Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
June 11, 2001
Christians' rights take a back seat
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
A Stratford, P.E.I., couple who operate a bed and breakfast from their home have been forced to pay $1,000 in "damages" and go out of business for refusing accommodation to a homosexual couple from Quebec last summer.
To continue operating, Dagmar and Arnost Cepica have been ordered by the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission to provide assurances to that they are complying with the Human Rights Act by allowing gay couples stay there. And that, the Cepicas are not prepared to do.
This is another instance of aggressive public imposition of secular humanist, politically correct values marginalizing Christians and essentially making it impossible for them to conduct certain types of business in good conscience.
As a friend of mine, a professional historian who teaches at an Ontario university, commented upon hearing about the persecution of the Cepicas, "Incidents like this reinforce my belief that we, as Christians, are increasingly a counter-cultural, truly revolutionary force - that more and more we are returning to our pre-Constantinian place in society."
In some respects, Canadian Christians, collectively, have no one but themselves to blame for the increasingly presumptive hubris of the secular humanist battalions. We have stood by and let the dupes of political correctness seize the levers of cultural and judicial power with barely a public whimper, let alone standing and fighting the "good fight" advocated by St. Paul.
Shameful non-defence of Christian principles has been partly laziness, but it also derives from the mistaken notion that "peacefulness" must be maintained at all costs, and disastrous capitulation to the humanist assertion that religion (except for the humanist religion of course) must be a private matter kept scrupulously out of the public square.
It's long past time that Christians not only drew a line in the proverbial sand and stood their ground to defend it, but mounted a counterattack to regain the substantial amount of cultural real estate that they have allowed secular humanism to invade and occupy more or less by default.
The shabby treatment of the Cepicas by P.E.I.'s government is as good a place as any to dig in and establish a beachhead.
I don't know Dagmar and Arnost Cepica, but I assume that they share in general my own perspective on the issue at stake here, to wit: as one who tries to be a faithful and obedient Christian, my position is governed by the Bible, and the policy of my church, both of which unequivocally condemn homosexual behaviour as sinful and morally disordered (along with other forms of illicit sexual activity).
Now, it would be unreasonable for Christian persons in the hotel or motel business to insist on maintenance of Biblical standards of morality among their clientele. Such establishments are essentially public places of sorts, and a stipulation like that would be both intrusive and impractical to police.
However, a bed and breakfast is almost always also the principal residence of its operators - their home - and I believe that people, even if they are inviting guests into their home for a fee, have a moral right to screen out customers whose activities offend their moral convictions.
In an off-camera interview with CTV News, Mr. Cepica said the standard in his home is that bed sharing is restricted to legally married couples or perhaps close relatives. I think that is a reasonable stipulation to make in one's home, and that P.E.I.'s "human wrongs" bureaucracy grossly overstepped the bounds of justice in shutting the Cepicas down.
Last month, in an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of Trinity Western University in British Columbia to impose a policy requiring Christian moral standards of behaviour on its students, who are required to sign a document promising to refrain from biblically condemned practices, including the sexual sins of premarital or extramarital sex, adultery, homosexual behaviour and viewing pornography.
I don't think it is at all a strained analogy to note that a university is an institution offering a service to the public, and that requiring Christian standards of moral behaviour of its students and staff, some of whom live in residence, is not all that radically different in principle from a bed and breakfast operator setting Christian standards of moral behavior in his or her home.
I think that the Cepicas would have a pretty strong case if they had the money and fortitude to fight this thing to the Supreme Court, based on the TWU ruling precedent.
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