Augustine College’s brilliant Dr Tingley

Augustine College has a close association with Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  One of our priests is chaplain and on the faculty; several of our members are graduates of its one-year rigorous program that examines the foundations of Western Civilization.

Dr Edward Tingley and his family were members of Annunciation up until our entry into the Catholic Church and we very much miss them all.

Anyway, Augustine College now has a blog for faculty that also includes the brilliant Dr. John Patrick, a pediatrician and president of this remarkable college.

Here’s an except (after the stars)


To have an identity is what? It’s a matter of image: it is to see yourself in a certain way. But it is not just image; it is also to live in accord with that image: the gay identity is the image of someone who lives a certain way. You can’t ask gays to, ‘OK, come to our university and think of yourselves  as gay, but don’t act as gay’.  To accept gays  is not just to ‘let them self-identify as gay but no more’ — that would be fake acceptance, tokenism. To accept gays, suggests Ruby, is to have no objections to homosexual behaviour.  

Ruby cited the recent ruling in Saskatchewan v. Whatcott  in which “the Supreme Court of Canada unequivocally rejected” the argument that you can accept gays and still condemn gay behaviour: “I am dismayed,” wrote Justice L’Heureux-Dubé,

that at various points in the history of this case the argument has been made that one can separate condemnation of the ‘sexual sin’ of ‘homosexual behaviour’ from intolerance of those with homosexual or bisexual orientations.… The status/conduct or identity/practice distinction for homosexuals and bisexuals should be soundly rejected.

In fact she said more, citing Madam Justice Rowles:

Human rights law states that certain practices cannot be separated from identity, such thatcondemnation of the practice is a condemnation of the person.

Of course by this measure, you might notice, Christianity comes off as less than an identity:  for Ruby and the Justices, religion is either a less fundamental or a less honourable category. Christians will of course claim that Christianity is ‘their very identity too’, but if Christianity were counted an identity then the Charter (if the Charter is indeed telling us that respect for “who you are” is a fundamental right ) would require us not just to allow Christians to call themselves Christians but require us, once again (“equal protection without discrimination”), to cease objecting to Christian behaviour (such as the behaviour of TWU, calling gay sex immoral). If “human rights law” tells us “that condemnation of the practice is a condemnation of the person,” shouldn’t we all abide by it — and not condemn the practice  of applying Biblical morality? Haven’t we just been instructed that“condemnation of the practice is a condemnation of the person,” the Christian?

But, says Ruby, we MUST OBJECT to such behaviour  and in the loudest of tones — so religion doesn’t get into  the category of identity. Apparently (to use the Supreme Court’s language) the “status/conduct or identity/practice distinction” should not be “soundly rejected” when applied to Christians: we can acknowledge Christian status (you Christians can be Christians) but condemn the conduct (just don’t act like Christians).


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