Can You Believe Everything You Read?

The report found at the link below shows why Canadians must be alert for media spin, which is often subtle enough to go unnoticed. The report contains two inaccuracies designed to predispose readers’ opinions.

One describes Trinity Western’s Community Covenant as “so-called,” suggesting without foundation that something about Trinity Western’s congregational agreement makes it not genuine. History reveals many church communities over many years who agreed to abide by common standards of living. There is absolutely nothing “so-called” about it. Some would call the reporter’s subtle assertion “fake news.”

Another inaccurate bias is to say the issue pits “gay and lesbian rights against religious mandates.” First of all, note the nuance of the word “mandates,” which are certainly very different from “rights.” In Canada, we all used to have religious “rights,” despite the reporter’s wishful desire to the contrary.

Second, rights belong to people. The Trinity Western case isn’t about competing rights. Rather, it is about whether or not two groups of people will each be allowed by law the equal freedom to choose their own differing beliefs about marriage. The issue is about whether authorities can punish those who affiliate with the Trinity Western church community simply because of that community’s belief that marriage between one man and one woman is uniquely sacred.

You need not agree with the Trinity Western church’s belief to strongly oppose the authoritarian notion that public authorities should punish people for their beliefs, by excluding them from their livelihood and profession. If you don’t oppose that notion, your own freedom might be the next targeted for punishment.

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