February 11, 2013
RE: Canada funds anti-gay group's work in homophobic Uganda (Feb 11/13 A8)
To the editor of The Globe and Mail ,
It’s a Globe trifecta! First Globe editorial writers got the basic legal principles wrong in All Rise for the Utah sheriffs (Feb 4, 2013) while denigrating religious freedom. Then editors distorted our constitution to attack a Christian university in No gay-free law school should stand in Canada (Feb 7, 2013). And, within the week, Lina Dib and Fannie Olivier’s Canada funds anti-gay group’s work in homophobic Uganda (Feb 11/13) seeks to draw an insidious and non-existent link between an evangelical Christian ministry providing necessities of life for the impoverished in Uganda (and several other countries), CIDA funding (spread over multiple years and countries) and Ugandan government policy against homosexuality.
This Dib/Olivier piece hits several birds with one stone. It takes a pot shot at the evangelical community. It again raises the phantom of the U.S. constitutional doctrine of “separation of church and state” being applicable in Canada. And, it assails Crossroads Christian Communications, a basic cable television competitor of the Globe’s part owner Bell Canada; coincidentally, Bell is seeking to maintain the benefit of its several basic cable channels to Crossroads’ one.
I’m appreciative that the Globe has followed the new Associated Press style guidelines by not inappropriately ascribing “homophobia,” properly alleged about a government that outlaws homosexuality. At the same time, the tenor of the piece suggests there is something wrong with a Christian ministry listing “sins” and inviting “repentance.” Really? Sins and repentance ‘r’ us. And so is caring for the poor. CIDA funds organizations that meet their criteria, religious or otherwise – 100% legal and constitutional in a democratic nation that guarantees religious freedom. Crossroads is involved in similar projects in several countries. The CIDA funding identified is a small part of their multi-country development budget, spread over multiple years and completely unrelated to Ugandan government policy. By the way, a brief overview of international development verifies Canadian evangelical Christian ministries spend well over $535 million a year overseas, of which $32 million is CIDA funding. Dedication stretches dollars; and Christians do it well. CIDA, Canadians, Ugandans and those in other nations benefit from partnering with people committed to “love their neighbours.”
Vice-President, General Legal Counsel
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada