Why churches don’t pay taxes

It’s a matter of recognizing that the church is not ultimately subject to the sovereignty of the state

Why churches don’t pay taxesJERUSALEM – A combustible dispute over property taxes led to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem being closed in protest for three days. The mayor of Jerusalem, without notice or consultation, slapped tax arrears assessments on church properties not used for worship, including the vast number of guesthouses that welcome pilgrims visiting the…

Using student job funding to silence critics

The Liberals’ latest decision means summer employment is now a testing ground for ideological adhesion, obedience and purity

Using student job funding to silence criticsIt’s tough work to imagine two groups more radically different than the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and the gays rights network LGBTory. So when both join the rising chorus opposing changes to what should be among Ottawa’s most innocuous programs, it’s a signal something significant is going on. The Four Cs, as the council…

Score one for religious freedom

Proposed amendments to Bill C-51 mean MPs understand that religious services and sacred spaces aren’t the same as any other public gathering

Score one for religious freedomSometimes Parliament works just the way the textbooks say it’s supposed to. Take for example the way the House of Commons justice committee dealt with Bill C-51, which aims to erase “outdated” parts of the Criminal Code. The committee held hearings. Government and opposition MPs listened to and questioned those who came to testify. Then…

Why Payette was right – and dead wrong

At the core of both science and religion is the human desire to understand that which eludes us, and to make sense of life

Why Payette was right – and dead wrongCanadian Gov. Gen. Julie Payette recently pitted science and religion against each other when she implied that science is rational and religion irrational. While many share this view, I find it narrow and simplistic. Both science and religion shed meaning on human experience, and both play a role in shaping the world. Both are tools…

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at risk

The federal government needs to affirm the importance of freedom of religion and conscience by preserving Section 176

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at riskIn June, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled in the House of Commons omnibus legislation to amend the Criminal Code and Department of Justice Act. One of Bill C-51’s provisions should concern Canadians for what it proposes and says about the value we place on religious freedom and our understanding of sacred space. The bill would…