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Church-State Separation
Posted: 07 January 2011 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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As an atheist, reading about our Nations Annual Prayer Breakfast made me angry.  I knew it would, and I shouldn’t have read about it but here we are.  I’m curious to know what other Canadians think about the topic of Church-State separation?

http://www.canadaprayerbreakfast.ca/

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Posted: 11 January 2011 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I followed your link and was appalled at what I read.  I sent an email to the contact on the page (info@canadaprayerbreakfast), but received back an auto-generated garbled mess of code.  I have forwarded it to the other contact, with an @parl.gc.ca email address!? (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), and I am waiting for a response.

Copy of original and follow-up email below:

Good afternoon,
After reading the history and purpose of your event on the website (http://www.canadaprayerbreakfast.ca/index.cfm?i=3352&mid=1000&id=74583), I was left speechless - and not in a good way.

You claim that “the focus was to be solely on Jesus Christ and not on an organization.”  How do you come to conclusions about which aspects of Christ to discuss?  Likely from the Christian organization.  Which prayers do you recite?  Christian ones, probably.

Spare me the “separation” from religious affiliation…  Do you discuss other viewpoints, such as how the historicity of Christ cannot be verified?  The eerie similarity of Christ to the plethora of deities that came before him?  I’m wagering not.

The other point that I would like to discuss is the following:
“The other aspect was (especially around politicians) that everything should be done in a low-key, behind the scenes manner. The main objective is to build relationships and this can be done most successfully in a personal, quiet, confidential way.”  You then go on to say that “such relationships facilitate the working of our Parliament.”

Low key? Behind the scenes?  What kinds of secret personal relationships are politicians forming “confidentially” at your meetings that facilitate Parliamentary workings?  I smell conspiracy for a Christian-run state, or at least Christian favouritism among politicians.  You yourself call it a Prayer Breakfast “movement.”

Lastly:
“Through genuine friendships built on the Spirit of Jesus, it is hoped that individuals can discover ways of being together which cross many religious, social and political boundaries in order to bless the lives of many.”

Cross religious boundaries?  With only one deity on the plate, it makes it awfully hard to accomplish.  Cross political boundaries?  Hell no.  I call for separation of church and state.  Any claims that your organization does not represent the church is, in my opinion, a lie, plain and simple.  What is the proportion of Christians that attend these meetings?  Around 100%?

It is absolutely deplorable to have these kinds of relationships in a democracy.


Upon receiving the “reply,” I forwarded the email to MayesC7 with an additional question.  Here is email #2:

Good afternoon,
Upon trying to send my concerns about this organization to its info@canadaprayerbreakfast contact, I received an auto-generated response of garbled code.  Or maybe it’s Aramaic, I don’t know….

In any case, I am forwarding the email and its response on to you as the alternate contact available on the site.

I look forward to your response.

In addition to the concerns I have outlined below, I would like to know the source of funding for your organization.  Is it 100% privately funded?  Or are there perks that are extended to you by parliament (ie phone lines, email support, free use of government facilities, money, etc)?

Thank you


I will post any responses / replies I get.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention!!

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Posted: 12 January 2011 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would be really interested in seeing what they say - Thanks for that.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Of all the people I’ve told, you are the only other one who seemed to be like-minded.

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They tried to sell me holy books.  But I can see their eyes are wild.  I caught them pouring shame and fear into the perfect vessel of a child.

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Posted: 13 January 2011 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What struck me as most odd about the whole thing is the use of an @parl.gc.ca email address!! 

I mean, fine, give tax breaks to the church.  People shouldn’t have to pay extra to practice their faith (they pay for it by wasting their lives dancing and praying for the lord anyway).  But extend the same benefits to either ALL religions, or NONE of them.  This seems like preferential treatment for Christians.

Mind you, I haven’t heard back yet from my email I sent the other day, so we’ll (hopefully) see where the money comes from.

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Posted: 18 January 2011 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Miss Meaghan,

I won’t lie, my first thought when I clicked over was “ew”. I am going to write a letter of complaint as well. Quite frankly, I’m tired of any type of lobbyist group, which is what this appears like to me. And I am certainly against this cozy relationship of privilege they seem to have going here.

Thank you,

C

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“You can tell me that it’s gospel but I know that it’s only church.”

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“I take a simple view of life. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it.”

Laurence Sterne

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Posted: 07 March 2011 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I dunno. its not a .gc.ca site. Who is funding this? If its really volunteers as the site claims they I couldn’t care less. But if somehow our tax $ are funding this then I have a huge issue with this.


edit:
lol this quote made me laugh “In 2004 Jack Murta, a former Chair of the weekly Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast and a Member of Parliament from 1970-1988, felt called by God to consider working with MPs on Parliament Hill.”
these people are so delusional.

[ Edited: 07 March 2011 02:10 PM by SmallFries ]
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Posted: 13 March 2011 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Unfortunately, we don’t have any kind of official recognition of church/state separation, do we?  I was shocked to see that the preamble to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads:

“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law…”

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Posted: 25 March 2011 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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EricP - 13 March 2011 02:08 PM

Unfortunately, we don’t have any kind of official recognition of church/state separation, do we?  I was shocked to see that the preamble to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads:

“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law…”

that blows doesn’t it. We have a long road ahead

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Posted: 28 July 2011 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hello, I’m new to this so bear with me.
I was surprised to find that we Canadians have no official legal separation of church and state. The Americans have a legal “wall”’ which allows freedom from religion in schools, government institutions, etc.
    How does Canada deal with this notion of freedom from religion? Is it decided on a case by case basis or could a class action be heard that would be applicable country wide .

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Posted: 11 August 2011 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Legally speaking there is nothing wrong with the Canadian government sponsoring a National Prayer Breakfast.  However, in this case it sounds like they should just call it a National “Yay Jesus!” Breakfast.  raspberry I doubt any religious Canadians who are not Christian would feel particularly comfortable at the breakfast. 

As to the topic of church/state separation:

It is important to remember that the US was the first nation to ever be founded upon secular values, because of the fact that those who founded the nation were escaping religious persecution they experienced in Europe.  Canada, on the other hand, became a British colony founded on two religious doctrines: Anglican and Catholic.  However, like our parental nations (i.e., Britain and France) we have become increasingly secular.  It is deliciously ironic to consider that the only nation founded on secular principles is now the most religious of the developed nations.  smile

However, we *do* have our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  And not all is completely lost, either.  I have heard debates about whether or not the Catholic school board should continue to receive public funds (the public/secular board stopped being Protestant a long time ago).  There was also a vote once at Queen’s Park to decide if they should stop saying The Lord’s Prayer before starting provicial legislature.  They voted to keep it, but the fact that the notion to abolish was even considered is a step in the right direction for all Canadians who are not Christian.

Since we don’t have a legal precedent for a church/state separation like the US, if we do need to push forward we need to use what we do have, such as our Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

So yes, the religious have the ability to prostrate themselves in public office, but we likewise have the freedom to dissent.  It might not be a legal precident to divorce religion from public office, but for the personal affairs of any given Canadian it’s sufficient.

[ Edited: 11 August 2011 06:12 PM by Azalie ]
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Posted: 12 August 2011 02:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Azalie - 11 August 2011 06:02 PM

It is important to remember that the US was the first nation to ever be founded upon secular values, because of the fact that those who founded the nation were escaping religious persecution they experienced in Europe.  Canada, on the other hand, became a British colony founded on two religious doctrines: Anglican and Catholic.  However, like our parental nations (i.e., Britain and France) we have become increasingly secular.  It is deliciously ironic to consider that the only nation founded on secular principles is now the most religious of the developed nations.  smile

Not just persecution in Europe. Some of the early States had developed into theocracies, too, which is a large part of why states like Rhode Island rallied hard for the famous religious separation clause in our First Amendment.

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Posted: 13 August 2011 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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In reality, the Divine plan ensures there is no separation of Church and State in principles that guide each in the same Divine morals, and that matter. This is to ensure that the conducts of each conform to one ideal.

But I understand what you mean. We can imagine separate entities each upholding to it’s own codes, each formally ensuring they carefully remain in their own jurisdiction without intruding. But this attitude is contrary to God’s desires. Has far has America is concerned, the reality is we have a Supremely Divine Autocracy governing over Democratic Nation(s).

The Church of Christ is actually the tutor to the state, and is it’s Authority. This is because the messenger of the Word of God is His representative and therefore is given full Authority over the State. Take the case of capital punishment for example. The Church’s mandate is to guide the nation by instructing the nation that it is wrong to execute prisoners, that taking such action under the Old Law of “and eye for an eye” is no longer sanctioned by God since Pentecost. (Cases of exception notwithstanding, imminent threat,etc.) The New Law is to extend mercy, patience and kindness. The reasoning is that there is still value of the offender, and that he can still carry out God’s mission even while incarcerated, and that he still has means to redeem himself while alive. In a sad irony, on occasion the parents of a murdered child will request that the state reverse it’s decision of a sentence of capital punishment, and desire that the offender be held with life in prison. The result is we have two individuals who try harder to do God’s commandments than a whole nation who one would expect through the discernment in common of millions of consciouses, should arrive at the same decision.

We ask ourselves why they don’t. The answer is that through hardening of the collective heart and the refusal to listen to the Teacher assigned to God, that compounding, or the effects of sin(ripple effect), will now take hold of them until they once again return to the true Church and it’s instructions. 

The refusal of this correction would seem trivial. One would say that the state has options to obstinately ignore this instruction, but this is wrong, and is an offense to God. It is in effect a repeat of “hardening of the heart” of Pharaoh we read about in exodus, and the nation is accountable for it’s wrong and will need to make amends collectively has all entities will eventually.

Spence

Ref: Encyclical “MATER ET MAGISTRA” Mother and Teacher of nations

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Posted: 14 August 2011 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Spence - 13 August 2011 03:49 PM

The Church of Christ is actually the tutor to the state, and is it’s Authority.

Yes, this is the doctrine. And this is the problem. Of the thousands of versions of Christianity out there, every one of them thinks that they are right. Who actually is? As soon as you establish any one of them as a theocracy, the rest, in the eyes of the State, are automatically wrong and are no longer allowed to practice. This is, in fact, a directly opposite result of the Christian (and Humanist) goal of tolerance. Even from a Christian point of view, the pursuit of Heaven is meaningless of people have no choice.

And, of course, Islam could be the “correct” one, too, which has authority over the State. And this is in their doctrine, too.

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Posted: 14 August 2011 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 14 August 2011 02:01 AM

Of the thousands of versions of Christianity out there, every one of them thinks that they are right.

 

If there were a real puzzle, it could be a problem, but we have indicators of the true Church which is alive and well.

It would have a descendancy of Apostleship from Christ’s appointing the first head of his Church in an unbroken line down to the present. One choosing a Church would avoid those who found it’s norms inconvenient and decided to form an offshoot cult, which would not have the full complement of benefits for it’s followers has Christ intended, including sanctifying graces. Indicators of birth of a religion through schism would be a sure sign of avoidance.

And, of course, Islam could be the “correct” one, too,

This is easier to solve. The Koran attributes diety to Jesus. If so and he has already established His Church, then what is the purpose of Islam?.

http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/koran.html

Spence

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Posted: 15 August 2011 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Spence - 14 August 2011 01:19 PM

If there were a real puzzle, it could be a problem, but we have indicators of the true Church which is alive and well.

Do tell, please. I would think that if there were one ‘true Church,’ then it would be easy for everyone to figure this out.

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Posted: 09 September 2011 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Spence - 14 August 2011 01:19 PM

This is easier to solve. The Koran attributes diety to Jesus. If so and he has already established His Church, then what is the purpose of Islam?.


Spence

No it doesn’t


you need to stop looking at your religious appologist webpages and go read some history books. You could also actually read the qu’ran to see if it says Jesus was the son of god. Or use you brain and think. “How come no muslims say Jesus is the son of god if the Qu’ran says so.”

fail at reasoning

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