I must admit I was horrified when I heard the name "Office of Religious Freedom." The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly says the following:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Even for the Charter, that's pretty clear and simple language.
Every Canadian citizen has the right to worship (or not) as he or she sees fit. How on earth can setting up another massive and unaccountable bureaucracy improve on that?
My position, for those who haven't figured that out yet, is that it can't.
The only power that government bureaucrats have is to crush an individual with the power of the state. I'm continually amazed that people insist that "we need another government program" to solve some problem, real or imagined.
The very last thing we need is another government program.
What we desperately need is a nation of people willing to actually stand up for themselves and their own individual rights, not more government bureaucrats decreeing for us what rights the state is willing to grant us this week.
If our concerns are for how other nations are treating their citizens, we already have a Foreign Affairs Department devoted to this and many more issues.
So why are we creating another bureaucracy?
That's the $64,000 question that nobody is even asking.
In a CBC article published on December 7th, 2011, writer Louise Elliott whined that
Panelists invited to closed-door consultations on a new Office of Religious Freedom were drawn almost exclusively from western religions, primarily Christianity, according to documents obtained by CBC News.
The government has remained virtually mum on how the panelists and scores of participants were chosen for the one-day session.
She posted a link to a document that lists the biographies of the individuals appearing before Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird this past October.
She then went on to quote some loudmouth from McGill University, Arvind Sharma, who could do nothing but complain that he hadn't been invited. Or at least that's what I presume he was whining about when he complained
"There's no representation of religions from Indian and Chinese origin … so this is very one-sided," he said.
Secretary-general of Amnesty International Alex Neve also couldn't help getting into the fray. Elliott quoted him thus:
"We weren't invited, and this is troubling."
Both Louise Elliott, Arvind Sharma and Alex Neve are busying themselves with the wrong questions.
The question these government-paid shills (and Neve) should be asking is not
"Who was asked to address the Foreign Affairs Minister?"
"I think I'm really important. Why wasn't I invited to speak?"
The question they should be asking is this:
Why do we think we need an Office of Religious Freedom in the first place?