Last Sunday we distributed the link to direct worshippers concerned about the current administration's unreasonably stubborn position on their mandated attestation to the Canada Summer Jobs grant applications. An unknown number went online and signed, and a great number of us without easy access to the online petition signed the hardcopy petition. Our Office Administrator then faxed in a copy and delivered a hard copy to our local MP's office.
Then, Monday, March 19, the vote came down: With the exception of a single Liberal MP*, all Liberal MPs voted the party line to strike down the motion. What was the motion? Brought by the Conservative Party, it sought to uphold the right of all applicants to apply without having to attest to believing in the government’s ideological position.
So what happens now?
- Pray. Continue praying. Pray harder. Our scriptural responsibility and act of worship to the Lord is to be obedient to the commands to pray for those in authority over us. Pray for God's wisdom to prevail in them. They need it.
- Watch. Don't let this fall by the wayside. This is a critical issue like few others. This, if not addressed successfully, has the distinct future possibility of stripping all churches, fellowships, denominations and other religious charities of their charitable status. No kidding. That's not an overstatement. YOU CAN "WATCH" BY SUBSCRIBING TO BARRY BUSSEY'S BLOG HERE.
- Speak. Don't be silent. Continue speaking to all our elected representatives and to all your friends. Highlight the violation of charter rights of the freedom of thought and religion, and how when governments and societies go down this road, it's not pretty. Not at all. Speaking with love and reason (both) changes hearts and minds. Don't be silent.
I'm told privately that this will likely go a long way...maybe even to the Supreme Court of Canada. We as a local church will be represented in that legal action, as we, too, can demonstrate harm of loss due to the actions of this government to restrict our access to the CSJ funds. Though this will take some time and work quietly in the background, it is a journey we must and is worth taking.
* I commend Newfoundland MP Scott Sims for voting his personal conscience, recognizing that the government's approach of dismissing our concerns, saying in effect "don't worry about it; just sign it." No one in a free, democratic society should have their core fundamental beliefs (and Charter rights) trampled on by the government, and then further have the offence waved off as inconsequential. Hear, hear, Scott Sims!