While he softens the blow by saying,
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many advocating for human rights whose compulsion to faith is not divisive, but there does exist a select number where religion is an addiction.
Kevin Smith, a member of the board of directors for the Centre for Inquiry, is right: religion is an addiction. Smith makes this statement in response to the latest Ottawa Citizen “Ask the Religion Experts” question, “Was York University right to order accommodations for the student who was opposed to working in a group with women?”:
The recent issue of the religiously obsessed York student’s request to remain closeted in his home, for fear of mingling with the opposite sex, might seem trivial compared to religion’s golden era of influence on society.
However, he goes on to point out,
In Canada, religion continues to undermine secular values. Ontario-taxpayer-funded Catholic school boards and B.C.’s Trinity Western University’s fixation on superstition offensively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
John Counsell, the lead pastor at Vanier Community Church, is a perfect example of a person addicted to
religion Christianity. Why does the Ottawa Citizen continue to enable him?
Counsell is so addicted to and besotted by religion he can not stop himself from making the most outrageous claims:
the strongest voice for equality has always been the Bible.
He also maligns York University by saying,
York University has been gaining a reputation for being anti-semitic for quite some time now.
Counsell supports this claim with the testimony of one disgruntled blogger:
“The intimidation of Jewish students has been going on for years. Of course, it is clumsily disguised as ‘criticism of Zionism,’ but anybody who has even the faintest idea about those people, can see that the term encompasses everything related to Israel and its culture. Every Jew who doesn’t loudly condemn his or her culture is presumed guilty.”
Counsell fails to mention that York University did not change its policy of cancelling classes on Jewish holidays until the fall of 2009, but goes on to say,
So the fact that York U would accommodate such sexist bigotry should come as no surprise. What is disheartening is that York U is not more exposed for being such a fertile breeding ground for such hatred.
Counsell’s assertion that the Bible advocates for equality would be laughable if it weren’t so wrong. Counsell should stop reading the Bible with faith-fogged glasses. He should stop criticizing the “brand of Islam, which would deprive women of their dignity” until he can assure readers that Christianity allows women complete control over their own lives and bodies.