36:26)

  • God speaks through Isaiah of someone to come who would be “wounded for our transgression [and] bruised for our iniquities; the punishment for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed” (53:5)

  • God declares through the psalmist David that as a gift to his Son he would “make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession” (Ps. 2:8).

The animal sacrifices instituted by God in the Old Testament laws present a niggling question; If human sin alienates us from God, how can an animal’s death atone for it? God instituted the animal sacrifices, but there are hints throughout the scriptures that animal sacrifices were never intended to be a final solution, the most obvious being their temporary nature; that is, they had to be offered repeatedly, day after day, year after year, by an unending succession of priests.  

Yet God had said Eve’s seed would “crush the serpent’s head.” If a slaughtered bull was only a temporary measure, what was the ultimate solution? Hence the hints of a person to come, a human being, who would offer himself as a sacrifice for sin. By virtue of His sinless life, Jesus, a Jew fully obedient to the law of Moses, was able to provide such a sacrifice through His death on the cross, His resurrection testifying to its sufficiency.

Christ thus serves as the archetypical man; the one who kept the law of Moses perfectly, fulfilling all of its stipulations and offering that perfect life as a sacrifice that could be applied to the sins of any man.

Once someone actually kept the whole law and offered himself as the supreme sacrifice, the system under which Jesus lived was fulfilled and set aside. Relationship with God was now available to anyone who believed in Christ and took His sacrifice as his own. If you ever wonder why Christians do not sacrifice either bulls or sheep, it’s because once Christ had offered Himself, such sacrifices were no longer needed. Moreover, those who believe in Christ are spiritually “in” Him and form His body, the church.

It’s important to note that unlike the Jews, this new community was never to be a new political entity, but a spiritual body made up of people from many nations. The Church, as the church, would not concern itself with civil laws. Rather, Christians were enjoined to uphold the law of love that all along had been the foundation of the Ten Commandments (it’s all explained in Romans 13), but beyond that they were to be subject to the laws of whatever nation they happened to belong. The Church would not seek to punish those who broke civil laws. Its discipline was to be maintained only for the sake of the body, and the tools of such discipline would be exhortation and excommunication, not the lash or execution.

In conversing with others about why we don’t follow Old Testament laws, Christians must explain that, rather than showing true and consistent faith, following those laws would show a regression. Those laws governed the ancient theocratic nation of Israel and instructed them in the concept of atoning sacrifice while they awaited the Messiah. His coming fulfilled the laws, once for all, and now we move forward in obedience to Him. Would adhering to medieval standards of justice make one a better citizen of Canada? Of course not, because we have found new ways of dealing with our society. Just so, Christians are no longer required to sacrifice animals and should feel free to get tattoos, eat shellfish and wear mixed fiber clothing—if that’s what they want.  Because Christ, who has given us eternal life, has given us that liberty.

To Edmonton City Council: Conversion Therapy

The following is the written response to Edmonton City Council, regarding their decision to consider banning “conversion therapy.” A similar presentation was given to the city subcommittee examining the issue on August 21, 2019. The ban was approved on August 27th, 2019 with the language of the ban still being worded.

a) Defining Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy has become an important national issue. On April 9th Senator Serge Joyal introduced Bill S260 in the Canadian Senate, which, if passed, would ban conversion therapy across Canada.  The Bill defines conversion therapy as “any practice, treatment or service designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or to eliminate or reduce sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the same sex.” It may be difficult at first glance to see the long-term problem with such a definition. Here’s the problem. The Bill’s definition is so broad that while it covers coercive counselling practices such as electroshock therapy, it also covers something as unremarkable as a discussion about same-sex attraction between consenting adults. In other words, it potentially bans any actions by trained counsellors who believe sexual orientation can change, and it would prevent adults who choose to reject their same-sex attractions from finding the counselling and support they seek.

Even those who support this point of view agree. In public statements, as well as in his own submission to the Edmonton City Council subcommittee last week, MacEwan University professor and LGBTQ activist Kris Wells stated that S260’s broad definition of conversion therapy can even include something as innocuous as simply praying over someone to change their sexual orientation. Or, as he put it, “praying the gay away.” A ban on conversion therapy, then, may include simply praying for someone as a show of support for their choice not to act on their sexual attractions to the same sex. Clearly there is a world of difference between a coercive, harmful practice and praying for someone who has consented to those prayers. Yet according to S260 advocates, both would be banned once the bill is passed.

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Councilors may be tempted to question why governments are being asked to pass legislation that so openly violates Canadians’ Charter guarantees of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. In response opponents of conversion therapy raise two concerns that in their view trump everything else. First, members of the LGBT community claim that many of them have been victimized by counsellors who physically, verbally and spiritually abused them. Some say they were coerced to get counselling against their will. Their second concern is that conversion therapy questions the existence of a gay identity. From their point of view conversion therapy exists because of the belief that homosexuality is a disorder to be treated.  It is their view that anyone seeking to change sexual orientation is contemplating an action analogous to changing their natural height or skin color. Thus, it follows that anyone offering conversion therapy is spreading false hope and should be considered guilty of bogus advertising. 

By conflating these two concerns, opponents of conversion therapy end up targeting the kind of coercive practices that even the founders of “conversion therapy” oppose, as well as therapy chosen by consenting adults who no longer desire to act on their same-sex attractions.

A proper definition of conversion therapy by those who actually practice it, shows just how difficult it is to ban a practice using broad and overly inclusive terms. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who coined the term, “reparative therapy” (used interchangeably with conversion therapy) says it refers to the repair of emotional wounds through the therapeutic process. As to the principles of this form of counselling, he writes:

First, as with all good therapy, Reparative Therapy (RT) never involves coercion. The client has come to the therapist seeking assistance to reduce something distressing to him, and the RT psychotherapist agrees to share his professional experience and education to help the client meet his own goal. The therapist enters into a collaborative relationship, agreeing to work with the client to reduce his unwanted attractions and explore his heterosexual potential. This collaborative relationship could not, of course, include imposing methods or techniques attempting to “cause” sexual-orientation change—which would, anyway, be quite impossible. (1)

On the sensitive question of young people being brought to the counsellor by worried parents, Nicolosi makes it clear that the only thing that counts, the only thing that works, is the autonomous self-motivation of the person seeking help:

Creating bylaws to prevent counselling for consenting adults leads to the absurd situation that two consenting adults can engage in any sexual activity they choose but those same adults could not talk about those sexual practices within a counselling relationship.

Sometimes, the client does not know what he wants, as is often the case with the teenager asked to come into treatment by his parents. In those cases, if the teenager does decide to come in, we agree NOT to work on his homosexuality, and the therapeutic alliance is founded upon some other of the client’s goals, such as managing parental disapproval without family breakup, or dealing with problems of peer rejection. (2)

Another leading therapist, Dr. David Pickup, writes:

Did you know that eliminating shame for having homosexual feelings is one of the very first priorities of authentic Reparative Therapy? Aversion techniques, behavioral-only changes, coercive attitudes, electroshock and the like are NOT a part of authentic Reparative Therapy. Truly effective therapy is hard work. Deep emotions are experienced, and wounds are healed. This can, in time, result in spontaneous and successful change.(3)

The professional association to which both Dr. Nicolosi and Dr. Pickup belong is the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity. It clearly rejects any coercive methods and makes this statement on the right of individuals to seek professional help, free of harassment by the state:

The Alliance respects each client's dignity, autonomy and free agency. We believe that clients have the right to claim a gay identity, or to diminish their homosexuality and to develop their heterosexual potential … "Tolerance and diversity" means nothing if it is extended to activists and not traditionalists on the homosexual issue. (4)

The originators of the term, “conversion” or “reparative” therapy themselves, reject coercion, forced therapy or electroshock therapy. Any such practices are likely already illegal or at the very least discouraged by any professional governing bodies. 

b) Committing “Fraud”

Is it truly fraudulent to believe that sexual orientation can change? The facts actually show that sexual orientation is a spectrum and many Canadians fall between purely heterosexual and purely homosexual.

Two years ago, Vice.com covered a report by trend forecasting agency, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group. It found thatonly 48 percent of Gen Zs, individuals under 20, identify as exclusively heterosexual, compared to 65 percent of millennials aged 21 to 34. On a scale of zero to six, where zero signified "completely straight" and six meant "completely homosexual," more than a third of the young demographic chose a number between one and five, indicating that they were bisexual to some degree. Only 24 percent of their older counterparts identified this way.(5)

California psychologist Dr. Christopher Rosik adds that large numbers of young non-heterosexual women, and (to a slightly lesser extent) non-heterosexual men, report fluidity in their sexual attractions and identities (Katz-Wise, 2014; Katz-Wise & Hyde, 2014), which typically first begin before the age of 18. He says, “I find it especially of interest that men who had experienced fluidity believed sexuality was changeable much more than men who did not experience fluidity, who tended to believe that sexuality was something a person is born with.” Dr. Rosik suggests those who oppose, “conversion therapy” are those who do not experience sexual fluidity.

This raises the possibility many non-heterosexual male activists who fight against a client’s right to pursue professional care for unwanted same-sex attractions are men who have not experienced change and who assume that this is the case for all non-heterosexuals. Therefore, they may erroneously assume that all claims of change must either be lies or self-deception. (7)

If Dr. Rosik is right, then a “conversion therapy” ban is pushed by those who don’t experience sexual fluidity but want to force their experience onto those who have a more fluid identity. If this is the case, then a ban won’t actually protect sexual minorities but favours some over others.

For example, the Canadian Psychological Association admits:

The Canadian Psychological Association also recognizes that individuals differ in the fluidity of their sexual attractions across the lifespan (Rust, 1993; Spitzer, 2003; Diamond, 2007), but does not view such naturally occurring fluidity as supporting arguments in favour of conversion or reparative therapies. (8)

The last line is interesting because they do not explain how their views can be consistent. If sexual fluidity can happen across one’s own lifespan, then how can someone who experiences “naturally occurring [sexual] fluidity” not benefit from counselling that helps them live out the sexual orientation that they prefer? If a Canadian, for moral or religious reasons, prefers to act on heterosexual feelings, shouldn’t they be able to choose a counsellor who shares their values? As Dr. Rosik explains,

A broadly defined conversion therapy ban would mean that people of faith would not be able to practice as professional counsellors without giving up their religious beliefs.

Although this research is addressing spontaneous changes in same-sex attractions and behaviors rather than change facilitated by professional therapy, the discovery of sexual orientation fluidity to such an extent certainly makes more plausible claims that professional psychological care has contributed to such change for some people. To quote one research group, “People with changing sexual attractions may be reassured to know that these are common rather than atypical” (Dickson et al., 2013, p. 762).

With such changes in same-sex attractions and behaviors occurring all around us, is it reasonable to maintain that the only place where such change can never happen is in the therapist’s office? (9)

There are many examples of people whose lives have been spiritually transformed and who have chosen not to act on their same-sex attractions or who’ve experienced a change in those attractions.

Michael Glatze, was a former gay magazine writer who converted to Christianity and is now married to a woman. His life was documented in the film, I Am Michael. He says:

Coming out of homosexuality has been the most liberating thing I have ever felt. I said before, seven years ago, that it was like coming out of a cave and breathing fresh air. Today I can say, being married, that it’s entirely an inversion of homosexuality … It doesn’t feel as though I’ve lost any of my sexuality, it just is working in the right alignment … I feel aligned with my mind, my body, my spirit, my sexuality, with creation… and that alignment is evidenced through the fact that my relationship with my wife is so real, so natural… (10)

Walt Heyer, who lived as a transgender woman for eight years, is now living as a man and runs a Christian website called sexchangeregret.com. On the site, he says, 

My name is Walt Heyer and in April of 1983 I had gender reassignment surgery. At first I was giddy for the fresh start. But hormones and sex change genital surgery couldn’t solve the underlying issues driving my gender dysphoria. I detransitioned more than 25 years ago. I learned the truth: Hormones and surgery may alter appearances, but nothing changes the immutable fact of your sex. I met a wonderful woman who didn’t care about the changes to my body, and we’ve been married for over 20 years. Now we help others whose lives have been derailed by sex change. (11)

Neither Michael nor Walter would support fraudulent practices to coerce anyone into counselling. However, their experiences show that it is possible to alter one’s homosexual or transgender behaviour and identity, if one so chooses.  


c) Targeting Religious Beliefs

A conversion therapy ban would unduly target people of faith who view marriage between a husband and wife as the only acceptable place for sexual activity. This view is shared by most religious groups and has been taught for thousands of years. In fact, it has formed a core teaching of marriage in the Judeo-Christian world for 4000 years. Across the world a majority of other faiths teach this same point of view and have done so throughout history.

As discussed, a broadly defined conversion therapy ban would mean that people of faith would not be able to practice as professional counsellors without giving up their religious beliefs. To some this may seem trivial, but it must be recognized that this is exactly the kind of discrimination that is opposed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Those who believe such a ban is necessary, argue that a person who believes homosexuality is sinful or harmful should be disqualified from pursuing a counselling career. Why? Because, they say, the Christian or religious counsellor is incapable of being unbiased—or worse, incapable of caring for gay patients. 

Such arguments fail to recognize that this assumption is itself discriminatory and not based on reason. Simple disagreement with a patient’s behaviour or beliefs does not constitute hate, nor does disagreement inevitably lead to harmful practices. Otherwise, counsellors in the opposite situation, where they support same-sex sexual activity and their patient does not, should also be considered incapable of counselling them because of their disagreement. This belief also assumes counsellors cannot be neutral in their practice while holding onto their personal beliefs.

More importantly, patients who choose to go to a counsellor of the same faith, do so because they want a guide who will uphold their values, including their sexual ethics. If patients with unwanted same-sex attractions choose to go to a counsellor who agrees with their beliefs, then wouldn’t the best practice be to let those patients go through the counselling they desire? If it is wrong to coerce a patient to undergo unwanted counselling to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight, wouldn’t it be just as wrong to coerce a patient to undergo unwanted counselling to force them to remain gay? Coercion in either direction would not help the patient in the long run.

In practice, counsellors provide a holistic approach to their clients where they examine every part of their lives; clients are taken far beyond the issues they present in their sessions. This is because there may be connections from one area of life to another that a patient has failed to see. Too broad a conversion therapy ban would leave counsellors afraid to cover key issues of sexuality with their patients. Aware they could risk their licenses by simply exploring sexual issues, they could be tempted to remain silent and not provide the help needed.

As the College of Registered Psychotherapists stated in an open letter to then Ontario Minister of Health Eric Hoskins, “We question, however, whether a legislative mechanism is required to address this matter. We have concerns about a possible ‘chill’ effect if professionals are reluctant, as a result of legislative change, to explore issues of gender identity and/or sexual orientation with their clients—for fear of misunderstandings and possible legal repercussions.”(12)

Besides, creating by-laws to prevent counselling for consenting adults, leads to the absurd situation that two consenting adults can engage in any sexual activity they choose but those same adults could not talk about those sexual practices within a counselling relationship.

A broad ban on conversion therapy could also target religious practices such as prayer. If every practice meant to change someone’s sexual orientation is banned, even prayer would have to be regulated by city officials. If “praying the gay away” is considered a harmful practice akin to shock therapy, as some activists claim, then any prayer against homosexuality could potentially be seen as violating the bylaw. Edmonton’s municipal government would have to regulate the practices of religious Canadians in order to enforce the bylaw, something the Canadian Charter specifically forbids.

Christians view sexuality and gender identity as gifts from a gracious God. However, Christians also believe there is no greater identity than the believer’s identity in Christ. All other identities, including biological traits such as race, sex, cultural practices or sexual orientation, must come secondary to being identified as a follower of Christ. This means, Christians are motivated to pray against any identity that becomes a distraction to their primary identity. For example, Christians believe we ought to ask God to forgive us if we make wealth, social status or family more important than God. Other faith groups hold to similar principles.

Which raises this question: is this the kind of theological discussion that should occupy the time and attention of city bylaw officers? Should bylaw officers become arbiters of religious practices? Should they, for example, be determiners of how Canadians pray? Without a more closely targeted ban, these questions remain unanswered, and Canadians’ religious liberties potentially remain under scrutiny by city bylaw officers. 


d) Results of Banning “Conversion Therapy”

A “conversion therapy” ban would have devastating effects, not just for consenting adults, but also for children. Obviously, older children wanting to see a Christian counsellor would no longer be able to do so, unless the counsellor is willing to compromise his, or her faith. But younger children undergoing gender dysphoria would not be able to receive the help they need either.

Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who headed up the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto for more than 30 years, was ousted in December, 2015—forced out, because many attacked how he helped underage kids understand their gender identity. He said,

I think the term conversion therapy is incredibly inflammatory. . .. I think it’s been inappropriately expropriated from the original use of the term, where it was directed at very conservative, religiously motivated clinicians or pastoral counsellors who were seeing, primarily, homosexual men who didn’t want to be gay. There were lots of problems in trying to offer treatment to change an adult’s sexual orientation—we know that’s a very dubious proposition. But to apply [the term] to [treating] a three-year-old child with gender dysphoria, in my opinion, is an absurd comparison. (13)

One of Dr. Zucker’s many supporters is Alice Dreger, a former professor at Northwestern University, and an expert on transgender issues. She observed that 

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The activists didn’t like Zucker because he never did subscribe to the “true transgender” model of identity, wherein you simply accept what any child (no matter how young) says about his or her gender. The transgender activists who called for his ouster insisted that Zucker was doing “reparative therapy,” trying to talk children out of being transgender when they “really” were. I don’t doubt that these particular transgender adults look back and see that, from very early on, they had been assigned a gender that didn’t make sense for them. The mistake they make is then to assume that every child who expresses doubt about his or her birth gender assignment should simply be “affirmed” by parents and clinicians in their “new” gender.

This is an unbelievably simplistic understanding of what’s going on with these children. Yes, some of them will grow up to be transgender; Zucker and others have documented that, over and over again. But if history is a guide, the majority will not. (14)

PhD psychologist Deborah Soh adds:

[The] exponential growth [in transgendered kids] cannot be due solely to greater awareness about gender diversity. The number of American adults who identify as transgender has doubled in the last ten years to 6 in 1000. The fact that the numbers pertaining to children are showing a tenfold increase or higher in a shorter span of time speaks to other factors being at play.

From a scientific standpoint, transitioning can be beneficial to some adults and children who are post-puberty, but clinicians in the field aren’t able to do their jobs properly anymore, due to the current political climate. Without a proper psychological assessment, many children who are suffering from other mental health conditions—like autism, borderline personality disorder, and trauma, as well as suicidal ideation—are transitioning instead of getting the appropriate support they need. (15)

This help isn’t being offered, Dr. Soh suggests, because of the laws banning “conversion therapy.” As a consequence, many counsellors are beginning to refuse to counsel gender dysphoric children at all. 

Therapy that seeks to help gender dysphoric children grow comfortable in their birth sex (known in the research literature as the “therapeutic approach”) has been conflated with conversion therapy, but this is inaccurate. All of the available research following gender dysphoric children longitudinally shows that the majority desist; they outgrow their feelings of dysphoria by puberty and grow up to be gay in adulthood, not transgender.

Children will say they “are” the opposite sex because that’s the only language they have to express to adults that they want to do things the opposite sex does. Cross-sex behavior has also been shown to be a strong predictor of homosexuality in men. Previous research tells us that even children who are severe in their feelings of dysphoria will desist.


Conclusion

In order to address the needs of all Edmontonions, I urge you to ensure that your ban on conversion therapy be narrowly focused on coercive and professionally discredited practices. If a bylaw must be passed, it should rightly ban anyone who wants to harm people as a professional counsellor. But it should not be defined so broadly that Canadians, gay or straight, feel they no longer have the freedom to talk as they wish to the counsellor of their choice. The right of Canadians to choose their healthcare must be recognized in any motion that deals with conversion therapy.


1 Banning Therapy, Banning Liberty, Dr. David van Gend https://davepellowe.com/banning-therapy-banning-liberty/, Mar 13, 2019.
2 van Gend, 2019.
3 van Gend, 2019.
4 van Gend, 2019.
5 Teens these days are queer, AF new study says, by Zing Tsjeng, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kb4dvz/teens-these-days-are-queer-af-new-study-says, March 10, 2016.
6 Psychologist says same-sex attracted teens can change, Dr. Christopher Rosik, https://stream.org/interview-psychologist-says-gay-teens-can-change/, July 19, 2015.
7 Rosik, 2015.
8 CPA Policy Statement on Conversion/Reparative Therapy for Sexual Orientation, https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Position/SOGII%20Policy%20Statement%20-%20LGB%20Conversion%20Therapy%20FINALAPPROVED2015.pdf.
9 Rosik, 2015.
10 van Gend, 2019.
11 Sexchangeregret.com
12 “Reparative therapy bans rushed into law in MB and ON: Serious implications,” https://arpacanada.ca/news/2015/06/11/reparative-therapy-bans-rushed-into-law-in-mb-and-on-serious-implications-2/, June 11, 2015.
13 Doctor fired from gender identity clinic says he feels ‘vindicated’ after CAMH apology, settlement, Molly Hayes, Globe and Mail, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-doctor-fired-from-gender-identity-clinic-says-he-feels-vindicated/, OCTOBER 7, 2018.
14 Gender Mad, Alice Dreger, https://alicedreger.com/gendermad, Dec 19, 2015.
15 Number of teens seeking treatment for gender dysphoria has increased tenfold since 2010, Lucas Holtvluwer,https://www.thepostmillennial.com/number-of-teens-seeking-treatment-for-gender-dysphoria-has-increased-tenfold-since-2010/, February 2019.
16 The Unspoken Homophobia Propelling the Transgender Movement in Children, Dr. Deborah Soh, https://quillette.com/2018/10/23/the-unspoken-homophobia-propelling-the-transgender-movement-in-children/, October 23, 2018.

Mugged by Fake News

Editor’s note: Once again our friend Tom Bartlett has provided us with a through-the-looking-glass version of reality. In other words, what you are about to read is not only not true, it is the exact opposite of true. Here’s why this is “must reading.” A frighteningly large percentage of Canadians have been brainwashed to believe everything you are about to read. But please don’t view this essay as nothing more than a humorous exercise. This is a wakeup call to stand for the truth. As Paul writes to Timothy, we are “to be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing [our] opponents with gentleness,” so that “Perhaps God will grant them repentance, leading them to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 2:24-25).


By Tom Bartlett

The New York Times recently related the tragic story of Caleb Cain who was rescued from “alt-right” (abbr. for alternative right) media sources which briefly led him along a dark path. Unfortunately, the Times conflates alt-right with trad-con (abbr. for traditional conservative), which is a very different animal. I confess that I too was similarly swept up by not only the siren call of conservatism, but biblical Christianity. Thankfully I have been rescued from the brink and brought back to the quaint familiarity of secular progressivism.

As a caution to any others who may be tempted to swim in these same waters, I offer up my hard-earned wisdom to prevent you from making Caleb Cain’s tragic mistake. To avoid losing years from your life in pursuit of conservative phantasms, it is vital to be regularly reacquainted with the joys of a life grounded in the shifting sands of godless secularism. 

Here we go:

Choice is good when we’re talking about ending a pregnancy, but not for education, health care, private charity, gun ownership, union membership, whimsical regulations, non-approved speech, conscience exceptions, Christmas decorations, Christian businesses practises, codes of conduct for Christian schools, peaceful protest, or any other aspect of life unrelated to hedonistic pursuits.
  • Don’t be fooled into thinking that character matters. Race, gender, sexual identity and wokeness are what are most important. Remember that it is only when we highlight our differences that we can we be truly united. 

  • The family unit is a trap set by the patriarchy to rob women of the freedom to pursue what’s most important in life – career success and sexual autonomy. Marriage and children are obstacles to fulfillment. Sacrificial and unconditional love is for chumps and all men are potential rapists – well, at least the man is a Christ-follower.

  • Government is far better qualified to manage our lives and money than we are. Secular values should always be adopted because they are so inclusive while Christian values should always be rejected because they’re exclusive. With no trace of irony, I’ve also learned that Christianity is weak because it lacks the will to compel everyone to knuckle under to their belief system.

  • It’s not really greed to want the wealthy to pay for all our services and education because others also benefit by soaking the rich. If government isn’t providing something you want, then that is a denial of your rights. Charity is for losers who lack the political clout to have money funnelled into their pet causes.

  • Choice is good when we’re talking about ending a pregnancy, but not for education, health care, private charity, gun ownership, union membership, whimsical regulations, non-approved speech, conscience exceptions, Christmas decorations, Christian businesses practises, codes of conduct for Christian schools, peaceful protest,  or any other aspect of life unrelated to hedonistic pursuits.  

  • Truth is relative and, since objective truth claims violate this standard, then subjective truth is more true than genuine truth. No one can tell me my truth is wrong. However, when your truth doesn’t align with mine, that means you are intolerant. 

  • Religious freedom means anyone is free to practise their faith at home or at their place of worship—for now. But faith, especially Christian faith, must never intrude upon public consciousness. Churches are positive institutions, but only when they renounce scriptural teaching and adapt completely to the prevailing social gospel as identified by the secular left. This type of enforced accommodation to the zeitgeist is not, however, binding on Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Sikhs, new agers, or anyone else recognised as sufficiently having no ties to Christianity. Unlike Christians, they don’t have religious privilege, and so are free to practise as they choose. 

  • Where white men are concerned, we have surpassed traditional notions of blind justice and innocent until proven guilty because these men are privileged. Social justice is not based on irrelevant factors like wage disparity and unsafe workplaces. Rather, social justice is all about the percentages of various classes and races in prison. Jail populations should be redistributed, and convictions should reflect cultural demographics. Insisting “undocumented citizens” could be guilty of committing crimes is racist since we can’t expect those from backward countries to behave civilly. 

  • We on the left are so beyond the days of Jim Crow that we can now recognise segregation is the best way to honour blacks by not forcing them to interact with whites. They naturally feel inferior in the presence of whites, which means we need to promote black achievements so they can feel better about themselves. It’s the least we whites can do for them.

  • Censorship of competing opinions is now a social good since we live in a secular culture. Hearing other points of view can be emotionally upsetting and our growth as a society relies on being compassionate enough to not have our thinking challenged and or our equilibriums disrupted.

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  • Science should never hurt anyone’s feelings. Where the facts may not line up with an individual’s feelings, emotions should be the deciding factor. Eventually the science will follow. In fact, it must follow because science should never hurt anyone’s feelings. We have already determined that Christians rely on blind faith rather than science, so they must be excluded from this conversation altogether. On the other hand, those who don’t believe in God should seek a democratic consensus to determine what constitutes science.

  • It is perfectly reasonable to believe in an uncreated, undirected universe that relied on time, matter and chance until everything evolved enough for scientific and natural laws to take over. To deny this would go against natural laws, logic, and reason that developed over millions of years through an entirely random process.

  • While counterintuitive to some, seeing oneself as a victim is empowering. Victimhood or privilege are not a product of one’s circumstances, actions, or station in life, but are a product of one’s group and political affiliation. After all, only a liberal has the compassion to recognise a victim, or be a victim, thanks to their acuity in calling out conservatives and Christians for their lack of compassion.

I must confess that the damage inflicted from this brief foray into biblical Christian logic can still cause me to read through these points and think to myself: “This sounds like nonsense.” I’m sure that once I spend more time immersing myself in the CBC and listening to celebrity pundits, the fog will lift and my recovery will finally be complete.

Mormons to Study Paul, but Will They “Get” Grace?

By Shafer Parker

I know we’ve said a lot about Mormonism in recent podcasts and blogs, but right now the Mormon world is a boiling soup in which new changes in the religion founded by Joseph Smith bubble to the surface almost faster than they can be recorded. Take the following headline: 3 reasons Mormons don’t know what to do with the Apostle Paul. Mormons believe that families and individuals should study all their holy books, including the Bible, and to that end last year they put forward a new curriculum for adults entitled Come, Follow Me. The problem is, for the first time Paul’s writings will be given more than a passing glance. Over the next three months (August, September, October), the curriculum asks faithful Mormons to follow their leaders through each of Paul’s epistles (Romans through Philemon), and that means they will have to confront Paul’s un-Mormon-like eccentricities, as well as his emphasis on salvation by grace, an aspect of the Christian faith that earlier Mormon leaders have denounced in no uncertain terms.

The 3 reasons article by Religion News Service columnist Jana Riess is a good indicator that while Mormons may approach the New Testament as Scripture, they don’t read it closely enough to understand it. Riess, herself a Mormon, notes that Paul’s ascension to the position of apostle was entirely outside the church’s (read her church’s) usual channels. In other words, he wasn’t part of any form of apostolic succession, and could at first glance seem to be self-appointed. Or as Riess puts it, “Step One: Have a vision of Jesus. Step Two: Stop persecuting Christians and become one. Step Three: Put yourself in charge of the movement you just joined five minutes ago.”

It’s that third step where Riess goes wrong. If you read the first two chapters of Galatians and the book of Acts, you will see that Paul’s rise to prominence in the church took decades, and it did not happen without the support of the most important Christian leaders of the first century, including Barnabas, Peter, James and John. Thanks to these four leaders Paul was explicitly recognized as the one “entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised” (Gentiles), just as Peter was entrusted with the gospel for the Jews (Gal. 2:7). In that same passage Paul mentions something else Mormons don’t understand, that the apostolic call was always dependent upon the energizing authority of the Holy Spirit, recognized by the other apostles as working the same way in both Peter and Paul (Gal. 2:8).  And, lest you think it awfully convenient of Paul to argue this way in his own epistle, don’t forget that in Peter’s second epistle he openly acknowledges Paul’s writings as Scripture (II Peter 3:16). 

For the first time Mormons will give Paul’s writings more than a passing glance. … and that means they will have to confront his un-Mormon-like eccentricities, as well as his emphasis on salvation by grace, an aspect of the Christian faith that earlier Mormon leaders have denounced in no uncertain terms.

Riess also believes Mormons will have a problem with Paul because “he had a knock-down fight with Peter and then wrote about it.” Peter had slipped into an old Jewish habit of separating from Gentile Christians at meals, but Paul saw his behaviour as an open repudiation of the oneness in Christ brought about by the gospel (Gal. 2:14). That’s why Paul rebuked him publicly, and in Mormonism that just isn’t done. Mormon leaders place an extraordinarily high premium on public respect for church leaders, especially at the level of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency. Respect for these men is a necessity, considering that each of them is individually accepted as a "prophet, seer, and revelator" for the church. From time to time these men receive new revelations that carry the force of Scripture, the very word of God. Like the law of the Medes and the Persians, because these revelations supposedly come from God “no edict or ordinance can be changed” (Dan. 6:15). But because Mormon scripture is a man-made thing, it would be devastating to the well being of the church for a Mormon leader to be publicly charged with being wrong about fundamentals of the faith and practice. From the Mormon perspective it is unthinkable that one apostle would publicly rebuke another.

But Christianity is different from Mormonism, and Paul and Peter were nothing like Mormon leaders. In the “faith that was delivered to the saints once for all” (Jude 1:3), Christ alone is Lord of the church, and His Word alone is infallible and unchanging. Peter and Paul may have been empowered from time to time to serve as Christ’s secretaries to put Scripture in manuscript form, but it was never their word. It was always His. That’s why once the New Testament was completed, no further word has been added. Why not? Because no further word will ever be needed.  The Bible is already perfect. Mormonism is exactly the opposite. Because their scriptures (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants) are the creations of men almost every generation has had to come up with a new “revelation” to deal with issues Joseph Smith and succeeding generations of prophets failed to foresee. Instead of seeing themselves as gods-in-the-making as Mormons do, Peter and Paul saw themselves as servants of Christ in the most literal sense possible, and were quite prepared to be corrected, publicly or privately, like any other sinner who is saved only by grace.

Speaking of grace, that’s the third thing about Paul that Mormons will find difficult to digest. As Spiess puts it, Paul “was really adamant about the grace thing.” But Mormons are all about salvation by works. In a sermon preached in 1984 Apostle Bruce McConkie declared that salvation is essentially all works. It begins, he said, with faith and repentance, but these two human acts (graces in Christian theology) only “prepare” a person for spiritual rebirth. Mormon salvation is dependent upon continuing with such necessary works as “baptism under the hands of a legal administrator who has power to bind on earth and seal in heaven” followed by “Enduring to the end in righteousness, keeping the commandments, and living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” McConkie’s grand finale is a quote from the Mormon Scripture known as the Doctrine and Covenants (59:23): “He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” Lest you think doing “the works of righteousness” is anything like Jesus’ definition—“Believe in the one [the Father] has sent (John 6:29)”—here are two further quotes from the same sermon by McConkie. Once read, it should be evident that Mormon salvation is really and truly by works and not by faith. First this: “Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan.” And now this: “The blood of Christ was shed as a free gift of wondrous grace, but the Saints are cleansed by the blood after they keep the commandments.” (Italics added for emphasis)

Even Spiess recognizes that, “This conditional approach to grace runs headlong into Paul.” And then she suggests that perhaps modern Mormonism has moved away from McConkie’s full-on works approach. But her last quote from the new curriculum gives the game away. “Through faithful obedience to the commandments we help to open our hearts to receive grace as ‘an enabling power.’” Did you catch the order in which Mormon salvation is accomplished? First comes “faithful obedience” (works) that will “open our hearts” (self-opened hearts through faithful obedience) to—finally—receive grace as “an enabling power.” The question begs to be asked, “An enabling power for what? The work of faithful obedience has already been done!

Compare this with Paul’s description of grace in Ephesians 2:4-9. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. (Ask yourself, how would a spiritually dead person accomplish “faithful obedience” or “open” their hearts?) You are saved by grace! . . . . For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Italics added for emphasis) 

Please join me in praying that as today’s followers of Joseph Smith study Paul’s epistles over these next three months, God will grant them the power to see that Mormon doctrine contradicts Bible doctrine. Pray that God will cause many to be born again into a living faith.


How Daily Life Challenges the Faith Life

By Ian McKerracher

I am doing a little renovating in the basement of my house. It isn’t a big affair, mostly just moving existing stuff around. The idea is to create space for a multi-generational family home. After the reno is finished, there should be enough living space for my wife and I to live in the basement, while the main part of the house will be given to my daughter, her husband and their two boys.

The development includes moving a couple of walls, changing the bathroom to include a tub instead of a shower, shifting other fixtures around to accommodate a set of cabinets and a stove to make a kitchen, and cutting out a new bedroom window large enough for emergency egress. After a lifetime in the trades, none of this is too difficult.

It’s the paperwork that’s hard. To begin with, I knew I needed a development permit ($152.00), a plumbing permit ($100.00), an electrical permit ($100.00), and a heating permit ($100.00), all of which I was perfectly willing to purchase. I fully understand that permits are necessary to ensure a safe environment for me and my family. This is important stuff, and I was prepared to keep everything legal and safe.

When you think about it, it’s shocking how many people must exert authority over our lives so that we can live in freedom!

There was only one problem, the stove! When city bureaucrats saw we were installing a stove, they automatically assumed we were building a secondary rental suite. That’s when I got a phone call from the city to tell me their version of the “real story”, along with their insistence that I spend thousands of dollars on upgrades, including a separate heating system, separate service meters, separate entrances, and fire-stopping insulation between the floors. All that, plus an extra $350.00 for a different kind of permit. (heavy sigh …)

For the record, I am not complaining, however much I may have something to complain about. The negotiations with the city are not yet done and it is yet to be seen whether the little guy can prevail against City Hall. I’m also aware that out of the vastness of life on planet earth, my story is relatively inconsequential. But an interesting question does arise. What is my Christian duty in the face of the government’s overwhelming might as represented by its omnipotent bureaucratic machine? Seriously, it’s in response to these daily aggravations of life that heroes, martyrs, and legends are made (of course, a lot of these heroes won’t be recognized until after the Resurrection). You see, Christians are supposed to respond to “all things” with a godly response base on a Christian Worldview! We need to remember that we can’t compartmentalize our faith; we’re not allowed to apply sub-Christ-like standards of behaviour when interacting with the world.

Worldwide, we are living in an age that is producing the greatest number of Christian martyrs in history. That means the question of how we behave before authority is becoming more and more important. Too many bad actors are using state power to murder believers, destroy churches, and oppose the gospel any way they can. Here in North America, it certainly isn’t as bad as all that, but there are enough whispers and hints about what’s coming to make people like me more than a little nervous. It is now assumed as fact that we are living in a “post-Christian Culture.” Does that mean the terrifying and deeply saddening circumstances seen elsewhere can come here? We are soothed by voices that tell us that it is impossible for persecution to arise in the open democracy under which we live! We’re further told that to fear a future Christian holocaust in Canada means we must be delusional, suffering from a kind of Martyr Syndrome, or some other such unfounded phobia or neurosis. But there is one obvious problem; the voices mouthing such soothing messages belong to the very people advocating for the incremental take down of the Church in North America.

Most Christians with a Biblical Worldview recognize that we have a duty to support those who have a God-given authority over our lives (Romans 13:1-7). Moreover, I suspect that most of us would agree that legitimate authorities would include police, doctors, teachers, bosses, etc., as well as politicians and the bureaucratic machinery that represents the extension of their power into daily life. When you think about it, it’s shocking how many people must exert authority over our lives so that we can live in freedom.

It is disturbing to realize how little information the Bible gives concerning how to live in a social democracy (fwiw, we’re aware that Canada is technically a federal, constitutional monarchy, but in practice it’s more like a social democracy). Thankfully, however, the Bible gives ample descriptions of the nature of man and the nature of God. Thus, as we seek to plumb the depths of Scripture, we discover the over-arching properties of reality and apply them to specific situations. By the way, this procedure is how you take first steps toward developing a Biblical or Christian Worldview.

One thing you learn as you develop a Biblical Worldview is that for most people, a position of authority becomes a doorway to absolute control. Moreover, this progression is almost impossible to avoid, as  Lord Acton put it so brilliantly some 150 years ago. “Power corrupts,” he said, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This statement immediately commends itself because it is rooted in truth—the truth of experience and the truth of Scripture. It should not surprise us, then, that when dealing with people in a position of authority we discover that they have confused themselves with the position and are totally prepared to exercise their personal power on you!  This confusion can come to a Prime Minister, a Supreme Court Justice, the triage nurse at a hospital emergency room, the person behind the return desk at a big-box store, and, yes, even a bureaucrat in my city’s development office.

Okay…Now let’s talk about my duty as a Christians when faced with this kind of bureaucratic obstinacy. First, we should remain aware that we, too, are sinners and that under the same circumstances we would run the same risk of corruption. Second, we should never lose sight of the Christian’s first order of business, to love the person in power! Losing our self-control, yelling and heaping abuse on a civil servant would simply ruin any future opportunity to share my faith with anyone who might witness my oh-so satisfying tirade. 

But that should not mean giving up all opportunity to speak truth to power. That, too, is our mandate. When faced with unjust laws and regulations, we should not hesitate to try to change things for the better. And where appropriate, we must speak up for the ones who cannot speak for themselves. We must use this amazing freedom of ours for the common good. We need to pay our taxes to ensure that the government can do its job, but with the caveat that we hold them to account for the money we give them. We need to be involved in the political process, in the economics of life, and in the social sphere. 

Christianity is neither for cowards nor the lazy. It never was. Our Lord’s mandate to “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13), includes speaking truth (and Truth) regardless of consequences. We have a mandate to seek freedom for everyone, not just Christians! So, when I have a face-to-face conversation with that woman in the Development office of my city hall, I have to bring my A-game. But then, I should bring my A-game to everyone’s office. Nevertheless, I don’t have to knuckle under to an administrator’s whims. I can pursue my desired ends with the same legal and political pathways open to everyone. But most importantly, I can approach this whole affair like a Christian! From the very bones of my Biblical Worldview, I can LOVE HER!



The Faith of Michael Coren

by Tom Bartlett

Winston Churchill once described Russia as a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” The same could be said of Toronto Star columnist Michael Coren. He is a mystery in part because he might also be considered the male counterpart to poet Ogden Nash’s famous character Mrs. Marmaduke Moore, the woman who changed her religion seven times. Coren may not have changed his religion seven times yet, but he’s catching up. In a July 10 review of Unplanned, a ground-breaking movie that exposes Planned Parenthood’s greed and ethical misconduct, the former Catholic pro-lifer is now writing as a pro-abortion Anglican. 

Coren’s critique of Unplanned and the pro-life movement lacks originality and is rife with leftist tropes. If his brain had been taken over by a pro-abortion meme generator, his review would hardly have read any differently. Worse, his caricatures of the pro-life movement could be expected from an outsider. But part of the enigma of Coren’s sneers is that it wasn’t so long ago he was on the side of the unborn—indeed, one of their most eloquent defenders.

Planned Parenthood’s massive efforts to stifle and block Unplanned only make sense if it truly reveals secrets America’s premier abortion provider doesn’t want exposed.

Coren’s faith journey could hardly be more different than mine. I grew up in a milquetoast church tradition which doubtless mirrored his newfound Anglicanism. Not being a Catholic, my stance on abortion was largely one of indifference. The issue was never raised in my church, so I accepted it as an ideological matter. But based on an auspicious meeting with a pro-life Catholic, I determined to engage in an exhaustive investigation into the ethics of abortion. I decided that if the Catholics were right then there is no greater socially sanctioned evil to be exposed and defeated than abortion (ironically, Why Catholics are Right is a pre-reconversion book penned by Coren). Incidentally, I did not become convinced of Catholicism, but became unabashedly pro-life. The same level of investigation applied to theology has made me a committed evangelical Christian.

Before Coren’s review, I had not followed him for a while and was unaware that he now favoured abortion. But with a little further investigation, it seems to me he has found a home in a professing “Christian” church while holding no views obviously contrary to the cultural zeitgeist. He claims his conversion to the Anglican church was borne of a deepening faith. I can’t help but ask, faith in what? 

Coren’s embrace of the animating spirit of the secular left is a strong “tell” that he is reacting against his own history. Nowhere does the term “pro-life” appear in his article – only “anti-abortion.” Using this negative designation allows him to fulminate over how Unplanned will cause a groundswell of violent attacks against abortion doctors and clinics. Here it should be noted that attacks on abortionists have always been roundly condemned by leading pastors and pro-lifers, with almost none occurring over the last decade. Coren ignores the truth that “pro-life” has come to mean valuing all lives, not just those of the unborn. 

He was apparently unnerved by the Unplanned audience who, in his words were so “engaged” they, “cried, screamed and prayed,” during the film. This became the basis for his ominous intimations that moviegoers were “enraged” and feeling a “palpable anger.” He apparently wants his readers to think the crowds spilling out of the theatres had been transformed into angry mobs ready to tear into the nearest abortionist. Meanwhile, he ignores the possibility that the film is simply very moving. His pernicious attributions are contemptable, and exactly opposite from the pacifism of the pro-lifers as actually portrayed in the film. His implication that the film was throwing rhetorical chum to anti-abortion sharks is even more bizarre, since it come from the man who in the same review denounces the film as sleep inducing and anodyne. It’s amazing he could leave himself so vulnerable as to be on the brink of sleep when surrounded by such a bloodthirsty ravenous crowd of “anti-choicers.” 

What doesn’t find its way into Coren’s critique is the fact that despite determined opposition and a very limited release, “Unplanned” had a highly successful run in the U.S.– achieving fourth place in ticket sales on its opening weekend. Absent were any calls to violence from pro-lifers in the American experience. The only “palpable” incidents of the violence at which Coren hints has come from “pro-choicers” who feel that allowing the film a short run in theatres puts their beloved industry in a poor light. Due to death threats made by pro-abortion activists to theatre owners and staff in our tolerant nation, two Canadian theatres felt compelled to back out.

And what has been the backlash from the so-called angry pro-lifers after the success in the U.S.? Abby Johnson’s organization, “And Then There Were None” received roughly 100 calls from abortion clinic workers seeking to leave their jobs, and many others have indicated they have transitioned from being pro-abortion to being pro-life. This brings us to the crux of the matter. I’ll admit up front that I am not a journalist, nor have I played one on TV like Michael Coren. That said, I do have an interest in truth and an abiding love for others which springs from my deepened faith. This leads me to present the following statements.

  • Once you’ve seen the movie, you will never again doubt that Planned Parenthood is selling abortion, not promoting women’s health. 

  • Planned Parenthood’s massive efforts to stifle and block Unplanned only make sense if it truly reveals secrets that America’s premier abortion provider doesn’t want exposed.

  • There is nothing “pro-woman” about excoriating a female whistle-blower who left her career to go up against an extremely powerful organization with vast political clout.

  • There is no reason to doubt the veracity of Abby Johnson’s story once you learn that despite the financial resources behind Planned Parenthood, its attempt to stifle her legally failed miserably.

Here’s the quandary Planned Parenthood faces. This little film has received widespread media attention precisely because of its strong-arm efforts to keep Abby’s story out of the public consciousness. Planned Parenthood claims the movie’s depictions of abortion are inaccurate, but they can’t be. The man who plays the abortion doctor is a former abortionist who offers public tutorials to show exactly how abortions are carried out. He knows how they are done and certainly would never have allowed himself to be tied to fake propaganda. In fact, hubris is what turned Abby into a pro-life activist. She intended to leave her clinic and go peacefully into obscurity, but PP’s lawsuit (depicted in the film) pushed her into the fray.

To my mind, if a journalist had real doubts about the veracity of Unplanned, he would seek information directly from the source. Planned Parenthood does thousands of abortions every day. Who better to debunk any inaccuracies that may have shown up in the film? On the other hand, if the movie’s graphic photos are indeed accurate, I expect I would try to discredit and silence my opponents using the very strategies we have seen PP employ. 

Coren bemoans the fact that as a pro-abortionist he has lost a number of writing opportunities. Imagine that! A man who has reversed his positions on pretty much every social issue is no longer being hired by those who employed the former version of himself. On the other hand, by changing his positions on Christianity and social issues Coren has opened up for himself a vast array of employment options. If you need proof, just note that the man who now writes for Toronto’s flagship newspaper could only write for the tabloids when he was a conservative pro-lifer. It strikes me as tone-deaf for him to embrace his victimhood while reviewing a movie of a woman who made herself unemployable out of principle.

Coren’s misrepresentation of pro-lifers was bad enough, but his most offensive remark by far came when he mocked the pain a fetus feels during an abortion by comparing it to the “pain” he felt by being forced to sit through the film. Such callousness reveals an attitude of contempt for the unborn beyond comprehension. That an editor would let him get away with such crudities is beyond insensitive. I cannot fathom what the current faith of Michael Coren is, but I know I want nothing to do with it.


A Call for Secular Rights

by Tom Bartlett

Note from our Editor: Tom Bartlett is a great writer and we’re glad he’s part of the FBB writing family. But before you read him you should be warned that he has a wicked sense of humour and he’s not afraid to use it. With Tom you can assume that whatever he says, he means the exact opposite. Which seems appropriate to us. In this crazy upside-down world, his skewed perspective may be exactly what’s needed to enable us to see things right-side up. So, having been forewarned, we encourage you to put on your reverse-vision goggles and enjoy a refreshing blast of Bartlett satire.

As a Christ-follower, I’ve been guilt-tripping over the privileges afforded me simply because of my religious faith. After all, having a two-tiered system of protection for Christianity seems unchristian, and doubly so since it’s a known fact that secularism enjoys no Charter protections. I say it’s high time my tribe relinquished our privileged status and began to lobby for rights redistribution. In other words, our oppressive religious patriarchy should move to the back of the bus and finally learn something about the oppressive conditions in which unbelievers have been forced to live. You can read the following suggestions as my olive branch to the secular community.

Courts and human rights tribunals will act in the secularist’s interests by punishing any who stray from the sacred right to keep their opinions to themselves.

1. Our education system should be flipped immediately. The evidence clearly shows that Christian private schools are cheaper, and students come out better educated. And that’s a problem. Somehow the Christians are receiving an unfair advantage. To guard against Christian privilege, the curriculum should be transformed so that STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) will no longer be mired in social justice propaganda, and arts courses will be conducted with a semblance of coherence. Rather than face the soft prejudice of diminishing academic standards and expectations, atheists will be treated to the same level of respect for their intellect by teaching them how to think instead of what to think. Atheists will be taught that their lives have purpose and meaning and should be lived in the light of ultimate truth. There will be no more “just so” stories of a world creating itself and all life coming into being through multiple miracles made possible by nothing more than time and chance. 

Change is always difficult and therefore should be introduced gradually. Initially slut walks will be reduced to no more than two a month, and there will be budget cuts for such extra-curricular activities as Che Guevara Day festivities. Attendance at Gay Pride events will no longer be mandatory. Eventually, English assignments will not be required to fit on the wokeness spectrum, and cogency and logic will again be permitted even where such traditional thinking violates state-approved standards. Also, the teaching of character and morals will be introduced in place of feminist and gender study courses.

Admittedly, this will be difficult for many students’ parents to accept. So, in order to honour their pro-choice convictions, atheists will be permitted to go to private schools if they can afford it after being forced to fund the public Christian school option. Long-term, the goal is for the private and public programs to become largely indistinguishable, except the free public Christian schools will offer Bible studies, chapel services, and apologetics programs. 

2. Secularists will participate in the fight against man-made moral climate change. Since we know secularists believe that paying taxes fixes all ills, in future they will see their taxes raised to address the declining moral state of our country. Monies collected will go into the coffers of the churches who will then choose the best way to spread the wealth to address the apocalyptic moral collapse that will subsume us in a few years if we don’t act now. Efforts to reduce the hedonism footprint will encourage self-restraint and promote altruism. Men will be taught healthy masculinity, to respect women, and to act toward others with honour and integrity. Women will be advised on how to respect themselves, withstand social pressure, and to recognise their true worth and value their femininity. 

3. Abortion businesses will be freed to expand choice even further. Knowing that choice is central to the hearts of all secularists, the barriers Christians unjustly threw up to restrict women’s freedoms will be removed. Moreover, it will be the government’s policy to make certain that every choice is an informed choice. Teens will have access to parental consent, whether they want it or not, and access to ultrasounds and waiting periods will be introduced to ensure that women undergoing crisis pregnancies never endure the indignities of deceptive presentations and high-pressure sales pitches. Maternity homes and adoption will be actively promoted, and not selfishly restricted by Christian gatekeepers. All abortuaries will post signs that read, “Babies killed here. For non-lethal alternatives, please contact your local Crisis Pregnancy Centre at the number listed below.” No longer will the opponents of choice carry the day.

4. Sex-education, marriage and parenting courses. Common sense and numerous longitudinal studies have proven beyond doubt that having an absentee father is the greatest predictor of childhood poverty, sexual and physical abuse, gang involvement, criminal activity, school dropouts, drug and alcohol addiction, and early sexual activity. Therefore, in the hope of gradually eliminating conservative households, a patriarchical lifestyle will be forbidden to Christians, while male and female non-believers will be required by law to live together in complete family units. Children as young as Kindergarten will be shown ultrasound images of babies in utero. Over time, they will be told about the abortion epidemic impacting Canada, quickly moving on to images of abortions, and eventually being granted opportunity to directly observe abortions firsthand. This is necessary since current sex-ed programs have demonstrated so well that graphic content is the best way to protect children’s innocence and virtue. Young men and women will be treated like adults and taught that they have a duty to ensure that all children feel wanted.

5. The right to private expression of non-faith. Knowing that the best way to protect individual rights and freedoms is to keep them private, atheists will experience the liberating euphoria of living out their ideology within the confines and safety of their homes. To safeguard these important privileges, public support for secular values will be forbidden. This includes social media, which will help secularists in their pursuit of personal freedom by blocking, shadow banning, public shaming, doxing (exposing an individual’s private information to the public such as addresses and phone numbers) and shutting down their accounts should their social justice beliefs be aired on media platforms. As Christians have learned by bitter experience, this out-of-the-box thinking is actually a blessing in disguise and in no way violates personal freedoms. The teaching of Christian doctrine will be mandatory and partaking in the sacraments of the Christian faith will also be made available to help guard secularists from having their rights violated. Courts and human rights tribunals will act in the secularist’s interests by punishing any who stray from the sacred right to keep their opinions to themselves.

6. Control of entertainment and media. Given how uniting and empowering it has been for Christians to be locked out of Hollywood, as well as the brown-listing of Christian and conservative actors, writers, etc., Hollywood will be placed in the hands of the Christian community. Secularists will enjoy the bracing experience of engaging in an uphill battle to bring a film into the public by raising funds in the face of hostile opposition. Similarly, the CBC will lose its government funding so that it will no longer be a lapdog for “the man.” Mother Corp will be forced to generate income through advertising, private donors, car washes, etc. as this is known to be the fast-track to genuine empowerment. 

This is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to expanded secular rights and freedoms. I have other ideas such as designated secular free-speech zones, university student body policies that permit Christian-only campus groups, and Christian hiring quotas of 90 percent (give of take) for teachers, professors, college administrators and newsrooms. Once again, Christians will need to assume responsibility for the organisations and schools they started, and coercive initiatives will demand that Christians infiltrate and re-imagine secular organisations to conform with biblical values and principles. Fines and criminal charges for profanity, blasphemy, and taking the Lord’s name in vain could be established, and those holding values in contravention of church doctrine should be subject to public ridicule or firing.

When it comes to protecting secular rights, non-believers deserve all the same privileges Christians have enjoyed for so long.


Norman Geisler: FBB Celebrates the Homegoing of a Spiritual Father

By Shafer Parker, Jr.

Some of you will have heard by now of the death of theologian and apologist Dr. Norman Leo Geisler on July 1, 2019. When he died, Dr. Geisler was just three weeks short of his 87th birthday.

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He was amazing. Thanks to his evangelistic zeal and philosophical defence of the faith, he has been described as “a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham.” At the time of his death he was credited with having written or contributed to 127 books, as well as numerous papers on theology, ethics and philosophy. Moreover, his publisher has announced there are new works still in the pipeline. He may be in heaven, but he will continue to speak. Geisler also co-founded two seminaries, including Southern Evangelical Seminary (easily among the top five apologetics schools in the world) and Veritas International University in California.

But for readers of the FBB blog, Geisler’s greatness lies in the fact that he almost single-handedly invented the apologetics approach that forms the foundation of our Worldview course. The rest of this blog will discuss his approach, but if you want to read more about Dr. Geisler and his impact on the world start here.

Geisler was driven to apologetics because he sought to win souls to Christ. In this short YouTube video Geisler explains that as an older teenager trying to win converts on the street, he found himself “tied in knots” by a Mormon, a Jehovah’s witness and a drunk. Faced with two choices, either to stop sharing his faith or seek answers, he chose the latter, and the answers he found changed all our lives. His comprehensive proof of the Faith was published in 1990 in his book When Skeptics Ask. The book is great, but, as you will see, perhaps its most lasting contribution is found in an appendix where he boiled down his approach to 14 points. What you are about to discover is a logically sound, comprehensive “proof” of all the essential claims of the Christian faith, developed in the crucible of real-life witnessing experience. (My comments will be in italics)

1. There are self-evident truths (e.g., "I exist," "Logic applies to reality").

This statement cannot be denied. Even postmodernists, who officially reject logic, apply it ruthlessly when it comes to getting something they want from others.

2. Truth corresponds to reality.

This is the perfect response to those who argue that there is no such thing as truth, or that truth is entirely subjective. The objective reality of life may be held at bay for a season, but eventually it forcefully inserts itself into every person’s awareness. If you don’t believe me, just ask the skeptic who ate the poisoned jellybean. Oh, wait. You can’t!

3. Truth is knowable (all other views are self-defeating).

Obviously, if you say truth is unknowable, even that statement must be doubted, thus the truth rejector is defeated. On a more practical level, the person who claims that truth is unknowable is usually desperately trying to avoid it (think of Pilate as he raises the question of truth with Jesus in John 18:38).

4. One can proceed from self-evident truths to the existence of God. 

  1. The argument from Creation (proceeds from "I exist")
    Not only is a Creator logically necessary (nothing can come from nothing), but the Creator has to be greater than every aspect of creation. The Creator of the universe must have more power than all the energy found in the universe, and if there are personal beings in that universe, their Creator must also be a greater person than the greatest of the created persons. 

  2. The argument from morals (proceeds from "Values are undeniable")

  3. The argument from design (proceeds from "Design implies a designer")

Don’t buy into the lie that the universe only appears to be designed. It turns out that merely forming the necessary proteins for life and placing them in their proper order is naturally impossible, and not just impossible in 14 billion years, it would be just as impossible if you had 14 billion universes, each 14 billion years old. Bottom line: if a thing is impossible, then it is impossible no matter how much time you give it.

5. God is a necessary Being (argument from being).

6. My existence is not necessary (evident from the definition of a necessary Being).

You and I are contingent beings. That means we are not necessary for the universe to exist. It existed long before we were born, and it will likely exist long after we are gone. But whatever begins to exist must have a cause. Thus (and I’m shortening the argument considerably) God the Creator is the necessary being who caused the universe.

7. Therefore, theism is true (there is a necessary Being beyond the world who has created the contingent things in the world and intervenes in the world)

  1. The objection from the problem of evil can be solved.
    As we teach in our Worldview course (quoting Alvin Plantinga): “It is possible that God, even being omnipotent, could not create a world with free creatures who never choose evil. Furthermore, it is possible that God, even being omnibenevolent, would desire to create a world which contains evil if moral goodness requires free moral creatures.” Thus, evil is a corollary to goodness if God’s creatures are to be faced with real choices.

  2. The objection to miracles can be solved.

If God exists, miracles are always possible, especially if those miracles are an outgrowth of what C. S. Lewis called “deeper magic,” spiritual and material principles that govern the universe, but that can only be known by revelation. This deeper magic will forever be unknown to such as Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking.

8. The Bible is a historically reliable document. 

  1. History is an objective study of the past.

  2. There is great historical, archaeological, and scientific evidence to confirm the reliability of the Bible. (Corollary: The Bible gives a reliable record of the teaching of Jesus Christ.)

Referring to archaeology’s impact on the historicity and accuracy of the Bible, someone has said, “Every time a shovelful of dirt is turned over in the Middle East, another skeptic bites the dust.”

9. Jesus claimed to be both fully human and fully God.

You have only to read the four gospels to realize this claim cannot be denied.

10. He gave evidence to support this claim (that He was both God and man).

  1. The fulfillment of prophecy

  2. His miraculous and sinless life

  3. His resurrection

Jesus’ claim to divinity is proven by these three sub-points. For truly, no one could know the future or perform the kind of miracles Jesus did, including the resurrection, unless God be with Him. But to those who knew Him in the days of his flesh, Jesus was just as obviously a man, who grew weary and hungry, who expressed happiness and sorrow, and who could experience love, loss, anger and bewilderment exactly as any other man.

11. Therefore, Jesus is both fully human and fully God.

If you accept all that has been stated so far, what follows is inevitable.

12. Whatever God teaches is true.

13. Jesus (God) taught that the Old Testament was the inspired Word of God and He promised the New Testament.

14. Therefore, both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God.

Notice where Geisler’s logic ends up. He proves that Jesus is God (in flesh), who must be worshipped as God and obeyed as Lord. And how do we know what Jesus, requires of us? By reading and rightly interpreting the Bible that He affirmed as “[His] words that will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35). 

Believing in Jesus as Lord is the end goal of the philosophy that undergirds the worldview we teach at Faith Beyond Belief. Dr. Geisler’s life verse was I Peter 3:15, which says we’re to “always be ready to give an answer to those who ask for a reason for our hope (in Christ),” and, for what it’s worth, that is also the key verse at Faith Beyond Belief. Please pray for us as we seek to take the truths first expressed by scholars like Dr. Geisler and show how to use them in everyday conversations. Now that Dr. Geisler has gone to His reward, may God continue to raise up others like him to make Truth relevant and powerful for the saving of souls in every generation.


An Itsy Bitsy Spider Inspires Cosmic Musings

By Ian McKerracher

I have a spider living in my truck. I noticed it the other day when I went out to run the kind of random errand that seems to occupy a major portion of my life. As I got comfortable in the saddle, there it was, walking across the inside of my windshield at eye level, hanging three-quarters of the way upside down!

I like to think of myself as an amateur scientist, approaching the things I see around me with intense focus and an enquiring mind. So, I looked at this spider, whom I called Boris (if you know who, then you know why) and tried to figure out how he could walk upside down across a sheet of near-vertical glass. Boris didn’t seem to have suction cups on his legs like an octopus, although he did share the same number of legs. My second idea was that spiders have claw-feet and can hook their claws on the minute particles of dust clinging to the inside of my windshield. But not wanting to believe that my lack of good housekeeping contributed to Boris’ climbing abilities, I went to the font of all knowledge, Dr. Google. He told me that spiders can spin a small amount of sticky silk out of their feet! WOW! (You can find the article here) That astounded me and I was once again awestruck by the world in which we live.

But this led me to ponder another puzzle. Many, if not most scientists believe in what they call the natural world, and they continually affirm that despite its complexity our universe came about by nothing more than natural means. No divine assistance was needed or wanted. This all started in the 19th century with Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, Thomas Huxley, and a few others, but thanks to the wide acceptance of their ideas, naturalism has dominated the world of science to the point that today it has become a Shibboleth.

The easily observable truth is that there are things in this world, like spiders producing web material with their feet, that defy all attempts at naturalistic explanation.

For Big Science the matter is settled. No proof is needed, and no argument is allowed. If you are a naturalist…you’re IN! But if you express the slightest deviation from strict naturalistic orthodoxy or appear to give the slightest credence to intelligent design theory…you’re OUT! In the world’s major universities scientists have lost tenure or been denied tenure over this business! No matter how knowledgeable or skilled in research these men and women may be, they are not allowed to pursue their calling unless they confess their faith in materialism and naturalism. Naturalistic scientists might as well compose a confession of faith in the power of the material world and call it a religion.

If they did it would be a false religion. The easily observable truth is that there are things in this world, like spiders producing web material with their feet, that defy all attempts at naturalistic explanation. Sure, a scientist can suggest possible pathways by which a lesser bug might develop the amazing ability to exude sticky web juice from its feet, but all you would have is a story, a narrative based on nothing more than the empty premise “it could have happened like this.” No matter how blindingly white the scientist’s lab coat, nor how thick the lenses of his spectacles, whatever he says is still a fictional account; fictional because it’s made up. His explanation will never be observable or testable. It can only be made up, and its only plausibility is derived from the supposed authority of the speaker and the desire of the listener to believe. Materialistic, naturalistic scientists have studied the fruit fly for more than a century, and over many thousands of generations, yet they cannot say a word about how those flies came to be. Nor can they explain the origins of anything else.

Our world is too complex to be explained bit-by-bit and item-by-item. That’s the problem with naturalist fiction. The real world is complexity piled on complexity! Look at your hand. The intricacies of functionality through the manipulation of joints and bones is a miracle of engineering. Moreover, for motion to take place those bones and joints need to be supplied with nerves, muscles and flexible connective tendons that allow the fingers and thumb to bend a certain way, but to not bend in other ways. The hand needs to be supplied with blood carrying necessary fuel to the muscles and the whole thing needs a flexible glove of skin to protect it from outside forces. That skin has to be tougher on the palm than the back, and to maintain a workable temperature it needs the ability to sweat while remaining watertight to protect the body from invading viruses and bacteria. And don’t forget, the fingers need nails to help you scratch where it itches. All of this is at least as amazing as a spider’s ability to spin webs with its feet, and none of it can be explained by natural means.

Of course, the hand is just one tiny part in a vast operating theatre of machines and systems, and systems of systems in the human body. Moving from there, we have inconceivable intricacies in ever-widening ripples extending beyond our selves to the outer edge of the universe, each with systems, and systems of systems within themselves, including the symbiotic relationships found throughout the animal and plant kingdoms. We also have the physics of existence, including earth’s perfectly balanced atmosphere, temperature, pressure and chemical make-up.  Ultimately, a naturalistic explanation of life, the universe and everything else must account for the existence of the great wells of gravity in the four planets known as the gas giants that protect earth from space junk bombing us from everywhere. And there’s the fine-tuning of the universe (124 constants, and counting) to account for the manifold precise settings that are necessary for the physics of existence.

To the naturalist mind, all of this was accomplished by the random collisions of electrons, protons, and neutrons following the Big Bang. But even these sub-atomic particles are subject to the same mystery. Why do they even exist? And why do they exist as they do? The advances of chemistry and micro-biology bode ill for the naturalist’s fictions, it seems to me.

But that is supposed to be how science works, right? Aren’t we supposed to examine things and rely on what we see and let go of premises that, with added information become increasingly improbable? Properly and honestly pursued, science is supposed to be suspicious of things that don’t add up, isn’t it? Presuppositions are supposed to be lightly held. Right? –Right?

All this from a little spider named Boris, who lives in my truck.


Who Knows What Lurks Behind a Friendly Face?

By Shafer Parker

Most people seem kind and friendly when you first meet them. But then I’m reminded of the refrain you always hear when a man, or occasionally a woman, is revealed as a serial killer or a rapist—or serial killer-rapist. “He was so nice,” the neighbours invariably say. And they tell how he shovelled an old lady’s sidewalk just last winter, or how much fun he seemed to have playing with his kids in the back yard. The murderer’s surface friendliness often leaves such a strong impression in people’s minds that they refuse to believe the police are telling the truth.


O. J. Simpson’s nice-guy persona was so strong that he even fooled a jury into declaring him not guilty of the double murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, an unfortunate soul who apparently just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Succeeding events, including a civil suit that O. J. lost, have removed any lingering doubts that the football hall-of-famer was guilty. But for a long while many people were not prepared to admit that in real life the jovial athlete-turned-actor was a vicious wife-beater and stone-cold killer.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has learned to mask its inner awfulness even better than O. J. On the surface the nation’s broadcaster claims continued loyalty to its founding purposes, which were in part, to offer an alternative to American programming, to “reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences,” to “reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada” and to “contribute” to Canadians a “shared national consciousness and identity.” CBC continues to give lip service to these founding purposes with such on-air slogans as: “Television to Call Our Own”, “Canada Lives Here,” and, more recently, “Yours to Celebrate.”


Which brings us to the point. Apparently, the CBC wants Canadians to celebrate its new role as corrupter of the morals of children and youth. On a popular app called “Snapchat” Mother Corp, as she was affectionately known in more innocent times, has taken to encouraging the nation’s youth to indulge in forms of sexuality that were hardly imagined, even at the height of the sexual revolution.


I’ll tell you more about that in a moment, but first, a word about Snapchat. It’s a multi-media messaging app for phones—incidentally the first such app to be designed for phone use from its beginning. But what sets Snapchat apart is how pictures and messages are only available for a short time before they disappear forever. It also encourages users to develop life “stories” of 24 hours of chronological content, for others to read as the day passes.

In a fallen world not every marriage works well, but marriage always works better than any of the alternatives posed by the CBC.

Snapchat is addictive for the demographic between ages 13 and 24. As one mother reported to me, her son, who fits into the lower end of Snapchat’s age spectrum, never uses Facebook or Instagram. But he is constantly on Snapchat. He’s not alone. Last year Snapchat had 187 million daily active users (it’s still growing), more than 400 million Snapchat stories are created per day, and individual users averaged sending over 34 messages a day. With a user base of that size, who knows who’s influencing whom, or what kind of influence is impacting our kids? And remember, you can’t track anything on Snapchat because it all disappears—by design.

It’s the interactive tabloid section where the CBC exposes its true intentions (pun intended). Called “Discover,” the tabloid section allows brands to show “ad-supported, short form content.” And thanks to Keean Bexte at TheRebel.media, we now know a lot (too much?) about the CBC’s short form content aimed out our youth. Here are some of the headlines Bexte found.

  • True or False: People Who Get High Have More Sex?“ This is exactly what it seems to be. Our tax-funded broadcaster is openly encouraging teens to smoke pot (or something stronger) before having sex.

  • Disabled People Are Hot” This is just as disgusting, but not because it involves disabled people. It is disgusting because the received wisdom of the day is that people are not to be objectivised as sex objects. I agree. But if we’re not to objectivise anyone else, on what basis does the CBC justify encouraging us to fantasize about the disabled.

  • Why Some People Are Leaving Monogamy Behind” This is as bad as you might think; it is little more than hook-up culture on steroids, encouraging young boys to accept that they, and their girlfriends, should think about having multiple partners while remaining, in some sense, together.

  • Living with Your Partner's Lover” More of the same, a pornified hook-up culture taken to its logical extreme.

  • Nature Porn” This is the heartwarming story of how a female eagle and a male eagle mated, laid some eggs and started a family. But after the eggs hatched it appeared the male eagle didn’t get the memo on dad taking his turn to feed the babies. Mom was overworked, until another male entered the scene and began helping with the catching of the fish and the feeding. Suddenly, in the words of the CBC, the unhappy couple became a happy “throuple,” after which all was well. CBC plainly implied that part of the throuple’s joy stemmed from the female having sex with both males. Then Mother Corp transitioned to talking about the same phenomenon in human terms, suggesting that a human throuple might also be happier. It discusses non-monogamous dating, and defends against charges that a female with two partners is "cheating" by terming it "ethical non-monogamy," where "everyone knows about other partners and are treated respectfully." A banner at the bottom of the screen invites viewers to "meet more non-monogamous daters."

Two more variations on the same theme

  • Why Are Some People Leaving Monogamy Behind?

  • It's Not for Everyone, but People in Polyamorous Relationships Say It Has Opened Them up to a Different Way of Dating

Never forget, all of this is promulgated and packaged by your friendly tax-supported national broadcaster. But what to do? Well, it seems to me we should first determine where thinking people ought to stand. Is there a good reason to oppose what the CBC is advocating? Yes, there is. Unrestrained promiscuity is not how humanity works. Everything we know about human biology, psychology and sociology tells us that sexual indulgence leads to pain and, too often, early death. With few exceptions, those who enter libertine lifestyles end up burned out and bitter, and sometimes suicidal.

If the CBC really wanted to benefit Canadians it would advocate self-control before marriage (always between a man and a woman), and faithfulness within marriage. In a fallen world not every marriage works well, but marriage always works better than any of the alternatives posed by the CBC, as numerous studies have shown. And marriages that include a vital religious faith are consistently shown to be the happiest lifestyles of all. I know that many readers are conditioned to reflexively reject what I’ve just said, but as someone once put it, “facts are stubborn things”, and these are the facts. There’s a reason why this kind of marriage is referred to as “traditional.” It’s the kind that has survived, and enabled people to survive, for thousands of years. Humanity learned long ago that this kind of marriage, this kind of sexuality leads to the best kind of life. And I haven’t even mentioned that this is the kind of sexuality our Creator has promised to bless.

In responding to the CBC’s subtle temptations aimed at our youth, prayer must also be a priority. If you have teenagers at home, you need to pray about how you will approach this issue with them. If they have cell phones, they almost certainly have Snapchat. So pray for wisdom. It may not be necessary to eliminate the app. But you can make sure the CBC is gone. For more information on how to unfollow the CBC from Snapchat watch the video by Keean Bexte .), and follow his instructions. You might also pray for your own role in speaking to others about what’s going on. Sometimes parents are embarrassed to take a stand against their children’s behaviour until they hear that other parents are already speaking up.

If you want to address the powers directly, you can contact the CBC Ombudsman. It likely won’t change anything immediately, but if enough complaints are received it will make the matter harder to ignore. You can also go to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission website crtc.gc.ca and click on one of the several ways they offer for public input.

Of most importance is the need to speak to your MP. You may not think your voice means much today, but governments change, and sometimes change occurs inside governments. By God’s grace you may get a sympathetic hearing. It seems to me this is not something to be ignored. Without strenuous opposition the CBC will only get worse, not better. So, in the name of all that’s holy, speak up for our youth and their future.