Letter: Integrity essence of moral standard

Freedom of conscience, belief worth defending.

Patty Hajdu has said she is willing to alter the process for Canada Summer Jobs grants next year. (Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

Patty Hajdu has said she is willing to alter the process for Canada Summer Jobs grants next year. (Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

Editor, The News:

Re: ‘Trudeau’s values test violates Charter Rights.’

Mark Bogdanovich’s letter does a good job of explaining a situation that I haven’t heard many people talk about, at least publicly.

His argument is that it is unconstitutional for a government to force any citizen, or private organization to make a particular moral statement of belief in order to qualify for societal benefits that are funded by taxation of the individuals who belong to those organizations.

Mr. Bogdanovich has a point.

If freedom of conscience or of belief is a right in our democratic society worth defending, then we need to talk more about this issue.

If we, as private individuals, are not allowed to hold any moral or religious belief that differs from that espoused by our society as a whole – or even more frightening, by the particular political party in power in our society – then we might as well strike that right from our constitution.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is, in essence, legislating the moral and ethical beliefs of Canadian citizens.

If religious organizations cannot, in all conscience, affirm a belief about sexual morality that their faith prohibits, why on earth does the prime minister expect they will be okay with lying about their position, in writing, on a government form?

If he thinks that’s a solution, then I wonder what kind of moral standard he operates under.

Integrity is the essence of the moral standard of every religious organization I am familiar with. Integrity is, in fact, the one moral value that any healthy society needs to embrace if it is to remain operational.

Patty Hajdu’s statement that the regulation will be amended next year is an indication that Mr. Trudeau’s ruling was made without sober second thought.

The sober second thought is coming now, apparently a bit late to salvage summer jobs for youth who were being hired to staff our church’s summer children’s programs.

We will probably hire some students anyway, and pay their wages out of the donations that our member freely make to the ministry our church provides to its members and to the local community.

But that may restrict our ability to fund other programs of value.

I’m not sure Mr. Trudeau realizes how beneficial religious organizations are to our society. They provide support for citizens and services in the community that would have to be underwritten by government funding if churches were no longer able to pay for those services themselves.

Ginny Jaques

Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge News