Canadian university under attack for maintaining Christian ethos
A Christian university in Canada has come under attack from homosexual activists, who claim that its hiring policy discriminates against homosexuals by requiring all employees to adhere to Biblical teachings on marriage and sexual ethics.
Moncton’s Crandall University, a Christian liberal arts school, currently requires all members of staff to agree to “reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman” as a pre-condition of employment.
The school’s Lifestyle and Ethical Standards Covenant states further: “As a Christian community, Crandall University upholds Christian standards of behaviour to which faculty and staff are required to conform. These standards derive not only from the Christian scriptures, but also from the culture of the supporting evangelical constituency.”
However, River of Pride, which organizes the city’s homosexual “pride” week, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) are demanding that public funding be withdrawn from the university on the basis that its ethical standards are “inappropriate” and violate human rights legislation.
Josie Harding of River of Pride said: “If you’re going to use public money, it has to be used for the public.
“I think [funding] should be cut if they are indeed a public institution and want to enforce this. It’s against human rights law.”
James Turk, executive director of CAUT, stated: “If an institution calls itself a university and imposes an ideological test or a faith test as a condition of being able to be a professor there, we think it’s entirely inappropriate.”
The vice-president of Crandall University, Seth Crowell, responded to the accusations by highlighting that the school had a statutory right to maintain a Christian ethos under a 1983 act of the New Brunswick legislature.
“The human rights standard does allow for certain bona fide impositions as it relates to faith and religious positions. I’m fine with those who want to disagree and challenge it,” he said.
The CAUT has launched an attack on a number of Canadian Christian universities, accusing them of breaching human rights legislation for requiring members of staff to sign a statement of faith before joining.
But the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) criticised the CAUT for ignoring the religious history of Canadian education, and for attempting to side line religion from academic life.
Phil Horgan, president of the CCRL, said: “To us, this is a fairly straightforward attempt to find problems with universities that take their religious heritage seriously, in an attempt to further marginalize religion in academic life.
“There had been no complaint of infringement of academic freedom, or overall quality of the staff and their work. So why send out e-mails to academics looking for problems that would surely be well known if they existed?”