Friday, July 26, 2013

Should Trinity Western University Law School Be Granted Accreditation?

Trinity Western University is located in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. It wants to have a Law School so it has applied for accreditation from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Many people are opposed, including The Globe and Mail: Trinity Western should emulate its U.S. equivalents.
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada should not accredit a new law school at Trinity Western University. Doing otherwise would be to endorse the university’s discrimination against gays and lesbians. The FLSC should also use this occasion to follow the lead of its American counterpart and adopt anti-discrimination standards for all law schools seeking accreditation.
What's the problem? The problem is that Trinity Western University is a Christian college that requires that all students and staff adhere to certain "Christian" principles. Here's what they say in their Community Covenant.
This covenant applies to all members of the TWU community, that is, administrators, faculty and staff employed by TWU and its affiliates, and students enrolled at TWU or any affiliate program. Unless specifically stated otherwise, expectations of this covenant apply to both on and off TWU’s campus and extension sites. Sincerely embracing every part of this covenant is a requirement for employment. Employees who sign this covenant also commit themselves to abide by TWU Employment Policies. TWU welcomes all students who qualify for admission, recognizing that not all affirm the theological views that are vital to the University’s Christian identity. Students sign this covenant with the commitment to abide by the expectations contained within the Community Covenant, and by campus policies published in the Academic Calendar and Student Handbook.

...

People face significant challenges in practicing biblical sexual health within a highly sexualized culture. A biblical view of sexuality holds that a person’s decisions regarding his or her body are physically, spiritually and emotionally inseparable. Such decisions affect a person’s ability to live out God’s intention for wholeness in relationship to God, to one’s (future) spouse, to others in the community, and to oneself. Further, according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation. Honouring and upholding these principles, members of the TWU community strive for purity of thought and relationship, respectful modesty, personal responsibility for actions taken, and avoidance of contexts where temptation to compromise would be particularly strong.
In other words, gays and lesbians are not going to be welcome at the Law School.

It seems pretty straightforward to me. As Veronica Abbas points out "FLSC doesn’t need to need to emulate or follow the precedents of any other countries1 law schools, it should insist that Trinity Western University follow the Canadian Human Rights Act and BC Human Rights Code as a prerequisite for accreditation" [No Gays Need Apply].


1. If I were interested in correcting her spelling and grammar, I might suggest "country's"—but I would never do that, it would get me in big trouble!

23 comments :

  1. I'm so embarrassed! You are correct in suggesting the correct spelling should be "country's." Thank you for pointing it out. I'll correct the spelling immediately.

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    1. What are you talking about? I would never presume to correct an obvious typo just to embarrass you! :-)

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    2. And I would never presume to note that your non-correction contains a comma splice. That would be rude.

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    3. Comma Splice

      The British author Lynne Truss[9] observes: "so many highly respected writers observe the splice comma that a rather unfair rule emerges on this one: only do it if you're famous." She cites Samuel Beckett, E. M. Forster, and Somerset Maugham. "Done knowingly by an established writer, the comma splice is effective, poetic, dashing. Done equally knowingly by people who are not published writers, it can look weak or presumptuous. Done ignorantly by ignorant people, it is awful."

      Comma splices are considered acceptable by some in passages of spoken (or interior) dialogue, and are sometimes used deliberately to emulate spoken language more closely.


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    4. I corrected the comma splice at the same time as I changed countries to country's.

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  2. Incidentally, the chair of Trinity Western's Biology Department, Dennis Venema, has been doing very good and effective work in explaining the evidence for evolution to evangelical Christians. He is a Fellow at Biologos, and himself a former creationist. He tells that the theologians at his school have been very supportive. Now all we need to do is to persuade them to reconsider the school's position on gay and lesbian students.

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  3. Based on the quote, they are not just discriminating against gays and lesbians, but against anyone engaging in extra-marital sex. Assuming not many people in their target demographic are married, that affects a _lot_ of people.

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    1. Yes, it may be discriminatory but based on what's written in the covenant, you can be certain that's there's no extra-marital sex among the students at Trinity Western University. Not on the campus, and not anywhere in metropolitan Vancouver.

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    2. Re Larry Moran

      Yes, it may be discriminatory but based on what's written in the covenant, you can be certain that's there's no extra-marital sex among the students at Trinity Western University. Not on the campus, and not anywhere in metropolitan Vancouver.


      I assume that this is a snark.

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  4. according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman...

    Waitaminute, didn't Abraham have more than one wife? I support traditional marriage: one man and as many women as he can afford!

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  5. Its the absolute right of any university to get to accreditation for making lawyers if they are making them by the standards of how they make them.
    Banning this at these Christian schools is not just wrong but practically banning these schools from society. its making illegal, not just immoral, the great historic beliefs of Christianity.
    Its an attack on the great Christian faith by the state.
    i don't think they are banning gay students any more then they are banning sexually active students.
    They are saying there is a right and wrong thing and students should compley with this if they want the privilege , not the right, to attend this school.

    Even if they said no active gay students i would allow as its a Christian school.
    Yet I don't think they are saying this anyways.

    I think the rub here is that there is not to be any opposition to homosexuality in Christian schools period.
    its just with the legal thing there is hope of making the state enforce a ban on some professions from this school.
    It seems its about opinions that is being opposed here.
    It short oppression against religion . State control over convictions. interference with working life.

    Why target the law stuff? Why not all professions etc they teach?
    You really are controlling Christian opinion in Christian schools!
    You are trying to make homosexuality a moral right and enforce on the nation.
    Most or many Canadians and Christians say its morally wrong.
    they can live and let live but can't live with prohibition of the conscience on this matter.

    Your punishing opinions and not even actions.

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    1. You are right - they are banning sexually active students. That's about as fair as banning students who eat cheese.

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    2. That's about as fair as banning students who eat cheese.

      And it will be just about as effective.

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    3. Robert Byers offers his opinion ...

      You are trying to make homosexuality a moral right and enforce on the nation. Most or many Canadians and Christians say its morally wrong.

      According to a Pew Research Poll in May 2013 ...

      Eighty per cent of Canadians polled agreed that homosexuality should be accepted, a 10 per cent increase since Pew’s last poll on the subject in 2007.

      Not that he has ever let facts get in the way of defending fundamentalist Christians—the only true Christians, as far as Robert Byers is concerned.

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    4. "Eighty per cent of Canadians polled agreed that homosexuality should be accepted"

      What does "accepted" mean in the Canadian society?
      I can assure you, it can mean many different societies and among minorities in US.

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    5. I could say I accept a person despite being gay. Nobody, mostly, rejects someone because their gay.
      The question forces a person into a cotner.
      the question is whether people think its morally right or normal.
      People accept people who sleep around but not accept sleeping around.
      Its about normal and moral.
      I do think most people think its abnormal and a slight majority that its immoral. I understand French Canadians are very supportive of homosexuality and skew the numbers.

      In fact I understand its a hugh percentage that oppose gay marriage especially outside Quebec. Bigger then the acceptance figure being pushed.
      most people still see homosexuality as a negative reflection on that person.
      All young people grow up with words thrown at them in contempt that signify being gay.
      You know the words.
      In fact Most christians would accept homosexuality if it means otherwise to reject a homosexual. not the right question.

      People accept what they think is a natural thing. Christians know its not natural but most people think its a born trait.
      I don't see Canada mich different then America on these things.

      The question should be DOES one believe homosexuality is just a normal other type of sexuality. !!
      I think most see homosexuality as wrong. Unnatural and undesirable.
      They just don't want to be unkind, or disrespectful, or in any way it affect relationship with gays they meet.
      Its NOT accepted like normal male/female relationship. Nor should it be.

      The whole gay agenda is to make people see homosexuality as normal and natural as the rest of us.
      I don't think people see it as normal and natural but instead see it as natural for something born that way. Yet not right or okay. Not normal.
      We need better stats that fully allow people to express what they really mean.
      Not a ACCEPTANCE of a thing in society but is it natural, normal, right.

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    6. I think most see homosexuality as wrong. Unnatural and undesirable.

      But you have no evidence to support this belief and you reject all the evidence that contradicts it. I think I'm beginning to understand why you believe in god(s).

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    7. Its a long observation of Toronto.
      the concepts are confused here.
      Its not about acceptance as that means rejection of someone.
      Its whether a person sees this tiny minority, 1%, as being a natural thing . Just a different wiring. Or seeing it as a error in the body.
      People might say gays are born that way but not mean its natural or right to be that way.
      Then I don't find an acceptance of homosexuality but rather an acceptance of homosexuals because they can't help it. I don't find people are ever neutral on it like as if a man like blonds, or redheads.
      I find people see it as funny or even unattractive. Yet accept it for that person.

      The historic belief was rejection of homosexuality as natural, moral, or netral/attractive like the 99%.
      wE need better stats to figure out the conclusions.
      Always polls misdirect and misunderstand peoples actual beliefs.
      People just want to be kind and supportive to a condition they believe people are born with.
      Yet this is different from saying its right/natural as the rest of us and moral/attractive like
      the classic model.
      Furthermore homosexuality is still a movement that everyone knows there must be some settlement on in everyones hearts.
      They really mean live and let live as opposed to its okayism.

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  6. I have absolutely no idea what this word salad from booby is trying to say.

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    1. It's an acquired taste - some of us have learned to accept it as comic relief.

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    2. It careens from christian haiku to fundimentalist beat poetry.

      With a bit of work I think he could make it in classical Japanese Kabuki, he'd be a natural for the stylized drama and elaborate make up.

      For some reason he always brings to mind the Troma studio movie "Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.", but that could just be me.

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  7. An update on this story:

    The FLSC, to its discredit, has approved the TWU law school. However, that does not end the matter. Regional law socieities still have the final say over whether they will recognize degrees from TWU, and to my knowledge at least three of these are seriously questioning whether they will do so. These include the Law Society of British Columbia:

    http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm?cid=3876&t=Law-Society-welcomes-public-input-as-it-considers-new-law-school-at-Trinity-Western-University

    the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society:

    http://nsbs.org/news/2014/03/next-steps-nsbs-trinity-westerns-application-law-school

    and the Law Society of Upper Canada, which has jurisdiction over the countries largest province, Ontario. This latter society is still accepting submissions from the public on the issue (hint, hint):

    http://www.lsuc.on.ca/twu/

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