Trinity Revoked

Trinity Western is an accredited Canadian university located in Langley British Columbia. Born in 1962 as a Christian college operated by the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, Trinity became a university in 1985.

Trinity Western University students must sign a covenant abstaining from sexual intimacy 'that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.'

Trinity Western has strict policies regarding sexual conduct. Prospective students must sign a “promise” not to engage in same sex shenanigans. Sexual intimacy violating sacredness of marriage between a man and woman = guaranteed expulsion. A decade ago, B.C.’s College of Teachers refused to recognize Trinity teaching graduates – the Supreme Court ruled their concerns unfounded. The court weighed religious and equality rights, concluding no evidence existed to substantiate concerns of teacher discrimination. Lacking evidence of teacher misconduct – Trinity was free to school anti-gay teachers.

Trinity fell off radars until a December 2013 announcement – B.C. government approval of Trinity Law School.

“The Degree Quality Assessment Board reviewed Trinity Western University’s proposed law degree and found that it met the degree program quality assessment criteria for private and out-of-province public institutions,” he said.

“Further, the review by the Federation of Law Societies confirmed that graduates of the proposed law program could meet the national standards to practice law.”

Not so fast Trinity – same sex marriage is legal in Canada. Hold your horses Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk – British Columbia Lawyers have a message for you. In June of this year, a rare gathering of B.C. Lawyers voted 3,210-968 in favor of rejecting accreditation of Trinity law. Law Society rules stipulate if results of the vote aren’t implemented in a year, they can force a binding referendum.

Today Education Minister Virk withdrew his consent.

“Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University,” he said in an emailed statement. “This means the university cannot enrol any students in its proposed program.”

“The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means prospective graduates may not be able to be called to the bar, or practise law, in British Columbia. This is a significant change to the context in which I made my original decision,” he added.

Trinity Western president Bob Kuhn expressed disappointment.

“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program,” Kuhn said in a press release.

Difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis? Holy crap. All I can say is Canada dodged a bullet. Sleep well Canada, the prospect of Lawyers encouraged to discriminate against law abiding citizens of our nation has been averted.



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

Bottle Drives and Chocolate Almonds

I can’t take credit for this ponder. It took shape after reading a post from one of my facebook friends. At first I laughed; soon irony took hold,  forcing one of those holy crap moments – that split second when clarity replaces mirth, leaving me pondering – why not?

Obviously this isn’t a suggestion that prisoners go door to door with satchels of chocolate almonds. My “why not?” more of a “why not fund education?” Correct me if I’m wrong; isn’t education the single most important thing society can provide? How can we erase ignorance without education; without a basic frame work or point of reference on which decisions and opinions are formed?
I ponder the state of basic schooling in both Canada and the U.S. – it gives me the willies. Teachers backed against a wall – oversized classes, lacking basic supplies, drastic cuts to ESL and special needs assistants, music programs dropped, library resources trickling away when it comes down to new books or paper.
I can’t speak for America but in Canada more and more financial burden is placed on parents.Depending on which side of the tracks you happen to fall, the line between “have” and “have not” schools is unmistakeable. “Public” education is a joke – the punch line is biting us in the ass.
Bizarre, is the only word I can think of to describe our lack of education funding. I can’t wrap my head around our lack of attention to one, if not the most important issue facing society.  The cliché “knowledge is power” should be the battle cry sung from every last roof top. It simply doesn’t make sense to gloss over mankind’s first building block.

Notes Nation

Imagine if there was a place on earth where we could wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. A place where elected officials served the people, taxes paid for infrastructure, education, and healthcare.  A nation where all were welcome and equal; free to practice or believe anything they wanted in the privacy of home. A place free from corruption and political influence.

I’ll call this nation Notes.

It would be against the law for businesses or companies to contribute funds towards political campaigns. All individuals running for political office would be given equal amounts of commercial free public air time. Absolutely free of charge; a public service announcement with the stipulation they stuck to their mandate. Negative ad campaigns and smear tactics would be forbidden. There would be no lobby or special interest groups making back room deals or paying for influence.

Taxation would be fair and apply to everyone. No tax exempt or non profit status as we know it; instead these organizations would have an exemption to cover operating costs, after that taxes would be levied. Any major expenditure such as building a new church would require an application and permit to justify the privilege of tax free status.  NPO’s would be audited on a regular basis. Televangelists would be taken off the air; free to preach in places of worship, not to take credit card numbers when the phone lines opened.It would be classified a “hate crime” for any religious organization to speak out against activities or lifestyle outside their faith. Elected officials, teachers, or any person in a position of influence could not use “god” as the basis of their opinion. Citizens would be free to follow any faith they choose, but it would be a private matter, a non profit, behind closed doors matter.

Guns would be illegal, and there would be zero tolerance for sexual assault or crimes against children. School curriculum would not only include cursive writing, all students would be educated on the history and beliefs of world religions. Tolerance and critical thinking would trump bigotry and closed minds.

Before dismissing this ponder as a Miss America contestants “world peace” speech – stop and think a moment. Notes nation is a place where business has no influence over government, religion is taken out of politics, and schools replace a singular “god” with unbiased knowledge. Simple, sensible, and sadly just about as effective a thought as Miss America and world peace.

Oh Louisiana

Stories pop up in the news about misguided school curriculum in America; for the most part I dismiss them as isolated cases on a slow news day. As a Canadian, I suppose it just seems too preposterous for educators to push bibles or deny evolution. Sure, you can send your kids to Catholic schools, or enrol them in any number of private institutions – that said; in most Canadian provinces    evangelical and private schools are obligated by law to teach evolution and LGBT rights. Under no circumstance imaginable would publicly funded schools be allowed to stray from an open minded curriculum.

When I heard about Louisiana’s Voucher School Program, I started to ponder. It may be my age as the story that peaked my interest reported these schools teaching “hippies” were dirty, draft dodging, immoral, Satan worshippers. I grew up on the Vietnam war, remember the Kent State  riots, and wore a flower or two in my hair – this did not sit well. The following is a page from the book America:The Land I Love, used as an 8th grade history textbook in Louisiana voucher schools.


My decision to learn more about voucher schools didn’t make me any happier. In a nutshell the program is the brain child of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He publicly defends his “education reforms” as a chance to help poor and under privileged students receive a better education.  Low income families can apply to the state for a “voucher” that will cover the cost of enrolment in participating private schools. In January District Court Judge Timothy Kelley ruled the program unconstitutional, as it used  money intended for public schools. The case is under appeal, and the program continues.

So what’s the big deal, aside from the dirty hippy reference and questionable use of public funds? Ponder some of the other gems in the voucher school curriculum.

The KKK was a “force of good”, most slaves were treated well, dinosaurs and man lived at the same time, and fire breathing dragons may actually have existed. The link below to Mother Jones has a list of knee slapping jaw droppers Louisiana believes well educated children need to know.

I can’t decide whether to laugh or scream. Oh Louisiana – there must be a better way.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal