Monday, 21 March 2016

Office of Religious Freedom Nearly Shut Down

ORF head man Andrew Bennett is leaving to go work at Cardus (where many others have gone before him)
I bet you thought this blog was dead, right? I sort of did too, but then this happened!
The Liberals all but flipped off the lights on Canada's Office of Religious Freedoms, voting Monday against a Tory motion to keep open the controversial post and saying that its stand alone status is over.
Not only the Liberals. The vote to not extend the office's mandate was very popular among the not-Conservatives. The godless(!!!!) NDP, Bloc and the Green Party were all about that. The motion to save the office lost 226 to 90.

The Edmonton MP who brought forward the motion to save the office blamed an allergy to religion. Garnett Genuis treated us to this buzzword salad, explaining why such a government body was necessary to protect religion - en particulier.
"Without specific centres of excellence, individual areas that need attention could risk getting lost in one murky interdependent and indivisible soup," he said.

He did not offer any explanation of how the rights of atheist Tweeters getting 2,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia were not lost in the murky soup. No real clear direction why just religion needed to be singled out as the vector deserving of such attention.

Listen, I believe that humans deserve to have their rights protected, not religions. This means people should be able to hold any point of view whatsoever about metaphysical questions. One's religion (or lack thereof) should not be the target of persecution.  I'm so happy to see the Liberals apparently think the same thing:
"Our goal is to build on and strengthen the good work of the office by including the protection of religious freedom as a fundamental component of a comprehensive vision of the promotion of human rights," Dion's parliamentary secretary, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, told the Commons.
You mean like the Rights and Democracy agency that the Conservatives took out behind the shed and drowned in a rusty bucket full of rainwater whilst the Office of Religious Freedom was mere a glint in the eye of then Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird? Yes, let's bring back an agency designed to protect human rights regardless of religion, please.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bennett has gone off to Cardus.  I've written about that creepy lot before -- they've been involved in the creation of the Office of Religious Freedom since the very beginning.

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