Liberal MPs Cut and Paste on Religion test for Canada Summer Jobs

If you sent an email or letter to your Member of Parliament, you may have received a reply by now. The exercise has been fairly simple for Liberal MPs. Several I’ve seen indicate MPs just cut and paste what was given them. There are two variations on the theme. Both demonstrate a lack of basic understanding of Canada’s constitution.

DonParlForum

The first response is a cut and paste of the supplementary information provided by Employment and Social Development Canada as a ‘clarification’ of ‘core mandate.’ As tone deaf as the clarification is to the concerns of religious individuals and communities, it exhibits a continuing failure to grasp the most basic point of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As more Canadians find themselves driven to read the Charter, which is a good thing, it’s best to do so with that most basic point in mind.

Section 32 of the Charter informs us:

  1.  (1) This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

The Charter applies to government – federal, provincial, municipal, school boards and government agencies. The Charter protects Canadians from acts of government.  The Charter states the freedoms and rights of Canadians, which the government is not allowed to violate.

Section 1 notes the purpose of the Charter.

  1.  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

The only limitation permitted on Charter guaranteed freedoms is when government can demonstrate and justify to the courts that the proposed limitation is reasonable, i.e. prescribed by law (i.e. government action), and the least intrusive way to accomplish a legitimate government purpose in Canada’s free and democratic society. The Supreme Court of Canada has determined that for government to violate or infringe the rights guaranteed in the Charter in a manner that is considered reasonable, the government must be have a pressing and substantial purpose, i.e. it’s got to be something that is really important. Government must also prove the action proposed or taken is one that minimally impairs/infringes the right in question, and the action taken is proportional to the objective.

All of this to say, Canadians are not required to abide by the Charter, the government is. Under our constitution, Canadians are required to adhere to relevant human rights legislation in the province or territory in which they live.

The fundamental flaw in the government’s efforts to require private entities to agree to apply the Charter to themselves is the Charter does not apply to private entities.

The second flaw of the government’s required attestation clause is that, by mandating all applicants for a Canada Summer Jobs grant endorse the statement, the government may require agreement to an expressed belief that is contradictory to that held by the applicant. This government requirement violates the expressed Charter rights to “freedom of conscience and religion” (s. 2a), “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” (s. 2b).

The other party line response includes a paragraph on two decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. Having an MP send this to a constituent might seem definitive, but it is misleading. Here’s the paragraph, which has been placed in bold at the centre of a response on more than one occasion:

The Supreme Court of Canada has said that an individual’s reproductive autonomy is a right protected under section 7 of the Charter. In Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission) the Supreme Court commented that “Few interests are as compelling as, and basic to individual autonomy then, a woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy… Such interests are indeed basic to individual dignity.” In the Morgentaler case, the Supreme Court held that certain restrictions on access to abortion violated women’s right to security of the person under section 7 of the Charter.

Let’s talk about the first part and the quote from the Blencoe decision in 2000. Blencoe was a case about a politician seeking to avoid a human rights hearing following a complaint of sexual harassment being filed against him under the British Columbia Human Rights Code. Blencoe asserted he was unable to face the hearing because he became depressed after the complaint was filed. Here’s the rest of the quote from paragraph 86 in Blencoe:

Few interests are as compelling as, and basic to individual autonomy than, a woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy, an individual’s decision to terminate his or her life, the right to raise one’s children, and the ability of sexual assault victims to seek therapy without fear of their private records being disclosed.  Such interests are indeed basic to individual dignity.  But the alleged right to be free from stigma associated with a human rights complaint does not fall within this narrow sphere. [I italicized the parts the government skipped]

There is no mention there of a “right” to an individual’s reproductive autonomy.

Second, the reference to the Morgentaler decision from 1988 is also misleading. Much has been written on the 1988 decision. Apparently, in terms of the government’s comments, little has been read.

The decision of the Supreme Court in Morgentaler was in regard to the particular section of the Criminal Code that was being challenged. The issue in question was the inconsistent availability of therapeutic abortion committees across the country. The job of the committees was to assess whether an abortion could be justified on the basis of the pregnancy endangering the mother’s health. An “endangered” woman might arrive at a hospital to find there was no capacity to save her life because it lacked a therapeutic abortion committee. The Court determined that the state had an interest in determining the point in pregnancy when the child’s life should be protected, but the law had to apply consistently across the nation. Here’s what Chief Justice Dickson’s court (McIntyre, J.) had to say:

The historical review of the legal approach in Canada taken from the judgment of the Court of Appeal serves, as well, to cast light on the underlying philosophies of our society and establishes that there has never been a general right to abortion in Canada. There has always been clear recognition of a public interest in the protection of the unborn and there has been no evidence or indication of any general acceptance of the concept of abortion at will in our society. It is to be observed as well that at the time of adoption of the Charter the sole provision for an abortion in Canadian law was that to be found in s.251 of the Criminal Code. It follows then, in my view, that the interpretive approach to the Charter, which has been accepted in this Court, affords no support for the entrenchment of a constitutional right of abortion.

That’s why the Mulroney government’s Bill C-43 (defeated on a tie vote on third vote in the Senate after passing in the House of Commons and two Senate votes) did not use the Charter’s ‘notwithstanding clause’ (s. 33 of the Charter, which provides for supremacy of elected representatives in the event of disagreement with a decision of the appointed members of the courts). The Supreme Court had not found that a right existed, so none had to be overridden by Parliament.

Even if a right had been found, we return to the matter of the Charter applying to government behaviour, and the protection of Canadians from having government opinion forced upon us in violation of our guaranteed rights.

As I have noted previously, and in my letter to the Prime Minister and my Member of Parliament:

… For many religious individuals and organizations that hold a position on the issues in question, that position has been formed based on an understanding of their religion’s sacred text. Their faith is comprehensive and all-encompassing of both beliefs and practices. There is no hierarchy of beliefs to which their practices are tied. Their core mandate includes all of their religion – both beliefs and practices – and cannot be compartmentalized into separation of one belief from their worship or community service. They cannot with integrity check a box that says their beliefs concerning abortion are not part of their core mandate, even though they may never have engaged politically on the matter of abortion or have any plans to do so.

Guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is that government cannot force agreement with this kind of ideological position. In these matters, the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that government must be neutral to avoid violating the Charter rights of Canadians. Government action in administration of a government service/program, such as the Canada Summer Jobs Program, must treat all Canadians equally, regardless of religious or other beliefs, opinions or expression.

Freedom, Government and Appropriate Response: Canada Summer Jobs

Originally published January 2, 2018 at The Free Methodist Church in Canada blog of Bishop Cliff Fletcher, CliffsNotes.

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I’m sure that by now you have heard about the Trudeau’s government new requirements for all applicants for the Canada Summer Jobs funds. I asked Don Hutchinson to help me sort out this very concerning development.

Cliff Fletcher

Canada Summer Jobs: 3 Questions Concerning Changes in the 2018 Application Process – Q&A with Don Hutchinson
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html

Question 1: What is the new requirement for all potential recipients of the Canada Summer Jobs internship funds?

There are actually two new requirements. They cause separate but related concerns.

First, let me summarize the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) initiative of the federal government. CSJ provides wage subsidies to employers who hire for summer employment to full-time secondary and post-secondary students (ages 15-30) who are planning to return to their studies. Not-for-profit employers, which includes registered charities, are eligible to receive from 50% to 100% of the hourly minimum wage in their province for each summer-student employee.

CSJ has been running for as long as I can remember. In addition to other summer job opportunities, CSJ has become a foundation for many summer activities run by young adults and teenagers for children who are on school break, including church-based care and camp programs.

The employment priorities of CSJ are adjusted from time to time, however for 2018 the federal government has added a requirement to the application process that presents an obstacle for many faith-based organizations. I use faith-based because this isn’t just a concern for Christian organizations. The Applicant Guide states the Articles of Agreement requirement that must be agreed to by all applicants, as follows:

To be eligible, the core mandate of the organization must respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter), as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

The attestation is required for the application to be considered complete and eligible for assessment.

“Churches, religious and faith-based organizations” continue to be listed under the category of eligible employers, and the Guide includes the following note in the section on ineligible employers:

NOTE: That an organization is affiliated with a religion does not itself constitute ineligibility for this program.

The other problematic requirement for faith-based organizations is the eligible activities for funding, which now includes the following requirement for jobs to be performed by students employed under CSJ:

To be eligible, the job must respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

There is no provision permitting exemption from the attestation requirements in regard to core mandate of the organization or details of the summer job.

Question 2: What are the implications?

Applicants who do not attest their agreement are ineligible for CSJ. This is problematic for both the potential applicant and the federal government.

First, the federal government.

The Charter is constitutionally intended to protect against abuse of power by government or government agencies. The Charter is not intended for use to coerce agreement, or conformity, with ideological positions taken by government.

The attestation requirement mistakenly asserts recognition of reproductive rights (a.k.a. a right to abortion) under the Charter and requires conformity with the government’s position. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down an existing law that restricted abortion. In its decision, the Court noted the legitimate constitutional interest of the federal government to legislate limitations on abortion that would protect the child in the womb. An effort to do so by the government of the day failed in the Senate. There can be no violation of the Charter by a non-governmental organization, and there is are no constitutional “reproductive rights.”

The Supreme Court of Canada has noted there is no legal or constitutional recognition in Canada of the separation of church and state, which is a U.S. constitutional concept. In Canada, the Court has stated a requirement for government to be neutral in regard to religion, i.e. neither to favour nor discriminate based on religious beliefs. This includes government funding of programs generally available to the public, such as CSJ.

The Court has also recognized a positive right of religious organizations to be selective in employment based on religious requirements of belief and practice. In the case of summer employment, religious requirements must be known to candidates and specified in the job description, including statement of responsibilities that legitimately require the employee to meet religious requirements as part of the job (e.g. setting a Christian example, leading in devotional times, providing spiritual counsel, etc.).

That leads us to implications for a religious organization that would like to apply for CSJ funding, and cannot truthfully attest to the CSJ core mandate or job requirement statements.

While some religious organizations might attest to the Articles of Agreement – perhaps considering their religious status to exempt them from the reproductive rights and discrimination statements contained in the descriptive sentence following reference to Charter values, or assessing the resulting good as worth the risk – the government cannot legitimately require such forced expression that may be at odds with religious beliefs and practices. An organization that attests may find itself being held to the attestation requirements (endorsing abortion, hiring people based on their gender identity/expression, etc.) contrary to their religious beliefs and practices.

More obvious, several organizations that have a long history of accessing CSJ for qualifying programs may find themselves unable to access CSJ funding in 2018 for reasons that are unconstitutional and not merit based. This may require finding alternative sources of funding or cancelling long standing programs of community service.

Question 3: What can we do?

This is a particularly good question. The application deadline is February 2, 2018 and the changes were announced just before Christmas. The timing creates logistical problems.

A number of Members of Parliament have prioritized this issue, but the reality is the announcement was made after Parliament started its Christmas break and Parliament is not scheduled to resume until January 29, 2018.

Organizations such as the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada have initiated contact with MPs and the Minister of Employment, Hon. Patty Hajdu. They are requesting the government amend the CSJ application process so that religious organizations may apply and stay true to their constitutionally protected beliefs and practices.

Here are some practical steps you can take:

  • Pray for religious freedom to be respected and the CSJ application process to be amended accordingly;
  • Review the application criteria to see if you otherwise qualify;
  • Create a network of CSJ applicants who can keep each other in the know (it may be helpful to designate an individual or steering group to be the hub for communications);
  • Contact your MP by phone, email or letter (letters addressed to any MP by name may be sent postage-free to: House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6) – MPs are required to read paper letters and their staff filter phone and email messages; and,
  • If you belong to the EFC, 4Cs or other organizations that are engaging the government on this issue, let them know of your concerns and any action you take. Track the action they’re taking so you can notify your CSJ applicant network as soon as there is news.

Don Hutchinson has been a leader in the Canadian Church for over thirty years. Pastor and lawyer, Don is the principal of ansero, a ministry engaged on religious freedom in Canada and with the global persecuted church. He is the author of Under Siege: Religious Freedom and the Church in Canada at 150 (1867–2017). To find out more visit www.donhutchinson.ca

Disorder in the House

Yesterday, the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights reversed the government proposal in Bill C-51 to delete section 176 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits activity that obstructs or interferes with religious officials seeking to perform their religious duties or with “assemblages of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose.” A big thank you to people from a wide variety of religious organizations and communities who contacted MPs, submitted briefs and appeared as witnesses on this issue.

Here is my public commentary on this issue, and the study being conducted by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, as originally published at Convivium.ca on November 1, 2017.

Media Scrum at the Supreme Court of Canada

Media Scrum

In March, Canada’s federal government gave instructions to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to “undertake a study on how the government could develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic… religious discrimination.” A whole-of-government approach implies, at least to me, working together between departments and among parliamentarians.

Barely two months after delivering this assignment, the same government introduced a bill expressing its intention to remove the prohibition designed to reduce or eliminate unlawful interference with religious worship. This second proposal was set before another committee, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

The left hand of government seems not to know what is already in the right hand. Or is it the right hand that doesn’t know what is already in the left?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is, basically, the largest law firm in the country. DOJ provides legal advice to the departments and agencies of the federal government, and reviews legislative proposals before they head to the House of Commons.

The motion, M-103, that resulted in the first study, by the Heritage Committee, and the legislation, Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, that resulted in the second study, by the Justice Committee, were introduced by the same political party, reviewed by the same legal department, and endorsed by the same Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and government.

It may seem repetitious, but, to be clear, at the direction of the same government, Canadians have a parliamentary committee engaged in a study from which one would expect prohibition on unlawful interruption of religious worship to be recommended, were it not already law, and a second parliamentary committee engaged in a study intended to remove the law prohibiting unlawful interruption of religious worship.

What are Canadians to make of a government that considers it a matter of our national heritage to put an end religious discrimination, while at the same time a matter of justice and human rights to embolden the disruption of religious worship?

Perhaps, instead of looking to our duly elected government to decide on a priority, Canadians need to make our own assessment and share our thoughts on the matter with our elected members and leaders.

Following is the section of the Criminal Code now being considered before both committees – one for and the other against:

176 (1) Every one who

(a) by threats or force, unlawfully obstructs or prevents or endeavours to obstruct or prevent a clergyman or minister from celebrating divine service or performing any other function in connection with his calling, or

(b) knowing that a clergyman or minister is about to perform, is on his way to perform or is returning from the performance of any of the duties or functions mentioned in paragraph (a)

(i) assaults or offers any violence to him, or

(ii) arrests him on a civil process, or under the pretence of executing a civil process,

 is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

 (2) Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

 (3) Every one who, at or near a meeting referred to in subsection (2), wilfully does anything that disturbs the   order or solemnity of the meeting is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction. [summary conviction: a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment, maximum fine of $5000 or both]

The stated government position is s. 176 is not necessary, as other sections in the Criminal Code may be used in regard to the same subject matter.

A minister of the government stated in private correspondence that police can use the public disturbance section, s. 175. But, places of worship are private buildings, even though members of the public are often invited to attend at identified times. That won’t work.

Well then, he suggested, use the section that deals with threats (s. 264.1) or the section dealing with assaults (s. 265) or the sections dealing with hate crimes (s. 318 and 319) or the section dealing with public mischief in relation to a building used for public worship (s. 430 (4.1)).

These have been put forward as the reason s. 176 has been deemed unnecessary. But none of the other sections properly address the wilful disturbance or interruption of religious worship, or interference with the performance of a solemn religious rite.

If the hate-fueled murderer that entered a Quebec City mosque in January had instead entered a house of worship armed with one of those neon-coloured water soakers fired randomly into the crowd at Gay Pride parades, what charge would police have pursued against the perpetrator of soggy Muslims, Christians or Jews?

In the 1980s, we lived in a hub-town in the interior of British Columbia. At a pastors’ gathering, my twenty-five year old self was warned we had an “ichabod” man in town. Ichabod is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “the glory [of the Lord] has departed.” Our ichabod man saw it as his role to set up a large sign on the sidewalk outside his church-of-the-day, then use a bullhorn to declare that the glory of the Lord had departed from that church and state disagreement with particular religious beliefs of his target audience. One pastor had contacted the RCMP. We were advised that what is now s. 176 would be used if the Sunday meeting was interrupted by the man either entering church property for his protest or using amplified sound that was disruptively heard inside. Otherwise, as long as the public walkway was unimpeded, he was entitled to free speech.

When ichabod man arrived, I took the short walk to his chosen spot to let him know he was welcome in our church, provided he was not disruptive, or he could continue his protest, provided he did not use his bullhorn. We had one Sunday morning of worship with unwelcome sidewalk signage and the unintelligible faint din of his voice. Ichabod man departed with exiting parishioners following the service. They came back the next week. He didn’t.

Forewarned, we didn’t need to use s. 176 that day, but it has been used since. Here’s a sampling.

A former member decided to attend at a Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting with protest signs, speak to members as they arrived and knock on the doors of the building throughout the worship meeting. He was sentenced to three years’ probation (R. v. Reed, [1999] B.C.J. No. 2868).

In another case, a Christian dinner was interrupted by protest. Police had to be called as the event was unable to continue. The protester was fined $500 (R v Geoghegan, 2005 ABPC 255).

In June of this year, a woman entered an Ottawa church, where she disrupted the meeting by screaming and then broke an arm off a statue of Jesus. She was charged under s. 176.

When then Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler introduced specific provisions on human trafficking for inclusion in the Criminal Code in 2005, one of the arguments against Bill C-49 was that other sections of the Code covered off the elements of the offence. No one today would argue against the value to both police and prosecutors of having the human trafficking prohibition in one readily accessible and actionable part of Canada’s criminal law.

When current Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould said s. 176 makes it illegal only to disrupt a clergyman or minister, but not an imam or a rabbi, the advice she was relaying from her department, DOJ, ignored the facts. Based on earlier DOJ advice, the Canada Revenue Agency defined the word “clergy,” as used for income tax purposes, to include “priests, pastors, ministers, rabbis, imams, commended workers and other persons who have been commended, licensed, commissioned or otherwise formally or legitimately recognized for religious leadership within their religious organization” (Interpretation Bulletin IT-141R, issued May 2000). This DOJ/CRA definition of clergy aligns with decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada made over a period of more than fifty years, before and after arrival of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Most recently, the Court adjusted the concept of clergy-parishioner confidential communications to “religious communications” (R. v. Gruenke, [1991] 3 SCR 263) and noted in the government’s reference case in regard to changing the definition of marriage that “religious officials” could not be compelled by the state to perform marriages in violation of their religious beliefs.

If the government is serious about religious freedom, including freedom to worship and seeking an end to religious discrimination, it won’t ask one of its committees to report on why Canada needs s. 176 and another to consider removing its protection. Instead, the government will explore why the largest law firm in the country failed to adequately prepare Parliament and brief the Minister of Justice on its own decades old advice, advice based on more than half a century of decisions from the nation’s highest court.

 

Under Siege: how and why I authored this book

This is a shorter version of the blog Under Siege: What it’s About originally published March 22, 2017 at Word Alive Press.           UNDER SIEGE: Religious Freedom and the Church in Canada at 150 (1867-2017) is my first book.

Writing and publishing Under Siege was intimate and personal, and also not possible without intentional interaction with others in the Body of Christ.

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In April 2016 I was invited to speak at a pastors and spouses conference taking place in October 2016. The request was for two keynote talks on religious freedom, a subject that has been woven into my adult life through education and experience. One talk would be about religious freedom in Canada and other about the global persecuted church.

Somewhat uncharacteristically, I started work on the project early. Long before the deadline was even on the horizon, I was praying, outlining, researching and capturing thoughts—I sleep with a notepad on the nightstand. Waking early one morning with the idea of turning the Canada talk into a book, I scribbled out three section heading ideas and many of the chapter titles before going back to sleep. Beginning that morning in May, work on the talk was combined with work on the book.

At the same time, I was finishing teaching a course on living a public faith; part of the apologetics training year at Ottawa School of the Bible—OSB is a practical understanding and application Bible school that is an initiative of the Lifecentre, and is accessed by students and pastors from across the city. I was teaching those in or interested in Christian leadership, and in October I would be speaking to pastors and their spouses. As a result, I found myself writing for Christian leaders, pastors and their spouses.

There are well written books on religious freedom in Canada for lawyers and academics. Distinct from those who engage the courts and in universities, missing was something designed to equip the troops who are engaged in the daily frontline spiritual warfare of 21st century Canada. Christian leaders minister in a human rights minefield, both real and imagined. They are the people who will primarily benefit from an accurate understanding of the Canadian situation. Under Siege is written for them, for us.

It wasn’t until late August or early September that I convinced myself I was actually writing a book for publication and willing to accept the responsibility to finish the task. I’ve written blogs, opinion pieces for newspapers, and had a regular column in Faith Today. But I hadn’t written a book until Under Siege. As a result, I started seeking advice from people who had written, edited, published and marketed books.

When I was about seventy percent of the way through the writing process (and thinking I was ninety percent done) I invited input into the process from members of my target audience, pastors and Christian leaders, and some constitutional law lawyers. The lawyers were qualified to review my comments in the specialized constitutional law area of religious freedom. The pastors and Christian leaders gave me feedback on how to better communicate various concepts I was writing about.

Finally, when the draft was complete, I invited a couple of dozen people to read and comment on the full unedited text, including most of those who had input at the earlier stage. They had a four week deadline, which coincided with the deadline for approving the final edit of the text. I am exceedingly grateful for all who accepted, including those who ran out of time.

As each one was also invited to consider writing an endorsement, I ended up with seventeen endorsements from a good cross-section of Christian expressions and experience. I was excited— I cried when I read them all together at the deadline.

For editing, it was a privilege to work with an experienced, young Christian author/editor who was interested in the topic of my book. He held me to task on improving my footnoting, strengthened grammar and made good suggestions for adjustments in the text. Cover design and layout were done with similar thoughtfulness and professionalism.

Throughout the process I asked for advice from both the Word Alive Press team and a small group of personal-friend advisors—people praying for me while I was writing—who shared their thoughts on what they read, and were also invited to comment on cover design and layout.

In the end, Under Siege is available in offset and print-on-demand paperback, and a variety of electronic formats.

I applied for and received a license to use the Canada 150 logo based on the theme of the book, which only allows printing with the logo until the end of 2017. Extra fees would be required to remove the logo from print-on-demand and electronic formats effective January 1, 2018, so the offset press paperbacks printed by Word Alive Press are a kind of special edition Canada 150 cover. Get ‘em while they’re here!

 

Americans love an underdog

Americans love an underdog. The media, pollsters, and both major parties worked together to create one and now he is President-elect.

Don - "Love, Hope, Believe"

“Love, Hope, Believe”

Interesting to me as I followed the comments of too many evangelical Christian leaders supporting one candidate or the other is how those who were peacemakers for Hillary (this is the safe route for America’s future) and prophets for Trump (the world will end if Hillary is elected) have this morning on social media become prophets for Hillary (the world will end because Donald was elected) and peacemakers for Trump (it’s time to set differences aside and work together). Christians, including our leaders, are wonderfully human and imperfect.

Democracy is a flawed and incredibly interesting system of choosing governance. I was concerned that a Democrat majority in House, Senate, Oval Office and Supreme Court could prove troubling for the future. The same concern goes now for a Republican majority in House, Senate, Oval Office and soon Supreme Court. It will be very interesting to see how the U.S. constitutional checks and balances will function in light of this impending four institutions of governance sweep.

Praying for the USA.