The much anticipated film God’s Not Dead 2 opens in Canada on Friday, April 1st. The movie is set in the United States and while our countries are similar in many ways, our legal systems and religious freedom are distinct. In the movie a school teacher taken to court for talking about Christ in the classroom (in response to a legitimate student question). Could it happen here in Canada?
Paul Faris is legal defense and Executive Director for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Canadian law is built on the Bible. In a 2013 article published in Toronto’s Christian Herald Faris said faith and law are not contradictory in Canada. “You have a hard time reading a case that’s more than 100 years old that doesn’t have Scripture in it. That’s what our law is based on…I have seen religious freedom seriously eroded in the last ten to twenty years in Canada…”
Canadian courts are overturning laws that have been primarily based on biblical morals and community good. Will this affect our religious freedom?
Georgialee Lang is a trial and appellate lawyer in BC who has argued cases, such as the prostitution laws, before the Supreme Court of Canada. In a January 2016 article published in Testimony magazine, Lang was asked to comment on the historical Judeo-Christian influence on Canadian Law:
“Unfortunately, it’s slipping away. A lot of our laws originally were based on moral propositions and Judeo-Christian values. You don’t see much of that now. I’ve been involved in a couple of Superior Court of Canada cases where the whole notion of what’s right and wrong within the framework of the Law has been abandoned pretty much. The courts don’t want to hear moral posturing or moral arguments, they simply want legal arguments.
“We Christian lawyers valiantly try to bring in Judeo-Christian principles that are the foundations behind a certain law, but often that’s met with great resistance from the courts. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has made it more difficult because the courts can now strike down a law, for example the prostitution law in Canada…Everybody has the freedom to do what they want. The collective community is less important than the individual rights.” [emphasis mine]
Not long ago, a boy in Grade 4 or 5 received a Bible as a birthday gift and discovered the Book of Judges, and that led to him reading the entire New Testament. He was a voracious reader and was asked to bring a book from home for quiet reading time at school because he’d already read everything in the classroom library. He decided to bring his new Bible. He was reprimanded by his teacher and told to put the Bible in his bag and never bring it back to school. This was quiet time dedicated to students sitting at their desks with a book and not talking about or sharing what they were reading.
Perhaps the situation in the movie isn’t as far off as we’d like to think. Something to ponder.
God’s Not Dead 2 is playing in theatres across Canada – check here to find a theatre near you. New theatres will be added so keep checking back. Remember this movie will have a limited run in theatres, so don’t wait to go and see it.