"Religion, artificially divorced from the public sphere, makes for an impoverished politics at best, and a benighted political class at worst."Our new Ambassador of Religious Freedom, Andrew P. W. Bennett, 2 years a dean of Augustine College, is passionate about returning religious discourse to public life.
Our "official secular religion", he argues two years ago here, "violates freedom of religious expression."
In April 2011, ImmMin Jason Kenney announced that Canada's religious freedom office "would be modeled after the Office of International Religious Freedom within the US Department of State," whose head is styled as an ambassador.
Two days ago, in announcing our ambassador for the new Office of Religious Freedom within Foreign Affairs, Harper "denied the office would be modeled after its U.S. counterpart, which has been accused of being biased towards Christians".
A closed-door ORF Stakeholders Conference in 2011 chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the following four out of six Christian panelists advised the government
- Thomas Farr, the State Department's first director of the U.S. Office of International Religious Freedom. Catholic
- Father Raymond De Souza, Roman Catholic priest, NattyPost columnist, and on the Board of Directors at The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
- Anne Brandner, former policy analyst with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada., which "promotes Biblical principles on matters of public policy"
- Don Hutchinson, vice-president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, who yesterday suggested : "A key part of the ambassador’s job should be to help formulate immigration policy."
- Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada and Chair of the Department of Modern Israel Studies at Charles McVety's Evangelical Canada Christian College .
- Susanne Tamas of the Baha'i Community of Canada.
Which of the above credentials do you think will be most useful to him in defending "freedom of religious expression" against our "official secular religion" ?
Update -- DJ : 'Acids of Modernity' at a Christian Finishing School Ha!