Moral decline seems to be increasing at an alarming rate in Canadian culture. Randy examines the case of Trinity Western University’s standing as a law school.
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Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires (2 Peter 3:3 ).
In December 2014, I commented on what was happening in Canadian universities – what it said about the evidence of declining morals in some post-secondary institutions as contrasted to the legal issues faced by Trinity Western. Trinity U expected their community to live by a biblical “code of conduct” which was seen by Canada’s highest court this week as being contrary to Canadian values. Really? Where is this going? The decision has been rendered, but the conversation – and the fallout – continues:
Violent Sexual Conversation
Now it’s Dalhousie University’s turn in the unwanted glare of public judgement. Tonight the leaders of that institution – like other Canadian schools of higher learning before them – are hunkered down in damage-control mode, meeting to discuss how to respond to very public evidence of blatantly violent sexual conversation and viciously graphic Facebook postings among male dentistry students directed at female students.
Haven’t we heard this one before? Consider:
- late last winter, the University of Ottawa was embroiled in controversy resulting from a widely publicized Facebook conversation among young men speaking in violent and sexually graphic language, specifically targeting the female president of the student federation.
- within a few days, Ottawa U suspended the entire men’s hockey team pending an investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving several university players.
- earlier in the school year, parents were shocked to watch on the evening news as students chorused “rape chants” at frosh week activities, including at St. Mary’s University (a few blocks south of Dalhousie in Halifax) and at University of BC at the other end of the country.
It caused some to wonder aloud whether a “rape culture” exists, lurking in the dorms and classrooms of Canadian universities.
And here’s the hypocrisy.
Trinity Western University in BC is a Christian institution seeking to become the first religious law school in Canada. In short, TWU wants to educate lawyers, Christian lawyers. News crews have not set up on the TWU campus to chase down wild frosh-week activities; there is no concern about anything approximating sexual violence against women. TWU never appears in national media headlines about declining ethical standards. And yet, TWU has struggled at every turn to be recognized by the legal, academic – and now governmental – authorities.
First TWU’s law school was opposed by the Council of Canadian Law Deans. The deans found anxious allies in the Canadian Association of University Teachers and then by various provincial legal organizations including the Law Society of BC. Late last week the provincial government piled on when the BC Minister for Advanced Education reversed his earlier position, revoking his consent for TWU to operate a law school.
What’s the issue? It has never been about academic rigour. It is very much about biblical morality, ethics, and our ultimate accountability to the God who made us. As a Christian university founded on following Jesus Christ and living out biblical principles, TWU requires students, faculty and administration to live by a ‘community covenant’ prohibiting among other things drunkenness, slander, and obscene language.
And, the TWU social contract asserts “sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman”.
Wandering From the Moral High Ground
Have we wandered so far from the moral high road, that as a culture we challenge that an institution upholding those standards could ever produce competent, decent Canadian professionals? Really? When the evidence – and what is in the public media is only the tip of the moral iceberg – for pervasive depravity and corruption at some other Canadian universities continues to pile up?
And if not, should we be surprised at what we are witnessing in the frosh week activities, or in the once-thought-private world of student group social media postings?
Plummeting Moral Values
I wrote this earlier in the year: Aren’t plummeting moral values to be expected within the university sub-culture, when/if such sub-culture challenges biblical authority, denying God’s existence and decrying a Christian worldview?
Takeaway: what does this irrational reaction to Christian standards by authorities within our culture say about what we as Christ-followers should expect in terms of moral sexual decline – and the promotion of such decline by those in positions of authority – in the broader society in the next 5 years? What does it say about those who will continue to uphold biblical principles of right and wrong within an increasingly hostile culture?
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Images Courtesy of:
Trinity Western Sign – R Orvill Lyttle
Couple – pasja
University Interior – thelester