Trinity Western

Trinity Western University is a private institution located outside Vancouver in Langley, B.C. Operated under the umbrella of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, Trinity Western resides in the “bible belt” otherwise known as the Fraser Valley. What began as a Christian College in 1962 has morphed into a fully accredited university – as of 1985, Trinity has been a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. With 157 acres of campus, residences for close to 1000 students, 42 under graduate and 16 graduate programs – Trinity enrolls over 3000 students a year.

Ponder one little catch – Trinity Western has no interest in gay students. Last year Trinity sought approval to open a law school. A requirement for all students and faculty is their signature on a promise to steer clear of  behaviour compromising  “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman” Same sex marriage legal in Canada, grounds for exclusion at Trinity.

A decade ago Trinity ran into problems when the B.C. College of Teachers refused to recognize Trinity teaching graduates. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled no evidence existed to prove Trinity teachers would discriminate – they said that in balancing religious and equality rights – “the proper place to draw the line is usually between belief and conduct”. Since no evidence of misconduct existed – Trinity could school anti-gay teachers.

Trinity Western has recently been granted approval to open a law school. Starting in 2015, 60 students will enter the program each year – a three year course promising at least 50 anti-gay lawyers setting up shop come 2019. By 2024 about 300, and so on, and so on.

The prospect leaves me gloomy – I don’t want a future full of close minded, rigid thinkers. I know Trinity graduates are a drop in the bucket – for every Trinity grad, thousands upon thousands of liberal thinkers exist. I also know Trinity isn’t unique – hundreds of institutions bent on religious bias churn righteous zealots out every year.

I’m not too happy with Canada at the moment. Canadians are supposed to call bullshit on injustice. Our federal government forbids employees to say “bless you” in the work place if someone sneezes (for fear it might offend non Christians) yet allows an accredited institution to discriminate against basic human rights.

Trinity Western University

8 thoughts on “Trinity Western

  1. I still trust Canada to act appropriately. I’ve given up hope for the US in the short-term. They have embraced crazy and no one is calling BS, which means it’ll have to run its course as they slowly slip into obscurity.

  2. Hey, Ponder, I guess this isn’t as much a question about this ponder but sort of a parallel ponder.

    Regardless of what were to transpire with Trinity College…

    This whole movement towards inclusion perplexes me. On one side of the coin special interests make a lot of noise about being included and on the other side many of those same people want to be left alone: included when it involves other people letting them in, exclusionary when it involves them letting others in.

    South of the Border we struggle with bilingualism. Not just hispanics wanting classes and books and government services in English but Hmong and Chinese and Ukrainians and… well, it’s a long list. What’s wrong with insisting that if you live in a country you, perhaps, ought to learn how to do business in the language that nation speaks?

    There is lot of lobbying going on about Issues like Trinity College but there doesn’t seem to be ANY lobbying going on about what private schools might be teaching. K-12 schools that cater to the moneyed.

    I’m not going to foist any stupid issues like purebred pets — but it just seems that humans are delightfully INCONSISTENT. We want what we want when we want it — not necessarily for any reason — other than that we want it. Equality IS a good thing. But how does a society find a line between where it’s OK to have a personal opinion and just like something or someone, and separating those choices from those places where we need to behave towards everyone as if we were the same. In fact we aren’t: some people are blond, but I happen to like redheads — I find the color fascinating — do I treat blonds differently than redheads — you bet: if I have a blond in the studio (in the days when I still HAD a studio) I light them differently. Their skin handles light differently than other skin tones (forget about bleach blonde — we’re just talking the real mc coy here)

    30 years ago the subjects on which equality was being preached and fought for were very different. And the further down the equality road we progress the more troubled by it I become. I want very much for the populace to treat everyone with dignity and respect but I don’t buy into some equality theory that says, that a hamburger flipper deserves the same pay as a physicist. Or that there’s anything wrong with some lawyers having a legal bent in favor of one point of view. A good friend of mine is an immigration lawyer and her practice is extremely biased in one directions and her bias and her ‘unique’ point of view has helped a great many people. I’m not so sure that there aren’t times when our rush to equality may be killing something equally important which is the ability to tolerate people with their own point of view.

    As someone who’s never been accused of saying too little, someone who always has a point of view, I’m the kind of guy who likes the idea that the French have more named & registered cheeses than there are days in a year, and I for one get tired of grocery store cheddar, and jack, and mozzarella and colby. I WANT more variety — and less homogeneity.

    Just saying….

    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

    • Oh man – you hit a sore spot with your remarks on language. Over half the population of Vancouver doesn’t have English as a first language. Elementary school teachers struggle with kids in already crowded classes without a word of English .Fortunately kids pick languages up quickly – not so for parents.By high school (speaking only from experience with my own children, and the neighbourhood we live in) exclusion was the rule rather than exception. Of the 1500 or so students at our high school, maybe 200 were non Asian.Many of these students were in the country without their parents. Services existed to do everything from laundry and housekeeping to homework.They didn’t want to eat cafeteria food – enterprising Chinese restaurants pulled up every day at lunch and sold boxed Asian lunch out the back of a van.I know of several Asian families who pulled their kids out of this school because they wanted them to learn English – something that wasn’t happening amongst the “strength in numbers” mentality. French is Canada’s second official language but Mandarin and Cantonese were the classes of choice.

      When one of my kids was playing at the park as a toddler, a Asian boy of 6 or 7 came up and pushed him off the swing with such force it knocked the wind out of him. He just stood there, glaring at my son as he caught his breath and cried.What I assume was a younger sister of this boy appeared and spoke to him in Mandarin. This boy turned, looked me in the eyes and said “I am not sorry, he’s only a whitey” Holy crap!

      I shudder to think how this boy was being raised.That was 20 years ago, and since then I’ve watched the division grow. block after block of businesses with only Chinese characters as signage, advertising flyers in my mail box without a lick of English, being ignored or spoken rudely to in shops – it’s gob smacking! I find myself feeling very un-Canadian and I hate it. I can say for certain – if I immigrated to another country I would go out of my way to learn the language and customs.

      As for lawyers with a legal bent – my husband is a lawyer – there are all sorts of lawyers, they tend to find a niche based on their personality and opinions. That said, it doesn’t sit well with me when an institution produces lawyers with mindsets contrary to the law of the land. Schools of law have a duty (in my mind) to teach without bias or exclusion – the law isn’t like philosophy, it is black and white.They are free to build any kind of practice they choose after graduation – certifying a law school that excludes same sex unions scares me to pieces. 🙂

      • There’s a LOT that scares me these days. I really have no idea where society is taking us.

        All my life I have been as interested in the and out workings of actions and not in just the action itself. Who woulda thunk that a radical shooting Arch-Duke Ferdinand would effectively start WWI and the cataclysm that followed. There are other events every day that have the potential to make huge changes in society and we go around with our happy faces and act as if life is going to continue, unabated, forever.

        I was addressing a religious conference in High Leigh U.K. 1 1/2 years before the Soviet Union dissolved and I said then that just because governments like the Soviet Union exist today does not mean that they will continue –any more than England — and you’da thought that I spat in the face of the Queen — but less than 2 years later the U.S.S.R. ceased to exist and people wanted to know how I knew — and I didn’t know anything — but the things happening there pointed the way. Too seldom do we look at what is happening around us every day.

        That said, my friend, we won’t have to worry about it much longer. if the Vikings are right the world will end TODAY.

        Cheers, Have a great day — I just have to go collect gear from two fired volunteers — I’m sure my day will be just ducky! 🙂
        A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
        Life Unscripted

  3. Pingback: B.C. Spanks Trinity Law | notestoponder

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