Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

December 22, 2009
Re:  Is the Harper Government Playing the Anti-Semitic Card? by Gerald Caplan
Letter submitted to the Globe and Mail, December 24, 2009

Mr. Caplan asks good questions about KAIROS and how the federal government has handled the file. However, in the course of his defense of some churches from the charge of anti-Semitism, he takes a broad swipe at Evangelicals and alleges they are anti-Semitic. This is a complete distortion of evangelical theology and belief. Such allegations serve only to promote contempt and misunderstanding towards a diverse evangelical community in Canada.

A careful study of KAIROS and its partners will show that some of the churches Caplan defends actually identify with the Canadian evangelicalism. Canadian Evangelicals work with Palestinians and have a good relationship with Israelis. The Government of Israel itself works hard to foster and strengthen its relations with Evangelicals. Meanwhile Christians around the world are celebrating the birth of their Lord and Savior, a Jew born in Bethlehem.

Bruce J. Clemenger, President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

September 23, 2009
Re:  Campaign Aims to Curtail Women’s Rights, by Antonia Zerbisias
Letter submitted to the Toronto Star, September 24, 2009

Ms. Zerbisias expresses an interesting point of view, describing prayer as “intimidating” and those seeking abortions as “desperate.” Having stopped her research at one website she has not taken notice of the substantial number of Christian opportunities offered through both Catholic and Protestant ministries to assist pregnant women, single mothers and new parents. From individual congregations that are embracing and caring for single moms and pregnant couples, to ministries that provide accommodations, meals and continuing education opportunities, pro-life Christians are engaging to help meet the needs of those same women and children they are praying for – not “preying on” – outside clinics during the 40 Days For Life campaign. The campaign, by the way, is simply a focused 40 days that reflects a year round continuing expression of loving neighbours as ourselves.

Let’s call the pro-life movement what it is, a movement that respects all of life from conception to natural death.

Don Hutchinson, Vice-President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

September 5, 2009
Re:  Canada’s Public Sphere Just Got a Lot More Messy – And Free, by Doug Saunders [alt. version allows reader comments]
Letter submitted to the Globe and Mail, September 8, 2009

The choice to use the term fundamentalist to describe a leading Canadian Christian university displays a disturbing lack of understanding of Christianity by the author and the Globe and Mail. The views of sexuality of the evangelical Christian tradition, out of which the university operates, are not significantly different than that of the Catholic Church, yet the Globe has not described Catholicism as fundamentalist. If this is the measure of fundamentalism, the majority of Canadians align themselves with a fundamentalist form of Christianity.

The Supreme Court decision mentioned in the article that vindicated Trinity Western University concluded that there is no evidence that the many hundreds of teachers who have graduated from Trinity Western have shown any bias on the basis of sexual orientation. Trinity Western has consistently been ranked among the best in class by various assessments of colleges and universities in Canada, including one published in the Globe last fall.

To thwart prejudice, we should avoid simplistic or vague labels and presumptions, and instead encourage a respectful and informed dialogue that leads to understanding.

Bruce J. Clemenger, President
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

August 12, 2009
Re:  Quasi-religion and the Environment, by David Warren
Letter published in the Ottawa Citizen, August 13, 2009

David Warren makes a good point about the misperception that “we have many responsibilities and one of them is to rule nature.” Having mentioned his faith and belief that “God is in charge,” I write simply to remind Mr. Warren and his readers that from His position of being “in charge” God has given humans the responsibility to be stewards and to care for His creation – a position well supported throughout the Bible. We could probably all do a little better in caring for what is on loan to us for our benefit during a brief lifetime. The Owner has directed us to do so.

Don Hutchinson
Director, Centre for Faith and Public Life, Ottawa
Vice-President, General Legal Counsel, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Markham

June 2, 2009
Re:  Who’s To Blame For George Tiller’s Murder? by Colby Cosh
Letter published in the National Post, June 3, 2009

There is no logical disconnect in being critical of both the killing of the unborn and the killing of an adult, regardless of his chosen profession. The congruence in value for all human life is logically and theologically consistent. For this reason, people like Jim Hughes, president of the Campaign Life Coalition, can, and do, act seriously upon the value we place on human life in the forum of a free and democratic society, without resorting to the violence Mr. Cosh illogically insinuates would be the appropriate (or inappropriate?) indicator of sincere religious belief.

Don Hutchinson, Director, Centre for Faith and Public Life
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Ottawa

March 26, 2009
Re: Sex Ed 2.0: Vibrators and Condom Runs
Letter published in the Globe & Mail, March 27, 2009 (minus the first two sentences)

Alex McKay refers to the basic rights of youth and of their parents. In Canada, only one of those "rights" exists. Youth do not have the "right" to be taught all forms of sexual intercourse nor the proper use of a vibrator. Parents, on the other hand, by virtue of both Canadian and international law, have the right “to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their child” and to “ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions” (UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights). Sexual health is an important topic, and parents are in the best position to determine the educational and health needs of their children. The Waterloo Region District School Board is to be congratulated for getting it right by making space to consider the various beliefs and moral positions of the children’s parents and seeking ways to accommodate them.

Faye Sonier, Associate Legal Counsel
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

More letters (from 2008)

Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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