Edmonton - Saturday, July 27, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton
  It is interesting to note that our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a document that, in its first sentence, recognizes the preeminence of God. How nice it is to live in a nation that puts God foremost on our minds and hearts.




Our fundamental freedoms allow us to worship God as our religion dictates. We are allowed the freedom to think, believe, form opinions, and to express ourselves in a manner consistent with God's principles. To this end, we are also allowed to peacefully assemble, and to freely associate ourselves, with those who likewise follow the founding principles of our land, under God. In fact, such freedoms are limited only by "such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." Where, as a people, we might differ as to what God's guiding principles might be, our democratic rights allow the majority to decide. At least, that is how it could have worked.


  As I interpret it, we Canadians should be able to cite God in our secular life and within our public institutions. Our churches should be free to determine what is appropriate and acceptable conduct within their sphere of influence, with its membership free to assemble together, shift their association to another church or to none at all. The Charter should protect those things that could be interpreted as good in God's eyes, as it even validates itself by stating "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law."
  Too bad our courts look upon it as just another meaningless political punch line.


Ron Thornton

  Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982 Constitution http://canada.justice.gc.ca/Loireg/charte/const_en.html
  The 1994 Court Challenges Program of Canada, non-profit program to assist court cases to advance equality of rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution. http://www.ccppcj.ca/e/ccp.html