In a ruling that is sure to send shock waves through the nation, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Law School. In effect, what the court declared is that universities must choose between biblical standards and accreditation. Put another way, the court ruled that Christianity and higher education are incompatible. I am not exaggerating in the least.
Here’s a brief summary of the case for those who are not familiar with it. Trinity Western is a Christian university that requires its students and faculty to live by basic Christian standards. This means that to be a student or faculty member in good standing, you can’t commit fornication or adultery, nor can you engage in homosexual relationships.
There’s nothing surprising with these requirements, and there are thousands of schools in North America with similar standards. These include Christian schools from K-12, Christian colleges, Bible schools, seminaries, and universities.
These standards have long been part of TWU’s mandatory covenant, which requires“that all students and faculty pursue a holy life ‘characterized by humility, self-sacrifice, mercy and justice, and mutual submission for the good of others.’ It requires members to abstain from using vulgar language, lying or cheating, stealing, using degrading materials such as pornography, and ‘sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.’”
Again, this is gospel 101, the basic requirements of Christian discipleship. And it is honorable that TWU seeks to live this out on its campus.
Unfortunately, when TWU sought to open its law school, it fell afoul of Canada’s LGBT activists and their allies. They argued that TWU was discriminating against LGBT students, because of which students graduating with a bona fide law degree should not be allowed to practice law in Canada.
There was a ray of hope for TWU when a regional court ruled in its favor. But now, “In a pair of 7-2 rulings, the majority of justices found the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario have the power to refuse accreditation based on Trinity Western University’s so-called community covenant.”
Or, to paraphrase, the Supreme Court ruled that if a Christian law school wants accreditation, it must abandon biblical values. How else can this be interpreted?
“The majority judgment said the covenant would deter LGBT students from attending the proposed law school, and those who did attend would be at risk of significant harm.”