Bishops distressed by Bill 62

When I applied for a visa to visit China, before my photograph was taken I had to remove my glasses because they are photosensitive and were darkened from being in bright light. My wife had to make sure her ears were not obscured by her hair: the Chinese don’t want unidentified ears entering their country.

When we arrived in China, bleary-eyed and crotchety, we were photographed again by Chinese immigration. None of this was particularly distressing, although, admittedly, wearing glasses is more of a practical consideration than a religious observance.

Quebec’s Bill 62 requires people to uncover their faces while giving and receiving state services. Clearly, this affects niqab wearing Muslim women – or men, I suppose since gender is now fluid – more than anyone else. Showing one’s face to identify oneself before receiving a state service doesn’t seem to me to be a particularly unreasonable requirement. But it has distressed some Anglican bishops whose priority, having largely abandoned Christianity, is now one of defending Islam; when not marrying people of the same sex to each other, that is.

Here is the wail of distress by our Anglislamic bishops:

As leaders of minority faith communities in Quebec we feel compelled to express our deep distress at the manner in which the religious neutrality law passed by the National Assembly implicitly targets another minority religious group in this province.

Although veiled as a question of identification and security , Bill 62’s provisions regarding face coverings will most directly impact a small minority of Muslim women in Quebec, whose freedom to express their religious beliefs is enshrined in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For Christians, these human rights are grounded in the dignity accorded each human being by virtue of having been made in the image and likeness of their Creator.

The January 29 shooting massacre at Quebec City’s Grand Mosque — and other acts of violence before and since — demonstrate that our Muslim neighbours live in a climate of suspicion and fear that threatens their safety. Bill 62 helps foster that climate at a time when we are turning to our governments and public institutions to protect vulnerable minorities in our midst.

We recognize and support the desire for Quebec to be a secular society. However, to be secular means to be pluralistic, allowing freedom of belief both in one’s private and public life. The provisions of Bill 62, however they are applied, unnecessarily put that fundamental freedom —  and potentially people’s security — at risk.

We invite our elected leaders, and all Quebecers, to join us in trying to foster a safe and welcoming environment for all who make Quebec their home, whatever their culture or religion.

The Rt. Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson, Bishop of Montreal, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers, Bishop of Quebec, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Michael Pryse, Bishop of the Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Interfaith replaces Christian faith

Western Anglicanism seems to have reached the point where it no longer believes in its own creeds. After all, if Anglican clergy actually believed that God came to earth as a man, if he is the propitiation for our sins, if he rose bodily from the dead, if he is alive today and will one day return, surely they would want to convince others of this. Including those of other faiths. Including Muslims – they rarely tire of telling us how inclusive they are.

Rather than “make disciples of all nations” the mission has become “observe similarities with all religions”.

From here:

St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Leamington, Ont. made headlines recently with an ongoing foray into interfaith cooperation.

Following its annual picnic last September in which the church had invited Syrian refugees to attend, St. John established an arrangement with a local Muslim community to use the church’s community hall. A CBC report was shared thousands of times on social media, and the Anglican Journal later offered its own coverage.

At a time of rising Islamophobia across Canada and around the world, instances of solidarity between Christians and Muslims such as that at St. John provide counter-examples of Canadian attitudes toward Islam. The Rev. Andrew Wilson, rector at St. John, has received much positive feedback since the story on his church picked up traction.

“The response that people have actually sent to me, they said, ‘This is Canadian. This is who Canada is.’ And they say, ‘Yes, and this is who Christ is.’ So I’ve had both responses,” Wilson said.

Islamic prayer and worship within St. John Anglican church has provided an opportunity for the Anglican clergy and members of congregation to observe similarities between Muslim and Christian worship.

Diocese of Ottawa parish hosts a course on Islam

Christ Church Seaway has as its motto “to know Christ and make him known”. I first heard this in a visit to St. Paul’s in Darien, Terry Fulham’s church; that was their mission statement.

Christ Church Seaway has decided to make Christ known by inviting an imam to the church to talk about Islam, not something that Terry Fulham had in mind, I suspect. There is nothing at all surprising about this: for years liberals have been stealing words and phrases used by evangelicals in order to twist them into meaning something different. For another example, I’m sure you have noticed that no decision is made at an Anglican synod without the wholehearted endorsement of the “Spirit”. Another spirit, not the Holy Spirit.

From here:

It is common for churches to offer courses on Christian spirituality during the season of Lent. This year, Christ Church Seaway hosted a different kind of Lenten course. In response to local confusion about Islam and how Christians should respond to a growing Muslim presence in our region, The Rev. Patrick Stephens decided that the time was right for his community to formally begin the work of inter-religious dialogue.

A special guest speaker was present for the first session and helped the group get started on the right foot. Imam Dr. Mohamad Jebara from Ottawa’s Cordova Centre shared with the group about his own faith and was gracious in responding to questions from the floor. The course ran for a total of five sessions and was based around readings, video presentations, and group discussions.

Ottawa parish offers a Lenten course on Islam

There is an abundance of evidence that the Anglican Church of Canada has lost interest in Christianity. The replacement we’ve all become used to is a variation on cultural Marxism: we are all equal; there are no longer men and women because the sexes must also be equal – gender is fluid; the state substitutes for the traditional family; social justice replaces charity; Gaia replaces God, smudging replaces confession and Two Spirit replaces the Holy Spirit.

That isn’t enough, it seems. The Diocese of Ottawa’s Christ Church Seaway is so ashamed of its Christian heritage it is plumbing new depths of idiocy by encouraging its members to convert to Islam.

From here:

It is common for churches offer courses on Christian spirituality during the season Lent. This year, Christ Church Seaway hosted a different kind of Lenten course. In response to local confusion about Islam and how Christians should respond to a growing Muslim presence in our region, The Rev. Patrick Stephens decided that the time was right for his community to formally begin the work of inter- religious dialogue. A special guest speaker was present for the first session and helped the group get started on the right foot. Imam Dr. Mohamad Jebara from Ottawa’s Cordova Centre shared with the group about his own faith and was gracious in responding to questions from the floor. The course ran for a total of five sessions and was based around readings, video presentations, and group discussions.

Over all, approximately thirty people participated. For many course participants, this experience was the first meaningful encounter with the Muslim religion. As the course came to an end, there was much interest from the group to reach out to a nearby mosque to explore opportunities for further learning and relationship building. Later this spring, the group hopes to visit and tour a mosque, and possibly reciprocate by offering similar hospitality at the church.

Another terrorist attack, another candle

Candlelight vigils will be held in numerous cities in wake of the terrorist attack at a Quebec mosque.

As Theodore Dalrymple put it about a prior attack:

A moment used to be defined as the amount of time between a Mexico City traffic light turning green and the sound of the first car horn, but now it might be defined as the period between a terrorist attack in a Western city and the first public appearance of a candle.  Every terrorist attack, including the latest one in Berlin, is immediately followed by the public exhibition of lighted candles.  It is almost as if the population keeps a store of them ready to hand for this very purpose.

[…..]

The candles, then, are a manifestation of modern paganism, a striving for transcendence without any real belief in it.  They are also a somewhat self-congratulatory symbol of our own peaceable temperament: the violent are not great candle-lighters.  We cannot, for example, imagine Genghis Khan lighting many candles for the souls of the departed (not that we really believe in souls).

I think Dalrymple is correct when he says the candles signify a striving for transcendence without any real belief in it. It is only fitting, then, that Anglican bishops and lesser clergy will be well represented in Quebec, London (Ontario), Halifax, Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton and, no doubt, many other locations.

Why?

Why, when a person who has X and Y chromosomes self-identifies as a woman, do we take him seriously in spite of the simpler explanation that he is self-deluding not self-identifying, yet, when a terrorist self-identifies as a Muslim, we insist that he is self-deluding not self-identifying, in spite of the simpler explanation that Islam is a fecund breeding ground for terrorists?

Anglican priest wears a hijab

Rev. Cheryl Toth from the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle wore a hijab for a day to “see what it’s like” and because she is unhappy that hostility towards women who wear a hijab, niqab or burka is increasing. And, of course, “to contribute to the conversation” – it wouldn’t be Anglican without that.

She didn’t go for the full cover-up of a burka, presumably because in a burka, no one would have any idea that she was a lady Anglican priest declaring “look at me, aren’t I progressive”, rather than an actual Muslim. That wouldn’t have been much of a publicity stunt.

Here she is:

And here are thousands of women protesting against being forced to wear a hijab in Iran in March 1979. I know which spectacle find more convincing:

Iran protest

From here:

Anglican priest Cheryl Toth decided to wear a hijab for a day to see what the experience is like. (Submitted by Cheryl Toth)

Concerned with what she calls the “increasing rhetoric about the wearing of the niqab by Muslim women,” an Anglican priest in Regina decided to take matters into her own hands. She wore a hijab for a day to see what’s [sic] like.

In a post on Facebook, Cheryl Toth said she’s “uncomfortable with the way the debate focuses on what women wear (or decide not to wear). I am afraid that [the rhetoric] will increase hostility towards women who choose to wear a hijab, a niqab or a burka.”

She said she sees her trial run with the hijab as a way “to contribute to the conversation.”

Anglican priest and imam officiate at a wedding

More inclusion from the Anglican Church of Canada: Rev. Dwayne Bos and Imam Suleyman Demiray officiated at a wedding between a Christian and a Muslim. Apparently, the precedent for this was set some time ago when the Church married a Christian to a Wiccan. The Anglican Church of Canada is easing its way into Chrislam via Wicca, a belief system which already strongly resembles that of the ACoC.

The imam recited a passage from the Al-Fatiha in the Quran, not to be confused with the Quran 8:12 passage which invites Mohammed’s followers to behead the infidel – a bit of a downer just before the honeymoon.

Read all about it here:

History was made this summer at Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ont., with a unique interfaith wedding, the officiating clerics say.

On August 29, Capt. Georgette Mink, a physiotherapist in the Canadian military, was married to Ahmad Osman, a soldier in the Lebanese army. Although technically a Christian marriage, it was attended by representatives from both the Christian and Muslim religions, and was followed by a Muslim blessing of the couple.

Capt. the Rev. Dwayne Bos, the Anglican padre who officiated, said he believes other weddings may have been done in the Canadian military involving Christians and non-Christians—he has heard of some involving one Wiccan partner, for example. But the fact that clerics from both faith traditions co-performed the liturgy made this one unique, he said.

“From what we understand and know, this would be the first one of this type that’s ever been done in the Canadian Forces,” he said.

Holy Ramadan from Gosford Anglican Church

Since Anglican churches still maintain a loose connection to Christianity, wishing holiness on a competing religion’s ritual seems a little odd. Anglicans normally reserve the attribute of holiness for gay marriages.

Much like watery Anglicanism, ISIS wishes you a holy Ramadan, too; except, if your children don’t comply, they will be crucified. ISIS, as far as I am aware, has yet to wish anyone a Merry Christmas.