The strident opposition to Trinity Western University’s bid to open Canada’s first private, faith-based law school has played out in the courts of British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia—and strikes at the very heart of our Charter-protected freedoms of conscience, religion, and freedom of association. It’s important to understand that there has been a significant change in the Law Societies’ position since this case began.
The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC-Ontario) submitted that it must reject Trinity Western not just because of TWU’s position on marriage, but also because of our “distinctly Christian” environment. In its written argument filed with the Supreme Court of Canada, the LSUC highlighted every part of the Community Covenant it found discriminatory. The first two highlighted words were “Jesus Christ.”
At issue is the place of religion in the public sphere in Canada—and whether government bodies can refuse to recognize or accredit Christian and other religious institutions that meet all required standards. A decision against Trinity Western University could have far-reaching implications that could potentially lead to restrictions on other Canadian religious institutions and organizations that choose to maintain their religious character and purpose. At stake is the right to freedom of conscience—and its place in the cultural mosaic that is Canada.
A challenge such as this is won or lost not just in the courtrooms of Canada, but also in the media and in the court of public opinion. We ask for you to continue to pray as the Supreme Court Justices make their decisions on the TWU case in the upcoming weeks and months, and as dialogue continues about religious freedom.
Please join with us, in small groups, in congregations, or as individuals, to pray—fervently and humbly—for the judges, and that God would grant a favourable outcome, not just for Trinity Western University, but for all religious institutions in Canada.