“I’m a Registered Religious Practitioner, eh?”

LifeSite reports on a call for state control of religion made on Canada’s National Public Radio Broadcasts by former Royal Military College professor Bob Furguson.

Ministers would have to fulfill certain requirements in order to gain a licence or certificate to be a Registered Religious Practitioner.

The former professor pitched his idea as a boon to religious freedom. “We could also help the general cause of religious freedom by introducing a code of moral practice for religions,” he said. “They will never achieve unity so why not try for compatibility? Can’t religious leaders agree to adjust doctrine so all religions can operate within the code?”

The government can help the cause of religious freedom by telling religions what to do?

Why can’t religions put the laws of the government above the laws of God? Hmmm. Why could that be?

Clearly this former professor holds very little regard for religious beliefs if he thinks those who hold them would willingly yield to a government imposed “correction” of God’s word.

Ferguson also suggests ‘obvious’ prohibitions on religion including preaching of ‘hate’. “I won’t try to propose what might be in the new code except for a few obvious things: A key item would have to be a ban on claims of exclusivity. It should be unethical for any RRP to claim that theirs was the one true religion and believers in anything else or nothing were doomed to fire and brimstone. One might also expect prohibition of ritual circumcisions, bans on preaching hate or violence, the regulation of faith healers, protocols for missionary work, etc.,” says Ferguson.

So pretty much we have to edit Jesus? He is the way, the truth and the life and no one shall come to the Father except through Him or any other religious organization or none at all if you so choose?

Somehow the intolerance held by Mr. Ferguson is more acceptable than the perceived intolerance held by individuals and groups who subscribe to religious beliefs. Interesting.

7 Responses to ““I’m a Registered Religious Practitioner, eh?””

  1. Dan at Necessary Roughness Says:

    The haters accuse us of hating. I love it. It’s almost Orwellian (which would almost fit his views too).

    If I told someone that they had better duck because they’re about to walk into a beam, am I hating him because I couldn’t bear to see him hit his head?

  2. Simon Says:

    Elle,

    This commentary by this retired military professor is just obviously ridiculous. No reasonable person would think that his suggestion would enhance freedom of conscience/freedom of religion. It’s just absurd — it’s just loony.

    Given that it’s so absurd and has absolutely no adherents, besides this wack retired prof, I don’t think it’s accurate or constructive to write: “Somehow the intolerance held by Mr. Ferguson is more acceptable than the perceived intolerance held by individuals and groups who subscribe to religious beliefs. Interesting.” The article did not say anything about this guy’s intolerance being “more acceptable” to anyone. And I’m not sure to whom Dan is referring as the “haters,” but even the most ardent non-religious people in this country (whom I would not call “haters”) believe very strongly in freedom of religion. In fact, they strongly believe in a solid wall between religion and the state, and thus be fervently against this ridiculous entanglement of religion and the state supported by this wacky guy.

    I just think it’s so easy to make into a cartoon those with whom we disagree … and I suggest resist doing it. This guy might be a cartoon … but his position is just not worth responding to. It’s absurd.

  3. Dan at Necessary Roughness Says:

    RE: Haters.

    In a religiously free society, I may inform someone of what I feel are exclusive truths, and that person can choose whether or not to believe me. I don’t hold a gun to their head and force them to go to church / mosque / synagogue / whatever. I have a right to speak; I don’t have a right to be listened to. Larry Flynt has a right to publish Penthouse, but he can’t make me buy it. If society wants to rid people of that kind of pervasive influence, they shouldn’t buy his magazine and thus force him to go bankrupt.

    The haters I refer to wish to prevent other people from listening to a (admittedly from my perspective) beneficial message by killing it at the source. They rob other people the chance to decide for themselves whether to believe. If someone is an atheist and wants to convince people of his beliefs, fine. I don’t have to listen to it. When he wants to stop me from spreading the Word, then he’s a “hater” in my book. :)

    On the other hand, I don’t want the state to decide to “help” the process either, because the state takes my money by force to deliver a message that is very likely contrary or divergent to what I believe the true message is to be.

  4. Erica Olson Says:

    Leave it to a journalist to remind everyone of this little gem: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

    “Congress shall make now law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    In other words, no law will ever be made restricting the kinds of things religions can preach or practice unless they do something to change the First Amendment. It’s just that simple. And I don’t think anyone will ever be willing to change something that allows this freedom. So I’m not concerned. Are you? If they do, we can “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  5. Simon Says:

    Dan,

    I agree 100% with your first paragraph. With regard to your second paragraph, I’m not sure who wants to try to stop you from spreading your message. Like I said, I don’t know one atheist or agnostic or any other person, for that matter, who does not believe that we must have the right to free speech and freedom of conscience. Admittedly, this professor wants the government to make people change their message in a way, but, like i said, he’s totally off the walls. His view is ridiculous and I don’t know anyone who would support a view that is in such obvious tension with freedom of conscience. And finally, I agree 100% with you that the state should not be involved one way or the other regarding religion. It should remain 100% neutral — and, it so happens, I think that’s also best for religion.

    P.S. Larry Flynt publishes Hustler, not Penthouse. Get your pornographers straight, Dan! :)

  6. Dan at Necessary Roughness Says:

    ROFL.

    Busted! I should have stuck with Hefner. :)

  7. Alex Says:

    Let’s just say that in Canada we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees, among other things, freedom of religion and freedom of association. Were wingnuts like Mr. Ferguson to impinge on those rights, it isn’t just the Christians he’d have to deal with… (can you say, ‘jihad’?)

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